Sandboarding: The Strangest Sport You Definitely Need to Try
Sandboarding is a boardsport and extreme sport 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 mechanized 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.
Sandboarding in Michigan at the Silver Lakes Sand Dunes
|NEAREST CITY = Mears, Michigan
The dunes at Silver Lake may very well be the best location on the great lakes for sandboarding. The sand is fast and clean, easily accessible and very close to Mears for everything you need to have a great visit. The Sand Box, locate right on the main street in Mears, offers sandboard rentals along with gifts and souvenirs for the tourist.
This scenic area around Silver Lake, is one of Michigan’s most beautiful stretches of water. Often called “Michigan’s Golden Coast”, there’s plenty to do here. Touring, shopping, offroading, sand buggying and sandboarding are all on the menu.
Parking at the trail head also offers restrooms and water. It’s an out of the way park but seems to get a reasonable amount of visitors. The hike back to the dunes is not long but still a bit of a trek. You can see where the dune is advancing toward the parking lot itself from the original trail to Mt. Baldy. The park service has fenced off that area so the trail can no longer be used. The old trail however, is only a short 60 foot hike to the top of the dune.
This location has a spectacular view of Lake Michigan as well as Silver Lake with the two bodies of water only separated by the dunes themselves. There are beginner and advanced slopes to ride and the sand is boarder friendly. You will also find steep faces that drop right down into the water at both lakes as well as chute runs and trails.
The Dunes Waterfront Resort, located on North Shore Road – Mears, is right on the edge of Silver Lake and has a full view of the lake and dunes. It’s about as close to the dunes as you can get with out camping and has all the amenities. We recommend it!
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10 Best Sandboarding Destinations in the world
So are you a brave-heart? Try testing your courage by running down the slopes of a sand dune on a sand board in Peru. The South American country boasts of having several high sand dunes. The largest sand dune in the world is Duna Grande in Ica, Peru. Apart from Ica sand-boarding is also practiced in Arequipa and Nasca area of South Peru. Most of the sand dunes in Peru are treacherously steep and needs a lot of expertise and guts to sail down the incline of the dunes on a sand-board.
2. Sandboarding Destinations in Vietnam
The Asian country displays its sand boarding culture in the Mui Ne dunes. This place of the Earth is much less popular for this sport compared to its other counterparts elsewhere. Sand boarding practices here are not regulated by any authority and locals turn into guides. It will be wise for travelers to surf here in a group as locals asking for tips and getting violent when their demand is not met have been reported by some travel bloggers.
The fascinating island country of Japan is unsung for this sport yet it hosts some incredible sand dunes of the world. Japan is a tiny Asian country that lacks nothing be it rare technology, amazing nature or not-so-popular sports. The Tattori Sand dune is the largest sand dune in Japan and spans along the coast of the Sea Of Japan. Local companies teach sand boarding in the area in the months of April-November. This joyous sport can also be enjoyed in the Chiba and Shimoda dunes of the country.
4. Australia’ Sandboarding Destinations
A well known place to sand-boarders Australia has a wide collection of sand dunes. In South Australia we can find the little Sahara on Kangaroo Island where naturally occurring sand dunes cover roughly two square kilometers. Western Australia flaunts of the Lucky Bay sand dunes where sand-boarding tours are conducted by trained guides on all days except Christmas, New Year and Boxing Day. The Stockton dunes near Sydney and sand dunes in the region of Tasmania also attracts adventure seekers year long.
Do you want to sand-board down the slope of a young active volcano? Visit Nicaragua and your unique wish would be fulfilled! This experience requires the adrenaline junkie to climb up the Cerro Negro active volcano under the guidance of an expert. Ski down the steep slopes of the volcanic mountain on your sand-board after you finish exploring the summit. Several companies operating from the colonial town of Leon provides arrangement for this activity.
6. Chile’ Sandboarding Destinations
The Atacama desert provides ground for several ideal sand-boarding spots in the Latin American country. The entire north of the country is popular for this sport. In Chile is Cerro Iman where annual sand boarding competition is held. The numerous available fast routes down the hill makes this place perfect for hosting the event. The Valle de la Muerte is the place best known in Chile for this sport. Cerro dragon, Medanoso, Punta de Choros are some of the many other places famous among sand-boarders.
7. United Arab Emirates
The city of Dubai yet again surprises us with its versatility. The desert in Dubai provides a perfect spot for sandboarding and the region also has a sound administration over this sport with several tour operators ready to offer you professional help. In order to enjoy the grandeur of the desert one need to set off early in the morning from the city to the dunes.
The Namib Desert sees quite a lot of sand-boarding activities throughout the year. The world’s highest sand dune Sossusvlei is present here and to board or ski down the dune one needs a special permission. The Swakopmund and Walvis Bay are popular for this sport too. Many Adventure Sport companies deal exclusively with sand boarding and extend out their expertise to the travelers.
9. United States Of America
Finally the sport got its well deserved honour in the Sandmaster Park in Florence, Oregaon. It is the world’s first sandboard park. The largest expanse of coastal sand dunes in North America is found in this region as they stretch from Florence to Coos Bay. North Carolina, Colorado, California and Arizona can boast of several sand boarding spots. The culture of sand boarding in the States is comparatively much more advanced than that in other countries.
The Europe’s only place where sand-boarding is offered is the man made sand dunes of Hirschau in Germany. During summer time the sport can be enjoyed here. The place also hosts Sand-boarding World’s Champions.
Rumour has it that Pharaoh of the bygone era used to sand board down the steep sand slopes of Egypt on wooden planks. There is no official seal to this story but Egypt is considered the birthplace of this fascinating sport. Glide down the Great Sand Sea near Siwa which is considered one of the best sandboarding destinations.