The popularity of sand skiing is growing significantly. Now, people just don’t go to the icy mountain tops to ski, they go to the desert to enjoy skiing down dunes as well
Can You Ski in the Desert?
Have you always wanted to go skiing but a) there is no snow in your country and b) you live near a desert? Well, fret not, because you can definitely go sand skiing. Although enthusiasts usually hit icy slopes, it is possible to do the exact thing on deserts and dunes.
Sand skiing follows the same fundamentals as that of ice skiing. The only difference is that you will be riding down a sand dune (instead of snow) by means of skis and ski poles.
Because of the rising popularity of the sport, there are now a lot of ski clubs and companies all over the world where desert dunes are sights to behold.
Can You Ski Down a Sand Dune?
You can most definitely ski down a sand dune. In order to ski down a sand dune, you can either go on a hike to the top or ride a 4-wheel drive that will take you to the top fast.
Sand dunes are formed by the wind and they grow as the grains of sand continue to accumulate. Some dunes sit so high (as high as thousands of feet above sea level) which makes for longer ski trips down.
Where Can You Sand Ski?
If you want to try the sport but have no idea where to start or where to go, here are a few of the sweetest sand skiing spots in the world.
- Al Hebab in Dubai: If you don’t know where to go for your first sand skiing trip, then traveling to the Middle East, where deserts stretch for miles and miles, will be your best bet. As the sport continuously grows in both recognition and enthusiasts, the businesses offering desert ski trips in Dubai are also growing.
- Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado: Great Sand Dunes boasts of dunes as high as 750 feet. For more than 25 years, the Great Sand Dunes National Park has been the chosen location for the Erwin Rommel Desert Classic which attracts sand skiers from all over the world.
- Cerro Blanco in Peru: Known as the highest sand dune in the world (at 7 thousand feet above sea level!!!), Cerro Blanco offers a sand skiing experience like no other. Due to its height, your ski down takes up to half a mile. A con, though, is that there is no ski lift in the area which means that if you want to ski down, you have to hike a long way up before you can do so.
- Huacachina in Peru: If you are in Peru and you want to do more than visit Machu Picchu and the Amazon, then you might want to head down to Huacachina located in the desert of Southern Peru. The dunes of Huacachina are spread far and wide that it even reaches the shores of the Pacific Ocean. You don’t even have to hike to the top because there is a lot of business offering dune buggy and 4-wheel drive vehicles for rent.
- The Sahara Desert in Algeria: The Sahara Desert offers fantastic sand skiing experiences as well. The views while skiing down are phenomenal but, like in Huacachina, you might have a hard time getting back up because there are still no ski lifts yet.
- The Namib Desert in Namibia: While there is no snow in Namibia for ice skiers, the oldest desert in the world offers amazing dune skiing activities. Sand skiing in Namibia is pretty popular that there now a lot of business offering guided tours.
- Monte Kaolino in Germany: This 120-meter hill offers both sand skiing and snowboarding activities. This spot also hosts the Sandboarding World Championships.
Does Sand Skiing Ruin Skis?
Sand doesn’t ruin the base of your skis. On the contrary, skiing on sand cleans up the bases. However, the sport may dull the edges of your ski so you may want to sharpen those after every trip. It is also advisable to apply wax to your skis before skiing.
If you are not comfortable using your prized ski equipment on sand, then you can always opt for renting or buying your own sand skis.