People have been trying to make skateboards go off road or put wheels on snowboards for about as long as those sports have existed. It wasn't until the early 90's that riders in the USA, UK, and Australia simultaneously and independently developed mountainboard designs that were functional and robust enough to be practical. Exploding in popularity in the 2000's, with sponsorships, media coverage, and national and international competitive organization, different disciplines quickly developed.

Free-Style focuses on tricks, with a dizzying array of grinds, grabs, spins, and flips, as well at the Big-Air riders hitting some quite unreasonably huge jumps. Boarder-Cross events are exciting, fast paced, four man races down purpose built dirt tracks, with berms, jumps, and rollers. Free-Ride is the core of mountainboarding. Only casually competitive, it's about getting out with friends and exploring. Finding new spots, learning new tricks, and progressing everyone's skills. Then there's Downhill...

Mountainboarding today is a well established underground sport, with riders all around the world, active in local and online communities. It is my hope that The Montana Big Run will be my small contribution to a sport that has brought so much joy and meaning to my life.

Downhill and Big Mountain

The underground discipline of an underground sport, there really is something wrong with downhillers. The higher, longer, steeper, faster, and the more treacherous the terrain, the better. Extra gnarly runs calls for specialized gear, like larger tires and full pads. Brakes, heresy to some, are common in the downhill scene, with riders often swapping back and forth between brakes and no brakes. You can spot one of these boarders in the wild, when they stare at a distant mountain peak or topo map for a long while, then ask you what your doing this weekend. Big-Mountain riding is an adventure sport, more like an expedition, with hiking, camping, and outdoor skills as much a part as the ride back down. The goal of The Montana Big Run is to share my love of mountainboarding in general, and this mad form of it in particular.


The event takes place just outside of Bozeman Montana. The race/camp location offers all levels of riding. From gentle grass hills to NOT-gentle slopes and cliff drops and everything in between. There are also some wooden slope-style features and single track.

As far as free-riding goes, I have lived in Montana for years and haven't scratched the surface. No matter who shows up to the free-ride on Sunday, we can choose a spot where everyone can have an epic day.

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