Swakopmund - Sandboarding !!!
Feb 21, 2005
|Today was our activity day. We got picked up at 9:30 and headed out to the backside of the dunes. There were 5 of us (Karen, us, 2 Brits) and the staff. I ended up with a board that had a Canadian Flag on it - neat.
Nigel was the only one who had signed up for the lie down/face first option, so the staff let him have a go at the stand-up option for no extra charge. Why the heck not?
So off we all went, kitted out with board, boots, and helmet. The dune was about 120m tall and there was no lift. so we had to climb. Wah. Actually, it wasn't as bad as we thought it would be. It was a cloudy day, and the breeze coming off the ocean was nice and cool. The folks infront of you created a step ladder in the sand with their footprints, so it made for an easier climb.
After a quick wax, it was down the hill. It was a lot like riding in corn snow. Though the sand was very fine, it was also very heavy and sticky. It took a bit of getting used to, but by the 2nd and 3rd run, it was a lot of fun.
We all switched over to the lie down option after 3 or 4 runs. The short boards are like the thin boards you nail with finishing nails into the back of some Ikea furniture --smooth on one side, rough on the other. With the smooth side down, you put your knees on the end, lay down on your belly, grab and lift the front up as high as you can, stick your elbows out, and the next thing you know, you're screaming down the sand dune face first, clocking up to 60km/h and across a sweeping turn. Believe me, there is very little time to scream! :) Lammie ended up spinning sideways midway through the turn, but managed to hang on.
The second run was down a higher part of the dune. It had a much steeper pitch, and a lip/roller at the end. On this one, you clock up to 80km/h.
So off we went... with little opportunity to yell 'mommy!'... down the hill, wind in your face... up the hill to the roller... airborne... blue skies... still airborne (mommy!?!)... SLAM!! into the sand (Argh!). Wow. What a rush! Lammie let go of the board in mid-air and landed hard, and did a few rolls (you'll have to see the video!!). Major wipeout! She was covered from head to toe with sand. Nigel ended up with a hole in his board somehow.
It was so fun, we had to do it again. This time, we got even bigger air than the last. From the still shots the crew took, she was almost completely vertical, with her feet off the ground. Lammie landed hard again, but this time kept her board. She ended up going the furthest, but paid the price with a mouthful of sand. Yum. Nigel had a graceful landing but punched a hole in his again.
We finished off with one last run on our boards down the frontside, hitting a jump that they had built. Lammie landed hers with a bit of a wobble, but stayed upright. Yay!
We wrapped up our excursion with a nice cold beer.