November 2008 - Oregon Scientific, manufacturer of products for an active lifestyle, is proud to announce its sponsorship of the first ever UK Bearded Ladyboarding team at the 2012 Olympics. Although the little-known European practice of Ladyboarding is in fact centuries old, 2012 will be the first time that it will be witnessed by many in the UK and all over the world as it now officially recognised by the International Olympic Committee as an Olympic sport. For more information, visit www.ladyboarding.com
A team of three male British hopefuls will race on a death-defying gradient of 45 degrees on a specially-prepared grass surface at Primrose Hill in North London. Team GB is expected to confront stiff opposition from both the strong US and Norwegian teams in this widely-anticipated new event which it is hoped will breathe fresh air into the Olympic Games. Team GB currently train high up in the Norwegian Alps, filming themselves on hardy attachable Oregon Scientific action cameras that can weather even the harshest conditions.
The team of three: Winston Dexter, Feverella Dangerfield, and Hampton Spektor, all exhibit wildly differing styles. Dexter is known for his impressive speeds, Dangerfield for his big air time, and Spektor for his artistic flow and showmanship.
Bearded Ladyboarding first came into existence over a millennium ago when Vikings in isolated parts of Northern Europe would competitively race rudimentary wooden boards down steep hills as part of an annual festival to celebrate their masculinity. The sport has only latterly become known as Bearded Ladyboarding in reference to its history and the combination of bearded men mountain-boarding in flowing gowns.
This unique sport lived on in isolated rural communities for the next thousand years, handed down from father to son. In some outlying regions of Scotland, it was even used as a form of transport from highland areas down to the planes, although the traditional feminine dress was not always worn for these more practical outings.
The sport was virtually unknown to the rest of the world until it enjoyed a massive resurgence in the 1970's when it became widely known as Ladyboarding. The precursor to the Ladyboard was created from an adapted Snowboard by Wilson Turville in Llillehammer, Norway. With the increase in popularity of so called "Extreme" sports, and advances in materials and strapping, the modern ladyboard was soon developed - a much more flexible affair than Wilson's early version, and was being put to use on hills across Europe.
During the late seventies, when heavy and progressive rock music became popular, the sport enjoyed popularity amongst musicians from bands such as Hawkwind and The Grateful Dead. Known as much for their beards as for their heavy guitar based music, Bearded Ladyboarding arose as much for aesthetic reasons as for speed, as Ladyboarders paid homage to their guitar hero's boarding skills by growing or wearing long bushy beards when riding their ladyboards. Whilst research has been carried out since to determine whether beards affect boarding speed by creating micro-turbulence and encouraging rapid air flow around the important face area, there are still many ladyboarders who dispute this, and some even carry out the sport clean shaven! However, by far the most widespread and fun form of the sport now involves the cultivation or purchase of a high quality bristly manbeard, combined with the now traditional white marital dress.
As of November 2008 there are growing moves to get Women's Bearded Ladyboarding recognised as an official sport. If you would like to show your support for Women's Bearded Ladyboarding - e-mail the official governing body at firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors:
Key figures in the sport:
Wilson Turville (active 1962 - 196:
Inventor of the first wheeled board for traversing cambered terrain, in order to practice his snowboarding skills in the off season.
Philipe Ousbain (1972 - 197:
The first Ladyboarding world champion, and holder of 11 IORLA (International Off Road Ladyboarding Association) gold medals.
Brant Hasden (1976 - 1980):
The first man to don a false beard whilst Ladyboarding in honour of his rock guitar hero's. Also the fastest Ladyboarder ever recorded down Alp Duez in Southern France. Could the two be related?
Ned Vasdefen (1982 - 1990):
First inductee to the Bearded Ladyboarding hall of fame. Known for his very short dresses and incredible control in the air.
Radical "New-Wave" Bearded Ladyboarder pioneering a whole range of new slide moves and grinds.