How do you skim waves? Tips on how to wrap a wave

by Joost Nusselder | Last Updated:  04.03.2022
I love creating free content full of tips for my readers, you. I don't accept paid sponsorships, my opinion is my own, but if you find my recommendations helpful and you end up buying something you like through one of my links, I could earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more

Skimming waves is a sport that requires some skill, knowledge, and experience to be successful.

It’s also a very thrilling activity that can provide hours of entertainment when done properly! Let’s explore how skimming waves actually works-from what kind of board to use to how to wrap a wave.

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about how to skim waves like a pro!

This is NOT wrapping a wave:

Skimboarder not wrapping a wave

Even if you have some experience skating or surfing, skimboarding can be a whole different beast. It’s important to learn the basics before hitting the waves.

How do you skim on the ocean waves?

Skimboarding is a really fun water sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. While sand skimming or flatland skimboarding can be a lot of fun, in order to skimboard like a pro, you need to find some waves.

Once you have found some waves, it’s time to learn the basic skimboarding techniques.

To start out, you will want to position yourself around waist-deep water.

Then, you will want to hold the skimboard parallel to the wet sand and run towards the wave.

When you reach the breaking waves, jump onto the board and start riding.

Or get up some speed on the beach and start skimming towards the wave to make a turn and wrap around the wave.

There are a few things that you can do to make your ride more enjoyable. For starters, try to stay as close to the peak of the wave as possible. This will give you more speed and allow you to do more tricks.

Also, make sure that you keep your knees bent and your weight on the balls of your feet. This will help you stay in control and prevent you from getting thrown off the board on the shore breaks.

If you’re just starting out, it’s a good idea to practice the running and dropping your board part in a swimming pool or in a calm area of the ocean (or even on the sandy beach!).

This will help you get comfortable with the board and the waves.

Once you feel comfortable, you can head out to more challenging waves.

Just be sure to use caution and never try anything that you’re not confident about.

What skimboard is best for skimming waves?

There are a few different types of boards that can be used for skimming waves.

For beginners, a foam board is the best option. Foam boards are light and float well, making them easy to control.

In addition, they are less likely to knick your ankle if you fall off the board.

If you’re looking for a board that provides more speed and maneuverability, a carbon-fiber board is a good option. Carbon fiber boards are high-performance boards that are often used by professionals.

However, they can be a bit more expensive than foam boards.

Read our full article on the best skimboards to buy right now here if you want some buying advice.

Can you ride waves with a wood skimboard?

No, professional skimboarders do not use wood skimboards to ride waves. A wooden board are not buoyant or rigid enough to stay on the wave and perform tricks.

In order to ride waves like a pro, you will need an epoxy foam board.

Why it’s important to learn how to wrap a wave before skimming

In order to get the most out of your skimboarding experience, it’s important to understand the basics of how to wrap a wave.

This means that you need to be able to position yourself in the right spot, run towards the wave, and jump on the board at the right time.

If you try to skimboard without knowing how to wrap a wave, you’re likely to fall off your board and get frustrated.

So, before you head out to the waves, make sure to take the time to learn the basics. It will be worth it in the end!

If you don’t know what it takes to wrap the wave, you’ll even start off running towards it the wrong way.

What is wrapping a wave?

Wrapping a wave means you ride towards the wave and turn your board around, or “wrap around” the wave so you’re moving towards the beach instead of out to sea.

This will allow you to use the speed of the wave to ride inland.

How do you wrap a wave on a skimboard?

There are a few things that you need to do in order to wrap a wave on a skimboard.

  1. First is getting up some speed towards the wave of course, but then the fun really begins
  2. When you get close to the wave slightly collapse, bending your knees even further than your normal stance and use your hand to reach out and touch the water in the direction you want to turn
  3. Place your back foot all the way on the back of the board to get more control
  4. Now when you start going up the wave, start turning and stretch out your body with your shoulders along the length of the wave
  5. Stretch out your arms while doing this for better balance
  6. Your body is almost hanging off the wave horizontally at its peak turning point
  7. Then keep on turning your board and your body until your board is pointing towards the shoreline
  8. At this point, your board should be underneath your body again so your standing vertically and up straight
  9. While going down the wave you’ll get up some speed and you can use this to make some turns. Crouch down and bend your knees again for stability, and you can even use your hand in the water too for more turning power
  10. Make sure not to lose speed while riding down the barrel of the wave and see if you can ride it all the way down to shore
  11. When the wave breaks, crouch down so you won’t get wiped out

You can use this technique to skim anything from small waves to big waves and even bigger waves all the way out to the shore break.


The process of wrapping a wave is not something that can be done overnight, but it’s an experience worth the time and effort.

It may take practice to get everything down just right, but if you’re willing to put in the work now then your waves will never be more fun than when you really know how to wrap them!

Keep practicing and before you know it, you’ll be a pro!

So, now that you know how to wrap a wave, what are you waiting for? Get out there and start skimming!

Also read: these are the best places to skimboard when you don’t have access to a beach

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Kauai Surf Report is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new sports with everything surfing at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2019 to help loyal readers with surfing and water sporting tips.