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Inland skimboarding

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Inland skimboarding

Inland skimboarding (also known as flatland) is skimboarding away from coastal beaches, like on a river, lake, stream or puddle.

History

Inland skimboarding emerged in the mid 1970s and acquired its roots in Sacramento, California. With homemade skimboards made of plywood, fiberglass and resin, skimmers were sliding on sandbars along the American and Sacramento rivers. Most skimmers back then were just doing headstands, multi-360 spins and 180 shuvits for tricks.

The freestyle aspects of inland skimboarding were pioneered in the early 1980s by two Sacramento locals - Launie Porteous and Mark Robinson. Influenced by the emerging skateboard scene, Launie and Mark started adapting their newfound skateboarding skills to skimboarding and the concept of freestyle skimboarding was born. This freestyle adaptation has led to what is now considered the true definition of this sport.

With the evolution of the Ollie on a skimboard, it allowed skimmers to transcend into olling over obstacles and opened up the doors for more technical tricks. Riding up the side of a wet river bank and coming back down to simulate a 1/4 pipe was also a new trick. Skimmers also propped up skimboards or wood planks on logs creating a ramp to jump off and do more tricks.

In the late 80's, skimmers advanced to building better rails and jumps and adapting more technical skateboard tricks, but they still used stuff found around their environment like shopping carts, road cones, trash cans, etc. to use for obstacles.

The 90's is where Inland skimboarding started to really take hold as a cult sport. Utah was next to have an inland skimboard scene that was actually influenced by Sacramento skimmers that transplanted there. Come the late 90's, inland skimboarding had steadily grown and had emerged in other US cities and in Canada and Australia.

As of today, Canada has the largest population of Flatland skimmers; they can't be referred to as Inland skimmers because they skim on the coast, but their style of skimboarding is the same as Inland skimboarding. Australia also has a large coastal Flatland skimboard scene. Flatland and Inland skimboarding has also taken hold in various European countries.

Boards

In late 1970s and early 80s, companies such as J-Gordon and Victoria manufactured wood skimboards for local California surf and skateboard shops. For the first time inland shops like GoSkate of Sacramento offered skimboards to the local crowd. Shortly thereafter, Surf&Skate in Sacramento also got involved with offering boards to the emerging skim scene.

Before the availability of production-made boards, inland skimmers just made their own wood boards from scratch. The boards back then were a classic tear-drop or tombstone shape. Current designs and constructions have not changed much, but the new shape preference for most inland skimmers is a twin-tip or symmetrical shaped board.

The problems encountered with inland skimboarding are the countless rocks, sticks, logs, clam shells, railsliders, run-away boards, etc. These obstacles will eventually destroy any foam constructed board, so wood is still the preferred material of choice for most inland skimmers.

Contests

The first ever inland skimboard event and competition was put on by GoSkate skate shop in 1985 at a skim spot named Rio located along the American River in Sacramento, California. The second inland skimboard event, Skim Fest, occurred in 1997 and was also held in Sacramento along the American River at a popular skim spot known as Paradise Beach. Skim Fest was created by skim pioneers Launie Porteous and Mark Robinson and the event has evolved into an annual competition since 1998 to present. It now holds the title as the longest running inland skim competition in the world.

External links

  • Inland Skimboarding (USA)
  • www.inlandskimmovement.com
  • inlandskimGermany
  • SkimBC - Inland Skimboarding Resource
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