Optimal skimboarding beaches are hard to come by, but we have you covered. They need to be relatively flat, free of rocks and seaweed, not too crowded, and have a break that leaves a thin layer of placid water on the shoreline. With all that kind of criteria, skimboarding beaches might as well be called the “Goldilocks" of the water sport circuit. No need to fret, though! We have complied a list of the best places to start perfecting your form.
Try Skimboarding At These 10 U.S. Beaches In 2017
1. Madaket Beach, Massachusetts
This quintessential New England beach near Nantucket can have a bit of a surf break at times, though it is often gentler than most other places on the island. Even then, skimboarders like to challenge themselves to venture from the traditional “flatboarding" method and ride directly into the surf to catch a wave. One of Nantucket's best kept secrets, you will have plenty of space to spread out anytime of the day.
2. Ogunquit Beach, Maine
Ogunquit fittingly translates to “beautiful place by the sea" in the indigenous Abenaki people's language. In fact, the scenery is so stunning that it inspired an artist colony to form there in the 19th century. Now, Ogunquit is a popular vacation destination in Maine, with 3.5 miles of white sand and a vibrant main street immediately behind it. The tidal river behind the beach makes the changing tides extreme and swift, which results in the characteristic shallow sandbar areas that are perfect for skimboarding. If this beach gets too crowded for you, try Footbridge Beach (only accessible via footbridge) directly adjacent to this hotspot.
3. Chapel Beach, Michigan
Part of the the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan, Chapel Beach is a tucked away inlet of Lake Superior. While the sandy beach area is on the smaller side, it is likely that there will only be one or two other people on the beach. Nearby Miners Beach and Twelvemile Beach are larger and more popular, but Chapel Hill will give you breathtaking views of waterfalls and the iconic Chapel Rock. This hidden gem is the perfect place for beginners, with virtually no waves or other interferences.
4. Kiwah Island, South Carolina
Located in South Carolina 15 miles south of Charleston, this small barrier island is best known for its golf courses, marshes, wildlife, and, of course, pristine beaches. While sand dunes mark the beach a few hundred yards from the water, there is virtually no slope to the water closer to the shoreline. The compact, rockless sand is perfect for skimming and the mellow atmosphere enhances the experience.
5. Twin Lakes State Beach, California
Located along the popular West Cliff Drive in Santa Cruz, this serene California beach is well-loved by locals. Flanked by picturesque cliffs to the left and a nostalgic lighthouse to the right, Twin Lakes is one of the few Santa Cruz beaches that does not have a huge surf break, lots of seaweed, and lots of people, which in turn makes it an ideal spot to break out your surf wax and lather up your skimboard.
6. Emerald Isle, North Carolina
The turquoise-green waters that surround this 12 mile-long island off the Crystal Coast of North Carolina certainly justify the name. Without any high rises or major resorts, the beaches here tend to be inhabited by locals and long-term vacationers, which creates a friendly, comfortable atmosphere. You won't have any trouble finding helpful pointers as you work out the kinks in your new moves along Emerald Isle's inviting, consistent shoreline.
7. Fort Lauderdale Beach, Florida
This popular vacation destination boasts a flat, calm beach that goes on for miles so your ride will go on uninterrupted. It is less crowded than its southern Florida counterparts and is kept impeccably clean. The palm tree-studded walkways and bright blue water of Fort Lauderdale aren't a bad backdrop for your skimboarding practice, either!
8. Dewey Beach, Delaware
Less crowded than nearby Rehoboth Beach, this family-friendly, dog-friendly beach is deceptively humble. Though most beach-goers would never know, those in the skimboarding circles know Dewey Beach as the host of some of the biggest skimboarding competitions around. Close to cute shops and restaurants, it is easy to kick back and relax after a long day of tearing it up in the company of the pros.
9. Skaket Beach, Massachusetts
By spending just a few hours at Cape Cod's Skaket Beach, you will see the landscape dramatically transform from 50 ft of sand with a gentle waves lapping at your feet to miles and miles of shallow tide pools as the tide rolls out. At low tide, hundreds of sandbars emerge that are perfect for skimboarders, especially beginners, due to the reduced competition for space and the long stretches of still, shallow water.
10. Laguna Beach, California
The place that started it all! In the 1920s, lifeguards at this Southern California beach started using pieces of wood to get across the beach faster, and this “transportation method" has since then evolved into the sport as we know it now. You can even take classes from the Solag Skim School if you want some expert guidance when making your first ever throw or are interested in competing.