Testing serious sand tires and wheels

By the staff of Dirt Wheels

You can see from the roost trail that the tiny front paddles are grabbing sand, but not like the rears do. A literal sandstorm comes off the rear wheels.


Not all paddle tires are created equal. That fact was driven home when we took our 2019 Polaris RZR 4 Turbo S to the famed Glamis dunes. We ran the first day with the stock ITP Coyote desert tires with the pressure dropped to 9 psi. We were able to get everywhere, but we were constantly vigilant to prevent burying the machine. For the next day we mounted the U.S.-made 30×1300-15 SandSports SxS paddle tires on the rear and 30×1100-15 tires on the front. The numbers 1300 and 1100 represent 13 inches and 11 inches. The front tires retail for $245 each, and the rears are $365 each.

We were advised to run the fronts in this direction. In spite of the paddles facing the wrong way for best drive, they caught drive traction and steered crisply and accurately.

The wide, rear paddle tires come out of the mold with 32 paddles, but half are trimmed off. We never felt like that was too much paddle for our Polaris RZR XP 4 Turbo S. A car can feel slow and underpowered with too much paddle. They do make a little slapping noise in the dunes, but nothing bothersome. The front has a stiff, flat-top center rib for crisp steering and carving, but small paddles radiate out from the rib. We were advised to run the wheels with the front paddles backwards for better steering and to keep the tires from throwing a lot of sand in the air. You can reverse the tires for maximum acceleration and climbing.

Current available sizes are 30×1100-14, 30×1100-15 and 32×1100-15 for the front and 30×1300-14, 30×1300-15 and 32×1300-15 for rears.

We were glad our tires came with half of the paddles trimmed off. We had all the traction that we wanted with a stock engine.



Our tires came mounted on DWT polished wheels, and the first pleasant surprise came when we picked the wheel/tire combo up. The rear combo weighs only 48.5 pounds, and the fronts are 42 pounds. The Turbo S 32-inch ITP Coyote tires weigh 43 pounds without the wheels! The weight difference is significant.

We had been handling the big dunes fine with the Coyotes, but with the SandSports SxS paddles, we didn’t need nearly the momentum. We could hit massive climbs at part throttle, then mash the throttle halfway up and get slammed back in the seat with visceral acceleration feel. Likewise, as we approached blind crests, we were confident slowing to get a good, safe look without worrying that we might bury the car and get stuck. Turning and braking are just as impressive. Some tires with straight paddles slide suddenly, but we didn’t feel that. The curved ends on each paddle must help there. Where the car was vague and wishy-washy crossing faces with the stock tires, it was planted and solid with the SandSports SxS tires. The difference in performance between stock tires and these paddles is simply amazing. The light tire weight made a significant improvement in how lively the suspension action was as well.

These tires are not cheap, but they look great and work better than they look. Our tires look brand new after our excursion, so they should last well if properly cared for. Having a wheel combo this light pays big dividends in the sand. For more information, visit www.fullertonsandsports.com or call (714) 484-5996.

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