Surf shop profits riding on wave of skimboard sales - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Surf shop profits riding on wave of skimboard sales

Will Smith Will Smith
Scott Fricker Scott Fricker
Jacob Lapera Jacob Lapera

by James Wieland

JUNO BEACH, FL (NBC) - It used to be just simple beach fun. Now skim boarding is riding a wave of huge popularity, becoming a more serious sport, and any beach will do.

"That's the fun part about skimming", said skim boarder Will Smith. "The surf has to be up to go surfing. Skim, if you just want to go out and get wet and have a nice day at the beach, you can go do it."

It's basically just throwing the board down, jumping on top and enjoying the ride. Easier said than done.

Much like surfing, some kids really have it mastered, some don't. But it's a blast just the same.

"It's a fun sport," Scott Fricker said. "It's more than just sliding around in the sand."

Jacob Lapera added, "It used to be more of a sport to do when there wasn't waves. But it's definitely branched off and become its own entity."

Skimmers try to aggressively turn into the deeper water, as well as riding the extremely shallow waterline. They even have a big bungee anchored in the sand that slingshots skimmers into the wave.

Getting into the sport is easy. Boards range from $40 for wooden beginner boards to more than $500 for a high-performance carbon fiber skim board.

The popularity of skim boarding is helping keep local surf shops afloat in a tough economy, accounting for up to a third of their business.

The other dividend, it keeps teens and young kids together, and out of trouble.

Surf shop owner Jimmy Moren has seen it both ways.

"You just really don't see these kids get in trouble that much," he said. "It's because they're stoked on what they're doing and they're having a good time and they don't need any of that garbage."

©2009 NBC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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