I went Volcano Boarding! (and lived to tell about it…)
Volcano Boarding is #2 on CNN’s “Thrill seekers bucket list: 50 things to do before you die.” They say Cerro Negro Volcano in Nicaragua is the only place in the world that has it. Naturally I booked my flight right away. It was so much fun!
Here’s the experience, in 26 photos:
What is Volcano Boarding? Volcano Sledding
It’s a bit of a misnomer – Volcano Boarding is less like snowboarding, and more like sledding. You’re not standing up; instead you’re
Cerro Negro is a live volcano, which erupted as recently as 1999. They’ll have a speed gun to track you – the record is more than 80 kilometers per hour down the volcano.
I can hardly believe we climbed this beast
Hiking Cerro Negro Volcano – the climb
The hike was just a few hours long, and isn’t as difficult of a hike as it seems. The only challenging part is that you’re awkwardly carrying your board while hiking. There’s barely a trail and no trees to hold for stability. The first third of it is challenging because of the uneven rocks, while carrying a board. The rest is challenging because of the incline, while carrying a plywood board.
Breathtaking views from the top
Once you arrive at the top, the views are stunning! They’re also very scary once you realize you’ll be volcano boarding down this volcano.
What’s it like to go Volcano Boarding?
You get into these (seemingly) former prisoner one-piece outfits. They’re hot so you won’t want to put them on until you need to.
You sit on the board with your hand on the rope, and feet on the board. You can go faster by leaning back; slower by sitting up. You can let your heels go to the outside of the board to apply the brakes. It surprisingly felt like I had some control. If I did it again, I’d certainly let myself go faster.
Is Volcano Boarding safe?
Debatable. From one standpoint, it felt fairly safe, but go at your own risk. They say it is, but then again, they’re collecting your money. You’re flying down an active volcano at crazy speeds. While we had a prison jumpsuit to protect from minor skin abrasions and goggles, there’s no helmet or armor. It feels very unsafe but lots of fun.
With a straight face, the guide said “the secret to the technology is formica on the back” that helps you pick up speed even though we’re on an active volcano. “But don’t leave it out in direct sunlight , or it might peel off.” Yes he actually called it technology.
We lived! We survived volcano boarding. Woohoo!
Where can you go Volcano Boarding?
The only place in the world where we’ve heard you can go volcano boarding is in Leon, Nicaragua, at Cerro Negro Volcano. Book it through Bigfoot Hostel.
I had hiked up a volcano before, but this was an active volcano, and we went sledding down it. Add it to your list!
See the full list of CNN’s “Thrill seekers bucket list: 50 things to do before you die.”
Where is Leon, Nicaragua?
Some other adventures that seemed crazy at the time –
- Swimming in shark infested waters without a cage
- Snorkeling with whale sharks