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If you made it this far, you must be preparing for a beach visit or possibly getting a gift for your son or daughter who wants to try skimboarding. Skimboards are a fun, affordable beach activity and fit in with the theme of this website.
In this article I’ll share my skimboarding experiences growing up in California and I’ll also share quality boards and tips for your next trip to the beach.
My Beach Skimboarding Memories
As I mentioned above, I grew up in sunny California and spent many days at the beach. Some of my earliest memories are in Southern California digging beach forts with my grandfather while our dog chased tennis balls.
We’d come home from the beach and grandma would make sure we had cleaned off all the sand with the hose.
I have other memories from the beach as well. I remember going to Santa Cruz beach with a friend and trying his skimboard for the first time…lets just say it didn’t go so well.
My front foot was too heavy and the nose of the board went into the sand. I tumbled forward and dove into the shallow water. The next time I tried I was too heavy on my back foot and the skimboard flew out from under my foot. I landed on my back that time.
Needless to say, skimboarding takes practice and great balance. For surfers and wake boarders, and maybe even snowboarders, skimboarding might come easier.
I’ve always admired people who were good at skimboarding. The skill takes repetition, balance, and persistence, and once you figure out the technique it becomes a fun activity that will keep the kids entertained for hours on end.
Skimboards and Their Popularity
Most people don’t know how skimboarding originated and its beginning is up for debate. Skimboarding did become popular in the early 20th century in Southern California when beach goers would watch Laguna Beach lifeguards slide across the shallow waters on wood. Early on it was called skidboarding.
Currently, there are competitions all over the world, that showcase some serious skills. And skimboarding is no longer just a beach activity, it’s also worked its way to lakes and rivers inland where people meet to enjoy the sun.
Most People Don’t Understand How to Use Skimboards at the Beach
To be honest, most people don’t understand skimboards. Even when I go to the beach I see the occasional kid or young adult on skimboard.
I’ll likely see him/her throw the board out in front of them, run after it, and jump on only to slide for a few feet and fall or jump off again.
What I just described is NOT skimboarding. While living in San Diego I had a few opportunities to see professional skimboarders practicing their craft. Not only did they time the waves perfectly but they rode shorebreaks as if they were surfing, cutting and spinning like Kelly Slater on a wave.
If all you know about skimboarding is a few kids at the beach running, jumping, and falling, then you’re about to be impressed.
Related: Best Paddle Board for the Beach
Check out the video below:
Best Skimboard for the Beach
Section 1: Beginner to Moderate Skimboards
No. 1 Lucky Bums Wood Skimboard
Lucky Bums is one of my favorite skimboards not only because of the beautiful wood finishes they make but also the styling. They look good and have a great art team! This is a versatile board for teens and adults, beginners and advanced riders, that comes in multiple sizes 30, 35, and 39.
Larger adult riders would probably prefer a 40-45″ boards, but some reviewers that were 195 lbs said this board works great! Needless to say, a younger rider can also grow into a larger board.
- 3 sizes 30, 35, 39
- For beginners-advanced
- Reasonable price point
- Epoxy plywood with gloss finish
- Fun designs and artwork
- Rocker shape to protect nose
- Good return policy
I like this board because it’s wood and is best for shallow waves at the beach or at the river sandbar. I also like the 100% satisfied return policy. Lucky Bums is a solid skimboard company and that’s why they’re on our list!
No. 2 Fedmax Zap Wedge Skimboard
Fedmax offers a solid board for kids and young adults to begin skimboarding. The Zap Wedge Skimboard is made from durable composite fiberglass with a nice gloss epoxy coating which reduces the chance of water damage.
Due to it being fiberglass the board is very strong and is perfect for kids under 95 lbs.
- Rider weight up to 90-140 lbs
- Different blue designs
- Made for kids and adults
- Comes with Fedmax ultimate tricks and tips guide
The shape has a slight bend to the tip of the board to prevent nose-dives. It weighs 6.8 lbs (shipping weight). Reviewers comment that the board works great or young kids and teenagers and comes well-packaged. The few reviews for this board are excellent.
No. 3 Wave Rebel Surface Wood Laminate Skim Board
The Wave Rebel offers an affordable price point for beginner skimboarders. It is a 35 inch board, designed for smaller riders between 75-110 lbs. The Local Motion board comes in two color schemes light blue and green and weighs 4.2 lbs (shipping weight).
- 35 inch board
- 2 color schemes (blue and green)
- Wood laminate
- For smaller riders (kids 75-110 lbs)
- Affordable but not best quality
The skimboard is well-reviewed with a solid average rating. Most people comment that it’s good for the price and great as a gift for kids. But other people seem unhappy about the packaging and paint quality coming off over time. In my opinion, these reviews are spot on.
Are you looking for a basic skimboard at a reasonable price?…then this is a good choice. Are you looking for more quality that will hold up over time?…then go with Lucky Bums above.
Section 2: Moderate to Advanced Skimboards
No. 1 Avac Skimboard by Apex – Bundled with Fedmax Ultimate Tips and Tricks Guide
These are larger boards made for more advanced riders. The Apex designed skimboards are meticulously designed boards and the artwork is eye-catching. As an adult, this would be a good pick for me at the beach. There are a few colors to choose from but the colors are blended so you’ll need to see for yourself. The boards come in 41, 46, 51 inches.
These boards are handmade in the U.S.A and built at the Apex factory in Largo, FL. The fiberglass material results in a super strong board that is also lightweight.
- Fiberglass/carbon fiber
- Bundled with Fedmax tips and tricks instructions
- For kids and adults up to 200+ lbs.
- 41,46, 51 inches
- Beautifully designed with colors
Apex boards are some of the best on the market. If you want a good board for your son or daughter, Apex will impress them. Quality, durability, and design all rank well in our reviews. Away from the beach you can even use in on the lake or skimboard irrigation canals (not our advice though haha).
Reviews for this board are limited but positive none-the-less! I highly recommend it.
No. 2 Rubber Top Wooden Skimboard w/ Slip Free Grip
The Rubber Top Skimboard is a unique style for riders with a non-slip top rubber layer. There is no need to apply wax which is convenient because it also saves money in the long run. The board itself is made from wood which I prefer.
These boards have many sizes and colors to choose from bright reds and yellow to more subdued blues and greys. The sizes vary from 30 inches to 41 inches (up to 220 lbs).
- Starter board
- Various sizes kids-adult (220 lbs)
- Great color options
- Wood board with rubber top
- No need for wax = less expenses
- We reviewed, good price
Upon reading the reviews for this board I was pleasantly surprised. People seem to be buying for children or grandchildren and are satisfied with the board. Some comments say that the board held up well all summer.
There were a minority of bad reviews that said the board wasn’t as durable as others and it broke. Overall this is a decent board with solid reviews. Good starter board!
No. 3 Victoria Skimboards – Woody XL
Victoria’s Woody XL is a larger board made for teenagers and adults. It’s listed as a starter board but don’t be confused this is also an advanced board. The board is made from quality wood with a nice gloss finish.
- Larger board for adults and teens
- Nice wood with gloss finish
- Heavier board, more glide
- Size 48.5″ x 21.3″
- Quality board company
Because its a bigger board and weighs a bit more, you’ll notice you can glide farther than smaller boards and its weight makes it more sturdy/durable. One reviewer states that you can buy a few of the poor quality boards or just buy Victoria’s Woody one time (cheaper in the long run).
The size of this board is 48.5″ x 21.3″ and suggested rider weight is 180 lbs – 200 lbs.
No. 4 Empire Traction Skimboard 41 Inch Grey
The Empire traction board is a mid-size board for youth and young adults. Although the look is simple, I really like this board because it looks classy (I know kids care about colors not classy). The board with the wood showing looks great.
On top of the board is a non-slip EVA traction deck. This also looks cool in a grey color and works well with the wood underside of the board. It has a slight rocker shape like many of the boards on our list.
- 41 inch
- Beginners or intermediates
- Slick look and clean (wood/grey contrast)
- Slides great
- 5 lbs
The limited reviews for this board say that it work and slides great. One comment mentioned the grip was peeling but I believe super glue would take care of that problem easily.
If you’re looking for a clean board that also looks and performs great then Empire should be considered.
No. 5 Zap Wedge Large Skimboard – 49×19.75 Assorted Blue
The Zap Wedge listed here is a larger model of the board mentioned above. It comes in a swirly blue and white color and no 2 boards are the same style.
- Larger board 49 inches
- Moderate to advanced riders
- 5.2 lbs and carries over 200 lbs
- Decent color scheme
- Composite material
It is made from composite material and is a hefty 49 inches. Its size will easily carry a grown man and also offers performance and durability. It weigh 5.2 lbs.
No. 6 Wave Zone Skimboards – Wave Zone Squirt
Wave Zone offers a skimboarding package to younger riders. You can purchase with a bag and traction pad (this combo works great as a gift). The design of the board is eye-catching. Wave Zone boards are quality and this board is no different.
- 36″ board
- Choose package to include grip and bag
- Surf wax, stickers, and note
- Made in U.S.A.
This is a 36″ fiberglass board best for younger riders around 100 lbs. It comes with free surf wax, stickers, and a signed note from the WZ owner (that’s pretty nice). On top of the fiberglass there is a gel coating and foam core to keep the board lightweight. These boards are 100% made in the U.S.A.
Section 3: Skimboard Accessories
PUNT SURF Skimboard Traction Pad & Arch Bar
Punt surf sells a 3 Track Pad for skimboarding with a sticky 3M adhesive. This provides the ultimate grip on skimboards. The pad is customizable and fits any skimboard.
Their traction pads are guaranteed forever or your money back (that’s nice to know!). Punt Surf is a homegrown California company and they provide accessories for all kinds of water sports.
This traction pad is a hot product on amazon with almost 100 reviews. The average review is 4.6/5 stars…not too shabby. For any serious skimboarder, consider this as an add-on or gift.
Creatures of Leisure Skimboard Day Use Cover Bag
Creatures of Leisure, based out of Australia have a nice cover bag for skimboarding. If you happen to purchase a nicer board, you’ll definitely want protection and this bag does it in style.
It is a black/grey/teal color scheme (and another similar option) which looks great taking to and from your car or hanging in the garage next to the surf boards.
It’s oversized and holds a 58″ board with 2 inches of extra space. The sewn fabric is diamond tech 600D polyester and has a EVA reinforced padded handle with neoprene lining and a zipper. Also includes a shoulder strap. If you happen to be travelling with it, the cover has lockable metal slides.
Sex Wax Quick Humps
Sex happens while surfing right? They say that marketing has no boundaries, and Sex Wax has made a name for itself in the surf industry, basically by having a silly name. If you know surfing then you know sex wax.
The truth is, you need it. If you’re buying a board for a gift, make sure you through in some wax. It doesn’t cost much and it needed. Plus the name of this famous company always brings a smile to the face.
We hope you enjoyed our review for the best skimboards for the beach. I mentioned a few beginner boards and also shared some information about more advanced boards too. I especially like the Lucky Bums board for beginners-intermediates and I like the Apex board for a stylish larger board.
Considerations should be made as well for add-ons like the grip, bag, and board wax. As I continue to learn about new boards and options I’ll be sure to update this list to provide up-to-date info. Click this link if you’re interested in learning more about skimboarding for beginners.
Thanks for stopping by and reading. I hope this helps in your search for a quality skimboard!