I’ve been surfing my entire life but always had a penchant for skateboarding.
It was not until I rode a surfskate in California many years ago that I fully began to understand the connection between surfing and skateboarding.
After a few pushes down the boardwalk at Pacific Beach, I couldn’t believe that I was generating speed for carving from heel to toe, a motion replicating surfing.
Of course, the experience was marred with numerous falls, and some bruises here and there, before I got the hang of it.
But looking back, I can see the essential role that surfskating played in my progression as a surfer.
In particular, my choice of skateboard played a crucial role in expediting the learning process.
See, I always see many wannabe skaters wanting to get into surfskating but make the mistake of choosing just any other skateboard.
I can tell you for the fact that few skateboards qualify as surfskates.
If you want a skate that emulates the experience of surfing on the street, look no further than surf skateboards.
Sometimes known as Carver boards, a reference Carver skateboard that dominated the surf market during its early years, surfskates mimic the surfing motion on land.
They’re characterized by a highly maneuverable front truck that enables riders to “pump” their boards similar to how they would go on a surfboard to gain momentum without the need of pushing their feet.
They’re more flexible than traditional boards and often rely on the riders being in tune with surfing.
The Carver boards are a law unto themselves and are suitable for riders who want to satiate their wave riding cravings.
Now, while carver’s board’s popularity is undisputedly on the rise, they’re still a niche thing, and picking the best carver skateboard can feel intimidating.
Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about that. In the guide below, we shall present you with the top five models we think are the best carver skateboards in the market.
And if you’ve time, you can also go through our best carver skateboard buying guide at the end of the guide.
Table of Contents
The Best Carver Skateboards For The Money
#1 Magneto Mini Cruiser Skateboard Cruiser - Best for Everyday Skater
Our list of the best carver skateboards starts with an option suited for the everyday skater.
It’s of small stature, but don’t judge the board by its size as it’s perfectly proportioned to help any rider hop on and start carving and street surfing.
The Magneto Mini is made to help with an easier transition from the more traditional skateboarding scene into the wonderful world of surf skating and carver boards.
Features and Benefits
On my first observation, I couldn’t help but notice magneto Mini has plenty of similarities with the Dinghy Skateboard.
I thought, was this a cheap copy or what? The deck has the same shape, the wheels are similar, and trucks look alike.
I don’t mind having Dinghy’s lesser brother added to my collection, not at all. In fact, I got even more excited about the board.
The first thing to capture my attention was a small size- aptly suiting its name, the Mini board.
See, I wanted something that would fit a city commuter’s lifestyle, and this board seems perfect.
The compact design offers a combination of easy pushing and tight turning, so I don’t have a problem making snappier turns to avoid collisions with other pedestrians or people in the ever-crowded streets.
It’s also light, useful when I’m not riding the board as I can carry it around effortlessly, without fatigue.
My son, in particular, loves the compact board because he can now carry Magneto into their classroom or even store without drawing too much attention.
It’s easy to tell Magneto Mini is built with quality craftsmanship in mind.
Magneto feels well-made and sturdy enough to take on the beatings and abuses like a champ.
For instance, my board has had a fair share of rough moments, including hard-collisions with obstacles and heart-skipping drops, and yet, all it has to show are minor scrapes here and there.
The solid maple deck construction isn’t only hard-wearing, but I love that it can support up to a weight of 275 pounds. If the deck were large, I’m confident it would accommodate my dog and me.
I’m quite happy with the size as I’m more of a snowboarder at heart but need the compatibility over having a full-sized longboard.
I’m not a big fan of longboards, either way, with the wheels sticking far out to the side, making it hard to push off.
I feel Magneto’s 27″ length deck is a happy medium between trick boards and bigger boards and will offer more control of the board and not the other way around.
The deck lacks a grip tape, but you don’t need it as the deck’s surface is fairly rough, offering a steady footing, even when the board is slippery and wet.
Another awesome design feature that isn’t always available on cruisers is the double kicktail.
This design allows for a more balanced and easier ride. Riders can also bring the board to a stop much faster than most of its competitors, making Magneto a fun alternative to the expensive carver-style boards.
Wheels and Trucks
Magneto Mini is a carver board that gets you to places.
While it’s not the best option for park skating or doing tricks, it does fine on verts and ramps.
The trucks are ultra-responsive to my carving, and the ride is pretty smooth.
Although the trucks come quite loose and a little bit squeaky, there’s nothing a little tightening and wax won’t fix.
The 60mm wheels offer a smooth-rolling performance, and with a medium-softness of 78A, they’ll smoothen the rough and patchy roads.
The only quibble I noticed with the board and had many riders complaining about is the bearings aren’t very fluid.
For the moment, they look like they’ll stop you from going fast. It’s not an immediate issue for the novices, but you’ll certainly need to upgrade later as you gain confidence.
#2 FLOW Surfskates Swell 33 - Best for Professionals
Flow Surfskates have one mission and one mission only- to recreate the feeling of surfing concrete.
The brand has a mission to bring the waves to the land and provide you with the right board to “surf” on concrete.
A case on point is the Flow Swell 33.
Inspired by the sea but made for the city, the Flow Surf brings you the experience of surfing to the sidewalks and streets.
But is it the right choice for your carving needs?
Features and Benefits
Flow Swell is an awesome, fun, and well-built product.
It offers a type of ride that is completely different from other types of skateboards and will keep you engaged for hours on end on the streets.
The board is effortless to push and maintain momentum, thanks to its length.
I’ve used it, and I can tell you that I can easily keep up with my 12-year-old teenage son on his bike and push scooter despite my age.
I’m a big fan of the 33” deck, which offers a wider, more realistic stance when carving.
While some riders prefer the shorter-length-boards such as the Magneto, Flow’s Skate deck offers a real surfing experience.
Unlike the shorter boards, Flow Skate allows riders to practice realistic high-performance surfing maneuvers effortlessly.
Of course, with such a length, expect some compromises such as less responsiveness, a bigger turn radius, and occasional pedal push.
It can be a bit squirrelly too and challenging for beginners to learn.
But, in my opinion, these can never be deal-breakers, especially if you have the patience and determination to learn.
The board is a great value pick, fun to use and an excellent surf trainer that will provide you with a true surfing experience on the street.
If you think the board’s length is only what qualifies Flow as a surfskate, then you’re mistaken.
The board flaunts FLOW technology, a proprietary design that innovates the trucks to imitate the feeling of riding a surfboard with sharp turns.
While it doesn’t make the board any snappier than the shortboards like Magneto, the unique design allows the board to wiggle in town while you’re enjoying a hyper-responsive ride.
The internal spring system mimics the ocean’s flow, enabling the 33 to do exactly what it’s supposed to do; pump and carve with the best of them.
Trucks and Wheel
Maneuvering the Flow 33 is made easier with the fully adjustable set of trucks.
Riders can adjust the spring tension to suit their size and riding preference.
Simply put, this surf skate can be made to ride just the way you want it to and can be tailored to provide you with the surf skate experience you’ve been looking for.
#3 Flybar Skate Cruiser - Value Option
Traditionally, Flybar is synonymous with pogo bars.
What you don’t know is they’ve been part of the meat and bones of the skating world for some time now.
Their skateboards have evolved to cater to the ever-changing scenes in the skate world.
So, it was only a matter of time until they unleashed their carver board- the Flybar Skate Cruiser.
It’s a more compact option than the Magneto Mini and a perfect replacement for the Penny board.
Features and Benefits
Flybar is one of the best smaller skateboards in the market, more like the Penny board, but without the cheap plasticky feel, and the Flybar is perfect.
With a modest dimension of 24 inches, the board easily fits in any suitcase or even in my lockers.
It’s ultra-light and easy to pick up, so it’s less likely to tire the riders down when not skating.
The board isn’t flimsy either, and for those who have used it, they claim it holds up well and can take beatings like a champ.
The only quibble with the board is the stock bearings seem cheap and don’t spin well.
Not a deal-breaker since you can either replace them or spend ten dollars on some speed cream.
Overall, the board works well, and I would recommend it for the experienced skateboarders looking for something to travel with or even commuters going to and from work.
It’s also easy to manage, so it would also teach a kid how to skate, but there’re cheaper options for learning.
Flybar is our favorite, and the deck is one reason we choose the board.
The maple deck is sturdy as it gets, offering unmatched sturdiness, perfect for riding even at high speeds.
It’s chic too, and the sunset graphic looks great under the grip tape cut-out.
Our favorite feature, though, is the cambered design.
The board is slightly curved on both ends, and I find this beneficial for several reasons.
First, it creates a pocket-like structure on both ends, so your feet are “locked” in the deck, and this is essential when carving as you’re less likely to slip off.
The slight single kicktail on the deck also improves the board’s overall usability, making it even easier for beginners to ride comfortably.
Finally, the gripped board ensures you stay on the board, regardless of the obstacles you come on the road.
Trucks and Wheels
Carving on the Flybar is a real joy, thanks to the ABEC 9 bearings and 60mm wheels.
The bearings aren’t the best we’ve come across but will still provide you with decent turning maneuverability.
Flybar’s responsiveness is also quite awesome and will let you make the quick, snappy turns effortless.
On the other hand, the 60mm with a medium-softness of 78A is the perfect pick for riding on bumpy roads.
They’re not fast, but I love how they absorb the road’s shocks and vibrations and smoothen the patchy paths.
#4 Penny Ocean Mist High Line Surfskate - Best for Speed
There’s a lot to love with the Penny Boards, but this option will enthrall the speed freaks.
Penny, with a short deck, and hard-small wheels, is tailored for providing users with agility.
It’s particularly a great option for riding over the hard concrete and at high speeds.
But is it the right pick for you?
Features and Benefits
Penny is a medium-length surf skate designed for use in a variety of environments.
The boards are small, light, and can fit in most backpacks, so it’s an inspiring option for those who need something discreet.
For riders like me, the compact design means I can bring the skate to the tram or even to the store without anyone noticing.
For the kids, they’ll be glad they’ve nothing heavy to lug around with when they’re not riding the board.
Overall, I feel this board would make the perfect companion, whether on a college campus or your next vacation.
And while still at the design, we couldn’t help but notice the Penn has the largest collection of colors and styles.
I love the ocean blue color because it exactly mimics the water in the ocean and the surfing action.
Penny High-Line Surfskate’s deck is designed to replicate the feeling of surfing in the street.
For starters, it’s large enough to offer a sure footing even when carving at high speeds.
With a deck of 29 inches, it has better rail control and strikes a balance between ease of use and responsiveness.
It’s not as snappy as the Magneto or Flybar but turnier than the Flow Swell and other longer boards.
It’s more stable, though, a critical feature for beginners when performing even carving tricks at high speeds.
Another observation I made with the board is its plastic construction. We first had our fears regarding the overall sturdiness, but our fears were unfounded once we put them to the test.
It’s reliable even when used on rough terrains, and even better, it has no flex as other plastics so that it can tolerate high-speed riding.
Penny Ocean is designed to further the skill progression, thanks to the Waterborne patented adapter.
The technology mounts between Penny’s board deck and front truck to replicate the perfect feeling of surfing the street.
Riders will now enjoy an amazing turning radius and better control of the board, even when carving.
It’s easy to see why Penny Ocean is such a popular option for speed freaks.
First, it has small 69mm wheels with a super-hardness of 83A.
The wheels have the right specifications for speed and will provide you with the adrenaline you need for racing.
Unfortunately, they’re not comfy and tend to transfer much of the vibrations from the ground up. It’s not a problem, though, if you’ll be skating on relatively smoother ground.
The second reason we think the board is suited for speed is that it lies lower to the ground, and the concave design helps to promote greater stability, even at high speeds.
#5 FLOW Surfskates Nemo - Best for Training
Our final pick is yet another option from Flow Boards, the Nemo.
Flow Board is relatively new in the market, but they’ve stamped their identity in the surf skate scene for the short time they’ve been in existence.
We already gushed about how fantastic Flow is and their ethos and such, so we shall pass that one.
We’re, however, going to tell you about Nemo and how much we love this model.
Nemo has plenty of similarities with the Flow Swell, but it also has unique characteristics that set it apart from its older sibling.
Features and Benefits
My first observation with Nemo is it’s built with quality and superior craftsmanship in mind.
All Nemo’s design components speak volumes about the overall quality, and there’s a lot to love about the board.
The solid wood construction is sturdy as it gets, and I love that it can take several knocks and falls here and there without losing its integrity.
It also has a nice weight capacity and can comfortably accommodate up to 300 pounds.
One of Nemo’s best features is probably the deck.
For one, the board flaunts a reliable wood construction that feels sturdy and with a fair amount of flex.
Riding on the board doesn’t feel wobbly. Instead, you get a smooth and delightful experience, free from bending or any rocking.
The second element we love with the board is its dimensions.
At a length of 29 inches, Nemo’s deck allows for a wider, more realistic surf stance.
The board feels like a shortboard and will help you realistically practice high-performance shortboard surfing maneuvers.
On the other hand, the 10-inch width offers riders plenty of room on the grip-tape-covered deck. Here, I found it easy to find my riding style and skate groove while surfing the streets.
Trucks and Wheels
Nemo is a front truck monster that will have you carving like you were born to do it.
The trucks are specifically designed to help with easy maneuvering and delivering a responsive riding experience.
On the other hand, the single kicktail provides all the control you need to keep you on balance, even at high speeds.
Best Carver Skateboards Buying Guide
In the guide below, we shall look at everything you need to know when selecting the best carver skateboard for your needs.
But first, let’s understand what a Carver skateboard is.
What is a Carver Skateboard?
The Carver surfskate is a board with patented truck geometry that creates thrust and deep rails to yield a carve similar to a surfboard.
The special geometry truck mounted in the front of a skateboard makes it more turnier and responsive than a regular longboard truck.
Trucks are probably the essential elements in a carver board, and in the section below, we shall highlight the different types of carver trucks.
These dual-axis sets are known for their fluidity.
They replicate the feeling of riding a single-fin board, delivering the lateral sway you get when pumping for speed.
The dual-axis design offers more flexibility, allowing the riders to adjust both axes independently for fine-tuning.
While it’s bulkier than the CX truck, the internal spring system allows for a wide range of adjustments.
The trailing arm, alongside the wide adjustment range, makes the truck more qualified for speed and fluid surfing.
The CX is a single-axis truck featuring a pivot pin for allowing snappy turns.
Riding the board feels like using a thruster board and replicates the quick response you feel as you pump for speed.
The CX only permits adjusting a single axis before a different shape or hardness of bushing is needed.
Generally, the CX trucks are the same weight as a standard truck. Their lighter design makes the trucks suitable for airs, transitions, and skate parks.
A carver’s board length determines the overall riding experience and, to a large extent, the suitability of the board to your riding needs.
-For instance, mini-length boards offer quick turns, are easier to turn, and snappier. They are ideal for use in tight spaces where easy pumping and tight cutbacks are desired.
Generally, mini boards range between 25.5″ to 29″, with the short ones being looser while the longer ones being stable.
–The short-length boards offer a combination of tight turning and easy pushing.
They’re ideal for use in everyday conditions, especially where pumping and cutbacks are mixed in with pushing and surfskating.
The difference between the mini boards are short-length boards is minimal, and the small changes correspond to small changes in the performance.
Generally, shortboards range from 30″ to 33″.
–Medium Length boards are stable and offer a faster pumping experience.
While they need more effort to initiate a pump, they get going quite fast.
They’re preferred for longer distances, where pushing for traveling is desired.
The longer the board, the stable it is, and typically, medium boards range from 34″ to 36″.
-Longer length boards are stable than medium length options, flowier, and offer an even faster pumping experience.
Unfortunately, they don’t turn as easily as other shorter boards but have a higher pump speed.
They’re preferred for cruising and easy travel pushing because of their stability.
Generally, most of the longboards range from 38” to 43”.
Beyond the types of trucks and board’s length, there’s another consideration to keep in mind when choosing the best Carver skateboard.
Some of these include:
Here, trucks on each board can be adjusted to feel tighter or looser to feel equivalent to different lengths of the board.
The general rule, though, is shorter boards offer tighter turning, while longer boards have a bigger arc of the turn.
Generally, smaller riders do best on smaller boards, while bigger riders are best suited for bigger boards.
However, this is only but an average as the board’s choice truly depends on how you want to ride and the terrain you’ll be skating.
Level of Experience
If you’re a surfer looking to practice cutbacks and pumping, it’s easier to learn riding a shorter board, then lean towards choosing a board that fits the size you wish to learn for.
This way, you can practice on land, so when you move to a shorter surfboard, you’ll have the muscle memory of a snappier ride.
Mini boards are suitable for riding small spaces at low speed but may feel squirrely at higher speeds.
If you are riding mostly in skate parks, you’ll want a Transition model featuring a nose kick to help you lock-in.
Wrap Up: Our Choice
Our list of the best Carver skateboards had some pretty amazing options, but ultimately, the Magneto Mini Cruiser Skateboard Cruiser is our winner.
We feel this board has everything you need to help you with carving.
It’s small and compact, and while this may limit its overall stability, few boards can match Magneto’s responsiveness.
The board is perfect for making the quick and snappy turns to avoid collisions and has a shorter turning radius, perfect for carving.
Even better, the board’s usefulness goes beyond carving. Despite the size, the board’s maple construction is ultra-stable and offers reliable performance.