Anyone have a technique for riding on soft sand?

I was just at the coast and was trying to ride on the soft stuff at the top of the beach, which i couldnt manage for more than a few seconds, rather than the hard stuff near the sea when the tide has gone out, which is a lot easier.

Just wondered if anyone had any techniques for avoiding the wheel slipping in the sand and digging in etc.

Softer tires.

I never figured out a way to ride in soft sand. I just hopped around, worked for me.

I expect a Coker would be easier, though. Or maybe a wider tire.

Concentrate on pedaling in a circular motion; applying pressure to the pedals evenly throughout the rotation. That way the tire won’t suddenly spin, digging it in.

The same technique applies for snow.

Hope this helps…

Don’t, unless you enjoy spending ages getting all the sand out of the pedal and wheel bearings… my trials uni made awful crunchy noises after our short spell at the beach at BUC.


One strategy for soft sand is to ride a half revolution at a time. And ride very slowly. Ride a half revolution, till the cranks are horizontal. Pause, and let the wheel sink and settle in the sand. Then go another half revolution. Pause, and let the wheel sink and settle in the sand. Continue as far as you are able. It’s very tricky because the unicycle will move and slide under you a lot which makes maintaining balance more difficult.

As Phil mentions, sand is bad for bearings and pedals. Plan on cleaning the sand out the pedals and away from the wheel bearings.

if it isn’t really deep sand a 3 inch gazz at a low pressure should allow you to move fairly slowly. don’t pedal fast and don’t stop pedaling.

I’ve done quite a lot of sand riding. It’s hard work, and ultimately doomed to failure - but it’s satisfying.

I can ride on softish sand on my MUni, with a Gazz 2.3 section tyre, which I run at a fairly firm pressure. The technique is to “tiptoe” through the sand. Stand on the pedals, keep your weight above the axle, and proceed one step at a time. Don’t aim for smooth, or momentum, because if the sand shifts beneat the tyre, you will find it impossible to make a sudden correction.

Trudge across sand, spin across hard stuff.

And keep an eye on your ball bearings. It’s one thing to have sand in your bearings, but quite another thing to have sand in your…

(With apologies to the Two Ronnies.)

I remember being schooled by Chris Reeder when he rode across a sand volleyball court at De la Veaga park in Santa Cruz. He lowered his tire pressure (probably a Gazz) until he could barely ride on the pavement around the edge. So, widest tire possible, lowest pressure you can handle, then the riding technique John Childs described, plus one thing. Go straignt. Try not to zig-zag at all. Each twist of the wheel helps it dig in. If it’s a relatively short stretch of sand, you may be able to spin through it, provided you go perfectly straight.

A good sand challenge for me were the sandy patches on the Slickrock Trail in Moab. I had to hop to get through much of it, and at the altitude of nearly a mile, and after doing a ton of other riding, it totally ran my batteries down.

its not only your bearing sand gets into, mike hinson found 3.something oz. of sand in the tire of my trials uni form our sort of muni ride in aspley heath, woburn sands