Waterborne Gemini Carbon Surfskate Review
The Waterborne Gemini surfskate is one of the most unique surfskates on the market. It’s made entirely of carbon, 39″ long, and has tons of flex.
In this review, I’ll break down the Waterborne Gemini for you and explain why I like it.
How is the Waterborne Gemini Built?
Pat, the founder of Waterborne, is always thinking outside of the box and innovating. He was really thinking outside of the box when it comes to their carbon surfskates.
There are two things that set Waterborne Carbon surfskates apart from anything else. First is that they’re obviously made with carbon. This makes them extremely flexible.
The Waterborne Gemini is 39 inches long. This makes it one of the longest complete surfskates on the market.
It’s a drop-through deck. The Waterborne surf adapter sticks up through the deck.
This gives you 27 inches of workable space for your foot placement. This means the Waterborne Gemini fits any stance width.
The drop-through deck also means this rides lower to the ground than typical surfskates.
Waterborne uses reverse kingpin trucks and 63 millimeter wheels on all their complete models. This is in order to avoid wheelbite. But ‘ve never had wheelbite on the Waterborne with reverse kingpin trucks on wheels up to 70 millimeters.
The wheelbase measured between inner bolt holes is 22.5” wide. This obviously means it’s not as nimble as short surfskates. If you have a relatively narrow stance width, it’s difficult to pump.
However, the wide wheelbase also means it generates a lot of forward momentum when you pump.
On the back there are only two holes for the Waterborne rail adapter.
If you want to replace the rail adapter with a riser, you could just drill your own holes.
But there’s a better way to make the rail adapter more stable. That is to replace your Waterborne rail adapter bushings with a harder durometer.
How Does the Gemini Feel and Perform?
On the Scorpio model, I’m not a fan of either the shape or the flex on my back foot placement. It narrows at the tail, which means my toes and heels hang off the sides.
Waterborne has made some innovations on the front and the back cutouts.
Both feet sit between the bolt holes. So when you pump, the flex of the board works in your favor. It generates more forward momentum with less effort. This is opposed to how the Scorpio model sucks more energy from my back foot.
This gives the Waterborne Gemini a very unique bouncy feel unlike anything you’ve ever experienced.
As a long-distance cruiser, I love that the flex on the Waterborne Gemini propels you forward as you pump. This makes it fantastic for pumping for long distances.
Waterborne Gemini Carbon Surfskate Pros & Cons
The first pro I would say about the Waterborne Gemini is that the bouncy flex is a lot of fun. It’s unlike anything you’ve ever felt or experienced before. You really have to try it for yourself to know what I’m talking about.
The next pro of the Gemini for me is that it is fantastic for long-distance pumping. This is what I love to do, so it’s perfect for me.
The return that you get on that energy from the flex means you can jump on it and bounce and ride for quite a long time. And you do it very efficiently without feeling like you’re tiring out.
The final pro I would say is that this carbon deck is extremely durable. I can’t imagine you ever breaking it or having issues with it. I think the deck is going to last you forever.
The first con I would mention is that this isn’t the most versatile surfskate. It’s a very specialized, unique, custom feel you won’t get in any other surfskates.
It’s not the best for surf training. Unless perhaps you’re using it for longboard cross-stepping practice. (Although a stiffer deck works better for that too).
The very wide wheelbase and the flexiness also means you’re not going to use the Gemini for bowl riding. It’s also not built for tight, sharp, and nimble riding with a lot of snaps and slides.
The next con I’d say about the Gemini is that the sharp edges of the carbon deck worry me a bit.
One idea I told Pat at Waterborne was that they could find some kind of a padding to put around this edge.
But having said that, I’ve never actually had that happen and been hurt by this. So that may be a complete non-issue.
Another con is that at 39” long, the Waterborne Gemini is bulky to carry around. But the carbon material is very light and the rail cutouts make for easy carrying handles.
The final con for me—and the most obvious one—is the price of the Gemini. You can get a complete model with the standard Waterborne adapter for $499, or you can get a model that has the new FIN system on it for $520.
That means the Waterborne Gemini is among the most expensive surfskates on the market.
The challenge for me at that price for a specialized board is that you really have to love it to justify the price.
And unfortunately, unless you can find a demo board to try, you can’t know what it feels like before committing to that price.
However, you can actually get just the Waterborne Gemini deck alone for just $269. So you may want to just buy the deck alone and build your own complete model.
So I personally like the Waterborne Gemini a lot. And if you ever get a chance to try it I highly recommend that you do.