FS magazine tries sandboarding in Saunton Beach North Devon ()FS magazine tries sandboarding in Saunton Beach North Devon () © Copyright

FS tries sandboarding

Sandboarding is a bit like snowboarding, only in a slightly different environment. The mechanics are pretty much the same; you strap your feet into two mounts on a shaped piece of laminated ply and away you go.

Admittedly, it’s not a huge sport, in part due to the lack of suitable places in the world to practice the art – it’s unlikely to bother the Olympics for a while yet, at least until the global water shortage reaches crisis point. However, there are a few places in the world where you can try your luck, including one in North Devon at Saunton Sands.

FS magazine sandboarding at Saunton Sands ()


So under the tutelage of the Barefoot Surf School I gave it my best shot. It was February so it wasn’t a day for shorts, more heavy denim and boots, but it was still an amazing landscape to be in; acres and acres of dunes at the back of Saunton beach, with a natural ‘halfpipe’ where locals have been gathering for years to slide down the steep banks on teatrays, sledges or anything else.

The trick is to stay low and lean back. Steering is rudimentary  - in theory you can steer by turning your shoulders just as you would a surfboard but in reality you’re simply strapped in for a flat out sprint downhill. 

And it’s fun, apart from the walk back to the top. Two tips: don’t wear turn ups on your trousers, keep you mouth closed as the sand will get everywhere.

FS magazine tries sandboarding in Saunton Beach North Devon ()


Of course there’s always someone who is superb. Check out the footage of Alex Bird in the latest ad for the Jeep Renegade Deserthawk to be truly inspired.