What surfskate should I get?

kids choosing skateboard

If you’ve read our previous article on what a surfskate is, you might be interested in getting one for yourself now. But how do you choose your first surfskate? Depending on your build and objective, the kind of surfskate you choose will largely differ! In this blog, you’ll learn how to choose your deck size, concave, wheelbase, wheels and many others.

Deck length and wheelbase

Let’s start with the most noticeable aspect of your surfskate: the length of your deck. A general guide is, the taller you are, the longer your deck should be. Conversely, the shorter you are, the shorter your deck should be. We’ve tested various deck lengths and we recommend sticking to the 30”-35” range for maximum efficiency

Height

Weight

Surfskate Length

160cm-181cm

50kg-85kg

30”-32”

165cm-187cm

60kg-90kg

31”-33”

175cm-193cm

70kg-100kg

32”-35”


Why is this so? A shorter deck means a narrower wheelbase (distance between the inner bolts of your trucks), which gives a snappier carve due to the tighter turning radius. A wheelbase that’s too short results in an extremely unstable ride, while a wheelbase that’s too long decreases your pumping efficiency.

If you’re getting a surfskate for surf training, your wheelbase also depends on your style of surfing. Generally, you’ll want your stance on your surfskate to match your stance on a surfboard. For shortboard surfers, you’ll want a wheelbase that’s approximately your shoulder length (or just a tiny bit longer). Longboard riders will want a slightly longer wheelbase than that.

If you really wish to dive deeper into getting the wheelbase exactly perfect for you, here’s a formula from reddit user radioregime. “A handy rule of thumb to calculate an approach wheelbase for you is to take your inner-leg seam (in inches) divide by 2 and add one (inch) ... with a tolerance of +/- 1/2 inch. Target wheelbase = Inner-leg Seam/2 + 1 (+/- 0.5) . For example, my inner-leg seam is 30 inches; dividing that by 2 to give 15 inches, and add 1 for a final result of 16 inches. So, I should be looking for a wheelbase that’s between 15.5 inches and 16.5 inches.”

Deck shape, width and concave

Surfskates come in many different shapes, and we love all of them. Deck shape is a personal preference and does not really affect your performance. However, width and concave play a bigger role.

You’ll want a deck that’s wide enough to fit your feet, and that usually ranges from 9-9.5” and above. Any deck narrower than that will risk your feet slipping off and you getting seriously injured - unless you have really small feet that can fit onto a deck that’s narrower than 9”! 

surfskate concave deck
Source: Parade World

Asides from width, concaves also determine your riding style. Surfskate concaves can vary from a completely flat board to a very aggressive nose and tail with a u-shape concave sideways. If you’re planning to take your surfskate to the skatepark, we’d recommend a more aggressive concave to keep your feet locked in. On the flip side, an aggressive concave can be uncomfortable if you’re looking to just cruise around on your surfskate. If you’re cruising, a mellow concave with a raised kicktail will more than suffice.

Wheels

As with deck shape and length, your riding style will decide what kind of wheels you need for your setup. Skatepark setups gravitate towards smaller and harder wheels - around 60mm diameter and 80A durometer. For cruising, you’ll want medium to large wheels which are softer - around 70mm-80mm and 78A durometer. The table below will show you a very generalized view of how it affects your riding.

Aspect

Smaller/Harder wheels

Bigger/Softer wheels

Acceleration

Higher

Medium

Top speed

Medium

Higher

Stability

Low to Medium

High

Sliding

Easy

Medium

Besides size and hardness, the shape of your wheels matter too! Wheels often come in two shapes (or lip profiles) - square lipped or round lipped. Square lipped wheels have a larger contact patch with the ground hence giving you more grip while making sharper turns. Round lipped wheels have less contact patch and hence require less effort to break into slides - but this also makes it feel less stable.

TLDR; What surfskate should I get?

For the TLDR folks, here’s a quick summary. Your surfskate setup will largely depend on your build and riding style. More aggressive riding styles will generally gravitate towards a deck with more aggressive concave, and wheels which are harder and smaller.

If you’re just starting out, we’d recommend you get a deck with comfortable standing room for your feet to be at least shoulder length apart. Apart from this, we’d also suggest you get medium-large wheels which are softer for better stability.

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