There are many certainties in life. The sun will rise, tides will come and go, and RoarLoud’s curiosity will always lead to some kind of adventure. This certainty of finding adventure was never more on display than when we recently journeyed to France. Cathy and I had never been to Europe as a couple, so that was already exciting for us. Being able to explore the French Pyrenees, also was really exciting. I was looking forward to the possibility of skiing in a foreign country (huge bucket list item for me), but that story is for another day. This story is actually about a unique experience that we couldn’t resist, and why airboarding should be your new winter obsession.
How it all started
Any time we travel to a new destination, we always concentrate on packing in as many fun activities as possible. We find it really useful to get as much information as possible from travel boards, and local guides. For the French Pyrenees, we contacted The Adventure Creators. When we gave ideas of the adventures we hoped to find, Penny from The Adventure Creators had some great suggestions and a little intrigue for us. She suggested that we might be interested in something called airboarding. We had never heard of airboarding, so of course, we had to know all about it.
For those you who have never tried this exciting winter activity, hold on to your hat…or should I say helmet. Yes for this wild ride, a helmet is needed. Airboarding is an adrenaline-fueled, super-charged version of sledding you did as a kid. Your rickety toboggan is replaced with a Kevlar-coated air cushion. Just grab your airboard and launch yourself head first down the mountain. The “head first down the mountain” part is the reason you need a helmet. Unlike the sleds you had as a kid, you have a lot more control of your ride. Airboards are equipped with edges that will dig into the snow and help turn you. Using your body to lean from side to side and dragging a foot, much like you would in the surf bodyboarding, you can make s-turns like a skier. Just like with skis, it is also possible to stop on an airboard by dragging your feet wide behind you. Our instructor also jokingly taught us the “French Stop”, which is just rolling off the airboard. At the speeds we were going, I’m not sure that would have been the best choice for us.
Getting Up to Speed
Learning to airboard is very easy. The basics can be mastered in no time. During the first run down the mountain, our instructor had us stop at different points, just to make sure we were comfortable with everything and that we had control of the airboard. The next run, we rode all the way to the bottom without stopping. After that, we let loose and flew down the mountain.
Catching the Wildcat
So that first run down the mountain on our own, I caught up to Cathy by the time we reached the bottom. It isn’t hard to imagine. I’m 6’5” and tower over Cathy, so simple physics will tell you that I’m going to go faster than her. Wildcat has never been one to let size disadvantage get in her way. When I caught her at the end, I could see it irked her. Not in an angry way, but more of the “I’m not going to let that stand” determined sort of way. The minute we reached the top of the lift the next run, Wildcat was off and flying down the mountain. Unlike the previous run, her s-curves looked more like small squiggles. I tried to catch her. My turns were almost non-existent, as I tried to catch the bat out of hell Wildcat. I had hit a bump in our previous run that provided me a little jolt, but hitting it this time sent me airborne. Although I came close, there was no catching the Wildcat on that run.
So that is why Airboarding was a complete blast and our newest winter obsession. It was so easy to learn and a fun alternative to skiing or snowboarding. If you head to the Pyrenees, be sure to contact The Adventure Creators. They offer this and many other activities for any level of thrill seekers. All the activities we did on our trip and more can be booked as part of the multi-activity holiday with The Adventure Creators!
Looking for more in the Pyrenees?
- Getting Above the Clouds in the Pyrenees - April 18, 2017
- Finding That Perfect Freedom in the French Pyrenees - April 5, 2017
- Life Instructions On How to Fill Your Bucket - March 30, 2017
- Why Airboarding Should Be Your New Winter Obsession - March 21, 2017
- Why You Should Visit the Pyrenees in France - March 15, 2017