Looking to buy your very first skimboard? Or thinking to upgrade? If yes, then you just landed on the right site. In this article, Types of Skimboards Explained, we are providing a thorough buying guide for all types of skimboards with all the information you need. We will talk about various features, materials, and other specifications to help you get the perfect skimboard.
What is a Skimboard?
Skimboards are used for skimboarding which is an amazing board sport for people of all ages. Skimboarding, also known as skimming, is a board sport in which competitors ride breaking waves back to shore while gliding across the water’s surface on skimboards. At various points during their ride out to and back with the wave, wave-riding skimboarders engage in a variety of surface and air maneuvers.
The majority of boards available are made of wood or foam. These two materials are mostly used for skimboards. The flexibility, weight, and dimension depend on the material used. Typically, the cost of a foam skimboard is higher than that of a wood skimboard. Foam ones are more suitable for waves than wooden ones thanks to their flexible, lightweight, and sturdy material.
Compared to their foam counterparts, these boards are heavier and more sturdy. Wood skimboards are for flatland skiing and small waves and are typically made from birch or mahogany plywood. When someone is sand skiing or in shallow water, we use this term. They are utilized more frequently in non-coastal waters, such as lakes and rivers.
In general, wood skimboards cost less than more expensive foam boards. Budget-conscious and novice users will value this. You might feel more at ease not spending a lot of money and beginning with a wooden board if you’re just trying to decide if skimboarding is right for you.
The deeper waters you encounter when you skimboard directly from the beach into the waves are not intended for wooden boards due to their weight. If you do this with a wooden board, you will likely lose the board to the ocean’s floor because it will sink.
The advantage of wood boards is their toughness. Given the windy beach weather, you don’t want one that is too thin. Think about throwing your board into the water while running along the shoreline. Your board has a good chance of disappearing if it is too light and the wind catches it.
Dedicated skimboarders typically favor foam boards. Despite typically costing more, foam skimboards are much simpler to use and handle, especially when surfing. This is due to their material’s flexibility, ability to float, and lightweight. All ages of boarders will enjoy these boards.
There are some drawbacks to foam skimboards, despite the fact that they are frequently preferred, especially by experienced beach skimboarders. Typically, foamies are more expensive than wooden boards. Additionally, they are more likely to break if not handled carefully or after extensive use.
Lightweight, flexible, expensive, and excellent for riding waves is foam boards. In contrast, wood boards are more expensive, heavier, and sink more readily, making them the best choice for sand skimming and non-coastal waters.
Carbon Fiber Skimboard
Although wooden and foam core boards are the most common, carbon fiber has more recently been used in skimboarding construction. Due to its lightweight and durability, carbon fiber has a high strength-to-weight ratio. As a result, despite being lightweight, these skimboards are sturdy and substantial.
However, if you’re flatland skimming, a carbon fiber board will work just fine. These boards are typically for more experienced skimboarders and are ideal for wave skiing. As you might expect, the price is the trade-off.
These boards can be a bit pricey, so foam core boards are typically the first option for beginners.
Skimboards have a wrap regardless of the core of your board. You can see the elaborate colors and patterns on the wrap that you might want for your board.
Wraps for skimboards can give your board style and added toughness. However, wraps aren’t just for show. They can also increase the toughness of a board by preventing water damage to the core. Most wraps are made of Carbon, E-glass, or S-glass; each has benefits.
Types of Wraps
To save our smartphone’s screen from scratches, most people use screen protectors which are made of tempered glass. Just exactly how skimboard wraps work. Let’s have a look at the types and benefits of each wrap:
- Carbon – Many skimboarders consider carbon to be the best wrap, but it is also the priciest choice. This is why more expensive boards tend to have it more frequently. Carbon wrap, like the carbon fiber used in some boards, is incredibly robust. Although we wouldn’t say it’s immune to damage, it comes pretty close.
- E-Glass – The most popular wrap is by far e-glass, a kind of fiberglass. Although it is adaptable, it is not always as strong or long-lasting as other wraps. As a result, it is more vulnerable to damage from rocks and other beach debris, which you almost always run into.
- S-Glass – S-glass costs more because it is a stronger and more resilient version of e-glass. Given that it is less likely to sustain damage; it might be an investment you want to make. S-glass wraps allow for faster speeds as you ride waves because they are a little bit stiffer than E-glass.
The shape of a skimboard can be visualized by downsizing surfboards. Fins are typically found on surfboards, but not on skimboards. The rest of their shapes are comparable.
A skimboard requires learning to control the board because it lacks fins. Comparing this to learning the same thing on a surfboard can be more challenging. Riding a skimboard won’t feel as stable or secure as riding a surfboard because fins also add stability. Let’s examine the factors that determine the shape of a skimboard.
Pintail, swallowtail, and square tail are the three primary skimboard tail shape varieties. Pintails are more prevalent on cheaper boards. But that doesn’t mean a pintail is a good beginner board.
- Pintail – Since both the nose and tail have points, this is also known as a twin-tip. Because it would be difficult to distinguish which end was the front if they were completely symmetrical, the front point and the pintail are not. If you enjoy performing tricks, a pintail board is ideal because it provides superb balancing. A twin-tip or pintail skimboard can be used like a skateboard, which is why skaters often start on these.
- Swallowtail – The swallowtail offers maneuverability and frequently comes on a wider board. It is faster than a pintail but slower than a square. Your board will be less maneuverable on the water the wider it is. The swallowtail, which is essentially a wedge cut out of the back of the board, combats that and enables quick movements for the rider.
- Square Tail – These tails are flat, just like the side of a square, as their name implies. They give the water two places to flow from the back of the board as you skim on the water—each point of the flat, squared-off end—giving the rider a little more agility and maneuverability. This improves the rider’s ability to make sharp turns, and the ability to turn quickly allows for trick difficulty and stylish movements.
Surfers refer to the rocker of their boards as the curve that runs the length of the board. The board’s tip curves upward more as the nose rocker increases. The same holds for skimboards with either a shallow or steep rocker.
You have a little more breathing room when it comes to rougher waters and bigger waves when your board has a steep rocker. These rockers, however, can cause the board to lag. The board is less likely to submerge under the water when you skim out toward the waves, though, if the nose sits higher up.
Your board’s nose will sit lower if the rocker is shallow. Although it speeds up the ride, this is much less appropriate for larger waves. Since there are hardly any waves when flatland skiing, skimboards with shallow rockers are best.
Your choice of skimboard size will be influenced by the type of skiing you’ll be doing. Additionally, your height and weight play a role.
After discussing skimboard shapes and materials, let’s look at the different types of boarding. This might clarify how to choose the best skimboard for you if you’re a novice. Your choice of skimboard will depend on your location and the types of waters you plan to use it on.
Lifeguards who were bored invented flatland skiing, possibly the earliest type of skimboarding. They started throwing boards into the wet sand or the extremely shallow water at the ocean’s edge in search of something to do.
At any body of water, flatland skiing is possible. Whether you’re at a lake or a beach, grab your skimboard and set it down there. Leap onto it and glide through the incredibly shallow water.
Similar to flatland skiing, inland skimboarding is only performed on marshes or even sizable puddles. You’ll need your board and shallow water for inland skimming. Even a large puddle in your yard will work!
As you might expect, this required skimming out into the ocean on waves as opposed to skimming along the water’s edge.
Along with turning quickly, wave skimming entails riding the wave back to shore. You need a responsive board with good maneuverability to do this properly. We advise smaller boards over wide boards as a result. In addition, you’ll want a steeper rocker to prevent the skimboard’s nose from dipping under the water as the waves approach you.
Tips for Skimboarding
Here are some advises for skimboarding:
- Become proficient at flat-land skimboarding, first try speed runs;
- Select the ideal skimboard for your level of skiing;
- If you’re new to skimboarding, put on a helmet;
- Prevent skimboarding mishaps. Plan each ride and prepare your actions in advance;
- Understand how the tides affect and behave at your preferred beach;
- Master the fundamentals of skimboarding before attempting to catch a wave;
- Before going skiing, always warm up and stretch. Prepare your knees and ankles for hard impacts;
- Observe skimboarding videos and pick up tips from the pros;
- Become aware that you can skimboard on tarp, grass, and land;
- Are you prepared to slide over rails and ramps? By removing sharp edges, you can protect yourself and the obstacles;
After covering every aspect of skimboards, let’s look at some essential accessories. With wax and grip pads, accessories help you ride like a pro without falling off, and a carrying bag protects your board.
- Wax – The same principle applies to skimboards, so regular surf wax works great. Simply create a sticky surface so that your feet have something to hold onto as you ride. You can stay standing without stumbling over thanks to this.
There isn’t a wax made especially for skimboards. You should use surfboard waxes like Sticky Bumps or Sex Wax on your skimboard. Make sure the wax you buy is suitable for the water temperatures you’ll be in.
- Traction Pad – Similar to the wax, the traction or grip pads keep your feet from slipping. The benefit of traction pads over wax is that they go where your feet should be, so you can tell without looking if they have found the proper spots on the board.
- Arch Pads – For those who want to consistently find the center of the board, arch pads offer traction and foot guidance. The middle of the board is divided by the arch pad, which is a raised, ridged pad. You might want to test some out to find your best fit if you have flat feet because this won’t be the most comfortable thing to stand on.
Skimboarding is a thrilling sport that you can enjoy anywhere there is even a small amount of water! The best skimboard can be determined by several factors, but knowing what you’re looking for can help remove some of the uncertainty.
So that you don’t enter into your new purchase blindly, research is crucial. When purchasing your skimboard, keep in mind your skill level, the location you want to skimboard in, the nature of the waves if you plan to do wave skimboarding, the size board you’ll need, and your spending limit, and the accessories you’ll require.