All about the Sport and Some Safety Tips
Sandboarding is truly a fringe sport. This isn't the case due to a lack in popularity, but rather because of geography. Unless you frequent the deserts of Arabia, or make a living in the central territories of Australia, tall dunes themselves are somewhat rare. Many dunes are thus inaccessible, while many more are restricted. But for the sand dunes that are both accessible and open to the public, there is an opportunity to attempt a sport that goes hand in hand with the thrill seeking buggy crowd as well as the curious opportunist.
Sandboarding or sledding, simply put, is the sand equivalent of winter season snow boarding and sledding. Despite the similarities, the two sports do have some important differences.
You can sit down on almost any sandboard. Though some are better for this than others. Our boards are good for both standing and sitting. If you ever decide to buy your own board you will definitely want to know what you're getting. A lot of that decision making will stem from what the intended use is. Slip Face Sandboards is a good place to start looking at options!
Sandboards are generally a lot thicker than snow boards. And instead of laminated thin sheets, sandboard more often are pressed pine or solid wood boards that have been steamed and shaped. Sand has a friction element to it that creates drag. This along with any objects tendency to sink into sand, makes a thinner board bury itself in a hurry. A thicker board stays on top of the sand and allows the boarder to worry more about how to steer rather than how to dig themselves out!
Under the Board Wax
Wax is absolutely necessary to a successful sandboarding experience. whether its natural bees wax or a synthetic variety, wax is what what keeps heat and friction at bay, allowing for a smooth and fast run down the dune. Make sure to wipe any sticking sand off the board before applying the wax. A good even coat will last about five runs depending on the temperature of the sand. Buying a dedicated sandboard wax is a good way to make sure you are using the right material.
Instead of using the bindings commonly seen in snowboarding. Sandboards typically have simple Velcro style foot straps, a style that is more open and comfortable for the summer months. Another option is to stand on the board surfing style without any straps. This is best done with grip tape such as the kind used by skateboarders. We prefer the grip tape for kids beginners when they go along on a tour. Just like in snowboarding, having yourself anchored to a board can cause injuries for the inexperienced. We find it much better for guests to be able to jump off the board in a moments notice. Once more experience is gained, add the straps back to the board for better steering and control.
Stay low, lean back!! It's as simple as that for starters. A freshly waxed board will go faster than you think. if you crouch low on the board in a surfers stance, and keep most of your weight on your up hill foot, everything will be fine. The worst mistake new boarders make is standing up too tall and leaning forward when they get nervous. This is the worst thing you can do! Always keep that low center of gravity. And if you need to jump off your board, fall back or to the side. Otherwise a mouth full of sand is the inevitable result.