In this epic episode, and our most comprehensive film yet, we celebrate the incredible achievements of world tour surfer, shaper, father and 11 times European Longboard Champion Ben ‘Skindog’ Skinner. 

Ben is one the greats of global surfing and shaping, and still going strong, while his kids Lukas and Lila are brimming with talent and already winning junior titles. Ben’s contest achievements are exceptional. From a young age (growing up in Jersey then moving to Cornwall) he had an electric competitive streak that still resonates at the highest level. This has taken him to world tour finals, world title silver medals and countless national titles. He has been Europe’s most successful competitive surfer, and is still at the top of his game. 

“Competing has been an exciting job for me that I have loved, and it has driven me through a lot of my life,” says Ben. “And there’s something really special about the longboard community all around the world. And I feel like when you’re longboarding, you’re part of that, and it’s a really special thing that I cherish. One of the best parts of competing is the community, and getting to make friends all over the globe.” 

Ben’s longboarding blazes like a hot coal in a rainstorm. He is fearless in the pocket through some of the most stunning and critical noserides and rail turns you will ever see (just watch the film to feast on this, and I guarantee you will be inspired). Ben is also eloquent through walking and trimming, all with perfect timing, stalling and acceleration. Through foundations in shortboarding (where he also excelled as a national junior champion) he gained torque, speed and an ability to get at the core of the wave’s energy and exploit this through always surfing deep in the section. Even in the pressure cooker of competition he is able to improvise brilliantly, working at the beating heart of every wave as if at the eye of a storm. In small waves he is a style master. And when it becomes hollow, Ben is actually thinking about how long he can stay in barrel, rather than – like the rest of us – whether he will make it out unscathed. Big wave riding is also a natural for Ben, combining the adrenaline rush in outrunning monsters at speed with developing appropriate arcs – sweeping turns on a huge canvas to leave minimalist lines. And to balance time in the waves, he has been an amazing father of Leven, Lila, Lukas and Lucy, and a business entrepreneur setting the Skindog Surfboards factory and shop.

Ben is a people person, and always puts friends and family first. “We live for our kids, and to surf with them is really special. But to see them excel is incredible. Watching Lukas win the European Junior Championships I had to pinch myself. I feel like me and Michelle are on such an exciting journey with the kids and surfing now. And a big part of my work is shaping boards for kids and supporting the talent I see coming up.”

Ben has always been fascinated by designs, hulls, contours, rails, rockers and materials engineering, with an ongoing passion to adapt and progress, from carbon rail technology to the thunderbolt revolution that creates unrivalled torsional flex. This all inspired the founding of Skindog Surfboards in 2008 with his business partner and laminator Jason Gray. They are now at the helm of the most exciting and cutting-edge surfboard business in Europe, shaping a brilliant future. 

“I’ve always loved new designs and new materials and how they might make you surf. And I was lucky enough to work with great shapers like Chops Lascelles and Mark Neville. They really inspired me and I always try to carry the torch for their creative energy and passion in the work we do at Skindog Surfboards. We have a brilliant team here, and so many exciting projects happening.”

Watch the film to find out more and enjoy this radical journey.