By Adrenaline

Skimboarding presents numerous similarities to surfing, but is regarded as a unique extreme sport in the community. The principal dissociation comes from the size of the board utilized in this activity, which is substantially smaller and does not include the fins. At the same time, the skimboard design incorporates a nose lifts that are referred to as rockers. Rockers come in three main variations, but more on that later. Needless to say, these characteristics confer the board entirely new dynamics, making skimboarding a combination between surfing and skateboarding. Let’s find out more about the beginnings of the sport and its evolution over time.

A brief history of skimboarding

As mentioned previously, skimboarding was adapted from surfing and the ones who made this extreme water sport immensely popular were in fact the lifeguards in Southern California. It may come as a surprise that the exact people who are in charge of beach safety practiced a sport that is not without risk. However, keep in mind that initially skimboarding was simply a convenient means of crossing the beach.

The history of skimboarding starts a bit earlier, more precisely in the 50s and the first recorded location is Dewey Beach in Delaware. This makes complete sense, considering that Dewey Beach has the optimal weather and water conditions for practicing this activity. You should also know that this is where the world Skimboarding Championships is organized on a yearly basis. Skimboarding is also enjoyed in numerous locations around the world, including UK, Brazil, Spain, Portugal, etc.

The construction of the skimboard

The length of the board is dependent on the height of the person that rides it, meaning that when placed in an upward position it should not exceed the middle chest area. With respect to the thickness of the skimboard, the preferred range is between 3/8 inches and 1 inch, the most frequently encountered ones being 5/8 inches and 3/4 inches. The 3 types of rockers comprise of:

  • Constant rocker: consists of a steady curve ranging from the nose of the skimboard and towards the tail, which makes it the perfect solution for optimal control over larger waves
  • Hybrid rocker: the curve is located on the bottom side of the skimboard, and it only ranges to three quarters of the length leaving the tail flat, which confers superior speed
  • Traditional rocker: the nose is the singular raised part of board

The typical construction material for the inland skimboards is wood, due to its capabilities to resist the wear and tear caused by the contact with rock and other obstacles. Skimboards that are designed with higher performance in mind are typically constructed from composite and include fiberglass or Kevlar coatings – some even have epoxy/polyester coatings. If you prefer buoyancy, then foam-based skimboards are a better choice.

How skimboarding works

While surfing implies starting off in the middle of the water and catching the waves, the skimboarder places the board on the beach first, more precisely the thinner washes of the preceding waves. He will then utilize momentum to catch the next wave to hit the shore and launch himself forwards. Returning to the shoreline is executed in the same way as surfing.

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