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This may just be the answer to the continual problem faced by ski resorts — what to offer the customers in the summer; indeed it’s predicted to be the Next Big Thing on the slopes. A mountainboard looks like the confused offspring of a skateboard, a surfboard and a scooter. It has big wheels at the back, a steerable front wheel, shock absorbers, and — all-important for beginners — brakes. It can be fitted with different kinds of wheels to suit the local terrain. Its visual provenance does not deceive: it has to an extent evolved from all of these, and from the much longer established grass-skis, through several intermediate forms such as outbackboards, grassboards and dirtboards. Several designs have been produced under this name by various innovators in recent years, some with the wheels in-line, others with them set side-by-side.

Sunday River mountainboarding instructor Braden Douglass, 16, believes mountainboarding will catch on at ski resorts, just like mountain biking did more than a decade ago.

AP Online, July 2000

To try mountainboarding, another of the activities on offer at the weekend, I travelled to Cheltenham to meet Pete Tatham, a partner in No Sno, a leading mountainboard company, and he took me out for a spot of “grass surfing”.

Independent on Sunday, July 2000

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Copyright © Michael Quinion, 1996–. All rights reserved.
Page created 12 Aug. 2000

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The English language is forever changing. New words appear; old ones fall out of use or alter their meanings. World Wide Words tries to record at least a part of this shifting wordscape by featuring new words, word histories, words in the news, and the curiosities of native English speech.

World Wide Words is copyright © Michael Quinion, 1996–. All rights reserved.
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Last modified: 12 August 2000.