Last Updated on October 12, 2023

The sand dunes at Pismo Beach, on the central coast of California, are a popular destination for recreational activities such as sandboarding and off-road driving.

There are two popular sandboarding spots near Pismo Beach: the Oceano Dunes and Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes, both resembling a desert despite being located right on the coast of Southern California.

These are without doubt some of the best dunes for sandboarding in SoCal.

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Sand boarding SoCal Pismo Beach / Oceano dunes
Oceano Sand Dunes. Photo courtesy of Kyle Cottrell.

Oceano Dunes – Pismo Beach

With 1,500 acres of dunes, the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area is very well known as a paradise for dune riders, and especially popular with off road vehicles.

The coastal sand dunes are some of the most extensive in Southern California, they are surrounded by the town of Oceano on one side, and the actual ocean on the other.

Yet, due to their impressive size, you sometimes get the impression that you are in an actual desert, surrounded by nothing but sand. 

Sandboarding is allowed on the dunes and many families with kids bring their own sleds and saucers and have fun sliding downhill.

About the dunes

The Oceano Sand Dunes, also known as the Pismo Dunes, are a 1,500-acre coastal dune system located in Oceano, California.

They are the most popular off-roading park in the state, and are also popular for hiking, camping, and horseback riding.

The Oceano Sand Dunes are part of the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Complex, which is an 18-mile-long stretch of coastal dunes that spans from Pismo Beach to Point Sal.

The dunes are formed by the combined action of wind and waves, and can reach heights of up to 600 feet.

The Oceano Sand Dunes are home to a variety of plants and animals, including many rare and endangered species.

Some of the notable species that can be found in the dunes include the western snowy plover, the California least tern, and the California red-legged frog.

The Oceano Sand Dunes are a popular tourist destination, and attract millions of visitors each year.

The park is open year-round, and offers a variety of activities for people of all ages.


Guadalupe Sand Dunes – Guadalupe

Just south of the Oceano dunes, another large stretch of dunes near the towns of Guadalupe and Nipomo.

The Guadalupe-Nipomo dunes are far less crowded and quieter than the ones in Pismo Beach. A true hidden gem for sandboarders!

Video: Insane Sand Skating at Guadalupe – Nipomo Sand Dunes

Sand “skating” at the Guadalupe Sand Dunes

About the dunes

The Guadalupe Sand Dunes are a 16,000-acre coastal dune system located in Guadalupe, California.

They are the second largest coastal dune system in California, and are part of the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Complex.

The Guadalupe Sand Dunes are formed by the combined action of wind and waves, and can reach heights of up to 400 feet.

The dunes are home to a variety of plants and animals, including many rare and endangered species.

Some of the notable species that can be found in the dunes include the La Graciosa thistle, the surf thistle, and the giant coreopsis.

The Guadalupe Sand Dunes are part of the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes National Wildlife Refuge, which was established in 1977 to protect the dune ecosystem and its associated wildlife.

The refuge is open to the public for hiking, birdwatching, and other recreational activities.

The Guadalupe Sand Dunes are a beautiful and unique natural resource, and offer visitors a chance to experience the California coast in a way that is few and far between.


Sandboard Rentals

While you easily can rent a dune buggy or offroad vehicle in both Oceano and Pismo Beach (and recommended doing so, unless you enjoy hiking uphill), we are not aware of any sandboard rental in the area.


Sandboards for Sale

Slip Face Sandboards Diamondback Board
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Diamond Back Terrain Sandboard
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Slip Face Sandboard Kestrel WingTail
Slip Face Sandboards’
Kestrel Wing 127
– 9 ply maple veneer deck
– Low friction base
– Dakine adjustable foot straps
– Slip Face Sandboards multi-positionable foot pads
– Swallow tail design

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Read also: Sandsurfing in SoCal | Sand sledding in LA


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