Thursday, September 3, 2009


From sky to land. Today’s topic is a newly created sport yet to be exposed to the mainstream of extreme athletes. A recreation immediately identified with snowboarding, yet its diehard fans will tell you, you can’t even begin to compare the two. Of course, I’m speaking of sandboarding.

As you can speculate, sandboarding is to sand as what snowboarding is to snow. The major reason this sport has yet to catch on to the masses is because locations aren’t present in wide areas of the globe. Plus, for those overweight shlubs, there are no ski lifts to take you back up hills. So you can imagine the workout that follows if you wish to repeat.

So where does one sandboard? The sport is mostly seen in desert areas and coastal regions with beach dunes. Ica, Peru has some of the best quality sand for the sport with hills reaching heights of 2 Km. It has also gained popularity in South Africa where the majority of national competitions are held. Interestingly enough, evidence has been found that Egyptians may have made planks from pottery and wood to ride its countries dunes going back to the days of the pharaohs.

If you’re interested in giving this a try, I’m sad to say that your typical snowboard just isn’t going to cut it. The main difference between the two boards is that a sandboard’s base is much harder. Their undersides must be applied with specialty sandboard wax after each run to eliminate drag. Standard boards are constructed from hardwood-ply, while longer, racing boards are made of wood, fiberglass, and plastic composites.

So where I can learn to do this and end up with a mouthful of sand? Well Sand Master Park in Florence, Oregon is the world’s first sandpark with 40 acres of private sculpted sand dunes and a full-time pro shop. If you want to learn anything else about the sport, the website is just for you. There you can find nearby locations, purchase gear, see links to similar sites, and find out if this alternative action is just for you!

WHO KNEW?! -- Erik Johnson, a professional snow and sand boarder, holds the world record for speed on a sandboard at 51 mph.

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