[splitpost intro="true" order="reverse" numbers="true"]
They say there’s a fine line between genius and stupidity. Nowhere is this more obvious than the weird and wonderful ways people use snowboards. Whether it’s the entertaining crackpot schemes from Signal’s Every Third Thursday, playing snowboard football or blasting down the mountain on a hangboard. These innovators may well be crazier than a room full of Britain’s Got Talent contestants – but wouldn’t the world be a more boring place without them? Here are ten of the craziest ideas we've ever come across.
[part title="Naked riding"]
Only in Russia would you find a mass semi-naked snowboarding event. Is it for charity or are they all just stripping off to appreciate the unseasonably warm alpine weather? Either way, it wasn’t quite what we expected. Think carnage on the nursery slopes where only neon underwear-clad beginners are allowed to participate.
[part title="Lake Skimming"]
Stone skimming is a regular occurrence on lakesides across the world. But what if you replace that stone with fully-grown Canadian rider Mat Galina? All it takes is an 80km/hour tow-in to catapult Mat across a 60m lake – without so much as a wet sock. Easy, right?
If you think you’ve got carving down, this bunch of Russian dudes have taken it to astronomical levels. Laid almost horizontal across the snow, these guys show off some insane limbo-style riding skills down an ‘extreme slalom’. Word of warning: don’t be put off by the cringe Lock Stock introduction – skip to 1.18 for the real action.
[part title="Riding All-Terrain"]
Ever wished you could ride your board straight off the mountain into the car park? Us neither. But these bright sparks seem to have invented a Thunderbird-style, motorised, all-terrain snowboard for that very purpose. This promo vid claims to have you shredding up and downhill at top speeds using its electronic wizardry. What ever happened to good ol’ fashioned gravity?
[part title="Playing Snowboard Football"]
As Brits, it’s likely Jamie Nicholls, Billy Morgan and Ben Kilner spent their youth kicking a football around a school playground. But who would’ve thought years later they’d be bashing it around on the slopes of Colorado? Maybe we’d spend a bit more time checking out the World Cup if Ronaldo and Rooney were booting penalties with a Ride stick.
[part title="Pinewood Derby-style"]
We couldn’t complete this list without including an episode from Signal’s endlessly entertaining Every Third Thursday series. In this part they make their own Pinewood Derby snowboards, inspired by the nerdy American tradition of building and racing toy cars made from 2X4s. So it involves gluing together 2X4s and shaping them into a board blank, then handing it over to the riders to customise with wack paint jobs, crazy swallowtails and old-school racing noses.
[part title="Stand-up paddle boarding"]
Another harebrained idea to try this winter – Snow SUPing. Yep, stand-up paddle boarding has made its way to the pistes with the help of Kahuna Creation’s inventively titled Snow Stick. This giant pole allows you to punt your way along cat tracks like a Venetian gondolier. It also supposedly helps riders “get deeper carves" and “keep newbies from falling over". Really? Maybe the prospect of impaling yourself on your pole will do just that. And if you fancy owning one, each stick is a mere $100. Bargain.
[part title="The art of skitching"]
Skitching is normally associated with skateboarding and bygone days of playing Tony Hawk Pro Skater, where the rider holds on to the back of a car to hitch a ride. Here, big budget filmmakers Brain Farm have harnessed the power of skitching to advertise Mercedes’ new C350 Coupe with pro Rob Kingwill riding behind on a tow bar. Despite the fact that we weren’t particularly impressed with the quality of riding (and the pure oddness of it all), you can’t argue that it’s an original way to ride a stick.
[part title="Shredding a 'Virgin Slagheap'"]
It’s not the first time those innovative Russians have featured in this particular Top 10. In this video they’ve donned Ghostbusters-style protective gear to ride a slagheap in the rural town of Urals. Yep, they are riding a pile of waste mining matter. Messy it may be but kudos to these anonymous Russ riders for giving it a go!
We thought we’d seen it all - from the bizarre to the utterly incomprehensible – then we discovered hangboarding. Yes, it’s the lovechild of snowboarding and hang gliding of all sports - and it is as absolutely ridiculous as it sounds. There are just too many great highlights to name, so we're going to let you discover them for yourselves. It's a pretty laughable affair but hey, the world would be a sadder place without crazy kids like this breaking the mould.