Atop the massive sand dune, I take in the incredible view of Namibia's Dorob National Park's dunes rolling onto the horizon in front of me, while Atlantic breakers roll in behind me. Then I simply hold onto my waxed sandboard as I lie down on it, arch my back a bit, hold up the flexible front end with my hands, keep my elbows up, and go!
The steep dunes outside Swakopmund, Namibia are a haven for sand boarding. No experience is necessary for either version of this fast-moving sport, which comes in two styles: standing upright on a snowboard, or lying down on a flexible sheet like on a sled. And both are an absolute blast.
Rocketing down steep runs, speeds of up to 50 miles per hour are possible. Quickly my group started racing, competing for longest run, riding tandem, and generally laughing at every slide and turn.
Many operators offer sand boarding packages, where you can either try one version and then take off on quad bikes or in Land Rovers for a desert safari, or you could spend the day mastering both. Either way, you’ll be laughing about it all later, maybe over an icy Windhoek lager back in Swakopmund's Kucki’s Pub.
By Chris Chesak of Adventure Travel Trade Association