High performance kite-specific skimboard with a solid wood core, 3D deckpad, ABS walls, concave bottom, and tip to tail rocker. $495, http://beachdogskim.com
For years Elevation Kiteboarding’s Mark Bavis has been throwing unique tricks while kiting on his skimboard and Elevation is now offering the Beach Dog Kite Skim. A kiteboarding-specific skimboard, the Beach Dog Kite Skim is basically the same board that Mark has been riding.
The Kite Skim features a wide outline, deck pads, and a wide stepped swallow tail. This board also features two fins on the tail and one on the nose. The bottom of the board features a concave and relatively flat rocker. The Kite Skim comes in one size, 130x50cm. There are no inserts for straps as this board is made to ride strapless.
On the water, this board definitely feels like a skimboard, even with the fins. If you’ve never ridden a skimboard behind a kite you should be prepared to be humbled at first. This board is very loose and you will struggle unless you change your riding technique.
If you apply edge pressure to this board like you would to a twin tip or surfboard you’ll quickly find yourself sliding sideways. We found the board performed best your your back foot as far back on the tail as you can get it and your front foot just forward of the middle of the board. Keep your weight more over the tail and you’ll have no problem getting upwind.
The Kite Skim can be ridden both ways, but we found it to be a bit of a challenge to ride backwards. Because the nose it much narrower it requires more power to ride backwards and you have to be careful to keep the two tail fins out of the water. The Kite Skim is actually very easy to switch your stance on by simply doing a surface 180 by kicking the board around with your back foot.
We found the Kite Skim to be very easy to pop off the water. Small ollies are surprisingly easy and the board’s looseness actually makes it very forgiving on landings as you can basically land sideways on the board and ride away as long as you bend your knees on landing.
Over the first few hours of riding the Kite Skim our testers went from struggling to stay upwind to landing ollies and even a few pop shove-its. We tested this board in tiny surf (1-2 feet) and it actually made the small surf fun and challenging while removing the fear of snapping off fins in the shallow water.
- This is a really unique board that can open your riding up to a new realm of tricks that you might never have considered.
- Good low-end, especially considering that it’s only 130cm long.
- Pops easily off the water and is much easier to keep on your feet in the air than a strapless surfboard.
- Really fun and easy to do ollie and spin-based moves on.
- Light and very easy to travel with.
- It’s a skimboard, meaning that it’s extremely loose, even with the fins. Be ready for a bit of a learning curve if you’ve never ridden a skimboard before.
- Coming from a surfboard, you’ll have to relearn how to carve. This board basically slides through turns instead of driving through them like a surfboard.
- The Kite Skim is a challenge to ride in big and/or steep surf.
The Beach Dog Kite Skim is a unique board to add to your quiver. It really is a different kind of board and shouldn’t be looked at as either a twin tip or surfboard replacement. A little challenging to ride at first, this is actually a really forgiving board that will allow you to land strapless jumps and spin tricks fairly easily.
Because it’s so different that what most riders are used to, we recommend trying one before buying. If you feel like your riding has stagnated and you’re looking for something new or if you’re looking for a way to stay entertained in small surf the Kite Skim is worth a close look.
- Keep your back foot as far back on the tail pad as you can.
- Bend your knees a lot when carving on this board and keep your weight over the board as you slide through turns.
- Give it a little while before you decide if you like it or not.
- Keep the board with you through jumps by bending your front knee and pushing the board in front of you with your feet as you keep the bottom facing the wind.