Skimboards are one of the most amazing leisure and sports gear I have ever tried. I am not a professional but a passionate skimboarder. The delicate feeling of balance combined with the freedom to play with the momentum on the water is priceless. However, not all skimboards can guarantee a safe and exhilarating experience .
You need to find the best skimboard to help you gain balance (depending on your skill level) and control over the board and your movements easily. This is the reason you need to learn more about skimboards before get one so you can recognize a durable, quality model that is fun to play with.
Here we will introduce you to the magical world of the top-of-the-line skimboards made by reputable brands in today's market. We found them after a lengthy testing process and we believe our carefully chosen skimboards will surely be enough to make the right choice for you!
How Did We Pick these Products?
We went through a series of web research, feature analysis, field-testing and reassessment process so we could give you the most authentic list of products.
First, we did a 30-hour of extensive web research in a bid to track down the 25 highest rated skimboards with a maximum number of positive customer reviews. Then we wanted to closely examine each of the selected units in a real-life environment.
So, our team members and a group of community-based volunteers handpicked each of the listed items and took them out on the Wedge beach (yeah you heard it right!). There, our pro surfers tested the items on both wet sand and water to test their individual performance. We also took the boards in our lab to check the build materials we arranged indoor testings. We ran a series of durability tests. That led us to narrow down our list to the top 10.
Then we reached out to other industry experts and renowned marine design engineers for having their insights into our listed products. They guided us in ranking the final 10 products based on their special features. Thus we finalized our list of top-of-the-line skimboards of the market.
Our Top 10 Product List
So, what is the best skimboard? Well, in the following section the answer will unfold. Go through each review carefully, that will help you find the one you need according to your preferences.
Other Notable Brands & Popular Models
As we were carrying out our research, we came across many renowned brands and their popular models. We sifted through hundreds of them-- from vintage to modern-- and analyzed their features. Although not all of them made it to our list because we had to squeeze it down to only 10, we found some companies and their popular lineups really commendable. If you are up for further market research, you may take note of the following names: Australian brand Redback Surfware, ZAP (popular lineup- Wedge), Exile (popular for their custom designs and EX1 lineup), Michael Searle, Slotstik, Morey, Liquid Shredder, Body Glove, Natural, Circle One, Osprey, Reflex, Maui and Sons, Nobile (popular for their Kite boards), Tribal Surf, Banzai, BZ, The Ghost Ltd. (popular lineup- Hammerhead), Nemo, Wahu, California Board Company, Triple X, Local Motion, Wet Products (popular lineup- Wet Pro), Shortbus, Coop, Shark Skimz, Dogflut, Santa Cruz, Two Bare Feet Boarding Co., WZ, Bulldog, Crazyfly, Cira, East Coast, Grape, Massive Apparel, Apex, Meyer, Rebel Sport, Brunotti, Saltrock, Wavestorm, J-Gordon, BPS, and Victoria (popular lineup- Foamie and Woody).
Skimboard is a special type of surfboard, designed without fins especially for shallow water riding. You don’t need large waves to enjoy this type of mini surfing. You can even slide on wet sand and get the full pleasure of surfing. You wouldn't need to waste your precious time waiting for big waves. All you need is regular waves that break on the shore. It requires achieving balance and good coordination of one’s moves on the water surface.
Logically, you will need to have a quality skimboard to achieve that. This is why you should learn more about how to choose the right model for your individual needs.
How to Choose the Perfect Skimboard Size for You?
The size of the skimboard plays a major role in this sport. A well-made skimboard can fail you if its dimensions don’t suit your physical properties. So, it's better to choose your model as per the skimboards size chart.
The relation between the size of the board and weight of the user is determined by experts and it looks like this:
Small models (measuring 45 inches or less) should be used by users who weigh between 80 and 140 lbs.
Medium size models (45-47 inches) should be used by those who weigh between 80 and 140 lbs.
Medium-Large models (measuring between 47 and 49 inches) should be used by those who weigh from 140 to 180 lbs.
Large models (49-51 inches) are suitable for those who weigh between 160 and 200 lbs.
Finally, extra-large models that are measured more than 51 inches are the ideal choices for those who weigh between 180 and 220 lbs.
Make sure you don't apply homemade workarounds on your oversized board, instead, get a shorter one, should be wiser that way.
Skimboards: A Comprehensive Buying Guide
First, let's learn about the types of these boards. Although they differ a little, these subtle differences can cause a big impact when gliding across the water surface. Make sure you know these differences before getting one.
There are two main types of skimboarding. The wave riding and inland riding.
Wave riding is practiced on an ocean or sea, and it requires boards that are designed for waves.
Inland riding is practiced on continental sea bodies, such as rivers and lakes. These still waters require different types, shapes, and constructions of boards as well.
- Core Materials - There are three basic core materials – foam, wood, and fiberglass. Let’s meet each of them.
- Foam – These boards are the lightest ones on the market. They can stay on the water surface for a long time. They are also flexible and have soft tops.
- Wood – These boards are heavier but thinner. They have a higher weight limit. They can be used inland and on the coast. However, you can stay on the water surface for a shorter period of time.
- Fiberglass – These boards cost significantly less than those made from wood and foam. They usually don’t have lots of features, but reinforcements with other materials, such as carbon, can enhance their performance.
- Wrap Materials -- Wrap materials include E-glass, s-glass and Texilium, and carbon. Each of these materials has its pros and cons.
E-glass is the most common wrap material for skimboards. It is the poorest choice though. It does not provide anti-wear and anti-tear protection. On the other hand, it does improve the board flexibility.
S-glass and Textilium are good for increased speed and strength. Boards with these materials are in the mid-price category. These models are somewhat stiffer.
Carbon is reserved for pricey and quality models. It adds stiffness, but also provides excellent rock-damage protection.
03. Size & Shape
In general, Finger Skimboards are no longer than 5-6 inches, if you are really into that kind of thing!
Jokes apart, size is an important factor that heavily affects your performance and stability when surfing. Usually, beginners choose larger models that provide lots of foot area. This results in a better sense of balance.
More experienced users opt for smaller models that allow making blunt angles and leaps. We can summarize the size factor in the following way. Smaller boards are better for fast turnings and are preferred by experienced users, while larger models are better for beginners as they provide more foot space.
You must look up the size chart before you get started in this sport. This would help you pick the right size for optimum performance.
In terms of shape, these products vary a lot. Other than rare round shaped ones, common boards have pointed or blunt head and straight or fishtail tail designs. Unlike the boogie boards, a skimboard's top end is usually narrow.
Weight is another important factor since you'll need to carry the board around and to run with it. In addition, too heavy models will limit your performance.
On the other hand, it has to be heavy enough to supper your weight. In general, wooden models are heavier and have a higher weight limit, while other materials are lightweight, but have a lower weight limit. You should look for a model which is neither too light nor too heavy. However, if you add a handle to your board, there are models you can find in local stores that support that, it will add to the total weight.
Let’s first define what the rocker (also known as Nose Lift) is. It is the curvature at the head of a skimboard. The relation between the rocker and the skim board performance is tight. Simply put, if the rocker is bigger, the board will curve upward. Fewer curve results in faster skimming on calm water.
The summary of the rocker types looks like this. Shallow rockers are good for easy movements, suitable for calmer water, and are faster. Steep rockers are good for choppy water and result in slower movement. Pintail rocker is ideal for a good balance, while the square/W-tail rocker is extra flexible and hence a great option for skimming stunts.
Speed is important in this sport. You have to catch the waves. In other words, you must be faster than them. Therefore, you should pick a fast board. At the same time, stability and balance should not be compromised. The materials and shape heavily affect speed. Apart from that, nowadays, people are using kites with almost every kind of board for gaining consistent speed and stability. Many also are seen to be using banshee bungee for a speedy start. We also found some motorized units but that goes against the true essence of the sport, so we will not include them in our discussions.
As you can assume, skimboards are usually slippery. This is why different types of traction aid solutions are a plus. You can also buy them separately, but it is a great advantage if your manufacturer adds it to the product.
Durability is assured by a number of factors, including the construction (multiple layer boards are usually chosen by the riders), build materials, material grade, surface finish, and the protective layers.
Flexibility is important for maneuvering and tricks that are your own riding style signature. Shape and materials heavily affect the board's flexibility.
10. Wave Size
Wave size is an important factor you must take into consideration when deciding on the size. The wave size is different in different areas and we don’t know where you will be using your board, but remember to pay attention to this factor before making your purchase.
Also, wood is better for shallow water, while the foam is good for large waves.
11. Value for the Money
Top-of-the-line brands generally offer products that are of good value for the money. On the other hand, a cheap model can sometimes also surprise you with its qualities. You can find some good features in them that are usually found only in more expensive models. When you read our top 10 product reviews, you will learn more about such products.
Skimboard Riding Tips
Here are some tips on using a skimboard:
- Start by pushing the board into the water and immediately run to catch it.
- Jump on the board with one foot and bend your knees.
- You must find the optimal balance spot – step on the board firmly in a way that provides a sense of security.
- Take advantage of your dominant body side and practice on that side.
- Wax your board and use the traction pads, especially if you are a beginner.
- Don’t be afraid of falling, as falls are the essential parts of this sport.
You can read this detailed article on skimboarding tips and tricks for the beginners, mid-level and advanced skimmers for more practical knowledge.
Care & Maintenance of Your Skimboard
You should take care of your skimboard and properly maintain it in order to keep it in good condition. Here are some tips you should stick to.
- Protect it from the sun, as “baking” your skimboard will definitely damage the polish, as well as the inner structure, making it brittle and fragile. This will significantly shorten its lifetime.
- Repair the dings, as cracks will widen with time and eventually lead to complete board breakage.
- Pack it if you plan to travel with it, as dropping it or hitting the edges can cause serious damage.
We hope you learned new things from this buying guide. We have discussed the criteria important for choosing the right model and tried to give you a detailed, analytical, and comprehensive guide in a bid to choose the right boards. And most importantly, we've selected 10 of the world's best skimboards out there for you, so you no longer have to depend on Joogsquad or Brad Domke reviews!
First of all, the Atom has the most reliable skimboards according to the professional reviews, user-based comments, as well as our testing. They met all the criteria of a good board as per our understanding.
Secondly, we chose the Lucky Bums Wood Skimboard is a great value for the money. It has advanced features and quality materials expected from more expensive models.
Finally, we can say that you should focus on your needs and preferences when choosing your model as there are many different types. Happy shopping!