Skimboarding has grown in popularity among water sport enthusiasts and beachgoers. The beach sport, invented in the 1920s by lifeguards in Laguna Beach, California, entails cruising along shorelines on flat boards. People can do the sport in either a wave or flatland style; the former is done on the beach, while the latter is done on inland bodies of water.
If you’re a child, it could also mean it’s time to start skimboarding lessons! Skimboarding is a thrilling activity that allows beachgoers to meet waves at the coast and float across them as if by magic. Children’s skimboarding camps teach coordination and balance against the backdrop of crystal-blue skies and provide exciting recreation.
Before purchasing a skimboard for your kids, read this guide to skimboard buying to learn more about skimboarding and its benefits.
What Exactly Is Skimboarding?
Skimboarding is a type of waterboard sport. “Run, drop, slide” is a simple way of describing it. Skimboarders run to pick up speed, drop their board, and slide across the water’s surface to meet an inbound breaking wave and sail it back to shore.
Surfing vs. Skimboarding
In many ways, skimboarding differs from surfing. For starters, skimboards are smaller than surfboards and lack fins. And, unlike surfing, which requires getting into the water and hoping for a wave, skimboarding starts on the beach. As a result, many parents feel more at ease with skim than with surfing.
Skimboarding is a great way for younger kids to get a feel for a board without getting into deep water. Many skimboarders find learning to surf easier once they are comfortable on a board. The ability translates to snowboarding and skateboarding as well.
Is Skimboarding Less Difficult Than Surfing?
Whether you’re trying out surfing or skimboarding for the first time or switching from one sport to another, you might be wondering what you’re in for. Is skimboarding much easier than surfing, or vice versa?
Skimboarding is less difficult to learn but more difficult to catch waves than surfing. Most individuals can skim across flat water fairly easily, but catching waves is more difficult. Surfing is more difficult to learn at first, but it becomes easier to control.
If you want to get good at either sport, you must put in a lot of effort. And while we’re in the process of comparing, find out if bodyboarding is better than surfing too!
Recreational and Competitive Side Skimboarding
Skimboarding is primarily a recreational sport, but competitions are also popular. Skim USA is the national governing body for skimboarding competitions, and many skimboarders travel across the state to compete in Skim USA Am/Pro tours.
Beginner Skimboarding Equipment
The only equipment you’ll need is a skimboard and a beach! It is not good to skimp on quality when buying a skimboard. Small wooden boards break, splinter, and are dangerous to use in general.
The best option is to use fiberglass boards. They are more pricey than wood, but they will last for a long time. Parents on a tight budget can look for used boards online. Local shops sell used boards, which is a better option than buying online since the skimboarder can see and try the board before buying.
Choosing the Correct Skimboard Size for Your Child
The size of a child’s skimboard is determined by their height, weight, and ability. To guarantee the child’s success and get the most out of their purchase, we recommend that parents hire a professional to help them choose the right board. Many places provide this service for free.
Smaller vs. Larger Skimboards for Beginners
If your child is new to water skiing, a larger board with a larger foot area will provide them with a better sense of balance on the water. You could get your child a smaller, narrower skimboard once they’ve mastered catching waves without dropping control of the board. Most advanced skimmers prefer the latter option because smaller boards allow them to perform blunt angles, leaps, and other skillful stunts on the water more easily.
In a nutshell, board types directly relate to skill level for the reasons listed below:
Smaller boards – more flexible and suitable for advanced skimmers.
Larger boards – the larger foot area provides better balance for starting skimmers.
Skimming is easier watched than duplicated, as any video on the internet will demonstrate. A skilled surfer will catch a wave with the confidence and balance of a surfer, whereas a novice will usually lose balance the instant the board hits the waves.
A beginner will often slip off the board and misplace it while slipping into the water. As a result, practice is essential because learning balance as a newbie skimmer can take time. With the right skimboard and a willingness to learn, your youngster could be catching waves even sooner than you think.
Skimboarding Age and Skill Requirements
While some kids can skimboard as young as five, we believe that seven is the ideal age to begin. However, because every child is unique, skim camps will reach out to younger kids to see if they can participate.
While proficient swimming is not required because campers don’t go deep into the water, camps prefer children who are comfy in the water, can swim, and are not afraid of waves or the ocean. Skimboarding is a beach sport that youngsters can enjoy for a long time; some people in their 20s or older still skimboard and participate in Skim USA contests.
Skimboarding Skills Your Child Can Learn
Children who ski learn balance, coordination, and safety. They also learn how to maintain their skimboards. Another important aspect of skimboarding is learning proper etiquette when sharing the shoreline with beachgoers and other skimboarders; respect for the environment, particularly the ocean, is also essential.
What Kinds of Children Benefit the Most from Skimboarding?
Knowing how to skimboard can benefit any child. Those who do not appreciate competitive sports, on the other hand, are drawn to skimboarding because they are only competing against themselves and improving their skills.
Many skimboarding camps train kids at their own pace and patience, so even those who struggle with other sports can learn to skimboard. And because skimboarders are a friendly and welcoming group, many youngsters who are bullied or have little to no friends find a home in the skimboarding community.
Skimboarding’s Expansion Over the Last 10 Years
Skimboarding’s popularity is growing, especially as athletes like Brad Domke continue pushing the limits and gaining media attention. Skim camps have seen similar growth, with registrations increasing year after year.
The Importance of Professional Training Before Using a Skimboard
Skimboarding can be dangerous if you don’t have the proper training and technique. A child who does not know how to control or hold a board may be injured. We encourage parents to book a private lesson (or several days or weeks) at skim camps to teach their children how to enjoy the beach sport safely.