Where to rent a skimboard in or around Malibu, CA?
May 20, 2009 2:47 PM   Subscribe

Where can I rent a skimboard for the day in Malibu, California? Where is the best beach to do it?

Myself and the girl would like to rent skimboards for a day in or around Malibu, CA just to try it out. Ideally I'm looking for a rental shop ON the beach, but am open to other options. I'm also looking for suggestions on good beaches to skimboard at...I'm thinking surfrider beach based on some googling. I have bodyboarded all my life but know nothing of skimboarding. Talk to me.
posted by jnnla to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (5 answers total)
Best answer: You can BUY a wood skimboard for something like $75 -- Victoria Skimboards are pretty safe bets. You need a foam board if you want to turn around on waves, more like $200 but it's not likely you'll be doing much of that your first day anyway unless you've an experienced surfer. Call any surf shop about rentals.

If you're wood-board skimmimg, you want a flat long beach that's not too crowded where you can glide forever. Gearhart Oregon is great but 1,000 miles north. To turn around on waves, you want big breakers close to shore, and you should drive down to Laguna Beach where the sport was basically invented, much closer to your range, and perfect for that.

I hit Malibu one day while in LA -- Zuma, maybe? I forget. My recollection was that it was somewhere in between those types. Crowds could be a problem, nobody likes getting a board kicked off into their ankle. Some lifeguards will just tell you no.

As for technique, toss or kick the board ahead of you parallel to shore in a half inch of a retreating wave, then run up beside or along it and jump on, landing both feet simultaneously or the front foot slightly before the back. You want to have your back foot near the back of the board and the front foot about 60%-2/3rds of the way forward, and land precisely sideways on the board (ie the front to your right).

Bend your knees of course and lean slightly back. Wear pants you don't mind getting wet.

Once you get gliding down, you can start angling out into the waves. the really good kids at laguna run from dry beach straight into the surf, drop the board on that first retreating bit of save, bounce over the first little breaker, pump the back to gain speed and turn on the 4-5 foot third breaker coming in. Of course that requires precise timing.
posted by msalt at 5:02 PM on May 20, 2009

Zuma is definately your best bet. Surfrider would also work, but it's smaller so there's less of a chance of getting a spot to yourself, also there's lots of surfers there, and the water's gets some of the worst grades in the area for cleanliness. Zuma's got a lot more shoreline to work with and generally there's sections of it open for surfing (although the surfing there is pretty shitty). I imagine a blackball would apply to skim as well as surfboards but not sure of it.

As far as a place to rent one, I'm not really sure. I know Zuma Jay's does some rentals, although despite the name the shop is located on the opposite end of Malibu from Zuma beach. To be honest, in five years of living down there I don't ever recall seeing a skimboarder, it seemed more of a Northern California thing.

I will actually be down there this weekend visiting family and can ask around to see if anyone's got a skimboard or two you could borrow for a day. Mefi mail me if you're interested.
posted by Jawn at 7:39 PM on May 20, 2009

I know nothing about Malibu specifically, but when I worked on Maui a few years ago, none of the watersports places that rented boogie boards and surf boards rented skim boards because the chance of injury to yourself or others was perceived to be too high.

This isn't saying you shouldn't do it, just that you may not be able to rent.
posted by mercredi at 6:49 AM on May 21, 2009

Just got an email -- if you're in LA this weekend, Victoria Skimboards is having a parking lot sale on May 30, 2009 from 10am – 4pm. "Seconds, used boards, and last years models will be available at discounts rates of up to 50% off."

Victoria Skimboards
2955 Laguna Canyon Road #1
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

From Los Angeles
405 or 5 south
Exit 133 toward beach (south)
Take 133 past Toll Road and past El Toro road
Victoria Skimboards will be on the left hand side of the road about 1.5 miles past El Toro road
posted by msalt at 11:05 AM on May 28, 2009

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