There comes a time in most skateboarders and surfers’ lives when they yearn for something new and they begin to look beyond the waves and the ramps. Drawn by the spirit of adventure and a need to challenge themselves, they long for the same thrills and excitement that are ingrained in surfing and skating. They want something new. Something that will push them that little bit harder physically, that’ll tax them to their limit mentally and reward them with the sort of adrenaline explosion that’ll still be tingling in their fingers and toes hours later.
That’s why so many surfers and skateboarders turned to ski-ing. It offered all of the same quivering pleasures that quickened their heart rates that skating and surfing originally did. It encouraged then to learn the new skills they needed to conquer the demands that snow presented them with. However, they couldn’t resist the lure of the board, and soon swapped their skies for something else. And that something else was snowboarding.
Snowboarding may well be a more recognized international sport than its board based progenitors, but unlike its ancestors, it’s limited by one crucial factor. Snow. If there’s no snow, there’s no snowboarding. Realizing that they were at the mercy of the weather and seeking the same excitement that snowboarding offered without being held hostage by nature, a group of discontented snowboarders came up with a new pastime. One that wouldn’t be held in check, or hampered by, the quirks and inconsistencies of the weather. They invented mountainboarding.
As you’re here, we’re guessing that you’re probably more than a little bit interested in mountainboarding. You’ve probably heard a lot about it, read some features on, and about, the sport and have maybe even seen some mountainboarders letting loose on off-road tracks or hurtling past you down the road, hugging the concrete as they throw themselves into turn after turn. Right about now, you’re, in all likelihood, thinking that maybe you’d like to try your hand at mountainboarding. That it’s something that you could do. We don’t blame you. In fact, we’re with, and behind, you one hundred per cent.
That’s why we’ve taken a look at five of the best mountainboards that this niche, and incredibly attractive if somewhat dangerous sport, has to offer - because you can’t mountainboard without a board and with so many different options available, a little friendly, guiding advice is always welcome. We’ve done all the hard work so that you don’t have to. All you have to do is choose your board, find a track or a mountain, strap yourself on, and start riding. Sure, mountainboarding can be risky, but what is life without a modicum of risk? Life is, after all, meant to be lived to it’s fullest. The mountains are calling so let’s find the best way to ride them…
Best Mountain Board
OUR TOP PICK
Everybody has to start somewhere and the Colt 90 is a great introductory level board. MBS has a proven track record in board making and this latest model in their popular Colt 90 range has been upgraded so that it’s faster as well as being easier and safer to ride than the previous models.
The most obvious, and apparent, addition to this new model are its tyres - by using a different rubber compound MBS has managed to control and minimise air pressure loss, which means fewer flats and more speed for the Colt. Teamed with the durable, skateboard style aluminium trucks and slightly longer axles and multiple-ply maple board, those new tyres help to keep the Colt 90 light, which means it’s much faster and tougher than it used to be.
And don’t worry about staying on the Colt, it’s velcro belt fastening system might be simple to use, but it’ll make sure that you won’t be going anywhere fast. Which is reassuring as that’s what the Colt wants to do. Go everywhere, and anywhere, faster than everyone else.
- As entry-level mountainboards go, the Colt 90 is incredibly well priced. At just under two hundred dollars it’s the sort of investment in weekend and evening fun that you can happily make.
- It’s made from the same sort of tough and durable, long-lasting maple that skateboard and longboard manufacturers have been using, and swearing by, for decades. There’s enough give in the deck to produce a smoother, cleaner ride and it’s strong enough to cope with as much downhill abuse as you want to, and can, throw at it.
- The upgraded tyres make all the difference. Older models had a tendency to be slow and sluggish, but thanks to MBS going back to the drawing board and redesigning the wheels, that should be a thing of the past.
- We know that looks don’t matter and you’re not going to be swayed by the onboard graphics. But they do look good and, we have to begrudgingly admit, they do add a touch of glamour to the Colt 90. You’ll look good when you arrive at the top of the mountain, and you’ll look even better when you reach the bottom.
- The older models were plagued by tyre problems. They’d lose pressure easily and after a couple of passes, their tyres would end up flat. More than often, it would happen in the middle of sessions, which earned the Colt 90 a bad reputation in some quarters of the mountainboarding community. Even though MBS has apparently corrected those problems, that kind of reputation can be hard to shake.
While it’s a great board for beginners, the Atom 95X is also a solid, dependable intermediary mountainboard thanks to the addition of its pre-installed braking system. See that X in the board’s name? That’s mountainboard code for “comes with a brake”.
The wheels on the Atom 95X use a tri-spoke system that pushes on the tyre wall which ensures that the wheels help to maintain a constant tyre pressure so you won’t lose any pace while riding this board. The Atom 95X has aluminium ATS trucks and aluminium alloy axles which are highly responsive and lightweight, which means that when you move, the board moves and when you want to carve, the 95X will go wherever you want it too.
Like the Colt 90, the 95X has a maple laminate deck, which is durable and long-lasting, but comes with enough give in it to make sure that your ride will always be smooth and problem-free. It also uses a velcro fastening system to fix its riders squarely and safely to the deck, so the 95X will never shake you free. Even if you end your downhill carving session upside down in a tree, the 95X will still be glued to your feet.
While it isn’t designed for children or smaller riders, the Atom 95X’s set up means that it’s perfect for teenagers and adults alike and, if the former stick with the sport, the 95X should last until they become the latter.
- That tri-spoke wheel is a difference-maker. It maintains tyre pressure and adds stability and rigidity to the wheel. The 95X’s wheels were made for speed and speed is exactly what they give this board.
- We’re skateboard people. We were raised on maple decks so we know what they feel like to ride, we know how strong they are and we know how long they last. If we see the words “maple deck” we’re drawn to a board like bees to honey. Maple decks are always great quality and a high-quality deck will ensure that the board delivers a high-quality ride.
- It has a brake. The 95X has an honest to goodness brake. When you’re racing down a mountain, just knowing that the brake is there if you need it should anything happen, is worth its weight in whatever currency is being used in whatever place you’re going to ride it.
- Have you seen that price? It’s just under the two hundred dollar mark. Again. Seriously, the Colt 90 has some stiff competition with this board. And the 95X comes with a brake. We know that we keep hammering on about the brake, but trust us, your mother will thank you, and us, that your mountainboard has a brake. You’re welcome.
- That brake that we keep telling you about it? It takes a while to learn to use it properly, because of the whole foot, balance, co-ordination thing. But when you do learn to use it, it’s a lifesaver.
- Unfortunately, the 95X seems to have some quality control issues. While it has its fair share of fans, it also has an equal number of detractors. After reading some of the online reviews, the best advice that we can give you is this - caveat emptor.
A hill carving monster of an entry-level mountainboard, the Happybuy is an Atom challenging, MBS racing beginner-friendly deck that should put a mile-wide smile on any first-time boarder’s face. It’s got everything you need to start your descents in style.
Like the previous entries on our list, the Happybuy uses a solid maple deck, in this case, the nine ply affair that’s more commonly used in longboards and cruising skateboards. That means we know it’s strong, we know it’s long-lasting and we know that it produces a sufficient amount of flex and absorbs enough street-level shocks to guarantee a ride that’s all about plain sailing and keeping you happy. It would appear, as far as this board is concerned, that it’s happy by name and happy by nature.
Best of all though, well second best but we’ll get to the other thing in a minute, the Happybuy uses SHR (super high rebound) bushings with its aluminium ATS trucks which gives it a higher degree of shock absorption and allows the rider greater control over the trucks. That greater control means you’ll be carving like you’ve been riding for years in a matter of hours. Providing that is, you actually learn how to ride the board.
That other thing that we said we’d get to in a minute? It’s this - the Happybuy comes with a full set of elbow and wrist pads and it’s very own T tool. What’s a T tool you ask? Why that’s the tool that you’ll need to make any necessary set-up adjustments to the trucks so that the Happybuy rides exactly the way you want it to.
- The Happybuy is a little bit longer than most entry-level mountainboards and that extra length comes in extra handy if you’re taller than most people. For the vertically blessed, the Happybuy’s extra length is a boon when it comes to learning to ride as it gives you enough room to discover, in your own time, your most natural and comfortable riding position.
- Have you seen the price? That’s right folks, it’s another under two hundred bucks bargain. Especially when you consider the extras - the pads and the tool, that come with it. We like the price, we like it a lot.
- Those SHR bushings will make all the difference when you’re learning to ride downhill and starting to carve. They’ll give you a higher degree of control and much faster response time. You’ll thank us later for telling you all about them.
- Truthfully, we couldn’t find much wrong with this board. Almost everyone seems to love it, and it’s a fantastic, incredibly affordable entry-level mountainboard. The only minor complaint that we have is that is doesn’t have a brake. That means your mother isn’t going to love it, but if you’re anything like us, you probably don’t listen to your mother anyway.
Tradition is important. It may not be as important as it used to be, but’s still important and MBS, mountainboard manufacturers extraordinaire know this, which is why they’ve paid homage to the mountainboards longboard heritage with this All-Terrain version of a longboard. And we like it. In fact, we probably like it more than we should.
It’s a longboard made to handle the downhill dirt trails and bike courses that mountainboards usually tear up. The extra grip on the all-terrain wheels, the drop deck and navigator trucks make this a super-responsive downhill carver that’ll also be happy to do what no other longboard can. It’ll go off the beaten track and keep on trucking through unfamiliar and unproven territory.
And when it does go off-road? Thanks to the unique rubber shielding system that protects the MBS longboards bearings, you won’t have to worry about them rusting up or the board getting caught out by standing groundwater. It’ll just keep on rolling. It may not be trendy or fashionable, but tradition is still important. Especially when it’s given a four-wheel-drive make-over.
- If you’re a skater looking to make a more gradual transition to mountainboarding, then this is the board that’ll help you ease your way into that world. It’s all about baby-steps. We know that. And so do MBS.
- It’s a lighter, more mobile option than a mountainboard. Plus, it’ll tear up the city streets just like any other longboard would, and does. The All-Terrain longboard is a dual purpose skateboard that’ll let you sample, and enjoy, the best of both boarding worlds
- Whoever heard of an off-road skateboard? It’s a new one on us too, and we’re willing to bet that you’d stand out in any board obsessed crowd with this beautiful behemoth.
- If we’re honest, at the end of the day, it’s a longboard. It isn’t a mountainboard and as much as MBS, and we might like to think that it’ll be a proper rival to a mountainboard, it won’t. It’s devastatingly cool, but it’s limited by the fact that it’s just a longboard and what you really want is a mountainboard.
- Then there’s the price - it’s the first board on our list that breaks the two hundred dollar barrier. Admittedly it doesn’t do it by much, but it’s enough.
If you’re looking to go all out on a mountainboard, then this is the board that you’re going to lose your mind over. Built for professional mountainboarding legend Dylan Warren II, who incidentally had a hand in the board’s art design, this is an all-singing, all-dancing board that’ll happily do every trick, stunt and jump known to mountainboarding kind and a few more that they haven’t even thought of yet.
It isn’t a beginners board, the Pro 97 is designed by professionals, built by professionals and made to be slammed, carved and abused by professionals. It’s a composite board with finely tuned suspension and trucks that delivers a stiff and ultra-responsive ride. That ride though, unless you know exactly what you’re doing, it might be ultra-responsive, but it’s also ultra-unforgiving. As we said, this isn’t a board for beginners.
MBS boasts that this board is nearly indestructible. You know what? We believe them. And if you strapped yourself onto it and sped downhill at warp speed, carving, grinding and jumping your way to the bottom of any, and all, mountains, we’d like to think that you’d think it was indestructible too.
- The Pro 97 is just about the best mountainboard that money can buy. All the bells and whistles that the professionals look for in a mountainboard are standard issue on the Pro 97.
- The deck is made from a high tensile composite. You could literally balance two elephants on it and it would emerge unscathed. There’s tough, there’s really tough and then there’s Pro 97 tough.
- It’s a brand name board from one of the most famous riders in mountainboarding. If Dylan Warren II has put his name on this board it means that he believes in it. It’s his board of choice and if you’re serious about mountainboarding it should be your board of choice too.
- It’s not a beginners board. In fact, it’s about as far from being a beginners board as it’s possible to get. The Pro 97 is the board that the professionals choose to ride so unless you’re willing, and want, to invest serious time and energy in mountainboarding, maybe it would be wiser to start at the bottom and work your way up to it.
- Then there’s the price tag. At five hundred dollars, it isn’t exactly inexpensive. Quality, the stamp of champions and the seal of professional approval don’t come cheap. And neither does the Pro 97.
Best Mountain Board Buying Guide
What is Mountainboarding?
Mountainboarding is a fusion sport, a mixture of snowboarding and skateboarding, that soon surpassed its origin as an alternative to snowboarding and took on a life if it’s own. The boards that give the sport its name are a cross between snowboards and skateboards - they use similar decks (or boards) to snowboards that the rider is strapped to. The boards are fitted with much stronger and larger trucks and wheels than a skateboard that the rider, or boarder, uses to carve (small, tight turns) their way down mountain roads and dirt tracks.
Because of its nature and ancestry, mountainboarding also lends itself to the more extreme end of sports and it’s practitioners also use their skills to invent, and perform, an increasingly difficult set of tricks and stunts.
As a sport, pastime and athletic pursuit, mountainboarding soon found a special place in the hearts of those dedicated to more extreme sports when they realized its almost unlimited potential. It’s an off, and on, road sport that’s challenging, exhilarating, and pushes you to your physical and mental peak. It isn’t easy, but then the best things in life never are, are they?
Frequently Asked Questions
Which Mountainboard is the right one for me?
That depends on what you want to get out of, and from, mountainboarding. Are you looking to just try your hand at it and maybe find out if it’s something that you’re going to enjoy? Or are you looking to dedicate a serious chunk of your free time to the sport? If it’s the former, then we’d seriously recommend that you invest in the Happybuy Mountainboard and have as much as possible learning everything you need to in order to fully enjoy your new hobby. If you’re more committed to the sport and have set your heart on rising through its upper echelons, then the Dylan Warren II Pro 97 will, undoubtedly, help you to achieve your dreams.
Whatever it is you want from your mountainboard, there’s an option on our list for you. If you haven’t already chosen your board, maybe you should read the list again and find out which mountainboard tugs at your heartstrings the most. Whichever board you choose, just remember this. The mountains are calling, and those roads and tracks won’t ride themselves. So maybe it’s time for you to finally get out there and start carving them...