SkimOnline was born in December of 1994 in Aaron Peluso’s college apartment. At the time there was no skimboarding magazine, no skimboarding newsletter, and SkimOnline was the second web page on the internet that contained the word “Skimboarding”. If only we were a couple months earlier!
Originally, the site was really half skimboarding and half personal interest homepage, as many sites were at the time. It became clear pretty quickly however, that the skimboarding side of the site filed a gap for information about the sport.
As a young professional skimboarder in the center of the skim world, Aaron Peluso was in a relatively unique position to take the news and information he already had access to, and spread it to those who had no other way of attaining it. At the time, the public’s understanding of the sport of skimboarding was almost exclusively “sliding on the sand with a wood board”. As far as the public conciousness was concerned, there was a lot of work to be done. Aaron took up the task of showing visitors the potential of the sport that he loved.
By 1997 it was time for a remodel. Cutting edge technology was becoming available which allowed amazing things like capturing still images from Hi8 video tapes… It was time for a remodel!!!
Yes, we know… amazing skills. This change also coincided with the first time that SkimOnline actually resided on the domain skimonline.com, rather than the USC servers.
Version 2.0 was quite the hit. By separating the skimboarding site from the personal pages of Aaron Peluso, the site was more professional looking, better organized, and more popular than ever. It was still the only substantial website covering skimboarding, and there was still no print publication for the skim world. It also began implemented a message board system, similar to the old BBS messaging systems, which would eventually prove to be quite popular!
Around 1998/1999, another skim site called goskim.com popped up and for the first time, SkimOnline had some competition. The creator of goskim.com had some great ideas and motivated SkimOnline to step up its game. Additionally, Skim Magazine hit the newsstands that same year, and for the first time in about a decade, skimboarding had its own print publication once more.
It was time for another upgrade, and work on version 3.0 began in late 1999. With a fresh new look, “modern” layout, and advanced technologies like 15 lines of CSS, the new site was a hit. It was also the first time that SkimOnline began focusing on news, rather than static instructional, historical, and media content. Take a look, you may have seen this one:
With the new site becoming more and more popular, it was time for the site to branch out even further. In 2001 SkimOnline released a skimboard VHS (and later a DVD) entitled Aegis which was very well received. To help sell and promote the video, an online shop was developed and banners were created to spark sales of the video from within SkimOnline. Other skim videos were soon added to the shop and this provided a small revenue stream which helped pay for the increasingly expensive hosting fees associated with the site’s exponentially increasing traffic.
In 2002 Aaron unveiled his second skim related brand, Exile Skimboards. The demands of creating and running a full scale manufacturing took a lot of Aaron’s focus from SkimOnline. In spite of the lack of any substantial development or updating for the following eight years, SkimOnline remained the top destination for skimboarding on the internet. Contest schedules and the most important news remained available on the front page, while a huge amount of information resided in the ever growing SkimOnline Message Boards, which gradually accumulated over one million posts.
Despite the continued relative success of the site, much more was possible. In the spring of 2010 it was finally time for version 4.0. This latest version marks substantial changes for the site which are more than just cosmetic. Using new CMS tools the site is designed to be updated by multiple contributors, from any computer with internet access. Additionally, due to potential conflicts of interest as well as time constraints, SkimOnline is getting its first real employee, a content editor charged with procuring and updating news content on the site.
With some hard work, support, and maybe a little luck, SkimOnline hopes be able to help skimboarding grow into its next phase. And the best part? You can help make it happen! If you have something to contribute, drop us a line and we can work together to help promote and grow this sport which we love.