What Is The Extreme Sport of Sandboarding?

morocco, algeria, desert-2302244.jpg

What Is Sandboarding? 

Sandboarding is the sport of riding a board while standing on dunes, hills, or other sandy surfaces. It is essentially the same as snowboarding and surfboarding, except for being done on dry land. Experienced riders use their skills to surf down slick desert dunes and maneuver around obstacles such as rocks and sticks.

Quick History

The first recorded instance of sandboarding was in the early 1970s when a group of American soldiers stationed in Saudi Arabia decided to try it out. They used makeshift boards and rode down the sand dunes near their base.

In the early 1990s, a company called Sandboard SXSW began mass-producing sandboards and selling them commercially. This helped popularize the sport and make it more accessible to people outside the Middle East.

Where Can You Go Sandboarding? 

Some popular destinations include Peru’s Huacachina Oasis, Namibia’s Sossusvlei Desert, and China’s Gobi Desert. In the United States, some popular locations include White Sands National Monument near El Paso, Texas; Little Sahara Recreation Area near Waynoka, Oklahoma; Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area near Brawley, California; and Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area near Florence, Oregon. 

How Much Do Sandboards Cost?

Depending on which type of sandboard you get, you should expect to spend between $100 and $400 dollars. Lower-end boards are great for beginners as they come with a much more affordable price tag.

Higher-end boards usually have additional features, such as adjustable leather foot straps that offer more control when riding, which might justify the increased cost. Investing in a higher-end board might be beneficial if you’re looking to make the most of your sandboarding experience.

How Do I Learn To Sandboard? 

As with any new sport or hobby, safety should always be your first priority when learning how to sandboard. It’s best to start by taking lessons from an experienced instructor who can show you proper form and technique and provide guidance on how to stay safe while riding dunes.

Once you have mastered basic techniques such as turning and stopping safely, it’s time to take your skills out onto larger dunes with bigger drops. Most instructors also offer rentals so that you can skip purchasing a board before giving it a try and seeing if it’s right for you.

Skills Needed For Success

Expert at Balancing Yourself on The Board: This is critical, as even the slightest shift in weight can throw you off balance and cause you to fall.

Strong Leg Muscles: This is important for two reasons: first, you will need to be able to generate enough power to get up the hills, and second, you will need to be able to keep your legs from shaking when going down a steep hill. Strong leg muscles will also help you absorb any shocks from bumps along the way.

Good Hand-Eye Coordination: This is important for steering the board and ensuring you stay on course. If you are not coordinated, you are likely to veer off course and end up in the sand instead of on the board.

How Fast Can You Go?

It is possible to reach speeds of up to 40 miles per hour (64 kilometers per hour) on a sandboard. If you are using a standard sandboard with no special equipment or features to help with speed, then your top speed will be determined by how steep the slope is that you are sliding down.

Is It Possible To Use a Snowboard While Sandboarding?

It’s possible to sandboard using a snowboard, but it’s definitely not recommended. Snowboards are designed to glide on snow, not sand. The bottom of a snowboard is usually smooth, which helps it glide across the snow. However, the bottom of a sandboard is usually rough or textured, which helps it grip the sand.

Are There Sandboarding Events?

There are sandboarding events held all over the world, from Australia to the United States. Many of these events are organized by companies that offer sandboarding lessons and tours. Some of the most popular sandboarding destinations include Death Valley in California and Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado.

Difference Between Sand Sledding & Sandboarding

Sandboarding is similar to snowboarding or surfing in that you ride down a slope on a board. Sandboards are usually made of wood or fiberglass and have a wax surface to help you slide down the dune.

While Sand sledding is more like tobogganing in that, you ride down the dune on a sled. Sleds can be made of plastic, metal, or even wood. They often have runners or skis to help you glide down the sand.


Sandboarding is a great way to experience the desert without hiking for hours. It’s also a great workout, as you’ll use your legs and core muscles to stay balanced on the board. If you’re looking for an adrenaline-pumping activity, sandboarding is definitely for you.