The ultimate in duning performance
With the warm grip of summer finally behind us, dune season is just getting started for those living in the southwestern United States.
While stock tires can do an adequate job of pushing an ATV or UTV through the sand, the easiest way to get more performance out of your machine is with a good set of sand tires.
Due to the massive popularity of UTVs in the dunes, the aftermarket is chock full of new and updated sand tires. This buyer’s guide was put together to show you what is available so you can push your machine to new heights in the sand.
The only sand-specific tire in the AMS catalog, the Sidewinder features 1 1/8″ paddle height on eight blades, which extend from shoulder to shoulder. It boasts a lightweight two-ply carcass to reduce unsprung weight and increase floatation. AMS says the Sidewinder’s advanced rubber compound runs cooler, resists punctures and gives a more consistent tread pattern. Sidewinder tires are right and left specific.
Sizes: 20×11-9 LH Front/Rear Tire, 20×11-9 RH Front/Rear Tire, 22×11-10 LH Front/Rear Tire, 22×11-10 RH Front/Rear Tire
CST’s Ablaze sand tires feature two-ply construction for reduced weight. The rear tire contains offset directional V-style paddles, while the front tire features dual center ribs designed to hold tight in the corners. CST says both the front and rear Ablaze tires contain a convex profile to provide more floatation on the sand. Rear tires are right and left specific.
Sizes: Ablaze Front 21×7-10, Ablaze Rear 20×11-10 (left and right options)
Douglas Wheel Doonz
Douglas Wheel Doonz sand tires are available in four iterations: Doonz Front four-ply, Doonz Rear Straight Paddle four-ply, Doonz Rear Straight Paddle six-ply, and Doonz Beach Rear. The front tire features dual turning ridges, while the Doonz Rear Straight Paddle tires offer eight paddles that go from shoulder to shoulder. The jump from the four-ply to the six-ply model comes with a two-pound penalty (15.2 lbs vs. 17.2 lbs). The Doonz Beach Rear tire is a four-ply design with a center ridge and off-set paddles going from the center to one shoulder.
Sizes: Doonz Front 25.5×11-12, Doonz Rear 25.5×13-12, Doonz Beach 22×10-10
EFX Sand Slinger
EFX Sand Slinger UTV sand tires come in Smoothie, Ribbed, and Paddle versions, each built with a four-ply carcass. Paddle versions feature 14 shoulder-to-shoulder paddles, each with a fairly modest lug height of .87 in (27-inch tire) or .98 in. (29-inch tire). That should make for a smoother ride that tires with more aggressive paddles. The Smoothie, as the name implies, is completely bald, while the Ribbed comes with three ridges to help with steering.
Sizes: Smoothie 27×10-14, Ribbed 29×11-14, Paddle 27×13-14, Paddle 29×14-14
GMZ Sand Stripper
GMZ designed its Sand Stripper sand tires for UTV use in the sand dunes. Sand Stripper tires are build on a six-play radial carcass and come in three versions: Front Three-Rib, Rear Staggered Cut, and Rear HP. The Front Three-Rib uses ribs for improved turning and stability. The Rear Staggered Cut features a 14-paddle stagger cut design with ¾” tall paddles and is intended for 900cc and smaller machines. The Rear HP Sand Stripper (24.7 lbs) features 14 full-length paddles that measure 1 1/8” tall and is intended for high-horsepower UTVs.
Sizes: Front Three-Rib 28×12-14, Rear Staggered Cut 28×15-14, Rear HP 28×15-14
Interco’s V45 front sand tire has a single center rib for what Interco calls precise turning. Rear tires, which are left/right specific, feature angled out paddles. Both front and rear Interco V45 tires are built on a two-ply carcass.
Sizes: 20×11-10 Rear Left, 20×11-10 Rear Right, 21×8-10 Front, 22×8-10 Front
ITP Dune Star
ITP’s Dune Star tires are intended for Side-by-Side and 4×4 ATV applications. Built around a lightweight two-ply carcass, Dune Star rear tires feature reinforced dual-depth paddles, which ITP says provides exceptional floatation and straight-line bite. Front Dune Star tires feature a center rib with shallow lugs stretching to the shoulders.
Sizes: 26×9-12, 26×11-12
ITP Sand Star
ITP’s Sand Star is built on a lightweight two-ply carcass, which translates to a weight range of seven (19×6-10) to 15.7 pounds (26×11-12). The front Sand Star features a dual rib design, while the rear Sand Star uses eight 1.18″ angles main scoops and eight mini scoops. ITP boasts this design creates quicker hook-up and acceleration than any sand tire on the market.
Sizes: 19×6-10, 21×7-10, 22×8-10, 18×9.5-8, 20×11-8, 20×11-9, 20×11-10, 22×11-10, 22×10-10, 22×8-12, 22×11-12, 26×9-12, 26×11-12
Kenda Dune Runner and Gecko
The Dune Runner is Kenda’s lightweight sand tire, which is built around a two-ply carcass. The front Dune Runner features a tall center rib for positive steering response. The rear Dune Runner features horizontal paddles designed for even hookup, traction and pulling power. Because of the straight paddles, the Dune Runner requires no specific left or right designation.
Sizes: 21×7-10 (front), 22×8-10 (front), 22×11-8 (rear), 22×11-9 (rear), 22×11-10 (rear)
Kenda Gecko and Gecko Plus
Both the Kenda Gecko and Gecko Plus are built around a two-ply carcass. The original Gecko is an eight-paddle design with a V-style tread design that does not require a specific left or right. The Gecko plus is a newer addition and features a 10-paddle design with the same V-style tread.
Sizes: 18×9-8, 21×11-8, 21-11-9, 21×11-10, 22×11-10, 21×11-10 (Gecko Plus)
Maxxis RAZR Blade
The only sand tire in the Maxxis family is the RAZR Blade, which is offered in a front and rear design, each built around a two-ply carcass. The front RAZR Blade has a center rib and an offset rib, which Maxxis says creates optimal cornering traction. The rear RAZR Blade features offset 1 ¼” V-shaped blades with alternating corner ribs.
Sizes: 21×7-10 (front), 20×11-9 (rear), 22×8-12 (front), 20×11-10 (rear), 22×8-10 (front), 20×11-8 (rear), 22×11-10 (rear)
Sedona’s Cyclone tire boasts “ultra lightweight” two-ply construction. Front tire weight ranges from 8.4 to 11.2 pounds, while rear tires go from 13.2 to 14.3 pounds. The front Cyclone tire features alternating dual centered ribs. The rear Cyclone offers eight tall paddles that are left/right specific, along with back support ridges for “controlled slides on ridgeback dunes.”
Sizes: 19×6-10 (front), 22×7-10 (front), 20×11-8 (rear), 20×11-9 (rear), 20×11-10 (rear), 22×11-10 (rear)
STI Sand Drifter
Built around a tough six-ply carcass, the STI Sand Drifter front tire has offset ribs and a wide footprint. Rear Sand Drifter tires boast 14 one-inch paddles. Rear paddles are straight, so they are not left/right specific. Deep rim guards on the rear Sand Drifters are designed to protect the wheel lip and keep sand out of the bead area.
Sizes: 28×10-14, 28×13-14
STI Sand Wedge
STI’s Sand Wedge tires are massive. The 30-inch size is the largest available for 14-inch wheels. The front Sand Wedge features a centered tri-rib design for what STI calls “unmatched handling and steering control.” Rear Sand Wedge tires boast 12 one-inch paddles with reinforcing ribs to help handle high-horsepower UTVs.
Sizes: 30×11-14, 30×14-14