That Time I Went Sand Boarding In New Zealand (And Didn’t Die)

DSCF0643A lot was covered on the Cape Regina / Ninety Mile Beach tour in New Zealand I went on when I took my month-long trip with my dad ( which, yes, I still have to write about – I’ll get to it, OK!).

It was actually one of the best tours I’ve been on and, trust me, I’ve been on a lot crappy tours – which makes me appreciate the good ones a lot more. The tour guide was kind and entertaining (he even sang for us – I have video for a future blog post!). One thing that was included on this tour was an opportunity to go sand boarding. My dad being my dad, stood on the side with the others who didn’t want to sand board and watched those who did.

“I’ll try it,” I thought. “It looks fun.”

Our lovely tour guide explained that we could either climb up to the dunes (no shoes!) with a board or with our camera/phone, but not with both because there’s a good chance our camera/phone will get buried in the sand dune and be lost forever!

I handed over my camera to my dad and grabbed a sand board and headed up the sand dune. As the tour guide warned us, it wasn’t an easy climb! It was quite difficult actually and I struggled quite a bit and was relieved when I finally reached the top.

And then I looked down and I was terrified.


I suddenly felt a sense of fear. The bottom was muddy and the tour bus wasn’t too far from the sand dune, and watching other people on my tour go down and lose control and slide off the bottom of the dune and onto the muddy ground and continue sliding off and twisting and turning over made me panic.

I even thought about climbing back down because I was scared. But what if it was actually fun? What if it wasn’t as scary as it looked? What if I missed out if I didn’t go through with it? The tour guide looked over to the where I was standing and asked, “OK, who’s next?”

I stepped up, still in extreme panic mode.

“How do not lose control?” I asked.

“You have to dig your feet into the sand – really dig them in,” he said. He told me to stay flat on the board, and I did exactly what he told me to do: dig my feet into the sand. I focused on that, and as I started going down the dune, the speed started increasing and I started screaming.


And something happened when I got to the end of the dune. I stopped. I didn’t slide off the ground or really got muddy or injured or whatever.

The moment almost felt triumphant.

Of course, I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to go off the sand dune and on the ground, as the tour guide treated a couple of people to ice cream later in the day for doing something right. Of course these people were on their second round down the dune and, yeah, I wasn’t climbing up that dune again. Once was enough for this trip.

It turns out that climbing up the sand dune was hard. I struggled. I was out of breath.

I doubted myself because fear set in. But it turned out fine. My dad even snapped a really great picture of me as I got up and walked away from dune in victory.


“Limits, like fears, are often just an illusion.” ― Michael Jordan

Tell me about a time when you were scared but went through with it anyway.

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