Monday, August 22, 2011 at 14:20:00 UTC (GMT)
Oregon has long been the place for pioneers, just think about it: there's the Oregon trail, Nike tennis shoes and now sandboarding. Sandboarding isn't a sport many have heard about yet, but Lon Beale knows all about it because he's pretty sure he invented it in 1972. Only after snubbing his nose up at snow boarding, and predicting that it would never take off, of course.
“I just didn’t think I’d have to be the guy to do it,” Beale said. “I never thought of myself as a pioneer, but necessity pushed me that way,” Beale said in an interview with Tacoma News Tribune writer, Craig Hill.
You see, Beale loves sand! So much so that he purchased 40 acres of dunes to create a perfect place to introduce others to this exciting sport. He calls his paradise for sandboarders, Sand Master Park--he opened it in 2000. It's located on the dunes in Florence, Oregon.
Feeling skeptical yet? I know it sounds kind of different, but picture snow boarding on sand. But get this, you don't have to get up early to hit the slopes because the dunes always look untouched.
"Imagine fresh powder every single run," Beale said.
Beale says people from many areas come to his park, more than 25,000 people per year. Also, in the small town on the Oregon coast, former Gig Harbor, Washington resident and four-time sandboarding champ, Josh Tenge, currently resides.
Even the local Chamber of Commerce will vouch for the popularity of the sport. "There are a lot of reasons people come here, but I'd say it (sandboarding) is one of the most popular," said a Chamber of Commerce representative.
Not only does Beale run the park, he also manufactures sandboards and sells them worldwide ranging from $189 to $265 depending on the caliber of board you're ready to purchase.
So, if you're ever driving down Highway 101 in Oregon don't forget to set aside some time to hit the slopes!
Sand Master Park website
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