In 2017 I got an itch. I needed to get back into shape.
I wanted to do a sport involving the ocean (at the very least, water), but I wasn’t keen on sharing waves with legions of egomaniacs and scores of aquatic predators.
Skim for the win
I decided to give skimboarding a bash.
I bought a cheapy skimmer from a local shop, waxed it up and got acquainted with sand, hermit crabs and shells.
I got the hang of it eventually. After a few outings I managed to skim a few metres without kissing land.
Then I thought, “I could build these things. But I can make them better.”
So I started youtubing on how to make skimboards.
But I wanted to make the best, so I added bells and whistles to my first few models.
It was a disaster.
A terrible start
My first two skimboards tanked at testing time.
They looked great. But looks mean nothing if they can’t skim properly. They didn’t.
The next two?
I went home, tail between my legs, thinking I’d have to kill the idea of making Africa’s greatest skimboards.
I made one more adjustment to the design and reworked the press mould. A fifth board popped out not long after.
I sprayed the whole board blue. It looked terrible. So I sanded it down—read my review of the Bosch random orbit sander; it worked well for this task—and coated it with 2K.
It didn’t look good, but it wouldn’t matter if the board didn’t perform well.
I baptized it Number Five, because it was the fifth board I made. And I used to love Short Circuit.
I was hesitant to test the board. What if it failed?
I caught a flu bug, which allowed me to stall testing. Christmas was another excuse. Came up with a few more ways to dodge hitting the shallows with my skimboard.
But I couldn’t keep stalling. This board needed to be skimmed.
The big day
I invited some friends and family to join us for the big day. One of my friends has two young daughters who weigh nothing. Perhaps the board would work for them.
His youngest tried the board first.
Number Five performed as well as the boards we bought from the local shop!
I was stoked to hear some of the people with us asking to skim my board, and not the store bought models.
It was clear: Cuttlefish skimboards was born.
I got on the board, thinking it wouldn’t work well. I weight 105 kgs, so I didn’t expect much.
But great was my joy when I dropped the board, jumped onto it and zoomed down the beach as if I weighed a block of butter.
A better board
What made me even happier, was knowing that my board would outlast the store bought skimboards by a long bit.
Because I use high pressure laminate for the bottom of the board.
When you buy a Cuttlefish skimboard, you get a board with a much tougher surface than standard plywood that’s been coated with an epoxy (or whatever it is they coat it with).
Other boards start chipping and scratching after only a few outings.
Cuttlefish boards won’t do that, because the HPL bottom is far more scratch and chip resistant.
Not my board anymore
My cousin is down at the coast for the holidays.
His boy tried the skimboard.
When I left the beach, my cousin asked if he could hang on to the board for a bit.
I have yet to receive it back.
I whatsapped him once or twice, and he told me that his son was riding the thing like a pro.
Seems I’ll have to give up Number Five. 🙁
If you’re in Africa and you’re in the market for a skimboard, buy a Cuttlefish.
You’re getting a fantastic skimboard at a good price that should outlast other African boards by a long bit.
And if you’re not sure if skimboarding is the sport for you, check out skimboarding vids on YouTube. It’s a fantastic sport. It’s like skateboarding on water.
Get in now while the boards are still cheap.