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What is a Surfskate? We Have Your Queries Answered!

Fact checked by Michael Derosier

what is a surfskate

Skateboards work on the streets and in skate parks. Longboards thrive well in downhill skating. Almost anything you want to do with a 4-wheeled board can be accomplished with these two.

But did you know there is another board type that helps you feel beach waves on land? It’s a surfskate!

So, what is a surfskate? It’s a unique board with distinct trucks that let you perform smooth, insanely sharp turns. Keep reading as we discuss more mechanisms that separate it from other boards.

What is Surfskate?


Looking a surfskate, it may be closely similar to some cruiser skateboards. Let’s get into the following aspects as we define surf skates and help you recognize them.

1. Truck system

Try to flip a surfskate, and you’ll see a different front truck installed.

  • Most surfskateboards use a unique surf adapter truck system that’s spring-based. Such a truck clings to a swing arm-like object, allowing the axles to turn at broader angles.

One of the most familiar products having this truck type is the Carver C7.

  • On the other hand, if there is a surfskate truck nearly identical to that of longboards and skateboards, it’s the bushing-based one. And a famous example of it is the Carver CX.

As to whichever is better, spring-based trucks yield the most turning angles. On the other hand, bushings-based ones are more durable.

2. Truck angle and looseness

As a general concept in truck looseness, the tight ones are stiffer, while the loose trucks are less stable. The good thing is that these aspects are adjustable, depending on the brand and truck build.

Like the looseness, the angles of trucks also vary based on the brand. These angles can be 60° like that of the Slide surfskate for beginners, or even up to 360 degrees.

3. Truck height

Tall surfskate trucks have a superior pump and turning ability. However, they tend to be less stable despite their leverage.

If we rank C5, C7, and CX trucks, the shortest or the most stable would be the C5, followed by the CX and C7.

4. Surfskate turn and lean

Often, we use these terms interchangeably. But if we dig deeper, these are entirely different movements. Surfskate turn defines how much the wheel rotates. Lean, on the other hand, is how much the deck tilts sideways.

Often, you’ll need to compromise one for the other. If you want to feel like you’re surfing truly, go with a higher lean.

5. Surfskate wheelbase

As many skateboard guides say, the wider the wheelbase, the more stable the board is. And most skaters who use boards with wide wheelbases are the bigger, taller ones.

But whether the surfskate is short or long, both sizes have advantages. Let’s list down more pros of each wheelbase size.

Short wheelbase

  • Tight enough for carving
  • Ideal for pumping uphill
  • Lots of turns

Long wheelbase

  • Flowy
  • Stable
  • More efficient

6. Deck Size and composition

Surfskate decks are broad and spacious. Most brands produce boards that are 9″ to 10″ wide, which is bigger than the standard skateboard size of 8 inches.

And while they only measure an average of 30″ in length, it may not matter that much. What’s more necessary is for the rider’s feet to have a sufficient stepping surface.

And like a skateboard and longboard surfskate often use maple wood as the primary deck material. Products only differ in the density or number of layers used.

7. Concavity

In general, surfskates have a mild concave level on the deck. Such an aspect gives the rider a more comfortable movement on the board.

But there are exceptions. You’ll also find designs with high and medium concavity, which improve stability and cruising, respectively.

8. Deck shape

Regarding the deck’s nose, it may come rounded, pointed, or blunt. And for the tail, you have options like diamond, square, rounded, swallow, or pin.

Generally, the wider the nose and tail are, the more space you have for your feet, which improves sliding and maneuvering.

How Does a Surfskate Work?


The surfskate’s front truck initiates sharp turning motions through an added pivoting arm. So, what about the rear truck?

The surfskate’s rear truck acts as the pivoting point of the board. It allows the nose to turn tightly and precisely. And without a quality back truck, no insanely high turning angles and surfskate tricks are possible.

What Does It Feel Like to Ride a Surfskate?


If you have not tried wave surfing yet, then surfskates are now your prelude. To ride a surfskate means feeling like you’re riding waves on land.

And unlike skateboards and longboards that require you to push to get some speed, pumping does it on surfskates.

Who Are Surfskates for?

Surfskates are generally for everyone. One thing that makes these boards more in demand is that trainers like those from Side Arm Surf and Skate use them for wave surfing training.

Besides that, everyone who loves flowy skate rides with a freeing sensation is likely to love these boards.


Over the years, surf skating has become an avenue of freeriding and surfing training. It provides both physical training and enjoyment as it helps many wave surfers wanna-be’s become skilled professionals.

So, what is a surfskate? It’s your perfect board partner for moving in sharp, flowy angles on land. Always be mindful of its unique parts and mechanisms so that you would know what to check when buying one.

Enjoy the waves on land, and don’t forget to share your experience with others.

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