Sandboarding in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Sandboarding is a boardsport and extreme sport[1] similar to snowboarding that involves riding across or down a sand dune while standing on a board, either with both feet strapped in or while standing loose, without bindings. Sandboarding can also be practised sitting down or lying on the belly or the back. It typically involves a sandboard, although it is also possible to use sleds, surfboards, a skateboard deck, or snowboards.

Sandboarding has adherents throughout the world, but is most prevalent in desert areas or coastal areas with beach dunes. It is less popular than snowboarding, partly because it is very difficult to build a mechanised ski lift on a sand dune, meaning participants must walk or ride a dune buggy or all-terrain vehicle back to the top of the dune. On the other hand, dunes are normally available year-round as opposed to ski resorts, which are seasonal.


The sandboard base is much harder than a snowboard, and is built mostly out of formica or laminex with special base materials now being made, that will slide on wet and dry sand. To glide in the sand, the board bottom is often waxed, usually with a paraffin-based sandboard wax, before a run. Afterwards, the bottom of the board may have a lightly sanded look to it. Most terrain sandboards are composed of hardwood ply, while 'full-size' sandboards are a wood, fiber glass, and plastic composite. However, a snowboarding base will sometimes work on steeper dunes as well.[2]


Sandboarding is practised worldwide, with locations available on every continent except Antarctica. The World's Greatest Sandboarding Destinations lists sandboarding destinations in over 65 territories.[3] A global sandboarding locations map is also available on[4]

Sandboarding in Israel

Drorbamidbar has sandboarding in Israel at Negev Desert not far from Ashalim in Ramat HaNegev.

Sandboarding in Australia

Little Sahara on Kangaroo Island in South Australia is a sand dune system roughly covering two square kilometres (0.77 sq mi). The highest dune is approximately 70 metres (230 ft) above sea level.

Lucky Bay, about 30 kilometres (19 mi) south of Kalbarri, in Western Australia, is another sandboarding hotspot. Sandboarding Tours are offered in the area.

The Stockton dunes, 2.3 hours north from Sydney. Stockton Bight Sand Dunes system is up to one kilometre (0.62 mi), 32 kilometres (20 mi) long, and covers an area of over 4,200 hectares (10,000 acres; 42,000,000 m2). The massive sand dunes climb up to 40 metres (130 ft) high. Located only minutes from the centre of Nelson Bay, it is the largest sand dune system in Australia.[5]

Sandboarding in Africa

Woman sandboarding in Africa

Sandboarding sites in Egypt include the Great Sand Sea near Siwa Oasis واحة سيوة in Egypt's Western Desert, the Qattaniya القطانية sand dunes (1.5 h drive on/off-road from Cairo), El Safra الصفراء and Hadudah هدودة dunes midway between Dahab and St. Catherine in Sinai.

Namibia features sand-skiing, which is similar to sandboarding, performed with skis instead of a board. Most of the sand-skiing is performed in the Namib desert dunes around Swakopmund and Walvis Bay. With a special permit it is sometimes possible to sand-ski at the world's highest dunes in Sossusvlei.[6] Henrik May, a German living in Namibia for some 10 years, set a Guinness World Record in speed sand-skiing on 6 June 2010. He reached a speed of 92.12 km/h (57.24 mph).[7]

After some pioneers like Derek Bredenkamp who boarded Swakopmund around 1974, commercial operators in South Africa began offering sandboarding to tourists in 1994.[8] In 2000 the Sandboarding South Africa league was established. Between 2002 and 2004 the South African Sandboarding League held competitions on the Matterhorn Dune located between Swakopmund and Walvis bay. Competition events included dual slalom, boarder cross and big air events. In 2005 and 2006 Alter Action held sandboarding competitions at Matterhorn but the competitions no longer formed part of the South African Sandboarding League during those years. The league collapsed, then the sport was revived again in 2007 with weekly sandboarding sessions in and around Cape Town and Gauteng.

Sandboarding in the U.S.

Sand Master Park, located in Florence, Oregon USA is a dedicated sandboarding park, featuring 200 acres (81 ha; 810,000 m2) of sculpted sand dunes and a full-time pro shop. Dune Riders International is the governing body for competitive sandboarding worldwide and sanctions two events each season at Sand Master Park. Sand Master Park is also the factory outlet for the largest sandboard company in the world, Venomous Sandboards.

Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, near Kanab, Utah, permits sandboarding on roughly 2,000 acres of sand dunes within its boundaries.[9] Utah also contains sand dunes near Salt Lake City, Lake Powell, and Moab. Additionally, the company Slip Face Sandboards is based in Provo, Utah.

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve near Alamosa, Colorado has sandboarding on what it calls the tallest dunes in North America.[10] Sandboarding and skiing are permitted anywhere on the dunefield away from vegetated areas.[11][12]

Sandboarding in South America

Peru is known for having large sand dunes in Ica, some reaching up to 2 km (1.2 miles). Duna Grande in Ica is the largest sand dune in the world. The Copa Sandboarding Perú (Peru – Sandboarding Cup) has been held near Paracas every year since 2009. Since 2017 the Sandboard World Cup is hosted in the region of Ica by InterSands. [13] There are also great dunes near the capital city (Lima) in Chilca.

In Chile, sandboarding is practiced throughout the north of the country, including the Medanoso dunes in Copiapo (where the Dakar rally takes place), Puerto Viejo beach in Caldera, excellent dunes in Iquique, and some near Viña del Mar.

Sandboarding in Central America

Nicaragua is home to Cerro Negro, the youngest volcano in Central America. Since it has steep slopes and volcanic sand, it is possible to sandboard down this active volcano.

Sandboarding in Europe

Sandboarding in Greece

A rather small sand mountain is the Monte Kaolino in Hirschau, Germany. Equipped with a 120-metre (390 ft) lift, it was the host of the annual Sandboarding World Championships until 2007.

The Dune of Pilat in France is an hours' drive from Bordeaux; it is the tallest dune in Europe, measuring 3 kilometres across, 500 metres wide and between 100 and 115 metres tall depending on the year.[14]

Amothines is a small desert five kilometres (3 mi) from Katalakkos village in Limnos, Greece. There are many sand dunes there, where people can practice sandboarding.

Sandboarding in the United Kingdom

Sand dunes in Holywell, England

Wales is home to the village of Merthyr Mawr that is 2+12 miles (4 km) from the town of Bridgend, the village is close to a beach and it is home to the "Big Dipper", the second largest sand dune in Europe.[15]

Holywell, Cornwall is also home to a beach with a complex of sand dunes; in the summer and during peak times, local shops that cater for beach goers also sell sandboards.

The Braunton Burrows sand dunes on the Devon coast, was the filming location for where Alex Bird became the first sandboarder to be towed by a car on British shores.[16]

In the North East region of the United Kingdom, there is a small beach at Seaton Sluice where people can sandboard. This is a good alternative to sledding, as there is insufficient snow to support sledding there, even though the UK has a rather cold climate, with chilly winters and cool summers.


InterSands is a Swiss- found organisation to help the development of sandboarding. It supports sandboarding schools internationally with their social projects of teaching children Sandboarding and Sandskiing. Through the sport the children learn about the importance of a healthy lifestyle as well as the impact of their actions towards each other and the environment.

Other than that, InterSands is the host of the Sandboard World Cup.



  1. ^ "What is sandboarding and how does it work?".
  2. ^ (16 April 2021). "Sandboarding: Facts and Figures". Surf The Sand. Retrieved 30 June 2021.
  3. ^ Soley, Jack (2022). The World's Greatest Sandboarding Destinations. p. 200. ISBN 9798360473794.
  4. ^ "List of Sandboarding Locations Worldwide".
  5. ^ "Port Stephens Visitors Information Centre". Archived from the original on 16 February 2011. Retrieved 24 March 2011.
  6. ^ "Xtreme Spots". Xtreme Spots. Retrieved 26 August 2015.
  7. ^ "The World Record", Ski Namibia, Retrieved 5 January 2013
  8. ^ "Sandboarding".
  9. ^ ""Sandboarding at Coral Pink Sand Dunes"". Retrieved 21 March 2022.
  10. ^ "Park Always Open - No Reservations Needed to Visit". US National Park Service. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
  11. ^ "Sandboarding and Sand Sledding". US National Park Service. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
  12. ^ "Where to go sandboarding in the US". Retrieved 13 August 2020.
  13. ^ Peru's top sandboarders compete tomorrow in Paracas, Living Peru. Sports. 26-11-2010. Retrieved 11-26-2010
  14. ^ Soley, Jack (2022). The Sandboarding Book. p. 111. ISBN 9798498830896.
  15. ^ "A sleepy village in Wales is home to the second largest sand dune in Europe". Retrieved 5 April 2019.