Introduction to Sandboarding
Sandboarding is an awesome board sport very similar to snowboarding; only difference is that instead of snow covered mountains it takes place on sand dunes. You will find board sport lovers throughout the globe. It is mostly prevalent on the coastal areas with beaches covered with sand dunes or the desert areas.
It is a fun sport full of thrive and adventure. It involves standing on the board with your feet strapped on it and riding down or across the sand hills, some of the sand boarders use the board without the bindings as well. Sand boarding is less popular than snowboarding mainly because a mechanized ski lift is difficult to build on sand hills therefore the participants have to walk the way back top, which most people find tiring. Some of the sand boarding places have a ride back to the top like the dune buggy or the all-terrain vehicle. On the other hand, sand hills are available all through the year while snowboarding is seasonal.
Equipment Required for Sandboarding
The base of the sand board is much harder than that of a snowboard. The materials used to make the boards are laminex or formica. Before a run can begin the bottom of the board is waxed using a wax which is paraffin-based for its easy gliding over the sand. The bottom of the board has a grainy look but with the ‘Race Base’ polish the look is more lustrous and suave.
Full size sandboards are made of wood, plastic composite and fibre glass while terrain sandboards are made of hardwood ply.
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World’s Top Destinations for Sandboarding
The world’s largest sand dune is located in this South American country and is known as Duna Grande in Ica. You need to be a braveheart if you wish to go sandboarding on the dunes of Peru as they can be perfidiously steep and require a lot of proficiency to sail down with your sandboard. The dunes of Nasca and Arequipa are famous too.
The continent has a huge collection of massive sand dunes, making it the perfect destination to sway your sandboard. The southern part of Australia has naturally made sand dunes on the Kangaroo Island and these dunes stretch as far as almost two square kilometres. The Tasmanian region and the Stockton dunes near Sydney have adventurers flocking to enjoy the thrill of the sport. If you are new to the sport yet want to try then you can visit the Lucky Bay sand banks where you can enjoy sandboarding tours with trained guides.
If you are really looking forward for adventure then Nicaragua is the ultimate destination for a fun-filled experience of sandboarding. You could experience sandboarding down the slope of an active volcano. Guided by an expert you can climb the Cerro Negro active volcano and after exploring the summit skiing down the precipitous slopes of the mountains is the ultimate experience you might have always longed for. The black sands are wonderful to sandboard on. There are many companies functioning from the town of Leon who can make provisions for sandboarding there.
The complete northern part of Chile is famous for this sport. The Atacama Desert has many ideal places for sandboarding making it the hub of all the sandboarders. There are many fast routes down the hill of Cerro Iman in Chile which is why besides regular sandboarding an annual sandboarding contest is also held. More places for this sport in Chile are Valle de la Muerte, Punta de Choros, Mendanoso and Cerro Dragon.
Sandboarding is better known as sand-skiing in Namibia and instead of boards a ski is used to glide down the sand. Namib Desert dunes around Walvis Bay and Swakopmundare, the areas where this sport is enjoyed as it is here that the most beautiful sand dunes are located. If you can manage a special permit you will be able to ski the sands of the world’s highest sandbank in Sossusvlei. There are two ways in which you can sand-ski:
- ‘Lie Down’ style where the skier lies down on a board sliding headlong on the sand dunes
- ‘Stand Up Boarding’ where the same method and tactics are used to slide like snowboarding.
There are many sports and competitions which are held throughout the year, there has also been records set on the dunes of Namibia. A German residing in Namibia set a Guinness Book of World Record on June 6, 2010 when he speeded down the dunes at an unbelievable speed of 92.12km.
United States of America
The world’s first sandboard park is in Florence in the United States of America. The park is named Sandmaster Park. The sands in this region widen from Florence to Coos Bay and have the biggest span of coastal dunes in North America.
The famous desert of Dubai is among the most sought destinations for sandboarding today. The administration is wonderful and you will easily find many touring agencies that offer the proficient help required. Ensure you set your clock early in order to reach the dunes in the desert on time to enjoy surfing the sands.
Competitions and Events
Sandboarding World Championship (SWC)
Held in Hirschau at Monte Kaolino in Germany the place boasts of the largest sand dune in all of Europe. There are dune which go as high as 300 feet and more which land in a water landing at the bottom of the hill. The Events held in the competition are ‘sandboard cross’ and ‘slalom freestyle’.
Sand Master Jam
An event which takes place in the spring, the event is conducted in the famous Sand Master Park of Florence in Oregon.
Pan-American Sandboarding Challenge
Many young sand boarders and professional take part in the events of jump and freestyle sandboarding which is held in the month of July at Prainha Beach in Aquiraz, Ceara, Brazil.
Sand Sports Super Show
It is a three day event which is conducted in the month of September at the Orange County Fair and Expo Center in Costa Mesa, California.
Sandboarding is a new, thrilling sport that requires minimum equipment and cost to participate. So purchase a sandboard, get some instruction, and head for the dunes. A new, extreme adventure awaits you.