When I think of tide pools, I visualize anemones, barnacles, clams and crabs, but visit Spanish Banks at low tide and you will notice large, two legged creatures inhabiting the pools. Imagine a sport similar to surfing, a smaller board and a puddle! Arguably, skimboarding is a perfect mix between surfing and skateboarding. Bright and colourful, the boards are approximately three times wider than skateboards and about one and a half times as long. It will come as no surprise that skimboarding originated in Southern California. Originally, the boards were simple wooden planks. Today, the equipment has evolved and high end skimboards are constructed from carbon fibre and fibre glass.
From the comfort of my beach chair, I quietly sat and observed a group of avid skimboarders effortlessly gliding across with water. It was a picture perfect day at Spanish Banks, and the skimboarders were taking advantage of a low tide. With practiced ease they tossed their boards ahead of them and sprinted to catch up. They appeared to seamlessly run onto the board and proceed to smoothly glide with ease. A few brave souls performed gravity defying jumps, tricks, spins and turns.
Fascinated, I approached a group while they took a much deserved rest. With confidence they assured me that essentially all one needed for success was a board, a beach and a tide pool. For extra measure, they suggested terrific balance and a willingness to get wet and sandy wouldn’t hurt. Not quite convinced, I asked if I could try. Surprised that I was interested, and maybe looking for comic relief, they loaned me a board and offered a few suggestions. Needless to say I mastered the crash and burn. Gleefully, the skimmers reassured me that falling is part of mastering the skill. Confident, I had perfected the “sit-spin and splat”, I decided to return to my beach chair and soak up a few rays. I am content to leave the “flat front and backside 180’s” to the experts!
Best Places to Skimboard:
Different types of beaches are best for certain styles of skimboarding. The flat beaches and low tides found at Spanish Banks and White Rock beach are ideal for beginners interested in flatland skimboarding.
Have you tried skimboarding? Share the location of your favourite skimboard beach in the comments below.