Due to a serious knee injury, Sara Mamone can’t ride a longboard anymore, but she continues to chase her adventurous spirit on a DIY gravity vehicle dubbed Bastard Board, built by Carlo Righetti Charlie.
Sara took the Bastard Board to Bela Joyride freeride where she sent it down together with Alexander “Tiki” Frischauf who captured the run on camera. Sara’s dear friends, Helene Folliard a.k.a. Li Lù and Guido Cipolla took care of the edit.
Watch the video and read the full story to find out more about Sara, her injury and the Bastard Board.
Meet Sara Mamone
Sara Mamone is 21 years old and lives in the mountains of Northern Italy, in a small village Preseglie near Brescia. She’s a big animal lover, a horse riding instructor and she runs her own horse riding school where she teaches as well.
* Photos via Sara Mamone’s Facebook profile
Unfortunate knee injury
Her passion for horses led to an unfortunate event in 2010, when a rampant horse hit her knee and broke her meniscus. The damage was big, but eventually she managed to recover and of course, she never gave up on horses.
In 2014, Sara started longboarding and this instantly became her new passion.
Her knee was not as good as it used to be before the injury and this extra activity put lots of pressure on it. Sara kept pushing it hard with a longboard anyway, which ultimately lead to another, even more serious injury.
I was stubborn and didn’t want to stop skating. So I kept skating until my tibia came out of its place and that put a stop to it. ~ Sara Mamone
In search for an alternative to a longboard
Sara kept her enthusiasm for downhill skateboarding and she was searching for an alternative to longboarding, but didn’t have much success. Street luge or classic luge would be the closest to it, but she would still need to use her legs in order to slow down or stop, so that was not an option.
Her luck changed in the beginning of 2016 when she joined to volunteer for Marguzzo Freeride (Italy), an event organised by Italian downhill skateboarding / street luge legend, Carlo Righetti Charlie.
Carlo quickly recognised that one of his custom designed gravity vehicles, which he had sitting in a garage for the past six years, might be perfect for Sara. They talked about it and she decided to give the Bastard Board a try.
Meet the Bastard Board
Back in 2010, Carlo was developing a new type of gravity vehicle dubbed Bastard Board. He was motivated to come up with a design, which would enable him to practice downhill as usual, even though he’s getting older and is not as agile as he used to be.
I’m a luger, “old” and not very agile anymore, but I thought that by this means, with a braking system, I could enjoy myself. But people judged this as a suicide and Bastard Board was left in my garage for six years. ~ Carlo Righetti
Bastard Board came out as a hybrid between a longboard and a dirtsurfer.
The base of it is an old longboard deck, built by Carlo in 2008.
On its front side, the deck is mounted with a single reverse kingpin skateboard truck and longboard wheels. The front of the deck also features an extension which serves as a support for the legs which was not a part of the original design and it was added later in order for Sara to be able to use it.
The back side of the board is extended with a frame, constructed of square metal pipes, which holds a 20-inch bicycle wheel, just like on the original driftsurfer design.
Originally, a dirtsurfer is meant to be used in a standing position and it features calf operated brake lever which enables the rider to control a disc braking system mounted on the back wheel.
Sara rides the Bastard Board in a sitting position, but the braking system has not been changed. Instead of applying the pressure with a leg, she leans back with her upper body against the brake lever.
Sara’s experience with Bastard Board
Getting used to the Bastard Board was a tough nut to crack, but Sara was persistent and finally managed to have loads of fun with it.
Riding a longboard was exciting and I felt more free standing up and using my whole body. At the beginning I was shy because it felt like a “loser thing” to ride a Bastard Board, but then I realised, that the way I feel when riding is more important than what I’m riding on.
I can honestly say that riding a Bastard board for the first time felt crazy, even to me, and I like crazy things! It was hard to break because it was challenging to learn how to use the right amount of force leaning back and figuring out how the disc break would respond to the pressure. At the beginning I didn’t know how fast I can go before getting wobbles. But the most scary things for me were curves as I was so used to skating with a longboard where you turn at a smaller radius than on a Bastard Board.
Fortunately my friend Fabiano Ferretti, a longboarder and street luger, thought me how to use my hands to turn at a bigger angle. Now that I got used to it, I feel safer and more stable with the Bastard Board and also I noticed that I get less wobbles at higher speeds. So far, I even managed to reach 100 km/hour. ~ Sara Mamone
Although Sara has fun with the Bastard Board, she says she will keep searching for a truck which could brake efficiently at higher speeds, to replace the BMX wheel as it makes the board more rigid and it slows her down in the corners.
If you have any ideas or would like to share any thoughts with us, drop us a comment below.
I would like to thank Dante, Giulio, Fabiano, Lilù and the badass guys of the Degenerous Crew for the support they gave me. A special thanks goes to Carlo who made it possible for me to have fun again riding down full of adrenaline! ~ Sara Mamone