Surfskates: a skateboard designed and built for simulating the curved lines a surfer performs on a wave on concrete | Photo: Shutterstock

Surfskates are the best option for keeping the surf stoke alive out of the water and improving your surfing. Explore the definitive guide to buying a surfskate.

Skateboarding was invented by California surfers in the late 1940s and early 1950s when there were no waves and the ocean was flat.

At the time, they had to find a way to mimic the feeling and motion of riding a wave on the sidewalk or asphalt.

And so surfers created a board with four wheels that rolled down the streets and somehow recreated the surfing experience out of its original environment.

Sidewalk surfing was born, and a new sport eventually evolved on its own, with its unique culture, lifestyle, tricks, and maneuvers.

What is a Surfskate?

What are the differences between complete surfskates and standard complete skateboards? Aren't all skateboards similar? Not at all.

A surfskate is a skateboard designed and built to simulate the curved lines a surfer performs on a wave on concrete or asphalt.

On average, it ranges in length from 28 to 35 inches, but longboard models could easily reach 45 inches - and more - in size.

A surfskate is definitely not a regular street skateboard—its shape, size, and construction differ from those you often see in skateparks.

They're also not quite like longboard skateboards, which replicate the cool and laid-back feeling of longboarding on ocean waves.

A surfskate resembles a cruiser skateboard, but they've been specifically built for extreme carving and free-flowing on land like no other skate.

Surfskates: special skateboards equipped with specific trucks for maximum carving and flow | Photo: Shutterstock

What Makes a Surfskate Different from a Skateboard?

The secret of the surfskate lies on the front truck.

Each surfskate brand and manufacturer developed its own technology.

One of the most effective methods is an adapter on which a standard kingpin truck is mounted.

These adapters use several springs combined with bearings to maximize the pivoting effect and allow for a better and more dramatic carving.

An alternative construction method involves a square urethane bushing combined with bearings to achieve an identical result.

Finally, there are also surfskates that feature an all-in-one front truck system that doesn't require adapters to carve well and fast.

In the end, the goal is to bring into skateboarding the feeling of riding a wave on a surfboard. In other words, it's all about high maneuverability and freedom of movement.

The back truck acts like a fin and grips the pavement to ensure you can pump the board with your front foot and really produce good-looking carves.

Surfskates are now surfers' favorite skateboards.

They can be extremely useful for training muscle memory and improving pumping, carving, cutting back, and drawing optimal lines on a wave.

A surfskate is also an excellent board for landlocked surfers who can only ride natural ocean waves once in a while.

Here are the best surfskates for surfers:

Waterborne Surf and Rail Adapter

Waterborne Surf and Rail Adapter

The Waterborne Surf and Rail Adapter is an upgrade kit that will transform your regular skateboard into a surfskate.

The kit comes with two key pieces.

The surf adapter was designed to be installed on the front truck of the skateboard and provide tight carving.

The rail adapter is installed on the rear truck to add extra grip and stability to the pavement.

The riding experience becomes ultra-smooth, and the vibrations are cushioned by the whole system.

Carving will also feel natural, even at high speeds.



Carver CX7 Cruiser Surfskate

Carver CX7 Cruiser Surfskate

Carver has always been a surfskate pioneer.

The company, founded in 1996, is often regarded as the original surfskate company with several specific models for smooth and snappy rides, skateparks, and street tricks.

Carver introduced innovative truck systems like the dual-axis C7, the reverse-kingpin CX, and the lower and lighter C5.

All these models stood the test of time.

The CX7 features internal springs for quick and smooth pumping and carving, seven layers of sturdy and durable Canadian maple wood, durable polyurethane wheels, and high-speed ABEC 9 ball bearings.

It's an all-around cruiser for all surfer's needs - downhill, freestyle, or cruising.



Hamboards Huntington Hop Carving Surfskate

Hamboards Huntington Hop Carving Surfskate

The Huntington Hop Carving Surfskate is the ultimate sidewalk surfer longboard.

The 16 mm, 9-ply-birch deck will provide a comfortable rail-to-rail riding experience and extreme carving possibilities.

A pair of 200 mm, heat-treated HST carving trucks cast from virgin aluminum was mounted on 24 mm riser blocks.

There's also a 50-degree reverse kingpin and 30 degrees of board lean for maximum rail-to-rail flow and extreme carving angles.

The HST trucks feature a set of spherical wave cams that translate axle rotation into increased force by compressing a solid compression spring.

Hamboards says that the silver spring installed on the front truck and the gold spring installed on the back truck yield an extra five pounds-force to propel you forward.

The design was inspired by the Birdwell Beach Britches, making it a surfskate with a 1960s-inspired look.



YOW Pipe

YOW Pipe

The YOW Pipe is one of the best-selling complete surfskates.

This stunning board was inspired by Gerry Lopez's iconic Lightning Bolt surfboard with its fishtail and original design.

The surfskate by YOW comes with a long wheelbase (18.5 inches) to provide a more stable riding experience and help you draw wider and more fluid lines.

Its medium concave shape will ensure your feet will stay glued to the board all the time.


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