What? Volcano boarding or Volcano Surfing: The process of riding a wooden board/plank down the side of a volcano.
Where? Cerro Negro Volcano in Nicaragua near the city of Leon
How Much? Anywhere from US$25 to US$55
It wasn’t until I was actually in Central America that I heard about Volcano Boarding.
There are two ways to go down the volcano. The first way is by carving down it like a snowboard or shredding down it like a surfboard. The board used for this is the same shape as a snow board.
The second way is to sled down. This is a wooden plank with a metal front and rope that allows you to pull up the front end. Considering it’s not snow and more like gravel I chose this option.
Sounds pretty awesome right? I would like to think so. If something involves a board, speed and a hint of fear/excitement I’m there. I snowboard and have my own gear. I have ridden a longboard (skating not surfing) for going on 6 years. Volcano boarding would be right up my alley.
I was pumped.
The volcano best known for boarding is called Cerro Negro which translates to black hill. This volcano is 1 of 23 volcanoes found in Nicaragua that is actually still considered active.
Making the trek to the top, small fissures make way to heat and escaping gases. It’s actually quite the scenic little hike. The pitch black volcano provides a great contrast to the greens of the surrounding fields and forests.
The guide that my group went with was super knowledgeable and friendly. I went through Chilli Inn which is tied with a local tour company, I just can’t remember the name.
I remember a Bigfoot Tour group was hiking up with us. Our tour guide gave the group a history and detailed account of the different volcanoes in the area. (I like learning about this stuff) Meanwhile the Bigfoot Tour guide was showing his group cool picture opportunities. (Also cool, but I didn’t hear him give much info)
Anyway, we made the trek to the top which was a decent little hike. It’s funny how the slope never looks as intimidating until you’re actually at the peak. Once there, we changed into our oh so fashionable volcano boarding attire. Let me tell ya, if you’re not turning heads with this then you’re doing something wrong ;)
We took off at the same time and I gotta be honest, she smoked me. I was trying to catch up with pieces of black ash/rocks hitting my face flying out from her board in front of me.
I’m not the type who likes to lose. I was slowly gaining on her. About a third of the way down the slope drops and the incline increases quite a bit.
As soon as I hit this I lifted my feet and flew right past her, only thing was I was starting to go too fast. My board started quickly and progressively more violently bouncing from side to side. My feet weren’t able to slow me down at all by this point.
I had a decent little bump and almost went sideways. I stuck out a hand to correct and straighten myself out and that’s when it happened.
My hand touched the side of the volcano and I was airborne.
I flipped out of control for a second, somersaulted a few times then slowed down to a point where I could catch my bearings.
Coming to a stop and watching the girl speed off past me, I jogged down the mountain to retrieve my board and finish boarding the rest of the way down.
I get to the bottom of the volcano completely covered in the volcanic black ash and rock mixture. My mouth was full of it, my hair was full of it, my suit and shoes were all full of it. Obviously this race ended in a loss for me… haha
Having eaten shit would I try it again? Hell yeah! Would I recommend for others to try it? Yes!
This happened because of my wanting to test the limits. I feel like had I not been wanting to get to the bottom first I could have easily avoided flipping over on end a few times.
Even with the cuts and scrapes I had a great time and would highly recommend this event to anybody : )