How to Pick the Perfect Sandboarding Gear
Sandboarding has developed a great deal in the last ten years and the high demand for sandboards has also created the need for more equipment to be produced for the masses of adventurers looking to hit the dunes. After picking out a board or designing their own, riders need other gear like bindings, foot straps, [...]
Sandboarding has developed a great deal in the last ten years and the high demand for sandboards has also created the need for more equipment to be produced for the masses of adventurers looking to hit the dunes. After picking out a board or designing their own, riders need other gear like bindings, foot straps, eyewear, board wax, specialized clothing and more in order to be safe and get the most out of their boards.
Keeping Your Feet on the Board
While some sandboarders rely on nothing more than simple pads on which to grip their feet, most use some form of bindings or foot straps to keep themselves attached to the board. Sandboard bindings are similar in design to snowboard bindings and they secure the rider firmly to the board, offering the greatest support and control. However sandboard bindings require boots or shoes to be worn and many sandboarders complain that they reduce their "feel" for the board. So, riders who want better feel either use very thin-soled shoes or resort to foot straps, which do not require shoes.
Foot straps are essentially just stretchy material that is bolted to the sandboard and loop over the top of the rider's feet. Most foot straps also come with heel straps for added security. They are often used in conjunction with what are known as foot pads, stomp pads or jump pads in order to reduce the impact from landing and to protect a rider's ankles and feet. Foot pads come in a variety of styles and thicknesses to allow riders to further customize their boards. Lastly, some sandboarders choose to affix crude bungee straps to their boards as foot straps, but this method is primarily used by those building their own boards on very limited budgets.
Protecting Your Eyes
Most sandboarders use some form of optics on the dunes. Not only do they shield the rays of the sun away from riders' eyes, but more importantly, they protect riders' eyes from the gritty sand that flies around during runs. There are a few styles available, but most tend to resemble oversized swimming goggles or ski goggles. These goggles are outfitted with enhanced UV protection as well as being airtight to prevent any grains of sand from penetrating the goggles.
Waxing Your Board
Sandboards require added moisture to ensure easy gliding over the sand and the more board wax a rider uses, the higher speeds he or she can achieve. There are numerous types of sandboard waxes available and each type is specially designed for certain types of sand and certain speeds. For instance, riding on cold, wet sand requires a much different board wax than riding on hot, dry sand. Also, experienced sandboarders often prefer board wax that will help them move very quickly down the dunes, while novices may wish to ride at a slower pace to maintain control.
Staying Comfortable & Safe
While sandboarding does not require any specialized clothing, many riders discover how important comfort and protection can be on the dunes. For this reason, many companies offer products like sand socks, which prevent sand from sticking to feet yet also wick away moisture. Board shorts are also quite popular because they are light-weight and comfortable, plus many of them are available with extra padding to cushion the hips and backside during a fall. Sand is relatively soft but it can still cause serious injuries to riders attempting daring jumps and tricks, regardless of their level of experience.
There is a wide array of protective gear available to sandboarders, including back supports, gloves, wrist wraps, knee pads, ankle supports and helmets. Lastly, but perhaps the most important piece of protective gear a rider can use, is sun block. Sand dunes are often devoid of shade and very hot, reflecting the sunlight back onto the riders. In order to be able to sandboard all day long, experienced riders know that they need to apply a generous amount of sunscreen before hitting the dunes.