Sand-boarding is becoming the next big thing. Like snow-boarding, but you’ll be carving down sand dunes instead of snowy mountains. You’ll be first hiking up the dunes, or climbing in a buggy instead of taking a ski lift. It’s no less exhilarating and you don’t have to wait until the right season to have a go.
Ancient Egyptians first sled down the desert sand dunes on wooden boards more than 2,000 years ago. More recently, around 800 A.D., the Chinese. In modern times, sand-boarding picked-up in the late 1960s. Now gaining popularity in Australia, Japan, Peru and parts of Europe. For years, travellers have been descending on the sandy dunes of Ica and Nazca in Peru. The highest is Cerro Blanco (or White Hill) which stretches a staggering 2,000 metres.
There are some stark differences in the equipment used. Sandboards are much harder than snowboards, more durable and made from a Formica base, with a hard ply-wood top. Some come with bindings to strap your feet into, others come without. These are particularly useful if you’re in the learning stages and will likely fall. Aficionados apply a wax to the base to help gliding. On deep sand, you may be able to use a normal snowboard, through it’s usually easier to rent a board when you arrive.
To see sand-boarding at its best, visit the Copa Sandboarding Cup near Paracas every year. Alternatively, the Pan-American Sandboarding Challenge near Prainha Beach in Brazil every July.
Want to try sandboarding yourself? Call one of our travel experts on +44 (0) 407 1478 to start planning your sandboarding adventure or email us here.