Mountainboarding on sand takes many forms and shapes, some of which are particularly creative. If you think you can’t practice windsurfing on land, think again – sand kitesurfing (a.k.a. sand kiting) is a thing and it’s here to stay.

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What is sand kiting

Sand kiting is to kitesurfing what sandboarding is to snowboarding. It was a matter of time before extreme sports enthusiasts would attempt to harness the power of wind to surf on sand dunes using a power kite. Sand kiteboarding can be practiced by attaching a really long and wide deck to a landboard (i.e. an all-terrain mountain board) or a kite buggy (also called a parakart). The practice of kiteboarding on land is also called landboarding, with sand kiting being a subniche of landboarding practiced specifically on sand terrains. Confused? Yet another variant of sand kiting involves the use of sand skis instead of a mountainboard, and takes the name of sandkite skiing. And wait until I tell you about volcanoboarding

Sand kitesurfing / sand kiting
Kiteboarding on Claggan Beach, Erris. Photo courtesy of Comhar.

Sand kiteboarding equipment

A mountain board or kite buggy is generally used for kiteboarding on sand, with the kite making use of the power of wind to stretch the athlete through a series of strings while riding on sand. Other necessary gear involves elbow and knee pads, helmets, and goggles – depending on location, one may be more important than the other.

Kite surfing tricks on sand

Ramp jumping, air flips, spinning, sliding and mid-air rotations are all possible stunts to perform with your sandkite. Virtually any trick you can perform on water, you can perform on land – but it won’t be as easy.

Where to practice sand kitesurfing

There are no specific sites dedicated to sand kiting, and it’s the boarder resposibility to assess whether a location is suitable for practicing this sport. The “SHOE” rule of landboarding applies:

  • Surface – Is the terrain suitable for landboarding? Hard sand is a great surface to landboard on.
  • Hazards – Are you in a big open space away from downwind hazards?
  • Other People – Are you on a quiet beach or field? Give other beach users space and keep them safe.
  • Environment – How windy is it? How does the tide affect you? Are you using the correct equipment?

Best landboarding and kite buggy kites

The best type of kite for kitesurfing on sand are ram-air foil kites, like the Flexifoil 4.9m Blade Power Kite or the Prism Mentor 2.5m Kite. As far as boards go, an all-terrain mountainboard works best. You can modify any lightweight mountainboard to have bigger and even lighter wheels in order to ride more smoothly on soft sand. Your sandkite

Intrigued? Have a look at the following Kiteboarding Race (“Rally dos Ventos”) organized by RedBull across the Brazilian Desert in 2014, and let us know your experiences and opinions about this emerging sport.

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