Many sports allow the participants to get very close to the terrain at death-defying speeds. Grass boarding is one such sport. It is an experience very much like mountain boarding and all-terrain skateboarding.
Grass boarding is all about achieving great speed while maneuvering through the terrain to feel that all-important adrenaline rush that comes with split-second decision-making, skills, and timing.
Typically practiced in rural settings in the spring, summer, and autumn, grass boarding has become quite popular with young adults who have access to grass-filled hillsides, and garden landscapes. Even though it wasn’t invented there, grass boarding is very popular in the UK and is picking up a head of steam in other parts of the world.
Let’s take a quick look at what grass boarding is and how to create your own grass board and enjoy this relatively new sport.
What is Grassboarding?
Invented in 1990 by Omer Villalobos Villar, from Costa Rica, “Grass boarding” is a sport that is akin to snowboarding or sand boarding only if it’s over a grass hill. Grass boarders use a concave board designed to be pulled over grass-filled terrain. A patent for the invention was presented at the local Intellectual Property Office in 1995.
Grassboarding is in the same family as snowboarding, surfing, and sandboarding. It’s also very close to mountain boarding and longboarding. The only difference is a grass board doesn’t use any wheels.
Here’s a quick video of a couple of friends grass boarding:
How to Create Your Own Grass Board
If you want to create your own grass board, you must start by understanding the sport and what it entails. A typical grass board has a deck that is quite similar to what is used in snowboarding or sandboarding. Since they are so similar, the steps used in making a sandboard are the same ones used in making a grass board, with a few variations.
Here are the steps you need to take to make your own grass board:
Step 1: Gather the Materials
While there may be no standard size, a grass board deck should be about 100–150 cm long to give you enough room and stability when being pulled down the side of a hill. Start by gathering the materials. Your deck should ideally be lightweight hardwood such as oak or maple.
The best way to go about it is to repurpose an old snowboard, skateboard, or surfboard if you have any. You could also decide to purchase a plain skateboard deck made out of your preferred wood. Some good options include:
- Moose Old School Skateboard Deck
- Yocaher Skateboards Professional Blank Decks
- Ageofone Blank Skateboard Decks Maple Skateboard Decks 8.0″
Step 2: Get the Base Material
Apart from your deck, you will need to have an extra layer of laminate to add to the base of your grass board so you can wax the board to reduce friction with the grass and ground. In most cases, you will find that the best base material option is a Formica sheet laminate.
Step 3: Get the Additional Materials
There are a few extra materials that you will also need to get. These include:
- Foot bindings that keep your feet firmly planted on the grass board
- Strong epoxy glue
- Screwdriver and screw to secure the foot bindings and cord
- Paint and a few stickers for decoration (optional)
The truth is you will have a hard time keeping your feet on top of your grass board, especially when the vehicle pulling you picks up speed or slows down abruptly. That is why you will need to secure your feet with reliable foot bindings. One of the best options on the market today is Dakine foot straps.
While these will work just fine, you can upgrade to sturdier snowboard bindings designed for tackling heavy-duty boarding over rough terrain. You could go for options such as:
- NSI Ratchet Kiteboard Foot Straps
- Dakine Vario Footstrap – Set of Two – Seaford
How to Build Your Grass Board
Once you have the necessary materials, you can bring them all together to create your very own DIY grass board. Here are the steps you need to take:
- Shape your deck: If you bought a new deck, there’s a good chance that it came in the shape you wanted. However, if it didn’t or you are repurposing an old skateboard, surfboard, or snowboard, you should consider reshaping it to your desired shape. Both edges of your deck should be slightly curved upwards so that the entire deck resembles a closed-mouth smile as opposed to a flat line. There are ways to achieve this effect. One of the simplest DIY methods is to simply submerge the entire board in the water with some heavy weights placed in the middle of it. Leave it in the water for a couple of days before taking it out and drying it. If you have achieved the desired effect, you can move on to the next step. If not, put it back in for another day or so. The simplest option would be to purchase a deck that is already curved.
- Glue the base material: Once your board has achieved the desired shape, it’s time to glue the base material to the bottom. Make sure this material covers every inch of the bottom, as this is the portion of the board that will be in constant contact with the grass. This base material will need waxing before taking it out for a spin.
- Screw on the foot bindings: The final step is to screw on the foot bindings. You can either choose to position them parallel to one another or have the one at the back at a 45° angle. This is where your feet will go when you are out grass boarding. Make sure that it’s comfortable for you.
The final step is to find a friend with a vehicle, such as a quad bike. Attach a cord to the vehicle and hold on to that cord as your friend pulls you across the grass-covered ground at different speeds.
Always remember to wear protective gear before taking your grass board for a ride.