Monkey crawling: a skimboarding drop technique for thigh to waist-deep waters | Photo: Commons

The monkey crawl is one of the two techniques that allow skimboarders to get to the waves or any other dead water surface.

Ideally, you should learn how to do it by running to about thigh to waist-deep water next to small, weak waves as they break next to you.

The goal is to carry all your momentum onto the skimboard to give you that extra boost, speed, and distance into deep water areas.

So, when should you opt for the monkey crawl technique instead of the classic one-step drop-throwing technique?

"For me personally, monkey crawling into deeper water and on a water drop is a little bit easier because you are not going all the way down to the sand," explains skimboarding legend Austin Keen.

"I only monkey crawl when I'm doing a water drop. If I'm throwing it onto the wet sand, I always one-step. Monkey crawling can be counterproductive when I have to slow down and bend all the way down to the sand."

"Monkey crawling is more effective for me when I can lunge onto the board on a water drop and a deep water start," notes Keen.

Monkey Crawl 101

You can practice the monkey on the carpet at your house or on dry sand. If you're a regular-footed skimboarder, here's how to perform it:

  1. Hold your skimboard with both hands at 10 o'clock (left hand) and 4 o'clock (right hand);
  2. Start running toward the water;
  3. Let your board swing naturally as you run;
  4. Lunge onto the board with your right foot;
  5. Drop the board in the water;
  6. Move your hands from grabbed rails to flat palms;
  7. Let your left foot transfer onto the skimboard;
  8. Ride away in a sideslip position;

When doing the monkey crawl, make sure you perform it with the least amount of drag possible to minimize speed loss and reach further waves.

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