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Hamboards Review: Are They Truly Surfskates?

by | May 22, 2023 | Reviews

Hamboards are very unique longboards designed for cross-stepping practice and stand-up paddling.

Hamboards calls their boards surfskates, but I believe they’re in a category all their own.

Is a Hamboards for you? Find out in this review.

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.

Watch My Hamboards Review Video on YouTube

Bottom Line Up Front

While Hamboards call their boards surfskates, I personally don’t categorizes them as surfskates at all, for two reasons:

First, they have the same truck on front and rear. Typical surfskates have a radically turning front truck combined with a stable rear.

Second, their truck only leans from side to side, but does not sway on a horizontal plan parallel to the deck.

These two aspects combined mean that Hamboards do not pump at all like typical surfskates. You can’t generate thrust on them. They do provide a radical turning radius for tight carving.

Hamboards are very specialized boards for one application. They’re very expensive and bulky to carry around.

You might enjoy a Hamboards. But I highly recommend that you try one before buying one.

How is the Hamboards Truck Built?

 
The Hamboards HST 2.0 carving truck is unlike any other surfskate truck.

The only dimension of motion on the Hamboards HST truck is the rail-to-rail lean. This is enabled by a stiff, heavy-duty spring.

On most Hamboards models, the front and rear trucks are the same 40-degree angle.

Hamboards has updated their system to allow you to interchange options. Now they provide three different baseplate pivot axis angles (0-degree, 20-degree, and 40-degree), three different hanger widths, and two different springs.

So now, some Hamboards models come with a different truck on front than on rear.

One thing I don’t like about the Hamboards HST truck is that it doesn’t have a smooth transition from rail to rail.

The truck is kind of stuck at its midpoint and you have to push it hard to get it to lean. Then when it does finally lean, it transitions hard and fast. It’s an awkward sensation you have to get used to.

Why I Don’t Categorize Hamboards as Surfskates

 

I’ve tested more than 85 different surfskates with 43 different surfskate truck systems. I’ve boiled them down to what I feel are the best surfskates, listed here 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
When you compare all of these surfskate systems to Hamboards, you’ll find a couple significant differences.

First, typical surfskate systems have a radically-turning front truck combined with a stable rear truck. The stable rear truck acts as fins on a surfboard to product thrust for surfskate pumping.

In contrast, most Hamboards models use the same trucks on front and rear.

Second, surfkate trucks offer two dimensions of motion. The first is rail-to-rail lean, and the second is sway from the swiveling arm that pivots parallel to the deck.

Hamboards, however, only offers one dimension of motion: rail-to-rail lean.

The net effect of these two differences is that Hamboards give you a tight turning radius and radical carving ability. However, you can’t pump them like a surfskate at all. All you can do is lean side to side.

This means you need a long decline with a smooth surface to skate on Hamboards.

Hamboards has recently introduced two new models, the Burst and Paskowitz. These have a 20-degree truck on the rear with a 40-degree truck on the front.

This does change the feel and make them a bit more pumpable than their other models. But they still are not even in the same league or category as surfskates.

Try a Hamboards Before You Buy One

 
Personally, I don’t even know what to do with Hamboards.

I think that what people use them for is cross-stepping practice and standup paddling. And since I’m not interested in either of those, the Hamboards just isn’t a fit for me.

I really have no idea what to do with the Burst model. It doesn’t pump like a typical surfskate. And it’s only 31.75” long, which means it’s not great for cross-stepping practice.

However, there are a lot of Hamboards enthusiasts out there, so you might enjoy one.

Hamboards are so expensive, specialized, unique, and limited. So I highly recommend that you try one before you buy one. See if you can find a local dealer who has some demo boards for you to try.

If you’re used to traditional surfskate trucks and buy a Hamboards sight unseen, you’ll be very surprised by how different it feels.