A four-day annual US Sand Sculpting Challenge is held in San Diego, California on Saturday, NBC reported.
Eleven master sculptors from different US states, Russia, Italy, the Netherlands and Canada carved their creations in front of the crowd.
"They're dog tired, you can hear the shovels scratching in the back here. It's 30-thousand pounds of sand, highly compressed. You can see, this is 12 feet up in the air. It's not your average beach sand sculpture, this isn't your average sand castle competition," said Rusty Croft, Sand Sculptures contest official.
Organisers said they brought 300 tons of sand and expect that some of the art works may weigh up to 10 tons when finished, NBC reported.
This year's challenge had as a theme the run-up for US athletes to the Rio Olympics in 2016, with the winning prize of $5,000 and bragging rights, local media said.
A portion of the proceeds from the event will go towards supporting arts education programmes for children, organisers said on their website.