We all know the excitement of the usual surfing, wakeboarding, tobogganing, dune surfing, sledging… you name it! Anything with a board on sand or water is guaranteed to look great and feel so fun! But have you heard of doing it on ash down the side of a live volcano? A volcano in Nicaragua in Central America called Cerro Negro? The world’s most active cinder cone volcano with 23 eruptions in 160 years? No? Well, Volcano Boarding is the trip and adventure of a lifetime with everything you could ask for in a delightful day out in Nicaragua: adrenaline, fun, extreme sports, hiking and the ever present danger of “I hope today, I won’t be Volcano Boarding down lava instead of ash…”. Extreme to the max, dude!

Tours and hostels, such as Bigfoot Nicaragua, in Nicaragua have been taking backpackers and travellers on these amazing days out about four years ago, where you get to toboggan down a smooth slope of soft volcanic ash, quietly focusing on your balance rather than the fact that an active volcano towers above you. The days out involve the hike up the volcano to get the height that’s required for you to really slide with ferocity. It’s a solid 45 minute hike where you get to see amazingly stunning views of the volcanic landscape and the rugged rural culture of the country.

Cerro Negro (“Black Mountain”)stands at an impressive 2,388 feet which enables you to capture speeds of 50 mph on your piece of wood as you go down the 500 metre slope, and you can sometimes even take off into the air when you hit the 40-degree angled section of the slope. Cripes.

You get supplied with a specially constructed plywood board with foot rests and ‘steering’ rope (let’s face it, gravity is your compass), an attractive orange jumpsuit, goggles… but you have to bring your own courage. The majority of people sit and sledge down, but if you’re a pretty good surfer/snowboarder, get standing. The ultimate trip; not many can say they surfed volcanic ash.
Darryn Webb, the tour guide of Bigfoot Hostel, developed the sport on this slope after loving his sandboarding in his homeland of Queensland, Australia. By coming over to Central America, he had found his alternative: a big black volcanic dune slope! His developed plywood boards are reinforced with metal cruise perfectly over the dark ash left from the last eruption in 1999. How terrifying does it look. You could be surfing down the slopes of this monster:

Just watch the brave awesome girls from Suave Dulce, the women’s surf and yoga retreat. They totally rocked it and have inspired me to put Volcano Boarding on my top thing to do if/when I get to go to Nicaragua! I’m just ignoring the intense wipe-outs some of them suffer…

image 1 via Million Star Hotel, image 2 via DeadFix, image 3, 5 & 6 via Nica Eco Flickr, image 4 via Outpost, image 7via MBVRC,  image 8 via SMate, video hollybeck27

Sophie Saint was one of the original travelettes, from 2009 – 2017. After fleeing the UK with ink barely dry on her graduation certificate, she traversed the world with a backpack and spent a few years living in Melbourne – one of her favourite cities in the world.

She finally returned to the UK after a few years where she now whiles time away zipping off for European escapes, crocheting and daydreaming of owning her own hostel somewhere hot to live out eternal summers. See what she’s up to over on her blog saintsonaplane.com and instagram: @saintsonaplane