Have you ever tried flatland skimboarding? You have probably seen people lined up across the shoreline, skimming across the sand on what you might have thought were surfboards. But they don’t take their boards out to open waters; they stay parallel to the coast, in shallow water.
What you experienced is a known water sport, "flatland skimboarding," and while you may not believe it, skimboarding has been around for quite some time. Back in the 1920s, lifeguards would skim across the sand on long pieces of wood.
Flatland Skimboarding - What Exactly Is It?
Flatland skimboarding is a form of skimboarding done inland on non-coastal waters such as rivers, streams, or puddles. A “skimboard” is used to help the rider skim across water and perform stunts as they go.
Flatland skimboarding is becoming more and more popular for a variety of reasons, including its versatility. You can do this type of skimboarding nearly anywhere across the globe as long as you have a shallow pool of water in reach.
Types of Skimboards
In the past, skimmers would construct their skimboards using wooden boards. Though most modern-day skimboards come in wood designs, you can find skimboards made of many materials today, and they are all better shaped to assist in skimming. New preferred shapes usually mean a more symmetrically shaped skimboard. These differ from your conventional surfboards as they come without fins attached and are comparatively smaller in size.
There are two main types of skimboards you can purchase today:
Wooden skimboards are built using wood; the most commonly used woods include mahogany plywood or birch. These are better suited to flatland or inland skimboarding.
Foam skimboards are more lightweight boards made using a foam “core”. These are comparatively lighter, flexible, and more buoyant, making them perfect for beach skimboarding.
Flatland Skimboarding Vs Beach Skimboarding
Flatland skimboarding and beach skimboarding are quite different, although they both involve skimming across shallow pools of water.
Beach skimboarding: Beach skimboarding is usually done via epoxy foam skimboards near the shoreline. Wooden skimboards aren’t exactly suitable for beach skimboarding as they are far heavier and prone to sinking. This type of skimboarding requires time and patience to master. It’s a lot more similar to surfing as you will be skimming along to “waves”. Beach skimboarding will usually involve skimming parallel to the beach shoreline or skimming towards the wave and back to the shore.
Flatland skimboarding: On the other hand, flatland skimboarding is usually done via wooden skimboards on shallow water inland. Foam skimboards would not be suitable for flatland skimboarding as any obstructions in the way, such as rocks, logs, and sticks, could easily damage your skimboard and collapse your momentum. This is why more rigid wooden skimboards are preferred.
In actuality, you can skimboard anywhere inland as long as you have a water body nearby. This type of skimboarding is more similar to skateboarding as it requires a similar skill set.
In short, beach skimboarding is more technical and requires a lot more skill set before you can truly have fun. Flatland skimboarding is easier to master and is a lot of fun, flexible, and as a bonus, it also helps you practice and evolve to beach skimboarding someday!