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Skimboard Buyers Guide

If you have ever skimmed on the water with a skimboard, then you will surely know how fun the experience is! Just like kayaks are used for kayaking, skimboards are used for skimboarding. Most folks confuse skimboards with regular paddleboards, but there are some significant differences.

A skimboard is much smaller in size as compared to paddle boards and has different characteristics. To have the best experience with the skimboard, you should buy the best one that is durable and can support your weight without drowning.

We understand that buying a skimboard isn’t easy at all, and that is why we are here with this comprehensive buyer’s guide.

The guide contains various factors that you should check before buying a skimboard. Let's get started.

Reasons to trust this guide.

The guide contains almost everything that you should know about skimboards. From size to material and weight capacity, we have covered almost everything that you should check before purchasing a skimboard.

Reading this guide is important as you cannot buy just any skimboard because it fits in your budget or looks good. For your ease, we have categorized the factors so that you can quickly navigate through the guide to find out about the important aspects of a skimboard.

What is a skimboard?

A skimboard is just like a small surfboard that doesn’t have fins. Skimboards are used for skimboarding due to their size and shape. They are similar to bodyboards, but there are some considerable differences in both.

Skim board Vs. body board

If you are thinking of enjoying skimboarding with a body board, then it isn't possible at all. There are some significant differences in skim boards and body boards, so they are good for different tasks. Here we have highlighted the common difference between a skim board and a body board.

Size

There is a significant difference in the size of a skim board and a body board. Skim boards are usually smaller in size, around 3 feet, and have 18 inches width. On the other hand, bodyboards are usually bigger, and you can easily sport a skim board if it is placed next to a bodyboard.

The small size of the skimboard makes it good for skimboarding, and you cannot use it for riding the waves.

Materials

At first, skim boards were made using water-sealed plywood that resists water and is lightweight as well. With the advancement in technology, the materials have improved dramatically, and modern boards are made using fiberglass or carbon fiber.

On the other hand, bodyboards are made using plastic core and polystyrene that makes them lightweight despite having a huge size.

Riding

Skim boards are designed to ride on the shore where the water is calm, and you can enjoy relaxing on a sunny day. Conversely, bodyboards are ideal for riding on waves. Expert riders love bodyboards due to the excellent control that they offer.

Leashes

As mentioned above, skimboards are good for riding across the shore, so you will not find a leash loop in it. However, body boards come with a leash loop so that you can pull the board back if you fall off from it while riding the wave.

Factors to consider before buying a skimboard

Before you buy a skimboard, make sure that it is perfect for riding. Skimboards are available in a myriad of options, so you need to buy the one that can handle your weight and is easy to maneuver. Check the factors listed below to find out what makes a good skimboard.

Types of skimboards

Start by choosing the type of skimboard depending on your budget and requirements. You will find the following types of skimboards in the market.

  • Inland/flatland skimboards
  • Skimboards for wave riding

Inland/flatland skimboards

Folks even call it woodies because the boards are made up of water-sealed wood. These boards are extremely durable and last longer. The board can withstand impacts caused by shells, rocks, and much more. Further, there are two types of boards available in flatland skimboards, i.e., cruising and trick boards.

If you want to cruise on the water, then go for cruising skimboards, and for performing tricks, you should go for trick skimboards.

Skimboards for wave riding

Traditional skimboards weren’t that good to ride on waves, but there are now skimboards available that you can use for wave riding. These boards are usually made up of carbon fiber and fiberglass. The boards have excellent strength and last longer.

Materials

After choosing the type of skimboard you need, check the materials to make sure that it lasts longer and is lightweight as well. Generally, skimboards are available in wood, and foam but some manufacturers have introduced boards made up of carbon fiber and fiberglass.

The choice of material is important as it impacts the performance, weight, and durability of the board. Every material has a different fabrication process, like the wooden boards are made using a sandwich process in which two wooden planks are used with a hollow core.

Check out these common materials used to manufacture skim boards and choose accordingly:

Wooden boards

Woodies are common in flatland skimboards because they aren’t good for riding on the waves. The boards are heavy and have low buoyancy. The boards don't float on water just like foamies, so it is essential to ride them in shallow waters where there is no risk of sinking.

These skimboards are good for beginners as they are affordable and have excellent strength that protects them from impacts.

Foam boards or foamies

Foam boards are made using thick and hollow foam that makes the board floatable and has excellent buoyancy. The boards are lighter, thicker, and are easy to portage. Foam skimboards are good for riding on the waves. If you are an intermediate or expert level rider, you should go for skimboards made using foam.

They aren't good for beginners, as maintaining balance can be challenging.

Carbon fiber or fiberglass

Most skimboard manufacturers use foam and wood, but there are some manufacturers that use carbon fiber and fiberglass. The materials are lightweight and highly durable. Also, the boards offer excellent performance and are good for intermediates and experts.

However, skimboards made using these materials are expensive and require more care.

Size of the skimboard

The size of the skimboard has a considerable impact on the performance of the skimboard. Also, the size impacts the weight capacity of the skimboard, so it is important to buy the right size. The boards are available in the range of small, mid-size, and large boards.

Furthermore, the speed and stability of the board depend on its size. Below we have listed some common sizes that you will find when looking for a skimboard.

Small boards

Small skimboards are ideal for people weighing between 80 to 145 pounds. These boards are good for ladies and kids as they weigh less as compared to men. Small boards aren’t that buoyant due to the size, so they are good for intermediates and experts.

The length of these boards is under 45 inches, and they are lightweight as well. You will find small boards made using foam, wood, and carbon fiber.

Mid-sized boards

Mid-sized boards are good for riders weighing between 120 to 160 lbs. The length of the board ranges between 45-49 inches. These boards have decent buoyancy and are good for beginners and intermediates. You cannot reach good speeds with these boards as they are wide and heavy as well.

You will find foamies, woodies, and other common materials in these skimboards.

Large boards

Large skimboards can handle a weight of around 160 lbs, and they are available in a size range of 49 to 53 inches. These skimboards have excellent buoyancy and are good for learners. However, the boards are heavy and are expensive as well. Portaging bigger boards can be a bit challenging due to the size.

Extra-large boards

Extra-large boards are good for heavy riders. The boards can handle around 200 lbs or more, so buying a 53 inches or bigger board will be good if you are heavy. Most of these boards are made using wood and foam, but you will find some good options that are made using carbon fiber.

Which size is the best?

Every size has some pros and cons, and you should decide the ideal size based on your requirements. When choosing a skimboard, check your weight, and make sure that the board is capable of handling it. Shorter boards are flexible and are good for achieving good speeds. But maneuvering these boards can be difficult for beginners.

If you want to start, go for bigger boards as they are more stable due to the size. But experts and intermediates can go with mid-size and smaller boards.

Weight capacity

Do some research and check the weight capacity of the skimboard. The weight capacity of the board depends on multiple factors, such as shape and size. If you are tall and heavy, then you should go for a skimboard that is big and is more buoyant so that it can handle more weight.

On the other hand, shorter skimboards are good for ladies and kids. Before buying the board, check the weight capacity as most manufacturers mention the weight capacity.

The shape of the board

Skimboards are available in two options: with tails and rockers. The shape of the board has a significant impact on its performance and the speed that you can achieve with it. You should choose the shape of the board, depending on where you want to ride and the speed you want to achieve.

Further, the shape of the skimboard will impact its performance on the wave and the flat water. Below we have explained some common shapes that you will come across when buying a skimboard.

Steep rocker

Skimboards with a steep rocker are good for choppy waters as they are good for cruising. You cannot achieve a good speed with these boards, as they have a slower movement. If you are a learner or want to enjoy skimming on the water, then you should go with skimboards that have a steep rocker.

Pintail

Skimboards with pintails offer an excellent balance in the water. You can ride with these boards in flat water due to their shape. The board can achieve a good speed without losing its balance. However, they aren't good at riding on waves.

W/ square tail

So, you want to perform stunts and tricks with a skimboard? If yes, then you need a skimboard with W or square tail. The tail provides the board with excellent flexibility while making it good for performing stunts.

Shallow rocker

If you need speed, then look for skimboards with the shallow rocker. The shallow rocker shape makes the board fast, and you can achieve high speeds with ease. These boards are good to cruise on calmer water; in short, they are versatile.

Flat

Skimboard that is flat is good for beginners due to the buoyancy. The boards are excellent to ride on flat water, and they are popular among learners.

The skimboard wrap

Manufacturers use wraps on skimboards to make them resistant to water and highly durable. The choice of wrap will impact the lifespan of the board. No matter what material the board is made with, you will find these wraps when looking for a skimboard.

Carbon

Skimboards with carbon wrap are usually the high-end option that is expensive. The carbon wrap is weaved tightly on the board that makes it stiff and durable as well. When you buy a skimboard with a carbon weave, then rest assured that it can withstand the exposure to shells, rocks, and other such elements that have damaging effects on other boards.

E-glass

Most of the inexpensive skimboards come with e-glass wrap since it doesn’t enhance the cost of the board that much, and you will get it at a reasonable price. However, the life of the wrap isn’t that great.

Also, the material doesn't last long and starts to wear out when the board strikes the shells and rocks when skimming. If you are a beginner or have a packed budget, you can go with skimboards that have e-glass wrap.

Texalium

Also known as S-glass, these skimboard wraps offer excellent speed and durability. The wrap doesn’t wear out quickly, and it will make the skimboard even stiffer. Wraps made using S-glass are better as compared to e-glass, but they are expensive as well.

Capability

You should buy a skimboard according to its capability. If you want to ride on high waves, then you should go for a board that can handle the waves without any difficulties. The board should be buoyant and should have a larger rocker to battle with the strong waves.

On the other hand, if you have no mood to ride on the waves, then you can go for any board irrespective of its buoyancy. The choice of the skimboard should depend on the purpose of buying it.

Durability

Buy a skimboard that is durable so that it lasts longer, and you can enjoy skimboarding with it. The durability of the board depends on multiple factors, such as the core material and the wrap. Make sure that the board you are going to buy will last longer and turn your investment into worth.

Read on some customer reviews to make sure that the board you are going to buy has promising durability.

Warranty

Go for a skimboard that comes with a warranty so that you can claim for any manufacturing defects. Most of the skimboards available in the market come with a warranty but make sure to check it beforehand.

Price

The price of the skimboard depends on multiple factors, such as the core material, brand, and size of the board. When looking for a skimboard, make sure that it is perfect for your requirements and comes under your budget so that you can get a good board without spending much.

Accessories to buy with a skimboard

When buying a skimboard, you should get some accessories to enhance its life. Here are some accessories that you should get with a skimboard.

  • Skimboard bag

A skimboard bag lets you pack the board, so it remains protected from scratches and damages. Get a bag that has ample space to keep the skimboard. Also, getting a bag will let you store the board without any issues.

  • Traction pad

If you want added grip on the skimboard so that you can ride with ease. Get a traction pad and apply it on your skimboard so that you can ride without slipping from the board.

  • Tail pad

If you want enhanced control over the board, then get a tail pad. You can use an after-market tail pad to use it with the skimboard.

  • Cleaning kit

Buy a cleaning kit so that you can keep the board clean. Cleaning a skimboard is easy to enhance its lifespan.

  • Life vest

Get a life jacket as it keeps you afloat when you fall off the skimboard. These vests are important, especially if you are a beginner, as you will be spending half of your time in the water when learning how to ride a board.

FAQs: Best Skimboards

Q: How long does a skimboard last?

A: The average lifespan of the skimboard depends on multiple factors, such as the core material, wrap, and how you are using it. If you buy a good quality skimboard, then you can expect a decent lifespan from it.

Q: Are skimboards dangerous?

A: No, there are no dangers associated with buying a skimboard. These boards are fun to ride, and even beginners can ride the board without any issues.

Q: How to clean a skimboard?

A: Cleaning a skimboard is essential if you want it to last longer. Here is the process of cleaning the skimboard properly.

  • Rinse the skimboard with water, and prepare it for the cleaning.
  • Take a few drops of cleaning detergent into a bucket.
  • Take a sponge and rub it on the skimboard.
  • Rinse the board again, and wipe it off with a soft cloth.
Q: What’s the best material skimboards are made with?

A: If you are looking for the best material that is highly durable and makes a good skimboard, then you should go with boards made using wood or carbon fiber.

Q: How to install a traction pad to a skimboard?

A: There are multiple benefits of using a traction pad. Follow the steps mentioned below to apply the traction pad to the skimboard.

  • Clean the board thoroughly and make sure that there is no dust on it that can hold the adhesive.
  • Now apply the glue on the area where you want to apply the traction pad.
  • Place the traction pad on the board, and then start installing it on the area where you have applied the glue.
  • Make sure that there are no air bubbles so that the glue sticks properly on the skimboard.
  • Keep the board for 24 hours on a side so that the traction pad sticks properly and doesn’t come off when riding.
Q: Is it better to wax a skimboard or use a traction pad with it?

A: You can wax a board even if you are using a traction pad. Waxing a board is important to enhance its life and to protect it from damages. Use a good quality wax that lasts longer and is good for the bard.

Conclusion

With a skimboard, you can enjoy your day in the water. Follow this guide and go through the factors so that you can select the best skimboard. The guide contains almost everything that you should check when buying a skimboard.

Make a list of the factors and then start comparing different skimboards to buy the best one. Further, go through customer reviews, and read about different skimboards to know more about their performance and durability.

Lastly, go through the FAQ and accessories section to find out what you should buy with a skimboard and how to take care of it.

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