Does Weight Matter For Skimboarding?

Choosing the correct size skimboard for your weight is an important decision if you want to get the best performance and value for money out of your new board. But does weight matter for skimboarding?

Your weight needs to be carefully considered when buying a new skimboard as it plays an important role in how far and how fast you can skim across the water. 

Weight does matter for skimboarding – The heavier you are the quicker your skimboard will sink meaning you need a larger more buoyant board the heavier you are.

With such a varied choice of lengths, thicknesses, shapes and styles of skimboards available it can often be quite tricky to fully understand exactly which skimboard is going to be the best fit for you.

In this article we will examine how to correctly identify the right skimboard for your weight and look at a number of different skimboard designs to find the correct thickness and volume which will float you best. 

You might be looking for a beginners board or perhaps you are keen to move up a performance rung onto a board with more skimming speed and turning maneuverability on waves. 

The Heavier You Are The Larger Size and Volume Skimboard You Will Need

The thickness of the skimboard is one of the most critical factors to consider as the thicker the skimboard is the longer you will stay afloat and the further distance you will be able to skim which means you will have a lot more fun.

The basic rule of thumb is the thicker a skimboard is the faster it will go.

A thicker board with more volume in the foam will provide you with much more bouyancy and floatability.

Jump On The Scales.

A skimboard is an extension of your body so it's important to get the right size board for your weight. 

While most of us have a rough idea of how much we weigh for this exercise it is important to get the math correct so jump on the scales and take a note of the reading. 

Let's say you’re young and you have a slight frame and tip the scales at 125lbs/56.6kg and are looking for an entry level foam board you can have fun on straight away.

A good all-round board for your weight would be a Hybrid shaped board and the correct size would be a small size board.

If you want to go for something with a bit more performance then a Small size Pro shaped board would be ideally suited to you.

If you have a larger frame and weigh in somewhere between 160lbs/72kg and 205lbs/92kg then you would be advised to look at a Hybrid board in the Large size. This will give you both more surface area as well as more volume in the board – both of which will allow you to skim further than you could on a smaller board.

If you are seeking more performance and maneuverability to do tricks an XL Pro board would float your weight much better. 

Click here to see the complete skimboard shape guide which shows you all the different skimboard shapes to choose from.

Talk to a professional before deciding on the right style of skimboard for you or consult our guide on the best skimboard for beginners.

Bigger Is Better 

Remember a wider board with more thickness, and volume and surface area will increase your buoyancy and provide you with more skimming distance than a thinner board.

The benefits of going up a size in a skimboard far outweigh any drawbacks associated with purchasing a board that is too small for you as the increased thickness and surface area will allow you to skim further and faster.

A larger size board spreads your weight out evenly over a wider surface area which allows you to skim further distances than you could on a smaller board.

Thin, Thick, Thickest.

The relationship between how heavy you are and how far you can skim depends on how thick your board is.

Skimboards come in three main thicknesses:.

  • 5/8 inch
  • 3/4 inch tapering to 5/8 inch
  • 3/4 inch

The most common thicknesses used are 3/4″ and 5/8″.

The thicker a skimboard is the more float (or buoyancy) it will have which means you can skim a lot easier across the water. 

If you are heavy you need a big wide skimboard with plenty of volume and thickness to give you more skimming distance.

For heavier set people I’d recommend a 3/4 inch board and only go to a thinner board if you’re an advanced skimboarder and know that a 3/4 inch board is holding you back when it comes to performing sharp turns.

Foam Boards Outperform Wooden Boards

For a heavier set person I would advise avoid wooden skimboard altogether unless you’re only flatland skimboarding. Foam skimboards are much more buoyant and float much better than wooden skimboards.

The extra buoyancy allows the rider to achieve greater distance while skimming and will provide speed and increased maneuverability for turning on waves. 

Wooden skimboards are normally heavier than foam boards due to the nature of their construction and they don't float nearly as well as a foam board.

Wooden skimboards are best suited for flatland skimming on lakes as they are more durable. Learn more about whether or not you can skimboard on lakes and rivers.

Their only saving grace of a wooden board is that they are cheap 

You are much better off sticking to foam boards with the correct thickness and length to suit your weight and height. 

Click here for a full explanation on the differences between wooden and foam skimboards.  

Do Skimboards Have Weight Limits?

Skimboards don’t technically have any weight limits but it is important to choose the right size and thickness for your height and weight as you will get much less performance out of the board if you choose the wrong size.

A skimboard is quite durable and it won’t break if you use a smaller one it just won’t work as well.

Before buying a new skimboard checklist.

  • Know your weight
  • Choose between a foam or a wooden board (ideally foam)
  • Calculate the correct thickness (the most common thicknesses are 3/4″, and 5/8″)
  • Work out the best length
  • Remember if in doubt go up a size as a larger skimboard is always better than a smaller one
  • Your performance level
  • Cost