What are the Best Surfskates? (Top 10 Surfskate Trucks Reviewed & Compared)

by | Dec 17, 2021 | Choosing Your Surfskate, Surfskate Brands, Surfskate Reviews

What are the best surfskates, and what’s the best surf skateboard for you? After testing 28 surfskate truck systems, I believe these are the 10 best surfskates in the world.

To date, I’ve purchased and extensively tested more than 60 surfskates from 27 companies in 11 countries around the world, which includes 28 different surfskate truck systems.

While there are lots of clone surfskate trucks on the market, I haven’t found any of them to perform as well as the originals.

These 10 original surfskate trucks are what I believe to be the best surfskates (in alphabetical order):

  1. Aquilo
  2. Carver C7
  3. Carver CX
  4. Curfboard
  5. Slide V3
  6. Smoothstar Thruster
  7. SpiceSkate SpicePilot TypeX
  8. SwellTech
  9. Waterborne Surf Adapter
  10. YOW Meraki

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What are the Best Surfskates Used for?

As a non-surfer, I can’t tell you which are the best surfskates for surf training. However, I can point you in the right direction by describing how these different surfskate trucks feel and perform.

After testing all these surfskate systems for a year, I view them on a scale ranging from pure surf trainers on the one hand, to pure street cruisers on the other.

Compared to the street cruiser surfskate trucks, the pure surf trainer surfskate trucks:

  • Feel smoother, looser, and more fluid.
  • Respond more easily to movements from your upper body (hips, shoulders, and arms).
  • When you pump, they generate more lateral side-to-side motion, versus pulling you forward.
  • Work best for doing tight surf maneuvers in small areas and for short distances.

On the other hand, the pure street cruising surfskate trucks:

  • Feel tighter and snappier.
  • Respond more easily to lower body movements — in fact, they require more input from your ankles and knees than the pure surf training trucks.
  • When you pump, they pull you forward better, versus the lateral side-to-side motion you get from the pure surf trainers.
  • This means they are better for riding longer distances and covering a wider range of terrain.

On this scale, this is how I rank the 10 best surfskates:

If you’re a surfer wanting a surfskate for surf training, you should consider one of the pure surf trainer trucks. If you’re a non-surfer like me, the best surfskate for you will be one of the pure street cruisers or a hybrid surf trainer/street cruiser trucks.

My Ultimate Surfskate Selector will save you time, money, and hassle by revealing the best surf skateboard for you and your riding style.

Best Surfskates Descriptions & Recommendations

Aquilo Surfskate Truck

Aquilo Surfskates: Pure Surf Trainer for Beginner-Intermediate Riders

The Aquilo from Bangkok, Thailand is one of the newest surfskate trucks on the market. It is built with an exterior housing that looks very similar to the YOW Meraki. However, in contrast to the Meraki, which has a coiled tension spring, the Aquilo uses two longitudinal springs that wrap around the inside of the truck housing. As a result, the Meraki feels tighter and snappier, while the Aquilo feels looser and smoother. Like the Smoothstar Thruster, the Aquilo also has a lot less rail-to-rail lean than the Meraki.

  • Required Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Price: $310 US
  • Best Use: Pure surf training
  • Truck Feel: Loose, flowy, smooth
  • Environment/Distance: Short distance training to medium distance cruising
  • Adjustable: Yes, by changing out springs

Carver C7 Surfskate Truck

The C7 is Carver’s original surfskate front truck. It has a spring-loaded swiveling arm that allows for deep rail-to-rail leaning, which enables pumping and radical carving.

  • Required Skill Level: Beginner
  • Price: $178 for truck set, $265 for complete Carver C7 model
  • Best Use: Hybrid surf trainer/street cruiser for riders who want the flowy, surfy feel and wide range of motion, but with more forward momentum than other “pure surf trainer” trucks
  • Truck Feel: Loose, flowy, smooth
  • Environment/Distance: Great for all environments and both short distance training and longer distance cruising
  • Adjustable: Yes

Carver CX Surfskate Truck

​Carver’s hybrid surf and skate truck. A lightweight standard reverse kingpin hanger and base, but with a patented geometry that allows you to pump and carve like the C7, but with more stability.

As a street cruiser, the CX is what I ride the most. It pumps and carves very well, it’s light, it doesn’t have the maintenance issues you find with spring-based systems, and it will last you forever.

  • Required Skill Level: Beginner
  • Price: $164 for truck set, $250 for complete Carver CX model
  • Best Use: Street cruiser for riders who want the pumping and carving of a surfskate truck but aren’t using it for pure surf training
  • Truck Feel: Tight and snappy
  • Environment/Distance: Great for all environments and short, medium, or long distances
  • Adjustable: Yes

Curfboard Surfskate Truck

The Curfboard surfskate truck is an innovative design that uses neither bushings nor springs, but instead, two swiveling arms on hinges. Pumping is effortless on the Curfboard because it is the loosest surfskate truck on the market by far. At higher speeds, the truck becomes more stable and prevents speed wobbles. The Curfboard surfskate truck is also lower to the ground than any other system.

  • Required Skill Level: Beginner
  • Price: €169 ($189) for truck set, €329 ($369) for complete Curfboard model
  • Best Use: Pure surf training
  • Truck Feel: Loose, flowy, smooth
  • Environment/Distance: Small areas, smooth surface, short distance
  • Adjustable: No

Slide Surfskate Truck

slide v3 surfskate truck
slide v3 surfskate truck

The Slide V3 surfskate truck is a spring-based system without a kingpin bolt. It’s a stable truck that is excellent for beginners. It creates a lot of forward momentum with pumping, which makes it great for longer distance cruising. Slide is known as the best surfskate on a budget.

  • Required Skill Level: Beginner
  • Price: $109.00 for truck set, $219.99 for complete Slide model
  • Best Use: Street cruiser for riders who want the pumping and carving of a surfskate truck but aren’t using it for pure surf training
  • Truck Feel: Tight and snappy
  • Environment/Distance: Great for all environments and short, medium, or long distances
  • Adjustable: Yes

Smoothstar Thruster Surfskate Truck

slide v3 surfskate truck
slide v3 surfskate truck

The SmoothStar Thruster is among the most well-known and popular pure surf trainers. A spring-based surfskate truck, it uses longitudinal compression springs instead of coil-tension springs to create tension. This makes for one of the smoothest, most fluid feels of any surfskate truck. The Thruster does not work well for long distances because it doesn’t generate a lot of forward momentum when pumping.

  • Required Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Price: Thruster not sold separately, $364-$374 for complete Smoothstar model
  • Best Use: Pure surf training
  • Truck Feel: Loose, flowy, smooth
  • Environment/Distance: Small areas, smooth surface, short distances
  • Adjustable: Yes

SpiceSkate SpicePilot Type X Surfskate Truck

slide v3 surfskate truck
slide v3 surfskate truck

I view the SpiceSkate SpicePilot TypeX as the direct competitor to the Smoothstar Thruster. It is a coiled spring design somewhat similar to the YOW Meraki. However, it is looser and has less rail-to-rail lean than the Meraki, and doesn’t create nearly as much forward momentum with pumping. However, it is very smooth and highly responsive and works extremely well for surf maneuvers in small areas.

The original SpicePilot came with just one spring, which was very loose. Their second version, the TypeX, added another spring with more tension and the springs are interchangeable. I find the original spring far too loose and soft, and strongly recommend the TypeX over the original.

  • Required Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Price: SpicePilot not sold separately, $369-$429 for complete SpiceSkate model
  • Best Use: Pure surf training
  • Truck Feel: Loose, flowy, smooth
  • Environment/Distance: Small areas, smooth surface, short distances
  • Adjustable: Yes (by changing out the springs)

SwellTech Surfskate Truck

slide v3 surfskate truck

The SwellTech is the most radical surfskate truck design on the market. It is the only surfskate truck that allows the truck to spin a complete 360°. While this may seem like an advantage, it makes the SwellTech difficult to ride. Therefore, the SwellTech is only for advanced riders who want to replicate the feel of surfing on land as much as possible. The SwellTech surfskate can only be ridden on smooth surfaces because the truck bounces around so much on cracks and pebbles.

  • Required Skill Level: Advanced
  • Price: Truck not sold separately, $219.99 – $279.99 for complete SwellTech model
  • Best Use: Pure surf training
  • Truck Feel: Loose, flowy, smooth
  • Environment/Distance: Small areas, smooth surfaces, short distance
  • Adjustable: No

Waterborne Surf Adapter

waterborne surf adapter

As low as $59.99, the Waterborne Surf Adapter is the cheapest way to get into surfskating by far. It was designed to be retrofitted to any skateboard or longboard to instantly turn it into a surfskate. The Waterborne uses a square bushing as its pivot point. The Waterborne surf adapter pumps well and has a very wide range of motion, very deep rail-to-rail lean, and creates a lot of forward momentum with pumping. You can add their rail adapter to create even more rail-to-rail lean, but I personally find it to be too much.

While the Waterborne surf adapter works well, I have found it challenging to put together a complete system that I’ve been really excited about. There are so many component parts to consider, and they all affect the ride. If you don’t have the budget for a complete surfskate, then the Waterborne is great. But if you do have the budget, I recommend you get a complete surfskate over the Waterborne surf adapter alone.

  • Required Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Price: $59.99 – $69.99
  • Best Use: Street cruiser for riders who want the pumping and carving of a surfskate truck and want the capability to do surf training as well
  • Truck Feel: Loose, flowy, smooth
  • Environment/Distance: Good for all environments and short, medium, or long distances
  • Adjustable: No

YOW Meraki Surfskate Truck

waterborne surf adapter
waterborne surf adapter

The YOW Meraki uses a coiled spring design to create what I consider to be one of the best surfskate trucks on the market for every use imaginable.

Interestingly, the Meraki feels simultaneously loose, flowy, and smooth, and tight and snappy. It feels loose and smooth because it is very responsive and easy to pump, it has a very wide range of motion, and has deep rail-to-rail lean. However, unlike the thinner, longer, and softer springs on the Carver C7 and Smoothstar Thruster, the coiled spring on the Meraki snaps back to center very quickly. The snappy spring makes it easier to pump than either the Carver C7 or CX.

Unlike the Smoothstar Thruster, the YOW Meraki generates a lot of forward momentum. This means it can work very well as both a pure surf trainer in small areas and short distances, or as a long-distance cruiser.

  • Required Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Price: €164.95 ($185) for truck set, €305 ($342) for complete YOW model
  • Best Use: Excellent for both surf training and street cruising
  • Truck Feel: Simultaneously loose, flowy, and smooth, and tight and snappy
  • Environment/Distance: Great for all environments and short, medium, or long distances
  • Adjustable: No

Best Surf Skateboard Review Videos

To help you make the decision of what’s the best surf skateboard for you, you may find my surfskate reviews on YouTube helpful.

But if you want to save time, money, and hassle, get my Ultimate Surfskate Selector now. In just  questions, I’ll reveal the best surfskate for you and your riding style.

How to Choose the Best Surf Skateboard for You

The videos below will also help you choose the best surfskate for you.

But if you want to save time, money, and hassle, get my Ultimate Surfskate Selector now.