Sandboarding is a great option when the surf's poor, the snow's gone, or the skateboarding areas are crowded. This activity combines elements of snowboarding, surfing, and skating, allowing you to board on sand dunes instead of snow or water. To sandboard, start by getting the proper board and protective gear. Then, find sand dunes nearby and do a first run. You can also try stopping and turning on a sandboard. With enough practice, you'll be boarding down the dunes with ease in no time.
Part 1 of 4:Getting a Sandboard and Protective Gear
1Rent a sandboard at a facility close to a sand dune. Many areas with sand dunes offer a rental service where you can rent a sandboard for a small fee, usually around $15-$25 USD. Check if there is a rental area in spots near you with sand dunes or in areas you are planning to visit.Trustworthy SourceUS National Park ServiceAgency responsible for the maintenance and promotion of national parks and monumentsGo to source
Renting a sandboard may be a good option if you do not want to have to buy a sandboard right away.
2Repurpose a snowboard or surfboard you don't plan on using again. In a pinch, you can use a snowboard or surfboard you already own to try sandboarding. A snowboard with a square or twin tail is ideal. A smaller surfboard, sometimes called a boogie board, is good for sandboarding, as it will not be too long.
Make sure the snowboard or surfboard is smooth on both sides so it will glide well on the sand.
3Buy a sandboard at a local surf shop or online. Sandboards are usually made of wood, metal, or plastic. They should be about 9 to 12 millimetres (0.35 to 0.47 in) thick, 140 to 160 centimetres (55 to 63 in) wide, and 100 to 120 centimetres (39 to 47 in) long. Get a longer or shorter board based on your size and height. Look for a board with a square or twin tail so it glides nicely on the sand.
Sandboards can be pricy, ranging from $150-$200 USD.
Get a sandboard with bindings if you plan to board standing up. Bindings are straps that are attached to the board and are designed to hold your feet in place when you are on the board. If you prefer to glide down the dunes on your stomach, you do not need a board with bindings.
Most surf shops, and some snowboard shops, will offer sandboards. Talk to a sale representative in the store to find the right board for you.
4Wear a helmet and protective gear. You can go fairly fast on a sandboard, especially if you find a good dune that slopes downhill. Make sure you always wear a helmet and elbow pads to protect your head and arms. You can also wear knee pads if you are riding the sandboard standing up.Trustworthy SourceUS National Park ServiceAgency responsible for the maintenance and promotion of national parks and monumentsGo to source
You should also wear sunscreen with at least 15 SPF, sunglasses, preferably with anti-glare, and long sleeves to protect yourself from the sun when you are out on the dunes.
Part 2 of 4:Finding Good Sandboarding Spots
1Visit a national park with unprotected sand dunes. Many national parks in desert areas or areas with a dry climate will have sand dunes. Sand dunes that are protected or off limits to the public will not be an option. You may need to travel to a specific national park that is known for its sand dunes to try sandboarding.Trustworthy SourceUS National Park ServiceAgency responsible for the maintenance and promotion of national parks and monumentsGo to source
Check online on national park websites to see if they have sand dunes you can access for sandboarding.
Contact sandboarding companies to ask them where you can sandboard in your area.
2Go to a desert or a beach with sand dunes. If you live close to a desert, find out if it has sand dunes that you are allowed to board on. Some beaches in warm climates will also have natural sand dunes you can use to try sandboarding. Contact your local government land agency or department to find out if you can access a nearby desert or beach for sandboarding.
Some tourist companies will offer desert or beach tours that include trying sandboarding on sand dunes. Sign up for a tour so you can try this fun activity in a safe, monitored environment.
3Head out to the sand dunes early in the morning to avoid the heat. Aim to be out on the dunes by 8-9 am so you can enjoy a few hours of sandboarding before the day heats up. Going to the sand dunes early can also help you avoid sandstorms and bad weather that tends to hit in the mid afternoon in desert areas.Trustworthy SourceUS National Park ServiceAgency responsible for the maintenance and promotion of national parks and monumentsGo to source
In the spring, it can get pretty windy in the afternoons around sand dunes. Avoid going out in the afternoons in the spring if you want to have a few good runs on the sandboard.
Part 3 of 4:Doing a First Run
1Wax the bottom of the sandboard. Use a small amount of sandboard wax on the bottom of the board. Rub the wax across the board from the back to the top and a small amount of the edges of the board. Take a handful of dry sand and rub it over the wax to help smooth it out. Apply sand to the board until it no longer sticks on the wax.
Slide the board back and forth in the sand, bottom down, so the board glides easily in the sand.
Do not use wet sand on the board, as this can cause your board to stick to the sand as you ride.
2Lie down on your belly for a less strenuous run. Make sure you are facing in the direction you are heading down the dune. Keep your arms and legs tucked into the center of the board.
You will need to use a sandboard with no bindings to be able to lie down on your belly comfortably.
3Stand with your feet in the bindings for a more challenging run. Sit down and strap your feet into the bindings. Make sure your dominant foot is in front of the board, pointing in the direction you are heading down the dune.
You should be able to rock back on your heels when you are strapped into the bindings.
4Start on a small dune with a flat starting point. Look for a dune with dry sand that has a 4 to 5 m (13 to 16 ft) slope. Make sure there are no shrubs, sticks, shells, or obstructions around the dune or at the bottom of the dune.
5Place your board downhill. If you are standing on the board, keep your weight centered and your knees slightly bent. Shift your weight forward and keep your hips and shoulders stacked on top of each other. Turn your head in the direction you are heading and keep your arms relaxed at your sides.
If you are lying on your belly, keep your body in the center of the board, with your legs tucked in and your chin up.
6Push off the dune to gain speed. If you are standing, tip your weight slightly forward and slide the board until it moves down the dune. If you are lying on your belly, use your hands to push yourself off the dune.
7Keep your weight centered as you ride down the dune. If you are standing, allow the board to pick up speed as you ride down the dune, keeping your back leg strong and your weight in the center of the board. If you are lying on your belly, keep your arms and legs tucked in and your chin up as you slide down the dune. Avoid leaning forward or shifting your weight too far forward as you ride.
Stretch your hands out to help you balance as you ride.
You should slow down as you reach the bottom of the dune and come to a gradual stop.
8Run back up the dune with your board to do a second run. There are usually no lifts to carry you back up to the dunes so you will have to run back up the dune on your own. Do another run on the same hill to get the hang of sandboarding. Then, challenge yourself to do a bigger dune or a dune with a bigger slope.
You may need to wax your board again between runs to keep it smooth and help it to slide on the sand.
Part 4 of 4:Practicing Stopping and Turning
1Practice slide stops. You will need to be standing upright on the board to try stopping and turning techniques. Start by finding a small dune with a slight slope. Place the board facing downhill. Put your weight in your heels and keep your toes up. Then, drop your toes down so the board lies flat and you slide slowly down the hill. Lift your toes and dig your heels in to stop.
You can also try this facing uphill. Repeat the same steps, lowering your heels down to slide backwards and then raising them up to slow down to a stop.
2Try doing a full stop at the bottom of a dune. Once you have mastered slide stops, you can try doing a full stop once you ride down a dune. Pick a dune that ends in a flat, straight line. As you come to the flat sand at the bottom of the dune, shift your weight to your front foot and slide your back leg outward. Move your shoulders and hips frontward so you are facing towards the bottom of the dune. Raise your toes and slide your back foot out until you come to a stop on the edge of your board.
Keep your weight even on both feet so you slide smoothly to a stop.
3Practice turning on a small dune. Begin by riding straight down a dune. Then, shift your weight forward and lift your back heel. Rotate your hips of where you would like to turn and let your body lean into the turn. Keep your hips and legs centered on the board as you lean. Make sure you give yourself time to turn, as it may not be a slow turn if you are in deep sand or sand that is slightly wet.
Practice turning in different directions by lifting your back heel and rotating your hips while you are on the board. It may take some practice to be able to turn at faster speeds or as you come down steeper dunes.