The sport of skateboarding is said to have been invented by surfers in California. They were desperate to practice their skills when the surf was flat and so they strapped four wheels to a board and took to the streets.
It was the birth of sidewalk surfing, and it would eventually give way to skateboarding. Today, there are a multitude of skateboards on the market, but the idea of sidewalk surfing lives on in the surfskate.
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What is a Surfskate?
A surfskate is similar to a skateboard, but there are some key differences that make it feel more natural to surfers.
The shape, size, and movement of a surfskate is completely different to a regular street skateboard, and it also differs from the longboards used for cruising.
Using A Surfskate for Surf Training
All surfskate brands have their own way of doing things, and the design of these boards differs greatly. Typically, however, the key to the surfskate design lies in the front truck.
Surfskate trucks often include an adapter and a standard kingpin truck. The adapter uses a number of bearings and springs to allow for greater pivots and ensure the board is much better at carving.
With the Waterborne Surf and Rail Adapter, you can create your own surfskate, effectively turning a regular skateboard into a surfskate.
Other designs are available, but they all aim to create a similar effect, essentially building a board that looks like a skateboard but moves like a surfboard on asphalt.
What are the Best Surfskate Brands and Boards?
Are you looking to partake in some street surfing and improve your skills without squeezing into a wetsuit? Check out the following surfskate buyer’s guide, including the best surfskate brands and boards.
Best Surfskate Brand: Carver Skateboards
Carver is one of the biggest brands in the surfskate world, a pioneer that has produced the best boards and the most exciting innovations. They are responsible for truck systems like the reverse-kingpin CX and the dual-axis C7 and have boards to suit all types of skaters.
These boards were previously available on Amazon but they seem to have been removed at the time of writing. However, you can purchase Carver surfskates directly from the brand’s website, as well as a number of dealers across the United States.
The Carver 32.5″ Black Tip Surfskate
New for 2020, this is a slick and lightweight surfskate that features a black tip tail design. It comes with a high-density thermoplastic underside that protects against damage and helps to prolong the board’s life. It’s got plenty of grip and will stick to the asphalt like a longboard to the surf.
The Carver 32″ Sun Ray Streetsurf Complete C5
A stylish board that perfectly blends skating and street surfing. It’s narrow and light and comes with unique artwork created by Daren Magee.
The Lost X Carver 31″ Rad Ripper Complete C7
The Lost X is part of the excellent C7 range and features a wide profile with an 80s vibe and some excellent carving potential.
The Carver 27″ Bureo “Ahi” Streetsurf Complete C5
At 27″, this is a short surfskate, but it can still generate a lot of speed and its concave design allows for easier carving and greater control.
Best Surfskate Brand: Yow Surfskate
“YOW” stands for “Your Own Wave”. It’s a European company and it designs and makes its boards in Spain, but you can buy them from Amazon and other retailers here in the United States.
The YOW 32″ Surf Skate Skateboard
A red and gold board that was inspired by the Lightning Bolt board from Gerry Lopez. It features the sought-after Meraki front truck system, making it a great choice if you’re looking for a loose board that can carve well even at low speeds.
YOW Amatriain Signature Surfskate
A 32″ board that features YOW’s unique front truck construction, along with a cool design. You can buy this board complete and ready to go from Amazon.
YOW Surfskate Malibu 36″
At 36″, this is a sizeable board that’s perfect for cruising and carving. It has a two-tone pattern that features a retro cream on one half and what looks like a Turkish rug on the other. It might not be to everyone’s taste, but looks aside, it’s a very cool board.
Best Surfskate Brand: Roller Derby
Roller Derby is best known as a manufacturer of roller-skates, but it also has a few surfskate boards in its range.
Slide Surfskate Street Surf Skateboard
A very highly-rated 32″ surfskate that you can buy from Amazon. There are four different color options to choose from and all feature the brand’s patented spring loaded truck and fishtail design.
The decks are made from Canadian maple and the wheels are 79a super high rebound durometer.
Slide Surfskate Street Surf Skateboard Gussie Sting Ray
A 31″ board with high-speed precision bearings, a Canadian maple deck, 78a wheels, and a curved tail.
Best Surfskate Brand: Boilgon
When it comes to affordable surfskates, Boilgon is always at the top of the list. This brand produces some very solid boards at an incredibly reasonable price, as shown with our pick of the bunch below.
Boilgon 29″ Carver Surf Skateboard
An affordable surf skateboard that features a maple board, 78a wheels, and a multitude of design options. It’s an incredibly solid board for the price and could be just what you need if you’re looking to get some surf training while the surf is flat.
FAQS About Surfskates
How Do You Pump on a Surfskate?
Pumping is a surf skating technique that helps you to increase speed without taking your feet off the board.
It’s a full-body movement that begins by rocking from your toes to your heels and then incorporating your knees into the movement. You’re moving the board from side to side and generating speed in the process.
Can Surfskates Help with Surf Training?
Of course! You’re still balancing on a board and getting used to moving at speed and carving. Skating on the pavement is not quite the same as surfing waves, but it’ll help you to learn. It’s all about building that muscle memory and getting used to the movements.
Are Surfskates Good for Beginner Surfers?
Surfskates are great for practicing, but they are designed to emulate shortboarding, and so they might not be best for beginner surfers who use longboards.
You may be better off with a cruiser skateboard. Alternatively, you can find the longest surfskate on the market.
Of course, it’s all relative. Nothing beats getting out on the waves and actually surfing but skating on a short surfskate is certainly better than doing nothing at all.
What is the Best Surfskate Board?
It depends on your budget and what feels right. The options above are a great place to start though.