Swakopmund - Nambia - Africa
Linda is a 30 year YOUNG Aussie living and working as a sandboard instructor in Swakopmund, Namibia. For those of you who are
not familiar with Namibia it is on the south west coast of the African continent. Namibia shares it's borders with the Atlantic ocean on the
west with Angola, Botswana and South Africa remaining. Although it is sparsely populated, Namibia contains one of earths oldest deserts.
This is the very reason Linda came to Namibia 5 years ago, leading camping safaris for an overland company. During that first year she
discovered Namibia and it's awesome potential for sandboarding.
Swakopmund, a coastal town mixed with Afrikaan and German culture bathed in African tradition, is the thriving tourist and trade port that Linda now calls home. "Dunes for Miles" is the main attraction for Linda that allows her to pursue her sandboarding goals.
"After meeting Beth Sarro, owner of ALTER ACTION, I decided it was my new destiny to become a sandboarder. Beth was already operating traditional lie down boarding trips, which means sliding down the dunes head first maxing up to speeds of 80 kmh. But for me as a snowboarder of nine years I was stoked to be involved in something radically different. Now Sandboarding is a way of life for me. It's also one of the coolest and weirdest jobs I've ever had." Linda tells us.
Linda spends most of her days riding incredible dunes and teaching people how to sandboard. "Most of our clients are international tourists but we also have riders from our fellow African countries. The level varies from experienced snow boarders to complete boarding virgins. For me it's a brilliant feeling to see the stoke that sandboarding brings to most people."
"I think the thing I love most about sandboarding is that this is my job." A day at the office for Linda is usually pretty wicked, cruising down a mountain of sand is a truley unique experience, catching air off the slip face and being at one with nature. She relates, "The views over the desert and the ocean in background are also awesome!"
But like every job instructing sandboarding can have it's bad days as well. "Sand storms really suck and being asked every few minutes "Where's the chairlift?" is a bit of a drag." Linda along with the rest of Namibia's sandboarders walk for their rides. The Namibian dunes can change and shift quickly so it's very difficult to build a practical lift system. The lack of a traditional chair lift also allows for better protection and preservation of the beautiful desert they enjoy so much. "Besides, there is something gratifying about walking for your ride. I guess you could say it's like having to paddle out for your next wave. It's totally worth it!" Linda knows.
Linda loves to jump.
|Having competed a few time now at the Sandboarding World Championships in Monte Kaolino, Germany Linda can tell you the
whole vibe of the competition is energizing! "For me it was a little strange as Namibian sand is soft and fine but the sand at Monte Kaolino
is quartz so it's a little more painful if you wipe. But, it's all worth it for the rush." Linda is anxious to try other competitions world wide
since boarding and traveling are such a large portion of her life these days.
When she's not sandboarding Linda spends a lot of her time mountain biking, surfing or completely relaxing. Hey, you got to rest up for that next big day on the dune right? We're with you, Linda.
"I also try to spend some of my time either in the Alpes or North America teaching snow boarding and cruising for those sweet powder runs. I'm a boarder chick and I still get stoked afrer every ride whether it's sand or snow, it's a 'Vibe' and there's not many things better." Linda's words encourage all who haven't tried sandboarding yet to grab a board and head for the nearest sand dune, especially if you're a snow boarder Linda says, "cause as we say in the desert, Snow Melts. Get Over It!"
Thank you Linda for giving us a peek into the Namibian sandboard scene and into your life as well. We appreciate the 'Vibe'!
Want to learn more about Namibian Sandboarding?
Click this link!
by Lon Beale