Sand Boarding in the U.S.
Sand boarding continued to gain momentum going into the 1990s. People started to use different designs and waxes, which helped the boards gain more speed. Sand boarding also became a popular activity for snow boarders to perform. Snowboarding is difficult to perform in the summer or spring months, so sand boarding is another similar activity for snow boarders to perform. Sandboard Magazine and online publications started to surface in the mid-1990s. This created a lot of publicity for the sport. Sand boarding contests and clubs began forming all over the world, particularly in places such as Australia, South Africa, Europe and South America. Some of the major sand boarding competitions are the Sandboarding World Championship, Pan-American Sandboarding Challenge and the Sand Sports Super Show. Sand Boarding in the US is almost obsolete. Two states that seem to really be involved in this sport are Oregon and California.
Sand Master Park, located in Florence, Oregon USA is the world’s first sandboard park with 40 acres of private sculpted sand dunes and a full-time pro shop. Sand Master Park was opened in the year 2000 by sandboard pioneer, Lon Beale, and introduces sandboarding to about 25,000 people each year. Dune Riders International is the governing body for competitive sandboarding world wide and sanctions three events each season at Sand Master Park.
Modern sandboarding was popularized in the U.S. by the efforts of Jack Smith and Gary Fluitt in California in the early 1980s.
Sand Boarding in Utah
Utah has always been known for having the “Greatest Snow on Earth”. An amazing revenue source for Utah with all the travelers we get for the ski and snowboarding sports. Utah also has some of the most Beautiful Sand Dunes in the US. Two of our favorites are Little Sahara, and Corral Pink. We actually have five sand dunes in the state of Utah. You can even sandboard in the winter if you head down by St. George and go to Sand Hollow.
Although we have seen Oregon and California become big players in the sport of Sandboarding I think Utah has all the room in the world to make it just as popular here. Help us by spreading the word.
Can I use my snowboard for sandboarding?
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 for this sport. To glide in the sand, the board bottom is waxed before each run. Afterwards, the bottom of the board may have a lightly sanded look to it, while ‘Race Base’ tends to polish smoother and glossier with use. Most terrain sandboards are composed of hardwood ply, while ‘full-size’ sandboards are a wood, fiber glass, and plastic composite. The Guinness World Record for Speed on a Sandboard is 51 mph. Unofficial speeds of 60 mph have reportedly been clocked.
Places outside Utah I can sandboard?
Some of our favorites is Glamis, Dumont, and Pismo Beach, but I honestly have to say that I like Little Sahara and Corral Pink more than any of them.
- Kobuk Sand Dunes – Kobuk Valley National Park – Ambler Artic County
- Ehrenberg Sandbowl – Ehrenberg
- Hot Well Dunes – Safford
- Parker Sand Dunes – Parker
- Yuma Sand Dunes – Yuma
- Buttercup – Glamis – (South of Glamis, past Gordon’s Well (freeway hill), across Hwy. 8, smaller dunes and fewer people.)
- Carmel Beach – Carmel – (Small dune but beautiful location. The sand is so good that the boards run on gentle slopes.)
- Death Valley National Park – Stovepipe Wells – (small dunes – no off-road)
- Dillon Beach – Bodega Bay – (Good run located in an RV park”)
- Dumont Dunes – Baker – (455 ft (139 m). Home of the “World Back Flip Record”)
- Gordon’s Well – Glamis
- Guadalupe Dunes – Guadalupe
- Ibex Dunes – Saratoga Springs
- Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area – Glamis
- Indian Rocks – Lake Los Angeles – (private dune bank for films)
- Kelso Sand Dunes – Baker – (600 ft (180 m) – no off-road – pink feldspar)
- Marina State Beach Marina – (very limited area but extreme runs!)
- Montana de Oro State Park – Los Osos – (now closed to sandboarding)
- Fort Ord – Seaside – (small dunes, 40–50 ft.)
- White Water – Palm Springs
- Manilla Dunes – Grassland Community – Arcata/Eureka (very small – no offroad)
- Panamint Dunes – Panamint Valley
- Pismo Beach Dunes – Pismo Beach
- Point Mugu Sand Bank – Pacific Coast Hwy. – Pt. Mugu
- Pudding Creek – Fort Bragg (small dune at the creek’s mouth and Pacific Ocean)
- Rice Valley Dunes – Death Valley
- Saline Valley Dunes – Death Valley
- Salmon Creek – Bodega Bay (small coastal dune on Sonoma State Beach)
- Ten Mile Beach Dunes – Cleone (small to medium size with nice sand)
- The Pit – Sand City (easy access – huge bowl right on the beach)
- Superstition OHV Park – El Centro – (The Sand Dam – steep runs and jumps)
- Tomales Bay
- Jockey’s Ridge State Park – Nags Head North Carolina
Events held for sandboarding?
Sandboarding World Championship – The SWC has held annually in Hirschau (until 2007), Germany at Monte Kaolino, currently also the site of Europe’s largest sand hill. Riders can board down dunes over 300 feet (91 m) tall, riding into a water landing site at the base of the hill. It has a sand lift, the only one in the world. Events include slalom (akin to snowboarding’s parallel giant slalom), freestyle (similar to freestyle snowboarding) and sandboard cross (cf. snowboard cross).
Sand Master Jam – Annual sandboarding event that takes place in Florence, Oregon at Sand Master Park. This event occurs in late spring or early summer. The Sand Master Jam has been held since 1996. (Please check back on our site for actual dates)
Pan-American Sandboarding Challenge – This event takes place in July in Aquiraz, Ceara, Brazil at Prainha’s Beach. It features amateurs and professionals who wish to compete in freestyle and jump events.
Sand Sports Super Show – Annual outdoor event for all sand sports, including sandboarding. This three-day event takes place in September in Costa Mesa, California at the Orange County Fair and Expo Center.
Do I have to wax my board?
- Before each ride, apply a light coat of board wax to the base of the sandboard – this is the glossy white or black laminate that makes the board slide on the sand. Depending on sand and weather conditions, you may use a specific blend of wax for cold, warm or hot sand temperatures. If you don’t wax your board you will have a much harder time getting speed down the hill and the sand will eventually sand your board away. The wax protects your board from this hard wear and tear on the base.