Unlike surfing and snowboarding, sandboarding is only just becoming a rising star on the “hip” sport front. Competitions are cropping up in Africa, Australia, Dubai, Chile and now Brazil — all places that have steep sand dunes.
Jericoacoara, Branco Morro, Cumbuco are all frequent destinations for sandboarding in Northern Brazil. Jericoacoara is the most extreme of these destinations for trick and stand-up sandboarding but Branco Morro was my first opportunity to try the sport.
The boards that I saw in Branco Morro were homemade. For each run the bottoms were coated in wax because without the wax the board simply won’t move on the sand. Lay-down sandboarding was the only option on these dunes. The locals call it ski-bunda.
Sandboarding in Cumbuco is more elaborate — with long runs and a lake at the bottom for those who want to cool off. For 5-Reis you can take as many runs down the dune as you want. After about three runs in the hot sun however, climbing gets difficult.
Lay-down sandboarding was also the only option given here. The technique is simple: reach behind and use your arms to control how fast or slow you want to go. If you want to ride into the lake simply lift your arms at the end.
To get to all locations you need a dune buggy.