The first thing to learn as a beginner mountain boarder is how to fall. You're going to be falling a lot, so you might as well do it with style. Whatever you do, don't try to jump out of your bindings and run out of a fall. That's much more dangerous than just falling with the board, because you risk serious ankle injury [source: Munro Boards]. The best way to fall is to bend your knees fully, lean back and tip over onto your bum.
To steer a mountain board, you apply pressure to either the toe or heel side of the board and shift your body weight into the turn. The idea is to carve smooth, interconnected turns. As you approach the end of a heel-side turn, you carefully shift your weight in the other direction to execute a toe-side turn. To slow down, turn up the slope of the hill. If you feel like you're going too fast, simply lean into your turn until the nose of the board is pointing slightly uphill.
To stop a mountain board, turn very sharply up the hill, allowing your back foot to slide. This is called a powerslide. To help initiate a powerslide, bend down and grab the front side of the board and pull up as you turn [source: Board Pass]. You must master the powerslide before attempting to ride down steep terrain [source: Munro Boards].
Remember that mountain boarding tires are inflatable. That means you can adjust the tire pressure based on your skill level and the type of terrain. Lower tire pressure means you'll move slower and have better traction on rough terrain. Recommended tire pressure for beginners is between 5 and 15 psi [source: Board Pass].
Mountain boarding doesn't have to be extreme. With the right safety precautions, this hybrid sport is safe for all ages and skill levels. Read our safety tips on the next page.