Speed and thrills on the dunes of Pipa

Is sliding down dunes or hills something that reminds you of your childhood? Well prepare yourself to relive the good times on the dunes of Pipa.

Sandboarding – the act of riding surf-like boards down sand dunes – can be practised year round on the dunes of Rio Grande do Norte, and Pipa has the ideal mounds for the sport.

Today commonly recognised as a sport, sandboarding originated in Brazil in the southern state capital of Florianópolis in 1986. Since then it has spawned a legion of followers, with championships and practitioners worldwide. It’s no accident that Brazil holds the title of world champion in the category.

The Brazilian coastline is permeated with sand dunes and Rio Grande do Norte is home to one of the sport’s best-known descents, the Genipabu Dune.

In Pipa, a good place to attempt a drop is Cacimbinhas Dunes, which face Cacimbinhas Beach in the left corner of Praia do Madeiro.

Upon approaching Pipa from the direction of Tibau do Sul, these dunes are viewable to the right of the road. A good time of day to hit the dunes is after 3 p.m., when the sand is out of the direct sun but still sufficiently heated to generate good speed.

Some Pipa travel agencies furnish rented boards, which are generally made of wood and measure as long as 1.70 m. For good sliding, pack a wax candle or paraffin, which aid in letting the board slip over the sand. Without it, your board will be stuck in place.

Be careful, as small scratches can result from tumbles on the sand, but nothing that will spoil your fun on the dunes of Pipa. To stop the board, lower your body and drag your hands on the sand. And if that sounds too risy, try going down seated on the board, an activity known as “skibunda” or bottom-skiing.