Adrien Raza is a professional skimboarder and a four-time European champion in this sport. The skimboard is similar to skateboarding. Only participants glide on water instead of land. Adrien says that skimboard tricks are also similar to skate tricks.
The skimboard is a thin wooden board that looks like a miniature surfboard. As its name suggests, it glides slightly on the surface of the water while the athlete performs tricks.
Adrien says this about the sport:
“It was a lot of love at first sight, so as soon as I stepped onto that skimboard for the first time, I was hooked. I knew I wanted to keep practicing this, I wanted to be good at it, and I did. “
Adrien first discovered the sport through his cousin one summer during his youth. Adrien was very involved in soccer at his school and spent many hours training. However, once his cousin let him test out his skimboard, he soon found a new obsession. Adrien felt that skimboarding was more liberating than soccer, so he learned everything he could about the sport.
How Adrien started skimboarding
He spent hours watching YouTube videos of people skimboarding, trying to learn the basics. Once he’d had enough practice, he joined a skimboarding group to learn new tricks. The rest is history.
“So the first time I stepped on a skimboard, I was maybe 12 or 13, and now I’m 25. So I’ve been doing this for most of my life,” Adrien says. “I think the freedom aspect of skimboarding is the most satisfying for me, and I’m not talking about the deep sense of freedom. What’s more, a skimboard is not very restrictive ”.
Adrien skimboards virtually anywhere, from city streets to backyard pools and beautiful beaches. He likes to use his creativity in sports and is always on the lookout for new places to practice.
Adrien sweeps the world skimboard scene.
In a interview with Red BullAdrien says there are three different types of skimboarding: flatland, wave, and urban. Skimboarding in Flatland takes place in shallow water, such as on flat beaches and rivers. Wave skimboarding, as the name suggests, is similar to surfing in that it involves waves. Adrien lives in the Netherlands, so he cannot practice this form very often. Its main objective is urban skimboarding, since it is usually in large cities.
Actually, you stumbled upon urban skimboarding by accident. During a visit to Taiwan, he didn’t have a car to get to the beach, so he improvised. He explored the city, looking for rails and ramps to perform tricks. There is no shortage of places to practice in the bustling centers of Taiwan, as he quickly discovered. While doing many of the same tricks, Adrien enjoys exploring new places, as it feels like he’s rediscovering the sport every time.
Since the age of 16, Adrien has competed in small competitions in the Netherlands. It began to attract the attention of people all over the world. Eventually he got a sponsorship in the US Adrien went there for a bigger competition and toured Europe every summer. He is now a four-time European champion in skimboard, something of which he is very proud.
They even asked him to perform tricks at a local. Skatepark In the Netherlands! You probably wouldn’t think of skimboarding in a place like that, but in Adrien’s mind, there are no limits. Of course, I had never tried it before and didn’t know if it would work. He didn’t want to destroy the skatepark with the board, so he decided to do some practice runs first.
Initially it seemed difficult to skimboard on site, but Adrien improvised and came up with some ideas. Everything went well, according to his Instagram post. Here’s what he had to say about the experience:
“Great shouts to @waalhalla for intentionally flooding your park. Absolute legends! We managed to clear the flood and are already hatching an improved way to do it! The full video will be out soon! “
If a place has water, it looks like Adrien’s game for skimboarding.
The fascinating history of skimboarding
Anyway, where did the idea of skimming the surface of the water on a wooden board come from? According to Surfer Today, originated in Laguna Beach, California, around 1920. Lifeguards wanted to surf the waves, but the water was too shallow for their surfboards.
So they ended up building a small round board with two redwood boards and three oak strips. The board was attached with machine screws and square nuts and was approximately five feet long. Fast forward a few decades and the design morphed into a much smaller and wider shaped board. This made it easier to surf waves and catch waves on shore.
Now, people from all over the world have gotten into this sport, practicing in rivers, lakes, ponds and big cities. As Adrien explained, the sport has also reached the big leagues. In 1976, the first annual World Skimboard Championship was held in Aliso Beach, California. From that point on, it became a respected sport in the watersports community.
“Many of you have probably never heard of skimboarding, and that’s really what I’m trying to push. I’m trying to raise awareness about skimboarding; I want more people to try it and for more people to feel that feeling that I described earlier, ”says Adrien.
Final thoughts on the guy who keeps making skimboard history
Skimboarding is a lot like surfing. Only it does not require particular conditions of waves or wind. You can play this sport anywhere as long as you have shallow water and a board. That’s what Adrien loves about sport – it’s versatile, flexible, and the opportunities are endless. Ultimately, the feeling you get while skimboarding keeps you interested in the sport.
What started out as a hobby led him to a full-blown career, and he even won several major competitions in Europe. Adrien is only 26 years old, so he has many years ahead of him to break world records in skimboarding. Who knows where it will end up next, but we are excited to continue its journey.