Northwest Sand Dunes Recreation Areas Offer Sand Sports and Thrills
The increasing popularity of sandboarding drives adventurers to seek out the sand dunes of the Northwest United States. Discover how to sandboard and where to find dunes.
One of the latest sports, sandboarding, is enjoyed by visitors to the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area and other sand dunes areas across the Northwest U.S. Find information on how to sandboard and where to find the dunes here.
How to Sandboard
Sandboarding requires abilities and techniques similar to those used in snowboarding or skateboarding. However, sandboarding can be less expensive and although still risky, falling in the sand can cause less harm than falling on hard snow or pavement. Beginners should start by practicing the stance on the sandboard on flat surfaces. Then, choose a small dune for short runs until balancing feels comfortable. The sand dunes provide a varying difficult of hills, and terrains. Packed sand leads to longer, quicker runs. Once a run is established on a dune, after several times down the hill, the run becomes quicker. Sandboarding is thrilling and exhilarating once learned.
The only downfall of sandboarding is the required hike back up the dune hill. Unlike snowboarding, there are no sandboard lifts, not yet anyway. Sandboarders must be prepared for some sand dune climbing.
Sandboard Equipment and Essential Items
Equipment needed for sandboarding can be as simple as just needing aboard. Many sand boarders ride barefoot, just slipping their feet into the stretching bindings of the board. Many local shops rent sandboards for reasonable prices. The Sand Master Park Pro Shop in Florence, Oregon rents sandboards for $10-24 for a 24-hour period. Rental options include the discount boards and woodcutters for $10, popular terrain boards for $16, and more professional styles for $24. The Sand Master Park professionals can also give directions to the local hot spots for sandboarding, such as Jesse M. Honeyman State Park. Sand Master Park professionals also offer instructions and clinics on sandboarding. The Sand Master Park includes jumps and rails for more thrill and adventure.
One of the most important things to remember is board wax. This “speed wax” should be applied as often as needed; some professionals suggest applying the wax after every run. Apply the board wax and then run the board back and forth in the sand.
Other essential items for sandboarding include bottles of water, sunscreen, sunglasses, and ample clothing. Although the ideal weather for sandboarding is the sun and calm winds, some areas, especially along the coastline, experience weather conditions far from ideal. Wearing layers is a great way to be prepared for any weather. Sunglasses and sunscreen are especially important, as the sand causes reflection just like snow or water.
Places to Sandboard
As stated early, the big dune at Jesse M. Honeyman State Park is one of the premier spots for sandboarding. There are also dunes located close to the Sand Master Park, behind the Fred Meyer store in Florence. Admission to these dunes is free with any rental or $5 per vehicle. The Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, from Florence to Coos Bay provides ample room for recreational activities.
Sand Dunes Recreation Areas
Other sand dune recreation areas in the Northwest include:
- Sand Lake near Pacific City, Oregon
- Christmas Valley, Oregon
- St. Anthony in eastern Idaho, 50 miles northwest of Idaho Falls
- Weiser Sand Dunes in Idaho, just east of Oregon/ Idaho border and Snake River
- Moses Lake, Washington
- Juniper Dunes, just northeast of Pasco, Washington
- Killpecker Sand Dunes near Rock Springs, Wyoming
- Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Colorado