Pineboarding

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Pineboarding is a recreational activity in which a participant rides down the pine-needle-covered slopes of pine forests on a skateboard deck (without trucks or wheels).

Pineboarding down a slope in a pine forest

Boards[edit]

The preferred pineboard is an old school style, highly-concave skateboard deck like those that were popular in the 1970s and 1980s; the edges of concave decks are raised, which provides a much smoother ride. Modern skateboard decks have relatively low concavity and their edges tend to dig into the pine needles and sand while riding.

The underside of the deck is sandpapered down to remove any paint or varnish that it may have; this paint or varnish layer tends to inhibit a smooth ride, as it makes the board stick to the pine beneath it. Floor or wood polish, such as Pledge, is sometimes applied to the underside of the board to provide a more slippery surface.

Another board that has proved itself on this terrain is the Stikboard; this is an all terrain board made out of rotational molded plastic and of a similar size to a skateboard deck. It's lightweight and robust and ideal for grass, sand, snow, and even pine needles.

Looking for a Slope[edit]

The pine slopes which are the most sought after are usually those that provide a few clean lines: That is,long sections of slope which provide clear runs without obstacles such as trees, boulders, bushes etc. (a 'run' in pineboarding is simply a single movement from one part of the slope down to another).

Cleaning[edit]

Once an agreeable slope has been found, the run or runs have to be 'cleaned'. 'Cleaning' involves removing rocks, small stones, branches, pine cones, and other debris from the run. This is a once-off job so it is important to choose a good slope beforehand. Uncleaned slopes may cause damage to your board, especially from rocks and small stones, it is also nice to know that when you wipe out you'll be landing on soft pine needles and not rocks.

Weather Conditions[edit]

Weather conditions are important to take into account before heading to the forest. If it has rained during the previous week or so, the pine-needles and the underlying sand will still, most likely, be damp; this seriously inhibits the board's ability to slide over the pine-needles. Although these conditions are not preferable, it is still possible to pineboard in such a situation if one applies ample polish before each run.

Movement[edit]

Unlike most boardsports the movement of a pineboarder is largely determined by the features of the slope. In skateboarding, snowboarding, surfing, wakeboarding and mountain boarding, pressure placed on the edges of the board cause it move accordingly. A pineboard can be directed in this same way, but to a much lesser degree; the primary method is, instead, to adapt one's own movements (degrees of weight distribution on either foot, stance etc.) to the slope.

Safety[edit]

Proper protection should always be worn, such as a helmet and elbowpads; because the boarder is moving at high speeds down a steep slope, it can be dangerous if footing is lost or any mistake is made on a trick, i.e. losing the board on a shove-it. This can cause the rider to bail, and on a steep slope, this can cause injury. Bails can also result from hidden obstacles such as rocks and fallen trees. If the rider bails it is important for her/him to get up to a crouching or standing position and stop as quickly as possible.

Tricks[edit]

The run itself and responding to the features of the slope (such as steep angles, corners and drops etc.) is the primary pineboarding experience; but there are a few simple tricks inspired by skateboarding and snowboarding which are performed:

Rotations[edit]

90, 180, 270 or 360 degree rotations: these are performed by swinging the upper-body or lower-body in the intended clockwise or counter-clockwise direction while the feet are in contact with the board and the board is in contact with the slope (a simple move on a snowboard but far more difficult on a pineboard).

Shove-its[edit]

A shove-it in pineboarding is basically the same movement as it is in skateboarding; the feet kick the board into a 180 or 360 degree rotation. The board stays in contact with the slope but the feet are in the air above the board as it rotates (originally a skateboarding move).

Ramps[edit]

Ramps are made by building up a mound of sand next to a tree stump; the mound is shaped to give a smooth transition from the slope to the top of the tree stump. The transition slope is then layered with pine needles. Shove-its are performed on the top of tree stump before dropping off the other edge. Cutbacks are performed on the edge of the stump or on the transition slope.

Spin-it shoves[edit]

This is almost a cross of a rotation and a shove it. One spins the board under his/her feet and jumps up at the same time thus the board spins under them and the person either spins the same way as the board or in the reverse direction if they want to be fancy.

Rail Sliding[edit]

In pineboarding, thick branches or tree trunks (with diameters ranging from 10 cm to 50 cm) are used to make rails for rail sliding. Fresh branches or trunks are preferred for the slippery riding surface they provide when the bark is removed. Sometimes a little floor polish is applied to rails which have become old and dry.

A pineboarding railslide requires a rail that one can slide directly onto from the slope, i.e. the rail can't be above the ground as it sometimes is in skateboarding and snowboarding. The reason for this is that most pineboards don't have straps or bindings to hold the feet against the board, as in snowboarding. One can't ollie onto a rail as in skateboarding because of the nature of the riding surface and the board.

A railslide

Grabs[edit]

Board grabs are done the same way as in snowboarding, they are perform from a ramp or drop off. Simply grab the edge of the board on either side; these are performed much more easily if the board has been equipped with bindings.

Bindings[edit]

Many pineboarders now use bindings, it allows for more tricks, including large jumps and better rotations, and more stability. However, bindings do not allow the rider to perform shove-its, and there is more freedom of motion without bindings. Bindings can be made from towstraps to cover the front of your foot. Shoelaces attached to the board can be tightened over the top of the back of your shoe to keep it from slipping out.