First invented in 1920 skimboards were made by lifeguards of Laguna Beach, California as a means to surf the local beach breaks that were too fast and shallow for traditional surfboards.
Now with beaches around the world full of skimboarders from the pros to young kids sliding across the shallow waters there’s a place in the sport for everyone.
Taking on a sport like skimboarding is an exciting adventure, but it is even better when it can be done with your entire family.
Kids will need shorter, lighter skimboards that are slightly thicker. Thicker boards are more stable but allow for less carving of the waves. This is perfect for a kid or beginner that is finding a foothold in the new sport.
Because picking the right product can be confusing, we have compiled a list comparing the best skimboards out there, looking at cost-effectiveness, quality, and choice of style.
Top 7 Best Skimboards for Kids
- South Bay Board Co. Skipper Skimboard (Our Top Pick)
- Barrel Point Surf Gator (Best Budget)
- Driftsun Performance Skimboard (Best Top End)
- DB Proto Plank
- Bindy Australia 'The Bruce'
- Zap Lazer
- Zap Fish Blem
1. South Bay Board Co. Skipper Skimboard (Our Top Pick)
South Bay Co. is a family-owned beach and board company. This means that they provide the highest quality skimboards for the entire family with a huge focus on customer relations and quality.
One of the best boards on the market for kids and beginners, the Board co. Skipper is a lightweight 36” or 41” wooden skimboard with a colored, slip-free foam top which means there is no need to ever wax the board.
The board’s thin 0.5” profile makes it easy to carry for kids but does not sacrifice speed for stability.
Furthermore, this skimboard is nearly flat with only a small rocker. This adds stability to the board which is perfect for skimming along flat and shallow surfaces.
|Thin profile that supports greater speed||Small rocker reduces maneuverability|
|Small rocker adds more support||Over time foam may wear down|
|Wax-free foam top||Plywood base makes the board less durable|
|Cost-effective||Not ideal for experienced skimboarders|
|Lightweight||A trackpad cannot be added|
2. Barrel Point Surf Gator (Best Budget)
Barrel Point Surf (BPS) was created by a Kiwi surfer whose only goal is to bring the fun of the ocean to as many people as possible.
The Gator skimboard is made with a small nose rocker which prevents it from easily nose-diving while allowing slightly more control while turning.
These boards come equipped with an EVA foam top which negates the need for wax.
Although the board is made from plywood, it is covered with a high gloss coating to protect the wood from becoming waterlogged and splitting.
The Gator comes in sizes of 30”, 35”, and 40” which means no matter how tall your kids are, there is a perfect size for them.
This is a perfect board if you are on a budget but still want to introduce your kids to the world of skimboarding.
|One of the cheapest boards on the market||If the gloss seal breaks then the board will quickly be destroyed|
|Wax-free EVA non-slip deck cover||Plywood is less durable than other materials|
|Perfect for kids and first-timers||Does not hold up well against time|
|Outstanding customer report||Not ideal for experienced skimmers
|Plywood is lightweight||Does not work well with waves|
3. Driftsun Performance Skimboard (Best Top End)
If you are looking for a high-quality skimboard for your kids that will allow them to go from a first-time rider to someone with more skill then the Driftsun Performance Skimboard may be exactly what you are looking for.
This fiberglass board is best for taller/ heavier kids as the smallest size is 44”, however, its PVC foam and fiberglass body make it lightweight, fast, and durable.
With a 2.5” nose rocker, this board is easy to turn, both in flat water and on waves.
Furthermore, the board comes equipped with a backfoot EVA pad for maximum control while leaving you open to wax the rest of the board as you please.
|Performance designed shape to carve waves or skim in flat water||Bigger rocker makes skimming on flat land more tricky|
|Ideal for beginners looking to up their skill level||Limited size options and not great for shorter kids
|Reinforced Carbon Fibre nose and tail||On the high end of the price spectrum|
|High-quality PVC and resin design|
|Includes EVA footpad|
The Proto Super Plank is an ideal quality board for new skimmers and kids alike.
With various sizes ranging from 39.4” to 43.4”, you are sure to find a board that is perfectly suited for your kids.
This performance-designed board is designed with a 100% Maple core that is supported by an HPL top and bottom for support and low friction sliding.
DB has made it their goal to create some of the best flatland skimboards in the world which is why the innovation of the Proto Plank is far beyond other standard boards on the market.
Equipped with a 3D rocker (continuous rocker from nose to tail) and a taco rocker from rail to rail, this board can be easily spun in all directions without getting caught on the water.
|HPL surfaces provide top-end sliding for flat surfaces||The front of the board needs to be waxed|
|Includes customized EVA trackpad||White color becomes dirty quickly|
|Uses 100% local Maple as a core||Wood core will split over time|
|Perfect for beginners and kids||Does not work well in waves|
|Low cost and affordable|
The Bruce is Bindy Australia’s most popular and affordable skimboard which is perfect for kids and teens who are getting into the sport of skimboarding.
This 41-inch flat ground skimboard has a simple but effective design and will suit your kids perfectly when they try to skim in the shallows or take on small casual waves.
Bindy Australia aims at encouraging teens and kids to step away from their screens and indulge in outdoor activities. The Bruce is their way of reaching out.
|Comes with a free carry bag||Limited size options make this board unsuitable for taller and heavier teens|
|Multiple colors are available||This board is for beginners and will not suit the more experienced rider|
|Includes EVA foam grip||The EVA foam may lift up due to low-quality adhesive|
6. Zap Lazer
Anyone familiar with the skimboarding world will know Zap.
One of the leaders of the skimboard shaping industry, Zap has been making high-quality boards since 1983 and the quality continues to get better.
The Lazer is a polyester resin board that boasts stability and speed for kids and teens alike.
As the Lazer was designed specifically for kids the board is lightweight and easy to carry around.
|Continuous core makes the board extra stable on flat sand||Does not perform as well when surfing waves or doing tricks|
|Gelcoat art makes the design exciting and long-lasting||Does not include a trackpad so wax will need to be used|
|On the cheaper end of the Zap board spectrum||Polyester resin boards are easily dinged|
|High-quality polyester resin board
If your kids are ready to move from flatland skimboarding to hitting some waves then the Fish from Zap is a great way to get there.
This board is slightly larger than other kids’ boards but even with its 47 inches, it remains lightweight and easy to maneuver.
The fish is thicker and offers a wider base which suppers stability and buoyancy while riding a wave. This makes the fish a perfect next step from the flat land.
|Blemishes in the artwork give you a large discount on an expensive board||Maybe too large and bulky for smaller kids|
|Thicker board helps with buoyancy while riding waves||On the upper end of the price spectrum|
|Polyester resin is durable and stands the test of time||Thick base reduces turning ability
|Fish design makes the board wider and more stable||Does not include a trackpad
|Fish tail aids with agility||Not ideal for beginners|
What to Look For When Buying a Kids Skimboard
When buying a skimboard for your kids or teens there are four main points to consider:
- The size and weight of your kid.
- What they will use the board for (flat land or waves).
- The material you want your board to be made from.
- Your price range.
The size of your skimboard will depend on your weight, height, as well as how fast you can run.
The heavier you are, the bigger the board is that you will need, but if you run faster than the average person your size then you will find it easier to skim on smaller boards.
As a general rule of thumb, your skimboard should be about as tall as your solar plexus. This is of course not set in stone as the width, thickness, and shape of the board will all play a role.
The chart below will help you gain a rough estimate of how big your kid’s skimboard should be.
|Rider weight (stone)||Rider Weight (Kg)||Recommended Skimboard Size|
|Up to 7||Up to 45||39”-43”|
Once you have decided on a size you should consider both what the board will be used for and what material it should be made from.
Flatland skimboards tend to be wider and thicker (which allows for more speed) while boards designed for wave riding have narrower bases and tend to be thinner for more agility.
Wood boards are cheaper but tend to be of lower quality than resin boards. A wooden board is perfect for kids and beginners to learn their balance and the basics of the sport.
When you feel that you or your kids are comfortable with skimboarding it may be time to upgrade to a polyester resin skimboard.
Finally, you should consider your budget. Cheap boards are great for kids as they tend to be reckless, but you can expect to be buying a new board every summer as their quality tends to show in their price.
That being said, there is probably no point in buying a $700 skimboard for your kid who has never tried out the sport before.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you still have a few questions in mind the FAQs below may help you find the answer you are looking for.
Q: Does the Shape of the Board Matter?
The shape of a skimboard plays a large role in how it performs. Boards with steeper rockers are best suited for choppy waters and waves, while smaller rocker boards are designed for flat land and speed.
Other shape differences include:
Pintail – provides better balance in the water
Square/Fish tail – boosts flexibility and is best for tricks and stunts.
Q: How does board thickness affect the ride?
Thicker boards are more buoyant and therefore act as a larger board in a sense.
Although thicker boards are easier to stay afloat on, they are also more difficult to turn, and therefore are not ideal for carving waves and performing tricks.
Q: Are skimboards made from any other materials?
Skimboards are made with three main materials: Wood, foam and fiberglass, and carbon fiber.
Wood boards are the cheapest and of the lowest quality, while carbon boards are light, durable, but extremely expensive.
Pro skimboarders tend to lean towards carbon boards because of their lightweight and high agility.
Q: Do I Need to Use a Trackpad or Wax?
You should always have some type of anti-slip material on your skimboard.
Some boards come equipped with EVA non -slip foam across the entire board which negates the need for wax.
Other boards are smooth with no padding which means you will need to add your own trackpad and or wax.
Without wax or a trackpad, your board will become extremely slippery when wet and make it incredibly difficult to stand on.
Skimboarding is an exciting sport and a great way for your kids to find some love in the ocean without venturing into the deeper waters.
If you are looking to buy your kids their first skimboard then you can do so without spending more than USD 100.
Each board design is different, but as a first board for kids, it is best to buy a flat and wider board that is designed for flatland riding.
Once your kid’s skill level is up you can consider swapping out the shape for something more dynamic.