[R103R, Cataloochee Resort] in Maggie Valley, N.C., recently became the third resort on the East Coast to offer airboarding as a mountain experience. East Coast locations also include Canaan Valley Resort in West Virginia and Smugglers' Notch in Vermont. There are three other locations in the western part of the country at Hoodoo in Oregon, Schweitzer in Idaho, and Sugar Bowl in California.

Cataloochee offers airboard sessions 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.  A three-hour lift ticket, three hours of instruction, the airboard, boots, and the use of a helmet costs $59. Sessions are limited to eight people. Airboarding is only allowed at Cataloochee with a certified instructor as part of a lesson. Lessons are designed to teach beginners the basic maneuvers and to help experienced airboarders to hone their skills. Instruction takes place from Lower Omigosh down.

An airboard is steered by the rider shifting weight from side to side. An airboard is a specialized inflatable board that has runner on the bottom. They come in two sizes, one for adults and one for children under 11 years old.

Stopping is similar to how a skier stops, by doing a 90 degree turn. Dragging your feet slows it down.

Airboarding began in Switzerland in the late 1990s and now is slowly catching on in the U.S.

More Information. Or call 800-768-0285.