Freedom is one of the most sought after human reasons and there are some sports that come close to that feeling. This is the case of surfing, which puts us in direct contact with the sea and nature, or in the absence of the sea, surfskate, its more street version.
Both sports require a lot of training and technique. In fact, one of the best ways to do it is by repeating the movement patterns, in order to gradually integrate them into our head.
In today's post we are going to talk about this sport that was born to support surfing, but little by little it becomes its complement. The Surfskate Don't miss it!
1. WHAT IS SURFSKATE: ITS TRUE MEANING AND BEGINNINGS
To talk about surfskate, we first have to talk about surfing. Surfing in Spain is relatively "new" (from a few decades ago) and has been gaining more weight in recent years.Its practice has been greatly democratized, gender barriers have been broken and the existence of surf schools has proliferated to an enormous extent. Surfing is booming on such a scale that traveling in search of the perfect wave has become commonplace and the surnames Slater and MacNamara are becoming more commonplace in sports conversation. Accompanying this exceptional practice, which limits us to living near the ocean, the need arose to simulate the movements we make when we surf, and to feel what we feel when we ride the waves and enjoy the rush of adrenaline. This need is already covered and it has a name: Surfskate.
But what exactly is a Surfskate? It is a skate that allows you to achieve practically the same sensations of surfing thanks to a special shaft. This tool is very useful to train the movements of dry surfing, because sometimes on the water it is difficult to perfect the technique. The first remnants of surfskate appear when two Californian surfers and snowboarders, David Colley and Brad Gerlach missed practicing their movements on the board during the days without waves. However, it was in 1996 when the surfskate went from being a vague idea to a fact thanks to Neil Carver and Greg Falk in Venice (California), with the invention of a revolutionary truck and its subsequent patent, thus founding the most recognized brand today. Today in the surfskate world: Carverskateboards.
2. THIS IS THE STRUCTURE OF A SURFSKATE! PART BY PART
Once again, surfing and surfskate are infinitely connected again; The board, also known as the board or deck, the main part of the surfskate to which the axles and wheels are fixed, is similar to the surfboard, and as in this one, the front part is called nose and the rear part, tail. This board is used because you don't need to push with your foot to move or generate speed. In general, they are tables of between 6 and 7 sheets of robust wood, with little flex and with very little chance of breakage. On a traditional skateboard both the tail and the nose are a little higher, however, on surfskates the tail is usually raised, although it doesn't have no it has to be.
- Front axle.
It is the axes that make the difference and bring us closer to that feeling of flying over sea water or spinning on its walls. The front axle has a system that allows it to rotate twice as much as a conventional axle thanks to springs, a different angle and a series of specific rubbers. The front axle allows us to make movements very similar to surfing. The turning dynamics of the surfskate axis allow short and maneuverable turns as if it were a surfboard on the waves, and getting you to reproduce the movements of surfing, even if you have never touched a board in your life.
- Rear axle.
The rear axle is a conventional axle, you can rescue it from your traditional skateboard or buy it without problem at any sports store.
- Distance between the axes and the table.
Interestingly, this distance is known by the name wheel, although its use has little or nothing to do with this name. It is vitally important to know the wheelbase of the board and the length of it, making a good surfskate choice is easy if you know the ins and outs of these two factors.
The ones that are in charge, logically, of helping us to move forward, to grind, to skid. They are usually medium and very soft. In this way you can make turns that simulate surfing but do not allow an unplanned skid.
Located at the top of the board, its purpose is to provide traction between the rider and the ground.
Skateboard or Surfskate bearings are a pair of metal rings with 6, 7 or 8 balls inside, protected by two thin discs. They are usually aluminum. Every skate has 8 bearings, 2 per wheel.
3. THE TRUCKS OF YOUR SURFSKATE: AN ESSENTIAL PART FOR MOVING
Each brand has its own patented surfskate truck with different turning systems that differentiates them from classic longboards. Most of these shafts are adjustable in hardness for different uses or weights and to be able to practice, improve and improve your surfing on days without waves or in cities where there are no waves. However, the brand of trucks, and of all surfskate material in general, is Carver par excellence, which is why, many times, when talking about trucks or wheels, this brand is used. The big difference between a surfskate and any other type of skateboard is in the trucks. The axes of a surfskate are capable of rotating much more than normal both horizontally and vertically. There are several types of axis, each one covers specific technical needs; We will talk about the most demanded below:
Carver's C7 Front Truck: This is the surfskate truck that offers the smoothest turning and fastest pumping. Its appearance differs greatly from the traditional long or skate truck, it has an extended oscillating arm system that is attached to the central axis and an adjustment nut that can be altered to give more or less rigidity to the trucks, thus causing greater spin. or less twist. The C7 generates a smooth, loose and flowing ride, resembling riding the waves with a big longboard surfboard or a single fin single fin board, ideal for to draw lines and work the style.
The Carver CX Axle: This carver axel offers an appearance that is almost the same to the eye as a traditional axel, yet it takes on all the features of the C7. The CX does not have an internal spring, it is designed to go faster, For those riders who seek maximum speed and response.It is a more energetic and extreme axis, which gives the possibility of making quick turns and cuts, and more abrupt maneuvers.
You get a feeling similar to riding a three fin thruster surfboard.
4. THE WHEELS: ANOTHER KEY DIFFERENCE
As for the wheels, they are defined by different sizes and different hardness. The size is defined in millimeters. Larger wheels offer more stability and are faster, and being larger, they are also softer. The larger wheels are perfect for practicing skid fear moves and for long hauls. Smaller, harder wheels are better for use in the skatepark and for jumping. The wheel durometer measures its hardness, which is classified with the letter A and is a reference for the wheel's resistance to abrasion or penetration by sharp objects. The higher the number, the harder the wheel is.
There are several types of wheels depending on the needs and style of surfskaters:
- Square edge: They provide good grip, stability and cushioning. Designed to favor wide turns. It is recommended to use them on long journeys.
- Concave surface: More adherence and grip than those with a square edge. They provide a lot of stability. Designed to practice turns of all kinds. And also recommended on long journeys.
- Beveled edge: Favor cushioning, speed and skidding. They are recommended for short tours.
- Round edge: They provide hardness and resistance. Designed for jumps and ramps. Use in Skateparks.
5. THINGS YOU SHOULD KEEP IN MIND WHEN CHOOSING YOUR SURFSKATE
Choosing the right table is not a very difficult task if you know how to answer these questions:
- Your height and weight
These parameters are related to the pressure we exert on the edges of the board and the stance (separation of the feet on the board). It is more important to pay attention to your height, the taller you are, you will need longer boards to reduce instability, but keep in mind that the smaller the board, the more turns you will make and the tighter they will be similar to a surf table.
- Your level of surfing and the boards you use in the water
If you are already a fan of skateboarding or surfing, you can opt for a wide range of surfskates. You can choose a smaller board than the one that corresponds to your height to make it more explosive and dynamic with tighter turns. Every surfboard you have at home is going to have a surfskate with a similar behavior for asphalt. If, on the contrary, you want to start in the world of surfskate, you should opt for larger boards, which will allow you to make wide and controlled turns and will offer you more stability.
- Your surf style and where you are going to use your surfskate
Finally, your surfing style determines the type of board and trucks that you are going to use: If you like to go around the city, you can opt for the C7 truck that we mentioned before and that is similar to surfing a single fin on the water . This truck is also recommended if you use longboards on the water. If you're more into fast, radical manoeuvres, then trucks like the CX may suit you. Think about your style on the water; if you like high performance thruster, short twin fin with volume for small waves, or if you prefer a board to use in the skatepark. There are countless options, and before choosing your surfskate, think about which one you will get the most out of based on your style and technique.
Also take into account where you are going to use your surfskate, if you want it to surf in a bowl, if you are going to go down the street or if you are going to get into the skatepark. Think about the type of soil and the terrain where you are going to move.If you have already practiced skateboarding or long, and want to do short tours, you can opt for small boards. If you want to ride long rides and enjoy the ride, long boards with a long wheelbase and big wheels are best.
6. A LITTLE HISTORY… THE ORIGIN OF SURFSKATE: CARVER SURSFASKATE
As we mentioned before, Carver has been the first, the most and the best known worldwide in the design and distribution of surfskates.
It has become more than just a brand for the sport because, historically speaking, it became a pioneer and an essential part of its birth.
The brand has been in the market for more than 20 years and has established itself as a leader in the sector and, in general, skaters trust it when choosing trucks, wheels and their boards.
It is the brand par excellence that builds surfboards for asphalt; they allow you to surf the streets, the sidewalks, the bowls... as if you were in the water, on a wave that never ends.
Carver sponsors great professionals Taylor Knox, Yago Dora, Courtney Conlogue, JM Cabrera or Axi Muniain.
7. THE BEST SURFSKATES YOU CAN CHOOSE
What are some of the best surfskates?
Besides Carver, there are several surfskate brands that are gaining a lot of notoriety in recent years and that offer a similar quality to the leading brand in the market. These are some of the most purchased and recommended. You choose!
Smoothstar: This Australian brand has positioned itself as one of the best on the market. His team has created a system for the board to adapt to the height, weight and surfing style of the rider.Skates are designed by and for surfers. Among its ambassadors is Filipe
Toledo: Smoothstar offers a very sensitive axis, with a spring included, also adjustable depending on the rider. We are facing a very technical and specific surfskate, managing to simulate that we are on the wall of a wave. It is a board for surfers looking for a plus of twist and sensitivity in a small space, allowing training in a small room. The best-known models of this brand are those of Filipe Toledo (HOLY Y 77) and that of Johanne Defay.
Yow: Based in the Basque Country, this brand has been in the market for more than 15 years and has become a benchmark in the world of longboarding and skateboarding. Its boards are made of Mapple wood and have a sensitive and controllable shaft. The brand has two types of shaft hardness. Yow offers a surfskate made in Spain, fast and capable of competing with the big brands on the market. The most renowned ambassador of the YOW surf skate team is the surfer Aritz Aramburu.
SwellTech Surfskate: It is a young American brand with Jamie O'Brien as the main brand ambassador. SwellTech offers an ideal product to improve technique and very sensory, it is one of the brands that transmits the most surfing sensation. It offers an axis that allows a 360º turn. The brand's skate is closer to a surf tech than a traditional truck.
Surf Skate Miller: This Cantabrian brand, located between the snow-capped mountains and the first surf reserves in Spain, has been developing skates for years. They have very aesthetic and modern designs inspired by the waves we surf, the snow we descend, the music we listen to and the beach or urban culture we breathe, which burst onto the surfskate scene. Its lXRKP Surf Truck axle simulates the operation of CX axles (Carver Skateboards). Today, they are in more than 30 countries, including most of Europe, Japan, Chile, the United Arab Emirates, Korea, among others.
8. MADRID: CITY OF SURFSKATE
The Spanish capital has a large number of skateparks. A wide range of options that extend throughout the city to the delight of skaters and surfskate fans. We leave you below some skateparks that you may not know yet:
- Madrid Río: it is one of the best known and most frequented. Located inside the Arganzuela Park, this skatepark is perfect for practicing surfskate. It has open and closed Bowls, inclined planes, downhill lanes, dunes and much more.
- Plaza Tetuán: It is one of the most popular skateparks in Madrid since it was one of the first in Spain. It is ideal for those skaters who like the Street.
- Alcobendas: It is located in the municipal sports center of Valdelafuentes (Alcobendas). It is renovated, it is one of the most frequented skateparks in Madrid. It has two deep bathtubs connected to a third, which will allow you to enjoy surfskating like a child.
9. AND BCN IS NOT LEFT BEHIND!
In Barcelona there are several skateparks that refer to the origins of skateboarding in surfing and to the movements that surfers sought to emulate on the asphalt with their boards:
Arenys de Munt: It is the first skatepark in Spain, it was built in 1979 and was dug up not long ago by a group of skaters. It has not yet been fully unearthed. It has two old-school style bowls connected to each other. They have the shape of a half sphere and do not have a copin. In addition, they have considerable depth. Part of it is on flat ground, surrounded by ramps, with an arched bar and a kind of dune with an edge for grinding.
Canyelles Skatepark: It has 3 bowls. Each of them has both depth and different lines. The former has more aggressive lines and extensions, for more advanced skaters. The second has much smoother lines, indicated for the less experienced. The third one is like a bathtub, square, and has a huge wallride and a lower part. In addition, it also has a small street area with a pyramid, bars and drawers of different shapes.
La Mar Bella: It's a giant bowl. At the entrance there is a waveramp that leads you to the bowls. On the right you will find the bowl of less difficulty, shallower and perfect for beginners. To the left you will find the deepest and most difficult bowl, for higher level skaters. In addition, it has a street area with railings and stairs.
10. BECAUSE YOU DIDN'T KNOW THE “WE ARE SURFSKATE HOTEL” WOW!
This concept of “surf house” is a brutal alternative to learn about surfing or surfskate and visit the beaches with the best waves in northern Spain. As it is a hostel in Castanedo (Ribamontan al mar).
It is organized by a team of professionals qualified in teaching surfing, with many years of experience in the best schools in the municipality.
In addition to offering accommodation for a few days, their knowledge of sports and the environment allows them to advise clients on their surfing experience.
They also have an exclusive service of surf classes to help in the initiation or evolution of the sport.
We have told you everything you need to know to be a top surfskater, so if you already surf but want to perfect your technique out of the water, we encourage you to join this dry practice; If you still haven't started in either of these two board sports, what are you waiting for?