Overwhelmed by a moment of adventurous madness, you might want to take up a new extreme sport, one that takes you to exotic places to make you rediscover the true taste of adrenaline. Have you ever heard of volcano sledding? Also known as “volcano boarding” or “ashboarding“, it is a sports practice born a few decades ago on the peaks of Mt. Yasur, a volcano in a distant island in the Pacific Ocean, in the country of Vanuatu, but since then has exploded in popularity especially in Latin America. Considered one of the most absurd and fun extreme action sports, it has now become viral throughout the world, to the point that every month about three thousand tourists fling themselves on the volcano Cerro Negro, near the city of Leon in Nicaragua, to practice it.
The act of volcano sledding is quite similar to that of descending on snow with a sled or snowboard, but instead of the white mantle what you will find are the ashes of an active volcano. To practice it, you need a sturdy board that allows you to slide down the valley. Those who love speed will be able to reach 100 kilometers per hour, volcano boarding is in fact considered an extreme sport and not for the faint of heart.
Volcano Sledding in Nicaragua
Cerro Negro, an active volcano in Nicaragua which last erupted in 1999, is currently the most popular destination for volcano surfing. Not only that: it’s also the main attraction that brings people to the nearby city of Leon! The practice was popularized by the Australian Darryn Webb, who owned a hostel in Leon and decided to attempt sledding down the black slopes of Cerro Negro using whatever he could get: a surfboard, a picnic table, a bed mattress… even parts of a fridge. Today, volcano boarding is practiced with boards and sleds made of hardwood with a laminated bottom, similar to sandboards. There are countless tours offering to take you on a hike on top of the volcano so that you can enjoy a ride, and you will find plenty of tourists that you can share this experience with.
Video: Volcano Sledding on Cerro Negro
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