Paddle tires: the best tires for sand?

paddle tires equipped on an atv in the sand

You’ve been picturing a beautiful day out on the dunes. The sun shining down, the sound of engines and your favorite music, maybe your friends have already set up camp. But before you load up your ATV, UTV (or side by side) and head out, consider this: do you have the right tires on your toys to make the most out of a trip to the dunes?

Just like there are dedicated tires for mud and snow, sand is no different. Sand tires, or paddle tires, are the best way to make your ATV, UTV or dune buggy drive like it was purpose-built for ripping through sand dunes.

While we carry specific ATV/UTV tires, we also have “paddle tires” that will unlock traction and performance on even the finest dry sand across the many deserts and beaches of the USA.

What are paddle tires and why do I need them?

Paddle tires, also called sand tires, are named so because they “paddle” away sand&emdash;similar to paddling a boat through water.

Their distinct tread patterns can cut through loose and soft sand with exponentially more grip than standard ATV/UTV tires. They also provide strong forward and rearward traction because the tires dig and push away sand as they move.

Be aware that the paddles tend to stick out a few inches (so watch your clearances) and cannot maneuver nearly as well across hard surfaces or mud. As such, you’ll want to avoid those conditions as they can be easily ruin your paddle tires and potentially damage your vehicle.

Not all sand tires are created equal

It is important to note that the different types of patterns play a role in placement on your machine itself (known as staggered placement).

Typically the front tires on a vehicle built for sand dunes will have a much smoother tread, while the rear tires have more of a protruding paddle tread design to balance steering control with traction. The front tires cut through the sand to allow for precise steering while the rear paddles scoop away sand and keep your adventures rolling.

The GMZ Racing Sand Stripper XL is our most common straight pattern sand tire (typically only used on the front of your machine) and the GMZ Racing Sand Stripper Stagger Cut, is its staggered paddle tire for the rear.

Another alternative is to equip a more traditional ATV/UTV tire in the front with a paddle tire in the rear, but you won’t get as much performance.

If you have any additional questions about ATV/UTV tires in general or want help in finding the right sand tires for your ATV/UTV, stop by any Discount Tire location and we’ll get you all checked out and ready to go!

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