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Skimboard Beginners Guide: How To Correctly Size Your Board

Skimboarding is a fun water sport activity. However, choosing the right skimboard can be a bit difficult if you happen to be a beginner. The most important aspect of a skimboard is its size.

It’s very easy to mess up your purchase by getting the wrong-sized skimboard. Thus, choosing the right size is the most important factor when it comes to buying a skimboard.

There are lots of factors that come into play when choosing the skimboard size. The rider’s weight, the weather and water condition, and skill level are three of the most important factors. Skimboard material, thickness, shape, etc. also should be considered.

In this article, I will discuss how big should a skimboard be and how you can decide for yourself easily. Another important measurement of a skimboard is its length.

Besides other relevant topics, I will focus on that too, so let’s get started.

Man on a wooden skimboard near shore

How To Choose The Right-size Skimboard?

As I have already stated above, lots of things should be considered when buying a skimboard for the first time.

Let’s take a look at some important factors you should consider when deciding the size of your soon-to-be-purchased skimboard:

Rider’s Weight

The rider’s weight and body build play a vital role in selecting the skimboard size.

Larger boards are suitable for heavy individuals, and lighter boards work best for lean and thin individuals.

If a healthy person uses a lighter board, he is likely to lose control during skimboarding. 

Similarly, a lightweight person on a heavy skimboard won’t be able to control it properly. For optimum control, choosing the right size skimboard is necessary, and a person’s body weight plays a significant role here.

Riders’ Skill Level

Your skimboard size can vary depending on your skill level. Beginners should stick to sand skimming and small-sized boards are best for that purpose.

Larger boards are easier to maneuver. One thing to keep in mind: never use a board that stands lower than your stomach level.

Local Climate

Local weather and water conditions are two of the most important determinants of skimboard size.

If the sea in your area has bigger waves like in California, you should go for a smaller board because they are easier to control.

On the other hand, you don’t need to control your board much in stagnant waters, so you can go for bigger boards if you are from the east coast.

Skimboard Material

Lots of different materials can be used to make skimboards, and the material is also very important in determining the size of the board.

Wooden skimboards are great for beginners for balance and speed. Wooden boards are heavier, giving more control to newbies. 

Fiberglass skimboards work better in deep waters, so they are better suited for experienced skimboarders.

Graphite skimboards are upgraded versions of wooden boards. They have reduced weight and more control and are best for beginners.


Skimboards are available in a variety of conventional forms. Each has a different appearance that allows them to be distinguished from one another.

It’s also crucial to understand how the overall design of a skimboard impacts its movement.

Sacramento skimboards feature an extra-wide waist and deep double cuts that allow the board to pop and spin more easily.

These boards are easy to maneuver. Prota skimboards have a flat tail, a flat nose, and a large circular center with twin cuts. This form of the board has improved stability.

Proto skimboards are ideal for extended rides and bank slides. The nose and tail of a Thomas skimboard are squared off, while the center is broad.

They’re a hybrid of Sacramento and Proto skimboards. Raza skimboards are similar to Sacramento boards but feature an oval nose and a larger tail for improved maneuverability.

Streamline skimboards include a thin midsection, curving rails, and a wide bulbous tail and nose. They’re ideal for riding swiftly, especially in little waves and in a straight line.

Skimboard Size Chart

If the above discussion has left you perplexed about the proper skimboard size, take a look at the chart below:

Riding VelocityWave ConditionsRider WeightBest Overall Board DimensionsGeneral Skimboard Size
Normal to highLarge200-225 pounds137.16 x 53.34 centimetersXXL
AnyAny size180-200 pounds134.62 x 50.8 centimetersXL
AnyAny size160-180 pounds132.08 x 50.8 centimetersL
AnyAny size120-140 pounds129.54 x 50.8 centimetersM
AnyAny size95-120 pounds127 x 48.26 centimetersS
Normal to highSmaller65-96 pounds121.92 x 48.26 centimetersXS
AnyAny sizeBelow 65 poundsBelow 115 x below 48 centimetersXXS

What About Skimboard Thickness?

The thickness of the skimboard has a significant impact on its behavior. Thick skimboards will float and glide better. But they won’t turn effectively due to a lack of responsiveness.

At high speeds, thin variants are more difficult to handle, but they offer better maneuverability.

Boards with excessive rocker are slower and more susceptible to being taken up by medium-to-strong gusts. The pintail tail is the most prevalent type of tail seen on skimboards since it adds stability to the overall performance.

Different companies make different sizes of skimboards so always check the manufacturer-specific size chart. Finally, if you want to play it conservatively, the prudent advice is to size up.

How Long A Skimboard Should Be?

Although lots of factors similar to size come into play when choosing the length of your skimboard, there’s an easy way to find how long should a skimboard be.

Place the skimboard on its tail in front of you. It should reach somewhere between your chest and your chin.

If you’re an experienced rider, go with it. If you’re just starting, you should opt for a smaller board. Whether you don’t have a test board, use a tape measure to see if the length is adequate for your skill, height, and style.

Few Skimboarding Tips

If you are reading this article, then you are more likely to be a beginner. So here are some useful skimboarding tips for you:

  • As a beginner, start skimboarding with flatlands. Flatland skimboarding is skimboarding practice on non-coastal or still waters such as a river, lake, puddle, etc. Wooden boards are best for flatland skimboarding as it has more foot area and floats easily.
  • If you want to make a one-time investment, go for a fiberglass or foam skimboard. They are good for skimboarding in waves as well as in flatlands.
  • The control and maneuverability of a skimboard depend a lot on the thickness of the board. Different skimboard materials make skimboards of different thicknesses. Try skimboards of different materials to choose which one works for you.
  • Choosing the right size can be confusing for a beginner. If that’s the case, choose slightly bigger size boards. Small boards are suitable only in the beginning. You can make it work with large boards if you’re careful enough.

Final Thoughts on How Big Should a Skimboard Be

Skimboarding can be exhilarating if you get to buy the right one. Besides all the metrics, the size and length of a skimboard matter the most, especially for beginners.

If you can pick the right sized board, your skimboarding experience will be second to none, even if you make mistakes when choosing length, material, brand, etc.

In this article, I have focused on everything you need to know when choosing the right skimboard size. I also added some extra skimboarding tips to make your skimboarding experience more fun.

Good luck out there!