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Curfboard Surfskate Review and Buyer’s Guide

by | Feb 2, 2023 | Reviews

The Curfboard surfskate is one of the most unique surfskate truck designs. Instead of using bushings or springs, it uses dual swiveling hinges. This makes for an extremely loose, fluid feel.

In this Curfboard surfskate review, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know about the Curfboard surfskate, including how the truck feels and performs, who and what the Curfboard is good for, and how to choose the right Curfboard surfskate model for you.

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Bottom Line Up Front

With its swiveling hinges, the Curfboard surfskate is the loosest surfskate truck by far. However, what you gain in looseness, you lose in forward momentum.

I think the Curfboard surfskate feels and performs well and I include it in my list of the top 10 surfskate trucks. Although I categorize it as a “pure surf trainer” for surfers, I think many riders, including non-surfers, will enjoy the Curfboard. It’s a solid option for beginners because it’s very stable.

I personally don’t ride the Curfboard a lot because 1) it does not generate much forward momentum with pumping, 2) it has relatively low rail-to-rail lean, 3) it has a slight “hitch” to it when leaning hard on the rails, and 4) it rattles on rough surfaces.

If you’re a surfer, I think you may want to test the Curfboard surfskate to see how it compares to other surf trainers, such as the Smoothstar Thruster. If you’re not a surfer, I think you’ll probably want to start with other surfskate trucks before the Curfboard and add it to your quiver later.

How Does the Curfboard Surfskate Truck Work, Feel, & Perform?

 

The Curfboard surfskate has a very unique truck design. Instead of using bushings or springs to create lateral motion, it uses dual hinges that swivel effortlessly with gravity alone. This makes it the loosest surfskate truck on the market by far.

Because of how the Curfboard surfskate truck is designed, it’s impossible to get wheelbite on it. The downside to this is that it has relatively low rail-to-rail lean.

One advantage to the Curfboard is that it does not offset your wheelbase like other surf trainer surfskate trucks, such as the Smoothstar Thruster, SwellTech, and YOW Meraki. This means that you can use a shorter, more nimble deck with the Curfboard than the surfskate trucks with a wheelbase offset.

 

How Does the Curfboard Surfskate Feel and Perform?

 

When you step onto a Curfboard for the first time, you’ll notice that it feels both very stable and very loose and fluid at the same time.

It feels stable because it has relatively low rail-to-rail lean. It feels loose because with no springs or bushings, it is almost frictionless. This means that it’s very easy to move your front foot from side to side.

Curfboard claims that,

“No bushings or springs means you’re not losing any energy in these when pumping. This makes the Curfboard pump more effortlessly and riding is not as exhausting even when riding very long distances.”

I have a different take on this. My experience is that precisely because the Curfboard is so effortless to pump, it gives me less forward momentum. So what you gain in the fluidity, you lose in the forward momentum.

So Curfboard is technically right that the pumping motion is smoother and more effortless. However, the end result of it is that I end up inputting more energy into the Curfboard than say a Carver CX or a Yow Meraki because it loses the advantage of a bushing or spring.

The function of a bushing or spring is that it snaps your truck back to center more. This means you get more rebound from pumping, and that rebound give you more forward momentum.

So as a street cruiser who rides long distances, the Curfboard surfskate isn’t the best fit for my style of riding.

How Much Rail-To-Rail Lean Does the Curfboard Have?

 

The first Curfboard I bought was the Classic 2.0 model. This model has no riser pad on the front truck and no wedge riser on the rear.

When I first stepped onto the Classic model, I was very surprised by how little rail-to-rail lean it has. In fact, because of the lack of lean, in my original review of it I called it more of a pumpable longboard cruiser than a surfskate.

However, after testing and reviewing that, Curfboard sent me their Performance Wave model to test. This model has both a ½” riser pad on front and a wedge riser on rear, which gives it a lot more rail-to-rail lean than the Classic model.

So how much rail-to-rail lean you get out of the Curfboard depends on how tall of risers you use. So the trick to getting more lean out of the Curfboard surfskate is to add a riser on front and wedge riser on rear.

curfboard surfskate lean
It also depends on which rear truck you use. Curfboard’s rear truck is very low-profile and has relatively little lean. You can get more lean by using a different rear truck.

For example, my favorite Curfboard set-up used the Curfboard truck on front and the Carver C2 on the rear truck, which gave me much more lean than the Curfboard rear truck.

custom curfboard surfskate

The “Stable SwellTech”?

 

I call the Curfboard the stable SwellTech. That may be weird to say because the Curfboard is very stable and the SwellTech is very unstable.

The SwellTech is deceiving because it’s the only surfskate truck that rotates a full 360 degrees. So with as much motion as it has, you would think that it would have a lot of rail-to-rail lean. But it actually doesn’t relative to other surfskate trucks like the YOW Meraki, Carver C7, SpiceSkate SpicePilot TypeX, or Smoothstar Thruster D.

The SwellTech range of motion is limited because the truck jackkknifes when you lean too much.

This means that the SwellTech and Curfboard surfskate have a very similar range of motion in terms of rail-to-rail lean.

But the big difference is that, when you lean too far on the SwellTech, your truck will jackknife and you’ll crash. But the Curfboard surfskate prevents you from leaning too far. This is why it’s impossible to get wheelbite on the Curfboard.

So with the Curfboard, you get a similar feeling and range of motion as the SwellTech, but it’s a lot more stable and safer for beginners.

swelltech surfskate lean
However, one thing I don’t like about the Curfboard is that when you lean too far, it has what I call a “hitch” to it. The truck hits a point in its swivel action where the motion suddenly breaks away slightly.

While this hitch isn’t dangerous, it’s a bit disconcerting. It’s not the same fluid feeling you get through entire turns like you feel on say the YOW Meraki or Carver CX, which hold you steady through turns with constant push-back on the spring or bushing.

I’m not a fan of that hitch because I like to lean into carves deeper than the Curfboard will allow, so I often feel it when I surfskate on the Curfboard.

The Curfboard surfskate truck also rattles over rough surfaces, which is another reason I don’t use it for long-distance cruising.

Who and What is the Curfboard Surfskate Best For?

After testing 43 different surfskate trucks, I’ve boiled them down to what I believe are the best surfskates (in alphabetical order):

  1. Abian Pro
  2. Aquilo
  3. Carver C7
  4. Carver CX
  5. Curfboard
  6. Grasp Pado .23
  7. Long Island Genesis Lean
  8. Slide V3
  9. Smoothstar Thruster D
  10. SpiceSkate OKTOSURF (v2)
  11. SpiceSkate SpicePilot TypeX
  12. SwellTech
  13. Waterborne Surf Adapter
  14. YOW Meraki
best surfskate trucks

I’ve organized them on a scale ranging from “pure surf trainer” to “street cruiser.”

Pure surf trainer trucks are very loose and fluid, and therefore very responsive to upper body movements. They’re best used for surf training in small areas and on smooth surfaces.

Street cruiser surfskate trucks are tighter and snappier, and are more versatile than pure surf trainers.

On this scale, I categorize the Curfboard 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 Curfboard works very well for that.

However, because of the lack of forward momentum and the rattle, I don’t think it works well for long-distance cruising over rough surfaces.

Is the Curfboard Surfskate Good for Beginners?

 

The Curfboard is great for beginners because it is very stable. In fact, I think one of its best uses is as a starter surfskate for beginners.

Does the Curfboard Work for Bowl Riding?

 

Personally, I’m not a fan of the Curfboard for bowl riding. I find that on awkward transitions, one wheel will come off the ground at times, which feels very disconcerting.

curfboard surfskate
However, Mark the Landlocked Surfer loves the Curfboard for bowl riding. So it’s just a personal preference based on riding level and style.

For a more detailed analysis, see my article, “What are the Best Surfskates for Bowl Riding?

Is the Curfboard Good for Cross-Stepping?

 

Although I’m not a cross-stepper, I can tell you that the Curfboard works well for it for two reasons: 1) it’s very stable, and 2) it doesn’t offset your wheelbase. So on the Curfboard you can stand right on the nose of your board very easily.

However, if you’re trying to learn cross-stepping for surfing, that stability may not be the best way to practice. You may want something that feels more like being in the water.

Is the Curfboard Safe for Riding Downhill?

 

When you look at the Curfboard truck, you would think that its looseness would create speed wobbles. However, the Curfboard does not get speed wobbles because the truck is self-stabilizing.

The center of gravity is in the middle without the need of a spring or bushing to hold it there. So the Curfboard is surprising safe for downhill riding.

Curfboard Surfskate Pros & Cons

 

Pros:

 

  • The Curfboard surfskate is the loosest and most fluid surfskate truck, which makes it very responsive to upper body movements.
  • No bushings or springs means no maintenance or grease required.
  • It is very stable, which makes it great for beginners.
  • It’s impossible to get wheelbite on the Curfboard, which makes it safer than others.
  • The way it’s designed and feels, it incentivizes proper surfskate pumping form that flows from your core.
  • It’s very light, which makes for a very great board balance.
  • It doesn’t offset your wheelbase like other surfskate trucks. This means you can use a shorter deck to accommodate a wider stance width. For example, I’m 6’ 2” tall and my stance width is 18”. The Curfboard Performance Wave is only 29″ long. On any other surfskate, 29” would be way too short. But it works for me on the Curfboard because I can utilize the entire length of the board. This makes your Curfboard set-ups more nimble than others.
  • Great for cross-stepping because you can easily stand on the nose.
  • The Curfboard truck is sold separately, which means you can customize your own Curfboard without paying for a complete model.

 

Cons:

 

  • Although the truck is extremely loose, without a bushing or spring it doesn’t snap back to center. The advantage is that it gives you a very loose, fluid feel. The disadvantage is that it reduces your forward momentum when you pump, which actually means that I have to put more effort into pumping if I want to go longer distances on the Curfboard.
  • It rattles on cracks and bumps. That’s a non-issue when you’re riding on smooth surfaces. But if you ride for any distance over rough surfaces, you’re going to hear that rattle.
  • When you lean too far on the Curfboard surfskate, you feel a little “hitch” when the truck breaks away a bit.
  • When you hit awkward transitions with bowl riding, one of the wheels will lift off the ground, which is a very disconcerting feeling.

How to Choose the Right Curfboard Surfskate Model for You

Curfboard currently offers three models:

  1. Performance Wave: 29” Long with 20.5” Wheelbase
  2. Performance Fish: 32” Long with 22” Wheelbase
  3. Classic 2.0: 33” Long with Adjustable Wheelbase (23.23” to 24.4”)

If you want a nimble Curfboard surfskate for high-performance riding, then I recommend the Performance Wave model.

If you want a stable longer-distance cruiser, then go with the Classic 2.0 model.

If you want a hybrid that can do it all, then you may like the Performance Fish model.