Skimboards and skimboarding have come a LONG way since the early nineties.

Seriously, back then, my only exposure to the sport was sitting at the beach watching mulleted guys in neon swimwear do this:

  • Jog along the water’s edge, narrowly avoiding contact with the dozens of beachgoers milling about.
  • Throw their perfectly flat, circular skim-orbs out in front of them.
  • Sprint like a Day-Glo maniac to catch up with it.
  • Leap onto it without the remotest care for the fundamentals of physics.
  • Learn about the fundamentals of physics in a very literal sense.
  • Get carried off the beach by paramedics or embarrassed friends.

Naturally, I was fascinated by this activity and desperate to get my hands on a skimboard, convinced that I’d be the one kid at the beach who’d finally figure out how to do this right. The first person to hop onto the board with grace and confidence, slaloming my way through a crowd of cheering holidaymakers, slapping me on the back amiably as I zoom by.

But my parents had other ideas.

Having witnessed the most frequent consequences of skimboarding along with hearing the urban legends that typically surround such a “risky” activity, they were having none of it. Like all the other moms and dads, they would allow me to swim, build sloppy sandcastles, and MAYBE rent a boogie board the size of a friggin door.

Some time later when I started venturing towards the less touristy sections of the beach, I discovered that skimboarding wasn’t quite as difficult or dangerous as the clumsy fools I mentioned above were advertising.

I realized, after seeing some actual skimboarders do their thing, that equipment plays a pretty important role in your, and the onlookers’, enjoyment of the sport.

I realized that the beachside carnage I’d witnessed as a kid was mainly because people were using cheap skimboards rented out by some heartless misanthrope who delights in making a buck off people pulverizing their spinal columns.

What most of the inland noobs on holiday didn’t realize, was that there was no safe way to learn skimboarding without a PROPER skimboard.

Even the most accomplished skimboarder would have found it virtually impossible to do anything but land an epic faceplant when skimming on the deathtraps available at tourist-central.

Another thing I realized as I spent some time watching these radical dudes (hey, this was the early 90s, okay?!) was that skimboarding looks a whole lot more awesome when you’re doing it on a purpose-built board. They were doing stuff I didn’t even think was possible. I was awestruck!

Some of the boarders who skimmed along the waterline moved at incredible speeds and covered an astonishing distance. All while doing a bunch of tricks and moves and hops and twists and stuff that made me feel like I was watching an MTV promo. There was a very obvious similarity between this kinda skimboarding and skateboarding and that concept blew my MIND.

Another group of skimboarders charged INTO the oncoming waves, planing across deeper water and into swells, launching themselves and their boards into the air like slightly wetter versions of Icarus.

One of the guys, clearly the group’s Bodhi, skimmed his mighty board into the oncoming waves, curled the board around at just the right time, and then surfed the wave back towards the shore like he was some kind of beach GOD!

Sadly, pointing this new version of skimboarding out to my parents made them no less comfortable with the idea of buying me a board and two decades had to pass before I ever laid my hands on one!

Don’t get me wrong, I’d given it very little thought in the intervening 22 years; it’s not like I spent all that time waiting for a reason to finally give it a go. Other awesome leisure activities had kept that side of me more than satisfied.

But, when we decided to write this article, my mind was instantly yanked back to those holidays on the east coast of South Africa – sitting alone under an umbrella, staring longingly at the older kids living their dreams as they glided and flew across the water.

So it was with no small amount of elation that I undertook the task of testing and writing about the ten best skimboards available in 2022.

The 9 Best Skimboards Available in 2022

Before I start reviewing the nine best skimboards available online, it’s important to discuss a couple of issues pertaining to board selection.

Later in this article, I’m going to delve much deeper into this surprisingly complex topic. But for now, it’s important that the first-time skimboard shopper knows this:

A Bad Skimboard Equals an Awful Skimboarding Experience

More than most of the activities that we review here at Above House, the enjoyment you get from skimboarding is proportionate to the quality of your equipment.

Skimboarding is hard and I’m not gonna lie… it’s kinda dangerous. Falling off a skimboard sucks a lot. Wiping out into an inch of water isn’t that much different from wiping out onto dry, hard sand. Sure, you’re not going to get the kind of gravel rash you’ll get from falling off a skateboard, but broken bones aren’t uncommon.

Seriously, don’t be tempted to buy a bargain-box skimboard. Stick to the products we’ve reviewed here. Some of them are affordable, but I can guarantee that none of them are “bad skimboards.” The stakes are high. Trust me on this.

This important piece of info out of the way, here are the nine best skimboards available online.

  1. South Bay Board Co. The Marauder Skimboard – BEST SKIMBOARD FOR INTERMEDIATE AND EXPERIENCED RIDERS
  2. Waveline Neon Wooden Skimboard – BEST ENTRY LEVEL FLATLAND SKIMBOARD
  3. South Bay Board Co. The Skipper Skimboard – BEST-SELLING SKIMBOARD
  4. Wavestorm 48″ Skimboard – BEST ENTRY LEVEL WAVE-RIDING SKIMBOARD
  5. Wavestorm 45″ Skimboard – BEST SKIMBOARD FOR WAVE CARVING
  6. Slapfish Skimboards 52″ Fiberglass and Carbon – BEST SKIMBOARD FOR LEARNING AND PERFORMING ADVANCED TRICKS
  7. DB Skimboards Standard Proto Skimboard – MOST DURABLE SKIMBOARD
  8. Sandfish Board Co. Traction Cruiser – BEST VALUE FOR MONEY SKIMBOARD

 

1. South Bay Board Co. The Marauder Skimboard – BEST SKIMBOARD FOR INTERMEDIATE AND EXPERIENCED RIDERS

Skimboard Dimensions: 48″ x 20″ x 1″

Core Composition: EPS Closed-Cell Foam core

Weight Limit: 200 lbs (91 kg)

The South Bay Marauder may cost you more than most of the products on our list of the best skimboards for 2022, but it’s worth every extra penny. Provided you’re not a beginner, this awesome skimboard offers everything a wave-rider needs.

The board’s EPS closed-cell foam core makes it incredibly light in weight and also very buoyant – perfect qualities for skimming out onto the water and catching a wave. The Marauder’s other main components are the two 6 oz fiberglass sheets applied to the board’s top and bottom surfaces. These sheets greatly improve the board’s overall durability.

The Marauder sports a very slight nose-lift, or “rocker” – so it’ll move across the water with quite a bit of speed. It also means that novice riders will struggle to make the transition from sand to water – a skill that takes some time to master.

At 48 inches in length, the Marauder is quite long, making it ideal for adult skimboarders or older teens. It’s also a decent “investment” board for a younger rider who knows they’re not far from reaching the ideal height. Check out our Buyer’s Guide below for more information on your ideal skimboard length.

South Bay Board Co’s Marauder has what’s referred to as a “performance” shape – one that’s ideal for performing tricks and skills while riding a wave.

The Marauder is easily my top choice for intermediate to advanced skimboarders. Sure, it’s expensive, but it’s also durable, extremely lightweight, and ideal for pulling off awesome tricks out on the water.

On top of my endorsement, factor in the fact that this is, by some distance, the best-reviewed skimboard on our list. South Bay Board Company’s gotta be doing SOMETHING right with this board!

PROS

  • EPS Closed-Cell Foam core means a lightweight board ideal for wave-riding.
  • 6 oz fiberglass sheets for added durability.
  • Gets fantastic reviews from Amazon customers.

CONS

  • May be out of some shoppers’ price range.

Check price on amazon

2. Waveline Neon Wooden Skimboard – BEST ENTRY LEVEL FLATLAND SKIMBOARD

Skimboard Length: 30”, 36”, 41”

Core Composition: Wood

Weight Limit: Not disclosed

The Waveline Neon is where I recommend most first-time skimboarders start. For so many good reasons.

When you buy your first piece of equipment for a sport as tough to master as skimboarding, you don’t want to drop the equivalent of a mortgage payment.

At the same time, you don’t want to compromise your time at the beach, and your learning experience, by buying yourself a terrible skimboard!

Enter the Waveline Neon! The best of both worlds. It’s incredibly affordable and boasts more than enough design and manufacturing nuance to elevate it beyond the artless planks I spoke about earlier.

Let’s get to the details. Wood boards are heavy and not ideal for wave riding. So, despite its name, this is a flatland board, ideal for skimming the shallow waters near the coastline, or the edges of a lake.

Being constructed mainly from wood also means that the Waveline Neon is going to last you a fair bit of time. Its surfaces have been treated to prevent seepage so you can be confident that water damage is extremely unlikely.

Wave Rider was smart enough to cater for a wide variety of skimboarders – offering the Neon in three different sizes appropriate for kids, teens, and adults. Customers also have the option of choosing from five colors so awesome, they look like they escaped from a Van Halen music video.

If you’re on a budget and you’re just getting started in the wonderful world of skimboarding, look no further than the Waveline Neon.

PROS

  • Incredibly affordable.
  • High-quality wood skimboard ideal for first-timers.
  • Exceptionally durable construction.

CONS

  • Not a good option for riders who have the basics down and want to improve their skills.

Check price on amazon

3. South Bay Board Co. The Skipper Skimboard – BEST-SELLING SKIMBOARD

Skimboard Dimensions: 41″ x 17″ x 0.5″

Core Composition: Wood

Weight Limit: 160 lbs (73 kg)

Worth mentioning right up front is the Skipper’s immense popularity. This is by some distance the best-selling skimboard on our list of the best skimboards in 2022, outselling the above-mentioned Waveline Neon by a massive margin.

The reason for its fantastic sales performance on Amazon is the fact that it offers something for beginners and intermediate riders, alike. Wood skimboards are a great place to start and a quality product like this one is also ideal for flatland riders with a little more experience under their belts.

So, whether you’re just getting started or whether you’re ready to start aiming for some more complex tricks on flat water, the Skipper is the board for you.

Added to this combo of awesome is the extremely friendly price tag. Sure, there are cheaper boards on our list, but not many.

All-in-all this skimboard will be the one I’m most likely to recommend to flatland riders who are already sure that skimboarding is something they want to pursue or start taking a little more seriously.

At only 0.5 inches, the Skipper’s teardrop-shaped body is pleasingly thin, making for a very smooth ride and excellent maneuverability.

The board’s epoxy coating helps guard it against usual wear and tear while also providing that little bit of extra protection against encounters with clams, pebbles, and flotsam.

The Skipper is an excellent choice for a first or replacement skimboard. It offers everything a beginner and intermediate flatland skimboarder needs. And don’t just take my word for it. Customer reviews for this skimboard are extremely positive, with riders praising everything from its performance to the manufacturer’s after-sales service.

PROS

  • Terrific board for beginners and intermediate riders.
  • Perfect for learning flatland tricks and skills.
  • Very well priced.

CONS

  • With a maximum length of 41 inches, it’s not ideal for tall skimboarders.

Check price on amazon

4. Wavestorm 48″ Skimboard – BEST ENTRY LEVEL WAVE-RIDING SKIMBOARD

Skimboard Length: 48” 

Core Composition: Foam core

Weight Limit: 185 lbs (85k kg)

There’s just so much to love about this skimboard.

It’s big, it accommodates slightly taller, heavier riders, it’s inexpensive, it’s durable, and it’s a great place to start if you’re keen on learning wave skimming!

Unlike many of the other products on our list of the best skimboards in 2022, the Wavestorm 48” is ideal for larger riders.

At 48 inches, it can easily deal with the size and weight of an adult. In fact, Wavestorm has certified their board as adequate for riders weighing up to 185 lbs (85k kg).

The board’s foam core means that it’s lightweight, buoyant, and ideal for riding out onto the open water, catching a wave, and surfing it back into the shore. The graphic film technology (GFT) used in the production of the board’s foam lends it a slightly “cushioned” texture under your feet, making for a stable comfortable grip.

Despite not weighing much and being highly maneuverable, the Wavestorm 48”’s 4-ply marine stringer system means that it doesn’t lack for speed – a quality often missing from light skimboards.

The Wavestorm’s base is constructed from high-density polyethylene, giving the board superior rigidity and making it resilient against dings and other mishaps.

On top of all this, the Wavestorm 48” skimboard is very well priced – ideal for flatland riders looking to get started on riding some waves.

The board’s reviews are very positive, with customers mostly praising it for being super accessible to novice wave riders and complementing the great balance between size and weight.

PROS

  • The ideal choice for a novice flatland rider looking to get started on waves.
  • Very well priced for a board consisting of above-average components.
  • Able to support riders that weigh slightly more than your average skimboarder.

CONS

  • The board may be a little big for very young skimboarders.

Check price on amazon

5. Wavestorm 45″ Skimboard – BEST SKIMBOARD FOR WAVE CARVING

Skimboard Length: 45” 

Core Composition: Foam core

Weight Limit: 185 lbs (85k kg)

There’s not much separating the Wavestorm 45” and its larger sibling, the Wavestorm 48”.

The most obvious difference is the extra three inches on the 45’s bigger sibling, and most people would be forgiven for thinking that this is where the differences end.

Inside the board, however, the 45” board is constructed from a three-ply stringer system, as opposed to the 48’s four plies.

This, along with the reduced length, makes for a more maneuverable board that will appeal to wave riders looking to improve their “carving” skills. This is when a rider performs a hard, sudden turn on the lip of the wave, jagging themselves back into the path of the wave itself and causing a large spray of water.

These moves aren’t easy to pull off and takes quite a bit of practice. Having the right board for it also helps.

Aside from this, the Wavestorm 45” boasts pretty much every other quality that makes the 48” such a popular skimboard.

It’s light but fast. It’s rigid, durable, and made from above-average components. The board’s bottom surface has been treated with Wavestorm’s unique Graphic Film technology to protect it against the usual sources of damage, and the foam itself has a pleasing “cushioned” texture to it.

The board is also designed to handle the weight of a slightly heavier rider, comfortably accommodating persons coming in at 185 lbs (85k kg).

The only area where the above-mentioned Wavestorm 48” beats out its slightly smaller counterpart is its cost; the 45” will set you back just a little bit more.

Don’t fret, though, those extra dollars are totally worth it, if you’re looking for a skimboard that’ll accommodate your more radical wave riding ambitions.

PROS

  • Shorter and lighter board makes for a superior wave carving experience.
  • Very well constructed from high-quality materials.
  • Can support heavy skimboard riders.

CONS

  • Minor difference between this and the 48” Wavestorm board may not be worth the extra cost for some skimboarders.

Check price on amazon

6. Slapfish Skimboards 52″ Fiberglass and Carbon – BEST SKIMBOARD FOR LEARNING AND PERFORMING ADVANCED TRICKS

Skimboard Length: 52” 

Core Composition: Poly PVC foam

Weight Limit: No weight limit

There’s a reason this bad boy is the most expensive item on our list of 2022’s best skimboards. It’s an absolute beast and brings quality and performance in every respect.

The board has an incredibly wide appeal. Its unique design and the quality of its build mean that it’s ideal for advanced wave riders AND those just getting started. On top of that, the Slapfish 52” is as awesome when flatland skimboarding as it is when pulling insane tricks out on the waves.

The combined nose and tail rocker is pronounced enough to make transitions from sand to open water comfortable, but subtle enough not to compromise the board’s speed.

If you’re looking for something durable, the Slapfish won’t disappoint. The core is mostly constructed from high-grade poly PVC – a far more reliable material than the standard EPS styrofoam used in other skimboards. The body is further reinforced with an interlocking fiberglass mat, for that extra assurance of longevity.

And, if that wasn’t enough, the board’s nose and tail are both reinforced with carbon fiber and the entire board is sealed with an ultra-clear gloss resin.

A word of warning, though. The board’s resin treatment does mean that you will need to use surf wax before you head out onto the water. The glossy texture won’t provide sufficient grip, especially if you’re performing advanced moves.

On the topic of grip, the Slapfish 52” skimboard includes a pre-attached closed-cell, fully-sealed EVA traction pad deck for advanced control out on the water.

I’m not gonna lie to you, this is a very expensive skimboard. But, if you can afford it, it’s a terrific product that offers something for both novices and advanced skimboarders.

I can’t recommend it highly enough.

PROS

  • Superior design and handcrafted quality.
  • Great board for both beginners and advanced riders.
  • Includes a high-quality traction pad deck grip.

CONS

  • Very high price may put it out of reach of shoppers on a budget.

Check price on amazon

7. DB Skimboards Standard Proto Skimboard – MOST DURABLE SKIMBOARD

Skimboard Dimensions: 43.4” x 20.5”

Core Composition: North American Maplewood

Weight Limit: 200 lbs (91 kg)

The DB Standard Proto stands out from the rest of the skimboards on our list because of its unique shape. The slightly “squared” middle section that sticks out from the body gives the board additional stability and maneuverability, giving the rider more confidence to attempt technical flatland tricks.

The board also has a very pleasing concave shape to it. This “bowl-like” effect makes it possible to control the board with even greater ease when attempting a spin or a shuv-it. The board’s continuous rocker accentuates this quality even further.

More than anything, though, it’s the DB Standard Proto’s build quality that made it stand out for me. Crafted from two individual sheets of HPL (high-pressure laminate) which sandwich a solid section of North American Maple, this thing is built to last!

And don’t think that the board’s weight had to be compromised to achieve this added solidity and durability. The DB Standard Proto may be made mostly from wood, but it’s far from clunky. It’s easy to carry around, easy to launch, and easy to ride.

The entire top surface of the board is covered in DB’s own high-durability EVA diamond foam core – making for an exceptionally controlled skimming experience.

PROS

  • Lightweight wood skimboard that’s been built to the highest of standards.
  • Ideal for beginners and intermediate flatland riders.
  • Exceptional craftsmanship and material choices make for a very durable skimboard.

CONS

  • On the expensive side for a wood skimboard.

Check price on amazon

8. Sandfish Board Co. Traction Cruiser – BEST VALUE FOR MONEY SKIMBOARD

Skimboard Dimensions: 40” x 18.75”

Core Composition: Poplar wood

Weight Limit: 175 lbs (79 kg)

While not the cheapest option on our list of 2022’s best skimboards, the Sandfish Board Co’s Traction Cruiser is without a doubt my pick for the “best value for money” award.

Sure it comes in at more than double the cost of the most affordable option, but in terms of what you’re getting for your hard-earned cash, few boards can beat this one!

The first thing you may notice about this skimboard when using this wood skimboard is just how perfectly balanced it feels. The second I hopped onto it, everything just felt “right.”

It’s not an exceptionally lightweight board, so you’ll take quite a bit of momentum and speed into the ride, but this slight heaviness doesn’t compromise the board’s maneuverability. It’s still a great skimboard for basic flatland tricks.

The excellent cost to quality ratio means that this is one of THE best options if you’re just starting out with skimboarding. It’s not a “budget” product by any means, and it doesn’t feel like one. You’re paying around the average amount for a skimboard that’s way above average in quality.

PROS

  • Fantastic value for money skimboard.
  • Ideal first-time board for riders who want to get started.
  • Excellent build quality and material choices.

CONS

  • Not ideal for wave riding.

Check price on amazon

Why Choosing the Right Skimboard Is Important

There are plenty of great reasons to take your time when choosing a skimboard. Trust me on this, it’s not a decision you want to base entirely on budget or aesthetics. The stakes are pretty high.

Smaller Chance of Injury

Whether you injure yourself or not isn’t really that dependent on WHAT you’re doing on your skimboard. When you’re inexperienced, even doing the most basic thing like hopping onto your skimboard could result in a really nasty fall.

As you get better, you may attempt a trick that’s considered relatively easy – get it wrong and you’ll be picking sand out of your teeth for the rest of the day.

My point is… you’re gonna wipe out. Frequently. And using a skimboard that’s been designed to accommodate your body and skill level will significantly reduce the amount of time you spend plummeting towards the earth.

You’ll Enjoy the Learning Process

The absolute basics of skimboarding won’t take you forever to learn. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Having a fun day on your skimboard won’t happen overnight but it won’t take you weeks, either.

Some people take to it like a fish to water and confidently hop onto their boards after a day of practicing.

This may or may not be you. Some people have a lower center of gravity and/or a natural knack for skimboarding. Others take some time to learn.

Regardless of where you fall in this spectrum, you still need to enjoy the learning process. Especially at the beginning. And buying yourself the right skimboard is critical to having fun while you’re acquainting yourself with the basics.

The wrong skimboard will extend a learning curve that’s already kinda long. You want to enjoy the learning experience, not find it frustrating. That’s why it’s important to get yourself a skimboard that matches your level of experience.

Once you outgrow your novice skimboard, simply get it onto Craigslist and upgrade to a more suitable board.

You’ll Be Able to Do the Things You Want to Do

There are two basic types of skimboarding: Flatland and wave-riding.

Flatland skimboarding is basically just gliding the skimboard across a shallow length of water. This is most commonly done on beaches where the wash from waves recede very slowly, or on inland stretches of water on the edges of lakes or rivers.

The purpose of flatland skimming is usually to perform a variety of tricks while your momentum carries you across the surface of the water. These tricks are very similar in style and name to those done on skateboards.

Some flatland skimboarders also build structures like ramps and rails at their favorite spots so that a greater variety of tricks and challenges become available to them.

Wave-riding is a different animal entirely. Pretty much all it has in common with flatland skimboarding is that it starts on the shallow wash of a wave.

While there are some skimboards versatile enough to be used for both flatland and wave-riding, the best skimboard tends to be one purpose-built for a specific use. Most experts and experienced skimboarders agree that using a specialized board is essential.

Your Skimboard Will Last Longer

Unless you want to shell out a couple hundred bucks every month, getting a skimboard that suits your weight is absolutely critical. As is choosing one that suits the type of skimboarding you want to do.

A skimboard’s material, width, length, thickness, buoyancy, shape, and various accessories play a big role in how long it’s going to last.

Choosing the right board based on what you’ll be using it for, as well as your own physical dimensions, means that you’re way less likely to see dings, scrapes, and breaks.

You should also bear in mind the nature of the area you’ll be skimming. Not everyone has access to a pristine beach with sand that resembles the surface of bowling-green. Many shorefront areas can be littered with hidden clamshells, logs, rocks, or pebbles.

How to Choose the Best Skimboard For You

The things that make a skimboard great for one rider aren’t necessarily the things that make it great for another. I’m not sure if it’s obvious from everything we’ve covered here today, but skimming is kindof a diverse activity.

A board that’s ideal for a first-timer is not gonna cut it for a serious rider, and vice versa. While a flatland skimboarder is going to hate riding on a board that’s been designed and built for wave riding.

Add in other factors like your body size and you’ve suddenly got a lot of variables to consider.

In our skimboard buyer’s guide, I’m simply going to explain the factors that a skimboarder should take into consideration before they buy their board. Weight these up against your level of experience and what you want to achieve on the thing to get an idea of what the best skimboard is for you.

The Size of the Skimboard

There are two things to bear in mind when you look at the size of a skimboard. The most important is how it relates to your own height.

How to tell if a board is the correct size for you? Simple. Just stand the board on its tail end and hold it up to your body. If the nose extends beyond the center of your sternum, it’s too big. If the nose doesn’t reach the center of your chest, it’s too short.

This is a generally accepted rule of thumb quoted by literally every single skimboarding expert I got to speak to while testing these products.

Secondly, it’s good to remember that larger skimboards tend to be faster, but less maneuverable and harder to carve a wave with. These boards are great for beginner flatland riders who need to get used to keeping the board moving as far as possible. The extra momentum also makes maintaining your balance easier.

Smaller skimboards aren’t as fast but are generally more agile allowing for more action on a wave and more tricks on the wet sand. These boards are WAY more responsive to subtle foot movements and shifts in your weight. They’re more challenging to control, but offer experienced riders more trick options.

Balance the size of your skimboard against your own height, your level of experience, and what you want to do with the board.

The Board’s Weight Limit

The amount of weight that a skimboard can accommodate depends on its design and construction materials. All board manufacturers display the weight Iimit of their products quite clearly, so you don’t have to worry about understanding the science behind this.

I definitely don’t recommend using a board that doesn’t comfortably accommodate your body weight. At 198 lbs (90 kgs), I’m pretty heavy, and I could definitely tell when I was testing a board that couldn’t deal with my extra heft.

I definitely wouldn’t have been able to learn the basics of skimboarding, nor advanced tricks and moves on a board that’s not designed to take my weight.

The Skimboard’s Tail Shape

Most skimboards have what’s called a pintail shape. These tails are pointed and often reflect the same shape as the board’s nose.

Typically, flatland skimboards should be symmetrical, with the nose and the tail having as similar a shape as possible. It’s only when you start wave riding that different tail shapes become a consideration.

The two most common wave riding tail shape alternatives are swallow and square tails. Swallowtails kinda look like… you guessed it… the tail of a swallow (the bird), with two sharp ends extending past a center point that juts into the board towards the nose.

Squaretails look like a pintail that’s had its “pin” sawn off, leaving it with a blunted end.

Both swallow and square tails “shorten” the board and make it more maneuverable when riding a wave. These tails make the board more challenging to control, but also more agile. Choose a board with an “exotic tail if you’re an experienced wave rider looking to perform some serious tricks.

I wouldn’t recommend anything other than a pintail board for a novice skimboarder.

The Rocker

A skimboard’s “rocker” is the upwards curve of the board as you look at it in profile. Most boards’ rocker is biased towards the nose and curves up at varying degrees of intensity.

More rocker means a slower board but an easier transition from shallow, sandy water to deeper water where the waves are.

Also bear in mind that a more pronounced rocker will make the skimboard more susceptible to wind interference. If you’re cruising into an oncoming breeze, it’ll help to be riding a board with a shallow rocker, otherwise, you could easily be flipped backward.

The Thickness of the Skimboard

The thickness of a skimboard affects how buoyant it is. A thicker board floats and glides more comfortably, making it an easier board to learn the basics on.

But thicker boards aren’t super agile; turning, carving a wave, or doing flatland tricks isn’t remotely as easy as with a more responsive, thinner board.

Again, this comes down to your level of experience and what you want to achieve on the board. If you’ve got two years of the basics under your belt and you’re ready for a step up, consider a thinner board.

Skimboarding FAQs

What is a Skimboard Traction Pad?

A traction pad is a section of rubber placed along certain areas along the top surface of a skimboard. The purpose of a traction pad is to provide additional grip for the rider, to give the rider an idea of where their feet are on the board, and to provide protection from damage caused by the rider’s heels.

Traction pads are usually placed close to the board’s tail, where the rider needs the most grip. Many serious skimboarders also place a long, narrow traction pad up the center of the board to provide additional grip for the front foot. This section of the traction pad is called the “arch bar.”

Typically, traction pads are made from Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA) rubber – an exceptionally durable and highly waterproof material.

How Do I Choose a Skimboard That Can Be Used By Kids and Adults?

There aren’t many skimboards that have been designed specifically for use by kids and adults, mainly because the size of the rider usually dictates the size of the skimboard.

If you need a skimboard that can be used by both kids and adults, select the smallest board that the adult will be comfortable with since riding on a bigger board is usually easier than riding on one that’s too small.

What’s the Difference Between Skimboarding and Bodyboarding?

Bodyboards are used exclusively for wave riding, whereas a skimboard can be used for riding waves AND flatland skimboarding. A bodyboard cannot be used for skimming across a shallow section of water because it has fins and typically cannot “plane across the water’s surface using momentum.

Usually, bodyboarders lie down on the top surface of their boards, while skimboarders always ride in a standing position, with their feet placed on the board’s surface.

How Do I Attach a Traction Pad to My Skimboard?

If you want to get the most out of your traction pad investment and ensure you have as stable and comfortable follow these steps.

  1. Buy the best quality EVA traction pads that you can afford. Ensure that the product uses a high-quality adhesive material.
  2. Make sure that your skimboard is 100% dry.
  3. Soak a rag in alcohol and rub the entire top surface of your board with it.
  4. Dry the board off with a clean rag.
  5. Without removing the adhesive film from your traction pads, place them where they need to go on the board.
  6. Once you have the pads correctly placed, trace their outlines with a pencil onto your board.
  7. Remove the adhesive film and place the traction pads inside the outlines you just drew onto the board.
  8. Let the traction pads fasten securely to the skimboard surface by not using it for a full 24 hours.

Do I Need to Use Surf Wax on My Skimboard?

Even if your skimboard has traction pads, it’s a great idea to still use surf wax. Even if your traction pads are perfectly placed, you’re still going to have some rides where your feet will mostly be touching the areas not covered by the pads – especially if you’re doing tricks during your ride.

To ensure that your feet don’t slip off these uncovered sections of your skimboard, apply wax to the areas where your feet are most likely to need extra grip.

Most skimboarders wax their boards every 6 – 8 months.

Do I Need to Repair the Scratches at the Bottom of My Skimboard?

Even though superficial damage to your board can look scary and ugly, it’s not necessary to have them repaired unless they allow water to seep in.

You can confidently ignore superficial scratches and scrapes, as long as they don’t expose the skimboard’s foam core to water.

Dings and scrapes and scratches happen while skimboarding, don’t be too worried about avoiding these or about repairing every single blemish.