The HangBoard is Don’s most recent invention. Featured on the Discovery Channel show The Daily Planet in 2010, the HangBoard combines the principles of Hang gliding with snowboarding, and re-invents the experience of going down the mountain for winter sports enthusiasts.
The HangBoard equipment suspends the rider in a horizontal position over the slopes as they navigate down the hill.
“It’s the closest thing I’ve ever felt to flying, other than jumping out of a plane,” says Lucas Parker, pro Hangboarder.
“We began developing this sport in 2002 and have done extensive testing on ski hills around BC including Whistler Blackcomb. We are hoping it will catch on, that people will see the excitement of developing a new sport along with us,” says Arney.
“While the thrill is in controlling your descent with your body movements it offers more control than either skiing or snowboarding because there are brakes and rudders for steering,” explains Arney.
Arney co-founded the Hang Gliding Association of B.C. in the early 1970s, learned to fly planes a few years later and helicopters in the '90s. Flying has always been a passion for him.
Arney points out some benefits to this sport include “no need to develop new infrastructure on the ski hills – things like luge and bobsledding are fairly exclusive when you consider the costs of the infrastructure and equipment. The HangBoard equipment consists of a harness and boom system that you attach to your snowboard, and will be relatively inexpensive. “
Currently the HangBoard is “raring to go,” with the company HangBoard Snowflight Inc., hoping to attract enthusiasts and companies to partner in marketing the equipment.
Read more about the HangBoard here.
The HangBoard experience is part hang gliding, part mountain biking and part snowboarding…..and all about getting a whole new perspective on the mountain
room to grow and develop
“What early enthusiasts have said is that the sport has room to grow and develop – riders can write the book on how to use and pilot the equipment, much like snowboarding which has evolved because of the users. They have driven the sport because it is adaptable. That’s what we want to tap into," says Don.
It's not like anything you've done before!
Aside from the obvious fact that the HangBoard pilot is horizontal, hangboarders make turns by leaning their whole body out over their edges while controlling rudders behind the board with their feet.