Can I use a snow board on the sand?
Many of our visitors are snow boarders who are seeking a way to extend
their season. When hearing about sandboarding they are some times skeptical,
at first, but the desire to " keep on boardin' " soon over-powers doubt
and they begin the short trek to sandboarding.
Snow boards can easily retail for $400 - $500, so owning a quiver of boards is
often out of the question for most. Now with the introduction of Sandboarding into
the already precarious budget arrangment, the interested one has to stop and ask
himself if there is perhaps some short cut. Is it possible to ride my snow board
on the sand? How about that old uni-directional with the striped insert and the
nail polish artwork that your baby sister contributed? Well, the answer is... maybe.
The design of the snow board is good enough for sand. The composite is sturdy enough
and the nail polish art is probably a plus as well. The problem lays with the base
material. While P-Tex performs excellent for snow it is poor on sand at best. The abrasive
properties of the sand hinder the P-Tex bases ability to break free of the grab.
Usually, you will end up with a slow ride or no ride at all. I say "usually" because
there are some conditions that allow the snow board to reach reasonably good
speeds. However, a snowboard will never reach the speeds or offer the handling
of a true sandboard on sand so don't expect it to.
If you are at the dunes and a snow board is what you have then seek extreame angles.
If you are able to find a very steep dune
face that is also accessible to you by foot or chair lift you may be able to ride that
snow board at speeds that will satisfy. Of course, when the face is steep enough you
could ride almost anything and it will slide. I mean just about anything!
The best way to find out is to try it on your dune. Definitely locate the tallest
and steepest face and give it a try. The sand can do very little to the base and in
most cases will even help clean up some of the scratches. Take a couple of runs
and then take a good look at the base and see if it is acceptable. If you don't like
what you see don't run it any more. Keep in mind that stones, rocks, glass and
other objects in the sand can damage the base so try to always ride clean sand.
Some tips to help you get it goin' are as follows: Don't use snow wax. Use sand
wax, parafin or nothing at all. Be sure to scrape all the old wax from the base before
riding it on sand. Keep your speed up. Once you get going don't stop and start. It takes
longer to gain the speeds than with a snow board and you're not going to want to give it
back. Make gentler turns instead of tight turns that use entirely the edge. Don't stay in
your turns as long since this will tend to reduce your speed as well.
The steel edge of the snow board will cut deep into the sand but sand is not as
soft as snow so the result is an increase in friction and a slower ride. You can wax
the edges heavily and this will help. One more tip that will help as well: ride
further back on the board as though you were riding deep powder. This will allow the
board tip to come up and let more air pass under the board thus giving you less friction
and a faster ride.
Soon you will be ready for a real sandboard and will already have some sandboarding
experience under your belt as well. Then you can pass your old snow board, now sand board
, on to your precious little sister. Isn't that nice.
The bottom line is that snow boards are made to perform on snow and sand boards are made to perform on sand. If you really want to sandboard then ride a real sandboard on the sand.
Well friends, that's my advice and I hope it helps you on your way. Sandboarding is a great sport, a lot of fun and very healthy. You're going to love it!
Always your friend,