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Good skim characteristics for chop

This is the place to talk about riding styles, tricks, conditions, what works, what doesn't on your skimboard. Wondering about what skimboard to get for kiting? Post it all here.

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Good skim characteristics for chop

Postby steph » Sat Feb 27, 2010 12:10 pm

Hi guys,

I've been using my Nobile skimboard (without fins :D ) for a while now and enjoy it a lot. However, it's not so much fun when the conditions are choppy. I suppose that what makes it a good low wind skimboard doesn't make it so good for sea chop.

So, is there such a thing as a good skimboard in choppy conditions, and if so, what are the characteristics: weight, thickness, rocker, width, etc.? And do they make a lot of difference or are we talking marginal difference, and it's all about eating the chop with the legs and just getting used to it?

Thanks!
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Re: Good skim characteristics for chop

Postby Lonny » Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:16 am

Hey Steph,

Good question. Riding your skimmy in chop or rough water can be far more difficult than in butter. It definitely requires at least a different approach to how you ride and possibly a different skim. When riding in heavy chop its a good idea to keep your knees a bit more bent to have a softer stance, and be able to absorb the chop through your body. If you ride with a stiff stance you are going to be launched off your board repeatedly, which isn't a lot of fun unless you like drinking saltwater! :wink: Also, you should keep your kite a bit higher than you normally would as you hit chop to allow you a little lift upwards rather than sideways. That will help keep you on your board, and again lighten your body on the board, which in turn helps absorb the chop. Armed with those techniques, and a bit of practice you will be riding through chop in now time.

Now, as far as your question goes on the board. It is easier to ride a board with a rocker profile more conducive to surf and chop in surf or choppy water conditions. A board with a more aggressive rocker line, up to 3" of nose rocker and 1/2 - 3/4" of tail rocker will release water more easily and cut through chop better. Also, a rounder rail profile vs. sharper rails will provide a easier time of it through chop. However, there is a sweet spot with these characteristics in a board, because they will often slow a board down sometimes substantially. Also, it will effect how well a board tends to get upwind, which is very important when riding in surf. The Nobile tends to have a pretty flat rocker profile, and sharp rails. Thus, this board works very well in flat water, but you will have harder time riding in rough chop.

One, last thing I did not mention, is that your board's construction can make a huge difference in how it feels when riding it. A very stiff board can be wicked fast in butter conditions, but knock your fillings out in chop. :shock: One of the biggest secrets in making a good skim is the right layup and construction which will result in a sweet ride on the water whether riding in chop on flat water. This is where you can really tell the difference between boards. You could have two identical boards as far as length, width and thickness go, but ride very differently due to how they were constructed.

Anyways, I was supposed to be going kiting this morning, but the wind went offshore earlier than expected. :cry: Its been a tough season this winter here.

Hope that helps, but please let me know if I can answer any more questions for you.
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Re: Good skim characteristics for chop

Postby tungsten » Wed Mar 03, 2010 4:52 am

I fully agree with Lonnie's take on the matter. Two more things I would add:

In chop it makes a big difference if you have enough wind, or if you're scratching at the low end. If you do have enough pressure in the sail, you can adopt a riding style like if you're going through a mogul slope with snowboard or ski: follow the structure of the bumps, sometimes stall the board a bit, ride rather slowly, take sharp turns. If you're, on the other hand, scratching at the low end, you'll have to sort your riding through board speed in order to harvest apparent wind, which is a bumpy ride because you have to cut right through it in order to keep your momentum.

Board thickness helps, but depends on your weight: a bit of board thickness keeps you afloat that tad more when stalling the board; too much and you feel like you're standing on a broken off SUP. I.e. for my 85kg I like 1 to 1.2 inch thickness for a wave and chop skimmy with the rocker Lonnie mentioned.
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Re: Good skim characteristics for chop

Postby steph » Wed Mar 03, 2010 6:53 pm

Thanks a lot guys. Very interesting and technical replies. Now, time to practise with the good days coming back in northern Spain!

Steph
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Re: Good skim characteristics for chop

Postby steph » Sun Apr 04, 2010 2:03 pm

Just thought I would follow up on my initial question. I just treated myself with a brand new Zap Pro Medium that I bought online from skimcity (thanks Greg for the great service!) and I must say, it is exactly what I was looking for. It's a completely different beast from the Nobile.

I took Lonnie's and Tungsten's advices on the characteristics. It looked like the Zap Pro was that type of skim and it is! It's a totally different world and much more pleasant in choppy conditions. The only thing I find hard to comment on is the flex. It seems it has more than the Nobile but it's really difficult to tell. Not sure if it's because flex on a skimmy is more subtle than on a TT.

First, it doesn't nose dive as soon as you stomp on the front foot which is great. Second, it really seems like it cuts through chop and waves and is far less bouncy than the Nobile. Third, you can really ride it powered and brake real strong when you need it. Much much much easier to control.

Now, I just need to nail those shuvits and get the timing right with the small waves/chop and I'll be a happy camper. So I'll keep the Nobile for low wind and use the Zap for stronger winds.

You see, you start kite skimming because you want something to do during those low wind days and you end up ditching your TT and build yourself a skimmy only quiver...

Thanks a lot for the precious advice!

Steph
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Re: Good skim characteristics for chop

Postby Lonny » Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:23 pm

Hey Steph,

You made my day brother! 8) Thanks for the update. I am stoked to hear that you are stoked with your new ZAP! Looking forward to you posting some pics of you rippin on your new ride. Keep us up to date, and if you need any more help just let me know.
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Re: Good skim characteristics for chop

Postby Petato » Thu Aug 01, 2013 6:21 am

Hi,

I have been riding on a surfkite strapless for the last year, in both chopy and waves. This year I bought a Nobile skim, as a toy for chopy, and spent the last weekend in East Spain riding this board on heavy chopy.

Great board, lots of fun and quite easy to handle in chopy, but have to recognise I did keep the fins in.

The question is, can I remove the fins of my board for heavy chopy ? I mean of course I can, but I can prevent a hard time handling without fins on hard chopy 15 to 25 knots, without fins.

It is reallystic to ride fineless in this conditions ?

Petato.
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Re: Good skim characteristics for chop

Postby Lonny » Thu Aug 01, 2013 2:06 pm

Petato wrote:Hi,

I have been riding on a surfkite strapless for the last year, in both chopy and waves. This year I bought a Nobile skim, as a toy for chopy, and spent the last weekend in East Spain riding this board on heavy chopy.

Great board, lots of fun and quite easy to handle in chopy, but have to recognise I did keep the fins in.

The question is, can I remove the fins of my board for heavy chopy ? I mean of course I can, but I can prevent a hard time handling without fins on hard chopy 15 to 25 knots, without fins.

It is reallystic to ride fineless in this conditions ?

Petato.



Hey Petato,

Welcome to LTS. Thanks for posting your question.

If the Nobile is designed as a skimboard and not a mutant twin tip without straps then it should absolutely ride well without the fins. Fins are something you add onto a skimboard to change up the feel a bit, but they are supposed to be ridden with no fins by default. I never ride my skim with fins and have ridden in everything from 10 - 35, in chop, flats, or waves. That being said, you will need to adjust your riding style, kite size and style to accommodate the conditions and the board you are using. For instance when I am riding flat water I can drive my board deeper into the water against my kite. However, in heavy chop I will keep my kite a bit higher, loosen my front foot, and absorb chop vs. pushing against it.

With a skimboard it is about riding the edge of the board to give you the stability you need to be fast and efficient, and when you ride without fins that is all you got! When you ride in waves and you have to bottom turn you need to realize at some point you have to come off your edge and it feels weird at first, and wrong - almost like your brain says, "you know your gonna wreck, right?" Overcome that, get on your back foot and drive your board onto your other edge, and rinse and repeat. Really a lot of fun, and I highly recommend riding your board without fins. From my perspective if you want to be a solid skimboard rider you need to learn to ride without the fins well, then if you want to add them for certain applications you have the knowledge and skill to know and understand the differences and how best to use them effectively.

Hope that helps! Keep Ripping!
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