What is a Sandboard?
Board: Plastic Laminate and wood.
Binding: Neoprene Rubber
What is Sandboarding?
Sandboarding is said to have originated in Egypt in the time of the Pharoahs where they slid down dunes on large pieces of wood. Now the sport has evolved with man kind over the centuries and although many countries take claim to originating it the first sandboarders were Egyption. Australia, America, Peru, Chili, Germany, France, Namibia and even Japan have really taken the sport to the next level with tours, competitions and places to rent in abundance. However it must be pointed out that it is the progressive and very natural thoughts of many youths around the globe that it makes sense to find fun and adventure by sliding down big dunes on something. So we prefer to to give claim to all young and aspiring youth with an imagination and desire to slide as the founders of the Modern sport of sandboarding. The rush of nature zipping by, trees, rock outcrops natural formations, fallen logs and the immersion in the natural environment as obstacles and interesting features make the rider feel a sense of being combined with nature yet with the fear of speed to bring about the rush that keeps sandboarders and leisurely sand sledders coming back for more. Regardless of its origin the word Sand Boarding somewhat explains itself. Sliding on sand you ride a board. You may sit, stand or lie down on a board which is usually made of wood or fibreglass but even metal carbon boards exist and then slide down a sand dune or mountain made of sand. Many people use what they have at hand; pieces of wood, maybe a body board, surfboards and there are even cardboard riders but the true modern day and serious sandboard sport with real control of the board, edges for carving and jumping and tricks is best experienced with a real sandboard and bindings.
Sandboarding is a "sideways riding" sport like skateboarders who stand sideways on the board. So people who Surf, Skateboard, Snowboard and Wakeboard will be able to sandboard the same day they try. If you are new to sideways riding sports it may take you a day to get on your feet and ride properly with a few turns but it has been our experience that sandboarding is surely the easiest out of all the above sports. And if you really have trouble you can always sit down! It is especially popular in Peru, Chili, Japan, France , Germany , South America , United States and Australia where there are competitions that offer cash prizes and may evolve into a pro circuit. With some big sponsors like Red Bull, Burton and DC Shoes we know that Sandboarding can appeal to mass audiences as has been shown in the many TV spots that sandboarding shows up in.
One of the best aspects of sandboarding for most youths is it's inexpensive cost to start riding and the freedom of the places to do it.
Unlike other sports you will rarely, if not ever have to pay to sandboard. Although in America there is a great Sandboard Park that does require fees.
In most cases to sandboard you only need a board, a dune and some wax and your ready to go.
Wax is applied to the base to help reduce the extreme friction and heat created between the base and the sand.
Some people also use spray on floor polish but this can contain CFCs and chemicals that most authorities frown upon being left in the sand. We suggest using a biodegradable environmentally friendly wax.
Most sandboarders wear only shorts and a t-shirt and depending on the style of board with no shoes. Having bare feet really gives you a sense of freedom and one with nature and we prefer to keep sandboarding with as minimal amount of requirements possible. After all large boots are heavy and costly. For large mountains there is no choice but to wear fully protective boots and clothing but for Beach Boarding we suggest a light and bare foot binding.
Snowboards that are made into sandboards have snowboard bindings and so boots are needed. Sandboarding here in Japan some snowboard style sandboards are used heavily in competition. We have a full blown competition in Japan each year and welcome all visitors to enter.
Age, sex and skill level is not so much an issue for sandboarding as amateurs or pros can both find ways to enjoy it at all levels.
Lastly one of the best things about Sandboarding is it isn't as dangerous as other big mountain sports because even if you take a big fall, it's just sand and quite soft, much softer than an icy trail. We have never had any serious injuries in over 20 years of experience and we suggest you give sandboarding a try whereever it may be.
Some good places to start your sandboarding career would be:
New Zealand www.nzonline.org.nz
Sandboarding is the perfect off-season sport for those looking to keep in shape during summer whilst still wanting to do those snowboard maneuvres. 360's, 720's, back flips, rodeos, Switch Blind 180s are all possible on a sandboard with enough speed and the right kicker.
Snowboarders can quickly make the transition to sanboarding. The board is light and ready for snowboarders who prefer jumping and freestyle runs. Riding a sandboard is like riding powder so you centre your gravity on your trailing foot. There are also no chair lifts so back country boarders are well suited to sandboarding. As well as surfers looking for a ride on a flat day while keeping up their fitness levels. As the amount of dedicated snowboarders in Japan increases, sandboarding will become more and more popular as THE off season training sport.
We hope you would also like to try sandboarding and we'd be glad to get you started.