How to Choose the Best Surfskate for You
Choosing the best surfskate for you depends on your budget, height, weight, skill level, and riding style.
Since Carver successfully built the first surfskate truck, dozens of surfskate manufacturers have sprung up all around the world.
Some of them are designed and built specifically for surf training. However, the majority of surfskate brands today are building more mainstream boards for everyday street surfers.
Not only are there more than fifty surfskate brands in the world, but also all of them have many models of different board shapes and sizes.
So how can you choose the best surfskate for you?
Choosing the best surfskate comes down to the following factors:
- Height and weight
- Experience & Skill Level
- Riding Style
- Riding Environment
My free Surfskate Selector app automatically calculates all these factors for you and tells you exactly the right surfskate for you.
What’s your surfskate budget?
Complete surfskates typically range anywere from about $200 to $429 US. (If you buy a surfskate from overseas, you also have to calculate high shipping costs.)
Another option is the Waterborne Surf Adapter, which you can get for $79. Though this is the cheapest way to get into surfskating, you have to provide your own deck and play with customizing.
What’s your height and weight?
The taller and heavier you are, the longer you want your surfskate to be.
I’m 6’2″ and I’ve found that the sweet spot for my surfskate deck length is 33″-34″.
Another thing to consider is that the longer your board, the harder it is to pump. For example, I own the Carver Tyler Riddler, which is 36.5″ long. Though she’s a sweet glidey ride, she’s much harder to pump than any of my other shorter surfskates.
What’s your experience and skill level with board sports?
Although surfskating feels much different than skateboarding, longboarding, or snowboarding, the mechanics of balance are the same.
If you’re an experienced board rider of any type, you’ll be able to pick up surfskating just fine. Furthermore, you’ll probably be able to ride one of the more advanced surfskates, which require a more delicate balance.
If you’re a beginner, you’ll want to choose a surfkate that is more stable than the dedicated surf training brands (e.g. SwellTech, YOW, Smoothstar). A beginner surfskate doesn’t provide the same range of motion, but it gives you more stability.
What function do you want your surfskate to serve?
Do you want a surfskate to practice surfing specifically, or do you just want a surfskate to surf the street for fun?
If you’re a surf trainer, you want one of the more advanced, dedicated surf training surfskates.
If you’re a street surfer, you want something that is more stable and versatile. You want the best of both worlds: wide, glidey curves and short, tight carves.
What’s your riding style?
Some surfskates are built for sharp, tight turns and cutbacks. They’re short and snappy.
Other surfskates are built for more of a street cruising feel with wider, softer turns.
Still other surfskates can give you the best of both worlds.
You have to pick the surfskate that is going to deliver the experience you’re looking for.
What’s your riding environment?
Will you be mostly cruising down straight hills and trails with clean, flat asphalt?
Will you be carving in an urban environment, where you’re hitting sidewalk cracks and pebbles, jumping curbs, and dodging in, out, and through urban obtacles with tight carves?
Will you be surfskating in a skate park, bowl, or on pump track?
Whichever environment you have influences your surfskate decision, including such factors as deck size, wheel size, wheel softness, etc.
Need help choosing the best surfskate for you?
Now that you understand the factors you’re looking for in a surfskate, your next step is to research surfskates and choose the one most suitable for all the factors above.
With the vast amount of surfskate options available, this can be a tedious, time-consuming task.
Thanksfully, I’ve done all the research for you and created the Surfskate Selector app. All you have to do is answer 8 quick questions and it will tell you exactly the right board for you and your riding style.