Choosing a skimboard for the first time is no easy task. With the large range of boards now on offer there are lot to choose from. Picking the right board from the beginning will mean you get maximum enjoyment from day one! Hopefully this quick guide will give you an idea of what to look for and the reasons for the different price ranges.
When choosing a skimboard you need to take into account the the type of riding you will be doing, (either sand riding or wave riding) the board style, your weight, age, and ability. The manufacturers put a weight guideline on each board. We would suggest sticking to the weight guidelines to begin with until you have some experience under your belt and know what you want from a board.
Depending on athletic ability a rider of a certain weight may need a very large board, or a very small one. This is why the weight ranges of skimboards overlap. For instance, a large guy who can run very fast and get on the board smoothly may ride a smaller board than a small guy who doesn’t run very fast or has a bad drop.
Skimboarding experience also plays into it. As riders get better at reaching the waves, they often choose a smaller board to help with their turning. Or vice versa. It is all personal preference. If you are just starting out, then sticking to manufacturers weight guidelines means you can’t go far wrong!
Entry level flat sand skimboards
If you are just starting out in skimboarding, or just want something to play around on when the surfs flat or when on holiday, then you don’t want to spend a fortune on a board. This will mean you will want to go for a flat sand skimboard.
These type of boards excel at sand skimming but lack any real wave riding ability. The Zap Bullet and Bat boards are designed for kids, with weight limits being around 7 stone, whilst the woody boards from Circle One are available in different sizes to suit all weight ranges.
Price: Expect to pay from £15-£50 for a beginner skimboard.
Examples of some beginner boards are:
- Circle One Woody Skimboard
- Osprey Woody Skimboard
- Zap Bat
- Alder Ignite Woody
Beginner/intermediate skimboards (with some wave riding ability)
If you think you may stick with the sport and want to ride waves, as well as the flat sand, then a little extra money spent in the beginning means you won’t have to change your board as you progress. These boards are great crossover skimboards.
They will do everything a flat sand skimboard will do, but because they are a little bit bigger and thicker, they will also be able to do some wave riding. These boards tend to have weight limits of around 10 or 11 stone so are best suited to lighter adults, or kids.
Price: Expect to pay from £80-£150 for a beginner/intermediate skimboard.
Examples of beginner/intermediate skimboards are:
- Zap Lazer
- Circle One ESD Soft Top Skimboard Range
- Circle One EPS Epoxy Skimboard Range
- Zap Wedge skimboard
- Zap Fish skimboard
Larger intermediate skimboards for wave riding
These skimboards are full blown wave riding skimboards on a budget. They are the same size as the more advanced top end boards, but are made using cheaper materials. This means they are slightly heavier than their advanced counterparts.
These boards will still be able to sand skim, but they have the added ability to skim out to, and ride waves. These boards will get out further than the smaller intermediate boards and will float a lot better over deeper water. These skimboards are available in a variety of different sizes to suit all weight ranges.
Price: Expect to pay from £180-£230 for a wave riding intermediate skimboard.
Some examples are:
- Zap Chizel Skimboard
- Zap Pro Skimboard
- Victoria Ultra Vac Skimboard
Top end professional skimboards
The top end boards, are basically the boards that the pro’s ride. They are super strong while at the same time being considerably lighter than the heavier cheaper boards. The reason for being more expensive is because they use the best materials and construction methods available.
Many of the boards use carbon fibre or epoxy resin. These advanced materials cost about twice as much as the materials used in the cheaper boards, but the performance and durability they bring far outweigh the added cost. All top end skimboards are available in a variety of different sizes to suit all weight ranges.
Price: Expect to pay from £250-£380 for a top end professional skimboard depending on the spec.
- Zap Comp Skimboard
- Victoria Poly Vac Skimboard
- Exile Hybrid Skimboard
I am still unsure – can you help me out?
So, there you have it. A brief introduction into the range of skimboards on offer. If you are still unsure on what skimboard you want or need, you can email us and we will get back to you within a couple of days with a list of boards that will be suitable for you.