Aquilo Surfskate Review and Comparisons
In this Aquilo surfskate review, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know about Aquilo surfskates, including how the Aquilo surfskate truck feels and performs, who and what Aquilo surfskates are good for, and more.
If you’re trying to find the best surfskate for you, then check out my free Surfskate Selector app. It includes all models from the best surfskates. Just answer 8 quick questions and it reveals the best models for you.
Aquilo Surfskate Review Topics Quick Links
Bottom Line Up Front
The Aquilo surfskate truck looks similar to the YOW Meraki. The difference is that the YOW Meraki uses a tension spring and the Aquilo uses two compression springs. This makes it feel softer, smoother, and flowier than the Meraki and more similar in feel to the Smoothstar Thruster. It also has relatively low rail-to-rail lean.
I really like how the Aquilo surfskate truck feels and performs and I include it in my list of the top 10 surfskate trucks. I categorize it as a “pure surf trainer” for surfers, which means I believe it is best used for surf training in small areas and smooth surfaces.
It doesn’t generate as much forward momentum as the YOW Meraki, Carver C7 and CX, or the Waterborne Surf Adapter. This means it’s not great for longer distance riding.
While I like the Aquilo surfskate truck, I think their component parts could use some work. The deck is limited and the quality of the component parts is not great.
If you want to add an Aquilo surfskate to your quiver, you may want to just purchase the truck alone and put it on your own deck.
The exterior design of the Aquilo surfskate truck looks similar to the YOW Meraki.
However, there’s a big difference inside. The YOW Meraki uses a coiled tension spring:
On a compression spring, the springs are already engaged, and then they get pulled back and forth with pumping.
The result is that a tension spring truck like the YOW Meraki snaps back to center quickly, while compression springs trucks like the Aquilo or Smoothstar Thruster don’t have as much rebound, or snap back to center.
Another difference is that the Yow Meraki has a deeper rail-to-rail lean than the Aquilo.
Whether you like that or not is just a personal preference. Personally, I prefer the deeper lean that I get from the YOW Meraki and Carver CX. The only thing I personally don’t like about the Aquilo surfskate truck is the relatively low rail-to-rail lean.
Aquilo versus Smoothstar Thruster
Even though the Aquilo surfskate truck looks almost identical to the YOW Meraki, it actually feels more like the Smoothstar Thruster 1 and Smoothstar Thruster D. If you prefer the feel of the Smoothstar Thruster over the Yow Meraki for surf training, then I’m going to say that you should give the Aquilo a shot.
Reason being, they both have a very similar loose, fluid, flowy feel and the relatively low rail-to-rail lean as compared to the Yow Meraki. The difference is that the Smoothstar Thruster 1 offsets your wheelbase by 4” and the Smoothstar Thruster D offsets your wheelbase by 1.5”. In contrast, the Aquilo surfskate truck only offsets your wheelbase by 1.”
This means that on the Smoothstar Thruster and Thruster D, you need longer decks to accommodate your stance width. On the Aquilo, you can have a shorter, more nimble deck.
How to Take Apart the Aquilo Surfskate Truck
Aquilo’s website makes it seem like they have a lot of different models. But they really just have a lot of different designs for three models: 30″, 32″, and 34″. Each model has the same deck shape.
One unique thing about Aquilo is that they offer a surfskate customization process unlike anything we’ve ever seen in the surfskate market. You can choose your deck, wheel color, and truck color.
I’m honestly not a big fan of the component parts on the Aquilo surfskate.
I don’t like how the tail of the deck tapers off, because I prefer a wider back foot placement. Aquilo decks also have low concave, which means that my front foot can slide around when I’m doing aggressive pumping and carving.
Everything else on the Aquilo is functional, but obviously not the highest quality.
So personally, I think many riders may prefer to just buy the Aquilo surfskate truck alone and put it on a sytem they already like.
After testing 43 different surfskate trucks since October 2020, these are what I believe to be the best surfskates (in alphabetical order):
- Abian Pro
- Carver C7
- Carver CX
- Grasp Pado .23
- Long Island Genesis Lean
- Slide V3
- Smoothstar Thruster D
- SpiceSkate OKTOSURF (v2)
- SpiceSkate SpicePilot TypeX
- Waterborne Surf Adapter
- YOW Meraki
Based on how they feel and perform, I put them on a scale ranging from “pure surf trainer” to “street cruiser.”
The surfskate trucks I label as “street cruisers” on the other side of the scale feel tighter and snappier. While they can be used for surf training, they are more versatile than pure surf trainers.
On this scale, I categorize the Aquilo surfskate as a “pure surf trainer.” It’s extremely loose and fluid and responsive to upper body movements.
If you’re looking to do things like cone drills on flat surfaces in small areas, I think the Aquilo surfskate works very well for that.
However, because of the comparative lack of forward momentum, I personally don’t use it for longer-distance cruising.
Is the Aquilo Surfskate Good for Beginners?
I believe the Aquilo surfskate works well for beginners because it is relatively stable.
Does the Aquilo Work for Bowl Riding?
The answer to this question depends on your skill level. If you’re an intermediate to advanced rider, I would say the Aquilo works well for bowl riding. However, if you’re a beginner to bowl riding, I would recommend something a little more stable, like the Carver CX.
For a more detailed analysis, see my article, “What are the Best Surfskates for Bowl Riding?“
Is the Aquilo Good for Cross-Stepping?
Although I’m not a cross-stepper, I can tell you that the Aquilo works well for it for two reasons: 1) it’s relatively stable, and 2) it only offsets your wheelbase by 1″. So on the Aquilo you can more easily stand further out on the nose than you can on the YOW Meraki or Smoothstar Thruster.
Is the Aquilo Safe for Riding Downhill?
My experience is that the Aquilo feels stable and safe for riding downhill at speeds safe for a surfskate truck.
- The Aquilo is a fantastic-feeling surfskate truck. It feels very smooth, loose, and fluid and it’s a pleasure to ride.
- The relatively low rail-to-rail lean makes it stable for beginners.
- It is very stable, which makes it great for beginners.
- You only lose one inch of wheelbase on the Aquilo surfskate truck, as compared to 1.5″ on the Smoothstar Thruster D, 1.75″ on the Yow Meraki, and 4″ on the Smoothstar Thruster. This means that you can have shorter decks on the Aquilo than you need on either a Yow Meraki or a Smoothstar Thruster, which makes your setups smaller, lighter, and more nimble.
- Aquilo sells the trucks separately, which I really like because not all companies do that. That makes it a great option for customizers.
- They have a surfskate customization process on their website.
- I’m personally not a huge fan of the comparatively low rail-to-rail lean. That’s purely personal preference. I prefer the deeper rail-to-rail lean on the Yow Meraki, the Carver C7, or a Carver CX. But if you like the Smoothstar Thruster over the Yow Meraki, then you might like the Aquilo, too.
- The Aquilo surfskate truck is heavy. Of my list of the best surfskates, the three heaviest, and the only ones that are over two pounds, are the SpiceSkate SpicePilot, the Waterborne Surf Adapter, and the Aquilo. I find that limits your versatility when you have that much weight on the front of your board. But that’s a non-issue if you’re using the Aquilo as a pure surf trainer.
- Although I think the Aquilo surfskate truck is fantastic, I think their component parts could use some work. So I’m not a big fan of their complete system.