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The Extreme Sport of Dirt Surfing

By Ken Wilson,,
Dirt Surfing

Grab a Dirt Surfer and Ride the Mountain

What is dirt surfing? If you like downhill mountain biking and the idea of racing the mountain on a surfboard, this sport is for you. When I first saw photos of a group of guys riding down a mountain, it looked a lot like a downhill race in snowboarding, with competitors trying to pull ahead of one another for the lead position. Rather than "surfing" an ocean wave, however, dirt surfing gets it's name from the board that riders stand on. Similar to mountain boarding (skateboarding on larger, offroad tires), the difference is that instead of four small wheels (two in the front and two in the back), a dirt surfer has one BMX style wheel in the front, and another BMX style wheel in the back.

So how do you stop? It turns out there's a full braking system operated by the calf of the leg on the rear portion of the board. The brakes can be either cantilever or disc.

What about rocks and gravel? Anyone who's skateboarded or rollerbladed on the street knows that a small piece of gravel can send a rider flying into the pavement. On a Dirt Surfer the larger BMX style wheels make gravel and rocks easy to deal with. Which is one more reason to to try dirt surfing. Dirt Surfing The photos on the website speak for themselves. Any terrain that an extreme mountain bike is built to race downhill is the same kind of terrain that riders can race down on a Dirt Surfer. In my book this would make ski resorts like Whistler-Blackcomb a great place to ride in the off season, when the snow is gone and typically mountain bikers would be the only ones on the mountain.

When snowboarding first started catching on there were a few rifts between skiers and snowboarders sharing the same mountain. In fact many upscale ski resorts simply didn't allow snowboarding in the early years. Our downhill mountain bikers have a new foe to contend with on the mountain... not the occassional ground squirrel or wood chuck ... now it's a speed demon of dirt trying to decide if he should slow down because there might be a cliff up ahead, around the next turn ... Kite Wing

Enter the Kite Wing

Just as our demon of dirt is about to end his life over the edge of a cliff because he doesn't realize how fast it's going to sneak up on him, the sport of dirt surfing now becomes an insane thrill ride ... the same people who market the Dirt Surfer also market the Kite Wing ... yeah, a Kite Wing ... think about that for a moment as our racer is about to barrel off the mountain to his death ...

To understand the physics behind a Kite Wing, all we have to do is look at wind-surfing and hang-gliding ... so what we have is a mini-hang glider of sorts, minus anything to buckle into. You are hanging on with your hands, and that's it.

If taking a cliff and sailing a couple hundred yards sounds like the thing to do, be sure to have a good hand hold on that Kite Wing. A silent prayer as you sail into the sky wouldn't be a bad idea. I don't think I'd want to hit any turbulence.

Towed Behind an ATV

On the Action Sports Enterprises website, a promoter of Dirt Surfer, not only do they have the Kite Wing, but also a "Banshee Bungee". Think about that for a moment. If you've ever wakeboarded behind a boat, the Banshee Bungee enables dirt surfers to be towed behind an ATV / Quad. Some quads are insanely fast, some quads can sail over sand dunes and catch really big air ... now picture that same quad towing a dirt surfer over the ground ... the quad sails off a jump ... our friend on the dirt surfer just a moment later is pulled by the quad off the same jump, next doing a freestyle trick in the air at the risk of life and limb should he come down on his head or lose control and crash into the trees. He lands it and a few seconds later is heading for another jump...

Photo Galleries

View photos of dirt surfers riding snow, sand, dirt, and Kite Wings

Where to Get a Dirt Surfer

As shared with us, there have been many articles written on the board. They have also been featured on the Discovery Channel. They were invented in Australia by a man by the name of Graeme Attey in the 1990s.

Read more at and for information on ordering.

Want to see a dirt surfer in action? Be sure to check out YouTube postings.

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