15 Apr 2022
The Pacific Northwest is filled with an overload of outdoor recreation opportunities. During Spring, the weather is perfect for skimboarding. This perfect window of time is around spring break – when school is out for the kids – on the west coast.
The Pacific Northwest is one of the best places to learn how to skimboard. It is home to some of the best skimboarding spots in the United States. CNN rated Washington's coastline as one of the top places in the U.S. to visit due to not only the endless recreation, but the beautiful scenery unique to the PNW. There is a pristine stretch of the Hidden Coast byway that is perfect for skimboarding!
What Is Skimboarding?
Skimboarding is a board sport that needs only a shallow pool of water on a flat surface, a fin-less flat board, and a little bit of running speed. The idea is to “skim” the board across the water and hop on for a ride! Think of sliding around on the hardwood kitchen floor in your socks, or an air hockey puck sliding on the air hockey table - that's the basic idea, and it just gets more advanced from there on.
Flatland skimboarding is just as the name implies: skimboarding on a flat surface. The advanced athletes will add tricks much like skateboarding and includes everything from Ollie’s to even Kick-Flips.
Flatland skimboarding is most popular in Washington State and you can see many skilled riders sponsored by Tacoma-based DB Skimboards such as Adrian Raza, Casey Gackle, and Blake Zimmerman.There are two main types of skimboarding: flatland and wave.
Wave skimboarding is more popular on beaches that have a steeper slope to the water and athletes will “skim” into a wave to perform tricks much akin to surfing. Harder to do without the right beach, you can find pros such as Austin Keen and Blair Conklin for inspiration.
How Is Skimboarding Like Surfing?
Skimboarding and surfing have a lot of similarities. Both sports involve riding on the water, and both sports involve balancing on a board. But that doesn't mean they're the same sport.
Surfing is more about being in the water and requires a high level of paddling endurance. Surfers have to paddle out beyond the breaking waves to catch them at their strongest point. In fact, catching a wave is one of the hardest parts of surfing—and it's also one of the most exciting.
Surfers put up with a lot of waiting around for a big wave to come that's just right for them and depend on wave forecasts constantly. Skimboarders don’t have that strict of a requirement and can go just about anytime (barring high winds at least).
For some people, skimboarding is harder than surfing because it requires a sprinting effort for speed plus you have to jump on this moving object and make sure your feet are set just right! But for others, surfing is harder because it takes so much paddling endurance to catch and ride that wave plus a substantial amount of core strength to pop.
Is Skimboarding Harder Than Surfing?
The short answer: It depends. And here's why.
When you're surfing, you're in the water riding a wave that's constantly moving. When you're skimboarding, you're trying to run fast enough so that you can jump onto the board and ride it for enough time or distance to do tricks or go the distance. This means that skimboarders have a different workload than surfers between running fast with your legs and paddling hard with your arms.
Timing plays a huge role in how much work you need to do. When on the beach skimboarding you have to wait for the water to roll up the beach to provide the proper depth to skim on. It's also important for the wave to be moving at exactly the right speed and direction so you don’t run out of wave and hit the sand. That's why skimboarders have to practice so much!
Which Should I Try First?
Honestly, try them both!
Skimboarding and surfing complement each other immensely while working your body differently. Foot placement, timing, balance, and situational awareness all place critical roles in both. Skimboarding can be a much less intimidating sport over surfing as it does not require swimming abilities and is very minimal for equipment requirements. Most days all you need is a swimsuit and a skimboard!
If you are trying to find out where to skimboard, look no further than Seabrook, Washington. This location is the perfect adventure hub on the Olympic Peninsula. What is great about skimboarding in Pacific Beach at Seabrook is that it’s just one of the many things you can do during your seaside vacation.
There is an adventure shop in town called Buck’s Northwest. They have supplies and staff experts who can teach you how to skimboard. The team at Buck’s even operates a seasonal skimboard pool to learn and practice in without needing to wait for the waves (or be discouraged by the wind). Not only will you learn how to skimboard, you will also learn many tips and tricks that make skimboarding fun for beginners, adults, and kids of all levels.
No matter where your adventure takes you, one thing is clear - Seabrook is the perfect hub for all of your skimboarding needs. With a wide selection of expertly appointed homes, activities for the whole family, shops, and restaurants with indoor and outdoor seating, you can experience the Pacific Northwest in ways you could only dream of. Because here in Seabrook, your only limit is your imagination.