Skimboard vs Bodyboard: How To Choose The Right Board

Skimboarding and bodyboarding are two of the most exciting ways to spend your time in the sea.

Even modern day surfers will agree each sport has its positives, but some people who want to try them out can get confused.

The skimboard vs bodyboard confusion stems from the fact they look similar and it’s sometimes possible to use each board interchangeably.

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Skimboard vs Bodyboard: Main Differences

You can’t use a skimboard when bodyboarding and you can’t use a bodyboard when skimboarding. But use the right board effectively and you can tackle some of the best waves on the planet. Here are the most obvious reasons why skimboards and bodyboards are different:

  • Skimboards
  • Bodyboards


  • Standing up
  • Skimming out to waves
  • Riding smaller waves

Standing up – Skimboarding requires you to stand up on the board, so it’s almost like surfing. Everything about the way the skimboard is designed helps you stay balanced, make sharp turns, and perform a few tricks when you’re standing on two feet at all times.

Skimming out to waves – When you want to ride a wave you’ll need to run down the beach at high speed and jump onto your board. Due to the fact it can skim on water you’ll be propelled out towards the waves. Once you reach them you’ll turn around and ride them back to shore.

Riding smaller waves – Even if you are moving at high speed on the best skimboards they’re only going to take you so far into the sea before your momentum comes to a complete halt. So you’ll only really be able to skimboard on smaller waves close to the beach before they break.


  • Lying down
  • Swimming out to waves
  • Riding massive waves

Lying down – In most cases, you’ll be lying in the prone position on a bodyboard with your head a few inches away from the water. Drop knee riding is possible on the best boardboards and you can stand up on some, but it’s not designed to be used as an actual surfboard.

Swimming out to waves – When bodyboarding you will need to swim out to the waves. It’s similar to surfing because you’ll wait around on your board until you see a good wave begin to form. Once you notice the right ones you’ll accelerate as fast as possible to catch the waves.

Please Note: If you want to catch as many waves as possible on a bodyboard you’ll need to wear the best bodyboarding fins. The Churchill Makapuu Pro flippers are extremely popular among bodyboarders. When wearing fins it will give you the best chance possible to catch wave after wave.

Churchill Makapuu PRO Floating Fins | Comfortable Fit Fins | Tether & Ankle Strap Included | Patented Dolphin Tail Swimfins | Made of 100% Natural Gum Rubber | Swimming, Surfing (Medium)

Riding massive waves – There is a limit to the size of waves you’ll be able to tackle on a bodyboard, which comes down to things like experience and your bodyboard size. Modern bodyboard features from the best brands give you lots of control and balance on massive waves as long as you don’t push your luck too much.

Flatland Skimboarding Away From The Ocean

The fiberglass skimboards people use to surf waves come with a foam core. They are then covered in fiberglass or carbon fiber, plus the outer layer has a protective resin coating. These kinds of skimboards offer you the buoyancy and maneuverability you need to ride waves.

But it’s important to remember flatland skimboarding is very popular too, and it’s not just skimming along the sand at the beach. You’ll be able to go skimboarding near any body of water which can include puddles, so you can skimboard even if you don’t live near the sea.

The best cheap skimboards made from wood are a hundred times better when it comes to inland skimboarding, but you can still use them in waves. There isn’t really an alternative when it comes to bodyboarding. If you don’t have access to waves a bodyboard can only be used as a pool float.

When it comes to fiberglass vs wooden skimboards each one is superior when used to their strengths.

Wooden Skimboards

Bodyboard vs Skimboard: Choosing The Right One

Before you choose which board to buy you’ll need to decide which sport you want to try first. You won’t be able to use the same board for both no matter how great it would be. Once you’ve picked a discipline it will be a lot easier to find the best board based on your specific needs.

Maybe you should click on the links to read the unbiased reviews on Amazon. It’s always nice getting advice from multiple people who have experience using your dream bodyboard or skimboard.