Introduction to skimboarding, what is it, how it’s done?
A skimboard is a small wooden/composite board that is used to slide on a thin layer of water. The skimboarder runs with their skimboard in hand, drops the board and jumps on. That motion will allow the skimboarder to slide on a shallow layer of water and perform skateboard-like tricks (shuvits, grabs, kick-flips etc.). Skimboarders can also ride ramps, rails and waves.
What kind of equipment do you need, how much it cost?
It’s a very cheap sport to get into! All you need is a board and some swim trunks. $100 is enough to get started!
Is it dangerous, if yes, then what are the risks?
I wouldn’t consider it a very dangerous sport. I never broke a bone in 12 years of doing it. The most common injury is bruised feet from the board and wrist injuries from falling. If i compare it to skateboarding and snowboarding, it’s much safer!
What is the main reason for someone to practice it? (fun, adrenaline, competitions, awesome videos etc.)
It kind of happened naturally. I randomly started and ended up sticking to it. I think a combination of the adrenaline and community sticks me to it!
What do you enjoy most in skimboarding activities?
The feeling of sliding fast on a thin layer of water. it’s a feeling that’s hard to describe if you don’t skimboard. You should probably get a skimboard and try it out yourself haha!
What you think other people are thinking about it? (Your friends family fans)
They’re all cool with it! I’ve done it for so long, so i think everyone around me knows i’m addicted to it haha! Haven’t heard anything negative about it.
Your name and if it’s possible your age?
I’m Adrien Raza and i’m 25 years old!
Where do you live (city, country) where are you from? If you moved from where to where?
I’m currently living in between Rotterdam (Netherlands) and Taipei (Taiwan). I’ve also lived in France, Spain and the United States
What other sports do you enjoy?
In terms of other sports, I skateboard the most! Otherwise I enjoy snowboarding, wakesurfing, kickboxing and freediving. I try to go running and do exercises at the gym during the winter months as well.
How did you decide to get into Skimboarding, and how long you’ve been doing it?
It’s been a solid 12 years this year! Almost half my life! After my first session on a board, I looked up what the pro’s were doing on Youtube and I was hooked. I had no idea all those tricks were possible on a skimboard! A few months into starting, I met a Dutch crew (SHHH Skimboards) which motivated me to start taking it seriously! Glad I did!
List some of your favorite achievements.
Winning the European skimboard cup 4 times is the biggest! I was hyped on winning the DB Pro/am, which is arguably the toughest skimboard competition in the world!
Another achievement is that I’m still super passionate about skimboarding after 12 years!
What other sports would you like to try?
Wakeskating is a big one. I’ve done wakesurfing a few times but it’s a sport i want to do more often. It’s very similar to skimboarding.
Do you have students? If yes then are there students who have surpassed the teacher? Or students who have achieved success in sports?
Haha I wouldn’t say any surpassed the teacher! I’ve been helping people out here and there. The only person I truly taught from start to finish is my buddy Luke Dirks! Unfortunately he doesn’t get to ride as much these days but he saw some success back in the day!
He got himself a couple sponsors (DB and Skim Bowl) and even place 3rd at a European skimboard cup event.
What is the best thing that happened to you during your career?
Too many things to mention! I was able to travel the world and meet amazing people on the way. All things which wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t skimboard. I met my girlfriend at a skimboard event in Asia, which is pretty amazing too!
What is your main goal? What are the challenges facing this goal?
My main goal is to grow the sport! It’s really tough to stay motivated to do this. The popularity of skimboarding fluctuates every year and we never really managed to get it out that flow. I’ve organized a bunch of events back in the day, but that never really helped.
This year I’m focusing on content creation and social media. I feel like it’s working well, so i’ll keep putting my energy into it!
How do you rest from sports? What is your favorite leisure time?
I’m really into photography and videography. I love to shoot on my off time. But most of my favorite things to do are sports related. So if i’m not skimboarding i’m probably doing some other sport haha.
Please give some recommendations to beginners, what is the best way to learn, what they should be careful about, what equipment to use and more..
Firstly you should get yourself a good board. Many beginners start on a cheap board and end up giving up right away. I always advise getting a decent ($100+) board, as it will be so much more worth it in the long run. DB Boards are always a good buy! Other skimboard specific brands are good options as well.
Make sure your spot is clear from rocks and shells, especially when you’re starting out. The first session you WILL fall and it will hurt. Many people don’t expect that falling on sand hurts, but it does! Luckily, beginner falls are usually the worst. Once you get comfortable on the board, which usually doesn’t take more than a couple hours, you won’t be falling as hard. Start slow and when you fall, get back up and try again!
Always have fun with it! Many people ask me how to get sponsors or start making money through skimboarding. Focus on improving and having fun with it. Without that, you’ll never reach that level!
Which of the coaches (mentors) would you say special thanks to?
Fabian Brands and Michel Brands. They are the godfathers of skimboarding in the Netherlands. They really took me under their wing and showed me how everything is done. Without them, I definitely wouldn’t have continued.
Recently, scooter legend Benjamin Friant has been helping me out with everything social media related!
Shoutouts to every other skimboard person I met along the way. Too many to mention!
Thank you for the opportunity to talk about my passion!
Check all the awesome content Adrien has on social media: