Welcome to the first episode of our trick tip series. Today we are going to introduce you to flatland skimboarding and go over some basics.
Flatland Skimboarding is a sport that involves riding a rockered board over shallow water. You can skimboard on beaches, rivers, lakes, tide pools, ditches, and anywhere you can find shallow water. If you don’t know of any spots near you - check out our skim spot finder at dbskimboards.com.
Getting a skimboard
The first thing you need is a skimboard. Make sure not to buy a cheap $30 board. You need to spend at least $100 on a nice skimboard with solid construction. This will make skimboarding just that much easier from the beginning. We have great starter boards like our Plank and our Flex and Standard skimboards with traction that are great for beginners also you can checkout at DBskimboards.com.
What is my stance? Regular or goofy foot?
The first thing you need to do is figure out whether you are regular or goofy foot. The easiest way to tell is by putting the skimboard on the ground and jumping on it. If your left foot is forward you are regular foot. If your right foot is forward you are goofy. Do whatever is most comfortable for you. After you have figured out your stance practice jumping on the board a couple times to make sure you feel comfortable in that stance.
Skimboard foot placement
You want your feet shoulder width apart on the board. Your back foot should be placed 2-3 inches from the tail of the board and your front foot should be past center where you feel most comfortable.
Jumping on the skimboard
Make sure to get on the board from the back. Not from the sides. This will propel you forward in a straight line and take your momentum in the direction you want to go.
An easy way to learn to jump on correctly is to practice on the sand first. Draw a straight line in the sand and practice your approach. Remember to bend your knees once you get on the board to keep your center of gravity low. Lastly, although we say it is jumping on the board you really want to “glide” onto the board with your momentum. If you fully jump on the board you will push it down and immediately lose speed. Get comfortable with your approach, jumping on the board, and foot placement before taking it to the water.
Throwing the skimboard
A good throw is critical to a long ride on a skimboard. To begin your throw place your dominant hand on the tail of the board and your non dominant hand ¾ of the way up the rail. Your dominant hand should propel the board forward while your non dominant hand guides and keeps the board level. Make sure to through the board as straight and flat as possible so your board doesn’t nose dive or give you an awkward angle for your approach. Practice your throw with a friend until you are confident and ready to combine your throw with your glide.
Once you have your glide and throw dialed in it’s time to combine the two. Start by identifying any potential hazards in the skim area. Make sure you have at least 20-30 yards of shallow sandy water free of shells, rocks, debris, or any sand bars that will stop your board.
Be aware that your first time jumping onto the board will be very difficult - the board reacts to the placement of your weight and will feel like a stepping on a Banana Peel your first time. Be sure not to put too much weight backward - falling forward is always a lot easier!
Start slow and increase your running speed as you get better. Experiment with your balance and approach - practice makes perfect. Once you have got riding straight down you can start adding in some maneuvers and tricks. Make sure to checkout the next trick tip tutorial.