If you’ve always dreamed of getting out in the ocean and gliding along on the top of powerful waves, but you aren’t comfortable with the idea of being far from shore, then skimboarding may be a great option for you. This hobby is easy to take up as you only need a beach and a board! Without understanding how to skimboard, you’ll likely be very frustrated with your first attempts, so here we’ve gathered tips for skimboarding to help you make the leap from wanting to skimboard to impressing everyone who is watching you have fun on the water.
How to Get Started Skimboarding
Learning to skimboard is a lot like learning how to balance on a bike- it’s best done when in motion. It’s an exhilarating water sport, and as with many other water sports like surfing and paddleboarding, learning to ride, and to fall, is all just a part of the process. From choosing the right equipment to learning the correct position on the board, there are many simple tricks to get you up on a skimboard in the waves in no time.
Pick the Right Board
This tip may seem basic, but if you choose the wrong board then it won’t matter how many tips you read or learn, you won’t be able to skimboard well, if at all, and you may end up injured. Not only should you consider your height and weight, but you also need to take into consideration your skimboard ability and what your goals are out on the water. If you want to get out onto some waves and ride them in, then you’ll want to opt for a foam board. However, if you are content to learn tricks closer to shore, then a wood board is the better choice for you and will provide you the control and weight that you need for success.
With the rise in popularity of skimboarding, the market has plenty of board styles to choose from. Do your research to choose a board that’s right for you, and save yourself time, money, and potentially a few injuries!
- HIGH-QUALITY SKIMBOARD WITH NOSE ROCKER - BPS 'Gator' Skimboard features a nose rocker to give more maneuverability making it easier for you to turn swiftly as you get more pivot. It also comes with unique and colorful designs to choose from to match your personality and hit the beach in style — because BPS is where design meets practicality.
- BUILT-IN TRACTION PAD & NO WAXING - This skimboard features anti-slip grip pads to provide an excellent grip even when wet. It's made with a Gator Grip layer of EVA foam so there's no need for you to put any wax on your board before using it — which saves you time and money — and lets you jump on your board and ride right away anytime!
- DURABLE, LIGHTWEIGHT & FOR EVERYONE - Built with enduring plywood with a high gloss epoxy coating to protect the wood from water damage and breakage. Lightweight enough to carry and run with — which makes it perfect for both kids and adults — 30” skimboard is for riders up to 80lbs, 35” for riders around 80-150lbs, and 40” for riders over the said weight.
- E-GUIDE INCLUDED - Each skimboard comes with an E-Guide that will come to you via email after the purchase. It's filled with easy-to-follow instructions and useful photos, that will get you acquainted with your skimboard in no time. If you miss it by any chance, it's also available below on this page in the Product Guides and Documents. We've got you!
- BPS GUARANTEE - All of BPS products come with a full 12-month guarantee starting the day of purchase. If you’re not 100% satisfied with your purchase, or if the product's faulty, we're happy to replace or refund it (the choice is yours). In case of any questions, shoot us an email! From the shores of New Zealand, BPS is here to help you to 'get to your happy'!
Look at the Ground
Novices often forget to scan the ground before they get on their board, but if you see a lot of seashells or small rocks in the way of where you will be running and skimming, then pick a new location! Unfortunately, even small seashells and rocks can make it very difficult for you to enjoy a smooth ride and can also make it very hard for you to stay upright on your board. By carefully observing the ground where you’ll be riding, you can make sure that you are setting yourself up for success before you even get on your board.
Checking your surroundings is a crucial step to start skimboarding. Make sure you have plenty of room away from other beach goers, and find a place with a nice bed of soft sand for the best riding experience possible!
Combat the Wind
One problem that many people face when learning how to skimboard is that the wind often blows away their board when they toss it onto the sand and before they have had a chance to jump on it. While you will get faster over time and will be able to mount your board more quickly as you improve, it’s a good idea to help keep the wind from blowing away your board when you first start skimming. You can do this by kicking sand onto the bottom of your wet board, increasing its weight and making it much easier to drop in the right location.
Know How to Position Yourself
While you may think that you’re going to run straight at the ocean, you actually need to stand with the shore to your side. This will allow you to run and push the board across the sand while keeping it parallel to the shore, which is the correct position for beginners. When you first start skimboarding, hold the board in front of you with both hands so that when you drop it on the sand, it will land in the right position- directly in front of your feet. Always stand on your board with your back foot on the back of the board, as this will help you to keep you balance.
Understand How to Get On
Jumping onto the skimboard is not the correct way to get onto the board and will actually cause you to fall more often than not. Make sure that you’re running onto the board, putting your front leg first in the middle of the board and your back foot behind it. By gradually adding your weight to the board, you will allow the skimboard to keep moving and won’t cause it to slow and drag in the sand. Additionally, you’ll keep your speed more consistent if you run onto the board and help it to keep moving.
Make Your Board Faster
If you’d like to see the speed of your skimboard increase then you may want to try a trick designed to do just that. You can wax the bottom of your board either with a quality car wax or with products such as Rain X. One thing to take into consideration if you do this is that you won’t be able to kick sand onto the bottom of the board to keep the wind from carrying it away if you do.
Pay Attention to the Waves
While you’ll be tempted to grab every wave, understanding what makes a wave a good option for skimboarding will improve your chances of success. Try to take a wave immediately after it has broken, and really pay attention to your timing. You need to make sure that the wave you choose is reachable and that you won’t lose your balance before you get out to it.
How to Use These Tips for Skimboarding
When getting started skimboarding, you can become an advanced skimboarder in a short period of time with the right equipment, skills, and paying attention to your surroundings and form. However, the best way to learn how to skimboard is to spend a lot of time practicing. Before implementing all of these tips at once, you’ll want to observe other people on skimboards and practice on your own.
It is only when you see that you need to make adjustments that you will want to utilize some of these tips to change how you are able to skimboard and how your board works. While you may be tempted to speed up your board with wax, it’s only a good idea to do so when you are able to mount your board regularly with success.
Skimboarding is a great way to spend time on the beach, get in shape, and learn some fun tricks. Following these tips will help to ensure that you have the best time out on your skimboard and will increase the likelihood of you mastering this hobby in a shorter period of time.
Have you tried any of our great tips for learning to skimboard? We’d love to hear about it in the comment section below!
Megan Jones leads the editorial staff of Seaside Planet. They are a multidisciplinary team of outdoor adventurers, water sports lovers, and passionate beach goers. You can learn more about Meg and the rest of the editorial team here.