Skimboarding started around 1920, in California. At the time, skimboards were just made-up rounded disks from redwood by then Laguna Beach lifeguards. These disks were used to slide across the water. Skimboards used to have a pizza shape until it came out with a new design in the 1960s. Their designs appeared and mirrored a smaller, wide surfboard.
The reason for the change in design is due to the locals in Laguna believing (by experience) that round boards carve off the waves that break right on the shore.
Soon after the sport gained popularity in the surfing world, it rose to two disciplines: wave skimboarding and flatland skimboarding.
Wave riding skimboard is the most popular and recognized sport in skimboarding – wave riding. The majority of wave riding skimboards are made of closed-cell foam, which is a high-density foam material that restricts water absorption and dings.
The second type of skimboard is the flatland or inland skimboards. They are generally made of wood and can be found at most local surf or skate shops. Flatland skimboards are perfect for beginners because they are simple to make and use and are not expensive.
Top 8 Best Skimboards: Catch A Wave and Ride It Back to The Shore
You’ve seen it on the beach. A guy holding a skimboard, running fast to the shore, as if he is so excited to meet it. He throws the board ahead of him and runs even faster to catch up and ride the board. Then catches a wave, surfs it for a bit, and rides it back to the shore.
Interesting, right? Looking at it, you’d think it’s easy and you can do it. Well, you can. With the right board, you’ll be skimming the waves away and ride like a pro in no time.
Skimboarding’s semi-underground status in the world of water sports has made it harder to find the best skimboard. But we’ve scoured around to find the best skimboards that you can bring so you can get out there and start ripping!
- Edge Skimboard by Wave Zone Skimboards
- Skimboard with Carbon Fiber Tips by Fedmax
- BPS Gator Skimboard
- Wood Skimboard by Lucky Bums
- Squirt Skimboard by Wave Zone Skimboards
- Wood EVA Deck Skimboard by Liquid Shredder
- Wedge Large Skimboard by Zap
- Rubber Top Wooden Skimboard by Sunspecs
#1. Edge Skimboard by Wave Zone Skimboards – Best Fiberglass Skimboard
- Size: 42 x 18 ½ x ½ inches
- Weight Limit: 130 pounds
- Colors & Art: Assorted
- Perfect for: beginner, intermediate
- High-quality construction
- Crafted individually
- Design Your Own Board option
- Includes bag
Established in 1990, Wave Zone takes pride in being number 1 in customer satisfaction. Their full range of skimboards caters to riders with beginner to advanced experience levels.
Their proudly US-made boards are individually crafted with unmatched quality. The team of progressive engineers, superior graphic artists, as well as customers’ ideas all go together to bring a catalog of artistic, colorful, and high-quality skimboards.
The Edge Skimboard by Wave Zone Skimboards is one of their products that they proudly boast in every skimboarding event. It is made with ultimate control and maneuverability that every rider strives for.
This skimboard offers more buoyancy and a higher weight limit for riders with experience ranging from beginner, hobbyist, to intermediate. Made of high-density level 2 PVC foam core, it features double wrapped poly rails and can hold up to 130 pounds.
Every Edge Skimboard by Wave Zone is handmade with graphics and aesthetics that subtly make your skimboards unique. They also accept through their website your design so you can put what you think on your board!
Wave Zone uses only the most superior materials. With the strong foam core, tough fiberglass shell, and a smooth gel coat, you are sure to be impressed and impress the other riders you crash the waves with.
|Customizable traction deck grip||Coating and finish starts to fall apart after many uses|
|Very lightweight and durable||Available only in pocket template|
|Made in the USA|
#2. Skimboard with Carbon Fiber Tips by Fedmax – Runner-up for Best Fiberglass Skimboard
- Size: 44 – 52 inches
- Weight Limit: 50 – 220 pounds
- Colors & Art: Blue, green, red
- Perfect for: Beginners and Intermediate
- Traction pads included
- Lightweight carbon fiber and fiberglass
- Comes with tips and tricks guide
- High-quality construction
Fedmax stands behind every item from their product line, whether its for office furniture, workbenches, and skimboards. They have a piece of detailed information about their skimboards dimensions, construction, and performance.
Their selection of skimboards includes entry-level boards that are intended to be buoyant. This is to inspire confidence to beginners as they learn how to aggressively maneuver through the waves.
Fedmax’s Skimboard with Carbon Fiber Tips is made with a Poly PVC (expanded polyvinyl chloride) far different from the EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) core that most skimboards use. This construction guarantees a more durable skimboard that does not delaminate.
Its rugged and sturdy built ensures a smoother ride through the waves even while bearing a maximum load of up to 220 pounds. Beginners will be encouraged to ride more not just because of the complete kit of traction grip accessories it comes with but with the “Ultimate Tips Manual” included with the purchase. This cheat sheet delivers some useful advice on getting started with skimboarding.
|Made of Carbon reinforced fiberglass||More expensive than most beginner boards|
|Lightweight and durable||Tail end separates after continuous use|
|Floaty by nature|
#3. BPS Gator Skimboard – Best Wood Skimboard
- Size: 40 x 22 x 0.6 inches
- Weight Limit: 130 pounds
- Colors & Art: Black w/ white accent, blue w/ white accent, blue w/ yellow accent, green w/ purple accent, orange w/ white accent
- Perfect for: kids and adults
- Nose rocker for more maneuverability
- Built-In Grip Pads
- Beginners e-guide
- Durable construction
The best bang for the buck, especially for beginners is BPS Gator Skimboard. Well-liked by learners for their durability and performance, they are top-grade with a cheap price tag.
The dual plywood used in Gator skimboards is extremely durable. This, along with the high gloss epoxy coating to stop water absorption is what makes BPS Gator Skimboard one of the best. Its generous curvature nose at the tip makes the board more aerodynamic.
BPS colorful boards all come with the “Gator Grip,” a layer of EVA (Ethylene-vinyl acetate) foam that assists the rider to improve balance, without the need for the board to be waxed.
These great all-rounders are lightweight and easy to carry. The superior construction and stylish appearance will make you feel like a proud athlete holding it on your side. The non-traditional shape also adds up to how you will stand out among the plethora of skimboarders.
The rounded nose rocker has been built to reduce falling and increase maneuverability and control. Its interesting tail of flat shape allows for an easier roll through the water’s rough section.
Aside from the e-guide that you get with the package, their customer service is remarkable. You will receive a call from them, the day you register just to welcome you. And it doesn’t stop there as they will try to call you from time to time to check just how you and the skimboard are doing.
|EVA foam layer also helps to ensure adequate grip||Not heavy enough to provide for maximum control|
|Has a good grip and a shape||Tends to warp and peel after continued use|
|Lightweight and fast|
|No wax required|
#4. Wood Skimboard by Lucky Bums – Runner-up for Best Wood Skimboard
- Size: ranges from 30, 35, and 39 inches
- Weight Limit: up to 130 pounds
- Colors & Art: Brown with assorted designs (clubs, manta ray, tattoo, and wave)
- Perfect for: Beginners
- Superior materials
- Ideal for beginners
- Perfect for flatland skimming
- Multiple designs to choose from
- 100% money-back guarantee
Lucky Bums’ main goal is to have you enjoy a fun day at the beach as you skim across the sand to the shores and the waves. They are made to provide a smooth ride for the beginner as well as experienced surf enthusiasts alike.
This woodie comes in different sizes, 30, 35 and 39. Each of which has a laminated wide deck that gives enough room for riders to easily hop on to when the water calls.
The lamination for Wood Skimboard by Lucky Bums makes it tough and sturdy that you don’t have to worry about the rough elements of the sand. It also helps to glide across the water smoothly and with so much ease.
Its traditional shape, particularly the nose, reduces the number of falls you take. Its rounded tail allows you to spin easily. The epoxy plywood and high-gloss coating combination create a rigid board that lets you keep and ride it for a long time.
While it is ideal for flatland skimming, it can also be used for skimboarding with no problems.
|Rocker shape to help prevent a nose dive||Few designs to choose from|
|Affordable option for wood skimboard||Smaller than it looks|
|Reliable customer service||Logs water over time|
|Sturdy and reliable core|
#5. Squirt Skimboard by Wave Zone Skimboards – Best Skimboard for Kids
- Size: 36 ½ x 18 ½ x 3/8 inches
- Weight Limit: 90 pounds
- Colors & Art: assorted
- Perfect for: kids and beginners
- High-quality construction
- Crafted individually
- Design Your Own Board option
- Includes bag
Squirt ® Skimboard is the ideal beginner’s skimboard from the makers of Edge ® Skimboard, Wave Zone. Perfect for medium to high waves, it is designed to have a wider template than most skimboards. Your little groms will be capable of skimming on the sand where the water breaks along the shoreline, in no time.
The construction is intended for a weight capacity of up to 90 pounds. Made only with the highest quality of materials, you are sure your board is with a strong foam core, fiberglass shell, and a superior smooth gel coat. Add to its stylish characteristics are its clear and sharp graphics that are either pre-designed or customized.
The crisp graphics give off the pro polished board, so you won’t feel like riding a cheap board.
Squirt ® Skimboard stands at 36 ½ inches making it perfect for the kids. Just like Edge® Skimboard, this line is manufactured in a handcrafted way. The high-density level 1 PVC foam core ensures the overall quality of the board. They are superior fiberglass that won’t break from prolonged exposure to the sun.
Another factor that makes kids shy away from skimboarding is the heavy boards they have to carry around. Squirt ® Skimboards are lightweight at 6 pounds making it easy for kids and beginners to carry it around conveniently.
|Great for medium and heavy waves||Low weight capacity|
|Package includes carrying bag|
|PE (Polyethylene) deck|
|Colorful and stylish|
#6. Wood EVA Deck Skimboard by Liquid Shredder – Runner-up for Best Skimboard for Kids
- Size: 35 and 41 inches
- Weight Limit: up to 140 pounds
- Colors & Art: Blue and Green
- Materials: Solid wood core & EVA traction pad
- Perfect for: Beginner to intermediate
- Constructed with quality wood
- Perfect option for beginners
- Made of high-quality solid Fir wood, not plywood
- Anti-Slip EVA deck is Fully heat laminated to the to, no glue
A lifelong waterman, Scott McClain started the company in 2000 for needing great quality and high performing surfboards that are softer than traditional fiberglass sticks. Partnering with a Peruvian surfer who hobbies making boards, they combined unique Peruvian technology with his high-performance board shapes to develop the first Liquid Shredders.
Constructed with a core of rock-hard fir wood and a tough deck coated in a resilient epoxy finish, the Liquid Shredder delivers durability and protection from damage if you’re in rough waters. It is layered with EVA Traction Pad, so waxing is not necessary.
This Skimboard by Liquid Shredder has its diamond-shaped grooves in its traction pad to aid with an easier grip. Its resin coated top and bottom does not only feature a nice shiny finish but a smooth surface that glides well over the water smoothly.
Skimboard by Liquid Shredder is the perfect board you can grow with. Something you start with as a beginner and use until you become a seasoned skimboarder.
|No cracking even when used in extreme temperatures||Lower weight capacity than most|
|More affordable than most skimboards made of wood||Limited color options|
|Comes with 90-day warranty|
#7. Wedge Large Skimboard by Zap – Best for Beginners
- Size: 49 x 19 ¾ x 5/8 inches
- Weight Limit: 170 pounds
- Colors & Art: Blue assorted (meaning the main color will be blue but may have touches of other shades)
- Perfect for: Beginners
- Built with Composilite
- Constructed with high-quality materials for better durability
- Thicker core
Zap grew from a small-time brand in a shed in 1983, to a greenhouse hut in the woods, a warehouse in town, and a present 25,000 square ft factory and office today. They have grown along with their passion for skimboarding.
The humble beginnings Zap had, spanned two and a half decades and their reputation progressed as they continued to work with passionate skimboarders who have fresh ideas and innovations. Their name isn’t just known within the US but spans the globe from Australia, Europe, South America, to Hawaii.
This is the reason skimboarders hear a bell when the name Zap is mentioned. They are recognizable in the skimboarding industry because of their expert craftsmanship and durable materials. They have, since the day they started remained grassroots-style operation.
Wedge Large Skimboard by Zap essentially comes in three different sizes, but for beginners, the large size is the most ideal. The shape is fairly standard with a piercing nose and a more curved tail at the back.
This board is built with Zap’s patented Composolite construction that helps make it extremely durable that surpasses other beginner boards far better.
The quality of Zap skimboards is one of their best features. Each board is made from first-rate materials that guarantee maximum performance while reducing the risk of the board breaking.
|Relatively affordable than most beginner boards||Board needs to be waxed as the glass wrap can be slippery|
|High-quality materials used in construction|
|Holds riders up to 120 pounds|
|US made, handcrafted boards|
#8. Rubber Top Wooden Skimboard by Sunspecs – Best Skimboard For All Experience Levels
- Size: 30, 35, 36, and 41 inches
- Weight Limit: up to 220 pounds
- Colors & Art: Blue with dragon, gray, green, orange, and pink
- Perfect for: All Experience Levels
- High-quality construction,
- Rubber layer on top of board
- Durable and lightweight
- Easy to carry
Sunspecs skimboards are one of the most attractive skimboards in the market today. It comes in a variety of artworks that you can choose from, as well as different color variations.
Constructed from solid wood, it makes a more reliable option than most skimboard competitors. The materials used and its construction is intended to withstand rough sand and water conditions. Rubber Top Wooden Skimboard is made sturdy enough to take against rocks as you glide from the shore to the waves.
As the name suggests, it uses the rubber layer on top for traction. No more waxing needed.
|Huge variety of weights from 80– 220 pounds||Some boards may have lamination quality issues|
|Does not require waxing to work well||Warps and peels over time|
|Integrated non-slip padding|
|Spacious 41-inch design|
|Solid wooden design|
Our Top Pick
Rounding up the items we reviewed for the best skimboards, the most excellent option is BPS Gator Skimboard. It is the most practical and economical option for beginners and for those who are just wanting to try out the sport.
BPS combining the great use of materials to a unique shape makes the rider want something a bit more unique to try out in the water. Its EVA foam gives you that skimboarding grip you need that you never have to wax your skimboard.
BPS Gator skimboard is perfect for novices in training and experts who like to dominate bigger waves.
Buying Guide: How to Choose the Right Skimboard
The quality of your skimboarding experience lies on the skimboard you will use; therefore, it should be the best. It shouldn’t be just any board. It has the be the best skimboard.
But, just how do you know which is the best?
Here are a few considerations you may take note of for your next skimboard shopping.
Material and Construction
As with a lot of things, each board offers something special to how they are made and what they are constructed from. Most skimboards are made of wood and foam.
Foam core is lighter, enabling manufacturers to add some more body to make it thicker without compromising its weight. They are also flexible so you can use them on uneven surfaces as well as catching waves.
Woodies are thinner and tend to sink. This is why they are mostly used for flatland and inland.
With the rise of technology, fiberglass and carbon fiber are also available, but at a more expensive price tag.
Make sure to check the shape of the rocker. This part aids you the most in controlling the board, which is why opting the skimboard with the right shape is so important.
There is the common type – hybrid rocker, which adds together features from a constant and traditional rocker. This allows skimboarders to enjoy even when there are no big waves.
The constant rocker is the board with constant curves along its length. This helps in controlling bigger waves. The traditional rocker has a flat design but with a lift on the nose part.
Shape and Size
Wide and long skimboards are faster than narrow and short ones. Choose a skimboard that has the amount of area directly proportional to your height and weight. You wouldn’t want to put too much force on a skimboard small for you nor come short for the larger one.
The common core materials – wood and foam, absorb water over time. This is why you need to find a board that has an excellent wrap. More than a few types of materials are used for this, like E-glass, texilium, S-glass, and carbon. These materials vary in their resilience.
Tips to Get an A in Skimboarding
Before hopping onto that board, always remember to put your safety first. Make sure you have adequate grip, so you won’t slip and fall. Too much of this can lead to an unpleasant experience and disinterest in the sport.
But, if you follow the following tips, then you’ll surely be on your feet skimboarding like a pro.
Use Traction Pads
You need to stay on the board with stability and balance, thus traction pads are mostly integrated into these boards. But, if the skimboard you have doesn’t have one, then you can buy one that is specifically intended for your need and your expertise level.
Read the Waves
The difference between surfing and skimboarding is that surfing lets you ride the waves while skimboarding lets you ride the moving water in front of the wave. This is why you need to understand the waves and the moves they make as they ingress and egress the shores. When you learn how they move, you’ll know the kind of waves that you need to watch out for.
Be Cautious but Do Not Be Afraid to Fall
As the saying goes, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Allow yourself to fall. It is how you, as well as most professional riders, learn. Keep practicing and in no time, you will notice the reduction of falls you make.
Take Care of Your Ears
Constant exposure to fast-moving waves may cause damage to your ears and such are irreversible. Wear earplugs as a precaution. There are different types of earplugs available. Choose the right one to avoid any potential damage.
Pay Attention to Your Knees and Back
The falls you get from skimboarding impacts your knees and back in ways that can be harmful to them. Before and after skimboarding, just like most sporting activity, do not miss out on warming up and stretching them. This is to avoid injury as you hit on the waves. After all, a stronger and physically fitter body makes a better rider.
Now that you know the best skimboards, what to look out for when buying one, and how to safely ride them, then you’re ready to hit the waves. This watersport is one of the most exciting despite being quieter than surfing.
You don’t need the highest waves, you just need some fast-moving water, a nice stick, and strong legs that can run towards the incoming water.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Q: Should I be waxing my skimboard?
Most experienced skimboarders advise that it is best to wax your board in addition to the traction pads. I would agree especially for beginners. Be sure to wax only the areas of the board that you usually step on. Try out combinations and patterns in waxing the boards up. This may just teach you how to ride your boards better.
Q: What is the best skimboard shape?
The best way to find out is by understanding your physique. The board’s size and shape should be directly proportional to the amount of force your body can produce, considering the speed that the board can attain.
Q: How Do I Take Care of My Skimboard?
As with most items that are exposed to fresh or saltwater, they should be rinsed off thoroughly after each use. Wash off any debris such as sand, ideally with warm water, to dissolve any particles that may cause damage to your board. After rinsing, let it dry but not directly under the sun.