Here's a photo-album link. http://photomail.photoworks.com/SfwO...?AlbID=1608127
Went down the the Oregon dunes and chatted with the cool dude who runs Sandmaster park in Newport, and he let me know that Pledge is no longer allowed to be used as wax by the parks department. Normal soft ski wax is all they allow. He looked over my setup and wished me luck and gave me a small block of wax. For sandboards (which are MUCH smaller and more curved than a snowboard) they use a high density plastic similar to formica for thier bases. Titanium and stainless steel just haven't worked out due to the manufacturing hassles, plus the plastic they use is a little slicker on the sand. He suggested that since this was all just an experiment that I use the nearby state park to try things out and not bother with paying to use his park.
Camped out at the Honeyman State park at the north end of the Oregon Dunes where the best sandboarding runs are. The usual spots are right on a little freshwater lake and there are several chutes with ramps to launch out into the water. I wanted something a little less public for my first trial, so we hiked up to the top of a nearby dune. It's huge! The slope looked more than steep enough by skiing standards, and with my calibrated eye I'd say it was in the 30-35 degree range on the downwind side. Plenty steep enough I thought. Geared up with elbow and knee pads, put on the ski boots with the wind blowing into my face, got up, turned around and clicked into the skis. Edged up to the lip of the dune and with encouragement from the folks who had gathered, launched out onto the slope. Promptly sank 4-6 inches down into the soft and powdery sand that makes up the lee-side of the dune and slowly slid a few feet at a time, would almost come to a complete stop, then lift the skis back up out of the sand to get a few more feet of sliding. The whole 40 foot run took less than a minute. As one observer remarked "It would be faster to just roll down the hill".
Hiked back up the face and looked at the skis. One of the bases had come unglued, but was still attached by the rivets.
Tried once more on the face side of the dune (Not as steep as the lee side, but no loose sand) and after just a few feet, sand wedged between the Ti and the base and ripped the tip rivet in half, so that was that.
Checked out the chutes that the boarders use and they are a good 50-55% slope (Yes, way steeper than anything I'd ski) have packed bases with no loose sand on top, and are only 20-40 feet long. Most of them have ramps for jumping into the lake, but a couple were set up for simple stopping.
So, it was a failure. At least there were no injuries and flames, so not a disaster.
Since only the one ski delammed, I suspect I forgot to wipe the TI dust off after the roughing up just before glueing.
Had fun trying it out, and might just try it again next year unless something more interesting comes along.
Will have stick to the groomed sand though.
To do it again from scratch, I'd look for a pair of short fatties instead of long straight sticks.
Hope y'all were amused by this little trip down to the asylum.