Sunday, 19 October 2014

The history and origins of Sandboarding

Welcome enthusiasts!

This is the first official post to Sandboarding Nation and as you can see I have featured a custom logo and 'Favicon' so do check them out and soon I hope to create a twitter and a facebook page for the blog if this gets a big enough following. This week's post will be regarding about the historical background and origins of sandboarding as mentioned in the introductory post.

How was sandboarding originated and when was it created?

This could be considered a controversial question as there are quite a few answers to this, but hopefully you could use some sense and judgement to decide which of these places you think should be called "home". Due to these claims, some sources suggest that due to the early population distribution of humans on earth living in desert regions could argue that sandboarding could have been the inspiration for snowboarding and the majority of online places agree that sandboarding was invented or had been originated before the 1st century and that snowboarding was invented in the 19th/20th century.

Here are some popular claims to the 'real' inventors and birthplaces of sandboarding.


According to popular myth, the sport is said to have originated in Ancient Egypt where the kings of Egypt (Pharaoh's for the historians) were to slide down the sand dunes on thin pieces of wood or hardened clay (most notably, pottery); this idea is considered the most accurate information however other locations and people have claimed to be the real birthplace of sandboarding but the claim to Egypt could be considered the real claim a little more as there are ancient hieroglyphics depicting people going down sand dunes on these pieces of wood or hardened clay.

Rub Al-Khali (Empty Quarter in English)

Another popular claim to the birthplace and home of sandboarding is the Arabian peninsula, most notably the 'Rub Al-Khali' or 'Empty Quarter' in Saudi Arabia, Oman, Yemen and the United Arab Emirates where the desert people would also slide down dunes made of thin wood or pottery, the Egypt claim is also more believable than this and is agreed with more because of the close locations of Egypt and the 'Empty Quarter' of the Arabian peninsula.

Santa Catarina, Brazil

Another conception which is known for being the sandboarding Mecca is the island of 'Santa Catarina' on the south coast of Brazil. The reasoning for Santa Catarina being the birthplace of the sport is that when the island surfers had found that there were low tidal waves or if there were no waves to surf on, then the Santa Catarinense people (Catarinense being the name for the people of Santa Cantarina) would use Sandboarding as an alternative to surfing as there were also a complex of sand dunes on the populous island, this claim seems feasible as the period of ancient Egypt started in 3200 BC but the island of Santa Catarina has been settled on for more than 8,000 years.

My Opinion

Like I said, this was a tough question but I think it's up to you to decide. In my humble opinion as an experienced sandboarder who's been in the interest for about 7 years now, I would personally go with the Brazilian claim just on the facts that the evidence of the island's settlement in history, there is a keen popularity of sandboarding in neighbouring and relative South American countries the most popular being Peru, Colombia, Venezuela and Chile. The dispute and debate to the true origin of sandboarding could be shown in a television documentary but for now this could remain disputed or unknown until there is a lot more evidence on show; I would be thrilled to hear your views on this so please leave a comment on this post and I will be sure to have a look!

Join me next week where I will be talking about the mental attributes and states of mind you'll need in order to excel at this sport! 


  1. that's a cool commentary! i didn't knew that!

    1. I know this post is over 4 years old, there might be new information leading to a new origin of sandboarding (and the quality of my work is rubbish compared to now), regardless Thank you so much for the comment.

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