Welcome to the grainy world of sandboarding. If you visit or live near large dunes, you may experience one of the most heart-pumping outdoor activities you will find on the planet.
The sport that was never quite considered an "official sport" is usually practiced in large, steep coastal dunes, and even in hot deserts where oceans and water are only a mirage.
Sandboarding is a blend between surfing, skateboarding, and snowboarding. Instead of descending water, asphalt, or snow, a sandboard rides down or across the dune's face.
The lost art of sandboarding is an old practice, though. Believe it or not, the Ancient Egyptians already used wood planks to slide down the dunes and transport heavy cargo.
However, and according to "The Encyclopedia of Surfing," the first modern enthusiasts of sandboarding only started hitting the grainy slopes between the 1940s and 1960s.
"Sandboarding expanded in the 1970s, largely due to the efforts of Gary Fluitt and Jack Smith. Borrowing templates and technology from snowboarding, the sandboard became longer and wider, with foot straps and slick Formica bottoms," wrote Matt Warshaw, author of the "Encyclopedia of Surfing."
"As with surfboards, it was discovered that longer equipment was better for drawn-out lines on big hills, while shorter boards had the advantage in terms of maneuverability and were used mostly on smaller hills."