Our Editors independently research, test, and rate what we feel are the best products. We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases.
Taking a trip to the beach? Well relaxing and reading is nice, even more fun is riding the waves near shore with a skimboard.
In no time at all you can become an expert rider!
To help you make the best of your time at the beach we have created this guide to the top skimboards that are worth buying.
Avoid the mistake of buying a cheap skimboard from a big box store or pharmacy that will separate and fall apart by the end of the day.
By spending a little extra you can get a quality skimboard.
Quick Answer: The 5 Best Rated Skimboards For 2021
- Wave Zone Skimboards Fiberglass Wave Zone Edge
- BeachMall Deluxe Wood SkimBoard
- Slapfish Skimboards Wakesurf Board
- Liquid Shredder Wood EVA Deck Skimboard
- BPS ‘Gator’ Skimboard
Let’s take a look at the top rated skimboards, then we’ll talk about how to choose the right board for you in our buying guide below.
- Length(s): 42″
- Max Rider Weight: 130 Pounds
- Materials: Fiberglass w/Foam Core
- Carry Bag Included: Yes
These 42-inch fiberglass boards are individually handcrafted in the USA. They are made with a foam core which helps the board to float more easily.
They have a gel coating and finished with fiberglass for a smooth finish that easily glides across the water.
Graphic art and design featured on the boards is unique to each board as a mark of each board’s individuality and handcrafted quality. This board is good for beginner to intermediate riders weighing up to 130 pounds.
You can purchase just the board but Amazon does offer a package deal in which you can purchase the board with a carrying bag and traction pad included.
Whether you decide to purchase the package or the board alone, Wave Zone will include a free container of surf wax, stickers and a signed note from the Wave Zone owner. This is not a cheap board like you might get a Walmart, but something that is going to last a longtime!
Overall, it is a bit pricier than your typical beginner to intermediate skimboards but for individualized handcrafted boards, you are naturally going to pay more for it than you would a skimboard that is punched out by a machine in mass production.
The handcrafted quality makes it one of the best skimboards and worth the extra money. If you have hopes of becoming more serious about skimboarding in the future, the Wavezone is your best bet.
- Length(s): 45″
- Max Rider Weight: 185 Pounds
- Materials: Solid wood core & EVA traction pad
- Carry Bag Included: No
The entire deck of this skimboard is covered with a foam EVA Traction Pad allowing for a good grip no matter where you step on the board’s surface.
Compared to other boards, this board is stronger and more durable because of its solid wood core.
Instead of being made of laminate layers, it only has one piece of wood, making it less likely to fall apart with time. With three sizes and nine colors to choose from, this is a great board for beginners of almost any size.
Coated with a protective layer of resin, this makes the board stronger and less likely to be damaged from normal use.
It is important to note that because the board is solid wood, it is heavier and is more likely to sink under the water but it is also a lot less likely to be caught by the wind and blown away.
For less then $90, you will get a good skimboard to take to the beach and will last more than a few days. While you aren’t going to get a professional board with amazing quality at this price like the Wavestorm.
The board is rated for riders up to 185 pounds for the 45 inch board but I think they are being a bit cautious, you honestly could push it up to 200 pounds with some practice.
If your looking for some fun in the surf and sun, this board is a great option! Probably the best skimboard for the money.
- Length(s): 48″
- Max Rider Weight: 200 Pounds
- Materials: Carbon reinforced fiberglass
- Carry Bag Included: No
The Slapfish features a unique construction of a fiberglass with carbon fiber reinforcement for durability and long life.
The board had an 3M waterproof adhesive so its completely sealed. I like the EVA foam deck that gives you solid traction on the board, no need for waxing.
Fedmax gave the their board enough rocker to cruise through rougher surf than many other skimboards would not be able to handle.
The Slapfish is only comes in one size, 48″ and is suitable for boarders over 50 pounds up to 200 pounds and is one of the most stylish boards on our list.
This high quality board is made with a Poly PVC foam core and not the cheaper EPS (styrofoam) core that most skimboards use. This means that the board is more durable and not delaminate! This is important if you want your board to last.
Slapfish stands behind the skimboard and offers an unprecedented 12 month warranty where you can return the board at anytime for any reason! I think the Fedmax is the best skimboard for beginners and can be used most everyone!
- Length(s): 35″, 41″
- Max Rider Weight: 140 Pounds
- Materials: Solid wood core & EVA traction pad
- Carry Bag Included: No
The Liquid Shredder has a standard plywood core and a layered EVA Traction Pad that doesn’t need waxing. Available in two sizes and rwo colors, you should be able to find a design that is good for you.
Depending on the size, the board weighs between 3 and 5 pounds and can support riders up to 140 pounds.
The diamond shaped grooves in the traction pad help to make the board easier to grip, even when wet and allows for easier use for beginners and intermediate riders alike.
The resin coated top and bottom of the board not only give it a nice shiny finish, but it also provides a smooth surface that glides over the water with ease.
This isn’t a high performance trick board but for less than $50 you can’t get one of those. But this board proves that you can get a pretty good quality board for beginner riders that is strong, sturdy and rides well.
- Length(s): 30″, 35″, 40″
- Max Rider Weight: 175 Pounds
- Materials: Epoxy plywood
- Carry Bag Included: No
This “woodie” has a laminate deck and comes is three different sizes, 30”, 35” and 40”. Designed for beginners, with a 12” wide tail and 20” wide deck, riders have enough room to easily hop on the board when the water calls.
Available in six different styles, you can find the board that suits your personality the best.
The hardwood laminate makes the board tough so you don’t have to worry about the shells and rocks on the shore. It also glides across the water with ease.
My biggest complaint is that after a while, the laminate began to chip off or separate around the edges of the board.
This is definitely not a professional, long lasting skimboard by any means but for less than $70, it’s a great board for beginners to get out there and start learning and decide if skimboarding is really something they want to learn.
Once you become a better rider, you can upgrade to a better skimboard like the Wavezone.
How to Choose the Best Skimboard – Buyers Guide
Skimboarding is an awesome board sport that tests your balance, power of observation and your general physical fitness level.
Whether you are just starting out and looking for a beginner board to get started or you are looking to up your game with a more advanced model with better features, one thing still remains true. Know what the market has to offer.
Skims boards are not a one-size fits all kind of thing. There are many different models, shapes, sizes and even special features that can improve your boarding experience.
Deciding which features are worth it for you personally is important to having a truly magical ride as you glide across the surface of the water like an airplane glides through the air.
How are you supposed to know which features and boards are right for you? That is a very good question. Where do you even get started? That is an even better question.
Types of Skimboards
Before you can start shopping around, you first need to have a basic understanding of the types of skimboards that you can purchase. There are two primary types of skimboards: wave riding and flatland/inland. Each type of board is used for a different form of skimboarding.
When people talk about “skimboards”, they are usually talking about those used for wave riding. These are the most common skimboards used in competition and by professionals and amateurs alike.
Though their shape is generally the same, the actual features and who they are built for can differ greatly. Some options available are foam boards, fiberglass boards, and carbon fiber boards. All three of these boards materials have their strengths and weaknesses and each one requires a special skill set or training in order to use them well.
These skimboards are often called “woodies” because they are usually made of wood. These boards are known for their toughness.
Rocks, shells and other obstacles don’t stand a chance against a good solid woodie. There are two main types of woodies: trick boards and cruising boards. Cruising boards are also called pintails because of their curved shape.
Considerations For Skimboards
There are two extremes when it comes to the weight of a skimboard and you typically want to avoid both extremes. You need to find the happy medium between too heavy and too light. If it is too heavy, the board won’t be able to glide across the water and will instead sink to the bottom.
Speed is important, in order to catch the waves, you must be faster than the waves. To do this, you need a board that is capable of reaching a good quality speed while still allowing you to have control and balance on the board.
Also known as a nose lift, this is what enables you to control the board. There are typically three types of rockers. A constant rocker is means the curve between the front and back of the board remains the same. If you are planning to catch waves, you will probably want a constant rocker because it allows for better control on the bigger waves.
The most common type of rocker is the hybrid. The bottom of the back of the board is generally flat, while the center and front of the board have a slight curve.
The third type of rocker is the traditional rocker, only the very tip of the board has a curve and the rest of the board is flat.
Rockers are best decided on by what type of skimboarding you will be doing. Big waves verses shoreline is the biggest difference. Constant for big. Traditional for shoreline. Hybrid for a combination of both.
Flexibility is where you add your own flavor to your boarding. The unique tricks and the way that you ride are key to deciding on the flexibility of the board.
If you are new to skimboarding, play with a few different ideas. Be creative and have fun, that’s the only way to figure out how the flexibility of a board works for or against you.
FAQs About Skimboards
Q: Is it necessary to wax a skimboard?
A: Most pros agree that it’s best to wax your board in addition to using traction pads. This is especially true for beginners. The type of wax you use and the areas of your board that you choose to wax are completely up to you as the boarder. It’s best to try out various combinations and patterns of traction pads and waxed areas. You might even learn a thing or two about waxing and traction pads from other boarders you meet at the beach.
Q: Can I repair my skimboard?
A: Some types of damage to a skimboard can be repaired which can help you get the most life out of it. If you see damage, such as a minor crack in the fiberglass, it’s important to repair it quickly so the damage doesn’t get worse, making it necessary to invest in a new board.
Q: What’s the proper way to maintain my skimboard?
A: Many skimboards will develop small scratches and cracks along the underside. Any damage that does not reach the foam core of the board usually doesn’t need repair. If the skin of the board is punctured or worn away to the point that the foam is exposed it’s important to prevent further damage.
Superglue may be a temporary fix if you plan on investing in a new board very soon. If you plan on keeping it, more permanent repairs are necessary. You may find the materials you need online, or a surf shop can repair it for you.
Q: How do I position myself to go after a wave?
A: You should have one hand on the back of the skim board and the other along the side. Either side will work depending on which is your dominant hand. Always keep your dominant foot on the back of the board to help you maneuver. When skimming, always keep your weight in the middle of the board.
Q: What skimboarding tricks can I do as a beginner?
A: The backside 180 is one of the easiest tricks to learn for beginner skimboarders. Using your foot on the back of the board, turn the board 180°. You can do this in either direction. The body varial is a little trickier, but with practice, it’s a cool trick to show off to your friends. While riding in front of a wave, jump off the board, turn 180° and land on the board again. Do you know any tricks that we should share? Comment below!
Tips For Skimboarding
These top five skim boarding tricks will help you on your way to becoming an advanced skimboarder in no time.
Tip #1: Use Traction Pads
Traction pads are designed to, well, give you the traction you need to stay on the board with both stability and balance. Different boards use different patterns of traction pads. If your board doesn’t have traction pads, you can buy one specifically for your needs. Some traction material even comes in larger pieces and you can cut them to fit the shape and size you’re looking for. Traction pads are very helpful for beginner skimboarders.
Tip #2: Learn to Read the Waves
Unlike surfing, when skimboarding you aren’t riding the wave itself. Instead, you are riding the moving water in front of the wave. Because of this, it’s important to learn which waves are best. You’ll need to learn how the incoming and outgoing tides affect the waves, as well as look for moving water in front of waves that are perfect for skimboarding.
Tip #3: Don’t Be Afraid to Fall
Falling off your skimboard is inevitable. Even the pros fall off their board. However, when learning how to skimboard or even learning how to do new tricks on your board, falling is just the name of the game. The more you practice the better you’ll get, but in the meantime don’t be afraid to fall.
Tip #4: Wear Ear Plugs
Repeated exposure to fast-moving water such as waves can cause damage to your ears. This damage may be irreversible. It’s important to wear ear protection, such as earplugs, when boarding. There are many types of earplugs available. Some may be a waxy substance, some may be foam. Choose the right your protection for you and avoid the potential damage.
Tip #5: Take Care of Your Knees & Back
The impacts felt when falling off your board or doing tricks can be hard on your knees and back. When not skimboarding, be sure to exercise and strengthen your legs and back. Before you hit the waves at the beach, be sure to stretch thoroughly to avoid injury. The more physically fit you are, the easier it will be on your body.
The boards listed in this buying guide are just a few of the many options out there on the market. This buying guide focuses mostly on boards for beginners but you can still use this guide for figuring out what you want if you are interested in purchasing more advanced boards or high performance trick boards as well.
Until you get out there and start looking around, you will never know what you might find. Starting with a budget and knowing how you will be using your skimboard should be first on your “to do” list.
Once you have answers to both how those questions, then you will know what features to start looking for in your new board. You might be surprised by the amazing deals and boards on the market. Good luck and happy skimming!
I hope this guide was helpful for finding the best skimboard to fit your needs. If you want to comment or recommend a board I didn’t include, please use my contact form to get in touch.
Have fun and be safe out there!
How We Researched
To come up with the top skimboards, we researched a variety of sources for reviews such as REI, Dicks Sporting Goods, West Marine and Backcountry along with our own personal experience.
We also consulted online magazines for product research and reviews to get as much unbiased information as we could. To help weed out fake reviews we used Fakespot.com to make sure we only looked at genuine reviews.
With so much quality gear available, we had to narrow it down based on what we felt were the best options were for the price. The author, Richard Remick has been an avid skimboarder for over 10 years.
To help narrow down the selection he used his personal experience along with recommendations from skimboard instructors, and rental shops.
After extensive research, we came up with our list to help you choose the right one for you.