SpikeBoarding: A New Low-Impact Fitness Secret
SPIKEBOARD LONGBOARDING = UNIQUE PADDLEBOARDING
Stuart Montaldo might look like a landlocked gondolier gliding along bike paths on an extra-long skateboard, leaving bewildered cyclists and joggers in his dust. But he swears by his sport, SpikeBoarding, which combines elements of Nordic skiing, stand-up paddling and switch-kick longboarding for a high-intensity, low-impact workout.
“I never imagined I’d be back on a board as an adult,” says Mr. Montaldo, 53, who was into downhill and slalom skateboarding in junior high school. Two-and-a-half years ago, he started to feel aches and pains during mixed martial arts workouts. A friend suggested he try SpikeBoarding.
Mr. Montaldo oversees global compliance training for conduct and culture matters for Citigroup and works out of a home office in Chesterfield, Mo., a St. Louis suburb. He says kickboxing often aggravated his lower back and he suffered two shoulder injuries during jujitsu workouts. “Not only is SpikeBoarding low-impact, but the motion of picking up the spike and stroking is like physical therapy,” he says. “My shoulders feel great now.”
SpikeBoarding was created in 2010 in New York City’s Central Park. A SpikeBoard is 29 inches long, resembling a longboard skateboard. The spike looks like a Nordic ski pole with the same carbide spike tip, but the handle looks like the handle of a kayak paddle. The rider can use two different strokes to propel the board forward.
“It’s like doing two sports in one,” Mr. Montaldo says. “The sport plays to all of the weak parts of my body. It has strengthened my core, my lower back and my knees.”
Mr. Montaldo says his wife and three children, ages 26, 24, and 16, are used to his trying unusual workouts. “Bikers and runners give me funny stares,” he says. “And kids are always yelling after me, ‘That is so cool.’ ”
Mr. Montaldo gets on his SpikeBoard for an hour four times a week. He will either do a 7-mile loop at Forest Park or 4 to 5 miles on the trails of Creve Coeur Park. He alternates using the Cubi-X-Cross (CXC) stroke and Stand Up Spike (SUS) stroke during workouts (see sidebar). To perform the Cubi-X-Cross stroke, one foot pushes off the ground, while the opposite hand spikes. “The Cubi-X-Cross is more aerobic,” Mr. Montaldo says. He estimates he can reach up to 13 miles an hour using the Cubi-X-Cross stroke.
During the Stand Up Spike (SUS) stroke, both feet remain on the board as the rider swings his arms in a square formation to spike against the pavement, alternating sides. “I couldn’t Stand Up Spike for more than 5 minutes when I started,” Mr. Montaldo says. “It’s the best core and upper-body workout I’ve ever had, particularly if you’re going uphill.” He estimates he can reach up to 20 miles an hour on a flat stretch using the SUS stroke. To slow down and stop, he repeatedly strikes one foot, heel first, against the ground to reduce speed.
Mr. Montaldo eats nutrient-dense foods. His diet is high in fruits, vegetables and nuts, while limiting carbs, meat and dairy. “I love cheese, so I do cheat,” he says. Breakfast might be Shredded Wheat cereal with blueberries, and lunch a barbecued bratwurst, some walnuts and grapes, and peach juice. He might snack on chips with avocado before a dinner of quinoa pasta with mushrooms, onions and almonds. He occasionally has a Manhattan for dessert.
The Gear & Cost
Mr. Montaldo paid $475 for his Susoix SpikeBoard and $250 for his Susoix spike. He purchased a Susoix Diamond File for $35 and uses it to sharpen his spike tip. His Pro-Designed wrist guards cost $70 and gloves $11. He wears The North Face Hedgehog Fastpack Gore-Tex sneakers, which retail for $120.
“I wore tennis shoes the first few years, but the North Face have more lateral stability and grip really well,” he says. He bought a used Schwinn helmet for $40. He wears Smith sunglasses ($90) for eye protection.