Helen Coffey, The Daily Telegraph, May 28, 2014
It's not often you associate hitting the slopes with the Sahara desert – but that hasn't stopped one determined entrepreneur from keeping a ski hire shop open among the dunes for the past 30 years, despite not having a single customer since 2007.
Abdelkader Baba (or “Danger”, if you want to use his nickname), started his Niger-based ski and snowboard rental shop back in the Eighties, inspired by the camels he saw sliding down the dunes of the Sahara desert.
It's not the most obvious choice of location but, he thought, if the Alps can do it, why not Niger? In times gone by he would take tourists to try sandboarding or skiing in the 45-degree heat, but since a rise in kidnappings and armed attacks in the region, holidaymakers have been roundly deterred from visiting Baba's shop. Indeed, no-one has rented his retro kit since 2007. And he hasn't strapped on his own skis since then, either.
"Until European embassies stop preventing their citizens from coming up here, I don't think I will get back on these skis," Baba told the BBC.
"They blame it on al-Qaeda and other jihadi militants groups but it's a shame," he said. "Death will find you wherever you are, people die in Europe too! You should be allowed to do whatever you want to do."
If you don't fancy taking a trip to Baba's extraordinary rental-shop-cum-eclectic-treasure-trove in Agadez marketplace, there are a number of places to give sandboarding a whirl – Telegraph ski editor Henry Druce has had a go in Dubai .
He said: "Sliding down a sand dune, surrounded by desert and possibly the odd passing camel is a surreal experience. It is much more sluggish than being on snow, is more difficult to turn and the runs are much, much shorter. It's still a great buzz though and a must-do for adventurous adrenaline seekers looking for something way out of the ordinary."
Other spots to hit the dunes include Monte Kaolino in Hirschau, Germany, which has a convenient lift to whip you to the 120m summit.
Sandboarding is not all plain sailing Photo: Alamy
There are a number of places in the US that offer the chance to sandboard, with Sand Master Park in Oregon boasting the accolade of being the world's first sandboard park – there are slopes to suit different ability levels, plus bowls and rails.
And even further afield, Duna Grande in Ica, Peru, is the largest sand dune in the world. Plus Peru hosts the Copa Sandboarding (or Sandboarding Cup) every year if spectating is more your bag.
This article was written by Helen Coffey from The Daily Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.