You may not have heard of Ben Skinner, which is a crying shame. He’s wonderful to watch–aggressive and stylish at the same time, seamlessly transitioning from rail to rail, nose-riding in situations where nose-rides should be impossible, and surfing a longboard like it’s a shortboard. He’s got it all.
All that talent has come from a lifetime of surfing. Growing up on Jersey, an island between France and England, he began surfing when he was three-years-old. Before he turned 10, he was competing. Then, when he turned 11, his family packed up and headed for Cornwall, where Ben really immersed himself in the world of competitive surfing. By the time he was 13, he had two British Shortboard Championships under his belt. Quiksilver picked him up, and he was firmly in the driver’s seat on the road to a life he’d been dreaming of.
It wasn’t until he was 16 that he started longboarding, but in two years, he’d won every category in every major British longboard event. Then, as seems to be the natural progression, he took a keen interest in shaping–now, he’s one of the best. “Surfing, for me, is about flowing from one thing to another with ease,” he says. “There’s something so powerful about being part of the ocean and having that closeness to nature that you get from being a surfer. It’s really important for a surfer, a shaper, or an artist just to keep evolving… it’s the key to everything.”
In the video above, Skinner (and his boy Lukas), have a fun session at St. Agnes. Ben’s riding one of his prototypes and by the looks of it, it’ll make it past the prototype stage.