HANGBOARDING (HYBRID OF SNOWBOARDING AND HANGING)
Extreme sports are increasingly attracting those wishing to get a fair amount of adrenaline. There are already many winter sports that are considered extreme, among them several types of snowboarding: snowboarding, it’s just skiing from the mountain with the help of a board. A more extreme sport is freeride, when a descent from a mountain with a board passes along a virgin snow, and a halfpipe is a descent from a mountain with a board while performing acrobatic jumps and upheavals. Just getting down from the mountain on the board became boring, so we decided to add a technical pepper. The revolution in snowboarding from the mountain is handboarding. This is a cross between a snow bike, snowboard and hang glider. Managing such a projectile is said to be very easy.
A handboard was invented in 2001 by Canadian hang glider Don Arnie, his friends and like-minded designer Peter Brook, American athlete Charles Bachwald and mountain bike champion Everest MacDonald.Tested for the first time on Mount Mt. Washington Alpin Resort. Conceived as a projectile, to summarize the sensations of the flight and the rapid descent from the mountain, snowboard and hang glider in one device. Translated from English hanggllider stands for hang glider, board, stands for board, therefore, a handboard. It is an extended length snowboard board, to which a vertical arrow is attached in the rear part, with several mounts for suspensions, a steering wheel is mounted in front of the front of the board.
Pendants firmly fix the athlete’s body in a horizontal suspended state at the level of the chest, thighs and legs, the head is in front. The handboard is controlled by moving the center of gravity of the athlete’s body, relative to the suspension axis. This technique is borrowed from the hang glider. At the level of the legs there are two metal rudders attached at an angle of 45 degrees to the board. If you need to turn left, use the right wheel, when turn right – the left wheel, both wheels together give a braking effect. Hands should be bent slightly at the elbows, and not hang on straight arms, and the back should be kept in tension, bringing the shoulder blades together. If necessary, you can also brake by hand. This design weighs 11 kilograms, and to descend from the mountain, you must have gloves and a helmet with a mask, otherwise your face will be covered with snow.
An interesting fact: the first handboards were without a steering wheel and without any brakes, and Everest MacDonald, who was testing a projectile, had to literally fly from the top of the mountain to its foot, swallowing snow and relying on the experience gained.
But, according to the inventors, it is very simple to control the projectile, the main thing to remember is that the pilot is in a prone position, and at the same time the surrounding world is seen in a completely different way. The pilot is very low above the snow level, about 30 centimeters from the snow cover, so the descent speed increases by almost half.
Work on prototypes continued for 8 years. More than 2 thousand tests were carried out in order to put the shell into operation. The first extreme handboarding competitions were held in 2007, and now tournaments are held every year in order to determine the most trained and fastest pilot. Now the handboard is at the peak of its development and popularity. Perhaps, at the next Winter Olympics, competitions will be held with the participation of a new sport.
Try your hand at an extreme projectile, you can now in Russia. They can be rented at popular ski resorts.