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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

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.

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