Lesson four was rather amazing but my next session on the slopes went too fast and resulted in a crunched ankle.
We took lesson four at Haredown and just as my martial arts teaches me I decided to set some goals for our instructor Les. We had found that our first few lessons has been the same focusing on traversing the slopes with the toe and heel turns. I therefore wanted to know ;
The Power Slide
Haredown’s Blue Run
The Power Slide is the way one stops in Mountain Boarding we were shown it on our first few lessons. However we thought it was to stop by falling flat on your bottom. However learning to stand after the slide and even move to a switch stance is what we spent our time learning.
Next we focused on the Rollers. We were able to take them on slowly building up speed. Till I was able to do this;
The second hour of the class was focused on the top of the blue run at Haredown. Again building each roller up slowly. It was a real thrill to be able to do the run. It didn’t stick mind you and later when we were playing around on our own the conditions rather wet and warm I crashed like this;
The National Governing Body for Mountainboarding in the UK just held round 2 of it’s four part International Series. And awesome it was too.
By the time we arrived mid morning on 18th of June, The Edge entrance resembled a mini festival with most of the 80 participants having arrived the night before to camp onsite. Our friends from Haredown were in place and pointed us around camp.
The multi purpose site of The Edge is not deeply picturesque but is highly functional. Ideal for both border x and freestyle competition. It was designed by MBS Europe’sAjay Watkins and is not stranger to hosting an event like this.
As The Edge is situated just outside Much Wenlock in Shropshire and due to my work with London 2012 Wenlock’s this became my must attend event of the summer. That’s right forget Ascot, Wimbledon or Glastonbury. Mountain Boarding International Series Round 2 is were it was at, this June.
The slalom run at The Edge is particularly steep. Walking down takes some effort. Out of the gate and there is a steep left bank, two massive rollers followed by a sharp right turn, steep descent down and a left turn into rollers so large that they would be more ideal for freestyling.
There are Juniors, Seniors, Masters and Pro categories as well as a ladies only category. 5 women entered the borderX ladies category and two heats were held. The first heat run was a messy affair with many of the riders falling at the first set of rollers. The first rider to pick herself up and get back on track had an advantage but eventually everyone finished. Heat 2 for the ladies was a less stop start affair. The final for the ladies reverted with the ladies taking each other out in dramatic form. Emmeline Thrower took full advantage after her own wobble and raced to the finish for much deserved and enjoyed win.
One women entered the pro category. The inspirational Lisa McLernon, an integral part of the University of Plymouth‘s team. Lisa is easy to spot in her bright pink helmet.
The boys competition also had plenty of stacks and falls. Thankfully Paramedics and dedicated first aiders stepped in to sort out a slew of reporting injuries which included busted hip, broken arm, dislocated knee, split eye and concussion.
Scary, but don’t let that put you off. After all we are only half way through the season.