DYLAN ‘Radface’ Warren is somewhat of a local pioneer in the fascinating world of mountainboarding, and now the Beaconsfield local has developed a new means to bring his sport to the masses.
It involves incredible – at times unfathomable – tricks on every sort of terrain from dirt, to grass, to gravel, to pavement on a board that could best be described as a skateboard on steroids … so it’s little wonder Warren is so excited to introduce his sport to the younger generation.
He got his start in the sport 15 years ago, and now travels the world through it.
“I used to go skateboarding at Gembrook skate park all the time, and a friend of mine had a mountain board he used to ride there,” he told the Gazette from one of his now usual haunts – the undulating track next to Lysterfield Lake – earlier this year.
“He was always nagging me to have a try, and I eventually caved and had a try on it.
“We went and rode some local hills in Emerald and I’ve been hooked since!
“It was the ability to ride any terrain, anywhere.
“You could go as fast as you want, slide, stack and it wouldn’t hurt as much as concrete. I enjoyed the freedom.
“Back then there were these horrible old boards that looked like billycarts pieced together and we didn’t even know there were other people who rode them.
“Never in a million years did I think I’d be able to go overseas – through Europe, Asia and America.”
Warren was in Sydney recently for a mountainboarding demonstration at the city’s Rides Festival.
“We taught a couple of hundred kids how to mountainboard and sent them all down the hill and they were actually all really good – they all progressed throughout the day,” he said.
“It seems to be that the younger they are the more confidence they have.
“It’s really cool to see them develop into awesome little riders.
“We’ve been doing a few events over the past three years or so – particularly this one event called the Beaconsfield Bash – and three years ago we had a group of kids who were quite young at the time and had just got into mountainboarding and now they’re turning 16 or 17 and they’ve developed into solid riders who can do some pretty serious tricks.”
But the problem for mountainboarding – locally – is a lack of suitable venues.
In November, the first of a series of events throughout the warmer months – the ‘green season’ – at Mt Baw Baw will provide one way for those interested anywhere from Melbourne to Warragul to get involved in the sport.
“It’s quite a big deal because we’ve finally set up a mountainboard program that allows people to have a place to be able to ride,” Warren said.
“The whole thing is that Mt Baw Baw has been looking for some summer activities because they need to be open all year round and mountainboarding is the perfect fit for that because it’s essentially snowboarding in the summertime.
“They reached out to us and we’re working with them to develop a mountainboard program throughout the summer. Once a month we’ll be holding a special mountainboard day where we’ll go up there and teach mountainboard lessons and the kids will be able to ride the whole mountain.”
Mt Baw Baw will host a ‘Learn to Mountainboard’ event on 20 November.
The event will include a professional demonstration session and learn-to-ride sessions, with chairlifts operating and boards for hire from Baw Baw Sports and Outdoors. Ticket sales are available on the day. For more information, visit www.australianmountainboarders.com/events or www.facebook.com/australianmountainboarders
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