Are you an adrenaline junkie craving for your next fix? Something as out of the ordinary as sand boarding in the desert is what you need. The Namib Desert dunes in the Southern Africa country of Namibia offers a dune buggy ride, which we bet is a ton of fun!
Sandboarding is similar to snowboarding. It is more or less the same as snowboarding, but it takes place on sand dunes rather than snow-covered highlands. It is performed on skis instead of a board in the sandbanks around Swakopmund and Walvis Bay.
Sand-boarding is a fast growing activity around the world, and it is said to have originated in Egypt ages ago when people used to slide down sand dunes during festivals. In the early 2000s, the South African Sand boarding League had sand skiing competitions on the Matterhorn, which included dual slalom, boarder cross and big air events.
Namibia is the country with the least rainfall in sub-Saharan Africa, and is situated between the Namib and the Kalahari deserts, the country has a great variety of dunes along the coastline. The Namib Desert is a broad stretch of stony plains and dunes that stretch along Namibia’s entire shoreline with vast Namib Sand Sea along the central coast, just perfect for the sport.
There are two styles of sand boarding:
LIE DOWN STYLE
The Lie-down style:
The rider lies upon a specially made board, and slides headlong on the sand dunes. Here, you use a specially polished board to slide headfirst down a dune. Speeds of up to 80km/h can be reached.
STAND UP STYLE
The Stand-up style:
For this method, you use standard snowboarding equipment and you ‘surf’ your way down the dunes. It is advisable to have some snowboarding experience to you to have more fun, but it isn’t necessary.
These styles were introduced by Beth Sarro and Chris Jason, they both started taking holidaymakers sand boarding on Masonite boards and later imported a few snowboards which prompted the stand-up sand boarding.
The boards range from 100cm to 160cm depending on if the pilot is looking for air, tricks or carves. The bottom is often waxed, usually with a paraffin-based sand board wax, before it set out. Afterwards, the bottom part of the board may have a lightly sanded look to it, and tends to polish smoother and glossier with use. Most terrain sand boards are composed of hardwood ply while ‘full-size’ sand boards are wooden, fibreglass, and plastic composite.
The fundamentals of the sport are easy to pick up making it easy for beginners to enjoy. And a lot of the trips offer varieties of dunes to choose from with different gradients.
So, if you are bold, and you want to get good memories in desert adventure tours, then let’s go sliding on the dunes!
Video courtesy of World Nomad: Travel Namibia – Sandboarding In Swakopmund