Skimboarding (or skimming) is a boardsport in which a skimboard (a sort of little surfboard) is used to ride on an incoming wave. Unlike surfing, skimboarding begins on the beach, with the skimboarder running and dropping their board onto the thin wash of previous waves. They use their momentum to ‘skim’ out to breaking waves, which they then catch back into shore in a manner similar to surfing. Another aspect of skimboarding is ‘flatland’ which involves performing more skateboard orientated tricks such as ollies and shuv-its on the wash of waves without catching shorebreaks.
The earliest known record of skimboarding goes back to Kyle Smith in Laguna Beach, California. There are photographs from that time period of Laguna Beach lifeguards skimming along the sand on large plywood boards.
These boards were commonly circular in shape and not very well designed for controlled skimboarding. In the early 1970s skimboards started to take on a shape more similar to surfboards and began to be manufactured out of fiberglass instead of plywood. With rising popularity, many others have sprung up and skimboards are now very easy to come by.
Although skimboarding is predominantly a recreational activity like surfing, it has also evolved into a highly competitive watersport and is now being taken more seriously. The Victoria Skimboards World Championship of Skimboarding is held annually in Laguna Beach where skimboarders from around the world compete in a number of age and skill division levels.
Do you think you might be a skimboarder? You may get the chance to try it out this summer at Red Rock.