How to choose the right skimboard

Skimboarding
Skimboards: the foam and wood dilemma | Photo: Exile Skimboards

Picking the right skimboard can be complicated. The good news is that a size chart and a few skim science rules will resolve the most common doubts.

How do you choose a skimboard? First of all, write down your height and weight, as these variables will count when buying new gear.

Then, ask yourself a couple of questions: are you a beginner or an accomplished rider looking to increase your quiver? Are you a frequent flatland skimmer or do you prefer trimming the line in the waves? Your answers matter when asking for advice at your local surf shop.

The majority of manufacturers shape skimboards with closed cell foam in the core and fiberglass/resin in the outer layers. Carbon fiber boards are high-performance leaves that are often used by professionals.

Foam models have higher floatation and are widely used by wave riders, while inland skimmers normally use wood planks because they're heavier and truly resistant.

Size, Shape, Price and Brands

Skimboards range between 45.00'' and 57.00'' in height, and between 17.75'' and 23.00'' in width, depending on the rider's physical characteristics, level of experience and type of ride (waves or flat waters).

Thickness plays a crucial role in the board's behavior. Thick ones will glide better but won't turn and carve so well because they lack responsiveness. In other words, are you looking for speed, tricks, or a balance of both?

Boards with too much rocker are slower and can easily be picked up by medium-to-strong winds. The most common tail type found in skimboards is the pintail because it will add extra stability to its overall performance.

As a rule of thumb, a larger model (in height and width) will be faster, but will not carve rapidly if you want, for example, attack a falling wave lip. Smaller boards tend to be "nervous" yet slower. Rule of thumb number two: buy a board at about mid-chest height.

Traditionally, wood skimboards are cheaper ($50-$100) than foam skimboards ($150-$300) but, above all, you've got to get the best gear for your height, weight, experience and type of ride.

Skimboarding tricks will require having installed a good traction pad. You can also use wax, but decks also help performing tricks like airs and shove-its. A skimming wave is not a surfing wave.

The best and most popular skimboard manufacturers are Victoria Skimboards, Zap Skimboards, Exile Skimboards, DB SkimboardsWave Zone SkimboardsSlotstik Skimboards, Meyer Boarding Company, Body Glove, Grape Skimboards, Wavestorm, South Bay Board Co., and Santa Cruz Skimboards.

 

Wavestorm 48'' by Wavestorm

Wavestorm 48'' by Wavestorm

The Wavestorm 48'' is the perfect pick for a casual wave skimboarding session. Features a marine ply stringer for extra strength and generating speed along the shoreline, and a tough HDPE bottom.

Buy: Amazon.com

 

DB Skimboards Standard Proto

DB Skimboards Standard Proto

The Proto Plank by DB Skimboards an affordable performance skimboard featuring the brand's most popular shape and a flex layup. You'll get a 100 percent North American maple core, and HPL top and bottom sheets.

Buy: Amazon.com

 

Exile Skimboards Super G

Exile Skimboards Super G

The Super G by Exile Skimboards features a popular skimboard shape, and was made for high-performance wave riding and maneuvers. It's a large PVC foam core model for riders weighing up to 140 pounds.

Buy: Amazon.com

 

Zap Skimboards Wedge

Zap Skimboards Wedge

The Wedge by Zap Skimboards is a best-selling model aimed at beginners and intermediate young riders. It's the ideal board for the initial sand sliding experiences and is built from composilite with polyester resin and a tuff coat gloss finish.

Buy: Amazon.com

 

South Bay Board Co. The Marauder

South Bay Board Co. The Marauder

The Marauder by South Bay Board Co. is a skimboard for riders of all ages and levels. It features a slight nose rocker to get the board skim across the water's surface, and flat center area for extra speed. Made with an EPS closed-cell foam core and 6oz fiberglass sheet on top and bottom.

Buy: Amazon.com

 

South Bay Board Co. The Skipper

South Bay Board Co. The Skipper

The Skipper by South Bay Board Co. is the perfect skimboard for kids, teenagers, and lightweight adults weighing up to 160 pounds. With a tear-drop shape and a longer template, it is great for switch and backside riding and performance-focused tricks and maneuvers. The wooden board is coated with epoxy and features fingerprint textured, wax-free soft top foam deck.

Buy: Amazon.com

 

The Skimboard Size Chart

In order to help you choose the correct size for your weight, we've created the following skimboard size chart.

The most experienced riders may pick a board that is smaller than their corresponding model in the chart, while beginners can buy a larger leaf in order to improve faster.

Skimboarder Weight

> 80 lbs
80-100 lbs
100-140 lbs
120-160 lbs
140-180 lbs
160-200 lbs
180-220 lbs
200-240 lbs

Skimboard Model

XXS
XS
S
M
ML
L
XL
XXL

Skimboard Dimensions

45.00'' x 19.00''
48.00'' x 19.25''
51.00'' x 19.75''
52.00'' x 20.00''
52.25'' x 20.25''
52.50'' x 20.50''
53.00'' x 20.75''
54.00'' x 21.50''

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