I scooted my butt until I was right at the precipice and as I felt gravity taking over, I thought – ‘Well, here it goes’.
I should mention at this point that my friend Jamie got hurt hurtling down the same volcano. So I was a little nervous about doing this whole lets-go-down-a-volcano-on-piece-of-wood thing.
Then again, how often do you get a chance to go sledding down an active volcano?
Imagine my surprise when instead of going down at supersonic speed like I expected, I was barely moving faster than if I had been running down the mountain.
Apparently there’s too much friction. I kept pushing behind me with my hands, “Faster! Faster!” – but somehow that only added to the friction. I slowed down even further.
Eventually I went to a complete stop.
This was not part of the plan.
“Maybe you’re too heavy” – says my guide when I was shouting for instruction on how to go faster.
Do I look heavy to you? Maybe a little bit, but it’s the suit!
Then again, everybody else is zooming down past me on my left and right so I guess it is not only possible to go down fast, it’s actually the norm. I’m the exception.
Even though it wasn’t quite the death-defying stunt I was half excited and half nervous about, it was still good fun. Everybody wished that the the mountain that looked so tall and daunting on the hike up, were just a little longer on the slide down. I almost wished it was a little bit steeper too.
Does volcano boarding look fun to you?
Volcano Boarding in Nicaragua
Volcano boarding Cerro Negro
Many agencies in Leon offer volcano boarding. Bigfoot Hostel makes a big party out of it: $30 gets you a celebratory beer at the base at the mountain, and 2 mojitos back at their bar. Quetzaltrekkers gives you a chance to go down twice. It takes half a mountain to get used to controlling the board, so going down twice is worth considering. You do, however, have to hike back up (45 mins).
You can pay extra for a standup board. It looks cool BUT you end up sinking so much more. Really, you’ll probably go even slower than I did.