FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Ride the Dunes on a Sandboard

by Edward Mack

Jun 4, 2015

Sandboarding in Arcachon, France © Bastian Linder | Dreamstime


Sandboarding: It’s like snowboarding but, you know, on sand. And it’s growing in popularity.


There are two main types of sandboarding: standing up and lying down. Essentially sledding and snowboarding, respectively. The lying down method is easier for beginners and boarders usually go down the slopes on their bellies, though there is also a toboggan style.


Standing up, however, requires more balance. Sandboarding instructors are quick to note that boarding in sand is different than in snow — it requires a different balance as the sand is softer and a bit slower. However, after your first few rides you’ll find it’s similar to boarding in thick powder.


One disadvantage of sandboarding over snowboarding is that it is very often impossible to build lifts to the top of dunes so athletes must walk back to the top. This disadvantage can be mitigated; however, with the use of ATVs or other vehicles. Unlike snowboarding, dunes stay open all year.


Sandboarders in Nambia regularly reach speeds of up to 50 mph. Unofficially 60 mph is the fastest a sandboarder has been clocked. Sandboarding is popular in places where there’s more sand than snow, like desert areas and coasts with large dunes. Think Dubai, Australia and South Africa.


In the United States, Sand Master Park in Florence, Ore., was the world’s first sandboard park and features more than 40 acres of sculpted sand dunes. And then there are the world’s 10 largest dunes, every sandboarder’s dream.



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