Flatland Skimboarding: Your Complete Handbook

Imagine effortlessly gliding across shallow waters, riding a sleek board designed for grace and adventure that’s Flatland Skimboarding for you. This is a sport that dances with the waves’ memory, allowing you to perform tricks and maneuvers in even the gentlest currents. Join us as we dive into the art and thrill of flatland skimboarding, a fusion of balance, style, and the pure joy of riding the water’s edge.

Flatland Skimboarding

The Essence of Flatland Skimboarding

Flatland skimboarding is all about the art of skimming across the water’s surface using a sleek, thin board known as a skimboard. Crafted with a design that promotes effortless gliding, these boards are tailored to smoothly slide atop shallow waters. What sets this activity apart from conventional surfing is its independence from the need for robust waves. Instead of relying on large swells, flatland skimboarding harnesses the residual sheet of water that lingers after waves withdraw. This innovative approach allows riders to execute a range of captivating tricks even in areas with limited water depth.

Whether you’re drawn by the thrill of gliding across the water or the prospect of mastering new techniques, flatland skimboarding promises a unique experience that captures the essence of both the sea and the sport.

How to do Flatland Skimboarding?

Embarking on your flatland skimboarding journey is an exciting endeavor that requires just a few essentials and a whole lot of enthusiasm. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started and make those initial glides on the water’s surface a memorable experience.

Your Gears & Ground

Before you set foot on the shoreline, gather the following items:

  1. Skimboard: This is your main tool, the bridge between you and the water. Choose a skimboard that suits your weight, height, and skill level.
  2. Wax: Applying a layer of wax to your board’s surface enhances your grip, allowing you to maintain better control during your rides.
  3. Suitable Beach: Look for a beach with shallow waters and a gentle incline. This creates the ideal setup for flatland skimboarding. You must’ve had a thought of performing skimboarding tricks on a lake, yes you can do that too but make sure you go through the complete guide on lake skimboarding covered on skimboardhub.

The Process

  1. Prepare Your Skimboard:
    Before you head to the water, apply a thin layer of wax to the upper side of your skimboard. This helps create traction and prevents slipping.
  1. Position Yourself:
    Stand at the edge of the water with your skimboard in hand. Feel the excitement building as you survey the expanse of water before you.
  • Timing is Key:
    Observe the waves. As a wave retreats, it leaves behind a thin layer of water – this is your cue. The goal is to time your run and board drop to coincide with the moment when the water retreats.
  • Drop the Board:
    As the water recedes, run toward the wet sand, and just as the shallow water forms, gently drop your skimboard onto the surface. Ensure it lands flat for a smooth start.
  • Take the Leap:
    With your board resting on the water’s surface, take a confident leap onto the board. Aim to position yourself close to the center to maintain balance.
  • Glide Gracefully:
    As you make contact with the water, feel the thrill as you begin to glide forward. Keep your weight centered on the board to avoid tipping.
  • Practice Makes Perfect:
    It’s normal to have a few wobbles and wiggles on your first few tries. Embrace the learning curve, and with each glide, you’ll gradually find your rhythm and balance.

Remember, the key to success in flatland skimboarding is practice, patience, and perseverance. Each attempt brings you closer to mastering the art of gliding across the water’s surface. So, take your time, enjoy the process, and let the exhilaration of flatland skimboarding become a part of your beachside adventures.

Different Flatland Skimboard Shapes

Pintail:Squash tail:
This shape features a narrow, pointed nose and a wide tail. It’s versatile and suitable for both wave riding and flatland tricks. Great for beginners and those looking to do various tricks or ride waves with stability.With a wider tail than the pintail, this shape offers more stability in the water. It’s a good pick for beginners learning to ride waves. The added stability makes it easier to catch waves and maintain balance.
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Rounded tail:W-tail:Streamline:
Sporting a smooth, rounded tail, this shape is excellent for flatland tricks. While not as stable as other options, it’s more maneuverable. Recommended for riders who want to perform tricks and enjoy a controlled ride.This shape boasts a wide, swallow-like tail that provides stability and maneuverability. Ideal for experienced riders aiming to perform tricks in both waves and flatland conditions. Its versatility suits different riding styles.Geared for speed, this shape features a long, thin nose and narrow tail. While not the most stable shape, it’s perfect for those seeking a fast-paced experience. The streamlined design allows the board to cut through water, ensuring speed.

When deciding, consider your skill level and the kind of riding experience you’re after. Each shape has its strengths, catering to various preferences and styles.

Some Flatland Board Tricks to Elevate Your Skimboarding

Elevate your flatland skimboarding experience by delving into an array of captivating tricks that add flair and excitement to your rides. These tricks, while requiring practice and precision, infuse your sessions with a sense of accomplishment and creativity.


Description: The Ollie is a fundamental trick that involves jumping into the air while simultaneously lifting the skimboard off the water’s surface. The challenge lies in maintaining control during the jump and landing back onto the board.

How to Perform:

  1. As you ride the board, crouch slightly to prepare for the jump.
  2. Spring off the board using both feet, raising yourself into the air.
  3. Simultaneously, kick the board with your back foot to lift it off the water.
  4. Keep your eyes on the board as you start descending.
  5. As you descend, position your feet over the board to land smoothly.

Tip: Start with small jumps to get the feel of the trick before attempting higher jumps.


Description: The Shuvit is a trick that involves spinning the skimboard beneath your feet while you’re airborne. It adds a dynamic spin to your glide, showcasing both style and skill.

How to Perform:

  1. As you approach a wave or a small bump, crouch down slightly.
  2. As you hit the bump, pop off the board using your back foot.
  3. While in the air, use your front foot to scoop the board and spin it.
  4. Rotate your body along with the board to guide the spin.
  5. As the board completes the spin, position your feet to land squarely.

Tip: Practice spinning the board without jumping to get a feel for the motion before attempting it in the air.


Description: The Kickflip is an advanced trick that involves flipping the board vertically under your feet while in the air. It’s a trick that requires precise timing and coordination.

How to Perform:

  1. Approach a wave or a small bump with moderate speed.
  2. Pop off the board using your back foot as you hit the bump.
  3. While in the air, use your front foot to flick the edge of the board, causing it to flip.
  4. Keep your eyes on the board’s rotation to time your landing.
  5. As the board completes the flip, position your feet to land.

Tip: Master the Ollie and the Shuvit before attempting the Kickflip, as it builds upon the techniques used in those tricks.

As you practice and perfect these tricks, remember that progression takes time and patience. Start with the basics, and gradually work your way up to more advanced maneuvers. Each trick you master adds a layer of excitement to your flatland skimboarding adventures, making every glide across the water a memorable experience.

A Look at Notable Flatland Skimboard Brands

The brands we’ve explored offer an intriguing variety of designs to suit different preferences and skill levels. Each brand has its own distinct approach, shaping your skimboarding experience into something uniquely yours. Here’s a table that neatly outlines the important qualities of the flatland skimboards available from different Skimboard brands:

DBMaple woodFiberglassDurable, lightweight, rounded nose and tail
VictoriaHDPEFiberglassLightweight, durable, rockered bottom
ZapMaple woodFiberglassHigh performance, durable, variety of shapes and sizes
BPS ‘Shaka’WoodFiberglassAffordable, durable, variety of shapes and sizes

DB Flatland Skimboards:

DB flatland skimboards are built with a blend of sturdy maple wood core and a protective fiberglass layer. This combination results in boards that are strong yet light, making them a great fit for beginners and those refining their skills. The rounded nose and tail make maneuvering easy and intuitive, ensuring a comfortable ride for all.

Victoria Flatland Skimboards:

Victoria flatland skimboards feature a core made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE) complemented by a reliable fiberglass layer. This results in boards that are lightweight and resilient, catering to riders of all levels. The rockered bottom design allows for easy wave-catching and smooth gliding in shallow waters.

Zap Flatland Skimboards:

Zap flatland skimboards combine a durable maple wood core with a protective fiberglass layer. These boards are known for their high performance and lasting strength, making them a suitable choice for experienced riders. With a range of shapes and sizes available, you’ll find the perfect match for your unique preferences.

BPS ‘Shaka’ Skimboards:

The BPS ‘Shaka’ Skimboards feature a wooden core covered by a reliable fiberglass layer. These boards are budget-friendly and built to last, making them an excellent choice for newcomers to the skimboarding world. With various shapes and sizes to choose from, BPS boards offer a solid foundation for your skimboarding journey.

As you explore these offerings, keep in mind that your choice of skimboard is like finding a partner for a graceful dance on the water’s surface. Let your skill level and what appeals to you guide you toward a board that aligns with your style and enhances your enjoyment of the sport.

Understanding Skimboard Dimensions and Their Impact

Picking the right flatland skimboard size is a bit like solving a puzzle. Different brands and models have their own rules, but here are some simple tips to help you out.

  1. How Much You Weigh: If you’re on the heavier side, a bigger board is better. If you’re lighter, a smaller one will do.
  2. How Good You Are: If you’re new to skimboarding, go for a smaller board. If you’re experienced, you can go for a bigger one.
  3. Where You’ll Ride: On smooth surfaces, a smaller board is good. If you’ll be on rough waters, a bigger board is safer.

Here’s a quick chart to give you an idea of what sizes to look at:

Weight (lbs)Board Length (in)Board Width (in)
< 8045-5018-20

Popular Flatland Skimboarding Competitions

The lively domain of flatland skimboarding stretches beyond leisurely glides and tricks. It also encompasses captivating competitions that unite enthusiasts and put their skills on display. This section delves deeper, shedding light on the popular Flatland Skimboarding Competitions.

East Coast Skimboarding ChampionshipsZap Amateur World Championships
This notable event serves as a gathering point for flatland skimboarders along the East Coast. It’s a showcase of talent and dedication, where participants vie for recognition and honor. Beyond the competitive spirit, the Championships foster a sense of community, allowing riders to connect with like-minded individuals who share their passion for the sport. The event not only celebrates individual skill but also highlights the camaraderie that flourishes within the skimboarding community.The Zap Amateur World Championships offer a platform for aspiring skimboarders to shine on a global stage. This event draws participants from various corners of the world, all eager to display their prowess and embrace the thrill of healthy competition. The Championships are a testament to the sport’s universal appeal, as enthusiasts from different backgrounds converge to celebrate their shared love for flatland skimboarding. Beyond the competition itself, this event is a celebration of the sport’s vibrant and diverse community.

These competitions not only celebrate individual talent but also foster a sense of community and camaraderie among flatland skimboarding enthusiasts.

Wrapping Up

Flatland skimboarding brings together skill and enjoyment as you glide across shallow waters, perform tricks, and savor the coastal scenery. By honing your techniques through practice, you can become proficient in this exhilarating sport and make lasting memories by the beach. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned rider, the world of flatland skimboarding offers a satisfying blend of achievement and happiness.

I am Fornillos Bogs, a seasoned professional surfer and accomplished skimboarder originally from Tanauan, Leyte, Philippines. With a remarkable background in both sports, I have carved my niche in the aquatic world. Currently, I reside in Quezon City, Philippines, known for my exceptional skills on the waves and impressive performances in skimboarding competitions. My journey from the serene shores of Tanauan to the bustling city of Quezon City serves as an inspiring testament to my dedication and passion for riding the waves.

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