SpikeBoarding, the ‘Sport of Balanced Strength’

A new endurance sport has come to Pawling: SpikeBoarding.

Described as “the sport of balanced strength,” SpikeBoarding employs similar kinetics to cross-country skiing, using a four-wheeled deck and a carbon-fiber SkateBoard Spike®. The benefits of this activity include enhanced balance and endurance, as well as massive core strength and bilateral limb development. To raise awareness of this exciting new endurance sport, Trinity-Pawling alumni Dan Bowen has brought SpikeBoarding to the Harlem Valley.

SpikeBoarding employs three primary strokes for forward propulsion. The “Stand Up Spike stroke” (SUS) relies on extracting core power via arm cadence, the legs remaining fixed on the deck of the board. The “Cubi-X-Cross stroke” (CXC) is a powerful stroke for taking boards up hills, and the “Inside Cubi-X-Cross” (ICXC) allows the feet to switch while one arm remains in constant action, allowing for an athlete to carry a bag or continue practice while recovering from a hand or arm injury. The CXC and ICXC strokes involve the use of both a foot and the spike on alternating sides. In this way, SpikeBoarding uses core strength and works limbs on both sides equally, eliminating a need for a dominant side. In addition, the process has also created three new human kinetic movements.

A Unique ‘Spike’

The key to SpikeBoarding lies in the unique shaft known as the SkateBoard Spike used for propulsion. Composed of either carbon fiber or a blend of fiberglass and carbon fiber, the spike has a carbide steel tip, silicone grip, and unique ergonomically designed foam handle made to function exclusively for performance during Stand Up Spike. The ergonomics of the spike serve to make it a highly effective tool for uphill propulsion. Currently, all professional SpikeBoarding equipment is manufactured by SUSOIX, located in New York City.

From Central Park . . .

The sport was originally conceived in 2010 by Enrique Cubillo in New York’s Central Park. He envisioned SpikeBoarding not only as a competitive endurance sport, but also as a means of maintaining personal fitness and an alternative for commuters in urban and suburban settings. In December 2015, a chance meeting during a roller hockey game would lead to Mr. Cubillo introducing SpikeBoarding to Dan Bowen.

An avid hockey player and rock climber, Bowen was seeking a way to further his strength and conditioning regimen. Once he began training under Cubillo, a love affair was born with SpikeBoarding. “I spiked 236 days that first year. It’s ten times the fun of anything I've ever played. It has ten times the effectiveness for fitness, both upper body and lower body, and ten times the logistical accessibility,” Bowen says. He often spikes the 5.5-mile commute to and from work, and sometimes travels between 20 to 30 miles daily. This newfound affinity would lead him to become the world’s first Certified SpikeBoard Coach, a role that he knows will help him to spread the benefits of the sport to others.

. . . To Trinity-Pawling

Coach Bowen is a member of the Trinity-Pawling Class of 1999 and has returned to his alma mater to spread the word about SpikeBoarding. “We believe that athleticism in America is low, and can be taken up tremendously by teaching endurance and transport sports,” he says. To this end, Coach Bowen has begun working with faculty at Trinity-Pawling in hopes of generating student interest in SpikeBoarding. “We want youth to be trained in transport sports, cycling, roller skiing, SpikeBoarding, in addition to field sports,” Bowen said. He also seeks to emphasize how spiking can improve conditioning and core strength that will be beneficial when training for any other sport.

To further generate interest and awareness in SpikeBoarding, Coach Bowen and Mr. Cubillo have also conceived the King and Queen of the Mountain Contests. Essentially, male SpikeBoarders will be challenged to defeat Bowen and Cubillo in a three mile, uphill SpikeBoard race. Women will be tasked with training to finish the course using the uphill spike stroke. For the successful completion of these challenges Coach Bowen and Mr. Cubillo are offering a $2,000 cash prize for each. “If someone dedicates themselves enough, global sports history can be theirs!” says Coach Bowen.