All Things Salty Shreds, from the Socks to the Surfskates.
The Salty Shreds Surfskate Guide
An embodiment of the relationship between surfing and skateboarding, a surfskate is a killer way to pass a flat spell, enhance your surfing, and make memories with your groms. Shred the endless concrete wave as you relish laughter, hoots, and hollers echoing from their stoked-out little souls.
For real, you can carve a surfskate with big pumps and sweet S-turns without touching your foot to the ground, replicating surf maneuvers as you snap, cutback, and layback into the transition of any angled concrete slab or bowl.
These things are sweet, so if you're new to the surf and skate lifestyle and surfskating, if you've never heard of a surfskate before, or if you want to learn more about your next favorite shred stick, here's the total rundown.
What is a Surfskate?
Let's keep it simple: a surfskate is a style of skateboard that allows for surfing-like turns and maneuvers on the land.
And here's how that's accomplished:
The Surfskate Deck
The skateboard deck is typically a surf-inspired shape, such as a squaretail (pictured), fishtail, pintail, or similar. Some surfskates are super small street shredders, whereas others are long and mellow, depending on how you wish to ride.
There's no set shape or length to a surfskate, and therefore something fit for everyone.
Small grooves are etched into the wood to accommodate slightly larger wheels than a standard skateboard, allowing you to turn hard into the rails without fear of wheel bite.
There's usually a nice lip on the tail for foot placement, and I've even seen them with traction pads! Ha.
Surfskate wheels are larger than skateboard wheels but smaller than longboard wheels, giving them a cruiser-like feel while still allowing for sick, progressive turns. They're typically on the softer side to promote grip during these surf-like turns, and if you like to powerslide a bit more, then go for a slightly harder version of a cruiser wheel.
It's the surfskate trucks that are the real personality of a surfskate…
The tight turning radius and wide range of motion are due to incredible technology and advancement of the standard skateboard truck, which is the turning devices placed on the bottom of the skateboard, attached to the deck by a mounted baseplate and also connecting to the wheels.
A surfskate truck adds a whole new dimension to this turning ability, the surf adapter allowing for an entirely new range of motion once limited only to minor side-to-side adjustments. Now, you can turn on extremely tight angles and pump on the swivel truck with ease, making it feel like a surfboard under your feet due to this free-feeling sensation and control over direction.
Some surfskate trucks are explicitly altered for this purpose, but you can also purchase a surf adapter to turn any board into a surfskate. Our surfskates feature the Carver C7 truck, the leading surfskate truck to ever see the streets.
Surfskating, Skateboarding, and Longboarding
What are the differences between surfskating, standard skateboarding, and longboarding? It's good to know, as each is unique, and this will help you learn more about what you can do with this endlessly-fun skateboard style.
Skateboarding Vs. Surfskating
With skateboarding, you can perform flip tricks, drop in quarter pipes, ollie down stairs or up curves, grind rails and ride every obstacle at the skatepark. It's the intensive, classic form of skating where creativity shines in the ability to ride concrete obstacles with style and flair, but it's not for the weak!
Skating is no joke, and learning a new trick is never easy. But that's why we love it, right?
With surfskating, you're not going to ollie your board or frontside boardslide a rail, as the board shape and fat wheels do not allow for pop. You can still rip at the skatepark, but you'll be performing turns that don't require the nose to lift off the ramp. Think pumping a bowl or slashing quarter pipe- you won't be doing much on/off the coping.
Watch the video below and you'll get a better idea of what progressive surfskating looks like.
Longboarding Vs. Surfskating
Although you can add surfskate trucks to a longer deck, there is still a big difference between the two. When longboarding, you're looking to bomb hills, do big turns, and powerslide. Surfskating? Yeah, not so much with the hills …
Surfskating and big hills do not mesh well, as the free movement of the trucks makes them susceptible to speed wobbles. Sure, you can ride a mellow hill when you know what you're doing and can control your speed, but really, surfskates are about creating your own speed via pumping on flatter surfaces.
Longboards are great for turning down hills, but the deck is too long to bank off of any transitions or turn like a surfboard, and that's where a surfskate is a little bit of everything, the best of both worlds brought to life with this killer versatility.
If you do enjoy going down hills, opt for a longer surfskate, as the more extensive deck will increase stability and accommodate a wider surface area for better balance. But be careful and never push your limits. Save bombing a legit hill for the longboards.
Bombing a Hill in Classic Longboard Style.
Surfskating for Surf Training (and Snowboarding!)
Many surfers hail surfskating as one of the best out-of-water training exercises, and I'm with them on that. Because surfskating perfectly replicates the motions of surfing, from body movements to board and foot adjustments, it's a beautiful, exciting way to enhance your surfing skill sets further.
First and foremost, it will lay the foundation of their sideways-standing board balance on a surface that feels slightly 'rolly' like a surfboard, helping them understand toe/heel rails and how they play a role in turns.
You can even plop the tiniest of groms on them to pique their interest in boardsports!!
Next, they'll be able to practice pumping on their surfskate, which requires the same movements and weight transitions as pumping down the line of a wave. Creating and maintaining speed is a critical aspect of surfing, vital before learning turns, and this is pump-training 101.
After gaining comfort in the water and surfskate, they can dial in their surfing turns by replicating these surfing movements on land transitions. This can look like riding up a slanted driveway to mimic a long cutback on a soft shoulder, learning how to use their front shoulder to control direction changes, or powersliding on a more vertical quarter pipe- just like hitting a snap on a steep lip.
Do I Have to Surf to Surfskate?
You do not have to skateboard OR surf to start learning how to surfskate! That's the beauty of it, as surfskating brings the feeling of surfing to those without access to the ocean.
Regardless of your skateboarding or surfing experience, even if you have none at all, and irrespective of your age, there is never a bad time to start surfskating!
Surfskating requires a lot of balance, so you'll just have to start slowly and simply. It won't take more than just a few sessions of practice before you are comfortable riding and pushing your board, and you'll learn how to pump your board in no time! I suggest starting with a slightly larger, wider board to help create more stability and provide a larger base as you learn, and don't be mad if you get a scraped knee or two!
10 Quick SurfSkate Tips
With three surf groms and countless hours with my feet on the grip tape, here's a few things I have learned about surfskating to help ya along the way:
Where will Your Surfskate Take you Next?
1. Never Surfskate in Wet Conditions
This can lead to rusty, sticky trucks/bearings and a waterlogged board.
2. Practice Proper Surfskate Storage
Keep your surfskate out of the weather and properly stored to get the most out of its lifetime, which is practically forever when you care for them right!
3. Don't Use WD40 On the Bearings.
If your board gets a little wet and the bearings start to stick, only use a bearing cleaner product made specifically for this purpose and not WD40, as WD40 will dry out the needed lubricant in the bearings and attract dust.
4. Always Wear Pads!
It doesn't take much to totally eat it on a surfskate. Play it safe by wearing pads, and work on passing pad-positivity to your grom!
5. Be Respectful at the Park
Skateparks are made primarily for standard skateboards, so we have to practice respect for those skateboarding 'the classic way'. Because a surfskate covers ground so quickly and aims to perform more flowing maneuvers, be mindful of other skaters and always give them the right of way.
6. Always Bring a Surfskate to the Beach!
A surfskate is one of those things I always bring to the beach. It helps keep energized kids busy, as we often switch off skating sessions for an hour on the sand, and they are the absolute best way to stay satisfied during bummer flat spells.
7. Be Creative
The best part of a surfskate is the creativity. Look for angled concrete to carve, small hills for big turns, and any other obstacle that looks like a man-made wave ready to rip. Allow your mind to turn the world into your wave park, and have fun drawing new lines down sidewalks and alleys.
8. Stomp the Shoes
Considering we often ride surfskates at the beach, and with dirt getting stuck up in our soles, it's good to give your feet a few solid stomps before stepping on the grip.
9. Clean the Grip
Speaking of grip tape, did you know that you can actually clean your grip tape? To keep the grip grippy and looking fresh, give the top of your surfskate a good clean every once in a while. It'll help you get the best out of your stick, just like applying a new layer of surf wax to your board!
10. Practice Maintenance
Be mindful of surfskate maintenance. After a few sessions, double-check that all bolts are nice and tight in place. If you want to experiment, learn how loosening and tightening your trucks affect performance as you understand what you like best.
We've curated the best surfskate Australia and the rest of the world (yes, we have international shipping!) has ever stepped foot on. In addition to our line of classic kid's skateboards, we now have two surfboard-like squaretail decks with attached Carver C-7 surfskate trucks for nonstop surfing euphoria.
Made out of Canadian maple wood and 26" rippable inches long, check out the retro 70's surfskate to kickstart your endless summer with a groovy board design.
And for those who like to show off a touch more art with a bit of old-school kombi nostalgia, you'll love our Salty Shreds Kombi Surfskate as it inspires dreams of travel while you cruise blissfully down winding sideroads. Both are available for pre-order now!
We'd love to hear what you think about them, so please, drop a comment in the comment section with your thoughts/feedback!! Where will you shred your surfskate next? We want to know!
Hello to all my salty people! Thanks for readin' my blog and for the continuous support towards our brand. Make sure to sign up to our newsletter by creating your account to stay in the loop with new releases, sales & giveaways, and all our future blog post!
Live rad, stay salty.
- Ash, Dev & The Salty Shreds Fam.