5 Surfskate Tips for Staying Safe

by | Jan 11, 2022 | Surfskating Basics, Tips & Tutorials

Although surfskating can be among the safest board sports, it always comes with inherent risk. Use these five surfskate tips to stay safe on your surfskate.

I didn’t get into surfskating until I was 43 years old, in October of 2020. One of the reasons I fell in love with it was the safety factor.

I had come from a longboard, and the radical carving function of surfskate trucks gave me more control than I had ever experienced, and control means safety. This opened up a whole new world of opportunity for me as a skater.

With that said, any time you step foot onto a board with wheels, there’s always an inherent risk of getting hurt. So if you’re a surfskate beginner, don’t take the risk. Use these five surfskate tips to stay safe on your surfskate.

For surfskate tutorials with live video instruction, get my video course, “Surfskating for Non-Surfers.”

Surfskate Tip #1: Get the right surfskate wheelbase.


Surfskate safety starts with choosing the right surfskate for you in the first place.

As I explain in this video, the single most important specification on a surfskate is the wheelbase.

The reason why this matters is because your wheelbase is associated with your stance width. Because of how surfskate trucks work, if your front foot is positioned in front of the surfskate truck, the board will jackknife and you will crash.

If your wheelbase is too narrow for your stance width, you won’t be able to keep your weight behind the front surfskate truck, which makes it much more likely for you to jackknife.

The more your surfskate wheelbase becomes narrower than your stance width, the more unstable it becomes. The wider your surfskate wheelbase gets, the more stable it is, but the less nimble and harder to pump.

So your first surfskate tip to stay safe is to make sure you have the right surfskate for you. My Surfskate Selector app does that for you automatically.

Surfskate Tip #2: Wear protective gear.

From much personal experience, I can promise you that if you ride enough, you will inevitably crash on a surfskate. And if you’re not wearing protective gear, you’re going to get hurt.

When you’re a surfskate beginner, be sure to pad up when skating. This means a helmet, wrist guards, elbow pads, and knee pads at least.

But on a surfskate specifically, I strongly recommend one more critical piece of protective gear: hip pads.

In all the time I’ve been surfskating, what I’ve hurt the most by far is my front hip. This happens when the truck jackknifes and I get tossed quickly before I have time to react, and I land right on my front hip.

So for me, the three most important pieces of protective gear for surfskating are a helmet, wrist guards, and hip pads. But if you’re a beginner, or if you’re pushing your limits as a skater and learning new things, a wise surfskate tip is to wear a full set of protective gear.

Surfskate Tip #3: Learn how to stop.


Your next surfskate tip for staying safe is to learn how to stop. There are five ways to stop on a surfskate:

  1. Carving/turning tightly.
  2. Jumping off.
  3. Using your back foot to check your speed.
  4. Dragging one foot on the ground.
  5. Speed checks/slides.

Watch this video for surfskate tips on how to stop:

To learn how to stop on a surfskate with live instructions, get my video course, “Surfskating for Non-Surfers.”

Surfskate Tip #4: Learn how to fall.


Learning the correct way to fall is a critical skill to learn to stay safe on a surfskate.

When we fall, our immediate instinct is to throw out our hands to catch ourself. But this is how wrists and elbows get sprained and broken.

To fall safely, you have to learn how to tuck your arms and roll. So one surfskate tip is to practice falling the correct way.

Shane Lai has an excellent video on surfskate tips for falling safely:

Surfskate Tip #5: Learn how to safely surfskate downhill.


A final surfskate tip for safety is to learn how to safely surfskate downhill.

I’ve seen a lot of online videos of people trying to bomb hills on surfskates and getting speed wobbles and even wiping out. But the point of a surfskate is that you can carve hills and stay safe.

Watch this video on surfskate tips for surfskating downhill:

For more surfskate tips and tutorials with live video instruction, get my video course, “Surfskating for Non-Surfers.”