Skimboarding is a great way to spend some time in the shallow water. Your whole family can access this water sport and more often than not, the kids excel beyond the parents. The range of skimboards are vast, so we have taken the time to filter out the trash and bring you honest reviews on the best skimboards on the market. We have also taken the time to give you some skimboarding tips and pointers so you can head to the beach with confidence.
This skimboard is aimed at beginners. It offers great value thanks to it’s low price and funky designs.
Made from ply poplar wood with a water resistant coating to help with longevity.
Two Bare Feet offer a wide range of graphics, so you can choose your own eye catching design.
What is Skimboarding?
Skimboarding is a really fun water sport that has evolved over the past couple of decades. If you’ve ever seen people whizzing across the shoreline then you will know that skimboarding involves gliding across the shallow water.
Skimboarding is done on the section of water that is left behind as the wave breaks and washes onto the shore. More advanced skimboarders are able to ride this thin section of water out to sea and catch the next incoming wave. This does however require a very high level of expertise and the right wave conditions.
For beginners, we have identified the best beginner skimboards that will allow you to progress in the shallows.
BPS Gator Wooden Skimboard
This is probably the best wooden skimboard on the list based on performance and specifications. The BPS Gator skimboard comes with a durable plywood construction and epoxy coating. This aids the longevity of the board. The EVA foam on the top deck of the skimboard means you do not need to buy any wax. It’s got a really grippy surface, so any slips will not be the boards fault.
BPS recommend choosing the skimboard based on your weight. Young kids can get away with the 30″ board. However, if you want this skimboard to last, size up so that it will last your kids longer as they grow. For the adults skimboard, anyone over 10 stone or 70kg should get the largest skimboard they do, which is 40″.
One of the reasons we like the skimboard the most is because it’s got a slight rocker to the nose. This means the board is slightly lifted at the front. You will get lots more manoeuvrability out of the skimboard compared to cheaper ones. So if you can already skimboard, this will help you complete between twists and turns.
Overall this is top quality skimboard to invest in. It’s not ridiculously priced, but I would imganie it’s slightly beyond some budgets.
Radbug Adult Skimboard
While you may be shopping for a cheap wooden skimboard, don’t rule out the foam option. This Radbug Foam Skimboard will work in the shallows and allow you to progress towards the waves.
Made from a foam core, with Polyethylene top this skimboard is perfect for anyone between 55kg to 75kg. It performs well in the shallows so is great for beginners, but this isn’t where the fun needs to stop.
The foam core gives great buoyancy. Once you’ve mastered riding the thin water and can perform some tricks, this skimboard is will let you level up. Advanced riders will be able to perform “U-Turn” moves. This is where you ride the water out to sea and perform a U-turn as you then ride the next incoming wave.
Decathlon skimboards come in different sizes, so anyone who want this style of skimboard, but is above the weight recommendation, can also choose the Radbug 900 skimboard. This does however come with a loftier price because of the high specifications.
If you or your family have really taken to skimboarding then this is the perfect step up.
Two Bare Feet Skimboard
Two Bare Feet consistently turn out affordable surf gear, so anyone looking to buy a cheap skimboard need look no further. At 41″ long, it’s a good sized skimboard for adults, teenagers and kids.
This ply poplar wooden skimboard has a smooth lacquered finish to help with a smooth ride. Unlike the BPS Gator skimboard it doesn’t have the EVA foam top deck, so some wax on the top will help increase your grip. It does however have a nose pre-curve to help with turns while on the water.
One of the reasons we like the Two Bare Feet skimboard is the graphic options. I might be old and unfashionable now, but the range of designs are bright and eye-catching. If I was in my teens I’d consider these a great product as I can choose a style that suits me.
This is an entry level skimboard. It is one of the cheaper skimboards you can buy, but it performs well. If you want to invest in a skimboard for a weeks trip to the beach, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better option.
This is the cheapest skimboard on our list, so if you really want a budget skimboard then take a closer look at the Osprey Pintail. The pintail shape give this skimboard it’s distinct look, as the nose of the board is narrower than the tail. The narrow point is beneficial for turns and manoeuvres. While the width of board is wide enough to feel stable when riding the water.
It is made from the same Ply Poplar Wood so islightweight and durable. Overall it’s a great board for beginners to start their skimboarding journey. Lots of fun to be had at a very affordable price.
Wave Line Skimboard
The Wave Line Skimboard has a squashed tail design. You can see from the shape that the nose of the board is slightly rounder. This is great for increasing balance, whilst still being versatile for tricks and turns. It comes in a varity of sizes and colours, so it’s worth looking to see if you can find the colour you like.
It’s hard wearing so will last you for multiple beach trips. I would recommend surf wax on the top of the board, as when wet it was slightly slippery. A good beginners skimboard that allows the rider to progress once they know what they are doing.
Circle One EPS Epoxy Skimboard
The Circle One Skimboard is the premium board on this list. With an EPS high density pressurised core, you are getting a real hybrid skimboard. These skimboards are designed for proper wave riding. While they perform brilliantly in the shallow water, the added volume allows you to be amongst the incoming waves.
Circle One Skimboards are some of the best in the UK. These are epoxy glass fibre skimboards that are strong and durable. They come with a rocker to help the front of the board curve up. This makes them perfect for tricks and jumps. Buying one of these skimboards is like getting a mini surfboard. You may have seen boards similar to this on wakeboarding videos on Instagram. People ride them in the wake of a speedboat. The lightweight design and small size mean there is lots of fun to be had.
If you want to take your skimboarding more seriously then this is a very good place to start. Circle One do an all in one skimboard package, so you can get a bag, wax and traction pad.
Alder Croc Skimboard
Alder are a trusted water sports brand. Created in the 1960’s in Devon, Alder have a passion for surfing that is clear within their quality products. This is why we have included the Alder Croc Skimboard.
An entry level skimboard that is well balanced. The blend of squash tail and rounded nose mean that this skimboard is perfect for beginners. It’s light weight thanks to the wooden material. If you want a skimboard that will help you learn how to skimboard well and it made by a trusted surf provider, this is a great product.
What Is A Skimboard?
Skimboards are much thinner than your traditional surfboard. They have a flat, sleek design that helps the board “skim” smoothly over the surface. When thrown at speed, it allows the rider to almost hover across the water.
There are two main types of skimboard design, wood and foam.
Wooden skimboards are perfect for beginners. The wooden design is hard wearing and durable. This will allow you to throw the board around without fearing that you are about to break it. The wood boards are made from ply poplar wood. While this doesn’t make for good buoyancy, it does give them a strong, flat profile for riding the shallows.
The foam skimboard design is more buoyant that it’s relative to the wooden skimboard. They are typically made from a foam core, with an epoxy resin outer shell. These types of skimboards are for your seasoned rider and not the yearly holiday maker.
Our advice is to choose one of the wooden skimboards off our list. If you love the sport and want to take it further, then you can find yourself the best foam skimboard and begin to tackle the waves.
Are Skimboards Hard To Use?
This is a difficult question to answer as it depends on the rider’s coordination and balance. I consider myself to be athletic, but my first ever skimboard attempt ended up flat on my back as I wiped out hard! You would just sprint up to a skateboard for the first time and expect to nail it…..so I am not sure why I thought I’d be able to with a skimboard.
The basics of beginner skimboarding involve 3 main features: The approach, the launch and the glide.
Approach: Firstly you will need to be by the shoreline. The skimboard works by blading across a thin layer of water, so make sure you are standing by the shoreline. As a wave breaks and washes across the sand it will leave behind the layer of water you are aiming for. Wait for the wave to begin its retreat and then target the water. For best results try and line yourself up with the angle that matches the direction of the breaking wave to ensure you get the longest ride possible.
A common mistake is to approach too deep. You literally need a thin slither of water. If the water is too deep then the board will sink once you add your weight to it.
Launch: This is your moment, the water is in front of you so now you need speed. This requires you to have forward momentum with the board in your hand. You can take steps or sprint, but either way you need to generate some momentum.
The best skimboarding technique means having your dominant hand at the back of the skimboard, with your non-dominant hand at the top, which will aim which way you release. Once you are up to speed, bend your knees to help you get down low. Swing your arms backwards then forwards; releasing the board when parallel with the water. A parallel release helps avoid problems such as the wind picking up the nose of the board which will slow it down. It also helps avoid the nose diving into the water.
When you launch the board you will want the board to be a few steps in front of you. If you throw it too hard you’ll have a hard time chasing it down and the momentum you’ve built will be lost. Too weak, and you won’t end up travelling at all.
Like any skill, this will take you some time to master. You can’t expect to be an expert after one go. Learning a skill like this requires metacognition, where you learn from your mistakes. You’ll find the sweet spot of what works best for you.
Gliding: this requires you to step onto the board. A common misconception is to hop or jump onto the board. This is too much downward pressure, so your skimboard will sink. Try to make it a stepping motion to avoid this. It will also help avoid the board from shooting out from under your feet.
To practice, channel your inner child. Get some socks on and practice “skidding” across a wooden floor. You probably did this all the time in your youth and it’s the best technique for skimboarding. Stepping on with forward momentum gives more push to the board.
When stepping on, have your non-dominant foot go on the board first. This should be placed just beyond the middle point of the skimboard. Then your dominant foot hops on the rear of the board.
Try to have your feet sideways or angled to help with your overall level of balance.
This is everything a beginner skimboarder needs to know before they practise the art of skimboarding.
Are Skimboards Expensive?
Fortunately skimboarding is not a sport that will break the bank. You can choose between budget skimboards and premium skimboards and still have a great time in the shallows.
Your basic skimboard will set you back from anywhere starting from £30. Like all things, you aren’t getting NASA style technology. The board will be basic in design. Don’t let that put you off though. If all you want is a board to slide around for the week then we have some great options for you to choose from.
Beyond the lower price bracket you can find yourself spending up to £350 on some top of the range skimboards. These are often the carbon fibre epoxy skimboards that allow you to catch waves more easily. They are great pieces of kit, but it’s no good having a private jet if you don’t know how to fly it. Buy the type of skimboard that your ability level needs.
What Else Do I Need To Buy With A Skimboard?
Once you have your skimboard in theory you are ready to hit the shallows! However there are some accessories that will enhance your ride.
Firstly, dress for the beach. Get your boardshorts on so you are able to quickly dry off. If you’re planning on surfing, or it’s a cold day then a wetsuit might even be appropriate.
Skimboard wax is a worthwhile investment. The base of the board needs to be clean so that it glides across the water with as little resistance as possible. As for the top deck you want a grip. Some skimboards will come with traction pads to stop you slipping, however some wax for your skimboard will ensure you stay “stuck” on your board as you glide across the water. Your typical surf wax will work. Rub this on in a circular motion and then comb in opposite diagonal directions to create a nice surface to grip on to.
Skimboards are nice and light, which makes them very easy to carry. If you plan on taking other things to the beach, I would recommend either getting a bodyboard bag so you can slide your board inside too. If you decided to opt for a higher spec skimboard, then buying a specialist skimbag would be a good idea, especially if you are transporting it abroad.