Many people claim to have invented this sport. Time and time again we hear people tell us that they use to slide down the dunes as kids or that they were doing this before anyone else. Usually, they have been sandboarding only a few years and just didn't know others had been sandboarding for decades.
To determine who invented sandboarding one must first determine what is sandboarding. Is sliding on sand on a surfboard sandboarding? Is sliding on sand on a ski or snow board considered sandboarding? Many feel that it is. If this is sandboarding then is playing basketball with a foot ball still considered basket ball? Most would say it is not really basketball if you don't use a basketball. If any thing used that slides on sand can be considered a sandboard then the most likely inventor is the African Elephant who has been sliding down the dunes of Namibia for centuries. This magnificent creature seems to enjoy the slide by laying on it's belly and pushing with its rear legs for momentum. Or perhaps the side winder rattle snake that has a very slick underside that slips down the sand effortlessly.
There are claims of ancient Egyptians sliding down the dunes on wooden sleds 2,000 years ago and a Chinese ritual where sliding down the dunes in a similar fashion around 800 AD. Unfortunately, there is no hard evidence for these claims so it is basically legend only. Perhaps an ancient sandboard will be uncovered in an archeological dig and we will finally know the if there is an ancient inventors. Most likely the sport has come to be in the last century.
I myself started sandboarding on a slalom water ski in 1972 and was introduced to this sport by friends who were sliding down the dunes on similar planks in the early 60's. I have seen photos of people standing up on boards with no bindings from the 50's but, again, these were devises all ready in existence for other sports or other purposes and simply tried out on the sand. So, the real question would be 'who invented the sandboard'? A true sandboard would be a board designed and produced specifically for sliding down slopes of sand. This board would include bindings designed for effective control on sandboards and wax that is formulated specifically for use on sandboards. Now this information is much easier to determine and in fact has happened in relatively recent years. Real sandboarding requires real sandboards. So who invented sandboarding? You decide...