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Sand boarding the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve.

How to sandboard

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So, just how do you sandboard?

We suggest using a specific sandboard that comes with bindings – wake board bindings, actually. Rentals are available at Kirsti Mountain Sports in Alamosa, Colorado, the sandboard capital of the Rockies.

Sandboarder Enrique Salcedo says that no special clothing or soft gear is required, just the gumption to shred the gnar.

1) Board ’em.

“It’s a board sport,” he said. “You’ll need some basic balance and some basic athleticism.” While it’s not decidedly called for, we did rely on some snowboarding skills to oomph out our turns. In fact, this might be a good place to learn some snowboarding skills to take to the snow.

2) Wax poetic

This all goes with a coat of wax that helps the board surface slide and often ride on the ball-bearing-like sand grains. “It’s a specially formulated dry wax,” Salcedo said. “Similar to surfing.”

Salcedo says to wax every run, but not too much. “A very thin film is all it takes. Too much can slow you down.”

3) Strap in

With straight up wake board bindings, this user-friendly way to secure your feet to the board is reassuring. Easy in and easy out if things get ugly.

“It’s a flexible binding, Salcedo says. “You don’t have to have specialized footwear at all.” In fact, he says go barefoot.

4) Block it

Chances are if you’re on a sand dune, there’s not a lot of cover. Be ready to block the wind and the sun, says Salcedo.

“It’s a unique environment,” he says. “Unlike anything you’ve ever seen. This is high elevation, and you’re really exposed out there. Wear a hat, sunglasses and long sleeves.”

We wore buffs in ninja mode with our hoods up one chilly autumn day, and the cold exfoliating friction on our bare feet was surprisingly pleasant. In fact, get ready to get sandy. Exfoliation for the soul.

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