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Quite recently, skimboarding has begun to emerge from the shadow of a certain popular water sport to take its own spot center stage.
And it’s all thanks to the steadily growing number of faithful fans and enthusiasts around the world who have fully embraced the opportunity to skim & surf close to the beach or brave stronger currents in style.
And just like its closest rival, your experience is pretty much tied to your board. Especially since skimboards come with a different set of rules depending on your skill level and the activity you’re interested in. Which makes narrowing everything down to bite-sized chunks, a great idea.
In this article we will be taking a look at a detailed list of some of the best skimboards for wave riding.
And once we get to the very end, we will be able to decide which of them simply outstrips the competition in terms of its ability to provide a sublime experience on the waves.
Choosing a board that ticks all the right boxes
There’s no doubt that wave riding is one of the most exhilarating aspects of skimboarding. Especially since it comes with an array of expert tricks which can make even the most experienced surfer go green with envy.
But it isn’t that much fun if your skimboard is too heavy or too fragile to withstand the roughness of the waves.
And that’s why most experts recommend getting a board made from fiberglass with a foam core.
The 5 skimboards examined below meet these basic criteria. However they also come with a few more helpful features. But which of them are we best off choosing to ensure we can practice our favorite pastime until we have elevated it to a fine art?
It’s time to take a closer look at just how much they each have to offer, how to pick them and the pros and cons associated with them.
Best Skimboards for Waveriding Reviewed
1. Slapfish Skimboard
Ultralight, built for speed and durability with bold splashes of color across a white background, the Slapfish Skimboard seems to be the perfect option for the ultimate skimboarding experience. Especially where wave riding is concerned.
But how well does it hold up under closer scrutiny?
At a glance, the core shows that is one box we can definitively tick off as being just what we need for fun on the waves. That’s because it has been made from Poly PVC foam which unlike Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) never gases out. This material is also highly rated due to being waterproof and high in density.
The fact that the board itself is made from carbon and fiberglass is also an added plus since you can expect good things in the durability and toughness stakes.
What’s more, it also comes with a 2 inch nose rocker which is ideal for faster movements, and the manufacturer’s guarantee of its suitability for all kinds of water.
And that’s not all there is to the Slapfish Skimboard. It also features a professionally installed traction pad as well as the choice of a 20 inch arch bar to ensure optimal balance. There is also the fact that it has a weight limit of 200 lbs making it ideal for teens and adults alike.
All these features show that the manufacturers have gone to impressive lengths to ensure that you enjoy the wave riding experience dreams are made of. The fact that it not only delivers on quality but on aesthetics as well is an added bonus, making it pretty good value as you seek to hone and show off those wave riding skills.
- DETAILS: 48” length; 2” Nose Rocker; 7/8” Tail Rocker; average board weight is 3-4 lbs; Rider Weight Limit – up to 200 lbs. Height - 5' 2" & up. Professionally installed traction pad included. 20” arch bar optional.
- FEATURES: Polished deck, ultra-glide bottom. Perfect sweet spot for long rides and fast motion. The right amount of rocker to avoid getting caught in the lip of the wave, yet not slow you down. Slapfish traction is a closed cell, fully sealed EVA grip secured with 3M waterproof adhesive.
- DURABILITY: Handcrafted with precision. This Slapfish board is fiberglass. Carbon reinforced at the nose and tail. Double reinforced at the rails. The Poly PVC foam core is supremely light weight, structurally dense, impact/fracture rated beyond the board weight limit and is waterproof. This is NOT a EPS (styrofoam) core which will gas out and delaminate over time. No fear of delamination or separation – ever.
- PERFORMANCE: Sand sliding and wave riding from beginner to experienced. Consciously tapered for balance and support of varied stances. Unlimited skim potential! Light weight. Floaty enough to support a wide range of riders. Performs in all wave conditions from mush to surging swell. Long liners, smooth wave wraps, 360 spins and more.
- OFFERINGS: First quality boards, and on occasion, factory blems. A blemished board has a minor cosmetic imperfection. Our standards are high so many of these are truly minor flaws.
2. Fedmax Fiberglass Skimboard
We decided to pick it as our 2nd option because it is brought to you by none other than renowned brand Fedmax, this board is the perfect combination of aesthetics and functionality thanks to its glossy two toned surface, EPS foam core and double fiberglass layer.
It is perfect for beginners and intermediate skim boarders since it boasts the lightest available core ensuring excellent buoyancy. What’s more, its extremely durable layer means that you will be able to look forward to years of fun with it too.
There is also the fact that it is ideal for individuals weighing between 160 - 220 lbs making it perfect for teens and adults alike.
Also worthy of a mention are its traction pads which mean you will never have to bother about waxing your board.
And to ensure you get off to using their product with a flying start, the manufacturers have added an ultimate tricks & tips guide - talk about becoming the envy of your friends.
If you are looking for a skimboard which ticks all the right boxes, the Fedmax Fiberglass Skimboard is certainly a great option. And even though it is a more premium board, it can certainly be considered excellent value for the money.
- TRACTION PADS INCLUDED - With each purchase is a Fedmax 3 Piece traction pad grip. These traction pads are made with high quaity EVA foam and 3M Glue. Also included are simple install instructions.
- HIGH QUALITY FIBERGLASS - Each skimboard is molded with 2 Layers of 6oz woven fiberglass that is wrapped around an EPS core along with a high gloss coating to prevent water damage and breakage. This combination makes a highly durable skimboard that gives kids an easier time learning the sport and allows adults to have great maneuverability. This highly durable board will last you years!
- PERFECT FOR BEGINNERS AND INTERMEDIATE - With the mid-sized body anyone can use this board to learn or perfect their moves. Stable and maneuverable thanks to the design and light weight, you’ll be gliding around on the beach and waves with ease.
- ULTIMATE TRICKS & TIPS GUIDE - Fedmax is a well known pioneer in the skimboard industry and will include a Fedmax Ultimate Tricks and Tips Guide which goes into detail about how to ride your new Fedmax skimboard!
- DIMENSIONS - Fedmax skimboards are designed to give the best ride out there for each rider weight range.
3. East Coast Skimboards Deluxe Skimboard Package
This next product actually comes as part of a package which includes loads of handy extras. It’s cheery fluorescent light green and brilliant white theme with a dash of black means it scores pretty high on aesthetics.
But best of all, it does come through in terms of functionality, which after all, is our primary concern.
And it’s all thanks to that thick foam core which is perfect for lightness and flexibility as well as the fiberglass which serves as an extra tough buffer against the elements, placing it firmly in the category of skimboards which are ideal for wave riding.
And now for a look at the extras. First off there are the traction pad and arch bar which are particularly handy for maintaining your balance while honing your skills on the waves. There is also a deluxe board bag which is a super convenient means of carrying your skimboard about with you enabling you to keep it extra safe as a result.
That said, we're not 100% sold on the value compared to the other skimboards which deliver more in terms of flexibility and durability, especially since it is limited to a weight of 140 lbs and a height range of 4'7 - 5'5 feet.
- Beginner to Intermediate Level
- Rider Weight Limit: 140 lbs
- Rider Height Range: 4'7" - 5'5"
- Fiberglass - 1/2" Thick Foam Core - Hybrid Shape
- Package Includes: Skimboard, Deluxe Board Bag, Traction Pad, Arch Bar, Stickers
4. Wavestorm Skimboard
The Wavestorm Skimboard is a 48-inch foam core skimboard designed for casual boarding. The foam-core surface provides extra cushioning, making the board soft, safe, and flexible.
The bottom of the board also features a HOPE Slick bottom, which is designed to increase the speed. These features are great for beginners that are just learning how to use a skimboard.
Durable Materials and Quality Design
Why do people like this board? It is made by one of the most trusted brands. Wavestorm produces high-quality boards that typically feature durable materials and construction. With the 48-inch skimboard, you can enjoy this excellent craftsmanship.
The foam-core material used for the top of the board is lighter than traditional polyurethane foam. The EPS Core is a type of expanded polyurethane that offers greater durability and less weight, which is ideal for a skimboard.
These boards feature durable material and expert construction. However, they may not last a lifetime. These skimboards are affordable options for beginners that may eventually start to wear. The resin wrap can tear, especially if the board skims along rocks or rough shore.
Good Sized Board for the Average Adult
The board is intended for riders up to 180 pounds. Typically, those that weight between 140 and 180 pounds should choose a 48-inch board. If you weigh less, Wavestorm also produces a 45-inch version of the same board.
The weight of the board is three pounds, which is a little bit lighter than most boards. It is also very flexible, which is great for speed and maneuverability. However, the lighter board does lack some stability. While this board is recommended for beginners, it does require good balance.
5. Beachmall Surfshark Skimboard
This skimboard is a short, stiff board with several useful features that may appeal to more advanced riders. It includes a solid wood core, short design, and a top surface with diamond-shaped grooves for added traction.
Available in Multiple Sizes and Designs
With this board, you can choose from several different sizes and designs. The sizes range between 30 and 41 inches, providing a variety of choices for riders of all skill levels and weight ranges. However, due to size of the board, it is best suited for smaller riders with previous skimboarding experience.
The manufacturer recommends this board for riders that weight less than 140 pounds. If you weigh between 120 and 140 pounds, a 45-inch board is often recommended. The largest size of this board is 41 inches, while the smaller ones measure 30 inches.
The average adult may find these boards too short. However, more advanced riders sometimes prefer the shorter boards for increased maneuverability.
The shorter design of the boards is also a great choice for kids. If you have children that may want to try skimboarding, this option from Beachmall is a suitable option. The weight of the board varies between 3.2 and 5.2 pounds, depending on the size that you choose.
Quality Materials and Extra Traction
Unlike most wood boards, this product is made with a solid wood core, instead of laminated wood. The solid wood lasts longer. It is also stiffer compared to foam cores. A short, stiff board tends to provide more stability, which may suit beginners, if they are not too large for the board.
Other materials include a hard-protective resin-coated top and bottom. It also has a layered EVA traction pad with diamond-shaped grooves.
- 30 inch solid wood core skimboard with layered EVA traction pad for high performance grip. skimboard is made from solid wood unlike the traditional wood skimboards with laminated wood.
- top surface is diamond shaped grove for traction.
- Hard Protective Resin Coated Top and Bottom
- Weighs 3.2 lbs and Recommended Rider Size: under 80 Lbs.
- Dimensions (inches): 7.3 Tail x 18.8 Widest x 30 Height x 0.45 Thickness
The Moment of Truth
Even though all the skimboards mentioned above do meet the key criteria in terms of fiberglass manufacture and foam cores, it is pretty clear that the Slapfish Skimboard is the most impressive of the bunch. And it is all for the following reasons:
- The fact that it has been manufactured using fiberglass and carbon and comes with a dense core which is absolutely free of the risk of gasing out.
- That little bit of extra assistance in the equilibrium stakes thanks to the traction pad and arch bar.
- The manufacturer’s attention to detail ensuring they’ve covered all possible bases resulting in a product that is pretty cool to look at in addition to being perfectly functional ensuring this skimboard is guaranteed to provide fans of wave riding with the experience they deserve.
Now that you have an idea of what the best skimboards for wave riding, it’s time to jump into the water, explore more, follow your passion and keep surfing.
Megan Jones is the lead author of Seaside Planet. She is an avid surfer, scuba diver, and travel enthusiast who takes any opportunity she can to spend time in the ocean. You can learn more about Meg and the rest of the editorial team here.