- This article is about the Air Ride course. For the Sky and Sand courses in Top Ride, see Sky (course) and Sand (course).
Sky Sands is the third course in the Air Ride mode of Kirby Air Ride. It is a compact and winding track set amid floating ruins, flowing sand dunes, and fossilized coral beds and features many tight turns, moving parts, and hidden passageways. It has an appreciable though slightly shorter length, and the default number of laps run on it is two.
Sky Sands runs on a clockwise course around a very warped track with many large bends and tight turns, though only a small amount of verticality is present. The starting line is located at the top of the track in the middle of the flat lane toward the right. After leaping off a short cliff and passing through some light dunes, the racers must make a near-180 degree turn to the right to head down another roadway leading through a small oasis area. After passing a rounded bend to the left, the track goes through a stony cave with sand falling from the ceiling. The main path is just ahead, but there is a small shortcut that can be found through the falling sand at the back to the right. After another turn, the path briefly splits into an upper and lower deck, the upper of which can be accessed by jumping off a scuttling sand crab on the road.
The path then moves around a large stone sun sculpture then bends to the right to pass through a road studded with rotating elements. The road bends three times along several conveyors around a moon statue. From there, the path swerves around a ruined pillar, though there is a floor panel just before the bend that can be activated to reveal a trap door that goes directly beneath the pillar and contains a Dash Panel. After another turn to the right, the racers move through more dunes and sand waves before reaching two spinning wheels of stone that bounce them onto higher platforms. After traversing more wide bends lined with fossilized coral, the finish line can be reached back at the start after passing by some pillars that fall onto the track as the racers approach.
Setting and enemies
Sky Sands is set, appropriately, in a floating sandy desert high in the sky. The course is riddled with lots of little details and areas, including giant arching formations that resemble a giant fossil rib cage, green succulent plants in a small oasis region, and charismatic ruins built of sandstone. As mentioned above, along the way, a set of giant statues can be found that resemble the sun and moon, and there are beds of fossilized coral reefs. Overall, the track has a very similar appearance to some of the locales of Rock Star from Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards.
There are relatively few enemies on this track compared to other courses, but the main ability-granting foes that appear here are Wheelie, Sword Knight, and Pichikuri, with Caller, Balloon Bomber, Heat Phanphan, and Walky being comparatively rarer.
The following are all of the checklist objectives that specifically pertain to Sky Sands:
|Air Ride: SKY SANDS Finish 2 laps in under 01:45:00!||None|
|Air Ride: SKY SANDS Finish 2 laps in under 02:05:00!||Machine: Swerve Star|
|Air Ride: SKY SANDS Race over 4,000 feet in 2 minutes!||None||Must be done in Time mode, rather than Laps mode.|
|Free Run: SKY SANDS Do 1 lap under 01:05:00 on Bulk Star!||Color: Brown Kirby|
|Free Run: SKY SANDS Finish 1 lap in under 00:53:00!||None|
|Free Run: SKY SANDS Finish 1 lap in under 01:05:00!||None|
|SKY SANDS: Break all of the coral and finish in 1st place!||One free box filler||All coral must be broken by the player.|
|SKY SANDS: Enter the quicksand 3 times and finish in 1st place!||None||'Quicksand' refers to the falling sand inside the cave. Must pass through exactly 3 times and then finish.|
|SKY SANDS: Open the trapdoor exactly 3 times and finish in 1st place!||Music: The Arena||Alternative music for the course Sky Sands. Original track of The Arena battle theme from Kirby Super Star.|
|Time Attack: SKY SANDS Finish in under 02:40:00!||None|
|Time Attack: SKY SANDS Finish in under 02:40:00 on Wagon Star!||None|
|Time Attack: SKY SANDS Finish in under 03:10:00!||Music: Air Ride: Sky Sands|
- The music featured in this course reappears in some desert levels of Kirby Mass Attack.
Names in other languages
- Taken from in-game in the Japanese version upon starting the course