Loaded Carver Bolsa Surfskate Review: Is It Better Than a Carver Surfskate?

by | Dec 28, 2021 | Carver Surfskates, Surfskate Reviews

The Loaded Carver Bolsa surfskate is a collaboration between Loaded, which makes longboards and Orangatang wheels, and Carver, the original Surfskate brand. Is the Loaded Carver Bolsa better than a Carver complete model, and is it the right surfskate for you?

Bottom Line Up Front

I think the Loaded Carver Bolsa is a great set-up with high-quality after market upgrades that make it worth the price.

The most important point to note about the Bolsa is the high wheelwells on the front of the deck. It can be a bit awkward to find the best front foot position, especially if you don’t have a stance width to match the deck.

However, if you have the right stance width and you like the feel, the Bolsa locks your feet in and can be a great option for bowl riding, pump track riding, and all-around performance riding.

Because the wheelwells make or break the ride, I think that ideally you should test the Loaded Carver Bolsa before buying it.

Watch My Loaded Carver Bolsa Surfskate Review on YouTube

When I first got the Loaded Carver Bolsa surfskate, my immediate reaction was to love it and think it was a great set-up. But after riding it for a couple months, a couple key points emerged that changed that for me.

I’ll do my best to describe it for you so you can see if the Loaded Carver Bolsa might be right for you.

To save time, money, and hassle in choosing the best surfskate for you, get my free Surfskate Selector app now.

Two Versions of the Loaded Carver Bolsa Surfskate


The Loaded Carver Bolsa uses either Carver C7 or Carver CX surfskate trucks on the Loaded Bolsa deck with Orangatang Nipples bushings, Orangatang 4President wheels, and Loaded Jehu V2 steel built-in bearings.

Loaded sells two versions of this board, the C7 version and the CX version, which is the one I bought. The differences between the two models are the truck and the wheels.

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On the C7 model, you get the harder durometer 4President wheels in 80a orange. On the CX model, you get the softer durometer Orangatang 4President wheels in 77a blue.

They sell the C7 version for $299 and the CX version for $279. At the time of writing this, a complete Carver C7 costs $285 and a complete Carver CX costs $270.

So the big question is, is it worth it to get the Loaded Carver Bolsa to get the upgrades for a little bit higher price, or do you want to just go with a complete Carver surfskate instead?

Well, I know what my answer to that question is. But I don’t know what it’s going to be for you.

So let’s get into the component parts on the Loaded Carver Bolsa and I’ll see if I can answer that question for you.

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The C7 is Carver’s original surfskate front truck with a spring-loaded swiveling arm that allows for deep rail-to-rail leaning, which enables pumping and radical carving. It has a looser, flowier, “surfier” feeling and is better for technical surf training.

The CX is Carver’s hybrid surf and skate truck. It is built with a lightweight standard reverse kingpin hanger and base, but with a patented geometry that allows you to pump and carve like the C7, but with more stability. It has a tighter, snappier feeling and is better for street cruising.

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Orangatang 4President wheels are 70mm in diameter with a 53mm wide contact patch, sharp edge, and offset bearing placement. All these aspects combined make for one of the best surfskate wheels I’ve ever tried.

I really love these wheels, both in the softer and harder durometers. The terrain I ride is typically steep and rough with a lot of pebbles, which means I prefer the softer 77a blue wheels. But if you’re riding smoother stuff, then you’re going to want to go with the 80a orange wheels.

The price difference between the Orangatang 4President wheels and Carver surfskate wheels is $18. To me, this is very much worth it because these are very high-quality wheels with high-rebound urethane. They roll very well, they grip very well, they’re very fast, and they’re perfect for surfskating.

70mm in diameter is on the high end of what I like for surfskate wheels. Many riders like even bigger wheels, and that’s just personal preference.

But a 70mm wheel is built for longer distances and rougher terrain and if you want some speed. If you’re doing technical surf maneuvers in small areas with smooth surfaces, you probably want to go with smaller and harder wheels.

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Loaded Jehu V2 steel built-in bearings eliminate the need for separate spacers and speed rings. The bearings are made of the highest-grade chromium steel and roll very well.

While Carver bearings work just fine, you definitely notice a difference between them and the superior Loaded Jehu V2 bearings, which roll easier, faster, and longer.

So the bearings are definitely an upgrade on the Loaded Carver Bolsa surfskate as well.

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I found the Orangatang Nipples bushings to be stiffer and tighter than the Carver bushings, which are softer, looser, and more fluid. I personally prefer the feel of the original Carver CX bushings over the Orangatang bushings, but that’s just me.

If you like sharp snaps and slides, you might prefer a harder, stiffer bushing. So whether or not the Nipples bushings are an upgrade on the Loaded Carver Bolsa surfskate I think is just personal preference.

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The Loaded Bolsa deck is 31” long and 9.4” wide. It comes with an adjustable wheelbase, with the holes on the back. I’ve typically seen those adjustment holes on the front, so that’s kind of unique and interesting. But you can go from either a 16-inch wheelbase to a 17-inch wheelbase.

My stance width is 18”. This means that the narrowest wheelbase I can ride on a Carver surfskate is 17”.

What this means is, if your stance width is wider than 18”, then the Loaded Carver Bolsa doesn’t work for you because the wheelbase is too narrow for you. The Loaded Carver Bolsa is suitable for riders with a stance width of between 15” and 18”.

The obvious wild card on this deck is the wheel wells.

I love the back foot placement on this deck. It has a perfect pocket that gives you multiple placement options.

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However, when you come to the front foot, the wheel wells present a challenge. The challenge is, where do you put your foot on this board?

There are only three places you can put your foot on this deck.

The first is straight on like this right behind the wheel wells.

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That might work for a rider with a very narrow stance, but it won’t work for most riders.

The second option could be to put your foot right on the wheel wheels.

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While that gives you a lot of responsiveness with your heels and toes, I find it to be uncomfortable.

That leaves us with the third option, which is to angle your foot just a little bit, which places your heel right behind one wheel well and your toes just in front of the other.

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That is actually a very comfortable pocket and feels nice and locked in.

This means that I find the Loaded Carver Bolsa to be fantastic ride for surfskate bowl riding. With the combination of the locked-in feel of the deck and the narrow wheelbase, I love riding this in the bowl.

But what the wheel wells also mean for me is, it’s just not comfortable for a long-term ride. It means that you really have to stay locked in that stance for the whole ride.

I like to jump on a surfskate and ride for 30 minutes to an hour without stopping. When you’re riding that long and you’re going over a lot of different terrain and changing your stance and how you’re riding, then being locked into one position isn’t optimal. I want to be able to move around, and so I want something bigger.

And in that case, the wheel wells aren’t functional for me because it means you can’t really shift your stance on this deck.

Wheelbite on the Loaded Carver Bolsa


A final thing I want to note is that it’s very easy to get wheelbite on the Loaded Carver Bolsa. And the wheel wells are not functional in terms of preventing wheelbite, because they are not aligned with where the wheels hit the deck.

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It’s surprising to me that they use 70mm wheels with a very thin riser pad, because a ½” riser pad would eliminate the wheelbite issue.

This isn’t a deal-breaker and it’s an easy fix to throw on a riser. But again, it’s just surprising to me, given how easy it is to get wheelbite on the Loaded Carver Bolsa.

Should You Choose the Loaded Carver Bolsa or a Carver Surfskate Model?


The big question is, are you going to prefer this Loaded Bolsa deck with the wheel wells over a Carver surfskate model that doesn’t have the wheel wells?

I don’t know. That’s the big wild card for me.

Personally, I am a “no” on the wheel wells. But again, that’s only for my style of longer distance street cruising where I want more stance options, I want some flexibility, I want to be able to move around a little bit.

But if you want more of that tight, sharp, locked-in sports car feel, then this deck is fantastic for that. But you can also get that out of a lot of Carver completes, such as:

So for me, all things considered, coming down to my personal preferences, I am going to buy a Carver complete because I would prefer a Carver deck over this Loaded Bolsa with the wheel wells.

Then I would get those additional upgrades with the wheels and the bearings. Not the bushings, but for sure the wheels and the bearings.

However, I don’t want that to come across as a recommendation, because all this is personal preference. Because the bottom line is, this is a fantastic setup.

Everything on the Loaded Carver Bolsa is very high quality and very functional. It’s a very fun ride, it’s sharp, it’s tight, it’s snappy. It rides like a sports car. This is something that you’ll want to ride for shorter distances. It’s compact, it’s light, it would be great for a college campus cruiser for college students.

Should You Choose the Loaded Carver Bolsa C7 or CX Model?


Another question to get into is whether you want to go with the CX version or the C7 version of the Loaded Carver Bolsa. And my answer that is, I don’t know. Because again, that’s just personal preference.

I can tell you that after a year of riding, I have gravitated towards the Carver CX as the most universal and functional surfskate truck for my style of riding. And it’s also the simplest design with the least maintenance.

Basically, with the carver C7 surfskate truck, you’re going to get a looser, flowier feeling, and with the CX you’re going to get a sharper, tighter feeling. But as I know from my own personal experience, if you haven’t actually experienced that for yourself, it’s kind of hard to translate those words into how it actually feels for you and which one you’ll prefer.

As far as the comparison goes between the wheels, on the CX version you’re getting the softer 77A, on the C7 version you’re getting the harder 80A.

For me that comes down to, if you’re going on rougher surfaces, I like the softer. If you’re going on smoother surfaces, I like the harder. And you’re going to get faster out of the harder 80A as opposed to the softer 77A.

For my personal preference, I’m going with the CX.

Hopefully, this will give you enough information to decide if the Loaded Carver Bolsa surfskate is right for you.

For more help with choosing the best surfskate for you, get my free Surfskate Selector app now.