Why Not Ride A Sled Down an Active Volcano?

Looking for a new extreme sport? How about going to Nicaragua and riding a modified piece of plywood down the side of an active volcano at speeds nearing 60mph?

On the New York Times travel page, you can read about Laura Siciliano-Rosen’s experience with this (rather unique) new sport.

The hostel she stayed at (which offers beds for $6 a night!) runs tours on Cerro Negro, the youngest volcano in Central America. Here’s an excerpt:

I had heard of a tour offered by Bigfoot Hostel, which Darryn Webb, a tour guide from Australia, founded in 2005, when he was developing the sport on Cerro Negro. He’d grown up sandboarding in Queensland, and once he visited the volcano, he realized its boarding potential. Here was a dunelike slope, only bigger and blacker, and with the added thrill of a potential eruption.

After a lot of trial and error with sledding vessels — he tried boogie boards, mattresses and even a minibar fridge — he settled on plywood reinforced with metal and augmented with Formica under the seat. “Once we figured out the sit-down boards, it became a lot more fun for people,” Mr. Webb told me by phone from Perth, where he now lives.
(Photo courtesy of Scott B. Rosen for the New York Times)