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A lot of people are quite surprised that skimboarding was actually invented as early as the 1920s. This watersport is different from the more popular surfing as the board is way smaller and is typically done on the shore or flatland as opposed to the middle of the ocean.
Of course, you can also use the skimboard to ride smaller waves too. Learning how to skimboard is fairly easy but you will need patience and a lot of energy. The two most important things for skimboarding are timing and balance. Once you get used to those two, you can get better with practice.
- 1 Before You Start
- 2 Steps on How to Skimboard
- 3 Top Skimboards for Beginners
- 4 Final Thoughts
If you want to learn how to skimboard, you will need to do a bit of research. Here are some of the things that you will need and prepare for:
This is the most crucial tool you will need, the skimboard. When choosing a skimboard make sure that it is designed for beginners. You can check out some of the models that are ideal for beginners below. These skimboards usually have a nose rocker to prevent getting faceplanted on the sand.
For flatland skimboarding, it would be best to go to a beach with a good shore. If it’s too rocky, skip it. The chances of falling flat on your ass are too high and it won’t be good on the skimboard either.
It’s also important to check the rules of the beach you are going to. It would be pretty hard to go skimboarding on a beach with lots of little kids on the shore. So, do check if skimboarding is allowed where you plan on going to.
If you have very minimal exercise, you won’t last long on skimboarding. This watersport will have you running, running, and running—oh, and also jumping. Think of running for skimboarding as paddling for surfing (although surfers now have the option to use a sea scooter so their arms won’t get tired easily). You need the stamina and endurance for running and jumping if you want to learn how to skimboard.
If you are not a well-coordinated person, then skimboarding will be a tough activity to learn. However, you can always practice. Skimboarding will have you doing many things at the same time from watching the water come to the shore, throwing the board properly, running, and jumping on the board, and then balancing—all the while making sure no one is in your way.
If you have never done any type of board sports or activities (skateboard, surfing, etc.) you need to figure out your riding stance. Your footedness will determine how you should be handing your skimboard.
If you have regular footedness, this means your right foot will be at the back of the board, if you are goofy, then your left foot will be at the back of the board. Regular riders should handle the board on their right side, left hand in the middle, and right hand on the tail. Just do a mirror version of this if you are goofy, board on the left side, right hand in the middle, left hand on the tail.
Once you are well-prepared for skimboarding, it’s now time to learn how to actually do it. There are actually several ways you can do this but the simplest one for beginners is right below:
This is the start of skimboarding, you will need to run so you can catch up to your skimboard once you throw it. At the same time, it will give the momentum to keep moving forward once you land on your skimboard.
Easier said than done, you have to make sure that you throw the skimboard properly while you are running. Not too hard that you won’t be able to catch up to it and not too light that it just plops on the land and doesn’t move.
Throw the skimboard forward, imagine a straight line going across the beach shore. The skimboard should follow that line. However, if you will be riding waves, you should throw the skimboard towards the waves, perpendicular to the shoreline.
Your aim needs to be good for this, from running you need to immediately jump on your skimboard once you have thrown it forward. There will be a few hits and misses but it all comes down to timing. The goal is to land on your skimboard.
Once on the board, it’s time to balance. If you feel like you might fall off, bend your knees down, extend both arms up if you have to. But put it back down once you feel steadier.
When steps 1 to 4 are done properly, you should be able to ride the skimboard. Use your foot, legs, and core to shift the skimboard.
Looking for some boards that you can use? Most skimboards are made out of plywood but if you want something softer, there are foam skimboard options also available for beginners. Check out some of the wood and foam boards below:
BPS ‘Gator’ Skimboards
You can say that the Gator is a skimboard made by a surfer for other surfers. BPS or Barrel Point Surf is run by a New Zealand native who started surfing over 3 decades ago. Whether you are buying the BPS ‘Gator’ Skimboards for yourself or your child, you can simply choose the right size—30, 35, or 40 inches.
All of the Gator skimboards from BPS are made from highly durable plywood. To protect it from breakage and water damage, it is coated with high gloss. With EVA foam-made Gator Grip pads, you don’t have to use surf wax to use this skimboard.
The BPS ‘Gator’ Skimboards come with nose rockers so you can easily maneuver them on flatlands as well as on the waves.
- Plywood with high gloss coating
- Comes in 30”, 35”, and 40”
- No need for wax
- Nose rocker
South Bay Board Co. – 41″ / 36” Skipper Skimboard
South Bay Board Co. is a family business that promises surfers value, performance, design, and service. The Skipper Skimboard is designed specifically for beginners and comes in either 36 inches or 41 inches that can support riders up to 150lbs.
If you want to introduce skimboarding to kids, the South Bay Board Co. – 41″ / 36” Skipper Skimboard is an ideal option. Not only does it have the right size but it’s actually pretty light, the 41-inch skimboard is only 5lbs. Both 36” and 41” boards are made from plywood which is coated with epoxy.
The South Bay Board Co. – 41″ / 36” Skipper Skimboard has a wax-free design plus a thruster nose with a bit of a nose rocker which can help prevent newbies from diving headfirst into the water or land.
- Textured deck
- Plywood coated with epoxy
- Thruster nose
BPS ‘Shaka’ Skimboards
Another skimboard from Barrel Point Surf is the Shaka. Think of it as a simpler and more budget-friendly option for beginners. However, the BPS ‘Shaka’ Skimboards is still made with the same high-quality materials a plywood base with a clear coating of high gloss to prevent any type of damage.
This skimboard also comes in 3 sizes 30, 35, and 40 inches with the biggest one offering accommodating riders up to 150lbs. One of the main differences between the Shaka with the Gator is that this skimboard has a dot-patterned grip.
There is still no need to use any type of wax to ride the BPS ‘Shaka’ Skimboards. It also comes with the same shape and design, a nose rocker, to allow you quick turns and pivots during your ride.
- Plywood with high gloss coating
- Support up to 150lbs
- Dot-patterned grip
Driftsun Performance Wood Skim Board
Created by a group of thrill-seekers, Driftsun delivers high-quality watersports products. The Driftsun Performance Wood Skim Board is an excellent option for anyone interested in skimboarding. It can be used by kids and adults, beginners to experts. If you find yourself becoming more passionate about skimboarding, this is a board you can grow with.
The Driftsun Performance Wood Skim Board is made out of laminated hardwood. It is sealed with poly-lacker so the board is waterproof and durable. To keep riders from falling off the board, the deck has an XPE traction pad; wax is not required to ride this skimboard.
With a unique shape, the Driftsun Performance Wood Skim Board provides better balance and footing. It also has a performance rocker so you can reduce the chances of making a nosedive. This board is only 5.6lbs.
- XPE traction pad
- For all skimboard levels
- Laminated hardwood
- Only 5.6lbs
Wavestorm Foam Skimboard 48″
Just like the foam surfboard, there are also skimboards that are made out of foam as opposed to the traditional wood. It’s a good option for beginners who have a bit of fear of getting smacked in the face with hardwood. The Wavestorm Foam Skimboard 48″ has a superior foam core. It’s pretty light, weighing only 3lbs making it ideal for traveling or being used by younger riders.
The Wavestorm Foam Skimboard 48″ top deck created with Graphic Film technology, it won’t be fading as it is UV-inhibiting. To add stiffness and rigidity to the foam, this skimboard comes with 4 fiberglass stringers.
You can easily skim flatlands or the waves as the Wavestorm Foam Skimboard 48″ slick bottom. This skimboard is soft yet durable and is free from harmful materials like resins and toxins.
- UV-inhibiting deck
- Fiberglass stringers
- Foam core
- Only 3lbs
Once you have learned how to skimboard, it’s time to put theory into practice. Skimboarding is easy enough to learn but being an expert in it will require a lot of hours on the beach. Make sure that you have the right skimboard so you will have a quicker time learning.
Opting for a skimboard that is way above your skill level won’t do you any good. If anything, it can hinder your chances of learning how to skimboard.