Dirt, Wind, and Adrenaline

Published on April 6th, 2015

Landsailing is grass roots from top to bottom. The only crew uniform in this crowd is the layer of dirt that covers each sailor. Exotic are the reptiles that scamper across the desert race course. No tony clubs for this crowd to exchange lies about their sailing prowess. BYOB… and don’t forget the beach chairs.

But make no mistake, dirtboating is like any sailing. Sheet and go… just need to cut loose and throw all caution to the wind. Speed is what fuels these adrenaline junkies.

While it was Richard Jenkins’ highly refined Greenbird that holds the land speed record of 126 mph, the off-the-shelf, collapsible and portable Blokart record is 62 mph. Fast is within reach of anyone able to sit down and keep their mouths closed.

DirtBoating Magazine’s Duncan Harrison shares his seat-of-the-pants speed gauge:

10 to 15: Giggle fun.
15 to 30: Kick in the pants; feels like freeway speeds.
40 to 50: Takes practice with ‘hook up’ and sailing in the groove; must concentrate.
50 to 60: Boat bounces, slides, and kicks; a ripping frickin’ blast!
60+: Graduation day. Pulling tight vicious turns at marks cause G-Forces that jerk you out of the boat. Hang on to the sheet with one hand, hang on to the boat with the other hand, and use the feet to steer… all the time pushing against the pedals to stay wedged into the seat. Must remember to breath.

DirtBoating MagazineNorth American Land Sailing Association

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