Differences in Skimboard Designs
Skimboards come in all sorts of flavors. Length, material, curve, bend, tail, and weight all play into the way the board behaves.
Most things made of foam are not durable, but when choosing skimboards you’re better off with a foam board. The entire board isn’t made of foam though, just the interior. They will be wrapped in either fiberglass or carbon fiber and will be lightweight and durable. These boards will range in price from about $100 to over $300. Don’t let that scare you away though; there is no sport out there like skimboarding!
Wood boards are cheaper ranging from $20 to around $80. They can be made from all sorts of woods and can even be coated in resin like the foam boards are, like the Victoria Woody. Since the boards are made of wood, they will be heavy which means you’re going to have a hard time staying afloat in deep water. So, wood boards should generally be used for skimming on the beaches and in shallow water.
The thickness of a board helps with buoyancy. The thicker the board the longer you’ll stay afloat in deep water. But be careful, the thicker the board the heavier it gets and less maneuverable it becomes. Ideally, you’ll want a board of 5/8 inch to ¾ inch thick unless you’re looking for more buoyancy.
If you look at the nose of your board, you’ll notice it bends upwards. This bending helps the board from digging straight down into the sand when you first hop on it. Too much rocker will reduce the surface area that touches the water and therefore make the board slow. The amount of rocker varies from rider to rider and also on how steep the beach is. The steeper the beach, the more rocker you want.
Lighter boards are better boards, but lighter boards are also very expensive boards. The lightest boards are made of fiberglass, but man is there a difference in riding them. The only time a light board may not be a good thing is when there is really a lot of wind.
The most common tail shape is the pintail (which is the same shape as the nose) but there are also several other variations. A fish tail (also called swallow tail and is W shaped) and square tail are other variations. The purpose of the fish and square tail is to shorten the board giving a feel of more maneuverability. These tails also create a bigger spray than the pintail.