The Most Extreme Summer Sports: Volcano Surfing

These sports aren't necessarily deadly, but they certainly instill an imminent sense of death—which is what makes them so thrilling and why we can't look away.

Aug 7, 2013
Outside Magazine

Volcano boarding    Photo: Erik Fantasia

Road Rash

Crashing on a rocky surface at 50 mph can leave your skin torn to shreds—if you're not wearing the proper gear.

There are many places in the world and a variety of ways to go downhill, fast. Powder packed ski runs, alpine road bike descents, rocky downhill mountain bike runs–even sand dune surfing—all rank within our perceptions of normal thrill seeking.

But in Nicaragua, on the 41-degree slope of an active volcano that last erupted in 1999, a handful of brave adventurers have taken downhilling to a new extreme. Guide company Green Pathways Tours shuttles prospective volcano surfers to top of 2,288-foot Cerro Negro, provides a protective suit (to ward of sharp rocks), goggles, a rudimentary sled, and a complimentary push. On the way down the volcano face, speeds can approach 50-miles-per hour. The experience: remotely familiar, but entirely unique.

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