Can You Skimboard On A Lake? Tips For Flatland Skimming

The beautiful thing about skimboarding is that, as well as being heaps of fun, it can also be performed in a wide variety of areas and conditions.

If you're far away from a beach or if the swell isn't any good you might be wondering whether or not you can skimboard at the local lake or river?

Skimboarding on lakes and rivers is great fun for novices and pros alike. Find a shallow area near the shore that is about 1 cm/half an inch deep for the best skimming. You can even add in wooden or sand jumps to perform more advanced tricks and aerials.

Skimboarding on a lake is a bit different to skimboarding at the beach, but the still water has a variety of advantages and you can have a lot of fun skimming and doing tricks.

Lakes Are Great For Practicing Your Skimming Or Doing Tricks 

Once you master the basics of skimboarding and learn how to skimboard properly you and your friends can soon be heading out to a wide variety of exciting areas to improve your skills. 

Some adventure seekers are even looking for grassy parks in their local area which have been flooded with a shallow covering of water to practice skimboarding.

Flatland skimboarding is different to skimboarding on waves in the ocean so here we will talk about the different skimboard shapes and sizes that will help you choose the correct equipment for mastering skimming across smooth water on lakes and rivers.

A shallow spot on a lake is the perfect place to get started when you are first learning to skimboard at a flatland location.

Once you have the basics under control you can quickly learn how to move onto tricks such as big spins, ollies and pop shuv-its.

Find A Shallow Area Of The Lake

If you’re going to go skimboarding on a lake then you’ll want to make sure you find the right spot that is best suited for skimboarding. 

Look for a calm, flat location with wet sand or shallow water. Smooth water is best without too much wind chop as the calmer the conditions the easier it will be to improve your skills quickly. 

Deeper water will kill your momentum and make skimming long distances basically impossible. 

Ideally the water will be approximately 1cm or half an inch deep so try and find a spot with a thin film of water on top of wet sand.

You can still skim on deeper water at around 2-3cm or 1 inch but the deeper you go the harder it gets as you lose a lot of momentum and speed in deep water.

Avoid windy days where possible and if the wind does pick up look for a location where you can run with the wind behind you to get some extra assistance for launching off.

So look for a spot with:

  • Flat wet sand
  • Shallow water
  • Low wind

Practice The Basic Skills

Skimboarding is made up of a combination of skills and sequential movements you will need to learn to be able to skimboard properly.

The best way to learn skimboarding is to take your time to practice each individual part of the sport and build up your skills. 

Don't worry it's not too hard and you will be flatland skimming during your first session.

The different skills we are going to talk about include foot and hand placement, running speed and how to get safely on your board. We will also look at the two step drop technique and the monkey crawl method.

Lakes are a great place to practice getting on your board without losing momentum so you can skim farther. 

Practice your two step drop rather than throwing the board out in front of you. 

Steep embankments into deeper water also provide a good spot for practicing your Monkey Crawl technique. 

Click here to learn more about performing these skimboarding techniques.

A Bigger Wider Board Will Skim Farther

There are a wide variety of skimboard shapes on the market and flatland skimboards are normally wider and rounder with no obvious front or back which allows you to do tricks in both directions.

A larger skimboard with increased thickness and width will allow you to skim further distances on flat water because of their wider surface area. 

Shallow Rockers Are Best For Lakes

A flatland skimboard will have a shallow rocker which means the board doesn't have much curve. The idea behind this design feature is that it gives you maximum skimming distance over flat water.

Flatland skimboards are often made out of wood as the material is much sturdier and can handle more wear and tear from sticks, rocks and stones than a foam skim board can.

Wooden boards with a shallow rocker are also well suited for rail slides and jumps which are common flatland skimming activities.

Can You Skimboard On A River?

Skimboarding on a river is the same and just as easy as skimboarding on a lake. A flat shallow sandbank on the curve of a river or the banks along the side of a creek are ideal places to skimboard.

A river bank also offers a good place for a run-up to quickly get you skimming across the water. Look for an area with a shallow embankment you can run down which will give you more propulsion as you hit the shallow water and allow you to skim further.

When skimboarding in rivers, look for sandy embankments and be careful of submerged rocks. Hitting a rock will not only damage your board but could also result in a serious injury to yourself. 

Can You Skimboard Without Waves?

If you live somewhere without access to good waves or the swell conditions aren't great then flatland skimboarding can be a good alternative..

Flatland skimming is different to skimboarding on waves at the beach and skimboarders will sometimes look for a lake, river bank or a shallow flooded park as a good spot to practice skimming. 

Skimboard enthusiasts are building ramps, jumps and slides in the shallow regions of lakes to perform new tricks and moves.

Some proficient skimboarders are even journeying across canals on skimboards in some areas.

How Deep Should The Water Be For Skimboarding?

Ideally shallow water is best for skimboarding. Smooth flat water is the best thing to look for when planning a skimboarding excursion.

The water should be approximately 1cm or half an inch deep. Try and find a spot with a thin film of water on top of wet sand. This allows you to get a good run up before jumping onto your board.

Fun fact: The record for the longest distance while doing a headstand on a skimboard is 165.5ft//50.45m.

Skimboard Ron's Australian headstand record at Lake Tabourie