How to Do Tricks on a Skimboard

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There are an array of skimboarding tricks to learn and master. As soon as you have covered the basics, it’s time to progress to these tricks.

The tricks below can all be performed on a skimboard, but some of them relate to wave skimming and others are specific to sand skimming.

How To Flatland Skimboard

Flatland skimboards use flat wooden boards to ride smooth shorelines. Just look for wet sand, hover your board above the sand, and then run and jump on it to “skim” along the shoreline.

This is the most basic technique for sand skimming or flatland skimboarding, and it’s one that you’ll need to practice. Once you can reach full speed without stumbling, falling, or stopping, you’re ready to learn some tricks.

Flatland skimboarding is more like skateboarding than surfing, and that’s why many of the most common tricks have been borrowed from skateboarding.

Can You Surf On A Skimboard?

Although it might be possible to surf on a skimboard, these boards are not best suited for that task. They are smaller, flatter, and less buoyant, so it’s much harder to control them over the waves.

If you want to surf, buy a surfboard. If you want to skim, stick with a skimboard.

How To Get Air On A Skimboard

To get plenty of air while performing an ollie, place lots of pressure on your back foot and then pop up. It can be tricky at first, but the more you practice, the easier it will become.

Confidence plays a role as well. If you’re holding yourself back for fear of falling, you’re not going to ride as quickly or jump as high.

Fully commit to the movement and worry about landing it later.

How To Do An Ollie On A Skimboard

The ollie is a skateboarding maneuver, and one of the first tricks that skaters learn. It’s a little harder on a skimboard, but it’s still a very important trick to learn.

Push down with your back foot to lift the board forward and then push forward into a jump. It’s essentially the same technique that you use to ollie on a skateboard.

How To Kickflip On A Skimboard

A kickflip is one of the more advanced skimboarding tricks and one you’ll find in the arsenal of every top board.

The rider gets airborne and then uses their lead foot to flick the board so that it rolls in a sideways motion and is stopped again with the same foot.

The movement is more of a controlled flick than a “kick” and it takes a lot of time and patience to master.

How To Monkey Crawl on a Skimboard

To master the monkey crawl, you can practice it on dry sand. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Hold your board with both hands, placing one in the 10 o’clock position and the other at 4.
  2. Run into the water.
  3. Allow your board to swing naturally.
  4. Lunge at your board with your back foot.
  5. Drop the skimboard into the water.
  6. Remove your hands from the rails and place them flat on the board.
  7. Bring your front foot onto the board.
  8. Ride away.

How To Pop Shuv-it On A Skimboard

The pop shuv-it or shove-it is one of the many skateboarding tricks that have made their way into the sport of skimboarding.

The rider pops the board just like they do with an ollie. When the board is in the air, they flick it back with their back foot and jump. Once the board completes a rotation, the skimmer traps it and lands it.

It’s one of the most advanced tricks you can do on a skimboard. If you’re new to this sport, keep this one at the bottom of your list of priorities.

There is also something known as a three shuv, which combines a shuv-it with a 360-degree spin.

How To Pump On A Skimboard

You can “pump” your board by rocking it back and forward when going out to meet the wave. Many in the skimboarding community argue about the effectiveness of this technique, but it could help you to maintain speed.

Other Skimboarding Tricks

The above tricks are some of the most common and the most popular skimboarding tricks, but there are many more.

The Fire Hydrant

Although this is one of the most basic skimboarding tricks, it’s also incredibly fun and is a great trick to learn.

First, you need to be moving quickly and in a straight line.

Place your hand on the nose and then kick out your front leg while keeping your back leg in position. It looks somewhat like the position a dog assumes when peeing on a fire hydrant, and that’s where the name comes from.

The Hippy Jump

The hippy jump is one of the most basic skimboarding tricks, but it looks incredibly impressive and it still takes some practice.

Ride straight up to an object on the sand. The object should have some clearance underneath and shouldn’t be too far off the ground.

Just as you’re approaching, jump off the board and over the object as your board slides underneath. Try to land on the board on the other side of the object.

Body Varial

The body varial is a spin, but it’s the rider that spins and not the board.

When the board is moving at a medium pace, jump and spin. You should land in the opposite direction, with the board facing in the same direction.

Backside Big Spin

A big spin combines a 180-degree body varial with a shuv-it. Before you learn this trick, you should master these two tricks first.

As you’re riding straight and fast, pop your board as if you’re doing a three shuv-it and then move into a backside 180-degree body varial.


A wrap is a basic wave skimboarding trick. The skimmer skims into the water, meets the wave, and then turns around and comes back to the shore.

It’s one of the most basic skimboarding techniques you can learn, but it’s essential for wave skimboarding.

The trick to performing a successful wrap is to keep your back foot close to the back of the board and bend your knees.

As you meet the wave, turn to the direction you’re going and spread your arms for stability.

Extend your body, straighten your legs (but don’t lock your knees), and then bend again as you come out of the wave and head back to the shore.

The Sex Change

The sex change is a combination of the body varial and the shuv-it. Simply jump, flick and spin the board, and then turn around so that you’re facing in the opposite direction and riding switch.


Pop the board up, grab it, and then drop it again. The fastplant is a good trick to learn as it can be incorporated into other skimboard tricks, including a hand shuv.

No Comply

The no comply looks like you’re stepping off the board, but just as you put your front foot on the sand, you use it to flick the board 180 or 360 degrees. Your back foot should leave the board temporarily as it spins before landing back on it at the end of the spin.

Are There Any More Skimboard Tricks?

Once you account for trick combinations, variations, and the many possible flicks, twists, and grabs, there are dozens of skimboard tricks.

Here are a few others you should consider learning:

  • Grab: A grab is performed by literally grabbing the board. Simply gain some air, reach down, and grab! There are many variations of this trick based on the part of the board that you grab, the hand that you use, and whether it’s combined with other tricks.
  • Shoot the Duck: The rider squats when the board is moving at speed, straightens their leg, and then grabs their leg like a rifle.
  • Kick-out: This is more of an exit strategy than a trick. It’s performed by launching off the top of a wave while flicking the board forward. The board shoots forward and up while the rider falls back into the wave.
  • Superman: The skimmer launches into the air, grabs the board (one hand on each rail), and then swings it out from underneath them in a superman pose. The trick is finished by bringing the board back underneath their feet and then landing.
  • Pretzel: The rider twists their torso the opposite way from which they are heading.
  • Shiftys: An ollie that is tweaked frontside or backside before bringing it back straight.
  • One Footer: A simple sand skimming trick performed by riding while balanced on one foot.
  • Flat Spins: Move the board at speed and then hang a hand in the water behind you to start turning.
  • Sit Down: A trick where you actually sit down on the board. Move at speed, kick your back leg in front of you, and then sit down. There are other variations based on how you sit, such as the “buddha” for a cross-legged pose.

FAQs about Skimboarding Tricks

To learn other tricks, techniques, and more, check out the following FAQs about wave skimming and sand skimming.

How Do You Spin On A Skimboard?

The easiest way to spin while skimboarding is to hang your hand in the water or sand and push in the direction you want to spin. Keep your knees bent for stability and to ensure you’re naturally hanging your hand back and not forcing yourself into a bend.

What Can You Do With A Skimboard?

There are a surprising number of tricks to learn on a skimboard. You can also ride it on the sand or on oncoming waves. You can even use skateboards to ride artificial tracks or wet grass. Wherever there is a saturated surface that’s made for sliding and skidding, you can take your skimboard along.

How Can I Make My Skimboard Slide Better and Move Faster?

You could try to apply wax to the bottom of your board to make it move faster. The difference is negligible, though. More often than not, slow movements are the result of improper form or less-than-ideal conditions. Your board could also be to blame.

Should You Wax A Skimboard?

You should use skimboard traction pads and also think about waxing the top of the board. Without that wax, it might be too slippery and you’ll struggle to maintain your grip.

How Do You Jump On A Skimboard?

If you’re trying to get onto a skimboard while sand skimming, think of it less as a jump and more as a step. You should run onto the board and take it in your stride.

If you want to perform a jump, check the “ollie” trick in the guide above. It’s all about forcing pressure onto the back of the board with your back foot and then popping up.