|Kareem Hossam..the flyer over the sand!|
Sandboarding is one of the fastest spreading sports in Egypt nowadays. It’s an exciting game practiced over the sand dunes through the desert that has attracted so many Egyptians from different ages...The one who started this sport, who spread it in our country is Kareem Hossam, 22 years old.
So, karim went to the desert and tried to make his first ski there “I used the standard iron board used in snowboarding, but It didn’t work. I couldn't move smoothly using it as it was sinking all the time inside the sand. Though, I didn’t give up and I managed to fabricate a wood board in a carpentering workshop owned by my familly. This time was a success and I had been finally able to fly over the sand”
After the successful experience, Karim started to go skiing in the desert with his friends. After that he decided to expand his activity and share his idea with more people «I created a facebook group in March 2008. Lots of people who joined liked the idea and wanted to live this new experience. In august, 40 boys and girls participated in the first event I organized, all were happy and had fun, and since, many group members had constantly participated in sandboarding trips every one or two weeks”
Sandboarding is much the same like snowboarding. Only the Conditions of climate that differentiate. Sandboard needs very soft sand dunes to perform smoothly “I used to travel in safaris with my family since I was kid. I know many dunes locations in Egypt. The nearest one is (Alqataneya), 70 km far from Cairo, in the Wahat road. There are also many suitable places like Siwa, Fayooom and Wadi elhitan which are all remarkable sites to discover and having some ski as well.
Ahmed Guoshy, 23 years, is a graphic designer who had been several times in the dunes with his friends “I knew about it from facebook, I liked the idea and convinced my friends to try skiing with me in Qataneya. It was well-organized day from the moment we moved in groups with the rented 4x4 cars, to avoid getting lost, until we arrived there and Karim started to teach us how to stand on board and how to use it” But on the other hand, Salma Hussein, 19 years, who studies masscom, complained from a small thing “The game is very amusing. I felt like I was flying in the sky, but arriving to the bottom of the dune mointain, I had to climb again to get another (fly): so exhausting, but worth it”
Skiing in the dunes is not an easy task “There are 3 ways to ski through the sand: standing, sitting or sleeping. The last one is the easiest. However, guys always want to try the hard option. Many of them stand on the board, fail and fall and try over and over again until they succeed”
Sandboarding is also sometimes a little dangerous “The board is as fast as a motorbike that should be under your control. I tried to use the board made for the professionals which is totally attached to your legs so you can’t ever take it off during skiing. When I tried it I loosed control and crashed and had a broken leg. And from that time, I didn’t use this board again and didn’t allow anyone coming with me to use it” said Kareem
Today Egypt sandboarding is popular but still an amateurish activity, but this will not last for a long time "When they saw the group, the international federation of sandboarding started to contact me. They sent me gifts like T-shirts and boards. When I joined the federation I requested them to organize an international competition in Egypt and they accepted. Now I am working on obtaining the necessary licenses. If successful, this would be the first real tournament in Egypt ever”