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What is Mountain Boarding

An introduction to mountain boarding

All-Terrain Boarding also known as Mountain boarding or Off Road Boarding is one of the fastest growing actions sports worldwide. Often described as a combination of snowboarding, skateboarding and mountain biking, the sport is widely participated in, visually stunning and definitely extreme. The top ATB riders are pushing the limits of the sport further and further each year with aerial maneuvers and multiple spinning freestyle tricks, all while riding over dirt, grass and other surfaces. Tracing its roots to the 1970's the sport is actively participated in by over 1 million athletes worldwide (Wall Street Journal, April 16th 1998) with an estimated 6000+ participants in the UK. The sport is now starting to be used for cross marketing with other products. Ford used the boards in their advertising about the Ford Edge and Nissan in the marketing for the X-Terra.

All-Terrain Boards have been around in one form or another since the early 1970's. For many years skateboarders have attempted to ride their boards off road using various designs that employ oversize wheels capable of handling the rough terrain. The sport has developed principally through grass roots participation. Individual riders and companies have developed their own unique designs and have contributed to the sport through furthering participation in the sport in their respective countries. The sport has received increased interest since 1995, as the first high performance boards became available around the world. Technology in the sport has steadily increased with complex suspension, steering mechanisms, brake technology, composite materials and other advances. Most boards sold use four wheels; however there are designs that use two to eight wheels. From the early days there has been a competitive element encompassing racing and freestyle. Competitions have been organised in USA since 1994 and in the UK since 1997. The numbers of competitors and spectators in the UK have been steadily increasing over the years with a growth of approximately 100% a year. This year the UK Championship is moving from a one-day event to a full series to accommodate the number of entrants and further promote and publicise the sport.

The present state of the sport is very exhilarating as it sweeps across the globe. ATB riding has established itself as one of the fastest growing sports worldwide with participants in over thirty countries. Presently there are over twenty-five Manufacturers or Brands and the sport continues to grow rapidly. The sport has been shown on many major TV shows, significant magazines and newspapers. In the UK it has been seen on BBC, ITV, C4, C5 and Sky TV as well as national and local press. There are some of the worlds top extreme athletes using ATBs, even some of the USA snowboard team have used and endorsed the boards. The level of competition has increased dramatically with riders pushing the limits of safety and sanity within the sport throwing huge air tricks and speeds exceeding 50mph downhill.