It is thought that skimboarding has been around since the late 1920s after two Laguna Beach lifeguards carved a round disk out of redwood and used it to glide across the shallow waters of the ocean.
These disks later evolved into the sorts of pizza-shaped boards that are still used today. Unlike surfing, skimboarding begins on the sand instead of the water. Rather than using large waves to gain momentum towards the shoreline, skimboarders build momentum by gliding across the shallower, breaking waves of the shoreline.
Whilst the basics of the sport itself has largely remained the same over the years, the construction and design of the skimboard has developed massively. There are two disciplines of skimboarding: wave skimboarding and flatland skimboarding and hence, two different types of skimboards.
Wave skimboarding is the more popular of the two forms and wave skimboards are typically built with a high-density foam material that prevents water absorption. Flatland skimboards (otherwise known as inland skimboards) are usually made up of wood and are popular with beginners as they are simple to produce and cheaper to buy.
Within these two categories, there are tons of different shapes, types, and materials to choose from. With so much choice, we know the skimboarding market can be slightly intimidating.
To try and make the buying process slightly easier for you, we have put together this short guide which includes details of our top 5 skimboard recommendations. We have also listed a few of the things you should be thinking when choosing a skimboard and answered a few commonly asked questions that we think you might find helpful.
Top 5 Best Skimboards
OUR TOP PICK
The BPS Gator Skimboard is a wooden skimboard that is extremely popular with beginners. At a very reasonable price, this board is renowned on the market for its durability and impressive performance.
Built with enduring plywood and covered with an epoxy high-gloss coating, this board is one tough cookie. The combination of its materials ensures that the board is both extremely sturdy and sufficiently protected against water damage.
This skimboard is particularly good for the less experienced riders due to its Gator Grip layer of EVA foam. This feature means that there is no need to mess around with wax and that the rider is fully assisted in terms of balance.
This tractive layer in combination with the rounded nose rocker makes this board a wonderful option for anyone looking for that extra element of control and stability.
Its unique flat-shaped tail will allow for smoother turns and maneuvers in rougher waters whilst its overall shape makes it highly aerodynamic.
This board is great because it is incredibly lightweight, making it easy to carry, transport, and store. Available in three different sizes and a range of colors, it is a wonderful option for riders of all sizes, ages, and abilities. If you’re looking for a singular high-performing board to keep all the family happy, the BPS Gator Skimboard would be a brilliant option.
- No need to wax due to highly tractive outer layer
- Reasonably priced
- Brilliant for beginners looking for maximum grip and stability
- Lightweight and great for traveling
- A classic design available in a variety of colors
- Some buyers have reported issues with de-lamination
- 'Gator’ Skimboards by BPS features its nose rocker for more maneuverability – making it easier for you to turn swiftly as you get more pivot. It is built with enduring plywood with a high gloss clear coating that protects the wood from water damage and breakage.
- Built-In Grip Pads – This board features a Gator Grip layer of EVA foam so you do not have to put some wax on your board as it provides excellent grip when wet.
- Beginners guide – New to skimboarding? No worries, we got your back! On top of an amazing skimboard, you will receive an email from us – containing the E-guide with easy-to-follow instructions written by our experts. We elaborate on how to get on the board and do some basic tricks properly. 30” skimboard is for riders up to 80lbs, 35” for riders around 80-150lbs, and 40” for riders over the said weight. Make sure you DON'T OPT-OUT from receiving emails from Amazon so you won't miss this.
- Customer Care – You will receive an email from us to check if everything went well. We will also provide an Amazon email link to the business owner in case you may encounter any issues or may have any query. You can always reach out to us by selecting the highlighted 'Surf and Snow Warehouse' on ANY of our products (where it says 'sold by') - and then using the 'Have a question for Surf and Snow Warehouse' feature. We try very hard to respond within 12 hours.
- Buy with complete confidence as all our products are stored and shipped to you by Amazon and are fully guaranteed for one year so if you are not satisfied with your purchase, just let us know. Thanks for looking at a product from our store – SURF and SNOW Warehouse. We are a small family business that ONLY sells what we know and love -water sports gear. We know our products, use our products, and stand behind them 100% so if you have any questions about using any of our products please just ask.
The Sunspecs Rubber Top Wooden Skimboard is one of the most best-selling skimboards on the market today. Built with solid wood and topped with a layer of rubber, this board is not only well made but provides enough grip to eliminate the need for wax.
Something that sets this board apart from the others is its capacity to take up to 220lbs of weight. This makes it a fantastic option for anyone looking to teach their child to skimboard as it will likely be able to support both of you.
Due to its solid-wooden body, this board is not only known for withstanding rough conditions but it would be a great option for anyone looking to try their luck at sand skimming.
This board has quite a wide frame meaning it is great for learners or children who are looking for that extra bit of support. A larger surface area means there is more room to move about and find your balance.
This board comes in a variety of cool and quirky designs as well as color variations which will without a doubt, enable you to stand out in the water.
Compared to many other skimboards on the market, this board is very reasonably priced. If you are on a budget and are looking for a reliable, well-made board to see you through the seasons, then this Sunspecs Rubber Top Skimboard is one you should consider.
- Very cheap compared to other models
- A choice of 7, interesting and unique designs
- Rubber top layer for maximum grip and
- Can hold riders up to 220lbs
- Large size makes it great for learners
- Tends to warp over time
- High quality construction, solid wood board
- Rubber layer on top of board provides traction without the need to add board wax
- Available in choice of size and color
- Save time and money by not using wax!
- Choose size according to rider WEIGHT: **30 Inch for riders up to 120 pounds** **36 Inches For Riders from 120 to 160 pounds** **41 Inch for Riders up to 220 pounds**
This high-quality skimboard is designed to achieve the smoothest possible glide on the beach. Made with the highly resilient and lightweight Poplar wood, this board is not only highly durable but extremely easy to carry and maneuver.
The board is protected with a high-gloss coat, ensuring that you do not have to worry about the detachment or deterioration of its materials over time. This outer layer would work perfectly with the application of wax to create a highly tractive surface.
The FedEx skimboards are all slightly curved at the nose which prevents diving whilst enabling a smoother and longer gliding experience.
What’s great about this board in particular is that it comes equipped with a free ‘Ultimate Tricks & Tips’ PDF guide, which provides you with all the details you need to get started in the world of skimboarding.
It is extremely versatile, not only in terms of where it can be used, but who it can be used by. Whether you’re an older, experienced surfer who is looking to try something new, or a 10-year-old beginner who has never set foot on a board of any kind, the Fedmax Skimboard will not disappoint.
At such a reasonable price, this impressively made, classic-looking board is one that is one that does not compromise on quality or cost.
- Highly durable
- Shiny, expensive-looking finish
- Curved nose for smooth, long glides
- Perfect for children and less-confident riders
- Solid construction with a lightweight feel
- Not the best option for adult riders
- CONTOURED DESIGN - Fedmax's high quality skimboard is engineered perfectly to achieve the best possible glide on the beach. Each board is slightly curved at the nose which allows for longer session times and prevents
- HIGH GLOSS COAT - With the high gloss coat you don't have to worry about foam or rubber deteriorating or detaching over time. This board has a high gloss coating that is meant to have surf wax applied to it to keep your feet on the board. It's a high quality, low maintenance skimboard at a great price.
- HIGH QUALITY WOOD - Each skimboard is made using Poplar wood, a highly resilient and lightweight type of wood.
- PERFECT FOR BEGINNERS - Anyone can use this board to learn or perfect their moves. Stable, maneuverable, and made with light weight poplar wood, this skimboard will get you gliding around on a sandy beach with ease.
- 90 DAY GUARANTEE - Try this skimboard for 90 days - if you don't love it, you can return it.
South Bay Board Co is one of the most reputable, respected brands in the water-sports industry. Not only are they renowned for their high-performing, entry-level surfboards, but their beginner-friendly skimboards.
This 41” skimboard from their Skipper Skimboard series sits slightly higher on the price spectrum than the majority of our other picks, but this does not come without reason. This skimboard features an Epoxy coated plywood core with a custom fingerprint textured IXPE foam deck.
These materials are similar to those used in South Bay Board Company’s surfboards. The tractive outer layer of this skimboard works to create an incredibly gripped surface whilst the epoxy seals ensure ultimate protection against water damage and board breakage.
The board features a long 41” deck which allows for true performance maneuvers whilst its added nose rocker works to create more stability and control. The flat rocker center and tail ensure this board will not disappoint when it comes to speed.
Its shape and size make it highly versatile, making the board perfect for both beginner riders and the more experienced thrill-seekers. The board is available in four colors and due to the texture of its surface, does not require any waxing. This low-maintenance board is also easily maneuverable and simple to store.
This wooden board truly is one of the most all-around impressive models on the market. We would recommend this board mainly to you younger riders out there looking for a companion to see you through your first years of skimming.
- Minimal, classic design
- The company offer a 30-day guarantee and 1-year warranty for ultimate reassurance
- No need to wax due to custom fingerprint IXPE foam deck
- Extremely well made
- Highly respected brand, known for high-performing products
- Not the best option for older riders
- The Skipper is 41"x17"x.5" and supports riders up to 160 lb, perfect for kids, teenagers, and lightweight adults
- These 41" skim boards are perfect for novice skimboarders including those who have never skimboarded
- The custom tear-drop shape & longer body allow for more performance-focused skim boarding, including switch and backside riding, as your skills progress
- The skim board body includes a wider center and tail for easier foot placement and has a thin profile for a clean glide
- Each wooden skim board is coated with epoxy and features fingerprint textured, wax-free soft top foam deck.
Last but not least, we have the Slapfish Fiberglass & Carbon Skimboard. Now, this board is not cheap, and won’t be everyone, but if performance is what you’re looking for, it’s worth every cent.
This board features a polished deck and an ultra-guide bottom, allowing for long rides at a high-speed. The board is composed of fiberglass with a Poly PVC foam core which works to create a strong, durable lightweight board.
The board is equipped with a professionally installed traction pad, allowing for ultimate stability and grip. The traction pad along with the large surface area of this board makes it another great option for entry-level surfers, allowing for increased balance and padding.
With an outer layer of clear-gloss resin, this board promises protection against debris and impact, whilst the water-tight seals ensure the board is protected against fluid-induced damage.
The Slapfish fiberglass & Carbon Skimboard is not only remarkably well-built but its design makes the board vastly versatile. It works just as well in mushy, shallow waves as it does with surging swells, making it the perfect all-year-round board.
- Handcrafted and extremely well made
- Very lightweight
- Performs well in all wave conditions
- Can hold up to 200lbs of weight making it a great option for riders of all abilities
- Highly unlikely to ever delaminate or separate
- Very expensive
- DETAILS: 48” length; 2” Nose Rocker; 7/8” Tail Rocker; average board weight is 3-4 lbs; Rider Weight Limit – up to 200 lbs. Height - 5' 2" & up. Professionally installed traction pad included. 20” arch bar optional.
- FEATURES: Polished deck, ultra-glide bottom. Perfect sweet spot for long rides and fast motion. The right amount of rocker to avoid getting caught in the lip of the wave, yet not slow you down. Slapfish traction is a closed cell, fully sealed EVA grip secured with 3M waterproof adhesive.
- DURABILITY: Handcrafted with precision. This Slapfish board is fiberglass. Carbon reinforced at the nose and tail. Double reinforced at the rails. The Poly PVC foam core is supremely light weight, structurally dense, impact/fracture rated beyond the board weight limit and is waterproof. This is NOT a EPS (styrofoam) core which will gas out and delaminate over time. No fear of delamination or separation – ever.
- PERFORMANCE: Sand sliding and wave riding from beginner to experienced. Consciously tapered for balance and support of varied stances. Unlimited skim potential! Light weight. Floaty enough to support a wide range of riders. Performs in all wave conditions from mush to surging swell. Long liners, smooth wave wraps, 360 spins and more.
- OFFERINGS: First quality boards, and on occasion, factory blems. A blemished board has a minor cosmetic imperfection or a repaired factory flaw.
Best Skimboards Buying Guide
Before buying your skimboard, there are several factors you will need to consider. You will not only have to think about your height and weight but about your experience (if you have any) and about the geographic conditions in which you will be performing.
The skimboard you choose will ultimately determine the quality of your riding experience, which is why it is so important to ensure you are buying the right one. When narrowing down your options, you should keep a few of the following things in mind to ensure you are making a sensible and informed decision.
Skimboards need to be directly proportional to the weight and height of the rider. You should refer to the individual manufacturers sizing chart to choose the correct size. For example, if you are between 55kg and 75kg, most suppliers will recommend that your skimboard should be between 46” and 50” long, whilst riders between 90kg and 110kg should be riding a skimboard no smaller than 56”.
As a rule of thumb, your skimboard should reach between your waist and chest from the floor, although your riding abilities may also affect the board size you choose. Longer, wider skimboards are typically much faster than smaller, shorter boards so if you are a beginner, you may want to opt for a shorter board to ensure maximum control and stability.
The slightest change in the shape of a skimboard can have a significant impact on its performance. Over the past few decades, the skimboarding industry has seen much more variety in the shapes and designs of boards.
Whilst skimboards are typically teardrop or pintail shaped, they can also be both vertically and horizontally symmetrical. These symmetrical boards are designed to ensure that the rider can maneuver from both directions although they do not always work as well when it comes to performing tricks.
Materials and Construction
There are three main categories of materials that skimboards tend to fall into: wood boards epoxy foam boards, and carbon fiber boards. Wooden skimboards tend to be the cheaper option as they are thinner and have a slightly lower life expectancy than the others.
They are a good option for beginners who are going to be flatland or inland skimboarding. Expoxy foam boards are much more lightweight so they can be made bigger and wider. They are extremely flexible and great for beginners who are looking to improve quickly.
Carbon fiber boards are generally the most expensive of the three. Due to their strength and capability of high-speed, they are a popular option amongst experienced, high-level performing riders.
Many skimboards are equipped with traction pads to help with stability and balance. They will provide the rider with an extra grip so that they are less likely to slip and fall. If your skimboard doesn’t come with a traction pad and you wanted that extra security, you can always buy them separately and attach yourself.
Whilst falling is pretty much inevitable when it comes to any water sport, the traction pad will reduce the amount you do so.
The rail of your skimboard is essentially what will allow you to carve or wrap a wave. Whilst rounded, softer rails will make catching waves much easier, their upturned edges tend to cause of a drag in the water, meaning you won’t be able to pick up too much speed.
On the other hand, a flatter, narrower rail will allow for a much quicker traveling pace. This is due to the lack of friction between the board and the water.
Best Skimboards - FAQ's
Is skimboarding easy?
In terms of finding balance and popping up, it is often said that skimboarding is easier than surfing. That being said, in terms of catching waves and doing tricks, skimboarding can be more difficult due to the size of the board.
Like everything, it simply takes practice, but if you are already an experienced surfer or bodyboarder, you are likely to get the hang of things quicker than absolute beginners.
How do I clean and care for my skimboard?
Skimboards require care. As with all sea-water based boards, skimboards should be rinsed thoroughly after each session. You should use warm water to clean off any sand or debris and then leave the board to dry, but not in direct sunlight.
Sunlight and heat can cause the materials of the board to soften and warp. This is particularly an issue if your board is dark-colored. You should also check your skimboard after every use for dings or cracks. These must be repaired before you take it back into the water to ensure the board doesn’t snap. There are plenty of tutorials and resources online that will help you do so.
Do I need to wax my skimboard?
Wax is used on skimboards to prevent your feet from sliding around the board. It provides you with extra grip, allowing for more stable riding experience. If your board has a hard deck, it is pretty much necessary to use wax.
Even if your board comes with a traction pad, it is still recommended to use wax on the top of the board to maintain maximum durability and performance.