Friday, September 19, 2008

Picking the Right Skimboard

As mentioned in one of my previous posts, skimboarding is growing by leaps and bounds in the Philippines. But as much as the sport’s popularity is enjoying its fame here, many Filipinos still don’t know how to pick a skimboard, or discern what constitutes a good skimboard.

Though not really a practitioner of skimboarding, I do enjoy watching other people slide their way through (or atop) the shallow waters during my weekends at the beach. After asking several skimboarders some vital information on how to pick the best skimboard, here’s what I have learned so far:

Choose first whether you will be doing wave riding or sand riding.

The type of skimboarding activity you choose is a definitive factor when picking a skimboard. In the Philippines, skimming the shoreline is the most prevalent form of skimboarding. Though I don’t know if I should call it sand riding.

For novices, do not spend too much fortune on an entry-level skimboard.

Flat sand skimboards are highly suggested for beginners. They are good at riding the shoreline but not adequate to conquer waves. For those who want some wave actions on their first try, crossover skimboards are the way to go, though a bit expensive. They can skim the shores and punch through waves at the same time.

For advanced and experienced skimmers, wave riders are the best options.

Wave riders are divided into two – those that are made of cheap materials and those that are composed of high-end elements. Both can skim the sand and ride the waves well. However, expensive wave riding skimboards are usually made of carbon fiber or epoxy resin, making them durable and perform much better.

It is also important to note that other factors such as age, weight, and skimming ability comes into play when choosing a skimboard. Manufacturers have guide tables that help skimmers weigh their options with regards to the said factors. There are some instances that guidelines do not matter. For example, a large rider may need a big board, but if he can run very fast and land on his board without any trouble, he can use a smaller board.

But really, it is all about preference.