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Sandbenders using a sand-sailer

Sand-sailers are used by the Sandbender Tribes.

Sand-sailers are the primary form of transportation used by the Sandbender Tribes.[1] While not ideal for transporting large amounts of cargo or great numbers of people, the sand-sailers are agile, handle nimbly, and can traverse great expanses of desert wasteland quickly with minimal effort.[2]


Team Avatar finds sand-sailer

Team Avatar found a sand-sailer in the Si Wong Desert.

After Ghashiun and his friends kidnapped Appa, Team Avatar was forced to cross the Si Wong Desert on foot. While walking, Toph discovered a sand-sailer when she accidentally kicked it and felt the vibrations run through it. This sailer had been buried under the sand by Appa when the bison sneezed after flurries of sand agitated his sinuses.[3] Aang quickly excavated the boat with his airbending so the group could use it to traverse the desert more quickly. Instead of using sandbending to propel the sand-sailer, Aang provided a strong gust of wind to propel it.[4]

When Aang later learned that Ghashiun and the other sandbenders were responsible for the kidnapping and selling of Appa, he entered the Avatar State and destroyed the sandbenders' sand-sailers.[4]

After getting stranded in the Si Wong Desert in 171 AG, Asami Sato used the metal scraps of the crashed Earth Kingdom airship to weld together a makeshift sand-sailer, powered by Korra's airbending. The two girls, along with the four-man crew of the airship, used it to evade a sand shark inhabiting the desert and escape toward the Misty Palms Oasis. Upon arrival, the vehicle broke down, though Asami still offered to sell it to a group of onlooking sandbenders, sitting on a traditional sand-sailer, as "slightly used".[5]


Sand-sailer compass

A sand-sailer compass is oriented toward the desert's magnetic center, the Si Wong Rock.

Sand-sailers are light crafts made of wood and equipped with runners that slide across the sand. A sail is attached in between the runners to catch the hot, wild desert winds. The sandbender pilots use their bending to help steer and propel the sailers by creating whirling columns of sand which generate wind. Naturally, an airbender can also propel the vehicle by creating gusts of wind.

Every vehicle is equipped with a compass that is oriented toward the Si Wong Rock, the magnetic center of the desert. Using this focus point, the sandbenders are able to navigate through the ever shifting dunes of the desert.[1]


  • Sand-sailers look very similar to catamarans, a type of multi-hulled boat.


  1. 1.0 1.1 O'Bryan, John (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (July 14, 2006). "The Library". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 10. Nickelodeon.
  2. From older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, originally on (link). No longer updated.
  3. Ehasz, Elizabeth Welch (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (October 13, 2006). "Appa's Lost Days". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 16. Nickelodeon.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Hedrick, Tim (writer) & MacMullan, Lauren (director). (July 14, 2006). "The Desert". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 11. Nickelodeon.
  5. Hedrick, Tim (writer) & Zwyer, Melchior (director). (August 8, 2014). "Long Live the Queen". The Legend of Korra. Season 2. Episode 10.

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