Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sandboarding Tricks

Welcome back, readers!


A twitter account for this blog will be made soon but in order to be perfectly democratic, I will put up a public survey on the 'Social Networking' page on what the account name should be, it may be complicated because I can't come up with a good voting system but what I'll do is ask for all the 'OK's' and I'll put them on multiple choice so if you like one or all, you can choose! Talking of social networks, if you haven't had a look at the Facebook Page please do and like it! This wouldn't be a big post (I'm anticipating early) as there are not any sandboarding tricks as we take them from snowboarding as this is the same sport but on a different surface.


The Tricks


I really can't imagine this being a really bulky post but here is a picture (which is very handy) regarding basic snowboarding tricks:



Courtesy of: Nlin86 License: CC BY-SA 3.0
If you can see the picture above, it can easily show where you 'rear' and 'front' hands should be in accordance with your feet in order to perform a trick; for example, if you were going down a dune with your right hand in front (as your dominant hand) close to the tail of your board and your other hand (lesser dominant hand) was in-between your legs but in front of your legs, then you would be performing a 'Tail' and 'Canadian Bacon' trick.




Performing surfaces



Everyone loves a snowboarding trick, but performing them on sand I think is better because sand is loose and snow is compact so you won't take as much damage if you have a wipe out or if you just do something wrong, you generally go faster on sand due to its looseness. Sand dunes do not have as many natural slopes and man-made wooden or metal ramps may make you slow down a bit as opposed to normal snowboarding. Snow mountains are generally higher than sand dunes so you can pick up more speed on snow; taking all of the above features in account, you can figure out that sandboarding and snowboarding are alike but have similar disadvantages and advantages over the other.


I know this post is short, please forgive me.



But I think that these valuable pieces of information are worth blogging about. I want to get the best information out to the sandboarding community and establish this place as a good location for the sport/hobby; but lately I think that pieces for this blog are running low as there isn't much news regarding this topic so next week I will come up with a blog post regarding if teams can be made for this sport, the next post will be a lot bigger than this week's, I'm sorry if you are disappointed with the low amount of content but next week will be big and bulky just for you readers around the world! I hope that you can come back for more next time or as you do every week! Take care of yourself.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

My top 10 destinations for Sandboarding in 2014

Hello, Internet!

I want to keep posts fresh and brand new so in order to keep the posts as they are, today's post will be based on a list not on a 'topic' but before I start this weeks list, I won't be publishing poll results anymore but I can say that on last weeks poll, 100% voted for 'sandboarding' over the other terms so that was shocking to see but I understand your point there.

Now back to the post, the method I will use in this post will be my personal opinion and data gathered regarding the 'Global Peace Index', cost of living in the country (even if you don't intend to emigrate to your select country), homicide rate and the most welcoming countries; I do this so if anyone does have a holiday or sandboarding excursion, it can be the best experience possible, yet again the holiday destination is ultimately up to you! I will now begin my Top 10 list and recommendations. Please note that I have only been to 2 countries outside of my own native country of the UK and they are Spain and Germany. Don't forget that temperatures will vary, check the laws before travelling, check the customs laws, learn a bit of the language if you don't know any, be polite, respect the citizens, take out good insurance and most of all, have fun!


10. Chile

 

Courtesy of: Smcmurtrey License: CC BY-SA 3.0
 At the bottom of this Top 10 list is Chile. This country does have a well known sandboarding scene but predominantly in the Atacama desert where most if not all the sand dunes are. With the rural escape from Santiago in this amazing desert, some parts of the Atacama have not seen rain in over 200,000 years. It has a low homicide rate, the costs of living are also quite low but purchasing power is high and even though the country is very peaceful and liberal, the landscape and thin shape of the country could be difficult to move around and that temperatures widely vary; so that's why I put it at number 10.



9. Algeria

 

Courtesy of: Holger Reineccius License: CC BY-SA 3.0

In this big Arab nation, Algeria holds a large portion of the Sahara desert (the biggest desert in the world). The conflicts and uprisings in the Arab world may give you the impression that these regions are hostile but the more rural in the nation you are, the less likely you will be targeted. Costs of living are relatively low but these dunes are formed of very old sand and have been as they are for millennia. It is always hot and dry and may be worse due to the 'Harmattan' which is a wind that is blown in the Sahara desert. Algeria is a challenging location for thrill seekers so that's why I've put it at number 9.


8. Germany 

 

Courtesy of: Zonk43 License: Public Domain
In a European country with temperatures that vary significantly, 'Monte Kaolino' in Bavaria is distinctly known for being the only sand dune in the world with its own lift; so you don't have to suffer with climbing up the dune every time. Using the chair lift for the sand dune will come at a cost so if you are strapped for cash then I'm afraid you'll have to walk up the dune like everyone else. This might be the only sign of a sand dune in the region but the World Sandboarding Championships were held as late as 2007. I put Germany at number 8 because it is a very safe, peaceful and cheap country to be in; but the lack of dunes is what made me put Deutschland at this low position. As mentioned, I have travelled to Germany but I didn't go to Bavaria at all so I can't really speak for Monte Kaolino at this time.


7. United Kingdom (Great Britain)

 

Courtesy of: Nilfanion License: CC BY-SA 3.0
Now in a land full of castles and ancient British history, my home country doesn't have any deserts or major dune complexes but in a lot of beach areas preferably on the South coast, there is a lot of sand dunes waiting to be rode by sandboarders. The UK is a very safe, welcoming and peaceful country; the price of foods and goods is average but even if you don't necessarily come to this country for sand dunes or surfing on the beach then London is a massive tourist city where you can see our castles, mansions, towers and bridges! I put this at number 7 (not because I'm being unpatriotic) because like Germany it has a lack of dunes but is good for beginners.


6. Namibia

Courtesy of: Thomas Schoch License: CC BY-SA 3.0
With its really popular destinations of 'Walvis Bay', 'Swakopmund' and 'Sossusvlei'; Namibia has got to be the most well known place amongst young sandboarders who are keen to go to the Kalahari Desert. The country has a vintage German feeling as 'German South West Africa' was once a colony belonging to the German Empire, hence why most place names there sound German, i.e. "Windhoek". The country can be violent at times but is very cheap for living and quite welcoming and relaxing. Namibia only got to number 6 in my list because of the safety aspect.



5. United Arab Emirates

 

Courtesy of: Zamir License: Public Domain
Coming into a really welcoming nation, the United Arab Emirates has a spectacular desert landscape perfect for sandboarding. This nation is friendly and welcoming and also has a very peaceful stance unlike its Arabian peninsula neighbours. The UAE laws which are very strict are the main reason why position 5 is the highest this place can go, maybe the city of Dubai is also a very prosperous place and is very expensive but the dunes are excellent here!



4. Morocco


Courtesy of: TRDS License: CC BY-SA 3.0
The Kingdom of Morocco is a small but mighty country. Morocco is the only African nation to withdraw its membership from the African Union; but politics aside, this country has a low cost of living, it's moderately safe and peaceful. A portion of the Sahara desert lives here and some North African sand dunes live here too. Morocco is very welcoming and is friendly to its tourists. I put Morocco at a higher position than the UAE because of its close proximity to Europe, especially Spain which is coming up...


3. Spain

Courtesy of: serdio (no link) License: CC BY 3.0
Now! Spain is a hot and arid tourist destination, with its welcoming and friendly attitude to tourists, easy to pick up language and overall peace and safety with limited violence; Spain has been given my Bronze medal for the best sandboarding location. It might be a full package of peace, safety and friendliness; Spain also has an extremely low cost of living. This couldn't progress any higher on this list because I've seen Spain to be a bit like Chile or Great Britain, lovely place but not many dunes. If you do see a sand dune in Spain, just ride it because the chances are that the sand dunes are high like the one in the left of this picture. I have been to Spain and it felt like I was in the mid-west of the USA. Beautiful country.



2. Egypt


Courtesy of: Trekkingsinai License: CC BY-SA 3.0
At number 2 is Egypt! The picture says it all, there is someone sandboarding in this photo so that automatically gives me the impression that people sandboard in this place. Egypt does have uprisings and crime is quite previlent; However, this place can be similar to Algeria as if you're in a rural part of Egypt (i.e. Sinai Desert, West of the Nile or even near the Libyan border); what I'm trying to say is that if you're away from the cities, you would be safe. Egypt also is very welcoming to visitors and a very cheap place to buy stuff. Even if you don't intend to sandboard here; the history, pharaohs and even the pyramids will make you fall in love with this country.




1. Australia



Courtesy of: User:Orderinchaos License: CC BY-SA 3.0
The number 1 country in this list goes to a country with a slogan in their tourism advert, "There's nothing like Australia!". A big country with a big legacy, maybe not with sandboarding as a whole but its multiple sand dunes gives the game away. We are coming to a very friendly, welcoming, peaceful, safe and quiet country. The cost of living is really expensive but if you planned to live here, you would be receiving the highest minimum wage in the world at $17.39 (US dollars) per hour. This picture suggests that sandboarding places like this one can be found even in the deserts because of the amount of drops and curves in the 'bowl' of the dune, that is the reason I put the land 'down under' at the top spot.




Conclusion


Before I end this post, I want to personally thank Wikimedia Commons for their large bank of Creative Commons and Public domain images, the users who uploaded the photos so I can legally share them on my site, you for reading my blog and of course my friend who motivate me and say that I'm doing well! Thank you very much. Join me next week where I will be blogging about sandboarding tricks and cool stuff you can do whilst going down a tall sand dune. I won't be posting previous poll results anymore but the poll question will close every Sunday at 12pm (GMT/BST) so you can vote before a blog post is automatically posted at 12pm every sunday (In case you didn't know). The question concerns about the top 10 countries in my list, please vote and remember to view my blog next week, comment, follow the blog and thank you for viewing! Take care of yourself!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sandboarding or Sand boarding? One word or two?

Buenos Aires my readers!


I know Buenos Aires means 'good airs' and Buenos Dias means 'good day', I changed the title of the introduction for a bit of a laugh. Anyway thank you for deciding to take the time out of your day, afternoon, morning or whenever you're reading this to view my weekly blog. As I did last week I published the results of the weekly poll and this is how you lot voted:



It has been confirmed, I will put Zig Zags onto my sandboard along with fluorescent yellow stripes (which I haven't yet put on but I will as part of a future blog post). You may be slightly stumped on why I said Buenos Aires on this post introduction, more importantly the use of Spanish words. I am blogging today about whether sand boarding or sandboarding is the correct word for the sport I blog about. A word of warning that I may be a sandboarding writer and enthusiast but in no way does this mean that I graduated at Cambridge University or I got any major English Language or Journalism qualifications; this might make me seem mediocre but everyone starts somewhere, right? Moving on.





The word itself

The word itself is fairly new for some reason because the popularity of the sport only took off quite recently, the Oxford English Dictionary first noted 'sandboarding' as a noun in 1987 and oddly enough 'snowboarding' was first noted in 1984, so you can see a close resemblence of sports and words even though they are 2 completely different things. According to Google's Ngram viewer where the frequency of words have been used in the past; 'sand boarding' has been used since 1858 but have a completely definition to the sport. In 1933, 'sandboarding' was first used but did refer to the actual definition of the sport where you go down a sand dune.





Compound Words

Most spell checkers that don't rely on a dictionary will put a red line underneath 'sandboarding' because it could be considered a compound word. A compound word is where 2 words are put together to make a new word; For example, 'anybody' is a compound word because 'any' and 'body' are merged together to make a bigger word. Back on the subject of spell checkers, the one I use to compose this blog highlights 'sandboarding' as an incorrect spelling, unless I put it in speech marks or in-between apostrophes.



Usage

A very good tool that I use is Google's Ngram viewer and 'sandboarding' is undisputedly the more used word rather than the English language variant of 'sand boarding'. What sparked my mind is that from the years 2001 to 2004; 'sand-boarding' spelt with a hyphen which is commonly used in English speaking countries of Africa was used more than the lesser but still popular alternative of 'sand boarding'.
Sandboarding soaring to the top! Source: Ngram viewer





 






This next bit was rather shocking, whilst sandboarding (I won't put the word in speech marks anymore as I've discovered that the majority agree online that this is the correct spelling) is the name of the sport. In Peru and Latin American regions that refer to sandboarding, it is roughly translated as 'sand surfing' (although 'sand surfing' is also a nickname too). 'sand surfing' was first used in 1958 and was the most popular term to refer to the sport till 1997 when sandboarding was more used. In 2002, 'sand-boarding' and 'sand boarding' passed 'sand surfing' as a more commonly used word.

'sand surfing' used since the 50s, Source: Ngram viewer





 

 

 

 

Final thoughts

From my experience, I've always felt sandboarding was the correct term hyphen or not, I have never used a space in-between 'sand' and 'boarding' to describe the sport (unless I wanted to fill the word limit on an essay quicker). I conducted the fair amount of research to discover the truth but I want to know: "Which term do you use most?" and the options will be: Sandboarding, Sand boarding and Sand-boarding. The poll will close on the 22nd of November at 6pm (Greenwich Mean Time) and I look forward to publishing the result. Leave a comment as always as everyone's welcome whatever language you speak, I will do my upmost best to converse with you! Next week this blog will not focus on a theme but I will advise and reveal my top 10 countries for sandboarding; It won't be an official list but my own advisory list. Take care and have a great week.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The ideal equipment

Hello world!


I'm finally happy now that the mental and physical 'states of sandboarding' posts are complete and published because I have to admit, writing them was a challenge in itself and now I feel proud! The results from last weeks poll have returned and this is how you all have voted:



I understand the voter turnout is low but voting is anonymous and it really does help! By the results of the poll, this means that I will spray paint my sandboard Fluorescent Yellow because of your opinions! Thank you once again. Today I will be publishing a document on the ideal equipment and essential items you'll want in order to have a stress free sandboarding session, I may be an enthusiast and advanced obsessive aficionado of the sport but I would admit now I don't use protection just on the fact that my sandboarding habit and recreation has been limited to my home country of Great Britain, so I can't go to more sandboarding extreme locations such as but not limited to: Brazil, Egypt, Tunisia, Namibia, Australia, South Africa, United States of America, Peru, Chile and the United Arab Emirates. The UK is a great place to find sand dunes but is more suitable for beginners and people who are training in my personal opinion because of the lack of facilities in this country for sand boarders like myself.



Now, back to the reason I started writing this post. Let's start by covering the equipment for 'you'.



Equipment for you

This section will cover to basic needs for yourself, such as headgear, goggles, perfect shoes, etc... This isn't essential but for hot, arid regions which as I've already discussed I haven't explored yet, this would be really useful.


Head

I'm not talking about a crash helmet as that would be taking it a bit too far, but a solid plastic hard shell helmet with holes on top of the helmet would be the recommendation for sandboarding. A good quality Skateboarding, BMX or Scooter helmet is similar if not identical to the specialised sandboarding helmets.


Elbow & Shin Pads

Sandboarding shops often include elbow and shin pads in their protective gear for multiple reasons: First reason is that most pads are made of fabric so they are comfortable and help support your arm and leg movements when you climb up or slide down a sand dune; Secondly, the style of stitching will prevent irritation with your skin and finally, the perforated fabric will give better ventilation to your shins and elbows.


Equipment for your board

You may be surprised that the 'you' section is limited, however this is just addressing the 'essential' items and other stuff such as gloves or shoes can be advisable but in not many situations you would have to use gloves, shoes you have to wear but there really isn't a specific shoe you have to wear. Since sand is loose and not compact like snow, if you were covered in sand or if you had a wipe out and fell off your sandboard, there wouldn't be much to worry about (not unless you fell off a cliff) but now, I'm gonna give you advice on how to care for your sandboard.


Wax

To get an edge and to perhaps glide faster on a sand dune; someone somewhere came up with an idea to rub a paraffin based wax on the base of your board to make yourself go faster on sand; if you can't afford to buy specialised board wax then some car shine wax or even warm and moist candle wax will do just fine. Proper sandboarding wax cubes (and other stuff) can be purchased at www.oceanculture.com/ the prices range from $2.75 (Australia) to $15 (Australia), or if you prefer pounds sterling as a currency then the prices will range from £1.50 to £8.15 plus shipping charges which is approximately £9.80 to the UK and £8.15 for the USA but shipping will be free anywhere in the Australian mainland. eBay is also a good location for dealers who sell special sandboarding wax.


Foot straps and Foot pads

Some sand boards are already included with footpads and/or foot straps when you purchase them, but every once in a while if they get worn out or if they feel uncomfortable, you should make a change and buy a new set. The rough estimate price for footpads is around 20 Australian dollars and for foot straps at around 53 Australian dollars on average and that's not including shipping charges; the products can be very expensive but it really matters if you need the foot accessories or not. If you consider yourself to have very good balance, you may not even need straps or pads but as an additional but non essential accessory, you could use them for safety (just in case).

Food for thought

I don't use any kind of protection as I don't particularly live in a hot or arid country and because the sand dune complex doesn't have any particularly dangerous aspects to it; However, snakes (adders) are somewhat common in the particular part of the country I sandboard in so it is important to move fast and stay away from plant areas. Luckily, I haven't been bit by an adder so everything is okay. I use an ordinary car wax for my sandboard and it works a treat but this is just the basic standard for sandboarding wax. I would love to hear what you think regarding equipment for sandboarding and please tell me what stuff you use!

Before I conclude this post, another poll will be up and the question will be "Along with Fluorescent Yellow stripes, what other patterns should I paint on my sand board?" the poll will close on Saturday 15th November at 6pm (Greenwich Mean Time). Keep on reading next week for my next post which will be slightly off topic, I will blog about the word of sandboarding, whether it is one word or two words. Take care of yourself.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The physical states of sandboarding

Hello again followers!

If you were anticipating the 'physcial' states of sandboarding post for this week, then you were right to think that because in this post, in relation to last week's 'mental states of sandboarding' post I'll be blogging about the physical states you need to be in, in order to be a pro in sandboarding. Just a reminder that I'm not a qualified Sports doctor, physician, psychiatrist, health director or anything related to an educated specialist; so if you choose to take my advice, you are taking the advice from a complete lunatic! If you like being social, this blog has its own facebook page now so please be sure to like the official FaceBook page for a more up-to-date feed.

Physical

In this section I'll be having a look and I'll publish some findings I have found on the physical state of mind you'll have to be in to be an expert or an 'amateurish professional' as I may call it.

Building Leg Muscles

Now, the main reason why so many people lag or feel sluggish in sandboarding is the sheer amount of work you have to do in order to just 'survive' (realistically enjoy it) and that is that every time, you have to climb up the dune if you don't have a recreational vehicle or dune buggy to go up the dune in. I would think that building your leg muscles to make climbing the dune easier would be a good start; I would imagine that doing at least 45 minutes of walking, running or an hour cycling would usually make more noticeable leg muscles in a short while. What I'm trying to say is that if you did a standard leg workout, say running, cycling, jogging, walking, etc... that if you took a before and after picture with a 8 week timescale, I think most people would notice how their leg muscles have changed; I haven't done this myself so I can't say for sure but if it does work let me know and I'll blog about your efforts! A little side note here as building your leg muscles are very essential and beneficial for your experience, you may look a bit of a mess if you don't focus on extending the work of your upper body.


Stamina

This relates back to the reason I covered about building leg muscles and it may actually contradict what I said last week about relaxation; However, in order to boost your stamina I have discovered that 'cardiovascular' workouts make your heart function as well in oxygen deprived (anaerobic) conditions, I have done research and according to breakingmuscle.com your maximum aerobic (with oxygen) heart rate which you can perform and function well at in order to burn fat and/or increase your levels of stamina and endurance works out to be like this: take away your age from 180, if you are 38 years old for example then your maximum aerobic heart rate would be 142 (180 - 38 = 142) so if you want to boost endurance and burn fat, aim for a heart rate less than 142 but around that number; personally, I'd say about 10% less than your maximum aerobic heart rate which in this case would be 128, because 10% of 142 is 14.2 and 142 - 14.2 = 127.8 and if you round 127.8 to the nearest whole number you'll get 128. Hopefully my maths skills are just as good as my sandboarding expertise. I think stamina is vital in this sport as you have to climb up the dune and stay active.

Eating & Drinking

Now this subtopic is quite easy, just eat the right foods and drink the right drinks. I would find it essential to have a good breakfast of cereal or a nice cooked breakfast at least 2 and a half hours before your sandboarding session to give your body time to process the food down and for a chance to 'relieve yourself' as it were. I would under all circumstances avoid high stimulant energy drinks, mentioning no brand names; energy drinks cause you to crash and burn later in the day and could mean trouble to you being awake whereas coffee and tea related beverages slowly release energy and are better, try to avoid sugary carbonated drinks but it is vital to get water and a lot of it! If you read the last post, I referred to the amount of water you'll need when taking part in this sport with sand dunes and in deserts, if you do snowboarding in the winter it's the same story as the air is drier and you need to stay hydrated and warm. Avoid Silicon Dioxide as it is a cause for being parched and in a dry region such as a sand dune complex for sandboarding, it's a no-no!


Aerodynamics & Hair

This sub-topic is true but yet again misleading. There is a common misconception that cyclists in the annual 'Tour de France' shave their legs because of aerodynamics. Shaving legs making you go faster is correct but in reality it's not a big difference, an improvement is only at about 0.6% as cyclists with hairless legs can only save about 5 seconds of extra time if they are going 40 kilometres at a speed of 37 kilometres per hour. My personal thinking and logic behind this 'shaving legs theory' is that it could work on the dunes but only by a few milliseconds as the dune is shorter than a 40 kilometre journey but you do go a lot faster so there may be hope. Aside from aerodynamics from shaving legs, legs with no hairs can heal cuts faster because of the ease of applying plasters, easier to clean yourself and women love men with smooth legs (just some short dating advice there)! A body with lower surface area will make you go faster because there's less space for air to hit whilst you're going down the dune.

Final words

My personal thoughts and feelings towards this fitness and physical topic are rather low as I never go to the gym and work out but I do cycle to college every day (when it's not raining) and do at least my half an hour exercise so I don't worry, I eat well and I am in good shape so I feel there's no reason to complain but obviously if I want to prepare before a big event, I do but since my schedule is mainly empty, I don't do much else. On next weeks blog post; I'm going to try something a bit different, I will put up a poll with a question asking you, the loyal readers: "What colour stripes should I have on my sandboard?", I ask you because I'm so indecisive. So don't forget to like the new Sandboarding Nation facebook page, vote in the poll which closes 9th November at 12pm (Greenwich Mean Time).

To our new Spanish speaking blog readers, "¡Hola!" I used to study Spanish in school; now to our English readers and all other readers across the world, Take care of yourself and see you next week. Join me where I'll be blogging about the 'ideal equipment'.