Did you know that skateboarding was actually created by surfers who were bored when there were no waves? Basically, surfing and skateboarding are very closely related and one of the best ways to practice surfing is by skateboarding. This isn’t limited to skateboarding when the waves are bad. Skateboarding with intention can actually allow you practice maneuvers and learn correct techniques before taking them to the water. But, not all skateboards are equal when it comes to surf training. So, which skateboards are best for surfers?
Traditional Skateboards versus Surfskates
The first thing to look for in a skateboard for surfers is for it to have trucks specifically designed for surf skating. The trucks of a skateboard refer to the metal components that attach the board to the wheels. Trucks come in different sizes and shapes. The main difference between surf skate trucks and traditional skateboard or longboard trucks is that surf skate trucks rotate on an additional axis.
The additional axis of rotation allows the board to aggressively pivot sideways. This sideways pivot allows the rider to use their momentum to generate speed. The sideways pivot also gives a rider an increased range of motion, allowing the rider to perform maneuvers on a tighter turning radius than a traditional board. Because of this, surf skates allow you to practice cutbacks, carves, snaps, and even aerials.
Surfskate Trucks Rotate on an Additional Axis
Best Brands of Skateboards for Surfers
The market for surf skates is ever-growing, so the best skateboard for surfers will depend on several factors including intended use, skill level, size, price, and geographic availability. Some of the most well known brands in the current market are:
What We Own
Given that we only own two Carver brand boards, we must be a bit biased. But, prior to buying these two boards, we did quite a bit of research. When deciding to buy the Carvers, we originally were leaning towards SmoothStars. The SmoothStar uses springs and this causes a more loose feeling and less stability. We originally liked that SmoothStars were well known for being extra loose, therefore allowing easier and more radical maneuvers.
However, upon further research, we actually learned that this exact fact can lead to developing poor surf habits because of how easy they are to maneuver. Basically, with a board that is more difficult to maneuver, such as the Carver, you have to learn to really properly use your upper body in connection with your lower body and push harder into turns. This more closely imitates the types of motions that are needed for surfing.
What Is Your Ultimate Intention With a Surfskate?
In other words, on a SmoothStar, it will be easier to do a snap and you will be able to do it, even if your form is not perfect. However, on a carver, it will be harder to learn to do a snap because you will need excellent form. If you develop this excellent form on land, it will more readily translate to your surfing.
So, this bears the question of what your ultimate intention with your board is. Do you want to really just use it to improve your surfing? Or, do you want to just enjoy the feeling of surfing on land and feel great doing more radical maneuvers?
We ultimately decided that we wanted to develop great form, as skateboarding is secondary to surfing for us. So, we bought the Carvers.
If you’re interested in learning more about the history of the development of skateboarding in relation to surfing, check out our beginner surf course.