Medical Disorder Sparks Idea For New Sport
NEW YORK: In support of The Raynaud's Association, a new endurance sport has hit the streets of New York City; it combines the power kicking lower body movement of skateboarding with the upper body cardio action of cross country skiing.
SpikeBoarding's innovator is New York City-based commercial photographer Enrique Cubillo who had been skateboarding and racing bicycles for years when the need to keep his extremities warm finally lead him to discover SpikeBoarding (

"I had no intention of creating a sport,' Cubillo says, 'but when I was racing bikes in the cold a few years ago, I noticed my feet became white and my fingers were freezing despite wearing layers of protective clothing." His physician father told him he had Raynaud's phenomenon.

According to the Raynaud's Association (, the 501(c)3 charity devoted to this medical disorder, 15-30 million Americans have Raynaud's, but only one out of ten seek treatment.

Cubillo's enterprising nature is in full gear this October — Raynaud's Awareness Month. SpikeBoarders can be seen around the city with a banner proclaiming the occasion. "People often stop to ask about the sport. Now I tell them about Raynaud's too," he says.

During a Raynaud's episode, when exposed to cold or stress, the body's response is similar to that of the "fight or flight" reaction seen when the body senses danger. The outer blood vessels constrict to send blood to the body's core to protect vital organs where it's needed in an emergency. Fingers, toes and other extremities may throb and become numb. The response is often accompanied by color changes, a combination of white, blue and red.

Cubillo found the Raynaud's pain so intense that he turned to a solution to stay in shape that would engage his core while sending blood flow to his hands and feet. He returned to a childhood favorite — the skateboard. But instead of using it for acrobatic feats, it's become an endurance platform incorporating Nordic (Cross-Country) skiing.

"SpikeBoarding delivers all the same full-body fitness benefits as Nordic skiing, only it's less complicated. The all-season sport is ideal for endurance athletes and fitness enthusiasts with or without Raynaud's.

SpikeBoarding is not a cure for Raynaud's, Cubillo notes, but it makes being out in the cold much more bearable.

(Posted on 30 October 2017, 1679693273 18O206O92O240)