Snowboarding is super fun—but what do you do when summer rolls around and the warmer weather takes over? Simple. You migrate to the desert, switch out the snowboard for a sandboard, and ride the sand dunes almost the same way you snowboard. Looking to expand your extreme sports knowledge and break out new an exciting skills and experiences?
The closest sport to sandboarding is definite snowboarding. The techniques and gear are quite similar, but there are a few different differences as the sport of sandboarding has become more and more developed. Both use a waxed board, heel-toe edge techniques to maneuver—but investing an in a solid sandboarding board would be in your best interest if you plan on sandboarding more than once.
If you’ve got snowboarding skills, you’ll more than halfway there. Sandboard athletes will need to keep their weight on their back foot to increase speed, unlike their snowboarding counterparts who keep the driving power on their front foot. Pros say it’s more of a mix of snowboarding and surfing, as the sand almost feels like water. You’ll need to take a few practice runs in order to get the feel for it and learn the intricacies of sandboarding.
Another difference between snowboarding and sandboarding is the clothes you wear. If you’re sandboarding, snowboarding clothes will be by far way too warm. All you really need is long pants along with long-sleeved shirts, which protect you from the scorching sun and from the sand if you should fall.
Ready to grab your board and take a trip to the best locations for sanding boarding in the US? You’ll be surprised at how many sandboarding locations are located within America, so let’s go!
Jockey’s Ridge State Park, North Carolina
Most of the biggest and best dunes are located in the West, but it would be a crime not to include the Outer Banks of North Carolina’s. The tallest and best for sandboarding is Jockey’s Ridge, it’s not only the tallest withing the Outer Banks region, but the tallest on the East Coast of the US!
Monahans Sandhills State Park, Texas
This state park is an epic location for sandboarding. The Sandhills park encompasses 3,840-acres, so there’s no worry of not having enough space to practice. Monahans Sandhills State Park is a part of a sand belt that reaches from Texas to New Mexico—over 200 miles long! Attracting sandborders from all over, its dunes are said to reach over 70 feet high, making this an growing location for experienced and beginner sandboarders. You can rent boarders from the visitor center, so no worries if you can’t bring your own.
Coral Pink Sand Dunes, Utah
Utah is another great location, with over 3,730 acres of uninterrupted sand dunes. Besides, it’s massive size, what makes Coral Pink Sand Dunes so different? Hint: it’s in the name.
The reddish hue of the sand is iconic to this sandboard location. No, it’s not dye—over the course of thousands of years, wind eroded billions (probably trillions) of reddish colored sand grains from the surrounding sandstone formations that carry on for miles.
Open seven days a week with miles of sandboarding space, this should be a stop on every sandboader’s list. Not only are these dunes famous for their color and sandboarding, but HBO’s Westworld has used these beautiful scenes as one of their filming locations.
Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado
When you think of snowboarding or skiing in the US, Colorado is probably one of the first places that come to mind. But did you know that within the same state you can also sandboard? And not just on any dunes—these are the largest within North America, at a staggering 750 feet tall. Now that sounds like an epic ride.
With the dunes ranging in hight between Denver and Albuquerque, New Mexico, the Great Sand Dunes National Park is a mind-blowing fest for the eyes and is one of the best adrenaline pumping sandboarding locations within the world.
Silver Lake State Park, Michigan
The Silver Lake Sand Dunes are a popular spot during the summer in Michigan. Located between Lake Michigan and Silver Lake is about 2,000 acres of natural sand dunes that are insanely popular for off-road driving and sandboarding. As the only location besides sand dunes in Utah that allow off-roading on the dunes, you can be sure to have quite an exciting time. When not exploring the dunes, there are plenty of other exciting things to do—like trying out other water sports, biking, or exploring old lighthouses and farmers markets. Truly something for everyone!
Kelso Dunes, California
Five hours east of Los Angles lies forty-five miles of glistening sand dunes just waiting for you to explore. The largest dunes in the Mojave National Preserve, it’s not only famous for sandboarding, but for singing. Not rock & roll, but “singing sands”—a rare acoustic phenomenon that produces a low rumbling sound similar to a pipe organ. Imagine that, sandboarding your way down the dunes and having natural background music!
Marina State Beach and Dunes Preserve, California
Located 10 miles north of Monterey, these sand dunes are perfect for the whole family. With some of the tallest dunes in California, as well as a destination sport for hand gliders and kite flying enthusiasts, it’s fun for the entire family.
Sand Master Park, Oregon
The year 2000 was a turning point in sandboarding history, when the Sand Master Park became the world’s first sandboarding park. It encompasses 40 acres and has everything you need—sculptured sand dunes, full time pro shop, 40 foot ramp and plenty of pros hanging around that you can ask questions and gain insight from. Classes are offered for newbie riders, and three sandboarding competitions are held each year. For $10 bucks a day and lessons at $25 an hour, this is one of the best locations to learn everything you need to know about sandboarding.
Now that you are familiar with different US sandboarding locations, where will you venture to first?
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