7 Best Skimboards For Kids (For Every Budget)

If your kids are looking at getting into skimboarding, or you want to buy a skimboard for them as a gift, it can be tricky to work out exactly what kind of skimboard you should buy.

Should you go with one of the cheaper wooden skimboards and spend $20-$40 or should you go for a higher quality and more expensive board. But what exactly does $400-$500 get you in a skimboard and why are some boards so expensive.

The best skimboard for kids is the WaveStorm Foam Skimboard. It's an affordable entry level board, it's got a foam core and it's the safest skimboard on the market. For kids who are serious about skimboarding the Exile EX0 is a great high performance board that won't break the bank.

When I first started getting myself and my kids (who are now 12, 10 and 7) into skimboarding it was really confusing what to buy and what is good. But after doing tons of research and actually skimboarding ourselves it turns out it isn't that difficult to pick a good skimboard for kids.

In this article we'll look at how to choose a skimboard for your child as well as what are the best beginners boards for kids that I recommend. There will be boards in here for every skill level and every budget.

If you're looking for adult skimboards then check out my guide on the best skimboards for beginners.

1. The Best Skimboard For (Most) Kids: The WaveStorm Foam Skimboard


While you may be inclined to purchase a wooden skimboard as a cheap entry level skimboard for kids I would actually suggest you have a look at the WaveStorm foam skimboard.

It's got a soft foam top, which makes it the safest skimboard for kids on this list. Children are less likely to bang their shins or hurt themselves on this skimboard and given that skimboarding can be dangerous the safer the board the better.

It's also a light board which is easy for kids to carry and use and comes in 45″ and 48″ for smaller kids and bigger kids.

The base is made from tough HDPE plastic and skims along water and wet sand really well (better than a wooden board). The GFT foam deck is safe for kids and gives some cushion under your feet making it pleasant to ride for kids and adults alike. Just make sure you wax your skimboard before using it or the top will be slippery.

This board isn't a high performance board so it's not amazing for catching waves, but it is good enough to get your first little rides on it.

The biggest downside of this board is the durability of it. Due to it's construction it's not a super durable board, still you should still get a few seasons out of it and if your kids are serious about skimboarding you'll want to upgrade to a better board before this one wears out anyway.

Great for a family day at the beach or lake and a good safe board that won't break the bank. I'm super happy to recommend this as the #1 best skimboard for kids.

Materials: Foam core with GFT foam deck and hard HDPE base

Sizes: 45″, 48″

See the latest price of the Wavestorm Foam Skimboard at Amazon

2. The Best High Performance Board For Kids: The Exile EX0


If you kid is serious about skimboard and wants to be able to actually catch waves on their skimboard then you're going to need to spend more money and get a high performance board.

When it comes to entry level high performance boards the Exile EX0 is hands down one of the best options out there.

It's made by a top brand skimboard manufacturer (a brand that many of the top pros ride) and it even comes in the same or similar shape to the carbon fiber boards the professions use.

The benefit of the EX0 is that it uses a e-glass epoxy construction with a foam core that makes it light to hold and cheaper to purchase. A carbon fiber board might set you back $400-$500+ whereas the EX0 gives you a board almost as good for $175-$250.

You can happily just use wax on the top of this skimboard but for serious skimmers I recommend getting some skimboard traction pads instead of just using wax as this makes learning to ride easier.

The EX0 also comes in smaller sizes that are suitable for kids or you can get a medium or large size that your kids can grow into.

Materials: Foam core with E-Glass Epoxy construction

Sizes: 44″ (5/8″), 48″ (5/8″), 52″ (3/4″)

See the latest price of the Exile EXO Skimboard

Things To Consider When Buying a Skimboard For Kids

Rather than just tell you which boards are good I was to actually teach you how to choose a skimboard for your child. There are so many different options out there it can be tricky to know what size, shape, thickness and material to choose.

This quick guide will give you everything you need to know about choosing the right skimboard for your kid (or for yourself). You can also read about the different skimboard shapes for even more granular details.

Foam vs Wooden

There are 2 main types of skimboard – foam core skimboards and wooden skimboards.

Wooden skimboards are usually very cheap whereas foam core boards are more expensive. I've written a full guide on wooden vs foam skimboards as well as answered common questions about wooden boards but below are the basics that'll help you choose if you want to buy a foam or a wooden board.

Wooden skimboard – Wooden skimboards aren't actually very good. They are heavy, flexible and small (all which aren't good for skimboarding waves). You should only buy a wooden skimboard for skimming along wet sand or water or to begin learning. DO NOT buy this type of board if you want to catch waves.

Foam Skimboard – Foam skimboards are larger, more buoyant and more rigid making them better boards. This is the type of board you should buy if you are serious about skimboarding and want to actually catch waves.

Below is a quick comparison chart to help you choose between a wooden skimboard and a foam skimboard.

PriceVery cheapMore expensive
FloatLittle to no floatMuch more float
DurabilityOkHigher durability
Best for:Skimming along sand or flat waterSkimming along sand, flat water and catching waves
Not good for:Catching wavesN/A – These are the best skimboards you can get

Skimboard Size

When it comes to picking the right sized skimboard for kids you want to get a skimboard that comes up to their sternum (or nipple line). If you're not sure it's better to go bigger allowing your child to grow into the board, rather than going smaller.

The larger the surface area on the skimboard the more your weight is distributed and the farther and faster you'll go.

The downside of a larger board is that it's harder to turn on waves and also for kids a large board can be clunky and difficult to use.

Pro skimboarder Blair Conklin is 6 foot tall and rides a board that is 52″ in length. Another pro skimboarder Austin Keen rides the same size board.

However if you're buying a skimboard for a smaller child then a 48″ skimboard is going to be a good size or even a 44″ for really small young kids.

Most wooden skimboards are 30-44″ which can be a bit small and make learning to skimboard harder

Below is a size guide from Exile Skimboards based on weight:

Skimboard Shape

Skimboards come in a variety of different shapes and I've done a full skimboard shape guide if you want to learn more details on the different shapes.

BLUE: Exile “Hybrid” Skimboard – BLACK: Exile “Pro” Skimboard (thinner design)

However to make it simple:

Wider = easier to ride – A wider board gives you more surface area meaning you'll skim farther. It's also more forgiving when it comes to foot placement which will make skimboarding safer.

Thinner = better turning – The thinner the board the better it will be at turns. This will allow you to do sharp turns once you're on the wave

For exile skimboards I would usually say that beginners should start with the Hybrid shape. It's a good overall shape for both learning how to skimboard as well as riding waves like a pro.

Austin Keen (pro skimboarder) says in this video:

“I always recommend going the hybrid shape especially for beginner, intermediate and even advanced. These are my favorite shapes. I think it's good for any conditions. Big waves, small waves. It keeps your momentum going, it's still super responsive nice buttery smooth turns.”

Skimboard Thickness

The size and shape and type of board are the most important things to get right but thickness is also something you'll usually have to choose (at least in high performance boards) and this can get confusing.

With adults it's a bit more tricky to choose but with kids it's pretty easy

5/8″ (Recommended for almost all kids) – This is the same thickness the pros use, giving you sharp turns on the waves, but for kids it will be more than enough and boards don't come in thinner thicknesses than this anyway.

3/4″ – This is the thickest a skimboard usually goes and this should only really be used for heavier set kids which need that extra buoyancy.

3/4″ tapered to 5/8″ – This board is between the 2 mentioned above. Gives a bit more buoyancy than the pure 5/8″ but again only really needed for larger kids developing into adulthood.

The professionals usually just say to go with a 5/8″ thickness board unless you have a really good reason to choose otherwise.

Quality of the Construction

With skimboarding, as a general rule of thumb, the more expensive a board is the better it is going to be. There aren't all that many skimboard manufacturers and more money spent usually gets you a higher quality skimboard.

Below are the most common materials to choose from:

Wooden – Cheapest option and fairly durable, but terrible for catching waves and usually small in size.

Foam – Foam topped boards are the safest type of skimboards and give you more float than wooden boards. They lack in durability but a good starter board for kids.

Fibreglass/Polyester/Epoxy – Fiberglass and epoxy coated boards have a foam core and a similar (or the same) shape as the pro carbon fiber boards. They just have a bit more flex and are a bit less durable. But they are more affordable.

Carbon Fibre – This is the absolute best money can buy. A foam core board for buoyancy with super strong, rigid, durable and lightweight carbon fiber to skim farther and faster and catch waves easier.

The 7 Best Skimboards For Kids

Below are my recommendations for the best skimboards for kids.

In this list are a variety of different options to suit any budget. Some are more affordable at cheaper prices, while some are top of the range with a price point to match and still others fall somewhere in the middle.

You should be able to find a skimboard that suits you needs:

1. WaveStorm Foam Skimboard

We've already talked about this board but the WaveStorm Foam Skimboard is the safest board on the market.

It's super affordable but it's still a good step up from a wooden skimboard. Great board for kids to start skimboarding on.

Materials: Foam core with GFT foam deck and hard HDPE base

Sizes: 45″, 48″

See the latest price of the Wavestorm Foam Skimboard at Amazon

2. Exile EX0 Skimboard

For the kids who are serious about getting into skimboarding the EX0 is a perfect starter board.

It's got the same shape as the carbon fiber boards the pros use but they comes in smaller sizes for kids and they use more affordable materials meaning it won't break the bank.

Materials: Foam core with E-Glass Epoxy construction

Sizes: 44″ (5/8″), 48″ (5/8″), 52″ (3/4″)

See the latest price of the Exile EXO Skimboard

3. Driftsun Skimboard

If I was looking at buying a board for my kids now and they were serious about skimboarding I would be tossing up between the Exile EX0 and the Driftsun Skimboard.

The driftsun has a hybrid shape like the EX0 and it's got a rigit PVC foam core with a fiberglass body and carbon fiber reinforced nose and tail to make it more durable.

What I love about the Driftsun is it comes with traction pads pre-installed. These usually cost $50-$80 and are purchased separately so the fact that you can get the board with them already installed makes it really good value for money.

It's backed by a 1-year warranty and it comes in smaller sizes for kids. A great board for kids who are serious about skimboarding and want to actually catch waves on their boards.

Sizes: 44″ , 48″ , 52″

See the latest price of the Driftsun Skimboard at Amazon

4. Wooden Skimboard


If you're just looking for the cheapest option and something your kids can casually skim on at the beach or the lake and no one is trying to catch any waves then a wooden skimboard will do just fine.

It's the board my kids started on and it worked just fine. Sure, now that I know more I would probably buy something different, but still it's a good board to start one.

The downside of wooden boards is they are heavy, flexible and not very buoyant. So catching waves on them in nearly impossible.

But if you want something cheap to see if your kids like skimboarding then you can't go wrong here. If they find they love the sport then you can upgrade your board at a later date.

Materials: Marine ply

Sizes: 30″-44″

See the latest price of Wooden Skimboards at Amazon

5. Exile Hybrid Carbon Fiber


The Exile Hybrid Carbon Fiber is the cream of the crop and one of the best boards money can buy.

While they are more expensive the great thing about buying one of these boards is that you know you're getting the best. They make skimming faster and farther easier and they make learning to catch waves on a skimboard easier too.

They are also super durable with the carbon fiber rails so they should last years and years.

They are lots of different shapes and sizes to choose from but the Hybrid is a good shape to start with and go for the 5/8″ thickness if the board is for kids.

Materials: Foam core with double carbon fibre epoxy

Sizes: 46.62″-54.6″

Thickness: 5/8″, 3/4″ tapered to 5/8″, 3/4″

See the latest price of the Exile Hybrid Carbon Fibre Board

6. Zap Pro Skimboard


Zap are another high quality skimboard brand like Exile and they make great skimboards at a variety of different pricepoints.

The Zap Pro is made from strong polyester resin with a TuffCoat gloss finish that makes it rigid and durable and great to ride.

If you want a really good quality board but Exile isn't the brand for you then check out Zap skimboards. You can't go wrong buying one of their boards.

See the latest price of the Zap Skimboard at Amazon
(or compare to the price on Zap's website)

7. South Bay Board Co.

South Bay Board Co doesn't focus on skimboards as they make surfboards, paddleboards and wakeboards, but they do have a couple of good skimboards in their lineup.

The good thing about South Bay Board Co boards is that their skimboards are a little bit smaller. This isn't always ideal for adults but for kids this can be absolutely perfect.

The 48″ Marauder is a great size for kids and it comes with traction pads so you don't even really need to use surf wax with this board.

I love the colors and styles and this is a great board for kids. I can especially seeing this being a great skimboard for girls because of it's really cool marble looking design.

See the latest price of the South Bay Board Co Skimboard

Learn More About Skimboarding

If you want to learn more about skimboarding then check out one of the following indepth guides: