Surf Training Products
Skateboards To Help Your Surfing
Lets face it, you can't surf all the time, but you can still improve your surfing with these skateboards that ride like surfboards. Each one of these boards brings a different approach to making a skateboard with characteristics that make it like a particular surfboard. So figure out what you want to improve in your surfing and go get yourself one.
To compile this list SurfScience reached out to the top manufacturers of skateboards. All boards were ridden on loan by the entire SurfScience team, so all review notes take into account a range of skill levels.
Apex 37 by Original Skateboards
Rides Like: Performance Fish or Micro Shortboard
Works On: Timing, generating speed with your hips
Best Ridden: Parking lots and parking structures
Notable Feature: Spring-Loaded Truck System
Most skateboards ride best when your weight is on your front foot. The unique truck design of the Apex 37 allows you to ride with weight on your back foot, like you do when surfing. That may not seem like a big deal, but when hopping between boards it was always funny to watch a tester get on the Apex and take a fall from riding it improperly.
This board can be ridden very loose without the wheels biting on the deck which will allow you to make tight arches. The spring loaded trucks kick back after you have laid into them which is good for generating speed on flat land, but can get hairy once you get above 15mph.
Carveboard by CarveUSA
Rides Like: Shortboard or Gun
Works On: Bottom turns, releasing speed from turns
Best Ridden: Big hills at least 3 or 4 lanes wide
Notable Feature: Air Filled & Adjustable Tires
There is nothing else like the original Carveboard. There is a reason the ads show professional surfers riding them and that is because the pros will do ads for a few free boards.
This board has tires, not wheels. They are rubber and air filled which allows you to adjust the pressure to increase the speed the board will ride at. You will want to make sure you start at a low pressure though, because the board can easily achieve speeds of 35 to 40 mile an hour while continuing to ride as smooth as morning glass.
The most surprising thing we found with the Carveboard was that it really is usable by riders of all skills. The tires are set wide apart and so beginners will not run into many circumstances where the board shoots out from under them as they first try to stand on it.
Surfstik by CarveUSA
Rides Like: High Performance Surfboard
Works On: Generating speed, timing
Best Ridden: Rolling terrain or flat roads with slanted driveways
Notable Feature: Cone Shaped/ Hollow Wheels
Sometimes you don't have a hill but you want to carve. That is when the Carveboard's little brother, the Surfstik comes in handy. It was designed with the same concept but in a smaller package. It offers the same benefits in terms or duplicating the movement of a performance surfboard but allows the rider to use the board in a variety of situations. mainly at speeds of less than 20mph which is required for the bigger Carveboard to really come alive.
Looking at the design the wheels are set far apart and the trucks are wider than the board. This increases the stability of the board and will allow even beginner skateboarders to hop on for the first time with ease. Due to the placement of the wheels though, it is impossible to make pivotal turns by stepping on the back of the board, this forces you to work on your carving abilities in every situation.
The downside to this board is that it is a surfing trainer, not a skateboard, and so it is not the board for you if you are looking to skate around for transportation. The wheels are set wider than the deck and so you run the risk of clipping your foot and due to the looseness of the truck system, it is somewhat difficult to push for a long distance. The Surfstik is made for carving and offers the best package for training for those that are seriously interested in a board for that.
Ceviche by Loaded Skateboards
Rides Like: Retro Fish
Works On: Staying centered over the board
Best Ridden: Inclines, bowls & concrete waves
Notable Feature: Recipe for Ceviche on the deck
Ceviche is food dish made with fish and so this board, that rides like a fish surfboard, fits the name. It is similar to it's sibling the Dervish but has a few features that make it stand out. The main difference is the shorter body and kick tail. These allow the board to turn on a tighter radius and open up a new world of tricks.
Our riders picked the Ceviche as the favorite for any bowl and inverted conditions. The ability to turn quickly and pivot really allow the board to stand out. The kick tail was also a nice safety net for those riders that are used to having a pivotal turn in their arsenal, but since surfboards don't have big kick tails, we tried to stay off of it during the tests.
Much like when riding a retro fish, you will end up keeping most of your weight above the board and you will want to stay low during turns to keep the board under you. Since this board is short, it is also a good trainer for those of you with a bull-like wide legged stance. It will force you to bring your feet together, which is necessary for you to excel at surfing.
Dancer by Loaded Skateboards
Rides Like: Longboard or Noserider
Works On: Foot movement
Best Ridden: Slight hills and wide roads
Notable Feature: 55" Deck!
Dancing on a longboard is a lot of fun. If you don't believe me, Google "Longboarding Sun Dried Tomatoes" and you will see what I am talking about.
The Dancer was the big surprise of the test. The board is huge and looking at it you would think it would have a hard time turning, but it actually turns really well. Being big the Dancer has a lot of glide, much like riding a heavy surfboard, once you get speed going the board will carry for a long time.
The exciting part of riding the Dancer was the ability to walk the deck. It is not quite the same as walking on a longboard surfboard but it does allow you to practice moving your feet while also controlling a moving board. It is great for spins, quick trips to the front and back as well as mid turn cross steps.
Keep in mind though, the board is really big at 55" tall. That's bigger than a lot of you groms. So it's not super convenient to take around and might not be the best board for you if you are only going to have one board. That is unless you are really into dancing and walking the nose. If however, you have a few skateboards, this one is a great board to add to the taller end of your quiver.
We had the Dancer on loan from Loaded, but there is no way we are giving it back. It is too much fun. If you can grab a hold of one, I think you will agree, it adds a whole new element to longboarding skate sessions. But beware, this board will get you pumped on walking the deck, and might cause some shortboarders to undergo life changing events.
Dervish by Loaded Skateboards
Rides Like: Hybrid Thruster
Works On: Balance, generating speed
Best Ridden: Anywhere
Notable Feature: Drop-Thru Truck System
You've probably seen the "Whirling Dervish" video on YouTube, and if not.. stop reading this and go watch it! The Dervish scored highest overall and was picked by the SurfScience team as the best all around board. It is designed to be a standard carving board but is easily used for downhill and sliding situations as well. It is fairly compact and easy to carry around to class or the store.
The Dervish ended up being a good go to board in new situations. We tested the boards in a variety of circumstances, from hills and parking structures to storm drains and carving bowls and the Dervish was a safe bet in any of them.
If you can only buy one skateboard and are looking for something that you can use in many different circumstances like improving your surfing and cruising to class, the Dervish is worth taking a look at.
Do you know of a skateboard that can help surfers that you think should be on this list? Email us at team [at] surfscience.com and let us know.