Today’s article is on the best surf skates in the market.
I go over a few options and describe to you which are best for beginners and people getting into it. Check it out below.
Best Surf Skate
The FLOW Surf Skate Swell 32 is a pretty all-around great option. It isn’t too expensive and comes with quality components.
It’s the best choice on my list.
The Swell comes in at 32 inches in length and 10inches in width. It has 69mm wheels and has a deck made of 7plys of maple with a kicktail at the rear.
It has a slightly longer wheelbase than you’d find on standard mini-cruisers at 19inch WB. This puts the trucks directly under your feet giving you better leverage and control over the board.
The Swell has a torsion truck upfront and a normal TKP truck in the rear.
The torsion truck in front uses a spring system, where the resistance is controlled by how tight the spring is – you can adjust the tightness of the spring to have a tighter or looser feel to the ride.
This system is unique and doesn’t work the same way an RKP truck or TKP would.
It allows for even deeper, and quicker turns than normal trucks would allow.
Not too affordable, not too expensive, the Penny surf skate is a decent option. It doesn’t use a true surf skate truck as the other options do, but it makes it work.
Coming in at 29inches in length and 10inches in length, the Penny comes with its world-famous waterproof plastic deck.
As with all Pennys, the deck has a waffle pattern on top to give you the grip you need when you ride it, and because it has no rough griptape, you can also ride it comfortably barefoot – but I advise you don’t do that tbh.
Components wise, the Penny has normal TKP trucks but features a surf adapter on the front truck. This allows the front truck to articulate deeper than it usually would, allowing you to take very tight turns as you would on any other surf skate.
It also comes with a shorter wheelbase (14inches) allowing for tiger turns.
The Penny is a solid option, I think its greatest strength is that you can ride it barefoot.
Another surf skate with a surf adapter, the Z-Flex bamboo is one of the more expensive options on my list. But is it worth the money?
Coming in at 31inches in length and 7.875inches in width. It’s made with 7plys of maple. It features a functional kicktail, that has an attractive tail cutout in the shape of a swallowtail. If you do use the kicktail (doing ollies and slamming it down), expect the swallowtail to wear away.
In terms of components, the Z-flex has 63mm tall wheels and TKP trucks. It does feature a Waterborne surf adapter on the front truck to give you those quick deep turns.
For the price, I feel like you’re not getting the best deal. It goes for about $200 whereas other options cost about $30.
The Z-flex doesn’t have anything special so I feel that price isn’t justified.
The RipStik comes in at 32.2 inches in length and 10.7inches in width – the standard length for most of these surf skates.
What’s unique about it is that it uses two wheels instead of four – something common among Ripstiks.
It has the same 360degree turning caster wheels that you get on a normal Ripstik, but unlike the normal Ripstik, this deck flexes and turns closer to where your back foot goes, and this aids in getting the front to turn more.
Whilst it is cheap and affordable, it does have quite a steep learning curve.
It’s also not the most relaxing of rides as you have to actively work it to keep it steady.
It’s not a great option for people looking to ride for long periods (+10 minutes). The Ripstik simply won’t be a great fit for all.
How to Pick the Best Surf Skate
What is a surf skate exactly?
A surf skate is a type of cruiserboard that has been fitted with a really turny front truck and a stable back truck to help simulate the feel of surfing on land.
The turny front truck allows you to take very tight turns and dive into them, the way you would on a wave.
Is a surf skate exactly like surfing a wave?
No quite, but close. You can do a lot of the same things, like pumping to gain speed as you would on a surf board, and take really tight turns.
It’s very fun, but it’s not the real thing at the end of the day. It’s just something fun to do when there’s no surf.
Finally, if you do fall, the pavement isn’t as forgiving as the water.
The above said, surfers and skaters looking for a new way to enjoy skateboarding would absolutely enjoy using them.
How do they work? Why is it different from a longboards?
Longboards use the same trucks front and back. Surf skates use different trucks front and back.
Surf skates usually use a very turn front truck. And the type of front truck used is different across different brands.
Some of trucks have a spring loaded front truck that allows you to turn very deeply, others use a high-angle RKP truck with very tall bushings.
You’ll find a lot of diversity in the trucks different brands use.
The rear truck is typically a TKP truck, which doesn’t turn very quickly.
It does a good job of following the front truck, allowing you to take tight turns without the back suddenly slipping out because of lack of grip.
How much should you expect to pay for one?
You should expect to pay upwards of $150 for one. You can get some for less, but those are the low-tier options. They usually don’t feel the best underfoot.
The higher quality ones are more expensive, but they turn smother and react to your input better.
They offer a better overall experience and tend to last longer too. If you have the money, they are worth getting. Buy once or buy twice.
Can you just use an adapter?
If you already have a cruiser board, you can simply use an adapter to convert it into a surf skate.
The adapters typically go on your front truck and allow it to turn a lot more, giving you the quick turn that you need for that surf-like feel.
However, this doesn’t mean your cruiser will automatically become a great surf skate.
Most surf skates are designed from the ground up, and their components are adjusted to give them the right feel. An adapter will make your cruiser more turny, but it won’t necessarily perform as well as a proper surf skate would.
But they are a great option if money is tight and if you’re on a budget.
Which surf skate is best for you?
Surf skates are a fun way to enjoy skateboarding. They’re very playful boards and would put a smile on any riders face.
If you’re still on the fence the Flow Swell is a great all-around option for a beginner.