How to Ride a Surfskate

by | Dec 18, 2020 | Surfskating Basics, Tips & Tutorials

Learning how to ride a surfskate can be challenging. It’s a much different feel and requires different body movements than skateboarding or longboarding.

Even if you’re an experienced skateboarder or longboarder, there’s a learning curve to surfskating. With their special front truck, surfskates ride and feel much different than other types of skating.

Use these simple tips below to learn how to ride a surfskate like a pro. You can also check out my video course for beginners, “Surfskating for Non-Surfers.”


Learning How to Ride a Surfskate Starts with Foot Position and Body Posture

Your stance on a surfskate is the same as that on a surfboard. Your feet should be about shoulder-width apart.

Your front foot sits slightly behind the front truck and your back foot goes right on top of the rear truck. Your feet typically lie perpendicular to the deck.

Your body posture should be loose and relaxed. Your knees should be fluid, ready to bend as you flow and carve.

Your arms should also be loose and ready to swing out to initiate turns.

You also want to be facing forward by twisting your knees, hips, and shoulders.


Use Your Shoulders and Hips to Learn How to Surfskate

When you skateboard and longboard, you primarily use your lower body to propel the board, do tricks, and turn.

In contrast, surfskating is like surfing and it requires you to use a lot of upper body movements, primarily your shoulders and hips.

Here’s your rule of thumb: Where your head and arms lead, your hips and board follow.

Skateboarders and longboarders often make the same mistake when first stepping onto a surfskate: they try to ride it like a conventional skateboard. They keep their upper body rigid and their feet start to wobble.

This doesn’t work on a surfskate. You have to be loose and comfortable on a surfskate, and you have to move your body in the same way as you would surfing.


How to Pump a Surfskate

Once you have the proper foot positioning and body posture, your next step is to learn how to pump your surfskate.

Position your feet sideways on the board, perpendicular to your direction of travel.

To generate power immediately, you can use a sweeping motion with your front foot. Your foot stays stable on the board, while you move the whole deck.

It’s like slithering along the ground, with your front foot sweeping back and forth in a tight pattern.

Pushing with the front foot can only get you so far, however. To fully pump, you have to use your upper body.

Again, the rule of thumb is to lead with your shoulders, then your hips and feet follow.

Using your arms to swing, twist your upper body from side to side. Keep your feet firmly positioned on the deck and allow your upper body to move it, rather than your feet.

From here, there are many tricks you can learn: carving, cutbacks and snaps, riding in skate parks and bowls.

Once you learn the basic movements of surfskating, you’ll find that the rest is intuitive and comes with practice.

For more tips on how to ride a surfskate, get my video course, “Surfskating for Non-Surfers.”

For help with choosing your perfect surfskate, get the free Surfskate Selector app now.


How to Ride a Surfskate Video Tutorials