Sandboarding event to be held in Mexicali

Posted: March 19, 2014 by kirisyko in Boarding, Sand Boarding
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Baja Sandboard Mexicali 2014


LOS ALGODONES, BAJA CALIFORNIA — Nine years ago, Mexicali native Keko Morales was bitten by the sandboarding bug, and he hasn’t been able to shake it.

Identical to its more popular winter sports counterpart, deviating solely in the medium, sandboarding involves riding across or down dunes with both feet strapped to a board. The sport is quickly gaining adherents throughout the world, most prevalently in desert and coastal areas — not least of all, in the northern Mexican states of Baja California, Sonora and Chihuahua.

“I started noticing it on an international basis,” said Morales, 26. “I saw it and I liked it a lot. … All the young people here in the north (of Mexico) think we have to go to Arizona or California because we have nothing to do in Mexico, but … we have a lot of big dunes here and the chance to do something fun.”

Beginning Sunday at high noon, the fourth annual Mexicali Baja Sandboard event will return to the Mexicali Valley. Last year’s edition took place in the Cuervitos Dunes, with more than 1,000 attendees from all over Mexico, the United States and even Brazil.

Numbered among them was Lon “Doctor Dune” Beale, who invented the sport, and Digiácomo Dias, a Brazilian four-time World Champion.

This year, the Baja will make its debut at the Algodones Dunes, a large erg — or sand dune field — located southeast of Los Algodones. Los Algodones is itself a small town on the extreme northeastern tip of Mexicali Municipality, approximately 10 miles west of Yuma. Morales, the event founder and coordinator, is expecting an even more impressive turnout, citing a signup sheet black with names from all over California, Oregon, Mexico, Brazil, Peru and Chile.

There will be separate divisions for professional riders and beginners (children, teenagers, men and women) in both Slalom and Big Air modalities. On the pro side, American Gabriel Cruz and Chilean José Martínez are expected to cut wide swaths in the sand.

Although he himself rides recreationally, Morales is perhaps better known as a journalist who has nevertheless found time for his passion. He is one of the sport’s most active promoters in Mexico and has been writing for the blog Sandboard México since 2005.

“All the people from the north are into this sport. Also places like Veracruz and the city of Mexico. They have some places to do it, but here is where we have more riders to do this sport,” Morales said, referencing the vast Sonoran Desert easily accessible to aspiring boarders.

Early projections have the weather Sunday at partly cloudy, with a high of 86 degrees and a low of 58. There are still open spaces for those who wish to sign up, free of charge. Admission will also be free.

For more information or to sign up, visit or the event’s Facebook page (“Baja Sandboard Mexicali 2014”).

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