Surfskates are designed to emulate the feeling of surfing, but on land.
They do this by using specially designed truck systems, usually based around a very turny front truck and a slacked back truck.
The result is a board that's around the same size as a mini cruiser, but turns a LOT more and ends up feeling pretty different to a regular skateboard.
What is a surfskate?
Surfskates are skateboards which use a specially designed front truck to encourage the board to dive hard into turns, and are intended to mimic the feeling of surfing, but on the streets!
They are great fun and have grown in popularity loads in the last few years amongst surfers, skaters, and anyone who loves a good time on four wheels!
How do surf skates work?
There are two main styles of surfskate which work in distinctive ways. We call these ‘single axis’ and ‘double axis’, and each have their benefits and drawbacks.
A double axis truck, like a Carver C7, combines the turning geometry of a conventional skateboard truck with an additional spring loaded rotating arm, allowing the truck to dive hard and pivot around this second axis, these really give that slashy, twitchy, divey feeling that some riders are looking for. The downside is that most double axis surfskates are a bit heavier, and harder to push.
A single axis truck, like a Carver CX or a Bear "Banger" truck. will feel more like your regular board. It will still pump, carve, and wiggle around to your hearts content, but in a more predictable and stable way. These boards are better for travelling with and commuting around the city.
What’s the difference between a surf skate and a longboard or skateboard?
Are surf skates good for beginners?
Are surf skates good for cruising?
Surfskates are typically much higher off the ground than cruisers. This makes them easier to pump, but harder to push.
When you’re cruising on your board you want to be able to push easily and cover ground without having to think too much about your balance, as such we’d suggest looking at our range of mini cruisers if getting from A to B is your goal.
If you’re dead set on a surfskate, go for one of the single axis truck styles, as these will be more stable and easier to push and brake on. The Landyachtz Surfskates in particular bridge the gap between cruiser boards and surfskates, and are probably the best surfskates for commuting on that we've seen.
We use ours to get to the Post Office with your orders every day!
Does a surfskate help learn surfing?
Sure, a little bit. It's certainly one of the best ways to get carving on the flat days - hello there British summer! Find a tree barrel or a little bank to practise really pulling speed out of your cutbacks.
Surfskating is great fun and it does cross over into your surf technique, although it is important to remember that much of surfing is watermanship, paddling and knowledge of the break.
Riding a surfskate won’t turn you into a better surfer overnight, but its sure going to be better than sitting on the sofa, and will help to strengthen your body and improve your coordination, which means that when you do get out on the water, your body will be that bit more prepared.
Are surfskates good for pump tracks?
Surf skates are great for pumping, which can lead people to assume they’ll also be good on pump tracks… Almost, but not quite!
Pumping your board is a motion which on flat ground is ‘left to right’ and on a pump track is ‘up and down’, and when you’re trying to use your legs to pump for speed on the rollers of a pump track, having a super twitchy board which wants to pump left to right can actually make things a fait bit harder.
Take a look at our Pump Track Skateboards page to see our top suggestions of boards for the pump track.
Are surfskates good downhill?
In a word, no.
Surfskates are great fun on flat and mellow hills, but unless you’ve got some serious skills, bravery, or both, then you’re not going to want to pick up too much speed.
Most small longboards or cruisers are totally happy rolling along in a straight line at 15mph or more, whereas surfskates can get twitchy at much above a steady jogging pace, and being higher off the ground are very hard to footbrake on.
If you’re looking to spend time carving hills, we’d recommend going for a longboard over a surfskate every time.
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I bought my first board from these folks, at 46 years old nearly a year ago.
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