It’s as simple as classic snowboarding – strap the board to your feet, push off downhill and wait for the rush. Except instead of snow, freezing temperatures and mountains, you’ll be gliding over sand in the heat of the desert. Great dunes are a must, so we’ve picked four of the best spots to start.
One of the best sandboarding spots in Australia can be found at Stockton Sand Dunes, which tower up to 40 metres high. For those who want to experience the sand a little less intensely, there are also jeep, quadbike and horseback dune safaris on offer.
Good to know: The dunes are just a few hours’ drive north of Sydney, so plan a relaxed day trip to fully experience this unique area.
More sandboarding locations Down Under: Little Sahara on Kangaroo Island, Lucky Bay Dunes and Tasmania.
If you don’t want to go too far afield, the Monte Kaolino dune in Hirschau, Bavaria is one of the few sandboarding spots in Europe. Its smooth quartz sand measures around 120 metres high, while it has hosted the Sandboarding World Championship several times. It also features a ski-lift for easy ascent to the top.
Good to know: Monte Kaolino offers a fast ride, making it of particular interest for experienced boarders. The convenience of its ski-lift is not to be underestimated, as you can put all your energy into the run downhill and not worry about an exhausting climb back to the summit. You can also swap your board for a pair of skis, should you want.
The world’s largest dune, the Duna Grande in Ica plays host to regular international sandboarding championships. Standing at a gigantic 1,760 metres high, it is surrounded by one the most picturesque deserts in the world.
Good to know: The natural beauty alone makes the trip here more than worthwhile. Only experienced riders should attempt to board down Duna Grande’s steep slopes.
More Sandboarding spots in Peru: Sand dunes in the region of Arequipa and Nazca in southern of Peru.
The Cerro Negro is a young, active volcano that last erupted in 1999. Experienced sandboarders will love the difference it offers from the usual sand dunes, while beginners can appreciate the step up in challenge.
Good to know: Caution should be exercised when it comes to falls, as the volcanic ash can be extremely painful. For a safe trip, an experienced guide is strongly recommended – several tour operators can be found in the nearby city of Léon.