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Mountain board racing comes to Summit

Jason Starr

COPPER MOUNTAIN – Copper Mountain is one of two Colorado ski areas that allow mountain boards on its slopes. Today, the resort is doing what it can to promote the relatively new sport.

As part of its Fourth of July celebration, Copper hosts the second stop of the new Colorado Mountain board Series. It is the first official mountain board competition in Summit County history.

“It’s a cool new thing we’re trying to support,” said Copper spokesman Ben Friedland. “We’re having this competition, and hopefully we can generate some buzz with it.”

The series, run by former Breckenridge resident and pro rider Mitch Stegal, stopped last week in Snowmass – the other Colorado ski area open to mountain boarding. Twenty-five riders came out, about half of them beginners. There will be a contest in Colorado Springs and an exhibition in Denver later this summer. The sport is a combination of skateboarding and mountain biking, using big, fat tires on skateboard-like decks.

Today’s race is a downhill on a lower-mountain cat-track. The course curves and has a few switchbacks. Brakes are mandatory, even though the professionals rarely use them on their own.

“The higher-level guys will be going as fast as they can, but they won’t be just going straight,” said race coordinator Doug Hagan of Copper.

The race is open to all comers. Organizers are expecting about a dozen pros and at least as many novices. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and the race starts at noon. Entry fee is $20.

There will also be a free learn-to-ride clinic lasting all day. Boards and instruction will be provided at the base of Copper Mountain. Fall Line Sports in the Copper village rents mountain boards all summer.

Stegal hopes this is just the beginning of mountain board competition in Colorado.

“We’re looking forward to more and more resorts including it in their summer programs,” he said. “It fits pretty harmoniously with mountain bike programs.”

He said the mountain board community has approached Breckenridge about opening lifts and bike trails to the sport but has been met with resistance.

The resort is wary of the boards going off designated trails on what is Forest Service land. Mountain boarders argue they use the land just like mountain bikers do.

“I think we’ve answered all the questions,” Stegal said. “It’s just a matter of the right timing.”

Jason Starr can be reached at (970) 668-3998 Ext. 231 or at jstarr@summitdaily.com.


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