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How Sandboarding Became the Desert's Coolest Sport

The first major developments in sandboarding came around the same time that snowboarding was taking off in the 1970s, but only began to capture the center stage as one of the most exciting outdoor adventure sports within the past ten years. Since its growth in popularity, sand parks have popped up all across the globe and dune riders have gathered together to showcase their talents at tournaments and events in idyllic settings like Dubai, Australia, Namibia, Japan, Chile and the Western United States.

While sandboarding drew a great deal from predecessors such as surfing and snowboarding, it has also been presented with an array of challenges that other board sports have not endured. Riding on sand presents unique difficulties and it wasn’t until board-makers started using Formica and other smooth surfaces for the sandboard bases that riders could achieve high speeds and perform daring tricks.

This new technology, combined with the sport’s burgeoning popularity, spawned the emergence of sandboard manufacturing as well as the retail production of other sandboarding equipment. Nevertheless, many riders continue to make their own sandboards and seek new ways to fine-tune their board design to gain an edge against the ever-increasing field of competitors. Sandboards can vary in design, size, board material and base surface, and each is primarily determined by where and how a sandboarder rides.

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