Every time you go to the dunes, you see everybody running their sweet sand tires. They’re shooting up rooster tails like nobody’s business and flying through sand like they’re on a race track.
Time to kick your envy to the curb and get yourself a nice set of sand tires.
But where do you start? What do you need? And how do you know you’re getting the best bang for your buck?
Today we’re taking a look at sand tires, from the paddle tires in the back to the smooth slick tires in the front. Consider this your sand tire guide.
Sand tires are among the most unique tires you can put on your side-by-side. The front tires are drastically different from the rear, and they are so incredibly specialized for sand, that you’ll have a tough time using them anywhere else.
But it’s that specialization that makes them so useful. You get a huge amount of traction in terrain that tends to swallow up riders whole.
They make a BIG difference. Here’s what you can expect when you run sand tires:
But how do you pick the right set for you?
You probably want us to point to the perfect set of sand tires (ahem) and say, “get those. They’re the best you can get!”
Unfortunately, it’s not that simple, there are a whole bunch of variables that might make one set of tires great for someone else and terrible for you. Here’s what you need to consider before you hit the buy button:
These are important to keep in mind as we talk about the two main types of tires—buffed and molded—and the different paddles counts you can get.
Like we said, the two main types of sand tires are buffed and molded. Here’s a quick rundown:
Choosing between these two tire types depends on how much handling vs straight-line speed you want.
But what about paddle count? You can find paddle tires with anywhere from about eight to more than fourteen paddles.
That’s quite the range for you to worry about. So how do you decide how many you need?
The short answer is that the more power your machine has, the more paddles you want.
The slightly longer answer is that you want to balance your machine’s power with the grip of the paddle tires you’re using. Your machine should be able to spin the tires when you slam on the gas, but if you have too little grip, you’ll just dig a hole instead of moving forward. Too many paddles and you’ll be slow to get moving and never really get the flotation you need.
The amount of grip a tire has is highly dependent on the number of paddles but also the size of the paddles. You’ll have to do some research to figure out what tire works best with your setup.
The other thing you need to pay attention to is the type of sand you ride on. Is it loose and light? Is it heavy and coarse? Is it usually damp when you ride? Different kinds of sand demand more or less grip.
Since you’re in the grip game when you ride on sand, you’ll be running your sand tires at a lower pressure. And when you’re running low pressure, you need beadlocks. Beadlock wheels hold the tire’s bead on with a bolt-on ring so you can run extremely low pressure.
Speaking of low pressure, you’re probably wondering how to air down your tires for sand.
It’s easy—for better flotation and grip, you want to air them down to between 3 and 5 psi. That will give you a larger contact patch than if you ran at stock pressure. The exact pressure will vary depending on the exact tires you have, but 3–5 psi is a good start.
But if you want to run pressures that low, you need to make sure you have a beadlock wheel that can hold on to your tires without slipping or losing the bead.
They’re built for low pressure and will keep your bead seated whether you’re throwing massive rooster tails out or side-hilling on steep dunes.
There’s no perfect tire and wheel for every rider. It all depends on what your setup is. Speaking of sand generally, though, you want a wider tire and a negative offset wheel.
You also might benefit from running a tire that’s also a lot wider than your wheel. This will make your sand tires balloon out and helps grip on soft terrain.
For a more complete rundown of optimal tire and wheel combos, check out our guide on how to pair UTV tires and wheels.
If you want to know more about reading tire sizes and getting the right size for your setup, check out our tire size guide.
So you know what you need to dominate the dunes and now you just need to get locked and loaded. We can help you get started right now.
Check out our SandCat tires. These front and rear sand tires give you awesome traction and flotation. Here’s what you need to know:
You can get Healy Lock Series Beadlock Wheels from SuperATV or Hellfire Innerlock Wheels from Assault Industries. They’re both excellent (and damn good looking) beadlock wheels that are designed to lock your bead at low pressure.
When you’ve got sand-chompin’ wheel and tires installed on your side-by-side, you’ll wonder how you ever rode without them—it’s a night and day difference. So hit the dunes, stay safe, and watch the speedometer hit the limit.
How to Mount ATV Tires
How to Pair UTV Tires and Wheels
The Best UTV Dune Riding Spots
33 Must-Have Aftermarket Upgrades for Every UTV Owner
How to Install the RIDE System Rear Steering Kit on a Polaris Ranger XP 1000
What kind of rims and sand tires would you recomend for a razor pro r
We’ll always recommend our SandCat Tires: https://www.superatv.com/sandcat-utv-atv-sand-tires, but there are lots of other options available.
You shouldn’t need beadlock wheels for sand, but whatever you go with, you might like a negative offset for a slightly wider stance. Wide tires are nice too. Wider tires with a wider stance from the negative offset will give you more stability in sand. Thanks for the question, Mike!