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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Skimboarding Glossery: A list of skimboarding terms

The other day I was talking to some "non-skim" friends about skimboarding. A few minutes into the conversation I realized by the blank stares on their faces that they had no idea what I was talking about. I realized that we skimboarders do kind of have our own lingo. Sometimes, the language of skimboarders can be pretty confusing to those who don't skim. Here's a little something to refer to when you would like to understand what your son, nephew, friend, boyfriend, etc. is talking about when he says “I’m so stoked! I just had an epic session with the crew stomping steezy 3 shuvs and sex changes. I killed it today!”

This glossary of skimboarding terms is for all of the parents, friends, girlfriends, and relatives who just don't happen to speak the skimboarding language.

• 180 / 360 etc. - The spin of a skimboarders board during a maneuver in degrees. eg 360 degree shuvit.
• 360 Shuvit - Jumping in the air and making the board spin 360 degrees underneath you.
• 3-shuv - 360 shuvit
• 540 Shuvit - Jumping in the air and making the board spin 540 degrees underneath you.
• 5-shuv - 540 shuvit
• 50/50 - When the board is parallel to the rail it is sliding on.
• Air - To "get air" is to do a jump or otherwise get the skimboard into the air.
• Backside - A trick done backside means that after the first 90 degrees of the rotation the skimboarder is facing backwards.
• Bail - To crash, also known as wipe-out, biff, bite it, eat it. Also to give up on a trick halfway through and jump off the board.
• Big Spin - Mixing a 360 shuvit with a 180 varial.
• Board - Short for skimboard
• Boardslide - When the board is perpendicular to the rail it is sliding on.
• Body Varial - If you jump into the air and spin without spinning the board you can perform a Body Varial. You will know you have performed this right if you land with your back forward.
• Butter - Something done smooth. Also a rail spin trick.
• Deck - The top of the skimboard
• Dialed – A trick that is easy to land. Eg “I’ve got those 360 shuvits dialed in.”
• Ding - As a verb, to damage a board as a result of impacting some object. As a noun, the damage caused to the board from impacting an object.
• Dude - Can mean pretty much anything depending on the tone and inflection.
• Edit – A short skimboarding video of footage edited together often set to music.
• Epic - Often used to describe extremely good skim conditions. Also used as a description of an awesome skimboarding session.
• Fakie Stance - Foot position where the rider’s feet are oriented normally as if the board were traveling forwards, but the board is traveling backwards.
• Flatland Skimboarding - Skimboarding not involving waves.
• Foamie - A skimboard that has a foam core.
• Footy – Video footage.
• Frontside – A trick done frontside means that after the first 90 degrees of the rotation, the skimboarder is facing forward.
• Goofy Stance - Foot position where the right foot is in front of the left
• Grab - To grab the board with one or both hands.
• Grind - To slide the board on a non-water surface.
• Grom - A young skimboarder
• Hippy Jump - The rider rides up to an object that is above the water and jumps over it while the board goes under it.
• Inland skimboarding - Flatland skimboarding not done on the coast.
• Jib - As a verb: to make contact with the board on a non-water surface (rail, wood, tire, box etc...). As a noun, the non-water surface that the board makes contact with.
• Kick Out - To kick the board out at the end of ones run get a little speed and jump back on the board for another ride without ever having to pick up the board.
• Kill – To perform great. eg. “He really killed it today at the competition!”
• No Compleezy - Back foot no-comply
• No comply – Planting your front foot on the ground and performing some trick with the board (ollie, shuvit, etc) before putting it back on the board and riding out.
• Nollie Stance - Foot position where a rider slides up on the board from their normal riding position to where the foot that was in the middle of the board is now on the front and the foot that was on the back of the board is now in the middle.
• Nose - The front of the skimboard
• Ollie - A basic jump into the air with the board.
• One footer – To throw or land a trick with one foot.
• Pooched - A screw up, missed trick, etc.
• Pop - The act of getting the board out of the water.
• Pop Shuvit - By mixing an ollie and a shuvit you can spin the board in the air.
• Potato Chip - Cheap wooden skimboard. They usually have a tendency to warp funny and do not last long.
• Rail - Edge of a skimboard. Also the general term for something other than the water that the skimboarder slides his board on.
• Regular Stance - Foot position where the left foot is in front of the right foot.
• Rocker - The curve across the long way or length of the skimboard.
• Sesh - Short for session. A period of time that a skimboarder goes out and skims.
• Seshing - Verb form of the term sesh. e.g. "We had a crew of about a dozen seshing down at the river today." Skimboarding could be substituted for the word seshing
• Session - A period of time that a skimboarder goes out and skims.
• Sex Change - By combining a shuvit and a body varial you can perform a Sex Change. You will know you have done this right if you land with your back foot forward and the back of your board facing forward.
• Shuv - short for shuvit
• Shuvit – Also shuv-it. By jumping in the air and sweeping the back foot you can make the board spin 180 degrees underneath you.
• Sick - A term used to describe when someone does something impressive. e.g. "that was a sick pop shuvit"
• Sketchy - Something that looks possibly dangerous or a sloppy landing
• Skim – Another word for skimboarding.
• Skimming - Another word for skimboarding.
• Snake - To cut in front of someone else while skimming.
• Steez - To do something with style or make it look easy.
• Stock - A trick that is easy or someone has locked down.
• Stoked - Excited.
• Stomp – To land a trick.
• Swivel (180) - not a fluid butter trick (spinning a 180 butter in the middle of a rail quick)
• Taco Rocker - The curve across the short way or width of the skimboard.
• Tail - The back of the skimboard.
• Traction Pad - Cushioned pad put on the top of a skimboard to add traction. Also called a stomp pad or deck grip.
• Wax - Applied to the top of the board to provide grip or traction so that the skimboarder’s feet do not slip.
• Woodie - A skimboard that has a wood core.
• Worked - To "get worked" is to wipe out usually in a spectacular manner. eg. "Wo, dude, he totally got worked by that rail!"

...If I missed any, let me know.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Virgin River Water Levels

This is a post for the locals. Have you ever gotten down to the river only to be disappointed finding it is too high to skim. Problem solved.

How to read the water level graph.
The graph reports the amount of discharge in cubic feet per second. The triangles on the graph are the Medians (a kind of average). The most recent instantaneous value can be found right above the graph. If you are down to the river often, the graph can be a valuable tool to compare the height of the river now with the height of the river another day that you were there. Then you will know if it will be higher or lower than the last time you were there. If you don't go to the river often, a few values may be helpful. If the value of discharge is under 80 cubic feet per second, you'll probably find some good skimming. If the value is under 50 the river will probably be very good. If the value is over 80, it doesn't mean you won't be able to skim, you just may have to look a little harder to find a good spot.

See the graph and check the Virgin River water level.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Skimboarding Tricks: Backside (BS) 360 shuvit

How to do a 360 shuvit on a skimboard
A 360 shuvit can be done frontside or backside. This tutorial will focus on the 360 backside shuvit. A 360 shuvit is performed by "shuving" the board around 360 degrees while you are in the air. For a 360 backside shuvit, the board will rotate clockwise for a regular footed rider and counter-clockwise for a goofy footed rider. This is accomplished by sweeping your rear foot backwards as you jump into the air. The board will rotate underneath you. Watch the board and catch it with your feet as you come back down. If you have "shuved" it hard enough it will rotate a full 360 degrees around and you can land and continue riding.


Get your knees up.
The higher you lift your knees towards your chest, the longer the board will have to spin underneath you. You will not have to try to spin the board so fast if the board has more time to spin underneath you. This will allow you to put less effort into the spin and it will become a more relaxed fluid motion rather than a quick jerky motion that can throw off your balance and make it difficult to complete the trick.

Be confident
You need to commit fully to the trick. Get your feet off the board and get your knees up. Watch the board spin around underneath you, catch it with your feet, and stick it.

Strengthen your legs.
It takes quite a bit of leg strength to be able to get the board to rotate 360 degrees in the short time that you are in the air. Try this experiment. Hold your skimboard at about chest height over the water. Now spin it in the air. Try to spin it hard enough that it will rotate more than 360 degrees before it lands on the water. Chances are, it didn't make it much more that 360 degrees if that. And it was dropping from a height of around 4 feet and was most likely in the air much longer than the board (or you) would be while doing a 360 shuvit. Granted, your legs are stronger than you arms, but hopefully the demonstration helped show you the kind of strength required to get the board around 360 degrees. If your legs aren't strong enough, you will find it takes a great effort to be able to "shuv" the board around the 360 degrees. This needs to be easy for you, not difficult. If it is not an easy fluid motion, but a "put all your effort into it" jerky motion, it will probably throw you off balance and make it difficult to land the shuvit. By increasing your leg strength and particularly the muscles used to "shuv" the board around, you will find yourself more in control and able to land the shuvit much easier. So how can you increase the strength in your legs for this particular movement? By doing it...a lot! That becomes difficult when your skimboarding because while skimming, each attempt also takes a lot of energy running to get on the skimboard. Here is a way to get a lot of shuvits in, without burning up energy running. Do them on carpet without the running. When I was first trying to get the 360 shuvit down, I would try to do about 100 shuvits a night on the carpet. (Although I didn't start out with 100 my first night, I worked my way up to 100.) It's not exactly the same as in the water, but it will definitely help you build up the strength you need in your legs to get the 360 shuvit down.

Stay over the top of the board.

This is key in most tricks. Lots of times as people begin to try the 360 shuvit they end up "shuving" the board right out from underneath them. This usually happens for a couple of reasons. One, the skimboarder has leaned back to far. Often, particularly when trying to get some "pop", there is a tendency to lean back. This puts your center of gravity too far back. You want to keep your center of gravity between your legs. For more discussion on this see the ollie tutorial. When leaning back, most of the time the board will shoot out from underneath the skimboarder, but even if the skimboarder manages to keep the board in close vicinity, they will find it near impossible to land the trick. The second reason the board ends up flying away from the rider is that they have tried to “shuv” the board too hard with a quick jerky motion as opposed to a more smooth relaxed fluid motion. By gaining leg strength and getting your knees up, you will be able to make the shuving motion much more fluid. Again, it is important to keep the board underneath you.

Try to land "softly" on the board.
Don’t land straight legged. Make sure that your knees are bent when you land. This will do two things. One, it will keep your center of gravity lower which will make it easier for you to stay in control. Second, by landing with your knees bent, you can absorb the impact of the landing and make it much more smooth.

Practice in shallow water
When trying to get down the 360 shuvit, practice in very shallow water; as shallow as you can get it. 360 shuvits are easier in more shallow water. Don’t worry about pop at first. Just get use to getting the board around and landing them every time. Once you get them down, then you can start working on getting some pop.

Getting Pop
To get some pop in your 360 shuvit, you are going to need to push down on the back of the board while simultaneously "shuving" it. Here is the deal though, while learning to get some pop, don't focus much on "popping" the board. Focus on bending your knees and then exploding into the air. What you will find is the board will naturally follow you into the air. As you get a feel for this, you can then begin to focus on getting more pop by "popping" that back foot harder. (See the ollie tutorial for more discussion on "popping" the board.)

Forget everything you have just read
All the things that you have read are good tips but sometimes you can over think things. Now I don’t want you to literally go and forget everything, but my point is, make sure you RELAX. Be smooth. Don't over think it.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Regular or Goofy?

A skimboarder can ride with either his left foot or right foot forward. Most riders find one of these positions much easier and more natural than the other.

Regular foot, or regular stance refers to a skimboarder that feels more natural riding with his or her left foot in front. This stance is called regular because it is found more commonly (or at least it was thought to be more common when the name was coined). The opposite of regular stance is called goofy foot. Goofy foot is where the skimboarder prefers to ride with his or her right foot in front.

If you are a beginner and just learning to skimboard, you may not know which "foot" you are, regular or goofy. The most common test to determine whether you are goofy or regular footed is to stand relaxed and have somebody gently push you from the back. See which foot you put out in front of you to catch yourself. If it's your left foot, you are regular, if it's your right foot, you are goofy.

When a skimboarder rides opposite of his preferred stance it is called switch, or switch stance. It is usually more difficult for a rider to do a trick in switch stance.

If the skimboarder moves his front foot up to the nose of the board and his back foot to the middle of the board he is in nollie stance. Usually this stance is used to perform certain tricks, but not to ride in.

Fakie stance is a riders normal foot position but traveling backwards. Another way to think of fakie stance is a nollie stance in switch position. To get into fakie stance a rider might do a 180 spin. They have the same foot position but are now traveling backwards.

Virgin River water levels

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

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