Unlike snowboards, sandboarding boards and sleds require special care in the form of regular waxing. Because of the high friction when sliding down sand dunes, wax needs to be (re-)applied after each and every riding session. Luckily, this type of wax is widely commercially available and even relatively easy to make at home.
Why you need sandboard wax
Sand is a high friction type of terrain, which means it is not very slippery. Wax ensures that your board can smoothly slide down a sand dune while speeding up your ride and ensuring that no sand particles get stuck in your board. Compared to other types of boarding equipments, sandboards are usually with a base material that is smoother compared to the board itself (i.e. a layer of Formica or similar plastic blend). It is this layer at the base that needs to be waxed in order to reduce friction and protect the board from wearing out. Even if you are planning to use a regular snowboard or surf board on sand, or if you wanna give sand skiing a go, waxing will help make your ride much smoother.
What is sandboard wax made of?
Wax is essentially a blend of fats and fragrance oils. Most commercial wax is made from paraffin (a petroleum byproduct) and can withstand most temperatures, whereas beeswax and tree resin based waxes may be better suited for lower temperature ranges. Making your own wax is also an option and a relatively easy and straightforward procedure which can be done with common household items.
How to choose a sandboard wax
ome blends are “all purpose”, other better suited for specific types of weather and terrain conditions. While you can get away with using a warm-weather surfboard wax, there are plenty of wax options crafted specifically for sand boarding and sand skiing.
How to wax a sandboarding board
- Place your sand board (or sled) on a flat surface or on the ground with the bottom side facing you.
- Rub the wax in very small amounts all over the surface of your board, as well as through the edges.
- Pick a handful of dry sand and see if it sticks to the board. If needed, apply more wax until the sand doesn’t stick anymore. You do not need to apply wax to any part of the board that does not get in contact with sand.
You will need to repeat this waxing process every time you go down a dune, but hey – you get used to it. As a matter of fact, it can be quite relaxing, especially if your wax has a nice scent (or if you made it yourself with pride).
How much wax do you need to use for sandboarding?
You only need to rub the minimum amount of wax necessary to cover the base of your board (including the edges). The goal is to create an extra protective layer between your board and the sand. Don’t overdo it as this will cause your board to stick! You know you are done when you can rub a little bit of sand on your board and it falls back to the ground. The overall waxing process should take no more than a couple of seconds.