Learning a new sport is always fun and exciting, and if you’re into surfing or skateboarding, you’re going to love skimboarding!
If you’re interested in learning how to ride a skimboard, you’ve come to the right place!
In this article, I will cover some important information about skimboarding, as well as providing you with a step-by-step guide on how to skimboard.
Keep reading to find out more.
What Is The History Of Skimboarding?
Before skimboarding was considered a sport, it originated as a tool for the Laguna Beach lifeguards to travel down the beach quickly in the mid-1920s.
Back then, skimboards looked different to how they look today. People would skim on two planks of red wood that were about five foot long, connected by strips of oak that were held by screws and nuts in the wood.
Skimboarding was seen as the perfect substitute for surfing when the ocean didn’t have any swell. However, as time went on, the sport of skimboarding gained more popularity and respect. Now, the sport is hugely popular all over the world!
What Are Skimboards Made Out Of?
Today, skimboards are made out of two different materials: foam and wood.
Foam skimboards are made from foam with a resin or fiberglass coating. They tend to be pointed at the nose, and are used for wave skimboarding.
Wood skimboards are specifically designed for flatland skimboarding. They tend to be durable and heavier than their foam counterparts, and are often curbed at the nose and tail for a high degree of maneuverability.
Is Skimboarding Easy To Learn?
The answer to this question is largely subjective, as it mostly depends on the skimmer in question! Generally speaking, most people find skimboarding easier to get started with but more difficult to catch waves with if you compare it to surfing.
That being said, how easy it is to learn how to skimboard will depend on the individual, and will vary depending on how much practise you are willing to put into it.
While skimboarding is often compared to surfing and is easier to begin with than surfing, that doesn’t mean that it’s an easy sport to pick up for everyone. Like any other sport, it takes time and dedication to learn how to skimboard.
Bearing this in mind, you shouldn’t go into it believing that you’re going to pick it up with no bumps along the way! Prepare to fall off your skimboard a lot and encounter a few bruises on your journey, too.
After all, you can’t expect to be perfect at a new skill straight away. That’s all part of the fun of it!
Should I Wax My Skimboard?
Yes, waxing your skimboard is an essential! Waxing your board makes the surface less slippery and provides you with more grip. It performs the same function as it would on a surfboard, and is helpful for beginners and professionals alike!
Waxing your board minimizes the risk of injury, as it makes the board more grippy, and thus, you are less likely to fall off as frequently.
When you’re a beginner, waxing is super important for you to learn, as you have not yet developed your balance on the board. You should therefore view waxing as a helping hand. Should you forget to re-wax your board, you will notice just how difficult it is to stay up on the board without
Many skimmers also use traction pads in conjunction with wax, as this adds another layer of grip and can make it easier to stand on your board.
A guide On How To Skimboard In 5 Simple Steps
Step One – Find The Right Sand
To start off, you will first need to find the ideal sand to skimboard on. If you find the right sand, you’ve won half the battle. Okay, maybe not quite, but it is very important to you learning how to skimboard and getting the practise in.
The sand you choose for skimming must have a good consistency water to sand ratio. Ideally, you will want to avoid areas with mushy and rocky sand as this can make the process of skimming much more difficult, especially as a beginner with no experience.
You instead will want to opt for the sand that the waves have reached, as this will provide you with the optimum sand for sliding!
Step Two – Start Running
To find the correct positioning for skimboarding, hold the rails of the board with both hands, making sure that you are holding the back end of the board with your dominant hand. This will ensure that you drop your skimboard in the correct position.
Next, you will need to gain momentum by running towards the sand that is near to the receding waves. It’s important to mention that the faster you run the faster you will go on your board and further you will slide.
Once you are skimming on your board, you would be surprised by how little water you actually require to slide as it usually only takes freshly wet sand to slide. Be mindful of this when you are running, as you don’t want to start off too quickly and end up falling over. Remember, you can’t run before you can run!
Step Three – Drop Your Skimboard
Continue running and drop or throw your board flat in front of you about the length of one stride.
You will want to do this on the sand that the waves have started reaching, as you don’t want the sand to be too dry or too wet when you go to slide on it.
Note: This can take a little practise to master the motion itself, so have patience! You’ll soon get the hang of it if you stick to it.
Step Four – Slide On Your Skimboard
Try your best to maintain speed and lead the board in front of you when dropping it so you don’t run right into it.
Step lightly with your front foot in the middle of the board, with your feet turned a bit sideways. Once both of your feet are on the skimboard, you will need to maintain your balance by bending your knees slightly.
Make sure that you keep your feet over your feet and your hips square with the board.
Step Five – Ride The Waves
Now you know the basics, it’s time to get the practise in! Have patience and remember, nothing worth having ever comes easy.
Tips When Learning How To Skimboard
Choose The Right Skimboard For Your Skill Level
The most important thing to consider before you’ve even started skimboarding is choosing the right skimboard for your skill level.
If you’re a beginner, then you will need to pick a skimboard that is specific to beginner level. While you might want to go for a more advanced level board, there is no point, and you will end up feeling like you’re much worse than you actually are.
As a sport that takes time and patience, you will end up wasting precious time trying to get the basics of skimboarding down on a board that isn’t designed for that.
In fact, you will end up wasting more than your time, but also your money. This simply comes down to the fact that advanced skimboards are harder to use.
As a result, learning to skimboard on an advanced level board as a beginner will hinder your performance and will likely cause you to give up before you’ve even started seeing the results you hope for.
You won’t be able to get your money’s worth! Bearing this in mind, there’s absolutely no sense in investing in an expensive advanced board that you can’t even use.
Always make sure that you pick a board that is suitable for you, as you don’t want to be left in a position with a board that you aren’t getting the use out of because it’s too hard to skim on.
Perfect The Basics
One of the most important things to remember when you’re first starting out is that you should begin slowly! It’s easy to think that you can walk before you run when you get the hang of skimboarding, but you need to perfect the basics before you move on.
The fact that skimboarding is seen as easier to start with than surfing can lull skimmers into a false sense of security. This then makes them super frustrated when they struggle to catch waves later on in the process.
Putting the time in and making sure that you have the basics down is the only way to ensure that you’ll stick the sport out and reach your full potential. It’s no good to do the bare minimum, you need to perfect and master the basics before you move on to the next level.
Always make sure that you’re setting the time aside to consistently go over the motions of skimboarding so that you are the best you can be before attempting to catch your first wave.
Remain Consistent With Practising
The only way you will get good at skimboarding is if you stick to it consistently. Learning how to skimboard properly might take many months before mastering it depending on how much practise you do. Bearing this in mind, practise makes perfect.
It’s easy to see other skimmers at the beach and feel disappointed or wonder why it’s taking you so long to learn how to do it. However, the challenge of learning how to skimboard is all part of the fun! You shouldn’t feel disheartened if it takes longer than you initially thought it would to get the hang of it.
Make sure that you are practising on a regular basis, as you aren’t likely to make progress if you’re not consistent! It is only when you stick to a routine that you will reap the rewards, so be strict with yourself and don’t allow yourself to give up. Trust me, it’ll be worth it.
Stretch Before Skimming
Like any sport, you need to take skimboarding seriously. Make sure that you are stretching your muscles before you go skimming.
It is likely that you’re going to encounter a few falls, especially as a beginner. If you don’t take the time to properly stretch and warm up your muscles before you go you are far more likely to experience serious injuries.
Now you know the basics of skimboarding, you just need to get out there and start practising!
Learning a new hobby or skill takes time, effort, and dedication, but is always worth it in the end. Make sure that you remain consistent and you will be skimboarding like a professional in no time.
As with any water sport, make sure that you have fun but always make sure that you’re safe!