|Occupation:||Freestyle Mountain Boarding|
|Honours:||UK Open Freestyle Champion 2006, 1st Ride the Hill Trampa Challenge, 4th Elite Freestyle – Boleworth (2009). Video Appearances (‘Filmogenic’ ‘Like This’ & ‘We’ll Apologise Later’ – by the BFC.|
Dave Compton is part of the RTH team performing at this year’s Exclusive Mountain Boarding Day.
Hi Dave, thanks for talking to us today. So what exactly is Freestyle Mountain Boarding and what do the competitions consist of?
Hey there, no probs. Freestyle Mountain Boarding is probably most similar to Freestyle Snowboarding, as your feet are strapped to the board. Freestyle used to be run on one big-air jump, with the best single trick winning; but now Slopestyle courses are used a lot more, with a line of jumps, rails and quarter pipes.
Winning runs nowadays will have huge flips and spins, technical rail tricks, and most importantly good style throughout the whole thing. A lot of the recent competitions have been run in a Jam format, where everyone can drop in for their run when they want, instead of on a timer by the organisers. Jams are brilliant fun because they end up being a lot more creative and progressive, and usually less stressful for the riders as well.
What will the rest of this year hold for you?
More filming with the BFC, some ATBAUK national comps (Big jumps, big tricks, awesome riding), and the BFC Cream Teas and Jam Series (Rails, Quarters, Crazy Jib Features & Rider Judged Progression – super fun!).
Where in the UK would you say are the best places for Mountain Boarding?
XBP Ride The Hill, Surrey – It’s got the Slopestyle, a foam pit, a massive Quarter Pipe, the Super Cross, the Orchard Run, a chilled out vibe and most importantly it’s got the drag lift so you can lap all day and not get tired! It’s also close to London and is where loads of my boarder mates ride!
Knockhill MBC, East Sussex – It’s a small centre with about a million rails and more crazy handmade features than you can possibly count! The owners also run it and are wicked fun, they’re always building new stuff and it’s always hot and sunny there for some reason!
Bugs Boarding, Gloucestershire – Bugs probably has the biggest jumps in the world, which are scary but always a lot of fun. They’ve also got loads of small features to jib on when you’re chilling out a bit.
What has been your best memory in the sport?
The first BFC road trip, when we made Filmogenic. We were all young and had loads of fun filming and and learning new boarding features. One of our cars broke down literally the moment we set off and the scrap man gave us £15 for it…even though it had £20 of petrol in it! Five of us with all of our boarding and camping gear had to cram into a tiny little 20 year old Nissan Micra for about 2 weeks… it was amazing fun!
What can we expect to see you doing at this year’s event, and what do the displays that you and the team put on usually involve?
We’ll usually start with some basic grabs and just looking stylish, and then move onto 180s and 360s. As the demo progresses, the tricks get bigger and better until we finish with Backflips, Rodeos, and the Big Spins. Getting the crowd excited and cheering is great, and you can pretty much guarantee there’ll be a fall or two as well; and people always love a bit of that!
What has been your best memory from putting on these amazing displays?
The demo we did at a kite festival last year was awesome because some of the new team guys like Ryan and Alan learnt to Backflip on the demo ramp during a show – seeing them land their first flips was wicked!
The Tap Indy competition I had with Matt Brind was cool, I think we both managed to do 7 Indies in one jump; but then Brindy won it with a 540 that had 5 different grabs in it!
Have you ever been injured?
A dislocated collar bone and a broken wrist are my only real injuries, but I’ve been riding for 8 years so I’ve done pretty well I reckon!
What is your best / favourite trick?
It has to be a Frontside 360 Indy. It just feels right. It won’t win you a competition but you can make it look stylish as hell and tweak it out. It’s just a classic.
Have there been any big developments in Mountain Boarding during your time, and do you see any coming in the future?
When the MBS Pro 16 came it took freestyle Mountain Boarding up to the next level. Just about every component was lighter than before, it was nice and stiff and people went nuts for it. Tom Kirkman can Cork 9 the current version!
Rail riding has also kicked off in the last couple of years and there’s been a lot more competitions and videos focussing on it. Rail riding is low speed and really good fun, so you can practice almost anywhere. You don’t need a huge hill either to do it, unlike with big kickers.
What equipment do you recommend using at first for getting started in Mountain Boarding, and how much do you think it realistically costs to set up?
You can pick up all of the basics; Helmet, Elbow & Knee Pads and Wrist Guards for about £30-£40 if you look about. Basic boards range from around £100-£250 brand new and are all of a pretty good standard nowadays – MBS and Trampa are the major manufacturers that make the best kit. Apart from that, all you need are trainers, some clothes that you aren’t too bothered about getting ripped and dirty, and a hill. It’s a cheap sport to get into.
What tips would you advise for people looking to get started?
Don’t be nervous, just get stuck in! It’s no more dangerous than any other action sport out there, and there’s so much different stuff you can do on a Mountain Board. As long as you’re enjoying yourself then it doesn’t really matter what you’re doing. Just make sure that you learn to Powerslide to a stop as the first thing you do!
And what would you advise for learning and improving Freestyle techniques?
Ride with people who are more advanced than you. Get involved in the scene at a local centre and ride with some good riders, and you will pick it up a lot more quickly than if you just try and teach yourself. There are loads of videos on the internet to watch in slow-motion and to get an idea of how people are doing stuff. For example, when Spinning – the most important thing is to chuck your head and shoulders into the spin and tuck up – if you can do that you’ll get round a 360 perfectly.
Also, check out our video here