You’ve probably seen some good sand castles in your day. You’ve probably even seen some amazing sand castles. Maybe you’ve even made one that was Instagram-worthy. But you’ve never seen the likes of these insanely-crazy-perfect-mega-detailed masterpieces from Parksville, B.C.’s annual Sand Sculpting Competition and Exhibition (unless you attended one in the past 34 years). These are the best of the best making the best. People literally come from around the world to compete in this sand castle extravaganza.
This year’s theme is ‘things with wings’ and people got pretty creative with it. Some of these are seriously clever. Last year the sand castle competition drew a crowd of over 104, 000 people but that’s not the only thing to do on the beach this month. The competition is part of Parksville’s Beach Fest and there are various beach-type events on until August 14th. We would strongly suggest checking them out at some point.
Our biggest question: what happens to all these works of art at the end of the festival?
The most insane creations from Vancouver Island’s sand castle competition
Arise – Find What Gives You WingsJacinthe Trudel & Jonathan Bouchard, Quebec
This is a whimsical take on the theme with a woman-butterfly-fairy-person. Whatever she is, she’s lovely. Real talk though: how do you get that kind of shading effect with sand? That just seems impossible to us. Also, how on earth are the perforated parts of the wings holding together? How?! Canadian Open Sandsculpting Competition & Exhibition
Guardian HerdDamon Langlois, Victoria, B.C.
Feathers. This man formed feathers out of sand. And hair too. That’s not possible. We refuse to believe it. What we really want is to see a close-up of the horse’s face because it looks incredibly detailed even from this distance. All of that can’t possibly be made out of sand. No way. Canadian Open Sandsculpting Competition & Exhibition
How to Train Your DragonJo Hollick, Vancouver, B.C.
The bottom of this sculpture is literally sand formed into rocks and somehow it looks like it would take us days to do that (and it still wouldn’t look as good). Also, A+ pun usage. Get it? How to train your dragon. It might take a minute. Canadian Open Sandsculpting Competition & Exhibition
Humming BirdSandi Stirling
This sculpture may be one of the simpler ones but it makes up for it in size. Seriously, one woman did that on her own. How do you even reach the top part without crushing everything at the bottom? And just look at those flowers! Canadian Open Sandsculpting Competition & Exhibition
Learn to FlyFred Dobbs, Victoria, B.C.
This one is funny as well as amazing. We can only imagine that these ACME wings will work about as well as their other products (so not at all), but at least this guy will look good while he’s falling out of the sky. And even though they’re not the main focus of the piece, those birds are pretty spectacular too. Canadian Open Sandsculpting Competition & Exhibition
Lord of the ThingzzzCraig Mutch, Vancouver, B.C.
Not going to lie, we’re not really sure what’s going on here. But whatever it is, it’s beautiful. The detail almost hurts the eyes. Just stare at that for a minute and take in all the detail. We’re super impressed by this seemingly random assortment of hyper-detailed sand objects. Canadian Open Sandsculpting Competition & Exhibition
Wing NightAbe Waterman
Who said the wings had to be attached to a body? These men have wings (and beer) and they look like they’re having a great time too. Is it wrong to want to sit down and have a pint and a pound with these sand guys? Canadian Open Sandsculpting Competition & Exhibition
Guardian Angels – 1st Place, DoublesIlya Filimontsev, Russia and Susanne Ruseler, Netherlands
This duo came all the way from Europe to play in our B.C. sand and, boy, are we glad they did. Just look at this masterpiece. It looks like something that rose out of the sand in a Star Wars film. How do you do that with only sand? Canadian Open Sandsculpting Competition & Exhibition
Up – 1st Place, SoloistWilfred Stijger, Netherlands
Hey! Did this guy cheat and use actual cardboard in his sculpture because that looks way too real to be sand. No? What? This is some unbelievably impressive work. No wonder this guy snatched first place, these sand people look real enough that they could’ve stood up to grab the ribbon themselves. Canadian Open Sandsculpting Competition & Exhibition
Muhammad AliMichael Velling
This one gets all the creativity points. Come on, Muhammad Ali with the butterfly/bee quote? That’s a flawless interpretation of the theme. Plus the detail is crazy too. Just look at that hair! We’re seriously in love. Canadian Open Sandsculpting Competition & Exhibition