Is it a surf? Is it a skate? It's a surfskate!

Long touted as the must-have for dry land surf training and marketed hard in that direction, and they do help. But if you surf anything like me, then much more time is spent paddling, duckdiving and starfishing on the reef than actually up and pumping down the line...

What we have realised, however, is that despite the fact I'm still terrified to paddle out as soon as it gets hollow and overhead, surfskates are a whole ton of fun in their own right!

We've played hard with these and we know what makes them go! Whether it be for deep-winter sessions in the shop carving super tight figure-8s or a summers cruise with wide carves down the bike path, these things will do it.

The following is a list of favourites from both us at Vandem and from our customers over the past year.

  1. Arbor Tyler Warren Carver C7 Surfskate
  2. Santa Cruz Classic Dot Pig Carver CX Surfskate
  3. Loaded Bolsa Carver CX Surfskate
  4. Carver 37" Bing Continental C7 Surfskate
  5. Carver Mini Series

And for good measure, some of our frequently asked questions here in the shop:

How do we review these surfskates?

Each of the surfskates on this page has been put through a rigorous testing procedure by us here at the shop, taking into consideration several factors such as turning circle, stability, ideal use, dimensions, speed at which we can get to the post office and back, and most importantly how much it makes us grin 🙂

The boards we've reviewed here aren't better or worse than each other, they all have unique strengths and weaknesses!

Read on to see our favourites.


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How do we review these surfskates?

What's the best surfskate for me?

The best surfskate for you is going to depend on your height and weight and most importantly how you intend to ride it.

Be it pump track, swishing round a bowl, sending some burt slides hard up a bank or dreamy wide carves, then we can help you pinpoint which board is right for you. 

Generally we’d advise the shorter and lighter you are the shorter the board and vice versa. However, if you’re light as a feather and love the idea of wide winding California style carves then consider a longer board. Basically, think about how you would purchase a surfboard and follow similar principles, it’s not necessarily a question of level, but intended style.

For surf training we recommend Carver with a C7 truck system. With the C7 truck you’ll be able to make tighter turns than other systems. If you’d like to travel longer distances or just have fun in the city we recommend a Carver CX truck system

You can read more in depth about surf skate trucks in this previous article


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What's the best surfskate for me?

Which Surfskates do the Vandem team ride?

Have a read below for Rich, Matt and Danielle's trusted steeds...

Rich: ARBOR TYLER WARREN CARVER C7
Rich says: ”The C7 truck means I can carve super tight lines in the shop in the depths of winter”

Matt: SANTA CRUZ CLASSIC DOT PIG CARVER CX

Matt says: “It fits great under my size 11s and when I pick up some speed it reminds me just how bad at surfing I really am”.

Danielle: LOADED BOLSA CARVER C7

Danielle says: “If you’re smaller than the average bear then a wide deck is not great for tiny feet - you want to be able to feel the rails with toes and heels so this board is great!”


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Which Surfskates do the Vandem team ride?

Arbor Tyler Warren Carver C7 Surfskate

The Arbor Tyler Warren is a real favourite here at Vandem, with a compact shape and equipped with the epicly deep turning Carver C7 trucks, it makes a huge amount of fun out of small spaces. Driveways, carparks, and that little bank you spotted in the park are all fair game!

The downside is that its a bit of a handful out in the big wide world, so if you want a board you can use to easily get from A to B, we'd advise looking at the more stable Carver CX or Landyachtz surfskates

The deck

The Tyler Warren is super compact at 29" long, but makes great use of its size with a fat squared off nose that lets you really get your weight over the front, and a healthy 9.8" width means this board feels great even under larger feet.

Wheels, Trucks, & Bearings

Carver pretty much invented the surfskate category, and thier C7 truck is the ultimate choice for a snappy slashy board that lets you take crazy lines and carve super deep.

Arbors 65mm 78a Easy Rider wheels give grip in abundance, and the stock bearings roll fast and use double rubber seals, so should last well.

How does it ride?

Increidibly deep carving and ready to slash up even the smallest of spaces, the Arbor Tyler Warren is sure to put a smile on your face

The Arbor Tyler Warren Carver C7 Surfskate is good because...A Arbor Tyler Warren Carver C7 Surfskate might not be right for you because...
  • It's shape is super functional, all the space where you need it and none where you dont.
  • Carver C7 trucks give a deep carving feeling thats hard to beat.
  • It's a high quality package at a great price.
  • It's yellow, which is the same colour as bananas, our favourite source of potassium.
  • You're looking for something to push around town
  • You're new to the world of skating and want a more stable feeling
  • You hate yellow

Santa Cruz Classic Dot Pig Carver CX Surfskate

Featuring Santa Cruz' iconic graphic, this board makes a nod to the brands heritage, whilst embracing the glorious modern world of surfskates!

The deck

This deck is your typical old school shape, with a fat surfy shape making it a wide ride! A big squared off kicktail and small but functional nose, its ready for the streets or the skatepark.

Wheels, Trucks, & Bearings

Carver's CX trucks are great for travelling longer distances or just having fun in the city.

The biggest wheels that come on a surfskate, so if you're really keen on rolling super smooth, this might be the one for you.

How does it ride?

The Classic Dot Pig Carver... a surfskate that ticks all the boxes from Santa Cruz. All the basic ones at least. Fat surfy shape, check. Big grippy wheels, check. Carver trucks, check. Super imaginative graphic... well ok, you can't have everything. And logo graphics are pretty classic anyway!

The Santa Cruz Classic Dot Pig Carver CX Surfskate is good because...A Santa Cruz Classic Dot Pig Carver CX Surfskate might not be right for you because...
  • You want to hit the skate park or pump track.
  • You're looking to throw some tricks into your surfskating.
  • You want to travel or commute with your surfskate.
  • You have small feet (it's very wide)
  • You want a flat land surf simulating experience.

Loaded Bolsa Carver CX Surfskate

Designed in a collaboration between Loaded and Carver, The Bolsa combines Loaded construction and concave technology with Carver trucks to bring good feelings to the next level.

The deck

Mellow concave and rocker provide a comfy platform, while the kicktail and wheel-arches give you that bit of extra tactile feedback to lock you in and know exactly where your feet are at all times. You can really throw this one around!

Wheels, Trucks, & Bearings

The Bolsa comes set up ready to rip with super grippy and fast rolling 77a 4president wheels from Orangatang, and has the standard Carver bushings replaced with high rebound Orangatang Nipples for ultimate fast pumping fun times.

How does it ride?

The Bolsa gives a really premium surfskate experience, with top quality components normally reserved for aftermarket upgrades, you wont be left searching for any more performance!

The Loaded Bolsa Carver CX Surfskate is good because...A Loaded Bolsa Carver CX Surfskate might not be right for you because...
  • Highest quality components
  • Great concave and wheel arches
  • Confidence inspiring size
  • Premium quality comes at a price, some of our other surfskates are a bit more affordable
  • If you want something super seurfy, look to the Bolsa C7 rather than CX

Carver 37" Bing Continental C7 Surfskate

Based on Tyler Hatzikians classic '777' Nose rider surf shape, a combination of classic smooth trimming with responsive carving. We'd say that the surfskate version does very much the same.

The deck

The Carver 36.5" Tyler 777 C7 is the longest surfskate in our range. and at 10" wide it's one of the widest too, great for a taller skater or somebody with a wider stance,

Wheels, Trucks, & Bearings

Carver C7 trucks, 70mm 78 wheels, and sealed Abec 7 bearings will keep your rolling fast and smooth. The C7 trucks on this board work well with the longer wheelbase to allow a wider stance than on many surfskates, great for a taller skater or surfskate newbie looking for some added stability,

How does it ride?

The long length of this deck means you can really enjoy big laid out carves, and put power down to build up speed and really feel the momentum of the board under your feet. The length will even let you get your cross-steps going on this board. Go easy, mind, it's still got Carver C7s on it! But hey, if you can cross-step this board then your actual longboard will feel totally planted under your feet in the water!

The Carver 37" Bing Continental C7 Surfskate is good because...A Carver 37" Bing Continental C7 Surfskate might not be right for you because...
  • Big deck, big fun!
  • It's more stable than a shorter wheelbase alternative.
  • Theres room for some footwork.
  • If you want the turniest surfskate you can find.
  • If you're a smaller skater with a short stance.

Carver Mini Series

For the young guns there's no need to look any further than the Carver Mini Series. Coming in at 26", 27" and 28" they're super short, light and agile, perfectly suited to kids looking to get their eye in to deep carves and pumping down the line.

The deck

Alongside the small size, the smaller boards in this range are also pressed with only 6 plies of maple - one less than the standard 7 ply skateboard construction.

That means they're lighter still and even for the little ones, will have a really comfy bit of flex to them.

Wide shapes and epic graphics finish them off - whichever rack these are on in the shop tends to get the most attention.

Wheels, Trucks, & Bearings

It's impossible to write about the components of these boards without mentioning the best, most awesome attention to detail: They've put soft bushings in them!

This makes all the difference when it comes to lighter riders being able to have fun - or even turn at all.

This really sets Carver apart from anything else on offer.

With Carver C5 trucks (also shorter than the CX to make it easier for smaller legs) and Carvers own Roundhouse wheels, you can't really go wrong.

Hold one in your hands at your peril - you'll probably leave with it under your feet!

How does it ride?

Gentle flex, low to the ground, super light and turny... it's a perfect surfskate wrapped up in a small package.

The lower trucks also make it more than possible to take these into the skatepark and learn to ollie and trick them.

About as versatile as it gets for a surfskate!

The Carver Mini Series is good because...A Carver Mini Series might not be right for you because...
  • You're under 13 years old and you really want a surfskate
  • You love surfing and want to practise as best you can on the flat days
  • Hollow waves > homework
  • Shredding turns > sitting in class
  • You're an adult - get a bigger one!
  • You're more keen to go down hills - longboards will be better for that
  • You dislike sharks, zappers and tikis

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