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 youThis 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.
HeadI'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 PadsSandboarding 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 boardYou 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.
WaxTo 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 padsSome 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 thoughtI 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.