Cerro Negro - that's the face we're going down!

Cerro Negro – we’re going down that face!

I scooted my butt until I was right at the precipice and as I felt gravity taking over, I thought – ‘Well, here it goes’.

I should mention at this point that my friend Jamie got hurt hurtling down the same volcano. So I was a little nervous about doing this whole lets-go-down-a-volcano-on-piece-of-wood thing.

Then again, how often do you get a chance to go sledding down an active volcano?

Volcano boarding Leon Nicaragua

Getting ready to board down

Going down a volcano, Leon, Nicaragua

Looking down the volcano

Imagine my surprise when instead of going down at supersonic speed like I expected, I was barely moving faster than if I had been running down the mountain.

Apparently there’s too much friction. I kept pushing behind me with my hands, “Faster! Faster!” – but somehow that only added to the friction. I slowed down even further.

Eventually I went to a complete stop.

This was not part of the plan.

“Maybe you’re too heavy” – says my guide when I was shouting for instruction on how to go faster.

Too heavy?

Do I look heavy to you? Maybe a little bit, but it’s the suit!

Sexy jumpsuit we get to wear while volcano boarding Cerro Negro

It’s the suit, I swear!

Then again, everybody else is zooming down past me on my left and right so I guess it is not only possible to go down fast, it’s actually the norm. I’m the exception.

Coming down cerro negro

See the wisps of dust? Waaay up there?

Oh well…

Even though it wasn’t quite the death-defying stunt I was half excited and half nervous about, it was still good fun. Everybody wished that the the mountain that looked so tall and daunting on the hike up, were just a little longer on the slide down. I almost wished it was a little bit steeper too.

Does volcano boarding look fun to you?

Volcano Boarding in Nicaragua

Volcano boarding Cerro Negro
Many agencies in Leon offer volcano boarding. Bigfoot Hostel makes a big party out of it: $30 gets you a celebratory beer at the base at the mountain, and 2 mojitos back at their bar. Quetzaltrekkers gives you a chance to go down twice. It takes half a mountain to get used to controlling the board, so going down twice is worth considering. You do, however, have to hike back up (45 mins).

You can pay extra for a standup board. It looks cool BUT you end up sinking so much more. Really, you’ll probably go even slower than I did.