Sunday Tribune

DURBAN A NEW SKIM CITY

- FRED KOCKOTT

THE first South African skimboardi­ng championsh­ips is on the cards following last weekend’s attempt to set a new unofficial world record for the number of skimboarde­rs hitting one wave at the same time.

“We got 20 guys on one wave. Before that, it was 18,” said organiser Brian Price of Handsdown Industries.

Price says some people think skimboardi­ng merely involves kids on the shoreline jumping on round wooden discs to skim a couple of metres.

“Think again, and check out these pictures,” says Price, who organised last weekend’s first annual skimboardi­ng event – the Handsdown/Gateway Skim Challenge at Umhlanga Rocks, Crescent Beach.

The pictures show that skimboardi­ng is evolving into a daredevil sport of riding crunching beach breaks – sometimes on thick waves that would make even diehard surfers wince in anticipati­on of serious wipe-outs on shallow breakers barrelling into the sand – or dumpers, as people often refer to them.

It’s potentiall­y arm-, leg-and neck-breaking stuff, all of which is attracting an increasing number of adrenalin junkies.

And with the growth in this sport, there has also been associated advancemen­t in the design of skimboards.

“We are seeing the market grow incredibly fast. In Cape Town, some surf shops are ordering more skimboards than surfboards these days,” said Price.

Price said other than next year’s first SA Championsh­ips, two more tournament­s were now lined up – one in Cape Town in November and another in Durban in December.

These showcase tournament­s that will also enable sponsors to identify skimmers worth sponsoring, says Price.

“Most skimmers would never have thought getting sponsored would become a reality, but it’s happening,” said Price.

Last weekend’s unofficial world record attempt was captured on video and is expected to be broadcast on YoTv in two weeks’ time.

Pictures can be seen www.handsdowno­nline.com

For more informatio­n, call Price at 031 563 2008 or 074 143 1387.

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 ??  ?? Skimmers catch crunching beach breaks – and the sport is growing.
Skimmers catch crunching beach breaks – and the sport is growing.
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