Skimboard or nautical riding?

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Skimboarding is a water sport which is practiced with the help of a component of the surfboard, named skimboard, in order to slide smoothly on the water's surface. Unlike surfing, skimboarding can be practiced at the seaside, athletes can advance at sea against small waves. When they return they also use waves, in a similar way used in surfing. Shortly, skimboarding is a mixture of surfing and skateboarding.

This is the reason why it became one of the most popular sport among those searching for thrills. The youngsters who practice skimboarding can try different tricks and acrobatic moves, taken from skateboarding. Skimboarding is original from South California. It was created at the coastal lifeguards request, who wanted to be able to enter easier into the lagoons. Shortly their idea became a sport, currently practiced by millions of athletes and tourists.

The features of skimboarding

Practitioners usually choose a skimboard that reaches their waist. The reason is not just for balance, but also to be able to sit on their bellies among the waves. The thickness of the board depends of the materials used to build it. It usually varies from 1 cm to 2.5 cm. The most common thickness is 1.6 cm or 1.87 cm.

There are three skimboard types. The classic board has a continuous in relief curve from tail to top and is used to have a better control and balance over the waves. The hybrid board is the most commonly used. It has a curve at the bottom, at about 3/4 of its length, and the rest is flat. This board is used for speed and control over medium size waves. The traditional board is flat, excluding the top which resemble a snub nose.


Skimboarders face daily a lot of dangers. It's common to see fractures and sprains of the lower limbs, some even require specialized medical attention. Lacerations, twisted ankles and bruises are also common as a result of the impact with rocks, logs and other obstructions. Even though this sport is practiced in shallow waters, drowning is the most common cause of deaths. Often, the practitioners lose their balance and fall from the board.


The World Championships for Skimboarding takes place every year in New Orleans. Big waves for skimboarders can be also found in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. However, people prefer other places from North America, Europe (Portugal, France, Spain, Great Britain and Holland), Australia, Asia and South America. But if you can't get to any of these areas, skimboarding can be practiced anywhere there are waves. So for us, Romania, The Black Sea can be the closest place for skimboarding.

Author: Gina Rotaru

Translated by Ana Maria Andronache


Published in: noiembrie 2012
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