Sandboarding – a recreational activity that takes place on sand dunes rather than snow covered mountains – is fast becoming one of the most popular adrenalin activities in South Africa.
There are numerous tour operators throughout the country, as well as a number of venues dedicated solely to this activity.
Unlike snowboarding, however, very little specialised clothing and equipment is needed for sandboarding, especially in sunny South Africa.
I love sand boarding because it keeps me out of trouble and away from gangsters.
The soft sands found in the Western Cape allow sandboarders to reach considerable speed and to perform a variety of tricks, including twists and jumps, depending on how skilled or adventurous they are.
Youths from Atlantis neighbourhood, one of the most notorious areas in South Africa, make good use of their free time on Fridays to practice sandboarding.
The idea behind this project is to help these children to make better choices in their life.
“I love sand boarding because it keeps me out of trouble and away from gangsters,” said Kegan Cloete.
“Fridays when I come after school, out of the school, then I can’t wait when uncle Derek comes. We stand there by my city and wait for Tessa and others to come, and we come to sandboarding,” said one of the teenagers.
The project intends to keep the youths occupied during their free time to prevent cases of involvement in criminal activities.
“This sandboarding experience gives them at least a glimmer of what is beyond that and out of that experience they can see that there are other opportunities in life and there is a better life out there than the kind of lives they live on a daily basis,” Derek Bredenkamp, working at Mamba Sandboarding told AFP.
Despite the efforts being made by the authorities to curb crime rate, little has changed. According to statistics dating back to 2013, almost 50,000 cases of rape have been reported to police.