How does Skimboarding work?

The idea behind skimboarding really depends on a very thin film of water. This water is usually no deeper than a quarter inch. It’s kind of interesting that you can skim along so fast in such shallow water isn’t it? The reason why this works so well on a thin versus thick layer of water is because your weight on the board squeezes the water downward but the ground pushes back.

So because the board is so close to the ground, small vortices are created under the board that wouldn’t be created if the water was deeper, thus it reduces drag and increases speed. This keeps you from touching the sand, allowing you to skim quickly along the beach until you hit some deeper water, where you will need buoyancy and speed to continue on.

This skimming effect is also seen with airplanes and helicopters at very low altitude, but it happens with the air instead. Because of this concept, known as the ground effect, skimboarding is unique in that there are no other extreme sports that rely solely on this phenomenon.

The distance and speed you travel also depend on the board that you are on. See how to choose the right size skimboard for help on finding which board will get you the furthest.

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