Volcano surfing, also known as ash boarding or volcano boarding, is a sport performed on volcano slopes. The most popular slope is of Cerro Negro near Leon in western Nicaragua. Riders hike up the volcano and slide down, sitting or standing, on a thin plywood or metal board. The sport is also done on Mt. Yasur in Tanna, Vanuatu.
Volcano surfing is an extreme sport. Dangers include falling off and getting cut by the rough volcanic ash, breathing poisonous gasses, or being hit by flying molten lava. Protective gear, including jumpsuits and goggles, is used. Cerro Negro is also an active volcano although the last eruption was in 1999. Mt. Yasur is a far more dangerous volcano with eruptions every day.
National Geographic Channel adventurer and journalist Zoltan Istvan is credited with inventing the sport on Mt. Yasur on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu in 2002, though Istvan first visited the active volcano in 1995. His adventure was filmed, and it later aired on the National Geographic Channel in a 5-minute news segment. Istvan differentiates volcano boarding into two forms: 1) Boarding down an active volcano where immediate dangers comes from flying molten lava and lethal volcano gases, and 2) boarding down an inactive volcano where no immediate danger is present (similar to sand boarding).
- Laura Siciliano-Rosen (April 19, 2009). "A Sport Erupts on a Live Volcano in Nicaragua". The New York Times. p. TR4. Retrieved 2014-07-13.