You see skimboarding is really a fun thing to do. In a short summary skimboarding where you can ride waves like a surfboard and ride land like a skimboard.
Types of skimboards
So to start off, skimboards can come in three different shapes, three main sizes and two main constructions, these all usually vary depending on which brand you buy form.
At the most basic level we have the round skimboard, this skimboard will let you do a couple of things and is fairly easy to use for very basic things. I personally do not like the round board, due to its lack of versatilty. So in this guide I will not be talking about the round skimboard.
- The shore-break (woody) style of skimboard is for more beginner becoming intermediate or advanced skimboarders. This board comes in many different sizes, it all depends on which brand you buy from. It also comes in a couple different types of material. Most of the boards have a certain type of plaster on the outer layers and wood on the inner layers. Now this board is great, because it is easy to use, it is great for cutting into waves because of the slim but rounded off design, its great for tricks, waves, etc. This makes it a very versatile board. It is also very easy to maneuver in thin water.
- The foam-filled boards (foamie) are the most professional types of skimboards. These boards are much thicker than the last two boards, the reason being that the inside of the board is filled with high density foam. Even though it is much thicker, it is still very light, this causes it to be very buoyant. This board is going to be the closest thing you can get to a board being the quality of a surfboard. With the foamie style board you are able to easily jump over waves, getting anywhere from 1-10 feet of air or riding in wave tunnels. The reason I gave you this overview of the different styles of boards is so you can can get a sense of what different types of boards you are going to be dealing with. Without delay, let me give you all the information that you will need so that you can get the best board possible.
Woody vs. Foamie
Woody boards, are of course made from wood the wood boards are tailored more from small wave riding and shore skimming. They wood board is much faster sinking and a lot stiffer than foamies. The board is much thinner than the foamie due to the compactness of the wood inside the board. Wood boards are usually better for places other than the coast such as lakes, creeks, puddles, rivers, smaller bodies of water in general. The woody CAN be used on the coast, but it is not meant for high wave riding or surfing type of things. It IS meant for shore skimming and small waves as I said before.
The foamie consists of of inner of foam, the foam boards can cost more than the boards made with wood. The foamie board is meant for wave riding. Since the foamie board is light, thick and flexible which is perfect for wavy surfaces. These boards are on contrast of meant to go into the deeper waves, they are almost used like surfboards.
For a more advanced skimboarder the foamie board is much more preferable, not only because it is easier to use on bigger waves but also cause it is more durable. The reason that the woody is less preferable for advanced skimboarders is that it is made of wood, causing it to be heavier and a lot harder to use on bigger waves. The woody is more preferable for beginners to use because its a lot easier to use when it comes to shore skimming, and because the price of woody’s is significantly cheaper than foamies, in most cases.
In a quick summary, the woody board is going to be the better choice for a beginner who just wants to ride small waves and do shore skimming. The foamie is going to be for someone who is already a avid skimboarder or is planning on being an avid skimboarder, this board is meant for advanced wave skimming.
Personal factors: Weight and speed
Weight is very important when it comes to skimboarding. If you get a board that is meant for somebody 20 pounds lighter than you, you could sink dead in the water. Your weight can also break a board that is not meant for your size, if you are 30 pounds heavier than the recommended weight you could easily snap a board.
Speed is also a very important thing to consider when buying board, if you are a slow runner, your best bet is going to be a little bit longer of a board. The longer board will help give you a little bit more room to jump onto the board, the longer board also helps if you are a beginner because the larger board is easier to keep balance on. Now if you consider yourself fast you should get the board recommended for your weight group, the smaller the board, the less area you have to jump on, but the smaller the board the quicker the board.
Here is a general idea of what most weight charts will look like:
- 80 – 140 lbs: 45 in. or less (Small)
- 120 – 160 lbs: 45 in. to 47 in. (Medium)
- 140 – 180 lbs: 47 in to 49 in. (Medium – Large)
- 160 – 200 lbs: 49 in. to 51 in. (Large)
- 180 – 220 lbs: 51 in or more (Extra Large)
Most websites that you will buy skimboards from will give you a weight chart.
The shape of the board: Rocker and Tails
The rocker is the curvature of the board. A board that has a lot of curvature is meant for bumpy and really wavy waters, whereas if the board is fairly flat it is meant for shoreline skimming. So ask yourself if you want to be a shoreline skimmer or a wave rider. Most people who ride in medium waves choose 1 1/2 – 2 inch rockers. Whereas people who ride pretty bumpy waves use 3 inch rockers.
The tail of the board is there for balance, you either see a pointy tail or a W tail, both are there for balance. The W tail also can be used as a hand grip when throwing the board.
- Shallow rocker – faster; provides easier movement along calmer water.
- Steep rocker – causes slower movement between the sand and waves, best for choppy water.
- Pintail – provides good balance in the water.
- Square/W-tail – boosts flexibility; optimal for skimming stunts.
Check out the 6 Best Skimboards on the market right now:
1. Wave Zone Skimboards – 41″ Fiberglass Wave Zone Edge
2. Zap Wedge Medium Skimboard – Assorted Colors
3. Victoria Skimboards – Woody XL
Great for riding the shoreline or Flatland
Size: 48.5″ x 21.3″
Suggested Weight: 180 – 220 lbs
Made in the USA for over 30 years.
4. Liquid Shredder Wood EVA Deck Skimboard
5. Wave Rebel Local Motion Wood Laminate Skim Board