If you are lucky enough to go to the beach and want to enjoy a water sport while you are there, then you need to make sure that you choose the right one for you. With so many different options for spending the day out on the water, it can be overwhelming to choose the right activity. That’s why I have put together this comparison of skimboarding vs surfing, so you can choose the right sport for you.
While both skimboarding and surfing are a lot of fun, when you understand the differences in these sports, then you will be able to choose the right one for you. Many people enjoy both, but it’s important to pick one to start with when you want to get out on the water so you can make the most of your time.
What Is Skimboarding?
You have probably seen people at the beach skimboarding without realizing that that’s what they were doing. This sport uses a board that, while shaped like a surfboard, is much smaller in size. The person who is going to be skimboarding runs towards an oncoming wave from the beach, drops the skimboard onto the wet sand, and jumps on to ride the board out to meet the wave and then turn around and come back in.
While this may sound very easy, it’s actually quite tricky to learn how to stand on the board at just the right time and keep your balance as you make your way out to meet the wave. Many people struggle with timing when to get on the board and how fast to start out so that you have enough speed to really carry you as you travel on the surf. Depending on where you skimboard and how far out into the water you go, if you aren’t comfortable out in deep water or are just getting started enjoying water sports, then skimboarding may be a great option for you.
A lot of people love skimboarding because you get the thrill of riding a wave as you do when you are surfing, without actually having to go out into deeper water to catch the wave. Additionally, because you can skimboard on wet sand without the end goal of riding a wave back to shore, this is a great sport for younger kids who aren’t ready to go out into the ocean.
All About Surfing
This is another water sport that uses a board, but unlike skimboarding, surfers go out into the water to wait for a wave that they will then be able to ride back to shore. There are many different styles of surfing and ways to ride on your board, including on your stomach, feet, or knees, depending on your skill level and confidence, which means that you can push yourself to improve.
Many people think that surfing is more dangerous than skimboarding because the person surfing is going to be out in deeper water, waiting on larger waves, and can fall off of the board and be pulled underneath. While this is true, it’s important to note that beginning suffers are generally not going to put themselves into these dangerous situations. Also, beginning surfers are going to be surfing on smaller waves that are easier for them to handle so that they aren’t placing themselves in danger.
Unlike skimboarding, which can’t really take advantage of larger waves, as you improve as a surfer, you will be able to enjoy catching bigger and bigger waves. This means that you’ll be able to enjoy the thrill of riding a larger wave into shore, while skimboarders won’t be able to catch the same wave at its peak.
It can be very frustrating for people who want to surf when there aren’t large enough waves. When the waves are too small to catch and ride in, then you will likely spend a lot of time out in the water waiting for the right wave to come along. Not only is this frustrating for a beginner who really wants to learn how to surf, but more advanced surfers can grow tired of waiting, as well.
Skimboarding vs Surfing: My Final Thoughts
The most important thing to do when trying to choose what water sport you want to try is to consider your confidence level, how happy you are out in deep water, and to think about what kind of swimmer you are. While you are very likely going to have to do some swimming when you skimboard, you are not going to be out in the deeper water like you are when you surf.
Additionally, it can be much more convenient for some people to skimboard instead of surf simply because of their location and how far they live from the beach. If you do not live in an area that gets a lot of great waves, then you won’t be able to surf nearly as easily as you can skimboard. Since surfboards are so much larger than skimboards are, transporting one to the beach in your car can be quite difficult.
Finally, if you are new to water sports, then skimboarding is a great way to learn about keeping your balance, riding the waves, and learning how to stand up on your board. Some people do like to jump right into surfing, however, and with the right teacher helping you through the process, you may find that you are a natural. I always recommend to people that they give both sports a shot so that they can decide for themselves which one they like more.
I have spent time skimboarding and surfing and find that I love them both and that they are both great water sports to enjoy. Depending on my mood as well as how the water looks that day, I will choose one over the other. No matter which one of these great water sports you decide to start with, it’s a good idea to give them both a chance so that you can find the right one for you.
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.