The challenge: surf down an active volcano or a sand dune
Boarding is no longer restricted to snow. Thrill seekers can now slide down far more interesting places, such as deserts and volcanoes. Here are a few basics about these adventure activities and where you can practice them.
Volcano boarding, also known as spoon boarding or volcano surfing, is a relative newcomer among the extreme sports. It originated in Nicaragua, a country also home to the most popular destination for practicing the activity – Cerro Negro volcano, the youngest active volcano in South America, only 728 m (2388 ft) high.
Enthusiasts walk to the volcanic crater before proceeding to the interesting part – sliding down the volcanic stones and ash with a special board at a speed of up to 75 kph (46.6 mph). Remember to take the necessary equipment – a helmet, glasses and special overalls to make sure the activity is not only fun but safe as well.
Sandboarding sends you to another, similarly warm place – the desert. Sandboarding is a sport where you slide down a sand dune with your feet fixed to a board. It is practiced in Peru – Arequipa and Nazca as well as down Duna Grande (two routes – one of them 700 m (2296 ft) long, the other – 1 km (3280 ft).
In Australia, try the Dunes of Lucky Bay with its trained beginners instructors.
In Chile, go to Valle de la Muerte, they also practice sandboarding in Dubai Desert and Namib Desert in Namibia. Currently in Europe there’s one place for sandboarding – Hirschau artificial sand hills in Germany.