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Monday, October 27, 2008

Interview - Victoria Skimboards

Victoria Skimboards is one of the world’s premier skimboard companies. Inland skimboarding wanted to do an interview and find out a little more about the company and what is available to inland skimboarders. Trigg Garner, General Manager of Victoria Skimboards, was generous enough to help us out.

Inland Skimboarding: How did the name of the company originate?
Victoria Skimboards: Tex Haines’ family would vacation at a house on Victoria Beach which is where he began his skimboarding career. Through the years he went on to do many different things and eventually made it back to Laguna Beach and made skimboards for all of his friends. After a while, he and Peter Prietto started Victoria Skimboards in 1976 but the company got its name from the beach Tex basically grew up on.
Inland Skimboarding: Where is Victoria Skimboards located?
Victoria Skimboards: Victoria Skimboards has its offices/repair facility/retail outlet in Laguna Beach, California.
Inland Skimboarding: How have you seen the skimboard market change over the years you have been in business?
Victoria Skimboards: The board market has gone through many different changes over the years. A first there were wood core boards used for riding the shoreline and then as riders got more daring and moved into the water, the technology began to change. Wood core lead the way to foam core and vacuum bag technology which allowed people to get out farther in the water and do more technical maneuvers. The next advancement was the introduction of Carbon Fiberglass. Now boards were stiffer and lighter than ever. From there we have seen changes in resins, shape, foam, etc. all leading to the technical, highly advanced boards we have today.
Inland Skimboarding: How long have you been making skimboards?
Victoria Skimboards: Since before 1976
Inland Skimboarding: What is the difference between skimboards used for wave riding and skimboards for inland use?
Victoria Skimboards: It can be anything from the shape, to the core, to the materials, to all of the above. It depends on a rider and what they desire ultimately but as a standard, there is a certain “wave riding” shape/rocker that has proved itself over the years that is different from the shape/rocker used on inland boards.
Inland Skimboarding: A lot of inland skimboarders start off on boards that they have made themselves. What are the advantages of moving to a professionally manufactured board?
Victoria Skimboards: When you get a professionally manufactured board you are getting a board that has been through the R&D, made the mistakes that a “garage” shaper will make and fixed them, and refined the end result to be a better performing board all around. Of course there are exceptions but this tends to be the norm.
Inland Skimboarding: What makes a good inland skimboard?
Victoria Skimboards: It is a combination of board and rider. Then it really comes down to personal preference. Some people prefer light weight, others prefer a board that is heavier. Some like flex to their board, others like a stiff board. Either way, there really is no right or wrong, just what works best for the individual. But again, it is a combination of rider/board.
Inland Skimboarding: Tell us about your inland skimboards.
Victoria Skimboards: At this time we have two models; Grinder and Matrix. The Grinder is more of an entry level Flatland board. The wood core makes the board durable and the three stage rocker makes it perfect for the rails. The Matrix is a more advanced Flatland board geared for tricks.
Inland Skimboarding: Why should I buy a Victoria skimboard?
Victoria Skimboards: It boils down to experience and the work we put into our product. We have been building boards of all kinds for over 30 years. We have made the advances and the mistakes and learned from it all. We have experience built into each board. We also pride ourselves on the quality of our product and its ability to hold up over time. Tested by our team riders and under constant R&D, we work to make the boards the best performing boards around. From our product to our people we love skimboarding and it shows in our work.
Inland Skimboarding: What makes your inland skimboards unique?
Victoria Skimboards: There is so much cross over between manufactures product that it is sometimes hard to distinguish between boards unless you get down to price. With our boards, we take time to work on the rocker of the board more than other manufactures and I feel that this will help set our boards apart.
Inland Skimboarding: What kind of testing/quality control do your boards go through?
Victoria Skimboards: We have a few things that we do to test our boards. Anywhere from the R&D room to the outdoors, the boards are worked over again and again before hitting the market.
Inland Skimboarding: Rails have become an integral part of inland skimboarding. Boards take quite a bit of abuse as a result. Talk a little bit about the challenge that presents when designing and building inland skimboards.
Victoria Skimboards: Rails have created a whole new animal in this discipline of skimboarding. When someone buys a skateboard, they are not as concerned with hitting the rails and scratching their board and ultimately breaking their board because the deck only cost $30 - $40. With a skimboard, the materials and process to make that board able to handle the water, the rails, and time are much greater and more costly. So the questions for us then become; how do we make a board that can handle riding the rail, hitting the rail, grinding the rail, running over gravel like sand, cruising over rocks, etc.? If I told you the answers that would be giving away all of my secrets.
Inland Skimboarding: When you get feedback from inland riders, what positive things do you hear most often?
Victoria Skimboards: They are the coolest things ever! Here are some of the quotes we have had:
“ Hands down, the Matrix is the most advance, progression pushing board on the market. “
“The rocker of your boards is perfect and holds its shape over time whereas other manufactures rocker will change.”
“ The boards are wicked fast.”
“ The boards slide the rails for you.”
Inland Skimboarding: Where do you see the sport of skimboarding 10 years from now?
Victoria Skimboards: That is a really tough question to answer because after 30+ years in the business, Skimboarding is still not as big as skateboarding or surfing. Yes, Flatland has more potential for growth due to its accessibility but we must make sure to not limit ourselves. Take for instance, the Grinch or the Bungee systems. Many Flatland “purists” seem to downplay the part that this could play in the forward movement of the sport but look at Wakeskating and its development. I am not saying this “will be the future” but it will be part of the future and we all need to keep our minds open to angles that could help the sport grow and not stifle that growth.I would like to say X-Games, a professional global tour, big money and sponsors, and all of us “living la vida loca” but all of that will take a community coordinated effort. I just want us all to build the discipline and make sure that it is not an overnight fad. It will take work and Victoria Skimboards is ready to put in the effort to help move it forward.
Inland Skimboarding: Do you see anything new on the horizon technology wise that will improve the next generation of inland skimboards?
Victoria Skimboards: It seems that people are taking a heavy look at snowboard technology and plastics which could make some changes. There are things that we are working on but again, it cannot be shared at this time.
Inland Skimboarding: Inland skimboarders often get called names, talked down to, and shown little respect from some wave skimboarders. Inland skimboarders are often told what they are doing is not “real” skimboarding. What is your view of the inland skimboarding scene?
Victoria Skimboards: For me personally, I break Skimboarding the sport into three disciplines all with equal importance; Ocean, Flatland, and Wake. An Ocean rider has certain skills that make him/her good at what he/she does and the same stands for a Flatland rider. Flatland has really only recently made a strong push to be in the limelight and I have heard people say that “Flatland is not real.” My question to them is why do you say that? What are your reasons? Normally I do not get an answer so I must speculate that they are saying this because to them the discipline is “new” (actually not new) and they do not understand it. They do not understand the lifestyle, the skill, the dedication, etc. that goes into it. People are so brainwashed into a certain discipline that they are not willing to open themselves to the other disciplines; ignorance in full effect.
Inland Skimboarding: As a board manufacturer, is there anything you can do, or are doing, to increase the respect for inland skimboarding?
Victoria Skimboards: It really is not about us and what we can do as we are doing a part (advertising, building boards, sponsoring riders, pushing the knowledge base) but it is about getting the industry collectively together and working toward a common goal. It may sound “cheesy” but it is the truth. Without “unity” we will only take small steps forward instead of larger leaps.
Inland Skimboarding: What inland skimboarding events have you been involved with? Tell us about your experiences at those events.
Victoria Skimboards: Since beginning in the 1990’s we have been involved in the Sacramento contest. During that time we have seen quite a bit of change in the riding styles and the “playground” that has been the stage for the event. The rails have gotten more impressive and to be honest, the level of courage to ride some of the rails is what is most astounding. Amazing is a word that sums it up nicely.
Inland Skimboarding: Do you have any sponsored inland skimboarders? What does it take for an inland skimboarder to get sponsored by Victoria?
Victoria Skimboards: we have four sponsored riders at this time but are always keeping our eyes and ears open. Without having an established contest circuit with recorded results to build a resume, the best thing to do is to send us a “Sponsor Me” packet. In that packet would be (but not limited to):
1) All contact information so we can reach you
2) A professional presentation
a. If you can present yourself well that is a start
3) Information on your local spots and where you ride the most
4) Contest results (if you have them)
5) The number of years you have been riding and why you are interested in the sport
6) Video, video, video footage
a. The footage needs to not all be from one day and one session – spread the wealth
b. Progression
The idea to the above is – what sets you apart from the other riders? This should be told on paper, in photo, and in video.

Inland skimboarding would like to thank Victoria Skimboards for an awesome interview. To find out more about Victoria Skimboards, visit their website at

Friday, October 24, 2008

Skimboard Rail Building: Box Rail

This particular method is the way to make the most sturdy skimboard rails. It will also allow you to make many different shapes of rails. The draw backs are that the rails are not as portable or adjustable as other methods.

The main idea is that you cut out the sides of the rail in the shape you want from plywood. You then use 2x4’s to connect the sides together and support the skimboard rail. Cut out a rectangle that is the width of your rail and the length of the top. If the top of the rail is curved, use a piece of string to measure the curved length. Attach the rectangle to the top of the rail. If the top of the skimboard rail is curved, soaking the top rectangle piece of plywood in water for several hours will help it bend easier. If the curves are dramatic, use a thinner piece of plywood for the top (3/8” or 1/4" thick) for easier bending. Now attach the pvc. For help on attaching the pvc, see this post skimboard rails.

The following 8’ x 1’ x 1’ ollie on box rail can be built from
1 – 4’x 8’x 1/2” piece of plywood ($12.33 each at Home Depot)
2 – 2”x 4”x 8’ studs ($1.68 each at Home Depot)
3 – 10’x 1/2” pvc pipes ($1.43 each at Home Depot)

Total Cost = $19.98 (You will still need to purchase some screws to get it all put together)

You can build your skimboard rail any size you want, this is just an example. The main idea is that you will see the construction method and be able to apply it to any size or shaped rail you want. Now grab your skimboard and get out there.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Skimboard Training - Flexibility

Part of your skimboarding training should focus on flexibility. Flexibility is a joint's ability to move through a full range of motion. Increased flexibility means that movement will be easier, require less energy, and ultimately more efficient. As your flexibility increases, the likelihood of pulled or strained muscles decreases. Fewer injuries means more time on the water. More time on the water means more practice. More practice means…well, you get the picture.

Most of us know many stretching exercises. The problem is we rarely use them. Here are some of the more common stretching exercise and the part of the body that they focus on.

Lie down on the ground. Slightly lift one leg off the ground. Rotate your foot, first 10 times clockwise, then 10 times counter-clockwise. Repeat with the other foot.
Lie down on the ground. Slightly lift one leg off the ground. Trace out the letters of the alphabet in the air with the big toe on your foot. Repeat with the other foot.

Lower your head towards your chest. Extend your neck fully until you’re looking straight down at your toes. Rotate your head making wide circles. First rotate it 10 times in one direction, then the other.

Stand relaxed with your hands at your sides. Slowly roll your shoulders forward, then down, then back, then up, in one circular motion. Repeat 10 times in one direction then 10 times reversing the direction.

Stand relaxed with your hands on your waist. Twist your torso to the right. Make sure to follow with your head. Keep your lower body, from the hips down, facing forward. Now twist to the left. Repeat 10 times in both directions.

Stand relaxed with your hands on your waist. Rotate your hips in a circle. Make the circle as big as you can. Don’t bend your knees and keep your feet firmly planted on the ground.

Sit on the ground with your legs extended straight out in front of you. Slowly lean forward over you legs and reach for your feet. Do not curl or hunch your back. Keep it straight and fully extended.

Stand relaxed with your hands at your sides. Bend your knee and bring your foot up behind you. Hold it your foot with your hand for 10 seconds. Repeat with the other leg.

Lean against a wall. Step back with the right leg. Keep your knee straight and your heel on the ground. Now push your hips forward until you feel the stretching in your calf. Stretch for 10 seconds. Keep the same position, but now bend your knee. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat with the other leg.

Sit on the ground. Bend your knees and put the soles of your feet together. Pull them in as close to your groin as you can. While holding your feet together with your hands, push out on your knees with your elbows. Hold for 10 seconds.

Lie on your stomach and put your hands under you as if you are going to do a pushup. Now raise your head and shoulders and push up with your arms keeping your hips on the ground. Try to extend your head and shoulders as high as you can but keep your waist on the floor. Hold for 10 seconds.

Get on your hands and knees. Push your back up towards the ceiling, like a cat arching its back. Continue arching until you feel the stretch in your back. Hold for 10 seconds.

The yoga sun salutation exercise is one that works on flexibility in many different parts of the body.

STEP 1: Stand relaxed with your hands at your sides. Now bring your palms together in prayer position. Exhale.

STEP 2: As you inhale, raise your arms overhead, keeping your palms together.

STEP 3: Exhale and then bend forward until your hands touch your feet.

STEP 4: As you inhale, step the right leg back, arch your back and lift your chin.

STEP 5: Exhaling, step the left leg back. Keep your spine and legs in a straight line and support your weight on hands and feet.

STEP 6: Retaining the breath, lower your knees, your chest and then your forehead, keeping your hips up and toes curled under.

STEP 7: Inhaling, stretch forward and bend back. Keep your arms straight.

STEP 8: Exhaling, curl your toes under, press down into your heels, and lift your hips.

STEP 9: As you inhale, move your left leg back, with the top of the foot stretched out flat on the floor, and lift your chin.

STEP 10: Exhale and then bend forward until your hands touch your feet.

STEP 11: Inhaling, stretch your arms forward and over your head. Slowly bend backward from the waist.

STEP 12: Exhaling, gently come back to the standing relaxed position with your arms at your sides.

The following video clip is a modified sun salutation.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Skimboarding Training - Power

Part of your skimboarding training should focus on power. Power is not just strength. It is a combination of speed and strength. Power = (Force x Distance)/Time. Power training is not just strength training. Strength training focuses on just the force part of the equation. To maximize power, the force needs to be applied in a shorter amount of time. This is the focus of power training, to reduce the amount of time it takes to apply a set amount of force. Power is essential for the most important trick of the inland skimboarder. The ollie. The three most important components of the ollie are, speed, jump height, and how well you pop the back of the board. More power means you will be able to run faster, jump higher, and pop better.

Ollie Pops
This exercise is specifically designed for skimboarders and focuses on the specific muscle groups used when ollieing. With your feet about shoulder width to slightly wider, squat down. Turn your head towards which ever leg would be your front leg if you were on a skimboard. Explode upwards, with your front leg coming off the ground first and most of your force being generated by your back leg. Once your back foot is off the ground, pull both legs up towards your chest. Do three sets of ten with one-minute breaks between sets.

Knee Jump
This is a powerful bodyweight exercise that you can do to develop explosive hamstrings. Kneel on the floor and sit back on your calves. Now jump to your feet. Just explode and move fast. To generate some momentum sling your arms back and then forward rapidly as you jump to your feet. Get back to the kneeling position gently and repeat. Do three sets of five with one-minute breaks between sets.

One Foot Box Jumps
Start on one side of the box with one leg off the ground, then squat down and jump over the box landing on the same foot. Do three sets of ten with one-minute breaks between sets.

Double Stair Jumps
Start by standing in front of a set of stairs in a squat position. Jump with two feet bringing your knees to your chest while jumping to the stairs in front of you. Do three sets of ten with one-minute breaks between sets.

Sprint uphill
Find a fairly steep hill. Sprint to the top as fast as you can. Walk back to the bottom and repeat 10 times.

Stair run
Sprint to the top of the stairs as fast as you can skipping every other stair. Run back down the stairs hitting every stair. When coming down the stairs focus on foot speed. Repeat 10 times.

To begin a lunge stand upright with or without weights in your hands. Now take a step forward. Bend your front knee until your thigh is parallel with the ground. Do not let your front knee go past the tip of your toe as this can be harmful to your knee joint. Once at the bottom of the lunge, step back to the standing position. Repeat with the other leg. Do three sets of ten with one-minute breaks between sets.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Skimboard Training - Cardiovascular Endurance

Cardiovascular endurance is the ability to exercise continuously for extended periods of time without tiring. It is an important component of skimboarding. Cardiovascular Endurance deals with how well you are able to get oxygen to working muscles. Working muscles use oxygen to burn carbohydrates and other fuels to produce energy. A high cardiovascular fitness level will help your skim sessions last longer. Longer sessions means more runs, more tricks thrown, and ultimately more tricks landed. The more practice you get on your board, the better you’re going to get, but you can’t practice if you can’t breath.

Here are some exercises you can do to increase your cardiovascular endurance.

Your goal is to work up to a ½ hour. If you are not there yet, jog for as long as you can. Every 5 minutes run as hard as you can for 30 seconds, then decelerate back to your jogging pace. If you are jogging for a ½ hour you should end up sprinting 6 times (at 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, and so on).

Your goal is to work up to a ½ hour. If you are not there yet, ride for as long as you can. Every 5 minutes pedal as fast as you can for 30 seconds, then decelerate back to your normal pace. If you are bicycling for a ½ hour you should end up sprinting 6 times (at 5 minutes, 10 minutest, 15 minutes, and so on).

Your goal is the following workout
Swim 600 yards, rest for 10 breaths.
Swim 300 yards, rest for 8 breaths.
Swim 100 yards, rest for 6 breaths,
then repeat 3 more times (for a total of 4x100)
Swim 50 yards, rest for 4 breaths,
then repeat 3 more times (for a total of 4x50)

The following program will help you work up to the goal workout if you are not there yet.

Week 1 (Three days a week)
Swim 100 yards, rest for 12 breaths,
then repeat 1 more time (for a total of 2x100)
Swim 50 yards, rest for 8 breaths,
then repeat 1 more time (for a total of 2x50)
Swim 25 yards, rest for 4 breaths,
then repeat 1 more time (for a total of 2x25)

Week 2 (Three days a week)
Swim 100 yards, rest for 12 breaths,
then repeat 3 more times (for a total of 4x100)
Swim 50 yards, rest for 8 breaths,
then repeat 3 more times (for a total of 4x50)
Swim 25 yards, rest for 4 breaths,
then repeat 3 more times (for a total of 4x25)

Week 3 (Three days a week)
Swim 200 yards, rest for 12 breaths.
Swim 100 yards, rest for 10 breaths,
then repeat 3 more times (for a total of 4x100)
Swim 50 yards, rest for 6 breaths,
then repeat 3 more times (for a total of 4x50)
Swim 25 yards, rest for 4 breaths,
then repeat 3 more times (for a total of 4x25)

Week 4 (Three days a week)
Swim 400 yards, rest for 12 breaths.
Swim 100 yards, rest for 8 breaths,
then repeat 3 more times (for a total of 4x100)
Swim 50 yards, rest for 4 breaths,
then repeat 5 more times (for a total of 6x50)
Swim 25 yards, rest for 4 breaths,
then repeat 5 more times (for a total of 6x25)

Week 5 - Goal Workout (three days a week)
Swim 600 yards, rest for 10 breaths.
Swim 300 yards, rest for 8 breaths.
Swim 100 yards, rest for 6 breaths,
then repeat 3 more times (for a total of 4x100)
Swim 50 yards, rest for 4 breaths,
then repeat 3 more times (for a total of 4x50)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Skimboard Training - Speed Endurance

Speed endurance will help you to maintain a higher intensity, for longer periods of time. Any athlete that is required to repeat high intensity sprints in quick succession, with minimal rest periods in between, can benefit from this type of training. This is exactly what happens in skimboarding. A high intensity sprint repeated over and over again. It is important that you can maintain your speed throughout your skim session. Without it your rides will not be as long, your ollies won’t be as high, and you will not get the kind of pop that is required for many tricks.

Here are several exercises designed to help increase your speed endurance.

High Intensity Shuttle Run
Mark out 30 yards on grass or a running track. Place a cone at the start and at 5 yard intervals (7 cones in total). Sprint from the starting cone to 5 yard cone and back. Without sopping, turn and sprint to 10 meter cone and back to start. Sprint to 15meter cone and back to start and so on until you sprint the full 30 meters and back.
Rest for 90 seconds and repeat. Complete a total of 6 sets keeping rest periods to 90 seconds.

Pace out 50 yards placing a cone at the start and then at 10 yards intervals (6 cones in total). Starting at the first cone sprint all out for 10 yards and walk the remaining 40 yards. Turn and sprint 20 yards and walk for 30 yards. Turn and sprint 30 yards and walk for 20 yards. Turn and sprint 40 yards and walk for 10 yards. Finally...turn and sprint 50 yards and then turn and sprint 50 yards again back to the start. This is classed as one set. Rest for 90 seconds and repeat for a total of 4 sets.
Rest for a full 3 minutes and do another 4 sets.

Mark out a distance of 100 yards. From the start gradually accelerate to reach full speed at about 60 yards. Sprint all out for the final 40 yards. Slow down gradually, turn and repeat. Continue for 2 minutes and then rest for 2 minutes.
This is one set. Repeat for a total of 6 sets.

Hollow sprint
Mark out approximately 30 yard intervals. Sprint 30 yards, jog 30 yards, sprint 30 yards and jog 30 yards. Continue alternating jogging and sprinting for 2 minutes, then rest for 2 minutes.
This is one set. Try to complete a total of 6 sets.

Virgin River water levels

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

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