Very similar to snowboarding, Sandboarding is the art of standing with two feet strapped onto a board and sliding or carving arcs down a sand dune.
The best part about Sandboarding is that it is easy to learn and heaps of fun. It is a very accessible, four-season activity that does not require a huge investment in boarding gear - all you need is a board, some wax polish and a sense of adventure.
Sandboarding in South Africa is fast becoming widely accepted as a mainstream sport. Theres a growing number of adrenaline junkies who gladly spend hours on end hiking up endless sand dunes, and then boarding down at incredible speeds.
Boards are mostly locally manufactured. Usually a plywood core, bent at both ends with a melamine base for a hard, smooth finish. Foot bindings are mostly a soft Velcro strap on type for bare foot riding. Others use modified snow boards but these are heavy and require wearing of boots, not ideal when no ski lifts are available. A wax polish is applied to the base to give a smooth and very fast ride!
Hook up with one of the many recognised sandboarding operators you will find wherever high dunes line the South African landscape. There are a number of places that stand out above the rest though, either because they cater for both beginner and expert, or just for the sheer size of the mountainous dunes.
Cape Town - Atlantis on the West Coast, which is approximately a 45 minute drive away from Cape Town, offers dunes of all shapes and sizes ranging from mild to wild, a great place for both beginner and expert. On the East Coast, Bettys Bay which is approximately an hour and a halfs drive from Cape Town, has a massive dune backed up against the mountain side, awesome!
Operators include: Mamba Sandboarding, Cape Town Sandboarding, Sidewinder Adventures, and Downhill Adventures.
Just before you reach Mossel Bay from Cape Town youll find the Dragon Dune. This massive slope is unfortunately on private property so access is only through the operator.
Contact: Sandboarding the Dragon.
Knysna/Wilderness - Some fantastic dunes up and down these beaches.
For the best locations hook up with the local operator: Dune Adventures, Knysna Sandboarding.
From Jeffreys Bay its a ten minute drive to the dunes of Aston Bay. A perfect location on the beach for both beginner and the more advanced riders. There is safe parking close to the dunes and an amazing beach restaurant for lunch or dinner. This is a good spot for those with a limited amount of time.
Operators: Mamba Sandboarding, Jeffreys Bay Adventures, Wacky Wipeouts.
For those based in Port Elizabeth who dont wish to drive through to Jeffreys Bay, try out the huge Maitland Mouth Dunes. Or for more of a family affair visit the Van Stadens River Mouth. Lovely dunes dropping straight into the lagoon.
Further up the coast are the awesome dunes of Sundays River mouth. These are only accessible by boat so you need to hook up with the local operators but its worth it!
Operators: Sandboarding Sundays River.