Local snowboarder resists off-season
summit daily news
What if a skateboard could ride like a snowboard with edging and carving sensations, and even the ability to flat-spin?
One local rider says he’s been doing it all summer. And with steep hills and a strong snowboard culture, Summit County is a great candidate to have people riding Freebords, said Dallas Phillips, local representative for the manufacturer.
The technology is not new, about 11 years old, but the trend is starting to take hold, in California especially, for people who don’t want to give up snowboarding in the summertime.
“All summer you have that itch to be snowboarding. You can longboard; you can skateboard, and it will kind of cure it,” Phillips said. “But, this is the real thing. You’re snowboarding on the street. It cures that itch until you can get riding again.”
The Freebords consist of two sets of wheels – traditional-looking edge wheels on the sides and caster wheels in the center of the board. The casters, which swivel 360 degrees, serve as the base (or what would be the bottom of a snowboard). They extend out lower than the edge wheels, which gives the board a floaty feel. The Casters also snap back into an aligned position for forward motion.
The board tips from side to side, landing on the edge wheels, which grab the pavement and can be dragged to carve, slow down or stop – same as the edges of a snowboard.
It’s difficult to put into words, but Phillips demonstrates a move where he slides to a stop, like a rider might on a heel-side edge of a snowboard. It gives the appearance, and we would assume the sensation, of riding on snow.
“I saw a commercial for one of these at the end of snowboard season and I thought it was really, really cool,” Phillips said. “This past December, I was looking into buying a longboard, because everyone in town has one. I was reminded about the commercial, and so I didn’t buy a longboard.”
He said the San Francisco-based company that created the board, Freebord Manufacturing, likes being smaller but is looking to get more people involved in Colorado. (The “a” in Freebord is dropped for artistic purposes and as a tribute to a late employee of the company who thought it was a good idea.)
The bindings are also adjustable like on a snowboard. You can turn them 25 degrees in each direction for a custom stance to suit the individual rider. The decks can also be custom ordered to cater to different size riders with varying preferences as to shape.
Phillips rides all over Summit County – Swan Mountain Road, Boreas Pass, Ski Hill Road, Copper-to-Frisco – and he says the summertime riding is awesome.
But there are only a few people out there riding the Freebords in the county, which is something he’s hoping to change at a gathering and learn-to-ride seminar on Oct. 16 at 1 p.m. at the Breckenridge gondola station.
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