IT’S like snowboarding on the street.
So say the pioneers of a new skate trend called ‘‘freeboarding’’ that has arisen in the Hunter.
Nords Wharf’s Rory O’Brien and New Lambton’s Jack Wilks have taken up the sport with a passion. The 17-year-old Merewether High students are keen snowboarders.
‘‘Freeboarding is the closest thing to snowboarding on wheels,’’ Rory said. ‘‘You can’t get the same feeling on any other type of skateboard.’’
Jack said the best part of a freeboard was its ability to allow the rider to slide.
‘‘You can ride when you want and you don’t need to pay for lift tickets,’’ Jack said.
Freeboards have bindings that hook around the feet.
They have six wheels, with two that spin, which enables sliding, 360s and more control of balance and speed.
Adam Andrews, owner of East End Surf & Skate in Newcastle, said freeboarding was ‘‘a new craze’’.
‘‘It’s big in the States and Europe, but it’s really only hitting Australia now,’’ Mr Andrews said. ‘‘A lot of snowboarders are freeboarding in places like the Swiss Alps in the off-season.’’
Rory predicts the sport will increase in popularity.
‘‘I can see it picking up in future,’’ he said.
‘‘At the moment it’s a bit of a hidden wonder.’’
Designers of the freeboard began with a desire to snowboard all year round, anywhere anytime.
Their intention was to design a board that gave riders the control of a snowboard on pavement.