How To Ride A Surf Skate

by Skate Warehouse on June 01, 2018

Surfskates are super fun boards to ride, they can be tricky at first but after a couple of goes you'll quickly progress and will be carving up the streets in no time! Read our top tips to help progress from beginner to advanced surfskater...


Surf Skate Training For Beginners

Lets tackle the basics for surfskate beginners, we will discuss:


  • How to ride a surfskate
  • What is the ideal foot and body position on the skateboard?
  • How to pump and gain momentum on a Surf Skate

With beginners and first time Surf Skate riders we always give the same mantra:

Don't skate it, SURF IT!
Where your head and arms lead, your hips and board will follow.


When you first step on a Surf Skate your first instinct is usually to ride it like a conventional skateboard, your upper body becomes rigid and your feet start to wobble, this will get you nowhere fast! New to Surf Skateboards? Check out our full range here...


How to ride a surfskate

The first thing to learn is to be loose and comfortable on the board, first standing and then rolling. From here you need to engage your surfing brain, these boards are designed to flow and turn just like a surfboard, so riding with this mindset is key. Mind surf the road ahead, look where you want to go and let your mind's eye lead the way.

Ride a Carver like a Surfboard

The ideal foot position and body posture

You will eventually find a foot position that suits you but to start, the ideal position is to have your front foot just on the front bolts and back foot in the 'pocket' of the tail. This will allow you to get the board turning and pumping. Your body posture should be relaxed, loose and with your arms out wide ready to initiate those turns.
Foot position on a Surf Skateboard


Once your foot position and body posture are correct, then you'll be able to create forward momentum, accelerating the board with a tilting, 'pumping' action from heel edge to toe edge. Remember, the 'pump' is generated from upper body rotation/movement, so lead with your head, arms and upper body to get the board moving. With practice, you'll be gliding along and pumping effortlessly along the streets without having to push!  


Surfskate Training - Advanced

Now you can generate speed by pumping, it's time to work on those advanced turns! We will discuss:

  • How to do a bottom turn and top turn.
  • How to 'Throw the fins' with a snap.
  • How to change direction with a cut back.

How to do a bottom turn and top turn

Ideally you want to perfect the bottom turn maneuver, just like surfing, it is one of the most important maneuvers to master as its the setup for pretty much every other maneuver. Start moving and draw the turn ahead in your mind. As you begin the turn, crouch down on the board with a compact posture and low center of gravity. Start leaning on the board's edge and into the turn. This action will store a load of energy in your legs ready to power the board out of the turn. As you come out of the turn gradually push up through your legs and extend your body while leaning into the turn. You should feel the board power out of the turn with speed. This will set you up perfectly to initiate a top turn or cut back.
  • Look where you want to go and lead with your upper body.
  • Crouch low as you enter the turn.
  • Exit the turn by extending your legs and push the power through to the board.

Taken directly from surfing, the top turn is the natural partner of the bottom turn. After you have powered through a perfect bottom turn you can lean on the opposite edge, open up your arms and body to perform a stylish, top turn carve! Use your forward arm and shoulder to lead the way through the top turn, open your body and arms, keep turning your head in the direction you want to go.

Remember the mantra from earlier... Where your head and arms lead, your hips and board will follow.

As you exit the top turn, remember to lower your center of gravity and body posture and look ahead for your next turn. Here it is in action, pay attention to the body posture and where he looks:


How to do a Snap

Once you have your bottom and top turns dialed you can give the 'snap' a try! The snap is another maneuver taken directly from surfing. At the top of a wave the rider performs a very sharp turn that slides the back of the board out of the water, this is known as 'throwing the fins!'.

You can perform the same maneuver on a Surf Skate, sliding the back wheels out as you perform a fast sharp top turn. As you lean into a top turn, shift more weight on your front foot allowing the back wheels to become lighter. At this point, you want to push the tail out in front of you, the wheels should screech as they slide out!

To exit the maneuver, equalise your weight over the board and crouch down looking where you are going.


How to do a Cut Back

Cut backs are a super stylish surfboard maneuver that brings the rider back to the power of the wave. On a Surf Skate the same maneuver can be performed with the same style. Start with a strong bottom turn and flow into a top turn.

Now, instead of coming out of the top turn as normal, hold on to the carve longer, follow it round so you are now riding back in the direction you started the top turn, 180°. You'll really need to use your arms and head to hold the turn for longer, keep looking round and your body will follow!

You can then throw in another bottom turn to get you riding back in the right direction.

Get inspired, you can see more Carver Surf Skate in action on their youtube channel here...

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