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SpiceSkate Surfskate Review & Buyer’s Guide

by | Jan 5, 2023 | Reviews

Considering a SpiceSkate surfskate to add to your quiver? Let me do my best to help you make the decision.Out of the 9 SpiceSkate surfskate models, I’ve owned and tested the following:

  1. Cayenne 800 with SpicePilot Original
  2. Caraway 828 with SpicePilot Original
  3. Habanero 830 with SpicePilot Original
  4. Poppy 830 with SpicePilot TypeX
  5. Menthe 1100 with SpicePilot TypeX
  6. Cassia 810 with Okto
  7. Salvia 850 with OKTOSURF
  8. Pasilla 852 with OKTOSURF

In this SpiceSkate surfskate review, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know about SpiceSkate surfskates, including what they’re best used for, which of their three trucks is best for you, how SpiceSkate compares to other top surfskate brands, and how to choose your SpiceSkate surfskate model.

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

Some of the links in this article are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and make a purchase, I will receive a small affiliate commission at no cost to you.

Watch My SpiceSkate Review Video on YouTube
Watch My SpiceSkate Okto Review Video on YouTube

Bottom Line Up Front

SpiceSkate is a mixed bag for me. On the one hand, they offer a high-quality product and a fantastic contribution to the surfskate market. On the other hand, there are a number of things about their business and pricing model that makes them tough for me to recommend.

They offer three different surfskate trucks: SpicePilot Standard, SpicePilot TypeX, and Okto. The only difference between the Standard and TypeX SpicePilot is that the TypeX comes with additional tighter spring. I much prefer the TypeX spring and I believe most riders will also. However, SpiceSkate charges $60 more for the TypeX. The Okto looks sexy with its eight tension springs. However, I don’t think its performance justifies the $519 price point.

For these reasons, out of SpiceSkate’s three surfskate trucks, I only include the SpicePilot TypeX in my list of the top 10 surfskate trucks. I categorize it as a “pure surf trainer” for surfers.

Unfortunately, only 2 out of SpiceSkate’s 9 models come with the TypeX, and I don’t even recommend one of them because of the deck specs. So this means that there’s only one SpiceSkate model that I feel comfortable recommending. However, this model is priced at $429, and I think you’re better off with a YOW or Smoothstar at that price.

SpiceSkate also ships your surfskate disassembled and you have to assemble it yourself. Even with giving you extra work, they’re still the most expensive surfskates.

If SpiceSkate were to fix these issues, I think they would be a serious contender to Smoothstar and YOW for the pure surf training market. However, until they do, all things considered, I personally feel more comfortable recommending a YOW or Smoothstar over a SpiceSkate.

Who and What are SpiceSkate Surfskates Best Used For?

 

After testing 43 surfskate truck systems, I’ve concluded that these are the best surfskates: (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

To help you understand how each of these feel, I put them on a scale ranging from pure surf trainers to more versatile street cruisers.

best surfskate trucks

Since I’m not a surfer, I can’t recommend the best surfskates for surf training. But I can describe the qualities of each to help you narrow down your decision.

The pure surf trainers on the left side of the scale have the following qualities, as compared to the street cruiser surfskate trucks:

  • They feel looser, smoother, more fluid.
  • They’re more responsive to upper body movements (arms, shoulders, hips).
  • They create more lateral side-to-side motion with pumping, versus generating forward thrust. So while they’re easier to pump, you don’t move forward as much when you pump.
  • They are best used for training in small areas and for short distances.

On the other end of the scale, street cruising surfskate trucks have the following properties (as compared to pure surf trainers):

  • They feel tighter and snappier.
  • They are more responsive to lower body movements (ankles and knees).
  • They create more forward momentum when you pump.
  • They are better for riding longer distances and over a wider variety of terrain.

The surfskate trucks on the left of the scale are are more specialized for pure surf training. As you move right on the scale, the systems are more versatile and can be used for more than just surf training.

On this scale, I categorize all three SpiceSkate surfskate truck systems as “pure surf trainers.” This means they are best used for surf training in small areas and on smooth surfaces.

So if you’re a surfer looking for a surf trainer surfskate, I believe SpiceSkate surfskates are one of your top options to consider.

But if you’re not a surfer, personally, I don’t think a SpiceSkate surfskate is the best option for you. I think you’re much better off with a Carver CX or Slide.

Are SpiceSkate Surfskates Good for Beginners?

 

I think SpiceSkate surfskates are both stable and functional enough to work well for riders of any skill level, including beginners.

However, I think they’re best suited for intermediate to advanced riders. More stable surfskate trucks like the Carver CX or Slide are typically better for beginners.

Do SpiceSkate Surfskates Work for Bowl Riding?

 

Personally, I don’t think either the standard SpicePilot or SpicePilot TypeX work great for bowl riding, because of their weight and instability. Advanced riders can certainly ride them in the bowl, but I don’t believe they’re ideal.

However, the SpiceSkate Okto was engineered specifically for bowl riding and works excellent in the bowl. It’s lighter and more compact than the SpicePilot and gives you more resistance in the spring.

For a more detailed analysis, see my article, “What are the Best Surfskates for Bowl Riding?

Are SpiceSkate Surfskates Good for Cross-Stepping?

 

I’m not a cross-stepper so I can’t personally comment on this question.

However, if you watch the video below, you’ll discover that surfer Gabe Frager prefers Carver surfskates for cross-stepping.

Are SpiceSkate Surfskates Safe for Riding Downhill?

 

Surfskate trucks are more unstable than standard skateboard or longboard trucks, and therefore can be dangerous to ride downhill.

Personally, I would not ride the SpiceSkate SpicePilot very fast downhill, as I think it’s too unstable.

The SpiceSkate Okto, on the other hand, offers enough stability and rebound to work just fine for downhill speed riding.

Spiceskate Surfskate Truck Systems Review (SpicePilot, TypeX, Okto)

 

SpiceSkate offers three different surfskate trucks: their standard SpicePilot, the SpicePilot TypeX, and the Okto.

 

SpiceSkate SpicePilot Standard and SpicePilot TypeX

 

 Mechanically speaking, the SpiceSkate SpicePilot is built nearly identical to the YOW Meraki, using a coiled tension spring.

carver skateboards surfskate trucks
carver skateboards surfskate trucks

The only difference between the standard SpicePilot and the TypeX is that the TypeX comes with an additional tighter spring, which gives you a lot more rebound. Since the springs are interchangeable, it means the TypeX gives you two levels of tension with their two springs.

Personally, I find the standard spring to be far too loose and floppy. I think the bigger, tighter TypeX spring feels much better and is a lot more versatile. I could be wrong, but I have a hard time believing there are many riders out there who will prefer the standard spring to the TypeX spring. I’ve had a lot of people try both and that has been the consensus.

In fact, I don’t even include the standard SpicePilot in the list of the top 10 surfskates.

So my personal recommendation on the SpiceSkate is to only get the TypeX or the Okto. Unfortunately, one of my issues with SpiceSkate is that the TypeX only comes on two models, and they don’t give you the option to include the TypeX spring on the other models.

I’ll give you more details on that below when we discuss how to choose the right SpiceSkate surfskate model for you.

 

How Does the SpiceSkate SpicePilot Feel and Perform?

 

I love the feel of the SpiceSkate. In fact, of all of the pure surf trainers listed above (SwellTech, Curfboard, Smoothstar, Aquilo, SpiceSkate), SpiceSkate is the winner for me. I much prefer the feel of the SpiceSkate SpicePilot TypeX to any of the others.

If the only thing I were going to use a surfskate for is technical surf training in small areas, the SpiceSkate SpicePilot TypeX is my choice.

It feels like a combination of the Smoothstar Thruster and the YOW Meraki. It has more lean than the Smoothstar Thruster, but less than the YOW Meraki.

I much prefer the rail-to-rail lean of the SpiceSkate SpicePilot compared to SwellTech, Curfboard, Smoothstar, and Aquilo. Those feel a lot flatter compared to the SpiceSkate. I think you get tighter, more nimble turns out of the SpiceSkate than you can on these other pure surf trainers.

Mechanical Stopper on the SpiceSkate SpicePilot

 

Another thing to point out about the SpiceSkate SpicePilot is that it has a mechanical stopper that limits the range of motion of the lateral swing arm. The effect is that 1) it creates stability for beginners, and 2) it prevents wheelbite. So you will not get wheelbite on the SpiceSkate SpicePilot.

However, the downside of the mechanical stopper is that it creates a knocking sound when you hit the limit of the truck as you pump from side to side. This is more of an issue on the floppy original SpicePilot than it is on the TypeX.

How Much Does the SpiceSkate SpicePilot Offset Your Wheelbase?

 

Most surfskate trucks are built with the axle hanging behind the inner bolts of your deck. This narrows your wheelbase, because you can’t ride with your front foot ahead of the axle without jackknifing.

Each surfskate truck offsets your wheelbase by a different amount. I use the Carver C7 surfskate truck as a baseline because it does not change your wheelbase. Relative to the Carver C7, the Smoothstar Thruster D offsets your wheelbase by 1.5″, the YOW Meraki by 1.75″, the SwellTech by 3.5″, and the Smoothstar Thruster by a full 4″.

This means that on these surfskate trucks, you have to have longer decks to accommodate the same stance width.

The SpiceSkate SpicePilot only offsets your wheelbase by 1.”. This gives it an advantage over the others listed above. It makes your surfskate system lighter and more compact and nimble.

How Easy is it to Maintain the SpiceSkate SpicePilot?

 

Another reason why I prefer the SpiceSkate over the Smoothstar Thruster is that it has far less moving parts. As I said above, it’s built very similar to the YOW Meraki.

So I believe the SpiceSkate SpicePilot is easier to maintain and will give you less long-term problems than the Smoothstar Thruster 1 and Thruster D, SwellTech, and Carver C7.

 

How Heavy is the SpiceSkate SpicePilot?

 

A final thing that I wanted to point out is that the SpiceSkate SpicePilot is the heaviest of all of the top 12 surfskate trucks listed above.

The Carver CX is the lightest at 15 ounces, and the SpicePilot weighs 2 pounds 9 ounces.

If all you’re going to use the SpiceSkate for is technical surf training in small areas, then that’s a non-issue. But it is something to be aware of because it does limit your versatility on this truck.

SpiceSkate Okto

 The SpiceSkate Okto is the most advanced and expensive surfskate truck available. The swivel mechanism is driven by what they call a “capsule.” The capsule has two metal pieces that hang suspended by eight small springs between them. They offer three swappable capsules with various torque strengths for different riding experiences.

spiceskate okto surfskate truck
spiceskate okto surfskate truck
spiceskate okto surfskate truck
spiceskate okto surfskate truck
spiceskate okto surfskate truck
spiceskate okto surfskate truck

At a price of either $489 or $519 for a complete model, you would expect the SpiceSkate Okto to blow your mind and outperform anything you’ve tried. But it just doesn’t. Personally, I prefer many other trucks over it, including the SpicePilot TypeX, Carver CX and C7, YOW Meraki, and Smoothstar Thruster D.

In fact, I don’t even include the Okto in my list of the top 10 surfskate trucks. That doesn’t mean I don’t think it’s a viable surfskate truck. It simply means that I recommend you consider other surfskate trucks first.

The Okto functions okay and has high rebound. In terms of how it feels, I would compare it most to the Carver CX and YOW Meraki.

However, it has what I would call a slight “folding,” or buckling sensation when you fully lean into it. This is caused by the twisting of the capsule springs.

Personally, I think the CX and Meraki both feel and perform better than the Okto. I much prefer the both of them and would recommend them over the Okto.

My main issue with the Okto is that the price relative to the performance is frankly outlandish. I think you can get much better feeling surfskate trucks for much cheaper.

I’m also not a fan of the Okto complete models. Their wheelbase is too narrow for me and I don’t like their foot placement.

SpiceSkate Decks, Wheels, & Component Parts Review

 

As a premium surfskate brand, SpiceSkate uses high-quality parts, and you can trust that a SpiceSkate will last you a long time with minimal maintenance or issues.

I love their wheels and they’re probably my favorite stock surfskate wheels. They’re super smooth and grippy, as well as faster than most stock wheels I’ve tried.

They use built-in bearings that roll smooth and quiet and eliminate the need for spacers and speed rings.

Where SpiceSkate falls flat for me is with their deck shapes and sizes. Out of their 9 models I only like two of their decks, and one of those doesn’t even work for me because the wheelbase is too narrow.

This is just personal preference and you may like SpiceSkate surfskate decks just fine. But let me just explain my issues with each model so you can make an educated decision for yourself.

The problems I have with their 760 Spicepilot, 765 Okto, and 800 SpicePilot models is 1) they’re flat with very little concave, which means your feet slide around when you pump and do aggressive maneuvers, 2) the back foot placement is poor because of the swallowtail, and the front foot placement is poor because the front narrows so sharply, and 3) they have very narrow wheelbases, which means they don’t fit a lot of riders.

I also don’t even recommend the 760 and 800 models anyway because they come with the standard SpicePilot, and I only recommend the TypeX and Okto.

SpiceSkate 760 with Standard SpicePilot
SpiceSkate 765 with Okto
SpiceSkate 800 with Standard SpicePilot

The deck on the 828 model is very strange and it doesn’t work for me at all. It has a weird concave at the wheelwells that makes no sense for your foot placement. The only place you can put your foot is behind those wheelwells, which means that the entire nose of the deck beyond that is a completely wasted design.

The 828 model is not fun to ride at all, as it gets tiresome for your feet with the aggressive and awkwardly-placed concave angles.

SpiceSkate 828 with Standard SpicePilot

The deck on the 830 model is completely flat and uninspiring. Your feet slide around it when you pump and do aggressive maneuvers. It makes no sense at all for surfskating to me.

SpiceSkate 830 with Standard SpicePilot

The only SpiceSkate surfskate deck I personally like is the 830 TypeX model — and I actually love it. For me it has everything you want in a surfskate deck: the perfect concave to hold your feet in place for pumping and carving, wide enough foot placement for both feet, versatile length and wheelbase, comfortable to ride for a long time.

To be honest, the 830 TypeX is the only Spiceskate deck I recommend.

SpiceSkate 830 with SpicePilot TypeX

I find the 900 model odd. It’s 35″ long, which is very long for a surfskate deck. But it has only a 17″ wheelbase, which is very narrow for that length of a deck. For a deck of that length, you would typically expect to find a wheelbase in the 18″ to 19″ range.

When you look at the picture, you’ll see that the long length and narrow wheelbase means it has a long tail on back. This makes no sense to me because it means that most of it is wasted space.

SpiceSkate 900 with SpicePilot TypeX

The 1100 model is obviously designed to practice longboard surfing. Just from the pictures it looks fantastic for that.

However, my issue with the 1100 model is that it comes with the original SpicePilot, which I do not recommend.

SpiceSkate 1100 with Standard SpicePilot

This leaves us with the final SpiceSkate model, the 810 Okto. While I like this deck, my single issue with it is that it has only a 15.5″ wheelbase, which means it only fits riders with stance widths of between 14″ and 16″. I’m 6’2″ tall and my stance width is 18″, so the 810 deck doesn’t work for me, nor will it for many riders.

SpiceSkate 810 with Okto

SpiceSkate Surfskate Pros & Cons

 

Pros:

 

  • Fantastic Feel: SpiceSkate surfskates feel incredibly smooth and fluid and they’re a joy to ride. Perfect for pure surf training.
  • Excellent Quality: SpiceSkate surfskates are made with high-quality manufacturing and parts, so you can trust they’ll last you a long time without a lot of maintenance issues.
  • Low Wheelbase Offset: SpiceSkate surfskate systems only offset your wheelbase by 1″, compared to the Smoothstar Thruster D at 1.5″, the YOW Meraki and 1.75″, the SwellTech at 3.5″, and the Smoothstar Thruster 1 at 4″. This means your Spiceskate surfskate can be smaller and more compact than one with these other systems.
  • Suitable for All Skill Levels: SpiceSkate surfskates are stable enough to work for beginners, but functional enough to be a fantastic choice for advanced riders.
  • No Wheelbite: The mechanical stopper on the SpiceSkate systems prevents wheelbite, which makes them safer to ride than other systems.

 

Cons:

 

  • Expensive: SpiceSkate surfskates are the most expensive surfskates on the market, ranging from $369 to $519.
  • Assembly Required: SpiceSkate surfskates get shipped to you disassembled, and you have to assemble them yourself, which will take you 20-45 minutes. SpiceSkate tries to sell this as a benefit to the customer, but they don’t compensate you for the assembly time in the price. Personally, as a customer I don’t see the benefit at all and I’d like to see them discount the price for my time.
  • Limited Truck Options with Very Overpriced Spring Upgrade: One of my biggest frustrations with SpiceSkate is that they don’t offer the TypeX spring option on all their SpicePilot models. You can get a SpiceSkate model with the original SpicePilot for $369. But a TypeX model will cost you $429. Since the only difference between the two trucks is one additional spring, that means they’re charging us $60 for that spring. This makes no sense to me at all, as I’m guessing the spring doesn’t cost them more than a couple dollars. I wish SpiceSkate would offer the TypeX truck option on all their SpicePilot models and not charge more than $10 for the additional spring, if anything at all.
  • Limited Model Options: Of their 7 models with the SpicePilot system, only 2 of them come with the TypeX spring. This means that if you follow my advice and get the TypeX over the original, you only have two SpicePilot models to choose from.
  • Decks Not Designed Well: As I detailed above, there’s only one SpiceSkate deck that I recommend, which is the deck on the 830 TypeX model. All the others are either too flat or have awkward concave angles, they don’t have great foot placement, they’re small and don’t fit a lot of riders.
  • Heavy: The SpiceSkate SpicePilot is the heaviest of all the top 12 surfskate trucks. This leads to the next con below.
  • Not Very Versatile: Because of the weight, design, and fluidity of the SpiceSkate surfskate systems, they’re not the most versatile surfskates. They’re ideal for training in small areas and on smooth surfaces. But they don’t work well for long-distance cruising, or for the type of aggressive and non-traditional surfskating done by Joey Daley or Mark the Landlocked Surfer.
  • Lack of Product Information: Like most surfskate companies, SpiceSkate offers very little product information. They have no model selector, no videos explaining the models, no maintenance videos. You’re left to your own to figure out all the details they leave out.

How to Choose the Right SpiceSkate Surfskate Model for You

 

Once you’ve determined that a SpiceSkate surfskate is what you want, now you have to choose your model. SpiceSkate does have a Model Adviser” on their website to help you choose.

You can also use my free Surfskate Selector App to choose your SpiceSkate model. Just answer 8 quick questions and it will reveal exactly the best surfskates for you from not only SpiceSkate, but all the top surfskate brands.

But if you want more information on how to choose the best SpiceSkate surfskate model for you, then use these guidelines:

SpiceSkate offers 8 different models across their three different surfskate truck sytems. 5 of their models come with the standard SpicePilot, 2 come with the SpicePilot TypeX, and 1 comes with the Okto.

The first thing I want to say about choosing your SpiceSkate surfskate is to reiterate what I’ve already said above, which is that I do not recommend the standard SpicePilot. I also don’t recommend the 765 Okto model because I think the deck only works for kids, and I can’t see anyone paying $519 for a kids’ surf trainer. That means that I do not recommend these SpiceSkate models:

  1. Model 760 with Standard SpicePilot
  2. Model 765 with Okto
  3. Model 800 with Standard SpicePilot
  4. Model 828 with Standard SpicePilot
  5. Model 830 with Standard SpicePilot
  6. Model 1100 with Standard SpicePilot

These are the only SpiceSkate models that I recommend:

  1. Model 830 with SpicePilot TypeX
  2. Model 900 with SpicePilot TypeX
  3. Model 810 with Okto

With that said, I’m going to give you guidelines for choosing all SpiceSkate models so you can make your own choice.

 

Know Your Stance Width to Choose Your SpiceSkate Model

 

I’m going to spare you a lot of details here that I’ve explained in other places. But if you want to know why your surfskate model is determined by your stance width, then read this article.

Your stance width is the distance between your inner feet in inches when you’re standing in your most natural skating stance. Your stance width correlates with the wheelbase on surfskate models to determine which models are suitable for you.

Measure your stance width by getting a tape measure and taking off your shoes. Stand in what feels like your most natural, comfortable, and balanced skating stance. Then measure the distance between your inner feet. That’s your stance width.

Once you know your stance width, you can use the following SpiceSkate size guidelines:

SpiceSkate Surfskate Models with Standard SpicePilot System

SpiceSkate 760 with Standard SpicePilot

Specifications:

  • Length: 30″
  • Width: 10″
  • Wheelbase: 14.5″
  • SpiceSkate System: SpicePilot Standard
  • Fits a stance width of between 15″ and 17′

SpiceSkate 800 with Standard SpicePilot

Specifications:

  • Length: 31.5″
  • Width: 10″
  • Wheelbase: 17.5″
  • SpiceSkate System: SpicePilot Standard
  • Fits a stance width of between 16″ and 18′

SpiceSkate 828 with Standard SpicePilot

Specifications:

  • Length: 32.5″
  • Width: 10″
  • Wheelbase: 17″
  • SpiceSkate System: SpicePilot Standard
  • Fits a stance width of between 15″ and 17′

SpiceSkate 830 with Standard SpicePilot

Specifications:

  • Length: 32.5″
  • Width: 10″
  • Wheelbase: 18″
  • SpiceSkate System: SpicePilot Standard
  • Fits a stance width of between 16″ and 18′

SpiceSkate 1100 with Standard SpicePilot

Specifications:

  • Length: 43″
  • Width: 10″
  • Wheelbase: 27.6″
  • SpiceSkate System: SpicePilot Standard
  • Fits a stance width of 16″+

SpiceSkate Surfskate Models with SpicePilot TypeX System

SpiceSkate 830 with SpicePilot TypeX

Specifications:

  • Length: 32.5″
  • Width: 10″
  • Wheelbase: 18″
  • SpiceSkate System: SpicePilot TypeX
  • Fits a stance width of between 16″ and 18′

SpiceSkate 900 with SpicePilot TypeX

Specifications:

  • Length: 35″
  • Width: 10″
  • Wheelbase: 17″
  • SpiceSkate System: SpicePilot TypeX
  • Fits a stance width of between 15″ and 17′

SpiceSkate Surfskate Models with Okto System

SpiceSkate 765 with Okto

Specifications:

  • Length: 30″
  • Width: 10″
  • Wheelbase: 13.6″
  • SpiceSkate System: Okto
  • Fits a stance width of between 12″ and 14′

SpiceSkate 810 with Okto

Specifications:

  • Length: 31.8″
  • Width: 10″
  • Wheelbase: 15.5″
  • SpiceSkate System: Okto
  • Fits a stance width of between 14″ and 16′