10 Cheap Surfskates to Avoid
But are “cheap surfskates” really worth it, or are they just a waste of money?
Since October of 2020, I’ve tested more than 80 surfskates. And I’ve found some that I think are a waste of money.
I say this because, if you progress as a surfskater, you’ll want to upgrade any of these. In which case you should have just invested in a better quality surfskate to begin with instead of wasting the money.
If you’re on a budget, then see my list of the best budget surfskates.
To save time, money, and hassle in choosing your ideal surfskate, get my free Surfskate Selector app now.
You can get a Flow surfskate for between $84.95 and $124.95. This makes them among the cheapest complete surfskates, along with the Decathlon Carve 540 surfskate.
However, I think the Decathlon Carve 540 performs a lot better than Flow surfskates.
Just as the Decathlon Carve 540 surfskate truck is a cheap and poorly-functional clone of the Carver CX surfskate truck, the Flow surfskate truck is a very bad version of the Slide V3 surfskate truck, which works very well.
The Flow surfskate truck has a hard and jarring stop to it, which both limits your range of motion and can even toss you from the board when you pump aggressively.
For more details, see my full Flow surfskates review.
NKX surfskates fluctuate in price on Amazon. I’ve seen them as low as $99.95 and as high as $149.95. I paid $139.95 for mine.
To be honest, there’s really nothing at all that I like about NKX surfskates. They’re essentially cheap kids’ toys. The truck is a poor Carver CX clone with a very limited range of motion. The deck is flat and short and will only fit shorter riders. All the component parts are very cheap and poor quality.
This is a board that you won’t be able to progress on because you’ll outgrow it very quickly. If you want a better cheap surfskate, try a Carver Triton surfskate or a Slide surfskate.
I paid $129 for my Charger-X surfskate, but they fluctuate in price on Amazon a lot.
Charger-X surfskates also use a very poor-functioning Carver CX clone. Compared to the original, it is very tight and has a very limited range of motion.
They offer interesting decks with deep and wavy concave and a carrying handle. I don’t find the deck to be comfortable at all.
Like NKX surfskates, Charger-X component parts are poor quality.
If you skate often and progress rapidly, you will quickly outgrow this board and will want to upgrade to a better surfskate.
When I bought my Surfeeling surfskate, I paid $199 US. Since then, Surfeeling has raised their price to $219.99 US. I have no idea why, because in my opinion Surfeeling surfskates are way overpriced and I do not recommend them as a good cheap surfskate.
The Surfeeling surfskate truck is what they call the Alpine truck. It’s a very unique bushing-based design that allows you to change out the bushings for a tighter or looser ride based on your preference.
Personally, I’m not a fan of the Surfeeling surfskate truck at all. I don’t think it performs nearly as well as the Carver CX or Slide surfskate trucks. You don’t have nearly the same range of motion or fluidity.
Surfeeling surfskate decks sit high above the ground and they have narrow wheelbases, sharp kicktails, and small wheels. All of these factors combined make Surfeeling surfskates quite tippy. So you have to maintain your balance well.
You can get a Slide surfskate for the same price as a Surfeeling surfskate, and in my opinion, Slides are much better cheap surfskates than Surfeeling.
At $129 US, the Decathlon Carve 540 surfskate is the cheapest complete surfskate model on the market. It is popular in Asian countries and less well-known in the US.
The Decathlon Carve 540 has a cheap surfskate truck that is built similar to a Carver CX surfskate truck. But the Carve 540 surfskate truck has a design flaw that limits its range of motion. It does pump and carve, but not very well.
If you absolutely had to choose a cheap surfskate, then this is the only one on this list that I would say you could get away with.
However, my bottom line on the Decathlon Carve 540 surfskate is that if you practice much, you will very quickly progress beyond its capabilities and will want to graduate to a better surfskate. In which case, your money would have been better spent on a better surfskate to begin with.
For more details, see my full Decathlon Carve 540 surfskate review.
Watch My Decathlon Carve 540 Surfskate Review on YouTube
Landyachtz offers two cheap surf skateboards: the 31.2″ Butter Lines and the 29″ Pocket Knife, which they sell for $199.99 on their website.
Landyachtz surfskates use the “Bear Banger” surfskate truck. It is somewhat similar to the Carver CX surfskate truck in that it is an angled reverse kingpin with bushings. However, the Landyachtz surfskate truck does not work nearly as well as the Carver CX.
Like the Decathlon Carve 540 surfskate, the Landyachtz surfskate will pump and carve, but just not very well. And at a price of $199.99, I strongly recommend you put that money toward a Carver CX or Slide surfskate instead.
For more details, see my full Landyachtz surfskate review.
Watch My Landyachtz Surfskate Review on YouTube
TailorShape is a company out of Israel that makes skateboards and surfboards. Their budget surfskate truck is a Carver CX clone that feels and performs similar to the CX, though not nearly as well. It’s heavier than the CX and doesn’t give you quite the same range of motion.
TailorShape currently offers four surfskate models ranging from $149.99 to $169.99 US.
TailorShape budget surfskates is that they are heavy and slow, the truck has a limited range of motion, and all the component parts are poor quality.
The Mindless surfskate truck is a Carver CX clone. Like pretty much all CX clones, it doesn’t have nearly the same range of motion or rail-to-rail lean. It also sits lower to the ground than the CX.
The deck is short and has a narrow wheelbase, which means it is only suitable for shorter riders (I would say no taller than 5’11”).
The wheels are small and hard, which limits your versatility.
Personally, I think you’re much better off with a Carver CX than a Mindless surfskate.
Z-Flex teamed up with Waterborne to use the Waterborne Surf Adapter with their component parts. Z-Flex surfskates typically sell for about $199 US.
The decks are very flat and have very little kicktail. The wheels are small and hard. This means that Z-Flex surfskates aren’t versatile at all. They’re something you’d ride barefoot down a smooth strand, but that’s about it.
I think you’re much better off going with a Carver CX model over a Z-Flex surfskate, which gives you much more versatility.
Read my full Z-Flex surfskate review, and watch my Z-Flex surfskate review on YouTube:
Hydroponic surfskates use a Carver CX clone for their front truck. It’s the best Carver CX clone I’ve ever tried.
In fact, I actually really like everything about Hydroponic systems. The deck is a great shape, size, and concave and the wheels are great.
My challenge with Hydroponic surfskates is that I paid $278 for mine, and I’ve never seen them for less than $200 US. And Carver Triton surfskate models are only $170 and I think they’re better. So I would definitely recommend a Carver Triton over a Hydroponic.