Last Updated on August 26, 2023

Sand dune sledding is an exciting and thrilling outdoor activity that has been gaining in popularity in recent years. It is enjoyed by people of all ages, and it is a great way to have fun and get some exercise in a unique and beautiful setting.

When choosing a sand sled, it is important to consider where you will be using it. If you plan to sled on the sand dunes in a desert environment, you will want to invest in a high-quality hardwood sand sled that is specifically designed for this type of terrain.

These desert sleds are generally more expensive, but they are built to withstand the harsh conditions of the desert and provide a smooth and stable ride. On the other hand, if you are planning to sled on the beach, you can get away with a less expensive plastic or metal toboggan.

Beach sleds, discs and toboggans may not be as durable as their hardwood counterparts, but they are still a lot of fun and are perfect for the less steep sand dunes you can find most beaches, and the artificial sand berms of Los Angeles. Regardless of which type of sled you choose, make sure to always follow safety guidelines and have a great time on your next sand dune sledding adventure!

Here are our recommendations for the best sand sleds in the market as of :

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Best Sand Sleds and Toboggans
Sand sledding. Photo courtesy of Bongani2.

Best Sand Sleds for Desert Sand Dunes

Sand sleds for desert dunes are built using the same materials and construction techniques used to make sandboards (which allow you to “surf” on the dune while standing up).

These sleds are made from a combination of hardwood and laminate, and they are designed to withstand the rough and rugged terrain of the desert. Like sandboards, they must be used in conjunction with sandboard wax in order to make them slippery enough to slide on the sand.

These are the types of sleds you will be able to rent in most sandboarding facilities such as the White Sands National Park in New Mexico and the Sand Master Park in Oregon, or you can purchase your own if you plan on making sand sledding a regular hobby.

Venomous Sandboards
Adult Sand Sled
Venomous Sandboards
Youth Sand Sled

Sand Dune Sled

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Best Toboggans for Beach Sand Dunes

If you are on smaller beach dunes or artificial sand hills (such as those for winter sand sledding in LA), then a plastic toboggan sled is usually enough to enjoy a smooth ride on sand.

These boards are usually manufactured with snow in mind but are suitable for sand (although they may require thorough waxing).

If you are planning to sled on smaller beach dunes or on artificial sand hills, such as those found at some winter sand sledding locations in LA, a plastic toboggan sled may be all you need to enjoy a smooth and fun ride.

These sleds are typically made of a durable plastic material and are designed to glide easily over the sand. They are often manufactured with snow in mind, but they can be used on sand as well.

However, you may still need to thoroughly wax your board in order to reduce friction and make it slippery enough to slide smoothly over the sand.

Plastic toboggan sleds are a great choice for beach dune sledding and for softer and smaller dunes, and they are usually less expensive than hardwood sand sleds. They are also lightweight and easy to carry, making them a convenient choice for anyone who wants to enjoy a day of sand sledding on the go.

Slippery Racer
Downhill Falcon
Foam Toboggan
oam Sled
Flexible Flyer
Snow Screamer
2-Person Snow Sled

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Best Disc Saucers for Sand Dunes

Disc saucers are a popular and fun choice for sand dune sledding, particularly for small children who may not yet be ready for a larger, more traditional sled.

These saucers are usually made of foam plastic and are shaped like a disk, with a raised center and a flat rim. They are easy for kids to sit on and maneuver, and they can be a lot of fun as they glide over the sand. Combined with sandboard wax, they offer good rides.

Some manufacturers have also started making steel disc saucers specifically designed for sand sledding. These saucers are more durable and may offer a better performance and faster ride, but they can also be more expensive than their foam plastic counterparts.

Slippery Racer
Downhill Zeus
Foam Saucer
Foam Disc Saucer
Flexible Flyer
Steel Sand Slider
Slippery Racer Downhill Zeus Adults and Kids Foam Saucer Disc 1 Rider Snow Sled with Handles, Midnight Hologram

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Flexible Flyer Metal Snow Disc Saucer Sled. Steel Sand Slider

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See also: Sandboards for Sale

What do you need for sand sledding

Dune sledding essentials:

  • A sand sled: This is the most important piece of equipment you will need for sand sledding. For smaller dunes and beach dunes, a toboggan or disc saucer may be sufficient.
  • Sandboard wax: This is a special type of wax that is used to reduce friction and make the sled slippery enough to slide smoothly over the sand. Sandboard wax is an essential item for anyone planning to sled on the dunes, and it is a good idea to bring plenty of it with you.
  • Sunscreen: Sand sledding can be an intense activity, and it is important to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Make sure to bring plenty of sunscreen with you, and be sure to apply it liberally before you hit the dunes.
  • Plenty of water: It is essential to stay hydrated when you are sand sledding, especially in hot and dry desert environments. Bring plenty of water with you, and be sure to drink frequently to avoid dehydration.

If you are sand sledding in the desert:

  • Long sleeve clothing: Climbing up dunes and hiking in the desert leaves you exposed to the elements, particurarly dangerous UV rays. It is recommended to cover as much as possible when spending extended time in the desert.
  • Closed-toe shoes: Sand sledding in the desert can be a rough and rugged activity, and it is important to protect your feet from the rough terrain. Closed-toe shoes will help to keep your feet safe and comfortable as you ride the dunes.
  • Dust-proof goggles: The desert sun can be very bright, and it is a good idea to wear goggles to protect your eyes. Goggles will help to reduce glare and keep your vision clear as you ride the dunes.
  • Elbow and knee pads: These are an optional item, but they can be very helpful in protecting you from falls and scrapes as you ride the dunes.
  • Helmet: If you are planning to ride at high speeds or attempt any tricks on your sled, a helmet is a must. A helmet will help to protect your head in the event of a fall or collision.
  • Mouth scarf: The desert can be very dry, and a mouth scarf can help to protect your mouth and nose from the dust and sand. A mouth scarf is a simple but effective way to keep yourself comfortable and protected as you ride the dunes.

If you are sand sledding at the beach:

  • Beach bag: A beach bag is a convenient way to carry all of your gear, including your sled, wax, sunscreen, and water.
  • Sun Hat: A hat can help to protect your head and face from the sun’s rays and can also help to keep you cool.
  • Sand socks: Sand socks are a specialized type of footwear that are designed for use without shoes while practicing sports at the beach. Sand socks can be especially helpful for sand sledding, as they can help to keep your feet cool and comfortable, and they can also protect your feet from sand and debris.
  • Towel: A towel is a handy item to have when you are sand sledding at the beach. You can use it to dry off after a swim or to lay on as you rest between runs.

Sandboard wax for sale

Stuntstick Ultimate Sandboard Wax

Stunstick Sandboard Wax
Slip Face Honey Beeswax Sand Wax

Slip Face Sandboards’ Beeswax
Dr Dune Wax

Dr. Dune Sand Wax

Can you use snow sleds on sand dunes?

No, snow sleds are not suitable for sand dunes. Snow sleds are designed for snow and are not meant to be used on sand dunes. Using snow sleds on sand dunes can result in poor performance, limited control, and potential damage to the sleds.

Sand dunes require specialized equipment like sand sleds or sandboards, which have laminated bottoms, often made of materials like formica, and are treated with wax to reduce friction with the sand. These specially designed sleds or boards allow for smoother sliding and maneuverability on the sandy terrain of sand dunes.

How to use a sand sled

When you are ready to go sand sledding, follow these steps to ensure a smooth and enjoyable ride:

  1. Gather your sand sledding gear and head to the dunes. Look for a steep dune with dry, thin sand and no obstructions. This will provide the best conditions for sledding.
  2. Place your sand sled on the ground and apply sandboard wax to the base until it is no longer sticky. Make sure that the surface of your sled is slippery enough that no sand granules stick to it.
  3. Flip your sled back over and position yourself on it, either lying down on your belly or sitting (depending on the size and design of your sled). Some sleds can accommodate up to two people.
  4. Use your arms to push yourself down the edge of the dune. Try to keep your weight centered on the sled as you ride downhill, and enjoy the ride!

Remember to always follow safety guidelines and use caution when sand sledding. With the right gear and a little bit of preparation, sand sledding can be a thrilling and exciting activity for the whole family.

Man and kid share a sandsled
Ranger Patrick Sand Sledding with Daughter. Photo courtesy of Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve.

Read also: White and Black Sand Beaches in the US

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