Sandboarding Fun at Jockey's Ridge State Park (2023)

Sandboarding Fun at Jockey's Ridge State Park (1)A lesser-known activity that's available at Jockey's Ridge State Park is sandboarding. The dunes are recognized as being one of the best spots to fly a kite on north carolina's Outer Banks and considered by many to be the number one place to learn how to hang glide in the country.

Although the wright brothers chose to fly their homemade gliders off Kill Devil Hill to the north, Jockey's Ridge's soft sand and smooth winds make the dune system a premier location for aviation recreation.

(Video) SandBoarding the Largest Sand Dunes on the East Coast

Apart from the incredibly ideal kite flying and hang gliding conditions, Jockey's Ridge State Park is considered to be the very best spot for sandboarding on the East Coast – a designation that is rarely touted by the park. The area doesn't receive much snow – maybe 1 to 2 inches a year – so board riding locals have gravitated to the dune for sandboarding fun for decades.

Sandboarding Fun at Jockey's Ridge State Park (2)

(Video) Sand Surfing | Jockey’s Ridge State Park | Outer Banks

While sandboarding may seem similar to snowboarding, the sand can make it more challenging to carve turns compared to snow. One of the best advantages of choosing sandboarding is that all you need is a good board and enough endurance to scale up and down the dunes after riding down because unlike snowboarding, there are no ski lifts!

In addition to sandboarding, the younger audience typically enjoys sand dune sledding, which is a casual affair here on the Outer Banks… which fits into the laid-back lifestyle you'll find elsewhereon thethin strip of barrier islands. On any given day, you'll be able to easily spot kids of all ages sliding down the dunes on cardboard boxes and body boards. Sand sledding does not require a permit, however sandboarding with bindings on the board does and is only permitted on the dunes from October through March.

(Video) Sandboarding the Tallest of the Largest Sand Dune system on the East coast | Jockey's Ridge

Permits must be obtained from the park office and parents will be required to sign for anyone under 18. Please visit Jockey's Ridge State Park's website for additional information about the park and other recreational activities available.

Consider Renting a Sandboard

We do rent sandboards out of the kitty hawk kites hang gliding school, located at302 Carolista Drive in Nags Head, NC. The cost is $20 for four hours, and $40 for the entire day. You will not need a permit if you rent a sandboard from Kitty Hawk Kites, however you will be required to sign a waiver.

(Video) Sandboarding In The OBX

If you have any questions regarding our sandboard rentals check out more information about sandboardingcontact our hang gliding school directly at(252) 441-2426.

(Video) Hang Gliding at Jockey's Ridge State Park in Outer Banks, NC / Kitty Hawk Kites / GoPro Hero 8 Black

(Video) SANDBOARDING at Jockey's Ridge State Park // Outer Banks North Carolina


Can you sandboard at Jockey's Ridge? ›

Sand-boarding is permitted at the park. Sand boards with foot bindings, boogie boards, skim boards, disc sleds or heavy cardboard are permitted. You will need to bring your own board. Are there jobs available at Jockey's Ridge?

Is sand boarding fun? ›

Sandboarding is an adventure many can enjoy, and the beautiful beaches and astonishing deserts in many parts of the world make this sport even more fun. Being able to sand surf any time of the year increases its popularity as well. Here are some of the most popular places to sand surf around the world.

What can you do at Jockeys Ridge State Park? ›

Hang gliding is a hallmark activity at the park, and a private concessionaire offers lessons. A second access area takes visitors through wetland habitats and allows for swimming, paddling, kiteboarding, and windsurfing on the Roanoke Sound. The park also marks the eastern terminus of the Mountains-to-Sea State Trail.

What do you wear sandboarding? ›

It's a good idea to wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts to protect your skin from the sun and sand. Boards need to be waxed before each run to ensure a smooth ride. Drinking water is a must. Hiking sand dunes is no easy task, so remember to hydrate and rest when needed.

What do you wear to sand duning? ›

The aim is always safety and comfort first. Requirements vary depending on the weather and the type of work. Loose cotton clothing is most comfortable in hot weather, but overalls or fitted work clothes are safer when using edged tools and are best for most work.

Can you sit on a sandboard? ›

Sandboarding involves standing on the board, either with or without bindings and riding down the dunes. There are also the options to practice lying down on the belly or sitting on the board.

What age is sandboarding for? ›

There is no minimum or maximum age for sandboarding – it's fun for the whole family. We do recommend that smaller children stick to the smaller slopes when riding solo though.

How hard is sandboarding? ›

As it turns out, sandboarding can actually be quite extreme. The dunes can be incredibly steep and tall, reaching heights of up to 500 feet! The sand itself is often loose and powdery, making it challenging to keep your balance.

How do you prepare for sandboarding? ›

Wax up your sandboard, adjust the bindings, apply sunscreen, put your sunglasses and helmet on, wear elbow and knee pads, and stay hydrated all the time. Never ride a dune without someone around. In case of an accident, you'll need a friend or relative to help you and call emergency services.

How long of a walk is Jockeys Ridge? ›

Experience this 0.9-mile loop trail near Nags Head, North Carolina. Generally considered an easy route, it takes an average of 16 min to complete. This is a popular trail for birding, hiking, and walking, but you can still enjoy some solitude during quieter times of day.

What do you wear to Jockeys Ridge? ›

Dress & Pack Appropriately

Surprise, surprise, there is very little shade on the sand dunes at Jockey's Ridge State Park. You will need to pack water, sunscreen, and shoes you can trek through sand in. As the sand can be as much as 30 degrees hotter than the air temperature, you may prefer closed shoes vs. flip flops.

Was Star Wars filmed at Jockeys Ridge? ›

Was Star Wars filmed at Jockey's Ridge? Unfortunately no, Star Wars was not filmed at Jockey's Ridge.

Do you wear shoes when sandboarding? ›

If your board is equipped with foot straps, no footwear at all is required when sandboarding. If you are using sandboard bindings, or if you are in a desert location with very hot sand, you will then need to protect your feet by wearing closed toe shoes or boots.

Is sandboarding indoor or outdoor? ›

The outdoor sand riding activity that was never quite considered an "official sport" is usually practiced in giant, steep coastal dunes and even in hot deserts where oceans and water are only a mirage. Sandboarding is a blend between surfing, skateboarding, and snowboarding.

What does sandboarding feel like? ›

1. Sandboarding feels more like surfing than snowboarding. While sandboards are aesthetically more similar to a snowboard than a surfboard, dune sledging really feels more like surfing than snowboarding.

What should I bring to the sand dunes? ›

Bring a hat, gloves, wool socks, and a warm jacket for the night year round, because temperatures can drop. For sun and sand protection, pack a sun hat, sun gloves, sunglasses, long-sleeve shirt with UPF sun protection, and a bandana or lightweight face and neck cover like a Buff or Discrete neck buff.

Do you wear shoes at the sand dunes? ›

Wear closed-toe shoes when hiking on the sand. Take sunscreen, as skin burns easily at this high elevation (8,200 feet/2,499m at the visitor center).

Can you wear sandals to sand dunes? ›

Sand surface temperatures can reach over 150° F on summer afternoons; plan to hike early morning or evening in summer months to avoid burned feet and potential heat exhaustion. If you must walk on the dunes on a summer afternoon, be sure to take boots or tennis shoes (sandals are not adequate) .

Do you need a helmet for sandboarding? ›

Sandboarding Equipment

Sandboarding requires gloves to protect your hands and a helmet to protect your head in case of a fall. Also very important is protection against the sun, including a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen.

What are the benefits of sandboarding? ›

Strength and endurance: Sandboarding requires the use of various muscle groups, including the legs, core, and upper body. This can help to improve overall strength and endurance. Balance and coordination: Sandboarding requires good balance and coordination to navigate the dune and stay on the board.

Is sand sledding hard? ›

While you can sled down sand dunes, it's more difficult than sledding in snow. You can't use any old contraption – say, a saucer, toboggan, cookie sheet or piece of cardboard.

Is it easy to learn how to sandboard? ›

Snowboarders will take to it immediately since it is so similar to snowboarding, but even if you haven't snowboarded, sandboarding is easy to learn. Just like a snowboard, you'll put your feet in the two footholds on your board.

Can you go sandboarding in the rain? ›

4WD Tours run rain, hail or shine – in fact sandboards go faster when its wet!

Do you wax the bottom of a sandboard? ›

Before each ride, apply a light coat of wax to the base of your sandboard (this is the glossy white surface allowing the board to slide over the sand) Waxing the rail edges as well as the base will increase your turning speed and help reduce drag from the boards side-cut and will also help preserve the timber edges ...

Do you need a special board to sandboard? ›

So, while you can use a snowboard to sandboard, it might not be the best option, especially if you're a beginner. If you're just starting out, we recommend using a sandboard that's specifically designed for riding on sand. These boards are usually smaller and lighter than snowboards, making them easier to control.

Can you carve on a sandboard? ›

The rider stands on the sandboard and has the ability to “carve” and steer the board down the dune. The rider sits on the sand sled (feet downhill) and has little to no control of the sled.

How do you slide down sand dunes? ›

Don't waste time with snow sleds, saucers, cardboard, or soft plastic items. These won't slide on dry sand. Sandboards and sand sleds are specifically made for sand, featuring a special design with extra slick base material and special wax; these work best for sliding in most conditions.

Can you slide down Jockey's Ridge? ›

On any given day, you'll be able to easily spot kids of all ages sliding down the dunes on cardboard boxes and body boards. Sand sledding does not require a permit, however sandboarding with bindings on the board does and is only permitted on the dunes from October through March.

Can you watch the sunset from Jockey Ridge State Park? ›

Because of its elevation and unique landscape, Jockey's Ridge is a great place to see the sunset or practice your photography. Evenings are often the best time to go in the summer, when the sand has cooled from the summer heat. The park is open from 8 a.m. to sunset.

Why is it called Jockey Ridge? ›

Legend says the name “Jockey's Ridge” came from the early inhabitant's practice of capturing and racing wild ponies in the area. Due to the seasonal shift in wind direction, the dunes constantly change shape and size.

What movies were filmed at Jockey's Ridge? ›

Filming Location Matching "Jockey's Ridge State Park, North Carolina, USA" (Sorted by Popularity Ascending)
  • The Race for Flight (2003) 46 min | Documentary. ...
  • The Transgressor (2017) 15 min | Short, Drama, Sci-Fi. ...
  • Gambil (2012) 114 min | Action, Comedy, Drama. ...
  • Adrenaline (2011 Video) ...
  • Discovery Jones Expeditions (2000–2009)

What is the biggest sand dune in Michigan? ›

Nature & Culture Merge in Sleeping Bear

Here in the little finger of Michigan is the largest moving sand dune in the world. Thirty-five miles and 71,000 acres of unspoiled beauty along Michigan's northwest shoreline and the magnificent Manitou Islands defines Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore established in 1970.

Is Jockey's Ridge man made? ›

Jockey's Ridge is the tallest living natural sand dune system in the Eastern United States. Its height varies from 80 to 100 feet, depending on weather conditions.

How old is Jockey's Ridge? ›

History. Scientists believe that the barrier islands of the Outer Banks were remnants of the last ice age, which ended approximately 12,000 years ago. They have also concluded that Jockey's Ridge itself came into being about 7,000 years ago.

What is a living sand dune? ›

The winds blow from the northeast during the winter and from the southwest during the summer, so the sand is constantly blown back and forth, preventing it from blowing away entirely. At times, the dune can get as tall as 60 feet. Because the ridge is always changing, it is often referred to as “The Living Dune.”

What sand dunes was Star Wars filmed in? ›

Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area

Some scenes from The Return of the Jedi were shot in California very close to Yuma, Arizona and the Mexican border. More precisely, they were filmed in Buttercup Valley (or Imperial Sand Dunes) within the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area.

What shoes are best for hot sand beach? ›

Platform sandals are fashionable, stylish, and comfortable. They protect your feet from burning by hot sand, plus sand pebbles won't get stuck between your toes. Sandals are by far the most popular shoes worn on the beach.

How fast do sandboards go? ›

The current Guinness World Record for Speed on a Sandboard is held by athlete Erik Johnson who reached a speed of 51 mph (82 km/h).

Can you wear sneakers in sand? ›

Sand can work its way into all the tiny cracks and crevices in your shoes, lingering for weeks or even months. Any time you wear sneakers to the beach, you also risk getting them wet. If you don't take the time to dry them properly after this, your shoes can become musty or even start to grow mold.

How long should a sandboard be? ›

The common length of a sandboard ranges anywhere from 95-125 cm. While there are extra long boards available in the range of 140-160 cm, these are usually custom-made and used primarily by very experienced sandboarders.

Are sand dunes wet? ›

Moist Dunes

Dig down anywhere in the dunes a few inches and you will find wet sand anytime of year. The source of this moisture content - 7% throughout the dunes - mostly comes from precipitation captured over time. The dry sand on top actually serves as a moderate barrier to escaping moisture.

Where can I sand sled at White Sands National Park? ›

You'll find White Sands' best, easily accessible sledding at the northern point of the Dunes Drive near the trailhead for the Alkali Flat Trail. The dunes are much larger – probably 30 – 40 ft tall – here and there's little to no vegetation at the bottom.

Can you sandboard at the White sand dunes? ›

The gypsum dunes at White Sands are great for sand sledding or sand boarding.

Can you go sandboarding in White Sands National Park? ›

Can you sandboard at White Sands National Park? Of course you can! You can dune sled and sand board. I've seen people use snowboards, sleds or even a piece of cardboard.

Can you sandboard on sand dunes? ›

Sandboarding, sledding, and skiing are permitted anywhere on the dunefield away from vegetated areas.

What do you wear to sand dune sledding? ›

You should wear long-sleeved, loose clothing to protect you from the hot sun, and from scrapes and bruises when sledding. The sand can get quite hot, so plan to wear closed-toed shoes or sneakers, and sled or board in socks. Bring a hat and sunglasses, and plenty of water up on the dunes with you.

Do you have to bring your own sled to White Sands? ›

Unlike snow, sand is not slippery and sledding down the face of a dune can take some practice unless you have the correct equipment, know proper techniques and use safety precautions. Waxed plastic snow saucers work best and can be purchased at the park's gift shop. You may also bring your own sleds.

What do you wear to sand sledding? ›

Bring a hat, gloves, wool socks, and a warm jacket for the night year round, because temperatures can drop. For sun and sand protection, pack a sun hat, sun gloves, sunglasses, long-sleeve shirt with UPF sun protection, and a bandana or lightweight face and neck cover like a Buff or Discrete neck buff.

Can you get stuck in a sand dune? ›

Riding the sand dunes is one of the most thrilling experiences for any off-road enthusiast but no matter how skilled and cautious you are at the dunes, everyone is bound to get stuck in the sand at some point.

Do I need sand tires in sand dunes? ›

It's a question that people ask all the time, "Do I have to run paddle tires/sand tires in the dunes?" The answer is pretty simple, "No you don't have to, but you'll have a hell of a lot more fun if you do." You'll be able to climb faster and steeper and you'll find yourself looking for someone with a recovery strap ...

Is the sand hot at White Sands? ›

Also, unlike silica sand, gypsum doesn't absorb heat from the sun. So even on the hottest day of the year, the dunes are cool and comfortable to walk on, making White Sands a nice stop in the summer. Just visit when the sunrays are not at their peak, and remember to bring plenty of water to drink.

Can you ride dune buggies at White Sands National Park? ›

Wrap up: 13 Top Things to do in White Sands New Mexico 2021

We totally recommend visiting it for its amazing dunes and make sure to try out sledding or riding a dune buggy for more adrenaline!

Can you walk barefoot at White Sands? ›

The sand is not really sand, it is gypsum . It is very soft and cool to,the touch. A full on hike would require socks and supportive hiking boots to your ankles from a sprain.


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4. Sand boarding tallest Sand Dunes on the East Coast #shorts
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6. Sandboarding Jockey’s Ridge
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