Surfing for Great Britain in the sport’s ultimate competition, Skinner finished just .34 of a point behind the winner, six-time South African champion Matthew Moir in the longboard final.
The South African, who was at the event for the first time, surfed a flawless final ‘hanging ten’ cross-stepping the board and kicking in big bottoms to take gold.
Skinner, a 22-year-old longboarder, who now lives in Newquay, Cornwall, pushed Australian Harley Ingleby and Hawaiian Bonga Perkins into third and fourth places respectively at Huntington Beach in California.
Rhona Gardiner, of the British Surfing Association’s public relations department,said: ‘This is a fantastic result for Ben but I won’t know until later today if it is the best ever performance from one of our surfers.
‘Being just .34 off the winner is an amazing result.
Ben’s score of 14.16 could also be our highest score ever.
‘Considering he is so young he has done phenomenally well.’ Karen Walton, national director of the British Surfing Association complimented Skinner recently saying he is one of the few surfers who can make the transition between a long and a short board and be so strong in both at the highest levels and they were looking forward to seeing him develop further.
Skinner has certainly done that now by finishing second in the world overnight.
Old Victorian Skinner, who has been a professional surfer since leaving Jersey as a 16-year-old, teamed up with the cream of the UK’s surf and bodyboarding talent, including Alan Stokes, Bethan Mason, Mark Harris, Robyn Davies, Sam Lamiroy, Johnny Fryer, Damie Prisk, Bjorn Storey and Gemma Harris at the championships, won by Australia.
The nine-day event brought together 33 countries and over 300 surfers.
The 2008 ISA World Surfing Games will be held in Portugal.