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Need some help choosing the right surfskate? Check out our buyers guide. 

YOW Coxos 31 Inches Power Surfing Series Surfskate Complete

YOW SURFSKATE

YOW Pipe 32 Inches Power Surfing Series Surfskate Complete

YOW SURFSKATE

YOW Medina Camo 33.5 Inches Signature Series Surfskate Complete

YOW SURFSKATE

YOW Chiba 30 Inches Classic Series Surfskate Complete

YOW SURFSKATE

Carver Surfskate System Truck C7 Pack

CARVER SYSTEM PACK

187 Killer Pads Adult Six Pack Set

187 KILLLER PADS

Roundhouse Concave 69mm Wheels 01

ROUNDHOUSE WHEELS

YOW Aritz 30.5 Inches Signature Surfing Series Surfskate Complete

YOW SURFSKATE

Youth Lagoon Skateboard Oh là là 7.875 Front

YOUTH LAGOON DECK

Arbor Cruiser Complete Flagship Pilsner 28.75 Inches

ARBOR CRUISER

YOW Surfskate System V.4 S5 Set Box

YOW SYSTEM PACK

YOW Kontiki 34 Inches High Performance Series Surfskate Complete

YOW SURFSKATE

Arbor Outlook Wheel 69mm 78a Amber

ARBOR WHEELS

YOW Byron Bay 38 Inches Classic Series Surfskate Complete

YOW SURFSKATE

arbor_cruiser_complete_photo_pilsner_28_75_inches_01-1

ARBOR CUISER

Arbor Cruiser Deck Flagship Sizzler 30.5 Inches

ARBOR CRUISER DECK

Youth Lagoon Skateboard Oh là là 8.25 Front

YOUTH LAGOON DECK

Arbor Outlook Wheel 69mm 78a Ghost White

ARBOR WHEELS

Arbor Cruiser Complete _Foundation Pocket Rocket 27 Inches

ARBOR CRUISER

YOW Aritz Aranburu 32.5 Inches Signature Series Surfskate Complete

YOW SURFSKATE

YOW C-Hawk Cristensen 33 Inches Power Shaper Series Surfskate Complete

YOW SURFSKATE

YOW Teahupoo 34 Inches Power Surfing Series Surfskate Complete

YOW SURFSKATE

YOW Pukas Dark 33.5 Inches Shaper Series Surfskate Complete

YOW SURFSKATE

YOW Pukas RVSH 33 Inches Shaper Series Surfskate Complete

YOW SURFSKATE

Arbor _Outlook Wheel 69mm 78a Ghost Black

ARBOR WHEELS

Hamboard Logger Walnut 60 Inches Surfskate Complete-1

HAMBOARD SURFSKATE

Blood Orange Morgan Pro 65mm Wheels White

BLOOD ORANGE WHEELS

Blood Orange Morgan Pro 65mm Wheels Maroon

BLOOD ORANGE WHEELS

YOW J Bay 33 Inches Power Surfing Series Surfskate Complete

YOW SURFSKATE

Caliber Standard Truck 8 Inch Raw Inside

CALIBER TRUCKS

YOW Arica 33 Inches High Performance Series Surfskate Complete

YOW SURFSKATE

YOW Christenson Hole Shot 33.85 Inches Shaper Series Surfskate Complete

YOW SURFSKATE

Blood Orange Morgan Pro 65mm Wheels Midnight Green

BLOOD ORANGE WHEELS

Hamboard Pescadito Bamboo 43 Inches Surfskate Complete

HAMBOARD SURFSKATE

YOW Snappers 32.5 Inches High Performance Series Surfskate Complete

YOW SURFSKATE

YOW Surfskate System Meraki S5 Set Box

YOW SYSTEM PACK

YOW Marcos Navarro 32 Inches Artist Series Surfskate Complete

YOW SURFSKATE

Blood Orange Morgan Pro 65mm Wheels Navy

BLOOD ORANGE WHEELS

YOW Hossegor 29 Inches Power Surfing Series Surfskate Complete

YOW SURFSKATE

YOW Pyzel Ghost 33.5 Inches Shaper Series Surfskate Complete

YOW SURFSKATE

YOW Coxos 31 Inches Power Surfing Series Surfskate Complete

YOW SURFSKATE

YOW Pipe 32 Inches Power Surfing Series Surfskate Complete

YOW SURFSKATE

YOW Medina Camo 33.5 Inches Signature Series Surfskate Complete

YOW SURFSKATE

YOW Chiba 30 Inches Classic Series Surfskate Complete

YOW SURFSKATE

Arbor Outlook Wheel 69mm 78a Ghost White

ARBOR WHEELS

Arbor Cruiser Complete _Foundation Pocket Rocket 27 Inches

ARBOR CRUISER

Carver Surfskate System Truck C7 Pack

CARVER SYSTEM PACK

187 Killer Pads Adult Six Pack Set

187 KILLLER PADS

Arbor Cruiser Deck Flagship Sizzler 30.5 Inches

ARBOR CRUISER DECK

Youth Lagoon Skateboard Oh là là 8.25 Front

YOUTH LAGOON DECK

Roundhouse Concave 69mm Wheels 01

ROUNDHOUSE WHEELS

YOW Aritz 30.5 Inches Signature Surfing Series Surfskate Complete

YOW SURFSKATE

Youth Lagoon Skateboard Oh là là 7.875 Front

YOUTH LAGOON DECK

Arbor Cruiser Complete Flagship Pilsner 28.75 Inches

ARBOR CRUISER

YOW Surfskate System V.4 S5 Set Box

YOW SYSTEM PACK

YOW Kontiki 34 Inches High Performance Series Surfskate Complete

YOW SURFSKATE

Arbor Outlook Wheel 69mm 78a Amber

ARBOR WHEELS

YOW Byron Bay 38 Inches Classic Series Surfskate Complete

YOW SURFSKATE

arbor_cruiser_complete_photo_pilsner_28_75_inches_01-1

ARBOR CRUISER

YOW Aritz Aranburu 32.5 Inches Signature Series Surfskate Complete

YOW SURFSKATE

YOW C-Hawk Cristensen 33 Inches Power Shaper Series Surfskate Complete

YOW SURFSKATE

YOW Teahupoo 34 Inches Power Surfing Series Surfskate Complete

YOW SURFSKATE

YOW Pukas Dark 33.5 Inches Shaper Series Surfskate Complete

YOW SURFSKATE

YOW Pukas RVSH 33 Inches Shaper Series Surfskate Complete

YOW SURFSKATE

Arbor _Outlook Wheel 69mm 78a Ghost Black

ARBOR WHEELS

Blood Orange Morgan Pro 65mm Wheels White

BLOOD ORANGE WHEELS

Hamboard Logger Walnut 60 Inches Surfskate Complete-1

HAMBOARD SURFSKATE

Blood Orange Morgan Pro 65mm Wheels Maroon

BLOOD ORANGE WHEELS

YOW J Bay 33 Inches Power Surfing Series Surfskate Complete

YOW SURFSKATE

Caliber Standard Truck 8 Inch Raw Inside

CALIBER TRUCKS

YOW Arica 33 Inches High Performance Series Surfskate Complete

YOW SURFSKATE

YOW Christenson Hole Shot 33.85 Inches Shaper Series Surfskate Complete

YOW SURFSKATE

Blood Orange Morgan Pro 65mm Wheels Midnight Green

BLOOD ORANGE WHEELS

Hamboard Pescadito Bamboo 43 Inches Surfskate Complete

HAMBOARD SURFSKATE

YOW Snappers 32.5 Inches High Performance Series Surfskate Complete

YOW SURFSKATE

YOW Surfskate System Meraki S5 Set Box

YOW SYSTEM PACK

Blood Orange Morgan Pro 65mm Wheels Navy

BLOOD ORANGE WHEELS

YOW Marcos Navarro 32 Inches Artist Series Surfskate Complete

YOW SURFSKATE

YOW Hossegor 29 Inches Power Surfing Series Surfskate Complete

YOW SURFSKATE

YOW Pyzel Ghost 33.5 Inches Shaper Series Surfskate Complete

YOW SURFSKATE

About

Ever since the mid 70s, when Craig Stecyk's photography and the 'Dogtown Articles' appeared in 'Skateboarder Magazine' the perception of skateboarding was changed forever — not only for skaters, but also for surfers. Seeing Tony Alva skate a bank low to the ground, dragging one of his hands on the concrete, as if he was riding a wave, felt like an epiphany to the surf community. No more flat days. 

Since then many things have changed — in the 90s Carver and Hamboard created the first surfskate trucks, Swelltech, Slide and YOW followed with similar yet different systems. In 2021 we can choose from a range of more than 20 surfskate brands — each of them having their own unique abbilities, yet all of them enabling a rider to experience and train the movements, flow and feel of surfing.

What hasn’t changed is, that style will never come with the surf trainer you choose — it will always be rooted in your personality and feeling for the concrete wave.

Youth Lagoon Collage Large

AUGUST 2021


So, what is the best
Surfskate?

To help you make the best decision on what surfskate to buy we created a short & sweet buyers guide. It is based on our own experience and on what we hear and see in our local surf and surfskate communities.

With a short introduction to the different surfskate trucks we answer the most frequently asked questions like which surfskate is the best for beginners, bowls or the most surfing sensation.

Images and Text by Maximilian Gerdau

YOW Surfskate Amatriain

Decks

Size, Wheelbase & Shape

IDEAL WHEELBASE

A deck with the wrong size and wheelbase feels like a bike with a sattle that is too low or high – something is not quite right. As a rule of thumb you can calculate your ideal wheelbase by taking a stance like you would on a surfboard: just spread your feet a little wider than your shoulders. The inside distance between your feet is your ideal wheelbase. Transferred to a surfskate the wheelbase is the distance between the inside holes of the front and back truck.

RIDING CHARACTERISTICS

Why is the wheelbase so important? A shorter wheelbase results into a board which is more sensitive to your movements, allowing more radical maneuvers and higher acceleration while pumping. A longer wheelbase will lead to more stabilty, resulting into a longboard type of maneuverability. However while a long wheelbase might be desirable (if you want that longboard type of ride), a too short wheelbase will result into a very stiff, restricted and unstable ride.

SHAPE

The shape of your deck also has an impact on what riding characteristics your  board will have. A wide nose will give the front truck more leverage: that is why the same system might feel a lot more loose on a board with a wide nose compared to a board with a pointy nose. A wider board and deep concave will also offer a more stable stance in tight turns. A kicktail will allow to lift the board of the ground.

Trucks

Surfskate Truck Yow Meraki

BEGINNER FRIENDLY

3-stars

INFO

Meraki was released in 2021 as YOW’s new all-in-one system. The redesign features 15% less weight and narrower hangers that sit closer to the system’s king pin — the results are an even better flow, stability and maneuverability compared to the classic V.4 adapter. Like the old system Meraki is a great all-rounder. It can be used as a progressive surf trainer, for riding bowls or cruising around town.

PROS & CONS

Other systems might offer an even higher maneuverability, Meraki still is the perfect system to get started with, especially when you have experience in the water and want to improve your capabilities.

Surfskate Swelltech trucks

BEGINNER FRIENDLY

1-star

INFO

The Swelltech system is the only truck on the market allowing the axle to rotate by 360° degrees and with a second set of feathers to pivot by 60°. It can therefore be described as a highly loose and sensitive system which brings a true surfing sensation to the streets. If you already are an advanced surfer and want to improve on that this is the surfskate truck you should go with.

PROS & CONS

While it is possible to use the Swelltech Truck for cruising or dropping into a bowl you will need to be on an advanced level to do so – this system is made for surf training in the flats but in this domain no other system can compete.

Surfskate Smoothstar trucks

BEGINNER FRIENDLY

2-stars

INFO

The Smoothstar truck has a similar functionality and character as the YOW adapter. Although sensibility of the system can be adjusted it does feel slightly more responsive. The decks also tend to be wider and have a little more concave which allows a more stable stance in aggressive maneuvers. Smoothstar describes their boards as a Surf Trainer and that is exactly what they  are.

PROS & CONS

While the Smoothstar truck is a little more sensitive than the YOW system, allowing more radical maneuvers and tighter turns, the downside is that these boards are not made to cruise around town. Just like Swelltech, Smoothstar is a made for surf training. 

Surfskate yow system S5 S4

BEGINNER FRIENDLY

3-stars

INFO

The classic YOW adapter is currently the most widely used system we see around – the reason being that this truck is a great all-rounder. Like Meraki it can be used as a progressive surf trainer, for riding bowls or cruising around town. The system design allows you to install almost any kind of skateboarding truck on it, meaning that you can convert your regular cruiser into a surfing device.

PROS & CONS

Other systems might offer an even higher maneuverability, the V.4 still is the perfect system to get started with, especially when you have experience in the water and want to improve your capabilities.

Surfskate Carver trucks C7

BEGINNER FRIENDLY

5-stars

INFO

The Carver C7 truck is one of the original systems around and an evergreen on the market. You can pump very well with this truck and use it to learn and improve on all surfing maneuvers. It also has an internal spring which is fully adjustable so you can slowly move from a stable cruiser type board to a loose surf trainer.

PROS & CONS

While the C7 system might feel stiffer than a YOW or Smoothstar truck it still allows to do all surfing maneuvers. Because of its adjustable spring and solid construction the C7 is the perfect system for any beginner or for advanced skaters who need a more stable and reliable truck in the bowl. 

Surfskate Slide truck

BEGINNER FRIENDLY

5-stars

INFO

While no surfskate system is alike the Slide surfskate truck does feel a lot like the Carver C7 truck and offers similar riding characteristics. The tension of its spring also is adjustable so you can adapt the truck to your personal preference and level. The system offers a fun ride in the flats just as in a bowl.

PROS & CONS

Compared to all other systems the Slide surfskate truck is the most affordabel one on the market. Since the quality equals most other systems, this truck has a great price-performance. If you are new to surfskating and unsure whether you will stick with it, Slide is the best option for you to give it a first try.

Surfskate Carver trucks CX

BEGINNER FRIENDLY

5-stars

INFO

The Carver CX truck is a system that does not have a spring – the axle soleley rotates around a set of bushings. While you can pump with this truck and do maneuvers just like on a surf board it feels even more stable than Carver’s C7 truck and a little restictive compared to all systems that use a spring. 

PROS & CONS

The Carver CX is perfect for absolute beginners who have never stood on any board at all. If you already are a good surfer or doing other board sports this truck might soon lack to be a challenge for you. However it is a perfect fit for pool skaters who look for maximum stability doing airs or other tricks.

Parts

Surfskate wheels

Wheels

INFO

There are a lot of options around when it comes to the wheels and many brands are promising a wide range of characteristics and abilities. In our experience most of the tricks and maneuvers are possible with any type of wheel if you only give it enough time. Usually surfskate wheels should not be larger than 70mm in diameter to avoid wheelbites. Other rules of thumb are: small and hard wheels accelerate faster and are best for bowls, large and soft wheels offer more grip and are best for training turns without unwanted slides. On rough surfaces a wide, large and soft wheel will keep you safe and allow running over small cracks. Rounded edges slide out easily, sharp edges offer extra grip.

BRANDS WE CAN RECOMMEND

Surfskate bushings

Bushings

INFO

Bushings are by far the most underrated part of a surfskate. Especially when using a system that cannot be adjusted via tightening the spring (like the YOW adapter) you can still do a lot of fine-tuning with the bushings. A softer cone-shaped bushing will lead to more sensibility, harder and barrel-shaped bushings can give that extra bit of stability you might need with a "nervous" system in the bowl. Some riders prefer of a mix of soft bushings on the front truck for extra maneuverability and hard bushings on the back truck for more stabilty while pumping. 

BRANDS WE CAN RECOMMEND

Surfskate bearings

Bearings

INFO

All skate bearings do have the same size and fit into any wheel. They either have six or seven balls inside which are made of steel or ceramics. A 6-ball  bearing will offer more speed and durability. Also ceramic balls are more durable and attract less dust and dirt. The quality and smooth running of a standard skate bearing is often indicated on the ABEC scale. High rated bearings have a better quality and are more expensive. When it comes to the bearings don't be too thrifty or you will get yourself a product that wears out quickly and soon needs to be replaced again.

BRANDS WE CAN RECOMMEND

Surfskate FAQ

Surfskate Tutorials

OCT 2020

Youth Lagoon surfskate designs

OCT 2020

Skatepark Inselpark Wilhelmsburg

OCT 2020

Any Feedback?

Feel free to drop us a line if you have any suggestions for this guide. Whether you have a spot in mind to recommend or any other ideas how to improve things – we are always super happy to hear from you. You can write us in English or in German.

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