Within the skimboarding community, there are a handful of outstanding professionals who really push the envelope of what is possible in this sport. These skimboarding professionals are successfully hybridizing the basic fundamental skills of skimboarding, and fusing them into other basic surfing concepts as well. While it may seem unimportant to know about the leading professional skimboarders, it can actually be very important to aspiring skimboard athletes.
Skimboarding is a unique sport where aspiring riders can learn so much from watching the various professionals in this sport. It is unique because the fundamentals and riding styles in skimboarding can be so radically different from pro to pro, and so there is a lot to learn from watching these elite athletes engage in their sport.
Additionally, following competitive skimboarding can help bring another dimension into your skimboarding experience overall, and give you an idea of what the world’s most elite skimboarders are accomplishing in this remarkable sport. If you are someone who loves to follow competitive sports, whether for the highlights, the winners and losers, picking up on new technique ideas, or any other reasons, then you should definitely look into professional skimboarding and get an idea of what the field of pros is up to these days!
In this article we are going to be presenting to readers and skimboarding enthusiasts some of the world’s most elite skimboarding professionals, and providing an overview of their stats and world rankings. For the benefit of skimboarders looking to find out more about the professional aspects of their sport, stick around and keep reading on to find out more!
1 – Pro Skimboarder Austin Keen – Exile Skimboards:
Perhaps the best skimboarding athlete in the entire world, and arguably the most creative skimboarder out there, Austin Keen stands alone as one of the most eilte skimboarders the world has ever seen. Austin Keen rides for Exile Skimboards these days, but honestly he basically has a reputation that transcends any kind of sponsorship or team affiliation.
Austin has always been good at projecting his skimboarding talents out to the world via social media and other online avenues, so people have been exposed to Austin’s elite skimboarding clips on the internet for almost a decade now. Austin is a well-established skimboarding professional, and he has a style and sense of humor that is unmatched by any other skimboarder out there today. He is able to weave a narrative and a funny storyline into a lot of his skimboarding edits, making him a huge hit in the social media landscape.
The overall range of victories and runner up finishes in Austin Keen’s professional skimboarding career is almost too lengthy to even delve into here, but suffice it to say this is a skimboarder who is a superstar in the sport. Consider what Michael Jordan is to basketball, or what Tiger Woods has been for the sport of golf, this is what Austin Keen represents for skimboarding.
If you are a skimboarder of any skill level, whether that be a beginner, and intermediate, or expert/advanced, and you have not watched any of Austin Keen’s competitive performances or highlight reels on a skimboard, you are seriously missing out! Stop whatever you are doing right now and go check out some of his skimboarding content! Austin has a style all his own, and it is difficult to limit his skimboarding style to any one single niche. He is an absolute monster on his hydroplane lines, frequently exhibiting the ability to hit huge planes out to large waves and surf them with the accuracy and precision of an actual surfer. Not only does Austin Keen have the ability to execute massive planes and hit big wave breaks, but he also mixes technical tricks into a lot of those lines.
Whether it be big Pop Shuv-Its, Kickflips, or other extremely difficult board flip tricks, Austin Keen is frequently raising the bar for what is even possible in this sport. Skimboarding has a difficult learning curve to begin with, but add in tricks like kickflips and shuv-its and we are talking about a skimboarding athlete that is truly unparalleled in this field. Of course there are other elite skimboarding professionals that we will cover here, and they all bring something unique and impressive to the table, but few people in the world have the style and flair that Austin Keen exhibits on a regular basis.
Austin Keen can frequently be found skimboarding around the Laguna Beach area, as this seems to be his skimboarding headquarters, but he also makes typical appearances at a premier skimboarding location known as “The Wedge” at Newport Beach, California. To catch up with Austin Keen, view his content, take virtual lessons from him, pick up some of his killer merchandise, and so much more, visit www.austinkeen.com or check him out on Instagram and other social media!
2 – Pro Skimboarder Johnny Salta – Victoria Skimboards:
Riding for Victoria Skimboards, professional skimboarder Johnny Salta is a force to be reckoned with in the competitive pro skimboarding circuit. Any pros that are good enough to be riding for Victoria Skimboards, which is one of the premier skimboard companies in the world today, are definitely exhibiting some serious skill. Coming in at 5’10” and 140 pounds, Johnny Salta is a bit more on the smaller side of the spectrum overall, and this lower weight plus lower center of gravity seems to work wonders for Salta’s skimboarding abilities.
At 27 years old, Johnny Salta is absolutely killing the game these days in the competitive skimboarding circuit, and he has been winning tons of competitions in his eight years of professional skimboarding. Born in Laguna Beach, California, which is the unofficial birthplace of skimboarding, Johnny Salta was more or less born into this sport.
He still lives in Laguna Beach, and can be found ripping the shorebreak at a range of Southern California beaches. Johnny Salta rides with a regular stance, and is currently ripping the skim on his MS Poly Carbon skimboard from Victoria Skimboards with ¾” rails and a customized thinner center core. One of Johnny Salta’s favorite spots to rip the skim at is Oak Street beach access in Southern California, and this is where he is frequently training and honing his incredible skills. One of Johnny Salta’s claims to fame is his unbelievable execution of the Backflip on a skimboard!
This is a trick that only a handful of people on the planet can claim to perform correctly, and Johnny almost makes it look easy. Among any possible aerial trick on a skimboard, the backflip is certainly nearing the top of the list in terms of sheer difficulty. Seeing Johnny Salta executing a backflip is a pretty amazing experience, and you can catch him at the Oak Street beach access rocking these backflips on a regular basis.
Obviously a solid backflip requires ample runway, and the waves have to be sufficiently large to support a big enough lip to launch into a backflip, but on the days Johnny is throwing his backflip, you have never seen a more impressive skimboarding maneuver in your life. Johnny rides a range of different skimboards by Victoria Skimboards, which is his primary sponsorship, but the MS Poly Carbon is his primary competition skimboard.
Although Johnny rides internationally for competitions and travel, Laguna Beach is really his primary locale for skimboarding, and according to the man himself it is his favorite place to ride on earth. Laguna Beach is known for its excellent shorebreak surf, rivaled only by some beaches in Hawaii and a few other select locations around the world. At only 27 years old, we are expecting to see much more elite competition and victories from Johnny Salta in the years to come, so stay tuned to this expert skimboarding professional to see what else is in store for the skimboarding community!
3 – Pro Skimboarder Max Bourne – Victoria Skimboards:
Another elite skimboarding professional in the game these days is Max Bourne, who has been riding for Victoria Skimboards for quite some time now. There are a handful of elite skimboarding companies in operation today, but Exile Skimboards and Victoria Skimboards are really the Nike and Adidas of this sport. These two companies really dominate the skimboarding scene overall, and they tend to sponsor the vast majority of high level skimboarding professionals right now.
Skimboarding is a sport that has only been around in a big way for a few decades, so it is still growing a lot in terms of companies sponsoring it, and other companies starting to design gear and apparel for the sport. Max Bourne has really gotten into the sport at a perfect time, considering that he began his professional skimboarding career six years ago in 2012. Ever the loyal athlete, Max Bourne has been riding for Victoria Skimboards for the entirety of his professional skimboarding career, and there are no signs that he is thinking about changing up.
At a height of 5’7” and a weight of only 120 pounds, Max Bourne has the perfect body type to be an insanely aggressive and technically ripping skimboarding professional. His low overall weight and low center of gravity immediately dispose him to be like a flying squirrel on the shorebreak, and in terms of his ability to hit massively long hydroplane lines out into deep water and big breaks.
Max Bourne is known for his utterly fearless riding style on a skimboard, and he is able to execute aerials and big-wave drop-ins that other skimboarders would not ever dream of. Max Bourne’s extreme riding style is matched by his amazingly sophisticated skimboard he rides, and that board is designed exclusively by Victoria Skimboards. Max’s current competitive skimboard setup is the 2018 Victoria Skimboards Poly Carbon Epoxy XS, with yellow on top, blue on the bottom (custom colors) and customized hybrid rails.
This board is a real eye-catcher out on the water and during competitions, which matches Max’s eye-popping extreme riding style where he throws untouchable aerial tricks and hits massive shorebreak waves. Born in Glendora, California in 1996, Max is really a young gun in the sport and fate willing he will have many more exceptional competition performances coming up in the near future!
Max Bourne currently lives in Laguna Canyon, otherwise known as Aliso Viejo, which is a no-brainer since Laguna Beach offers some of the best skimboarding conditions in all of Southern California. Max can often be found ripping it over at the 10th Street Surf Spot in SoCal, or watching his favorite extreme sports media known as Fuel TV, or smashing a huge double cheeseburger at his favorite restaurant, In-N-Out!
Max Bourne really is the perfect exemplification of the Southern California Skimboarding Culture, and he is just as good an ambassador for this unique culture as someone like Austin Keen. If you are looking for an elite up and coming skimboarding professional who is going to raise the bar for what is possible in this sport, then keep an eye on Max Bourne as he continues to compete under the Victoria Skimboards banner!