Volcano needed for this workout

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Indy Lifestyle Online

With thousands stranded because of Iceland's volcano, most do not immediately think of grabbing a board and heading to Nicaragua to volcano board. But thrill seekers and extreme fitness athletes might be trying to catch a ride before Cerro Negro erupts.

Tierra Tour, a Nicaraguan tour and travel agency, offers trips to Cerro Negro, gives you the required gear (jumpsuit and pads and a "snowboard-style wooden plank") to board the "Pure black hill! Feel the heat and smell the sulfur gases, hike the whole volcano, visit two active craters and all viewpoints."

The tour operators describe volcano boarding as "sandboarding our way down at the ashes side! You may stand up snowboard style! Or sit down!" The five-hour event costs $30 (€22.25) and includes a guide, fruit, transport and entrance fee.

Bigfoot Adventure also offers a number of packages for volcano boarding in Nicaragua. The fees are comparable to Tierra Tours except, instead of fruit, a mojito comes with the adventure. Bigfoot also has packages that include rooms or a dorm bed in their Bigfoot Hostel ranging from $35-100 (€26-74.40) and combo packs with surfing that include "Volcano Boarding tour, free t-shirt, free sticker, transfer to beach, accommodation, breakfast, surf lesson and surf board rental for one day." Pricing available on request.

Take a look at volcano boarding in motion: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqZ7mapCVlI

"The last eruption was in 1999, disrupting boarding for a solid two days, and there could be another any day now. So you'll want to watch your back - or request a toboggan-style board that'll rocket you down at up to 40 miles an hour," explains UrbanDaddy, a lifestyle ezine on April 18.

A less potentially perilous and rocky ride can also be had with sandboarding away from volcanoes. This international no-snow board sport, akin to surfing, is practiced from Peru, Australia and South Africa to Dubai and the United States.

It is unclear if the 17th Sandboarding World Championships 2010 will take place in Hirschau, Germany on Monte Kaolino, Europe's largest sand hill, as it normally does every summer. In 2009 it was cancelled due to funding issues. For updates, go to: http://www.sandboarding.org/

On April 22, the rest of the fitness world will be at FIBO 2010 in Essen, Germany, the largest event devoted to fitness, health and wellbeing, where extreme martial arts and parkour will be highlighted but no volcano boarding. However there will be plenty of gear to check out during the expo. Visit FIBO 2010 for more information: http://www.fibo.de/en/gruppe_fachbesucher/fachbesucher_home_neu.php

To book a volcano boarding tour, go to Tierra Tour: http://tierratour.com/inicio/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=95&Itemid=100

Bigfoot Adventure: http://www.bigfootnicaragua.com/adventure.html

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