- 12 April 2012 | Surfing
Skimboarding, or skimming, is one of the most underrated boardsports in the world. Skimboarders are usually not fussy. Get them a sandy beach and they will put out a finless water sports show.
Skimboarding was born in Laguna Beach, in the 1920s, but the Southern California skateboarding scene has greatly influenced the sport, a few decades later. Initially, it was the beach equivalent to skateboarding the city streets. Lifeguards would also use thin wooden boards to travel faster through the sands of Laguna.
Later, SoCal street riders - who were also surfing waves - started to get the most out of the nearby Laguna Beach shore breaks to make U-turns, starting from the wet sand over to the water and then again back to the beach. The tide is high? No problem, it's skimming time. Flat ocean? No worries, we'll skim inland.
Although it is not a strong official category in the boardsports industry, skimboarding kept its niche alive and healthy, with a dozen of worldwide product brands that are sponsoring pro and amateur riders.
United Skim Tour (UST) and Skim USA are the main skimboard organizations in North America. European Skimboard League boosts skimming in the old continent and national championships spread all over the world.
There are a few consolidated skimming stars. Tex Haines, Peter and Paulo Prietto, Bill Bryan, Brad Domke, Morgan Just, Grady Archbold, James Lovett, Sam Stinnett, Brandon Sears and Brandon Rothe.
Today, wave riding is the main skimboarding discipline. Today, it is possible to do almost everything in skimming. Ollie, 360 On The Sand, Barrel, Flyaway, Headstand, Flip, Floater, Wrap and Aerial are some of the most common skimboarding tricks.
Skimming boards are light, thin, durable, finless and flexible. They are usually made of wood, fiberglass, carbon, kevlar or foam, depending whether you're a flatland or wave skimboarder. Exile Skimboards, Victoria Skimboards and Zap Skimboards are the main brands.
The best skimboarding spots in the world are located in Laguna Beach (California), Dewey Beach (Delaware), Cabo San Lucas (Mexico), Boa Viagem (Brazil), Reid State Park and Popham State Beach (Maine), Faro de Trafalgar (Spain), Sesimbra, Meco and Figueira da Foz (Portugal).
Discover how skimboarding can enter the world of progressive surfing, watching Brad Domke taking boardsports into the future.