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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Skimboarding Documentary

Here is a little skimboarding documentary inspired by Steve Irwin the crocodile hunter.

Skimboarding Video #3

Here is some footage from the Virgin River Classic several years ago.

Skimboarding Video #2

Here is some footage from the Virgin River Classic several years ago.

Skimboarding Video #1

Here is some footage from the Virgin River Classic several years ago.

Skimboarding Rail Guide

This post won't address so much the different types of rails (your creativity is the best thing there) but just some tips for building rails. Often we've just used really big PVC pipes.

But the best rails are framed out of wood, with smaller PVC pipes attached to slide on. The rails can be anything from just a 2x6 to boxes framed with plywood and 2x4s.

The question people ask most often is how to attach the PVC to the wood. First drill a pilot hole (a hole a bit smaller than the diameter of the screw) all the way through the pvc and into the wood. Then on the top side of the PVC drill out the hole with a larger drill bit so that it is just bigger than the head of the screws that you will be using.

This way, the screw will fit down inside the PVC pipe and hold it on by just the bottom part that is next to the wood.

By attaching the PVC to the board in this manner, the screw won't scratch the bottom of your board.That's pretty much it.

Here are a few more things to remember…
*You can use just about any size pvc pipe. White or grey works well.
*Use skateboard wax or candle wax on the rails to help your board slide better on them.
*Build your rail sturdy. Safety first.
*Use screws, not nails!
*Try to round off corners and sand edges. PVC can be sharp, don’t believe me ask my buddy!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Skimboarding Tips

Here are some tips if your new to the sport of skimboarding

> Holding the board and running with it can be awkward for some. First decide how you feel comfortable standing on the board. If you feel best with your right foot forward then hold the board on your left side. If you feel best with your left foot forward hold the board on your right side. Put the hand closest to you somewhere toward the middle of the board on the edge, and the hand farthest from you toward the back on the edge. Try a few different hand positions to see where the most comfortable position for you is.

> Make sure you wax the top of your board with surfboard wax. This will keep your feet from slipping.

> When you jump on the board keep your knees bent and try to stay light on your feet.

> When you get on your board make sure you don't jump high and then come down on your board. This will push it down into the sand. Try to keep your momentum going forward. Some poeple also try to get on the side of the board and then jump on. This pushes the board sideways. If you get on by coming over the back of the board then you keep all the momentum going forward.

> For long rides keep your board flat on the water. Leaning on the rails (sides) wastes a lot of speed.

> Here are a few tips to keep you safe and injury free.
- Keep control of your board. A common injury is banged up toes, feet and ankles from someone else's board. It really stinks when your standing there minding you own business and someone's board comes flying out of nowhere and smacks your ankle. Which bring me to my next tip.
- Always be alert. Watch out for other skimmers and their boards.
- Take Turns. Be courteous and respectful. If your skimming with other people form a line, take turns. Don't everybody go at the same time in all different directions. This sounds dumb (and it is) but I've seen it happen a lot, especially with inexperienced skimmers. This is when people start crashing into each other; boards are banging into other boards (which damages the boards), boards are banging into people (which damages the people), and people are banging into other people.

- Learn slowly. Don't run faster than you are prepared to fall.
When you fall, just let it happen, slide or roll if you can. It's when people try to catch themselves that they usually end up pulling muscles, twisting things or breaking stuff
- Check the water for rocks, sticks, and other things that could injure you or your board.

What is a Skimboard?

A skimboard is similar to a surfboard but is shorter, thinner, and slightly wider. Skimboards also do not have fins on the bottom like surfboards do. Skimboards come in different sizes. Most skimboard manufacturers give weight recommendations for the different sizes of their boards. But generally speaking, boards are usually about mid-chest height. Most skimboards have some curve in them. This is called rocker. It is important so that the nose of the board doesn’t end up under the water.

There are two main types of skimboards, foam boards and wood boards. Foam boards are better for skimboarding out into the water and riding the wave back in. They usually have a high density foam core with several layers of fiberglass covering it. Foam boards are usually between 5/8 to 3/4 of an inch thick. Foam boards usually have a bit more rocker than wood boards, usually somewhere between 2 to 3 inches. This aids in the transition from the film of water on the sand to the deeper water needed to cover to get to the waves. Because of their foam core, they are quite a bit lighter and more buoyant than wood boards. They are also usually more expensive than wood boards.

Wood board are rarely used for wave skimboarding because of their weight. They are used almost exclusively for flatland skimboarding. Wood skimboards are usually made from 3/8 or 1/2 inch plywood. Many wood boards are reinforced with a layer of fiberglass. There are several variations in shape when it comes to wood boards. Generally, the wider the board, the farther it will carry on the water. Narrower boards don’t carry as well, but are usually faster in the water. Weight is also a consideration when it comes to wood boards. Heavier boards tend to be faster and carry farther in the water. One disadvantage of a heavier board is ollieing. Ollieing is when you jump into the air with the board. Often flatland skimboarders will ollie over obstacle or onto rails. A heavier board is often harder to get out of the water. Wood boards generally have less rocker than foam boards. That is because very little rocker is needed for flatland riding. The more rocker a board has, the slower it will be in the water.
If you are interested in making a skimboard, check out the how to make a skimboard beginner's guide or the advanced how to make a skimboard video.

What is Skimboarding?

Skimboarding is a sport similar to surfing which takes place "on the sand" or near the shore. This site is mainly focused on skimboarding on the sand. Really you don't skim on the sand, the board slides on a thin film of water covering the sand. If you live near an ocean then you can do this on the beach as the waves come in. If you don't live near a beach you can still skim. Try rivers, streams, flooded fields, large puddles, tarps, etc. Anyplace you can find a thin film of water. How thin does it need to be? The laws of physics say that the thinner the film of water, the farther you will go. But if it's too thin the board will stick to the sand and then you'll be introduced to two more laws of physics; Inertia and gravity.
First you need to find a place with a thin film of water. Once you found some water to skim on, hold the board and start running. At first you might want to go slow, don't go faster than you are prepared to fall. Once you've reached the speed your comfortable with, throw the board down in front of you. While the board is sliding on the water, keep running and either jump or "run" onto the board. Make sure you keep your knees bent and try to keep your center of gravity over the middle of the board. Try to land with your back foot near the back of the board and your front foot about halfway up the board. Now your on the board, just don't fall off and your skimming.

Virgin River water levels

Virgin River water levels
Check out how high the river is before you go.

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Questions, Comments, etc.