“”Seize every day as an adventure and your spirit will soar when you discover the wonderful surprises that life has to offer.””
Some people love to live their lives by one simple rule that there is, in fact, no rule at all. They like to go out of their way, break the conventional molds and do something that will give them the rush to explore even more. These people get their adrenaline rush from the thrill that outdoor and adventure sports are inherently known for which is why they choose to take up sports that no individual with a faint heart ever can. Volcano boarding also called volcano surfing is one such activity that people perform on the slopes of the volcanic mountains. In this, people first climb the slopes of the volcano and then slide down using a board that is made of metal or thin plywood. Volcano boarding falls into the category of the extreme sports because it involves a lot of risks such as falling off the board and getting burnt by the lava. Sometimes people can even get rubbed by the rough volcanic ash. If you are lucky enough to surf down the volcano slope without falling off then because the volcanoes are active, there is a high chance that you may inhale the poisonous gases or get hit by the flying molten lava. These potential, life-threatening risks scare a lot of people away. A person has to be sturdy enough to withstand the risks involved and only then can he go for volcano boarding.
The most popular volcano that people go to, to perform volcano boarding is Cerro Negro near Leon in western Nicaragua. Cerro Negro first erupted back in 1850. It is located in Cordillera de Los Mari bios and is America’s youngest active volcano. The invention of this sport can be traced back to the year 2002 by an adventurer and a journalist for the National Geographic Channel, Zoltan Istvan, who performed volcano boarding on Mount Yasur. Mount Yasur is located on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu. He boarded down the volcano and filmed the entire experience. National Geographic Channel also aired Istvan’s film later in a news segment for 5 minutes.
If you are daring enough to plan a volcano boarding trip, then you have to have the most thorough preparations done so that nothing goes wrong at any possible point of the entire journey. We bring you the know-all of preparing for a volcano boarding trip.
Choosing a Boarding Company in Leon:
Choosing a boarding company is one of the most important aspects of the entire tour. The choice of boarding company is what will make all the difference which is why you must conduct a thorough research before you narrow down your choices and book one. Here are the considerations that you must keep in mind:
– Choose a reputable company that has had a lot of customers in the past. If there is someone in your social circle who has done volcano boarding before, then ask them about the company that they booked. Check on the websites of these companies to see the customer reviews.
– Make sure that the firm offers quality boarding gear without which you stand at the risk of hurting yourself badly or worse, even losing your life. The equipment must include
– Volcano surfing board
Since you will continuously be breathing in the volcanic environment which is filled with lethal gases, it is essential to take a bandana so that you can tie it around your face and mouth while you are surfing. It will also prevent the volcanic dust from sticking to your face or getting inside your nose since it primarily consists of small particles of glass.
– The company you book must also provide you transport facilities so that you can conveniently go from your hotel to the volcano, Cerro Negro. Always go ahead and book an English speaking guide so that he can continuously guide you about what you must avoid and what you should do to make your trip better. There is a total of 8 companies in the Leon region that offer volcano boarding, but none of them offer guide services. Instead, they send a volunteer. So go ahead and choose whatever suits your convenience.
– We know you are an adventurer in the actual sense of the word, but it is always better to go in groups than to go alone. Without a team to hold on to, you may wander off to places and do things that you should not be doing. In a group, everyone has an eye on everyone, especially the leader and even if you feel like doing something foolhardy, others may stop you. When there are more people with you, the safety automatically increases.
GOING FROM LEON TO CERRO NEGRO
Once you are out of Leon, you will pass through the beautiful Central American farms that produce te de Jamaica, peanuts, potatoes and sugar canes. The roads are not well maintained, and you will experience a few bumps here and there.
HIKING THE CERRO NEGRO VOLCANO
Once you reach Cerro Negro, you will be required to register at the registry office. Before you begin the hike, you need to have some food so that you are full of energy. Though there is a snack shop, it is advisable to go for foods that are high in energy. You can choose MRE or Meals, Ready to Eat. These meals are quite high in energy and offer the right amount of calories and nutrition your body needs for an outdoor adventure just like this one. MREs are a preferred food option before any other packaged food in a scenario like this because:
- Each pack of MRE is packed in a hermetically sealed environment. This kind of packing ensures that the contents of the MRE boxes remain unaffected by the outside conditions.
- MRE packets are rugged and can withstand rough use. They are also resistant to any external impact.
- MREs have a long shelf life from a single day up to five years. So even if your trip is supposed to last for a week, the food inside will be as nutritional and tasty as the first day.
These three features together make sure that the temperature conditions outside do not degrade the quality of food inside, and you enjoy a high energy, tasty meal, perhaps you can try our 1300 XT.
Apart from these features, MRE also has the following attributes:
- Each MRE box comes with its set of eating utensils that include a plate, and a fork or a spoon. It has napkins making it easier for you to wipe your hands after you have eaten.
- A single box of MRE contains three full meals for the entire day. So you don’t have to worry about feeling hungry midway
- A self-activated heating feature that lets you consume hot meals on the go.
- Desserts, snacks, and beverages
Post that you have to begin your adventure which involves first hiking up the mountain range to reach at some height above the ground so you can board down.
Since the climate will be hot due to the hot gases in the atmostphere, you will sweat profusely. To compensate for this loss, you need to keep hydrating yourself at regular intervals. MREs also offer water packets that you can buy from any military store just like the MRE foods. Some MRE meals come with a water package, so you don’t have to carry an extra bottle. Have these packets with you and consume water from them to stay hydrated without fail.
While you are hiking up the volcano, you do not need to wear the gear. All you have to do is enjoy the beautiful view. 1999 was the last time when Cerro Negro erupted. While you are hiking, you will notice the after effects of that eruption
Now that you have reached the top it’s time to prepare yourself to board down it. We know that the bravest of hearts experience a faint feeling of fear but since you have made it this far, you are destined to succeed. First, you need to wear all the gear that you got from the company. Here are a few guidelines that you must keep in mind before you begin the surf.
- Sit on the back part of the board and make sure that you are not leaning on to any specific side. Balance your body weight.
- Take the rope and make a stronghold of it using both your hands. Remember, no matter what happens, you do not have to let go of that rope. To tighten the grip just wrap the rope around your hand once or twice so it will not slip from your hands.
- If you want to increase the speed of the board just, lie back on the board. Do not lie down entirely, just lean back a little as you feel the core muscles working hard to prevent you from lying down horizontally on the board.
- The board goes down with the speed of 55 miles per hour. Scary, right? Don’t worry. If you want to slow down the board all you have to do is sit up straight and dig your heels outside the board on the ash rock.
- If you feel like you are going to fall, then bend backwards away from the board.
- Ash rock gets everywhere it can, even in your teeth! Don’t be surprised.
WHAT TO WEAR?
Since you are going to a place that will be primarily hot, you need to choose what to wear, wisely. Here are our suggestions:
- Comfortable shorts that are loose enough to allow you to spread your legs quickly and tight enough not to let too much ash rock get inside you and cause trouble while you are still boarding down
- A cotton T-shirt
- Hat with a chin tie which will be useful while you are hiking up the volcano mountain
- Sunglasses to protect your eyes from the flying dust and the heat
- Hiking boots or trainers that have a thick sole.
- Sunscreen lotion, lots and lots of it. Just smother it all over your body to protect yourself from getting tanned. Make sure that the SPF is at least 30 and the sunscreen is not oily.
Follow this A, B, C of volcano boarding and of course, make sure that you have physically prepared yourself for such a taxing adventure. At the end of the day, all is well that ends well and we are confident that if you keep these tips in mind, you will come back home with some beautiful memories.”