You have probably already noticed the narrow boards in various surf shops that are called "skimboards". But apart from a few kids playing around on the beach, you probably don't associate much with skimboarding, and you certainly haven't thought about trying it out yourself - right?
Perhaps you’ve heard of the likes of Brad Domke a US skimboarding champion doing all kinds of crazy tricks and charging huge waves as well, this guy is pushing the envelope that’s for sure. Or maybe, you’ve seen a bunch of guys skimboarding at your local break when it’s just shorebreaks and you’ve always wanted to try it, but scared of getting hurt. Yeah? Us too…
Skimboards offer alternatives to doing nothing on those flatish days when the only thing on offer is a shorebreak, they’re also a great way to socialise with friends and you’ll be surprised how tightnit the community is - even tighter than surfers some would argue! Skimboards can be also very eco friendly, as you can still get the old school wooden skimboards, as well as more modern high performance ones from foam and fibreglass (not so eco friendly).
10 Easy Steps To Get Started With A Skimboard
Step 1: find a suitable spot
Find a spot with a shallow film of water - whether it's a beach, lake, river, garden or flooded golf course, it's up to you 😉.
Step 2: organize a skimboard
You can find tips on how to do this further down in the article.
Step 3: warm up
Since you want to achieve a high speed in the run-up by sprinting, you should minimize the risk of muscle strain.
Step 4: grab the skimboard in the right places
In order to make “push” and “take-off” successful, you have to hold your board correctly right from the start. See the following video.
Step 5: get the momentum and test the release of your board
A classic beginner's mistake is to throw the board far too far forward.
Step 6: get on your skimboard
Important: we explicitly recommend that you get on the board and not jump! You stay more stable and you lose less speed. First comes the back foot, then the front foot.
Our tip: try steps 5 and 6 in advance on the beach to get a feel for the process and to find your timing.
Step 7: keep riding!
Do not be discouraged by the first unsuccessful attempts and do not forget - fun> success 😎.
Of course, that sounds a lot easier than it turns out in practice, and without a suitable portion of practice, no skimboard master has fallen from the sky.
However, in order to make it a little easier for you to get started and to bring you closer to the approach and throwing technique, we turn to the guy who knows exactly how to do it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTBL84N5RVg
Okay, so now you’re frothing on wanting to give skimboarding a go, there’s just a few more scientific facts you should be aware of before you head on down to the beach. Skimming and skimboarding works on the principle of aquaplaning. It is therefore important to glide with sufficient speed by starting on the water, to reach an approaching wave and to surf on it back to the shore or to perform cool stunts. An exception to this is "flatland skimming" or "inland skimboarding"
What types of skimboarding are there?
Waveskimming Jump skimming Flatland skimming / inland skimboarding In waveskimming, the goal is to catch a wave and ride it back to shore. In jumpkimming you use the approaching wave as a jump and try to perform various tricks and maneuvers. As you saw in the video at the beginning, this transition can be very fluid and a ride can contain both variants. You don't need a sea or waves for flatland skimming or inland skimboarding. You slide on shallow water such as a lake and try to do jumps and tricks over built-up ramps. Theoretically, you can also build a skim track in your own garden with manageable effort.
What are some good skimboards to check out?
Well, a quick google search will reveal some "‘independent reviews” and suggestions of brands. But if you’re too lazy to open up another tab, here’s our pick of some decent skimboards worth checking out:
For Wooden Skimboards - check out Banzai Skimboard Surfer and Sunspecs Rubber Top for a good budget one. There’s also Beachmall Wood and our favourite for names: Lucky Bums Wood.
For Foam and Fibreglass Skimboards - you’d do well to check out Zap Lazer and Zap Wedge Large Skimboard. The SlapFish Carbon for an advanced skimboard is also worth a look at.
Now what are you waiting for? Get your skimming on!