Skimboards are generally made of wood, fibreglass or foam. While some skimboarders prefer using a wooden one, there are others who prefer to use a foam one. Here are the features of both the types of boards explained.
Wooden skimboards are used when you want to do sand skimming. It is a water sport that can also be called shore riding on the sand. As these are heavier, users prefer to use this on shallow waters or wet sand.
These, of course, can also be taken in the water to wrap a wave. But with wooden boards, one needs a lot of practice. You need to gain expertise over placing your weight on the board and kicking your foot to turn all simultaneously.
A wooden skimboard may weigh around 18 to 22 pounds. Moreover, as these boards are heavier, they come without the rounded rail that is useful to wrap a wave.
Wooden skimboards are very common on the East Coast areas where one can find longer wave wash conditions. These conditions are favourable for shore riding on sand. Wood skimboards cost much less than the fibreglass ones.
They are generally priced under $100. These are engineered from cherry, balsa or mahogany wood. Moreover, as these boards are cheaper, there are more design choices too.
Those made with foam or fibreglass are costlier and so the manufacturers do not experiment with design variations. But it is better to go with tried and tested designs. When you buy a skimboard, you should not go on the looks or design, but on the performance in the water.
Wooden boards are further protected with a coating of epoxy or polyester resin to make them resistant to water. Some better models even have a coating of fibreglass over wood.
Fibreglass skimboards are more common with professional skimboarders. These are light-in-weight, durable, buoyant and very effective for this type of sport. A typical board may weigh between 3 to 5 pounds.
But these are also very expensive when compared to a wooden board. A wooden board is easily available in all the tourist shops in tourist destinations, but these are available only in selected stores or sports shops.
These boards are expensive because they are designed with costly material and require a lot of labour. A good board foam and fibreglass board can cost around $180. Wave skimming is a common sport in the West Coast and in Hawaii and these boards are more common there.
These boards are made from a sheet of Divinycell brand polyurethane foam and then shaped using rockers and rails. They are finally enclosed in a thin sheet of glass.
These can have different shapes and tail designs. You can find fibreglass skimboards with square, pin-shaped or swallowtails. The pricing depends upon the design. A good board is then sealed with epoxy resin to last longer.
There are various types of fibres used such as E-glass, carbon fibre, S-glass, Kevlar and Texalium. Ultimately, fibreglass skimboards give you the best skimboarding experience.