Ben Skinner grew up training alongside Jeremy Flores with some mentoring from Tom Carroll and Gary Elkerton.
He was first sponsored by Quiksilver at eleven years old and was immediately put on a grind by the “Sandhill Warrior” Rob Roland Smith, the legendary personal trainer employed by Quiksilver to train the brand’s most promising young athletes in the 90’s and early 00’s, nicknamed for his interest in making groms run up and down sand dunes until until they fell over.
Ben at the time was surfing shortboards and he was ripping.
He was traveling to Morocco and winning contests.
And then he switched.
From this new episode of The Wire Podcast “I just got so frustrated on small days in England in weak waves, I wanted to surf every single day, and longboards let me do that.“
Born in England and raised inside pubs and breweries by parents in the hospitality industry, Ben is an 11X European Longboard Champion who, as a child, seems to have downplayed the wave quality in England.
Today he rides incredible waves, some off them with barrels big enough to stand in, and all on surfboards 9 foot plus.
In fact the video above shows what might be the most impossible barrel ever made on a longboard. See it at the 2 min 2 sec mark.
“I’ve been designing and shaping boards for eleven years now, since my son Lukas was born, in fact he was one of the reasons I started my own business making boards. I wanted to do something that I loved doing, that I was passionate about, and that I could hopefully support my family in the process of doing.”
With a firm standing in the European board building community, today Ben spends the bulk of his surfboard designing time working with Thunderbolt’s Yu Sumitomo – a Japanese craftsman who has developed what Ben, Harley Ingleby and CJ Nelson have called the best and most effective method of building longboards ever.
“It’s been designed around flex and feel…. It’s not been designed to be light and strong, it just IS light and strong…. and that’s a key factor to this technology – it’s not driven by weight and strength, it’s driven by feel, and how the board flexes and feels under your feet.”
It’s a tech that Ben is excited to test soon at the U.K.’s first Cove Technology wave pool in Bristol, just two hours from his home.
As an ambassador he’s looking forward to testing his Peacemaker regularly, as the pool will offer a wave every eight seconds.
With backing from brands like Reef, Oneill and others we’re willing to bet Ben’s favorite sponsor today is the one that will give him so many waves an hour he won’t be able to stand.
Get to know Ben on The Wire Podcast here.