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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Mountainboarding? What will they think of next?


Well, it seems that ziplines are not the only new thing to come along for adrenaline junkies visiting Beech Mountain. We've learned that Ski Beech is finding new ways to share the mountain's challenging terrain with a whole new crowd of warm-weather sports enthusiasts: Mountainboarders, also known as riders.

Normally known as just a ski resort which keeps pretty quiet once the snow has gone, Ski Beech is branching out into the warmer seasons with a new park called "The Dirt." It should be noted that this new park is mountainboard specific, meaning that mountainbikers have a separate track of their own.

I had heard of Grass Skiing, which involves short skis that have rolling treads on them, like a tank - and sometimes wheels. (I am told that there was Grass Skiing at Ski Beech in the past.) However, Mountainboarding - which, according to Wikipedia, is also known as Dirtboarding, Offroad Boarding, Grass Boarding, and All-Terrain Boarding (ATB)- is an extreme sport that was inspired by Snowboarding in the early '90s. I found a photo of a mountain board, and it looks to me like a very intense skateboard clearly designed for very rough terrain. There are going to be a number of competitions and other events for Mountainboarders at Ski Beech over the Summer (Three race dates are set for the 2009 Triple Crown: June 27-28; August 8-9; September 5-6), several to run concurrently with the Mountainbiking events up there. Although, I do not think I'll be strapping up to try it out myself any time soon, I am looking forward to watching the experts.

Meanwhile, check out the details at the Ski Beech site: http://skibeech.com/news/
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