Which Carver Surfskate is Right for You?
My background is longboarding. During COVID quarantine, I came across surfskating videos on YouTube.
I loved the different style of riding and decided I needed to try surfskating myself.
I spent months researching. First, I researched all the different surfskate brands and surfskate trucks before landing on Carver.
But then I had to choose which of their 30+ models was right for me–having never ridden any surfskate, let alone a Carver.
At the time I was riding a 44″ pintail cruiser. I wanted a hybrid longboard cruiser and tight carver. Being 6’2″ tall and being used to a longer board, I finally decided on the 36.5″ Tyler 777.
She ended up being the perfect fit for me and I instantly fell in love with her.
As much as I love the Tyler 777, however, I later bought several other Carvers and discovered that my favorite is the 33″ Proteus model.
Unless you’re as obsessed with surfskating as I am, you don’t want to make the same mistake. You want to make sure to get the best Carver surfskate for you on your first shot.
So let’s get you into the right Carver surfskate for you.
The simplest way to choose the right Carver surfskate is to get my free Surfskate Selector app now.
Choose your Carver Surfskate Trucks
Carver has two main surfskate truck models: the C7 and the CX.
Carver C7 Surfskate Truck
This is the signature truck that started it all. The patented second axis of this front truck not only increases the turning radius of your carve, but lets you snap the nose and pivot your turns off the tail. This dynamic relationship between the trucks creates thrust and drives you forward with increasing speed. The striking similarity to surfing performance has made the C7 the choice for surf training by pros and amateurs alike.
Carver CX Surfskate Truck
This is Carver’s hybrid surf and skate truck. On the one hand it’s a lightweight standard RKP (Reverse King Pin) hanger and base, on the other it has a patented geometry that squeezes every bit of turn and pump from the system. This means that you can pump this truck like a C7, but it lands airs and rides fakie with more stability as well. This opens up aerial maneuvers, and keys in with the latest progression of airs in surfing.
Read any review of the Carver surfskate trucks and they’ll say essentially the same thing: the C7 trucks are heavier, looser, flowier, and more suitable for surf training specifically. The CX trucks are lighter, tighter, carvier, and more suitable for street surfing.
Personally, I prefer the CX trucks and they are the ones I recommend to most riders, and particularly for beginners. I don’t think you can pick a better surfskate truck to start on than the Carver CX.
The CX feels more stable while still giving you pretty much the same range of motion as the C7. I find that the CX is also easier to pump, especially uphill. And for me, there’s just not enough of a difference to make the higher weight of the C7 worth it.
Having said that, if you’re a more advanced rider, you’re into surf training specifically, or you want a looser, flowier feel, you can’t go wrong with the C7.
Choose the right wheelbase width based on your riding stance
When choosing the right Carver surfskate for you, one of the most important considerations is your riding stance width.
If you don’t know how to determine your stance width, first watch this video:
Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Now imagine you’re surfing or riding a longboard. Widen your stance until it feels like your natural riding position.
Now measure the inner distance between the center of both feet. Whatever your measurement, add and subtract an inch to get a range. For example, if measure 15″, your range is 14″ to 16″.
My stance width is 18″. This means I want to find Carver models that have listed wheelbases of between 17″ and 19″.
Now look for Carver surfskates with wheelbases within your range.
Or, you can simply use this table to determine the approximate wheelbase width for you based on your height:
Consider your riding style
Your riding style is a major factor in choosing the right deck length and style. Are you more of a mellow cruiser and want your ride to feel smooth, soft, and glidey? Or are you more of a snappy, aggressive carver who wants to feel tight, sharp and agile?
Do you like long trails and graceful hills? Tight urban obstacles? Skate parks and bowls?
Just like on a surfboard, the smaller the board, the tighter it turns. On the other hand, a longer board gives you more stability.
Another thing to consider is that the longer your board, the harder it is to pump. For example, my 36.5″ Tyler 777 is a sweet glidey ride, she’s much harder to pump than any of my other shorter surfskates.
If you’re more of a mellow cruiser, you’ll want one of the longer Carver surfskates, particularly the 36.5″ Tyler 777 or the 33.75″ Greenroom.
As I mentioned above, at 6’2″ and being more of a mellow cruiser myself, the Proteus is my Carver of choice.
If you’re more of an aggressive carver, you want a shorter board with a narrower wheelbase. The 31″ Resin has been Carver’s bestselling board for years, and she makes a fantastic…well, carver–no pun intended. The 31.25″ Knox Quill is also a very popular choice.
Choose your Carver surfskate
Hopefully, by now you have enough information to make an informed decision. Using the guidelines above, go through a process of elimination with each of Carver’s surfskate models.
Narrow your selection down to the Carver surfskates with the right board length and wheelbase width for your height and riding style.
From here, it’s kind of just a matter of aesthetics. Which board design do you like best?
Unless you want more of a skateboard feel, eliminate the Impala and Bel Air models.
You can customize your wheels, but again, Carver makes it easy by recommending the best wheels for each model.
At the end of the day, a Carver is a Carver and you’re going to love her. So pick one and fall in love with your Carver surfskate!
For help with picking the perfect Carver surfskate for you, get my free Surfskate Selector app now.