Last Updated on April 10, 2022

More and more people are becoming interested in sand skiing, but this niche sport is still at its infancy and the technology supporting it is still not very advanced. Most people who practiced skiing on sand dunes use a regular pair of skis with a handful of sandboard wax, although with mixed results. The friction level of sand make it much more resistant to sliding than snow, which means that using proper equipment is a must for enjoying a smooth ride. Dune skiing pioneer Marie Marvingt advocated for the use of metal and aluminum skis for riding in the desert, and today many skis come equipped with double metal laminate which can considerably improve performance downhill.

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Sand Dune Skiing in the Sahara Desert in Algeria.

Skis for sand skiing

The best skis for sliding on sand are equipped with a laminate base that can be used for waxing. The majority of skis aren’t really designed for sand dunes, and keep in mind that sand skiing will inevitably ruin your skis. That said, Henrik May, who entered the Guinness World Record book for fastest skiing on sand in 2010, used a pair of HEAD skis just fine. What really makes a difference when it comes to sliding down sand vs snow is the application of sand wax: always make sure to apply a generous amount to the base of your skis. We recommend to either get your hands on a pair of skis with a metal laminate bottom or to modify them by adding a laminate sheet layer yourself before sliding.

Metal Laminate Skis for Sand

DIY Sand Skis

You can build your own sand skis by adding a layer of Formica sheet or similar laminate material at the bottom of an old pair of wooden skis. This won’t prevent your skis from wearing out eventually, but it will considerably increase their longevity and make sliding much easier on sand. The process is the same as this for making your own sandboard.


Desert Hiking & Camping

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