Here in Michigan we’re surrounded by amazing sand dunes that seem to rise up out of the Great Lakes. Many of us use these dunes for sledding or snowboarding in the winter, but they don’t get the love they deserve in the summer months! Why not hit the dunes with a board and try sandboarding?
What is Sandboarding?
Imagine snowboarding in a pair of shorts on a hot, sunny day! Welcome to sandboarding! Starting at the top of a dune, you strap on a board and speed down while performing jumps, flips, and other tricks! This sport originated in the ancient deserts of Egypt and started gaining popularity in the 1970s. Today you can find man-made sand parks all over the country, but nothing beats a natural dune for an epic experience!
For sandboarding, all you really need are a sandboard and some protection. Let's get started!
Don’t just get out your snowboard and run down the dune with it. Sandboards are wider than snowboards and are made of different materials. Snowboards are generally made out of fiberglass, which works great on snow, but doesn’t get much speed on sand. Sandboards are typically made of Formica and laminex. These materials allow the board to slide on the sand without getting snagged by the rough texture of it. It’s also much lighter which helps it go faster!
There’s not much you need to worry about as far as protection when sandboarding on soft sand. But you will want to cover your eyes with a pair of goggles to keep sand out of them. Also, wear a helmet. Since sandboarding is usually done in warm weather, bring plenty of water and wear sunscreen!
Events to Check Out
There are plenty of sandboarding events that will thrill you! Go ahead and check some of these out to see some of the pros in action!
Sand Master Jam
This event is held the third weekend of July in Florence, OR, at the Sand Master Park for both professionals and amateurs! This park offers lessons and rents gear so it’s a great place to try the sport for the first time.
Sandboarding World Championship
This event takes place in Hirshau, Germany, and attracts sandboarders from all over the world to compete on the largest sand dune in the world. It even has a lift that takes competitors to the top of the dune! The different events that take place are slalom, freestyle, and sandboard cross.
International Sandboarding Competition
Back in Egypt where it all started is the International Sandboarding Competition. This event also brings in sandboarders from all over the world to compete for the title of the best sandboarder in the world! What better place to hit the sand than in the place where it all began?
This sport is one that is still growing in popularity and can be a ton of fun. The best place we know of here in Michigan to try it out is in Silver Lake. There are tons of dunes to ride and shops all over that will rent out the equipment. Go give it a try and let us know how you liked it in the comments below.