met Nik Wainwright at Ride the Hill mountainboard centre
in Somerset, where she was competing in the 2003 noSno downhill challenge.
Mountainboarding is a relatively new extreme sport, a hybrid of snowboarding,
skateboarding and mountain biking it is one of the fastest growing sports
in the world. The noSno challenge was the first competition of the 2003
season, attracting riders from the UK, Europe and America.
On first consultation with my programme I was pleased to see there was
clearly marked ladies category. Being familiar with skateboarding, I
am only two aware the once a sport becomes predominantly male dominated
it is incredibly hard for women to break into.
There were only two competitors in the ladies category; Nik Wainwright
and Lorna Brughan.
Unfortunately Lorna fell on an old fracture in her arm during the time
trails, leaving Nik without a competitor. Not being one to opt out Nik
decided to race with the men. Flying down the exigent, technical downhill
course, almost sexless with full body armour and hair tucked into her
helmet there was one thing apparent to me about Nik, her immense grin.
The girl was destroying most conceivable stereotypes of women and loving
every minute of it. We need more women like this.
I caught up with Nik after she had placed 3rd in the Quad man final.
Name; Nik Wainwright
Lives: Stockport, Manchester
Day job: Furniture shop manager
Years Mountainboarding: 18 months
Previous Sports: None
What would you say to other girls looking to get involved in mountainboarding?
Do it, its loads of fun! Join a club and learn
Why do you think more girls dont ride?
Because it looks loads more mental than it actually
Do you mainly ride with men or women?
Mostly men, although there a few girls I ride
with from around the north of England.
Girls skateboarding is just starting to take off with the success
of all girls events and jams. Can you see this happening in mountainboarding
and if so how long do you think it will take?
There are already a few American websites where
men are complaining about competing with women. It will be a long time
before we see this happening.
© Rachael D'Cruze June 2003
all rights reserved