Several factors affect a skater’s preference. These include the board’s performance, parts, ideal riding location, and more. And while it could be an overwhelming task to consider all these aspects, remember that they’re all for the better.
Let’s take surfskate VS longboard, for example. Both boards have almost the same wheels. They are also ideal for smooth rides. But what distinguishes one over the other?
Keep reading this article as we discuss these items more. From the physical attributes to performance-related factors, we’ll know about them. Also, we will assess what will best suit your preferences.
Table of Contents
Surfskates and Longboards: Defined
Not too different from its name, a surfskate is a skateboard type designed to make the rider feel like he’s surfing on land. But how?
Like the other skateboard types, surfskates also have their structure. However, the hidden difference rests on the trucks’ configuration, specifically the front.
Surfskates use a unique skate truck in the front, which has rotating arm designs. Such a style enables skaters to drive the board’s nose wherever he wants more fluidly.
The name longboard tells more about the size of the skating board.
One of the most prominent factors distinguishing longboards is their length. On average, these boards span around 38″ to 60″. And such numbers make these boards more noticeable when entering a skate shop.
If surfskates translate on land what surfers do in the ocean, longboards make going downhill extraordinary. Besides that, these boards also work well for dancing, cruising, carving, and more.
Similarities Between a Surf Skate and Longboard
Perhaps, many would say longboards and surfskates are the same because riders step on them and glide. But it’s more than that.
One area to consider is the wheels. Longboards and surfskates may not have the same size range, but they are similar in some ways.
Specifically, longboards have wheel sizes of around 60mm to 80mm in diameter. On the other hand, surfskates go around 63mm to 75mm. These numbers tell us that a longboard wheel size range encompasses those of a surfskate.
Besides the size, longboard and surf skate wheels also connect in hardness levels. Longboards have soft rollers of around 78a to 82a. Meanwhile, surfskates have recommended hardness levels ranging from 78a to 84a.
Difference Between Longboard and Skateboard for Surfing
It’s not only the size that sets a longboard apart from a surfskate. Consider the following.
We know that the primary parts of skateboards consist of the deck, wheels, and trucks. And between surfskates and longboards, there are a couple of differences to consider. Let’s take them part by part.
- Wheels – As mentioned, the wheel sizes and hardness levels of longboards and surfskates vary in range only. But overall, they occupy almost the same digits on the scale.
- Deck – We have mentioned the usual longboard length of 38″ to 60″. Are there exceptions? Yes! Cruiser VS longboard. Cruiser boards belong to the longboards family but only span 35″ on average.
But for a surfskate VS cruiser, going lower down the scale, we’ll find surfskate decks at 27″ to 34″ in length.
- Trucks – Perhaps, this featured component is one of the most salient disparities between longboards and surfskates. If we flip both boards, welcoming us are two varied skate trucks.
Surfskates employ a special truck beneath the deck’s nose end. What are surfskate trucks?
These trucks feature an additional arm responsible for giving the skateboard fluid movements. Inside these parts are springs that assist sharp turns and carving like surfing.
On the other hand, longboard trucks are slightly unorthodox compared to skateboards. Why? Because these boards employ a pair or reverse kingpin trucks.
As many of us know, RKP trucks find the kingpin nut facing outward. Such an arrangement allows the longboard to be responsive and stable. Surfskates, meanwhile, use traditional kingpin trucks that sit lower and suit smaller decks more.
2. Skating style
We have already tackled the physical differences between surfskates and longboards. Now, let’s dig into some performance aspects.
We know that skateboards were once for traveling from point A to B. And the same custom still applies today. But which is the better commute buddy between a surfskate and a longboard?
Let’s tackle the skateboard’s height.
Longboards, particularly drop-through, find their decks closer to the ground. So, what does this design lead to?
The skateboards lower to the skating surfaces are more stable. Also, they reduce the height the pushing foot should reach. So, longboards are not only steady but also less tiring.
On the other hand, with surfskate trucks, surfskates are generally tall. Hence, they could be challenging to push unless you already have some experience with surfing or using carvers.
Longboards and surfskates are innate cruisers from a few angles. How? Some of their physical attributes are representative of cruiser boards. Let’s begin with a surfskate.
Skaters who cruise using a surfskate will often have a few challenges in cushioning and stability.
But why? This board may have a stiff, short deck and small, harder wheels, especially if it is for surfing on land. Cruising, meanwhile, is easier with flexible boards and soft rollers.
In comparison, longboard decks are exceptionally spacious and RKP trucks are one of the most stable wheel holders ever. And ultimately, some longboard wheels exceed the typical size range of surfskate rollers, making them better at traversing bumps.
But let’s not put surfskates down. Remember, it’s not always a spacious or crowd-free street when cruising. Our point? Surfskates have better maneuverability in these places because of their trucks.
By concept, pumping is a way to keep the skateboard’s momentum. And between longboards and surfskates, the latter wins this match. How?
Pumping longboards yield slower acceleration than a surfskate. Additionally, there are not too many pumping spots for boards as big as longboards. One of the few ideal instances to pump on a longboard is when it’s flexible and grippy.
Meanwhile, surfskates fit this riding style best because of their prized trucks. Besides surfing on land, manufacturers designed these wheel holders for carving and pumping.
And in terms of skating spots, surfskates may be used to pump almost anytime and more conveniently.
Are you looking to carve steeply or smoothly?
Choosing surfskates in this regard means you are up for insanely sharp turns and angles. And it’s possible because of the board’s armed trucks.
Besides tight angles, surfskates enable skaters to execute surfskate tricks like snapbacks, tailslides, and other related stunts.
What can you achieve when carving with a longboard? Casual downhill rides. In this setup, you can take a mellow ride without pressure. But if there’s something that will improve your rides, that’s using a perfectly flexible deck, responsive trucks, and quality wheels.
There are skateboards specialized for tricks. And there are boards for cruising and other riding styles.
Trick execution is another aspect that yields well for surfskates. That is because of their physical features. Surfskates are obviously at the shorter end versus longboards. And with that, they are reasonably more controllable than bulky longboards.
Another factor that makes surfskates practical for tricks is their trucks, like the Carver C5 and CX. Each truck specializes in either streets or parks, and both can execute steep turns and land stably.
- Surf training
Of course, surfskates have a clear upper hand in this aspect. But it’s not only because of their name.
Surfskates are the best boards to use for surf training because of the quality trucks in Carver, Swelltech, and YOW. These components make the board more fluid and reasonably responsive.
Pros and Cons
Let us now summarize the best things and drawbacks of surfskates and longboards.
- Yields sharp turns and tight angles
- Better than longboards for tricks
- Optimum maneuverability in tight spaces
- Challenging for commute purposes
- Less spacious than longboards
- Stable boards for traveling
- Perfect for cruising
- Shorter acceleration compared to surfskates
- Longboards are not the best boards for doing tricks.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a longboard better than a surfskate for beginners?
Technically, it depends on the beginner’s purpose.
However, with many beginners wanting to master stabilizing on a longboard, skateboard would be their best partners. Otherwise, if you want to surf the streets with sharp curves, surfskates will do.
Is surfskate good for long distance?
Notwithstanding the presence of longboards, surfskating long distances will tire you out faster than some skating styles. With the surfskate’s flowy trucks, you’ll have challenges aligning the board’s direction with the road (going straight would be near impossible).
Is surfskate easier than skateboard?
Surfskate VS skateboard, which is easier?
Surfskates could be smoother to learn than skateboards because of their trucks. These parts allow riders to turn better and more efficiently.
With millions of skateboards worldwide, finding the right one could be a privilege to go over many brands or confusion for many. Hence, we should always learn about these products to see what suits us best.
Having taken this surfskate VS longboard comparison, it’s clear that one stands out over the other in specific aspects. So, the next ideal thing to do is assess our priorities. By then, we’ll land on either a surfskate for sharp turns or a longboard for relaxing rides.
The best longboards and surfskates await you.
Hi, I am Charles Harris. I opened this site to write as much as I can about my biggest passion – skateboarding!
I started as a clumsy yet passionate rookie 10 years ago to now a still passionate yet much better skateboarder! But I have to tell you, the whole journey has always been fun and rewarding, indeed not without hardship.