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"Amazin' Walter" McDonald and Lucinda "sandy feet" Wierenga, a.k.a. The Sons of the Beach Sand Castle Wizards, have been actively and seriously involved in sand sculpture since 1984.

What follows is a self-aggrandizing list of career highlights.Those of you with busy schedules that may include a sand castle in your future are welcome to skip all that and go straight to the pitch -- check out some of the publicity we have already attracted -- or look at some pictures of our work.

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The Sons of the Beach began competing at a professional level in 1987, when they took second place in the masters division of the Neptunefest Contest in Virginia Beach. Since then, they have competed at the World Championships at Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia - which is an invitational - at least 10 times in team, solo and duo categories (usually with other partners.)

In 2003, they fielded a 5-person team taht took the "Best Architecture" award - see photos here.

Organizing Contests

Since 1987, the Wizards have worked with the town of South Padre Island in organizing and promoting local sand sculpture contests, including the annual South Padre Island Sand Castle Days scheduled for the third weekend in October. The SOBs help organize the event and build a demonstration sculpture in the three days leading up to the contest.


Since 1987 years the Wizards have been hired by various South Padre Island resort properties to build weekly demonstation castles throughout the summer and on into the fall season. In addition, they build "personalized" castles for numerous private parties, malls, conventions, promotional events and advertising campaigns locally and throughout the country - including the Marshall Fire Ant Festival, Chrysler Corporation's Spring Break Promotion, the Grand Rapids (MI) Public Museum ground breaking and the Texas Chamber of Commerce annual convention - to name a few. In early August of 1993 they worked for three weeks with 16 other sculptors to build a lighted, block-long walk-through sand sculpture for the Minnesota State Fair.

The Wizards get a lot of their work right on their home beach building demonstration castles for convention and other groups meeting on South Padre Island.

In 1987, the SOBs organized the building of the world's longest sand sculpture, the 10,760 ft long Millerpede - as noted in the '88-'90 editions of the Guinness Book of World Records.


Photos and/or mention of SOB sand castles have run in hundreds of publications, including USA Today, Wall Street Journal, People Magazine, Marth Stewert, The Globe, The New York Times, Family Circle, The Saturday Evening Post and Texas Monthly. Amazin' and Feet have also been featured in several different radio interviews and TV broadcasts in the past five years, including a live broadcast of "CBS This Morning," as well as a recent segment of "Beach MTV." Those who watched closely caught a glimpse of an SOB castle during the 1994 Miss USA Pageant, broadcast live from South Padre Island to the homes of some 300 million viewers around the world.

For more examples of the close relationship with the media enjoyed by the SoBs - click here.


While other professional sand castle building teams create spectacular sculptures and faithful replicas by using forms, heavy equipment and crowds of volunteers, the SOB technique is different in that all structures - towers, walls, arches and combinations of the three - are individually constructed by Amazin' Walter, then intricately carved by Sandy Feet. No two castles are alike. The building/carving process provides spectators with a unique form of entertainment, as well as useful tips and instruction which they may later apply to their own sandcastle building experiences on the beach.

The SOB sandcastling technique is succinctly and entertainingly presented in their book, Sand Castles Step-by-Step, published in July of 1990 by Meadowbrook Press. Though currently out of print, the book was released in Japanese in May 1997. A new version in English is available for purchase from the SoB Online Shop, as well as an instructional video, specialty carving tools and other items of interest to sand sculptors of all ability levels.

Since 1990, the Wizards have put new emphasis on the "helping others have fun" aspect of being an SOB. Sandy Feet teaches regularly-scheduled sand castle lessons at several resort properties throughout the summer, and privately by appointment all year round. Just an hour's worth of instruction - with tips on what to build, how to build and how to find or make carving tools - have helped literally thousands of people have more fun at the beach.

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