Deciding between a surfskate or a longboard? Depending on your end goals, your decision will look very different. This guide will help you decide which board suits you best, based on what style of riding you're after. Let's go!
What's the difference between a longboard and a surfskate?
A longboard ranges anywhere from 38" to over 50". For example, our shortest boards are the Nahoa 42" and Nightfall 42". On the other end of the spectrum, we have our Hurricane 46". If you're finding the perfect balance of portability and function, we have our Phoenix 44" and Sea Lion 44".
Conversely, a surfskate traditionally ranges from 30" to 38" long. Shorter surfskates are snappier and more reactive, while longer ones turn more gently and stably. For example, we have our shorter surfskates, the Uluwatu 32", Canggu 32", and Cloud 9 33". For gentler turning and faster pumping, our Nalu 38" V2 is an excellent addition to your arsenal of boards.
Longboards generally see more advanced deck constructs than surfskates. This is because longboards are longer and its wheels are further apart - This creates more room in the middle which sags if the wrong wood construct is used. Thus, "dampeners" are used to provide additional support, but these can add to the weight of the deck. Finding the perfect balance between stiffness and flex will provide optimal weight and durability for its rider. Our proven wood construct of vertically laminated bamboo and premium Canadian maple strikes the right balance.
On the flip side, surfskates are much smaller and given its riding style, requires more stiffness. As such, surfskates are typically made of only maple for its stiffness and durability. To take this up a notch, we only use premium Canadian maple for our surfskates.
Longboard trucks are commonly Reverse Kingpin (RKP). This means the axle nuts are facing away from each other. RKP trucks sit higher, have smoother turns and are more stable at higher speeds.
Surfskate trucks are a little more complicated. While their trucks are both Traditional Kingpins (TKP), the front truck has an additional component called a surf adaptor. Surf adaptors create an additional axis of rotation, allowing its riders to generate speed by pumping (turning left and right continuously). This also allows the smooth flowy turns you commonly see in surfskate videos.
What do you want to do with your board?
Longboards vs Surfskates for commuting
When you're commuting from point A to B, you'll want to prioritize speed and stability. This is why a longboard would be a better option for commuting with its larger foot room, stabler trucks and larger wheels.
But if you want the smooth surfskate turns to make your commute a little spicier, opt for our Nalu V2 38" Surfskate. You'll get a much stabler ride with its larger deck size, and super fast commute with its efficient pumping mechanism.
Longboards vs Surfskates for carving
Longboards are generally better for carving down mellow slopes given its extra stability. Opt for a deck with some flex to it, and larger wheels for extra grip so you don't slide out. A good option would be our Nahoa 42", Nalu V2 38", or Sea Lion 44".
For sharper, snappier turns, surfskates are perfect. The surf adaptor on their front trucks provide snappy turns that emulate surfing on land. You can also throw in slides, snapbacks and roundhouses to make carving a lot more dynamic. For this, we'll recommend our shorter surfskates, the Uluwatu 32", Canggu 32", and Cloud 9 33".
The Cloud 9 33" in action
Longboards vs Surfskates for dancing and freestyle
Dancing and freestyle tricks require deck space and kicktails. Given that traditional surfskates do not have both, longboards are the better choice. With at least 42" of space for your tricks, our longboard collection will spoil you for choice.
Longboards vs Surfskates for surf training
If you've guessed it from the name, surfskates are the obvious winner here. Our shorter surfskate line are designed to emulate shortboard surfing with aggressive manoeuvres and snaps. On the other hand, the Nalu 38" V2 emulates longboard surfing with more graceful turns and space for cross steps.
Cross steps on the Nalu V2 38" Surfskate
Ultimately, the decision between a longboard and a surfskate really depends on what you want to learn. If you've made up your mind and need help picking the perfect board model, check out our longboard guide and surfskate guide.