best skimboards for kids and teens

You are looking for a great skimboard for your kids – but you don’t know where to start.

They come in all shapes, sizes, and price ranges. Some are more suitable for beginners, others for more advanced riders.

And you aren’t looking to get involved with the sport – you just want to get the right skimboard for your child.

Fear not! We’ve spent nearly 30 hours researching the best skimboards for kids. This involved talking with some California lifeguards about what features they would need on any skimboards they would buy for their own kids or siblings. We then went through the list we gathered to see what models would be good for different types of kids.

So, why not skim through our list of the best boarding options below! (Ugh, I know – but I can’t resist a good pun!)

What Makes A Great Skimboard?

Grabbing the best-designed or cheapest skimboard will not work; there’s more to it. Type, size, weight, interest, and skill level are essential factors that make a great skimboard. Parents should consider these features when selecting the best skimboard for their children. 

The two main types of skimboards are wave riding skimboards and flatland skimboards. Wave riding skimboards are made for the water, and the wrap materials used are foam, fiberglass, and carbon fiber.

Woodies is another term for flatland or inland skimboards; the goal is for your momentum to carry you across the water surface while performing a variety of tricks. The two types of flatland boards are cruising boards and trick boards. Cruising boards or pintails are like surfboards but for the shoreline.

Whether sand skimming or water skimming, the rule of thumb for the perfect size skimboard is that when standing the board on its tail, the nose should be between the center of the chest and your sternum. The right size of a skimboard is measuring it against your height, how you want to use the skimboard and your level of experience. 

The skimboard weight range varies between 2 and 5 pounds. Make sure the board isn’t too heavy for your kid to maneuver. The wind will grab and blow a too-light skimboard, and a too-heavy board will sink instead of gliding above the water. 

The maximum weight capacity depends on the skimboard design and construction materials. Choose a skimboard that accommodates your child’s body weight. 

Speed is a fine line between being faster than the wave but still being able to control the skimboard. Smaller skimboards are more challenging to control because of their agility. The boards respond better to shifts in weight and subtle foot movements, perfect for catching waves and tricks on the wet sand.

Larger skimboards are faster but less maneuverable than smaller skimboards. Riders maintain their balance easier with the additional momentum, which is ideal for beginner flatland riders. 

The rocker or curved shape is the upward curve of the skimboard in various degrees; rockers help reduce nose dives. The more generous the rocker, the slower the skimboard, and easier to transition from sandy water to the waves, but susceptible to wind and flipped backward. 

A constant rocker skimboard has a continuous curve between the front and back of the board, ideal for catching bigger waves because you can control it better. The traditional rocker design is for the shoreline, not the waves. Therefore, the bottom of the skimboard is flat, with a slight curve at the tip.

However, the hybrid skimboard is your best option if you like to catch a wave and skimboard on the shoreline. The hybrid is the most common type of skimboard; it curves slightly in the middle and to the front, whereas the bottom at the back is flat.

Most skimboards are made from high-quality materials; the wood or foam cores are protected with durable materials on the board’s surface. In addition, some boards have EVA traction pads covering the entire deck, while others have one traction pad at the back.

Foam skimboards are lightweight and faster but have a limited weight capacity and break easier. However, their flexibility and buoyancy make them great for intermediate riders to experienced skimmers catching shore break waves. Wooden skimboards are great for flatland skimming and beginners; the boards are cheaper and stiffer, and a solid wood board is heavier, with a  smooth flow along flat waves. 

A PVC foam core or solid wood core skimboard will absorb water over time. Therefore the board has wrap material that varies in resilience. The most common coated materials are carbon fiber, fiberglass, polyester, and epoxy. The epoxy-coated and fiberglass are cheaper boards than carbon fiber boards. 

Thicker skimboards are great for beginners because they glide and float more effortlessly. Thinner skimboards are more agile and responsive for flatland tricks. The three thicknesses are:

  • 5/8″ for decent-sized waves and the most popular for a professional board,
  • 3/4″ tapered to 5/8″ with ticker middle for float and distance, and thinner rails for sharper turns, and 
  • 3/4″ for larger, heavier riders and small waves.

Tail shapes are important for riding waves, not for flatland boards with similar nose and tail shapes. A pintail skimboard or square tail skimboard with a blunted end is more manageable for novices to control than the swallowtail with two sharp ends.

8 Best Skimboards Compared

South Bay Board Co. Skipper Skimboard
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Driftsun Performance Wood Skim Board
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Victoria Skimboards Woody XS
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Lucky Bums Wood Skimboard
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Zap Skimboards Classic Series Large Wedge
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Zap Lazer Skimboard
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Best Skimboards For Kids Reviewed

Overall Best Skimboard For Beginners: South Bay Board Co. Skipper Skimboard

The South Bay Board Co. Skipper Board is the perfect skimboard for kids in shallow water and on small waves. Its teardrop shape is made for getting out there for skimboarding fun times with tricks and switch and backside riding. With five colors and two size options, it is a great beginner board for children and lightweight adults. 

The high-quality board has a plywood core structure with epoxy coating guarding it against wear and tear. In addition, the wooden skimboard features a thick, soft IXPE foam “fingerprint” textured wax-free deck ready for adventures when unwrapped – no surf wax is needed for better grip. Durable and incredibly lightweight, children easily handle the board; kids throw the light skimboard easier than larger, heavier skimboards. 

With a 36-inch and 41-inch body size option, the South Bay Board Co. Skipper Board is the correct size for a child to easily skim across the surface. The skimboard with dimensions of 36 x 15 x 0.5 inches supports up to 100 pounds of weight, and the 41 x 17 x 0.5-inch board with a 150 pounds weight capacity is for bigger kids.

It’s a premium beginner skimboard with the classic 0.5-inch thin rails for skimming low-level water and sand. The teardrop shape with a wide surface for comfortable foot placements gives children the option to ride the board in any way.

The South Bay Board Co. Skipper Skimboards are affordable options, and a 30-day satisfaction guarantee is a good choice for testing your child’s interests. 

Best Beginner Skimboard For Flatland Skimboarding: BPS ‘Shaka’ Skimboards

The BPS Shaka Skimboard with a generous nose rocker is the right board for a confident beginner to catch waves, turn swiftly, and perform tricks when ready. In addition, the effortless maneuverability and anti-slip grip pads make it a great board for an all-day skimboarding experience.

Wood skimboards are excellent choices for novices. Made with enduring plywood and a high gloss coating, the wooden board is strong, preventing breakage and the epoxy coating protects the wood from water damage. In addition, the textured traction pad isn’t slippery even when wet, and the gator grip EVA foam deck doesn’t require waxing.

Kids will love this durable board with six color options and a cool logo. The 30-inch board is perfect for skimboard riders with a weight limit of 80 pounds, the 35-inch for kids weighing 80-150 pounds, and the 40-inch supports heavier riders and adults.

The BPS wood boards come with a 12-month guarantee. Unlike other boards, the skimboard features an E-guide. Easy-to-follow instructions and helpful photos help riders become acquainted with their new skimboard. The affordable performance skimboard with its nose rocker for faster and better pivots is one of the best beginner boards for flatland skimming. Its lightweight makes it easy for kids and beginners to ride.

Best Shoreline Skimboard For Experienced Skimboarders: Slapfish Skimboards

The Slapfish Skimboard is the best skimboard for experienced riders. This extremely durable skimboard is not a cheap board with its carbon-reinforced fiberglass construction, high-performance shape, and traction pads; it’s made for a rider from beginner to an advanced skill level that knows what they want. If your kid is serious about skimboarding, this is an excellent choice.

The lightweight, dense PVC foam core is covered with a fiberglass shell for durability; the poly PVC foam core won’t separate, delaminate or gas out over time. Structurally dense, the waterproof skimboard is impact and fracture rated above the skimboard weight limit. In addition, unlike other foam boards, the double reinforced rails and carbon fiber reinforced nose and tail make the high-quality skimboard more durable and long-lasting. Made for all wave conditions, riders won’t be disappointed. In addition to catching waves, the skimboard is great for performance-focused tricks like 360s.

With a choice in sizes, from 41 inches to 52 inches in length, the streamlined skimboard with an ultra-glide bottom and polished deck, the skimboard fits kids and adults. The 41-inch board weight limit is 140 pounds but weighs only 3-4 pounds. Featuring a 1-inch nose rocker, a 0.25-inch tail rocker, and a rear traction pad for tricks, the skimboard is perfect for young kids to enjoy small waves, sand skimming, and improve their skills.

Sold separately, riders can choose to include an optional arch bar or skimboard carrying bag in the purchase. The board bag is fully padded for safe transport.

Best Training Skimboard For Beginner Skimboarders: Driftsun Performance Wood Skim Board

 The Driftsun Performance Wood Skim Board is one of the best wooden boards for all skill levels for better traction and improved balance. It is the perfect training board for beginners at affordable prices, and its 30 x 20 x 0.375 inches dimensions make it a versatile board for multiple skills.

Available in the Blue Flash and Summer Waves designs, it feels like a professional board that gives kids extra confidence. The layered EVA traction pad ensures adequate grip for performing tricks and helps with better foot placement and balance. In addition, with the Driftsun performance rocker design, beginners won’t have to worry about nose dives with the 1-inch lift.

Made with laminated hardwood, the sealed waterproof poly-lacker layer creates a waterproof, resilient skimboard. The textured deck with XPE top traction pads maximizes foot grip without needing surf wax to prevent foot slippage.

The perfect skimboard for beginners and intermediate riders, the Driftsun Wood Skim Board, comes with a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty on assembly, materials, and workmanship. In addition, there is a 30-day no-hassle returns policy.

Best Beginners Skimboard For Durability: Victoria Skimboards Woody XS

Made in the USA, the Victoria Skimboards have stood the test of time for over 30 years. This skimboard will hold its shape for years; one of the best beginner boards for shoreline and flatland fun.

A solid wood core made from Russian birch features a fiberglass bottom and hand-painted design with a high gloss coat finish. The rounded tail and low rocker ensure a longer slide, ideal for sand sliding and bashing small waves.

Designed for casual skimboarders and novices, the wooden skimboard is made for learning the basics about balance and weight while having a great time. The wave design is trendy and an inspiration to learn cool tricks.

The 36-inch Victoria skimboard has a weight limit of 30-70 pounds, the perfect board for young riders.

Best Wooden Skimboard For Beginners: Lucky Bums Wood Skimboard

The Lucky Bums Wood Skimboard is one of the best skimboards to learn and practice skimboarding skills. Its mid-sized body makes it a versatile skimboard for beginners to experts for skimming along wet sand or flat water.

With varying styles and colors, riders have four design options: Eagle, Manta Ray, Tattoo, or Wave. The epoxy plywood and high gloss epoxy coating create a durable, rigid skimboard your child will ride for a long time. In addition, the traditional rocker shape for easy recovery prevents nose dives and provides that extra confidence for beginners learning to balance and ride.

Founded in 2004, Lucky Bums is known for supplying everything kids need for outdoor adventures. The wood skimboard is great at the beach and having fun on the sandbar at the river. The 30-inch and 39-inch skimboards are lightweight, and the cool design appeals to younger kids and teens.

Coolest Looking Skimboard For Teenagers: Zap Skimboards Classic Series Large Wedge

The Zap Skimboards Classic Series Large Wedge is an excellent pick for teenagers who enjoys skimboarding or want to learn. The patented composilite construction makes it one of the most durable skimboards, and the cool designs are unique and will inspire any rider to perform at their best with confidence and style.

These USA-made, handcrafted skimboards are built with high-quality materials, a strong polyester resin with a TuffCoat gloss finish. The foam core and fiberglass skin make for smooth sliding. Youngsters and teenagers can effortlessly handle the lightweight board with its pulled-in nose and round tail for speed and maneuverability. The skimboard comes in three sizes 40-inch, 45-inch, and 49-inch accommodating weight limits from 90 pounds to 170 pounds.

Zap Skimboards has been building boards for riders since 1983 and is a well-established name in skimboarding. With its impressive artwork, this iconic skimboard is perfect for wraps, lines, tricks, and sand sliding. The board doesn’t feature traction pads and requires waxing before use.

Best Sand Sliding Skimboard For Kids: Zap Lazer Skimboard

Zap Lazer Skimboard

Jump on board with this phenomenal intro skimboard! The Zap Lazer by Zap Skimboards is specifically designed for younger riders. Junior skimmers can expect a long, smooth, and speedy ride, whether sand sliding or wave riding. That’s thanks to the Lazer’s pintail design, extra lightweight e-glass build, and quality foam core.

The board measures 40.25″ by 20″ and is perfect for kids weighing up to 95 lbs and 4’2 to 5.0′ tall. There’s also a junior version, the Zap Mini Lazer, for kids weighing 75 lbs and under. Zap skimboards are handmade in the USA and come with their own awesome unique paint job. All in all, the Zap Lazer is a surefire stunner!

Are you into skimboarding? Have you ridden any of the skimboards on our list? Or did your favorite fail to make the cut? Tell us all about it in the comments section below!