People all over the world enjoy extreme sports. These sports give them a rush of adrenaline, which we normally call thrill. One such sport is mountain boarding. Evolved from snowboarding, this sport may not be very popular, but it has loyal fans all over the world. If you want to get into mountain boarding, read on because we’re discussing all you need to know when buying your first board.
What Is Mountain Boarding?
Mountain boarding comes from snowboarding. The sport first began when James Stanley traveled to Matterhorn to snowboard and found there was no snow there. Instead of returning, Stanley made a few changes to his board and raced down the ground.
Since his initial attempt at mountain boarding, the sport has evolved a lot over the years. While he once modified his snowboard, companies are manufacturing purpose-built mountain boards today. Jason Lee, Patrick McConnell, and Joel Lee were the first to name the sport, mountain boarding when they formed their company in 1993 called Mountain Board Sports.
Mountain boards are made up of a deck, wheels, bindings to strap the rider in, and pneumatic tires. The boards are controlled by two navigation mechanisms known as trucks. Usually, a shock absorber and a motor are also attached.
People enjoy mountain boarding everywhere. You can go to public parks, bike trails, hike trails, and even the grassy unkempt land of the hills. The terrain is no limitation to a mountain boarder. The boards are made to withstand pressure and shock, and the wheels can move on jagged terrain very easily.
Things to Consider When Buying a Mountain Board
The Material of the Deck
A deck needs to be sturdy to bear your weight. Not just that, but it also has to bear the force of any obstacle you might encounter. A board deck snapping midway can seriously injure the rider. For people just introduced to mountain boarding, cheap boards are their equipment of choice. These boards are usually made of laminated wood. This is quite strong and can withstand the difficulties that come with all types of terrains.
For experienced mountain boarding fans, composite carbon and plastic with wooden boards, are the deck of choice. Maple wood is also one of the most recognized choices for mountain board decks. These come with a hefty price tag, however, they are also very durable. Since mountain boarding is an extreme sport, the material of the deck is something you should never compromise on.
The Size of the Deck
The size of the board is also very important. There are two size brackets available in the market. For children, a deck can be anywhere from 31-33 inches depending on their height. For adults, the deck should be somewhere from 39-41 inches. This estimate is for an adult that is an average of 6 feet or somewhere close.
Your height is the primary way to choose the right board for your body. A very short board will be uncomfortable, and your body will be imbalanced. This means even if you were to use a small board, you’d probably fall over. A very long board will be difficult to manage, especially once it starts to gain speed. The binding won’t fit you right, and you might get hurt.
The size of the board holds special importance if you want to perform tricks on it. It is directly linked to the balance of your body. Therefore, the size of the board is one of the most important things to consider when buying a mountain board.
Channel or Skate Trucks
Channel trucks are the choice of many experienced mountain boarding enthusiasts. They are costly when compared to skate trucks, and yet they offer so many advantages. The channel trucks have a channel between the two wheels, which gives them their name. This channel provides them with more agility and allows them to make smoother turns. However, these require a lot of input from the rider.
For beginners, skate trucks are the best. These require very minimal effort, and you can get used to them very easily. We recommend you go for skate trucks when you begin mountain boarding. They make for a cheaper mountain board and are easy to control. Switch to channel trucks if you want to perform tricks, or want to mountain board on irregular terrain. If you don’t find them in the description, the default skate trucks are most likely being used.
Mountain board bindings are important because of the unpredictable terrain the boards are used on. Unlike skateboards, mountain boards don’t just cater to smooth streets. If you get a bump in the road while mountain boarding, you need your board to stay firmly beneath your feet. If you are knocked off your board at every thud, you would get seriously injured. Bindings are there to ensure you don’t.
There are three types of bindings when it comes to mountain boards. Velcro straps, ratchet bindings, and snowboard bindings. The right type of binding is an extremely important thing to consider when buying a mountain board.
Velcro straps are perfect for beginners. They are cheap and uncomplicated. Ratchet bindings aren’t very hard either and are popular with people that want their feet secured. These are downhill mountain borders mostly at the intermediate stage.
Snowboard bindings are also used. These are extremely secure and don’t come loose. This is exactly why these bindings should be worn with protective boots. Since they don’t come loose, when they encounter a disturbance, the pressure can damage your foot.
Wheels, Hubs, and Bearings
The wheels of the mountain board are very important. These are bigger than the wheels of a skateboard because they need to work over more obstacles. There are two common sizes of wheels in mountain boards, 8 inches, and 13 inches. 8” inches are standard and work well in all situations. Nonetheless, for people wanting more speed, wheels about 9”, 10” or 11” may be better. A larger wheel covers more ground thus generates more speed.
The tires are also something important to consider when buying a mountain board. Every mountain board uses pneumatic tires, and beginner boards come with a basic set. As your skill and difficulty level increases, you can have these tires replaced with new ones, or buy a board with better tires. Some tires come especially modified for speed and others come especially modified for harsh terrains.
A hub is the center of the wheels. Plastic hubs are cheaper and are usually used in beginner boards. However, professionals prefer aluminum hubs because they are lighter, even though they are comparatively costly. Bearings are little metal balls, held together by metal rings. These are found between the axle and the wheels. This allows the wheels to rotate freely, by reducing friction between them and the axle. ABEC-7 Bearings are one of the most popular ones used in mountain boards.
The smaller the bearings are, the smoother the wheels work. These bearings are sealed off to prevent mud and dirt from getting to them, however, water is always a risk. Stainless steel bearings are also available, although they are pricey. These are perfect if you want to mountain board in places like the beach, and fear rust.
Leashes are supposed to attach the rider with his board, so the board doesn’t go flying off. The leash is connected to the board at one end. The other end is tied to the rider’s leg, above the knee. The chosen leg is always on the same side as where the leash is tied to the board, so the rider doesn’t trip over it.
The safest leashes on the market are coil leashes, as they don’t get in the way. In some mountain boards, leashes may not come with the package.
Heel straps are attached to the bindings of the board near the heel of the foot. These make sure you cannot come off the board, and even if you do, the board stays with you. While most professionals prefer heel straps, we recommend against their use for beginners. Even professionals should always wear heel straps with protective footwear.
Learning how to brake is essential when you are mountain boarding. In the city, cars, pedestrians, bikers, and other issues mean you have to be ready to stop at any minute. In the wild, you could encounter a hidden obstacle anywhere. Most mountain boarding fans learn how to slide, and skid to a stop. Hover, when going downhill at a very fast speed, or when needing to brake urgently, this isn’t enough.
Worry not, because most, expensive mountain boards come with built-in brakes. These are hand-held levers you can press anytime you want to brake. You should always invest in a good braking system when you buy a mountain board.
Things to Consider When Buying a Mountain Board
Components of the Board
Material of deck
Composite carbon and plastic with wooden boards
Size of deck
31-33 inches for children
39-41 inches for adults.
(Approximately 6 inches of height)
Channel or skate trucks
Types of Bindings
Size of wheels
9 inches to 13 inches
Material of hubs
Stainless steel bearings for mountain boarding on places like the beach.
Types of leashes
Heel straps or no heel straps
No heels traps
Best Mountain Boards for Maximum Performance
One of the best-known mountain boards for beginners is the Colt 90 model by MBS. It may be a little expensive than other similar mountain boards but there are quite a few extras that justify the price.
First off, we have a great maple-lam deck in this. Maple is considered to be one of the strongest woods when it comes to making mountain boards. Specifically, maple has been used because this is a board for beginners. Beginners tend to have a higher number of crashes which is why a sturdy and durable deck is essential. Besides, the deck comes with F1 Velcro bindings so that you can adjust your foot in it.
Moreover, there are ATS 12 Trucks with 12mm axles which aren't only easy to adjust but are strong as well. Even the tire quality is exceptional! There are 8-inch tires that allow you to ride this board at any speed you desire.
Since many beginners tend to have difficulties assembling this board, the company sends it pre-assembled.
Board for Kids
Kids are one of the biggest fans of mountain boarding. However, there are very few reliable ones in the market that can be purchased for the kids. This one is one of the latest models in the market and has already been selling like hotcakes. There are 6 color choices so that your young star always has a variety to choose from.
As far as the technical aspects are concerned, this mountain board has been made of industrial plastic. Many might feel that plastic is a bit low-quality material but that is not the case over here because industrial-grade plastic is always an edge better than regular plastic. The primary reason for use of industrial plastic is that the mountain board becomes lightweight so the children can easily move around and make turns without feeling any resistance unlike the case of metal or wood mountain boards.
The deck is 22.5 inches long and 6 inches wide with a maximum weight capacity of 300 lbs. This makes it completely safe for many. The skateboard wheels are non-slip and have wear resistance so they will last a long time. The skateboard wheels are 120mm. While ABEC-7 bearings have been popular with mountain boards, this one has an upgrade in the form of ABEC-9 bearings - known for smoother slides.
Last but not the least, there is a 12 months warranty with this mountain board. Have a stress-free purchase!
Atom 90 is one of the best mountain boards for adults as well as teenagers. The first two options we mentioned above were quite basic but this board is truly an advanced one. The deck is made of Maple and has been laminated as well for maximum durability and appeal at the same time. The weight of this mountain board is approximately 15 lbs while the length is 41.4 inches. The Atom 90 is a good choice for people who have small or medium-sized feet because it comes with the F1 bindings.
The base has been made of diecast aluminum with a Chromoly axle. Aluminum helps in cutting down the extra weight of the board while the chrome axle is what gives it a durability factor. The best part about getting this mountain board is that it has an orange bushing suspension along with tri-spoke hubs. The tires are about 8 inches which are fine for a smooth sailing experience on the mountain board.
People who tried it out were highly satisfied with the performance. Keep in mind that there are no color choices for this board and you can get it in only one design as specified in the image above.
One of the best mountain boards for professionals is this one by HappyBuy. This mountain board is a high-precision one with accuracy and high impact resistance as well. The mountain board can allow you to do all stunts at high speeds along with greater control and maneuverability factor of this mountain board as well. This is perhaps the only mountain board in the market which has 8 layers. This does increase the weight of this mountain board but you do get an indestructible board in return. The board is 37 inches long and 7.9 inches wide.
As far as the frame specifications of this mountain board are concerned, it has a 10-inch Aluminum Alloy frame and has a carbon steel axle which brings the maximum capability to withstand damage. With top-of-the-line shock absorbers, you always have a smooth ride while having better control over the steering management system as well.
Unlike other mountain boards, it has an inflatable mountain tire which is considered better than a non-inflatable one. The tires are 8 inches and produce sufficient friction to maintain a good grip while you ride. Besides, this mountain board comes with all the necessary equipment you would need while riding such as hand protectors, knee pads, and elbow pads. Since professionals ride at high speeds, this equipment would be necessary for a safe mountain boarding experience.
In addition to that, you also get a black carry bag to take this mountain board anywhere along with the equipment that comes with it.
Which Mountain Board is the best?
|MBS Colt 90 Mountain board||Complete Mountain Board Mini Cruiser Skateboard by JFJ||Atom 90 Mountain Board||Happybuy Mountain board, 37''L Cross Country|
|Deck Material||Maple Lam Deck||Industrial Plastic||Maple Laminate||8 Layer Maple Board|
|Deck Length||38.5 inches||22 inches||36 inches||39 inches|
|Deck Width||17.3 inches||6 inches||8.6 inches||7.9 inches|
|Wheel Specs||Inflatable 8 Inches T1 Tires||120mm Skateboard Wheels ABEC 9 Bearings||8 inches diamond bred tire F1 Bindings All Terrain||8-inch knobby tires High grip Shock absorbers|
Based on the detailed evaluation and analysis of the four mountain boards above, we have come to the conclusion that the Atom 90 is one of the best mountain boards you can buy. It has a medium price range while it is suitable for intermediates as well. All other mountain boards are for extreme situations. For example, the mountain board by Happybuy is specifically designed for professional riders. Not every other person can ride this mountain board.
The MBS Colt 90 is for teenagers while the Mini Cruiser Skateboard by JFJ is specifically made for kids. Therefore, if you fall under any particular category, we recommend you to buy its specific mountain board but in case you are just an average adult who wants to go mountain boarding, go for Atom 90. We recommend you get a protection plan for the mountain board especially if you have no prior experience in using one. This would help you out in having it protected from damages. Select it on Amazon Checkout. Don’t worry! It is offered for quite a low price tag.
Mountain boarding is a thrilling sport. However, to avoid any potential injury, you must make sure you have all the protective equipment you need. Although cycle helmets are perfectly fine during the learning phase, we recommend you switch them out for proper, mountain boarding helmets as soon as possible. When mountain boarding, the first thing to do is to learn to slide to a break. If you cannot do that, be sure to buy boards that come with installed breaks. While these are a little expensive, safety always comes first.