The sand was in pretty good shape – and the off-piste through the marram grass of the Norfolk dunes was massively inviting.

What better time to try out my newly-acquired Axiski? We introduced this part-sledge part novelty snowboard (or in my case sandboard) to MadDogSki readers in September but this was our first proper dune test.

I selected what I like to classify as a blue-cum-red run in sledging terms at the up and coming Axiski resort of Eccles-on-Sea (village altitude 1-metre above sea level, sand dune top station at approx 10-metres), on the Norfolk coast 16 miles south of Cromer.

Axiski founder Darren Mather felt moved to create this addition to the range of methods in which one can slide down a slope when he found his local shops had sold out of more traditional sledges during a snowy British winter (as you might have found yourself, reliable toboggan outlets can be notoriously difficult to find in many parts of Britain – the sledge availability in my own local high street is patchy at best… ‘No demand mate,’ they told me at Chesham Tool Hire, which I had thought the likeliest emporium).

Anyway, Darren fashioned his first prototype out of laminate flooring and the rest is, well, history would be too extravagant a term, but certainly it has been a tale of dogged persistence.

Axiski in Norfolk

Heading for the dunes

The version on which I conquered the sand dunes of Eccles-on-Sea (or should I say Eccles-on-Ski) is the 20th version. For the Axiski is designed to make easy work of deep snow, slush, frosty grass and of course sand. Really, what greater entertainment can you get for ÂŁ24.95 (

Axiski at Eccles sand dunes

Easy rider: Conquering the steep and the deep at Eccles-on-Ski

‘It’s fun and exciting and doesn’t have the limitations of normal sledges,’ says Darren. ‘You can stand on an Axiski, like on a snowboard, sit down or lie on them.’

It has inverted runners to provide rigidity and a degree of steering. There was certainly no shortage of excitement, thrills and spills – spills particularly – as I slowly got to grips with this new downhill discipline. And while I would certainly not yet class myself as an Axiskiing expert, an enthusiastic intermediate at best, I can see the potential for great fun to be had on them.

There were few witnesses to my novice efforts on the beach, thankfully, although a couple of seals basking in the winter sun appeared alarmed as I approached them at moderate velocity down the dunes and they anxiously made their clumsy way at their best speed back to the surf.

For me there was aprés-Axiski to look forward to. A Cromer crab sandwich and a cup of tea. Next, Axiski tests on snow, although not in Norfolk.