How to Install the Waterborne Surf Adapter and Rail Adapter
The Waterborne Rail Adapter attaches to your rear truck and enables you to carve and turn even deeper and tighter, while keeping your back wheels on the ground.
In this guide, I’ll walk you through how to install your Waterborne Surf Adapter and Rail Adapter to your skateboard or longboard.
You will need a few basic tools to install the Waterborne Surf Adapter. These include a skate tool, a screwdriver, and a 3/8” wrench. A power drill or impact driver also makes it easier to install the Waterborne Surf Adapter.
Step 1: Remove Your Skateboard or Longboard Trucks
The first step of installing the Waterborne Surf Adapter and Rail Adapter is to remove the trucks from your skateboard or longboard.
If you’re using the Waterborne Surf and Rail Adapter kit, you’ll have a surf adapter for the front truck and a rail adapter for the rear truck. If you’re only using the surf adapter kit, you’ll have wooden block risers for the rear truck.
Step 2: Install the Waterborne Surf Adapter on Your Trucks
Place the truck baseplate onto the bottom of the Waterborne Surf Adapter. Make sure the pivot cup is facing towards the front of the board. (“When in doubt, pivot cups out.”)
The Surf Adapter comes with unique hex head bolts that fit perfectly into slots on the inner side of the bottom piece of the Surf Adapter. They hold in place while you screw on your nuts.
Push the top side of the adapter to the side, and then pop in your four bolts through the adapter and the baseplate of your truck.
Now, insert your index and middle fingers inside of the Surf Adapter to hold all the heads of the bolts at once so that they don’t fall through.
Now screw on your nuts to the bolts, just enough to hold the adapter in place on the truck baseplate.
Now use a skate tool to tighten the nuts all the way.
Traditional Kingpin Trucks vs. Reverse Kingpin Trucks
Which ones you use is a matter of personal preference. Traditional kingpin trucks are the foundation of skateboarding. On TKPs, the axle trails the pivot cup. This makes them lower to the ground than RKPs.
On RKPs, the axle sits in between the pivot points of the bushings and pivot. This means they can turn a little sharper, lean less, and are more stable when going fast.
For most surfskaters, traditional kingpin trucks are the way to go because they are closer to the ground, more agile, and more reactive.
However, the danger there is that you can get wheelbite if your wheels are too big. RKPs allow you to have bigger wheels and still avoid wheelbite.
Step 3: Reattach Your Front Truck to Your Deck
Grab the hardware that came with your Surf Adapter. Find the screws that will fit through your deck and the top piece of the Surf Adapter, while allowing your nut to fit onto the bolt.
You may need longer or shorter bolts, depending on the thickness of your deck.
Push the screws through the top of your deck, then, with the board on its side, slide the top piece of the adapter into place on the bottom of the deck, with all four screws coming through.
If your bolt doesn’t stick out far enough to fully penetrate the lock nut, you need longer bolts.
If your bolt sticks out too far past the nut, you’ll need shorter bolts. Protruding bolts can knock against the adapter as it swings side to side with pumping and carving.
Grab a nut with two fingers and insert it between the top and bottom adapter pieces. Place it onto the end of the bolt and screw it on just enough to hold it in place. Do that on all four bolts so that the adapter is now loosely attached to your truck baseplate.
Now use a 3/8” wrench to hold each nut in place while screwing in the bolt from the top of your deck.
With the adapter securely attached to the deck, now torque down the nuts as tightly as possible using your 3/8” wrench.
Step 4: Install the Waterborne Rail Adapter or a Block Riser on the Rear
Without the Rail Adapter, when you put force into the rear truck, it turns the truck. With the Rail Adapter, it transfer that force into leaning from rail to rail. This means your rear truck is doing less turning and more leaning.
To install the Waterborne Rail Adapter, slot the bolts that were included with your package through the baseplate of the truck. Then drop it onto the adapter so that the bolts also stick through the top adapter plate.
Use one hand to hold all the bolts in place from the top. With the other hand, screw each not onto the bolt as much as you can.
Now use a 3/8” wrench or needle-nose pliers to hold the nuts in place while you screw the nuts on tightly from the top.
Now, just as you did with the front truck, flip the board on its side. Slot your bolts through the top of the deck, then slide the Rail Adapter onto the bolts.
Use your fingers to screw nuts onto the bolts as much as you can.
Then hold the nut tight, using either a 3/8” wrench or needle-nose pliers, while screwing the bolts in from the top of the deck as tightly as possible.
Installing Block Risers
If you only have the Waterborne Surf Adapter kit, without the Rail Adapter, then you’ll have bamboo block risers for the tail.
These are easy to install. Simply slot the longest bolts in the kit through the top of the deck, then slide the block risers onto the bolts.
Now slot your truck baseplate into the bolts. Finish by screwing nuts onto the bolts.
Now go test your new surfskate and see how it feels. It may take some time to get used to the new feeling, but with practice, you will become more comfortable and confident on the Waterborne Surf Adapter and Rail Adapter.