Snow: is there something like this? Well, maybe. There may be a new medium to test your rackets: sand. Even though sand and snow have different properties, there are many ways to classify them together.
Photographers and artists have seen the connections between the two for years. Take artist Simon Beck. He started out as a snow artist, creating beautiful and intricately detailed geometric and architectural works in snow. But, he also creates detailed works in sand, a canvas similar to snow.
It is the same in many snow sports. Have you ever heard of sandboarding, sand sledding or sand skiing? It’s one thing (a funny thing from the way it looks). Dunes and parks, including Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado, are a regular home for sand sports enthusiasts. Snowshoeing or using snowshoes on the sand is part of this group.
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Why use snowshoes on the sand
Snowshoes were originally designed to provide flotation or to limit sinking in the snow. In fact, nothing can ruin a ride in the snow more than digging all the way down the trail. In addition to flotation, snowshoes provide stability and grip on snow, especially in uneven snow and spring snowmelt.
Whether it’s the dunes or the beach, walking in the sand is similar, with issues that snowshoes can solve. So the next time you’re on the beach or on the dunes, think about the benefits and fun that using snowshoes on the sand can bring.
Richard Linell, a sandhoe enthusiast, former football coach and competitive biathlon competitor, shares his favorite reasons for going out on the sand.
Its main reason is snowshoeing, just like snowshoeing is great workout!
Even without snowshoes, the resistance of the sand makes your body work harder than you would on flat terrain. Many athletes and beach enthusiasts know this.
But add snowshoes to your feet and the extra weight provides an increased challenge, especially for your lower body. For the upper body, you can use Nordic walking poles (Richard likes the Exerstrider or Leki non-folding poles) to increase the workout.
Read more: Take a snowshoe walk for better physical condition with Nordic walking poles
The second benefit mentioned by Richard is stability. The snowshoe’s flat layout provides balance over rough terrain, and the snowshoe’s binding protects your foot and keeps it secure. You don’t have to worry about any ankle shifting or risking losing your balance on the sand, especially if you are shoeing with poles.
Of course, you won’t need the grip offered by snowshoe crampons. Nonetheless, you will appreciate the added stability and foot protection that the racquet offers on the sand.
Read more: Snowshoe education: are two poles better than one?
It can be boring or tedious to do the same routine over and over again. One way to change what you are doing is to change the medium. As Richard says, “A lot of people are looking to get out and want a change. You can think outside the box to get things done ”.
So swap snow for sand for a whole different snowshoe experience!
Activity all year round
One of the saddest times of the year for us snowshoers is when the snow disappears. Even though spring can be a pleasant change of scenery, winter will always be (at least for me) my favorite season because of the snowshoeing opportunities it brings.
However, by using our snowshoes on the sand, we have the opportunity to enjoy the activity all year round! As Richard mentions, “beaches don’t go away and they’re good for your psyche”. So no matter the season, snowshoeing offers a getaway to breathe in the fresh air with our favorite outdoor gear (aka snowshoes).
Richard snowshoes on the beach, but if you’re heading out into the dunes with deep sand, snowshoes can improve your flotation as well. Especially on moderate or relatively flat dunes, snowshoes can limit your sinking into deep sand. Just ask this writer who used his snowshoes on the sands of the White Bluffs in Washington state.
Read more: Why wear snowshoes?
Snowshoe recommendations and maintenance
Richard uses a pair of Crescent Moon aluminum rackets that he has owned for almost a decade. However, our top snowshoe recommendation for your snowshoe outings is the Eva Foam snowshoes from Crescent Moon.
The beauty of Evas is that they feel like an extension of your foot, are relatively light in weight, and are easy to use. Additionally, Crescent Moon built these racquets for packaged conditions, the foam is less subject to wear and tear and the racquets do not have stainless steel or aluminum studs underneath, only small rubber studs that provide grip. traction. The small rubber wedges allow you a certain grip without the risk of wearing out your crampons. Plus, aggressive traction may not provide the grip you are looking for on steep inclines.
Also, speaking of wear and tear, since sand and salt water can be hard on the shoe, be sure to clean your snowshoes well after each outing to help preserve them.
First, inspect your snowshoes for grains of sand. As small as they are, grains of sand can get stuck on your shoes, especially in the fasteners. Wipe off any sand that you find stuck or encrusted in your shoes to help prevent wear and sand buildup. Then rinse your rackets with fresh water to remove any sand you missed. A thorough wash will help your gear last longer and is essential if you have salt water on your rackets, as salt water is corrosive. Finally, be sure to store your snowshoes properly.
If you don’t have snowshoes to try out on the sand, you can rent them at most local sporting goods stores. Or, coming soon, rent them directly from Snowshoe Magazine (let us know if you’re interested).
Read more: Crescent Moon Eva Snowshoe Review: A Unique Experience
Go out and try it!
So the next time you hit the beach or head out to the dunes, try bringing a pair of snowshoes to use on the sand. Whether your goal is getting back into shape or protecting or trying out a different activity, snowshoeing is the way to go.
And you? Have you tried using your snowshoes in the sand or on snowshoes? Would you like? Please share your experiences with us in the comments below.
This article was corrected on April 1, 2021, to clarify the rackets used in Richard’s racket experiments.
Read more :
Summer days on snowshoes
Definitive Guide: How to Choose the Perfect Snowshoes for Your Needs
Enjoy the health benefits of snowshoeing
Snowshoes for beginners: the beginner’s guide