Skimming the shoreline

Thrill-seekers rejoice: Skimboarding may become your next adventure.

Skimboarding, or skimming, is a board sport where riders glide across the top of a wave as it sweeps the shore.

Riders do not need a lot of water to be successful; in fact, tide flats at low tide are some of the best conditions. If the conditions are right, a person could skim for up to 100 feet on the Oregon Coast, according to Auston Reisman.

Reisman has taught eager skimmers in a two-day class in the summer through South Whidbey Parks and Recreation at Double Bluff for years. The popular clamming beach is an ideal spot for skimboarding because of its flat, sandy shoreline.

There are some other skimboarding locations on Whidbey Island, “but those are secret spots,” Reisman said.

Reisman said he’s been skimming for years.

“I learned from Brian,” Reisman said. “He’s been doing it since before Jesus.”

If you ask Brian Pike, though, he will say he’s only been skimming for 15 years. He started when he was 45 years old.

“I’m lucky to still be doing it,” Pike said. “The kids, they give me the energy.”

Reisman’s company, Jack’d Skimboards, has hosted many camps and workshops on Whidbey to try to get kids into the sport. The company also makes its own skimboards, and Reisman brought them to class in case a student doesn’t have one of their own but still wants to ride.

“Mainstream, mass-produced (boards) are so poorly made, and it makes it so hard for kids to get into it,” Reisman said. The lack of a good learner board was one of the reasons Reisman and his friends founded his business, he said.

Jason Guo said his two children, Jonathan, 8, and Anna, 9, found skimboarding online. “They watched YouTube and they wanted to practice, so I wanted to give them a couple of lessons,” Guo said. The family has a home in Mutiny Bay that they have been living in since March when the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Jamie Cockburn started skimming in 2009 and came with his younger brother to Reisman’s class.

“This is a perfect day — this is a perfect everything,” Cockburn said of the sunny day at Double Bluff. Cockburn’s family is from Seattle but has a house in Langley.

In 2009, “skimming felt like the next snowboarding,” Cockburn said. “People talk about the flow state, especially in the board sports, and with skimboarding, it’s so easy to find that flow state.

“I just keep hoping it’s going to blow up again.”

Students skimboard at Double Bluff.
                                Photo by Emily Gilbert/Whidbey News-Times.

Students skimboard at Double Bluff. Photo by Emily Gilbert/Whidbey News-Times.

Students skimboard at Double Bluff. Photo by Emily Gilbert/Whidbey News-Times.

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