What is a Surfskate Adapter & How Do You Use One?

by | Dec 12, 2021 | Surfskating Basics, Trucks

A surfskate adapter is a device you can mount onto any skateboard or longboard deck that allows you to mimic surfing on land. Read this article to learn more about surf adapters.

The first surfskate adapter, the Carver C7, was invented by Greg Falk and Neil Stratton in 1996. Greg and Neil were both surfers, and they invented the surf adapter to be able to surf on land on flat days with no waves.

Since the first surfskate adapter, many other designs have been created. Although they all have different feels, the function is the same: they give you the ability to carve tightly, which allows you to mimic the feel and movements of surfing on land.

No other skateboard or longboard truck gives you the functionality and turning radius that you can get from a surfskate adapter.

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

How Does a Surf Adapter Work?


A surf adapter can be built into a skateboard as a complete model. Or it can be a separate attachment that is mounted between the front trucks and deck of any standard board.

On standard skateboard and longboard trucks, you turn the board by tilting the board on the kingpin axis. A surf adapter adds a rotating arm that allows the trucks to also move from side to side.

With a surf adapter mounted on your skateboard or longboard deck, you can do two things that you can’t do on skateboard or longboard trucks: 1) you can pump the board without having to push your foot on the ground, and 2) you can carve the board with a very tight turning radius.

A surf adapter allows you to pump and carve on concrete waves in the same way that you would while surfing in water.

Who are Surfskate Adapters For?


Surfskate adapters were originally built by surfers for surfers. For the past 25 years, they have primarily been used as surf trainers for surfers.

However, as more and more people discover how much fun surfskate adapters can be, they are becoming more and more popular. Dozens of companies around the world are now selling some form of a surfskate adapter.

I discovered surfskating as a non-surfer, and from survey data, my audience is currently about 64% non-surfers like me.

Even if you’re not a surfer, the feel that you can get while riding a surfskate adapter can be replicated in no other way.

For help with learning how to ride a surfskate adapter, get my video course, “Surfskating for Non-Surfers.”

What’s the Best Surfskate Adapter for You?


The best original surfskate adapters on the market include (in alphabetical order):

  1. Aquilo
  2. Carver C7
  3. Carver CX
  4. Curfboard
  5. Slide V3
  6. Smoothstar Thruster D
  7. SpiceSkate SpicePilot TypeX
  8. SwellTech
  9. Waterborne Surf Adapter
  10. YOW Meraki

There are other surfskate adapters on the market that are clones of some of these original designs.

Choosing the best surfskate adapter for you can be difficult, because there are so many on the market, they all feel different, and you can’t really know for sure which you’ll like best without trying them out for yourself.

The Waterborne surf adapter can be mounted onto any existing skateboard or longboard trucks. The other surfskate adapters must be used with their own complete truck system, but an also be attached to skateboard or longboard decks.

In my experience in purchasing and testing more than 60 surfskates from 27 companies in 11 countries around the world, I think it’s best to buy a complete surfskate model, versus buying a surfskate adapter alone and trying to make it work on your skateboard or longboard.

Unless you have a lot of experience with building custom skate set-ups, it is very difficult to build your own surfskate that works well using just a surfskate adapter. With a complete surfskate from a reputable brand, you have a much better chance that your surfskate will perform well.

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