Last Updated on January 14, 2024

A list of popular desert adventure sports, recreational beach activities, racing and animal riding that are popular in sandy regions and deserts across the world.

Whether on a hot summer day at the beach or travelling in the Sahara, from extreme boardsports like sand dune surfing and dune bashing to the more exotic camel riding or simply playing a fun game of beach volleyball, there’s plenty of fun to be had at the dunes.

Sand Sports: extreme sports and activities on deserts and beach dunes
People having fun on beach.

Desert & Sand Sports Master List

Board Sports

Sandboarding (or sand surfing)

Sliding down sand dunes with a sandboard while standing up on two feet.

Sandsledding (or sand toboganning)

Sliding down sand dunes with a sandsled while sitting or laying down on your belly.

Volcano boarding (or volcano surfing, ashboarding)

Sliding down a slope of volcanic ashes and hardened lava after a recent volcano eruption.

Volcano sledding

Sledding down a slope of volcano ashes and hardened lava after a recent volcano eruption.

Desert sports: Sandboarding and board sports

Ski Sports

Sand skiing

Sliding down sand dunes with a pair of sand skis.

Desert skiing

Cable skiing on sandy terrain in the desert, usually with the aid of an offroad vehicle.

Desert sports: Sand Skiing

Kite sports

Sand kiting

Landboarding on soft sand with the aid of a kite and a pair of skis or a dune buggy.

Desert sports: Landboarding

Hiking & Camping

Desert Hiking

Trekking in desert environments, climbing sand dunes and extreme dry weather locations.

Desert Camping

Backpacking and setting up camps in the desert.

Desert Running

Running and racing in the desert. There are many marathons that take place in the desert such as the Marathon des Sables in Morocco and the Australian Outback Marathon.

Desert sports: Desert Hiking & Camping

Offroad Sports

Desert racing

Off-road races in the desert using vehicles such as ATVs, OTVs, dune buggys, dirt bikes and more.

Dune Bashing

Bumpy rides up and down sand dunes using an off-road vehicle, such as a 4×4 truck or dune buggy.

Dirt biking

Riding in the desert using an offroad dirt bike.

Desert sports: Sand Duning / Dune Bashing and offroad dune riding

Animal Riding

Camel Riding

Camel riding is widespread in the Sahara desert as well as other locations in Asia.

Horseback Riding

Desert horseriding is common in cold deserts, such as in the Gobi Desert in Mongolia.

Ostrich Riding

A once surprisingly popular sport that is still practiced in selected locations.

Desert sports: Camel and Horseback Riding

Recreational Sports

Sand Soccer

Soccer game played on a sandy field, usually at the beach.

Beach Volley

Volleyball played on sandy field, usually at the beach.

Beach Tennis

Tennis played on sandy field, usually at the beach.

Desert sports: Sand soccer and beach volleyball

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Your n°1 source of information on the world of sandsports and desert adventure travel. Our articles are the result of extensive research, personal experience, and knowledge-sharing within the global sandboarding community.