During this trip we follow the summer. Therefore, we’ll not go skiing, snowboarding or ice-skating. But, to our surprise, we managed to enjoy one of the winter sports in a bit different way. It was sandboarding.
There are many places you can enjoy the sand dunes near San Pedro de Atacama in Chile and many agencies that offer this kind of fun. We chose the Atacama Inca Tours. They were recommended, they had a good equipment and good instructors. As this was our first time with boards on the sun we wanted to start well.
On our first lesson we’ve learnt that there are some similarities as well as there are differences between sandboarding and snowboarding. Starting with similarities: you have the same kind of board with the same kind of bindings. You use wax to make your board go smoother on the surface. There are goofy and regular ways of riding your board. So far so good.
Now the differences: when you want to go down the hill you have to… go up first! There are no lifts to take you where the slope starts so you take your board and you walk to the top of a dune. It’s already quite an effort so the exercise is double. The sun and 35 degrees make it even more demanding. Another thing is that when you want to slide down you need to put all your weight on the back foot because otherwise the board will not move (on a snowboard you put all your weight on the front foot). Finally, the biggest difference: it’s the sand you ride on! It’s soft, dry, warm and it doesn’t have any hard things underneath (as there is ice under the snow). Therefore, shorts and a t-shirt are enough! Just perfect!
Sandboarding was fun! It was even more fun to watch yourself on a film that the agency made of each person. It was the first time I’ve ever tried this sport and I would try it again when possible. You should too!