Surfing on flat water – Skimboarding


IBS Publishing Team


Skimboarding is a kind of unique water sports that requires neither big waves, wind or deep water. However, it requires technique, balance and a perfect timing to perform spectacular tricks on the coastline. Here you can find out more about this increasingly popular sporty trend.

The right skimboard: flat & oval

To skim – to glide on flat water – skimboarders use the principle of auqaplaning. Skimming takes place on flat water, i.e. in the area of the shore breaks or in a surge, which is why skimboards, unlike surfboards, do not have fins. Skimboards are oval, slightly curved and comparatively short with a length of 90 to 130 cm. The board is usually made of wood or a material mix with a wooden core.


Image source: iStock / myshkovsky

Ready for take-off? – The jump on the board

Skimming is all about the tricks you do on the cool wet. But before it comes to the stunts, the jump on the board – the “take-off” – must be mastered. To do this, after a quick run-up, the board has to be thrown flat on the wet surface. like sand or patch of grass, before you skip skillfully behind the gliding board.


Austin Keen, multiple skimboarding world champion, shows you how to do it. What looks easy with him, requires both practice and perfection. Many beginners make the mistake of throwing the board diagonally onto the surface – with one end of the board in first. But this prevents a smooth performance and slows you down. Instead, the skimboard must be thrown perfectly parallel after the sprint.


The goal is to drop the board in such a way that it hits the water relatively flat and begins to glide quickly before you jump on it. The better the take-off, the more dynamic the lift.

Surfing between land and water

Skimboarding is the skateboarding of the water and can be divided into two superordinate disciplines: Wave Skimboarding and Flatland Skimboarding.


Flatland Skimboarding: As the name suggests, flatland skimboarding (also inland skimboarding) is performed on very shallow, non-coastal waters. This means that the board is manoeuvred on rivers, lakes, streams and even swimming pools or puddles and therefore does not require any swell.


Wave Skimboarding: Wave skimming creates a connection between the wet beach sand and the sea waves. Wave skimboarders aim to catch an impacting wave directly on the shoreline. That’s why they mainly go for beach breaks, which, in contrast to beach breaks, ensure a shorter distance between the waves and the shore.

If you want to hear all this again from the world champion himself, Austin Keen’s YouTube channel is just the right place for you.Here you can watch his skimming-highlights from last year. Source: YouTube / Austin Keen



As soon as you master the “take-off”, nothing stands in your way of practicing various skimming tricks. This makes skimboarding the ideal summer sport even for surfer beginner.

Source cover image : Unsplash / Michael Henry