- Good drainage – This is not only a function of the sand but also the aggregate layer beneath it, both need to be suitable and of a high quality.
- Consistency – The surface should be level and provide consistent performance across the whole arena.
- Durability – The chosen sand should have grains that do not break down when ridden on.
- Chemical composition – High purity silica sand is durable, meaning the individual grains are less susceptible to breaking down through usage, which will help the surface remain consistent.
- Particle shape – Sands that are classified as either “subangular to rounded” or “subangular” have grains that compact well to provide a firm riding surface. If the grains are too rounded they will not compact fully and angular grains can compact too much resulting in a hard surface. Additionally, highly angular grains are more susceptible to fracturing under impact.
- Particle size – A fine to very fine sand is preferred, small grain size also aids with moisture retention while conversely providing good drainage.
- Particle size distribution – A range of grain sizes helps the sand compact due to the smaller particles filling the voids between the larger ones.
- Clay/silt content – Low clay/silt content helps with drainage especially over time as the extremely fine particles can migrate down through the surface and block the membrane. Additionally, when used in a waxed surface, clay/silt creates a larger surface area for the wax to cover, meaning that the sand itself may not be coated sufficiently.
Recommended Grading Limits
|Sieve size (mm)||Passing Percentage By Mass|