Skimboarding Tips

Dealing with Wind.
If it is very windy and you are having trouble throwing your board on the sand without the wind blowing it away you can kick sand on the bottom of your wet board. The sand will usually stick (unless you wax it or something) and will make your board much heavier and thereby easier to drop in the wind. Once you drop your board the sand comes right off and your board is just as light as it normally is!
Getting on the Board
Of course you know how to get on the board. Just jump on, right? Wrong. The best way to get on your board is to “run onto it”. By running onto the board you decrease your chance of falling. There is a minimum amount of weight on the board so it has less of a tendency to slip out from under you. Furthermore, if you are doing a water drop you wont unnecessarily weight down the board, which creates drag and slows you down. Finally, by running on the board you lose as little speed as possible during the drop. If you jump onto it you are using your energy to jump up into the air instead of using it to move towards the wave faster. When you run onto the board you maintain your speed much better.

Reaching the Waves.
If you are having trouble getting out to waves without sinking you may want to try Side-Slipping. This can be hard to master but its worth it. Basically, while your speeding over the water out toward the wave, you turn your board sideways so that your toes are pointed out toward the ocean. If you trim it just right, you will lose speed at a much slower rate. When you get near the wave, turn your board back to its normal position and ride like you normally would.

Making your board faster?
Some people think that waxing the bottom of your skimboard with car wax makes it faster. Rain X and other similar products would seem to work just as well. Note: This makes it so so that sand will not stick to the bottom of your board. (i.e. tip #1 wont work with tip #3)

Use the right wax.
Hopefully you already know that you are supposed to put wax on the top of your board. But many people do not know that different kinds work much differently. Besides the different brands, there are different temperature specifications. Colder water wax tends to be much softer and stickier while warm and tropical varieties are hard and less sticky. Colder water wax wears away quicker however, you will have to wax your board less often with a warm water wax.

Good skimboarding technique.
Always make sure that you back foot is on the back of the board! It is a very common mistake for people to stand too far forward on the board. In fact, I should taker my own advice! I would be a much better skimmer if I took care to stand in the right place.

Preparing to ride a new board.
When you get a new board direct from the manufacturer you may find that you have a hard time getting wax and/or traction pads to stick to it. This is because manufacturers often polish the boards to make them look pretty. They end up looking real nice but that polish makes the surface to slippery for stuff to stick to. To get rid of this problem clean the board as well as you can. Then use rubbing alcohol on the desired area to remove to polish from the surface. After doing this your wax and traction pads should stick much better!

Packing your board for airline travel.
One common way to do this is to purchase a skimboard travel bag. There are some additional things that need to be done though because the bag by itself is not enough to protect the board. When you purchase the bag get one that is a little too big for your board. This allows you to protect the rails (the most vulnerable part of the board) by stuffing towels and wetsuits along the rails. I usually go so far as to use duct tape to keep the padding in place. Thankfully boards are pretty strong so you don’t have to worry too much about them breaking. Rail damage is the main concern. If you are wondering how much padding to use, consider what happened to my board on a Cabo trip a few years back. I was sitting on the plane getting ready to take off when I noticed the luggage cart driving out with all the baggage. At the very top of one of the heaps of luggage was my skimboard. As you probably guessed the driver turned the cart and my board fell 10 feet to the pavement landing square on the rail. Thanks to all the padding that I had used there was no ding. Just keep this kind of thing in mind when you pack your board. Don’t forget to check out the board bags section of the buyer’s guide.

If you are on a tight budget a sleeping bag can also help protect a skimboard during airline flight. Again, use the sturdiest, thickest bag you can get your hands on and stuff it with pillows, wetsuits and the like. When you are finished wrap it all up with duct tape and pray that your board arrives in one piece. (praying is optional)

Another great idea submitted from Brent is to use pipe insulation. It folds right over the rail and provides really good protection for the most exposed area of the board (the rail). You might have trouble fitting it in a board bag though.

Reattaching Traction Pads
Traction pads have a tendency to come off over time. To keep this from happening make sure you prepare the surface properly prior to sticking the pads on. If and when the pads start coming up on the edges, super glue is a great thing to have. It is the best commonly available glue for this that I have come across. Make sure and use a lot of it and seal the edges around the pad with glue. You can also use super glue to reattach an entire pad. This can be good for moving your traction pads from an old board to a new one. A hot hair dryer can make it easier to remove the pad if you haven’t already used super glue on it.

Removing Wax and Traction Pad Glue
Wax is pretty easy to remove. Just put your board in the sun and watch the wax melt. When it is fully melted rub it off with sand or paper towels. The glue from traction pads can be harder to get off. There is this stuff called goof off that works wonders though. Just put some on there and wait a few minutes. Then you can scrape it off with a razor blade or even wipe it off! Goof Off also works on wax.