Recently some local and not-so-local skimboarders came to the south end of the island to catch some waves and the Boca Beacon caught up with them.
Skimboarding started more than 60 years ago on round wood boards. Starting about 20 feet from the ocean, the skimboarder waits for a wave to approach. Setting off in a dead run, they reach the wet sand and jump on their board as quickly as possible. Once on the board, the skimboarder tries to stay upright and stable until they make the transition to the ocean. If all goes well, the skimmer glides out into the ocean toward the oncoming wave, banks off it, then rides it back to shore.
The first skimboard was actually built in 1983 by Bob Smetts of Venice in his backyard. He began skimming at the age of 7 on plywood slabs. At 15 he made his first board and in 1975 moved to the North Shore of Oahu. He returned to Florida eventually and began his company, Zap Skimboards.
If you want to see some truly spectacular wave riding, go to the video at blog.zapskimboards.com/2011/11/zap-at-boca-grande/. It was filmed in Boca Grande.You can also visit zapskimboards.com for more information. View More images >>
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