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SSandboarding is South Africa's answer to snowboarding – it requires the same skills set and produces roughly the same amount of adrenaline. The only difference is that when you take a tumble, you eat sand instead of snow!
Unlike snowboarding, however, very little specialised clothing and equipment is needed for sandboarding, especially in sunny South Africa.
Operators in the country generally use 4-wheel drive vehicles to transport participants to the top of steep dunes, from which they depart on their speedy descent. Adventure-sport enthusiasts can also opt to be pulled behind the vehicles on flatter sections of sand.
The soft sands found in Western Cape province allow sandboarders to reach considerable speeds and to perform a variety of tricks, including twists and jumps, depending on how skilled or adventurous they are.
Some of the better sandboarding locations are the dunes in Atlantis, the Silver Sands in Betty’s Bay, Dragon Dune in Vleesbaai, Lagoon Dunes at Langebaan, Nautilus Bay Dunes, and the Fish Hoek sand dunes.
Peter van Kersen, an extreme-sports enthusiast from the Netherlands, tried sandboarding at the dunes in Atlantis, arranged by Sidewinder Sandboards. He said of the experience: ‘I had done some snowboarding before, so I already had the balance, but some of my friends who came with me had never done anything like this before, and they were able to get the hang of it within an hour.’
While sandboarding is most popular in Western Cape, the activity is also offered on old mine dumps in Gauteng province, with Mount Mayhem in Benoni the prime location.
TTravel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Tel: +27 (0)82 459 2422
Sandboarding Cape Town
Tel: + 27 (0)84 665 1314
Pure Rush Industries
Tel: +27 (0)82 605 1150
Best time to visit
Sandboarding is offered throughout the year, weather permitting. Western Cape is cold, wet and windy for much of the winter, so October to March is the period offering the driest, sunniest days.
What to pack
Shorts and a T-shirt are the most comfortable attire for sandboarding. Don’t forget plenty of sunscreen and a hat. All sandboarding equipment is provided.