The global skateboard market has expanded to an estimated $2.1 billion industry. This provides a wide selection of options when purchasing surf skateboard/longboard decks, trucks, riser pads, or wheels/wheelbase. This can provide the best experience for ramp, bowl, cruising, downhill, or freestyle skating whether the rider is a beginner or expert. The options might seem unlimited at first when trying to select the right skateboard brand.
It’s advisable to consider surf skate companies like Carver, which has been on the market for 25+ years. What’s the brand all about? It’s known as a pioneer of “surfskate” that combines the best features of surfing and surf skating. The company also produces the patented Carver C7 and Carver cx truck systems,which offer more flexibility. You can also include Carver Roundhouse Wheels/wheelbase to your setup for outstanding grip. This comprehensive Carver skateboards review offers you the chance to learn about Carver’s features, pros, and cons.
About Carver Skateboards
Carver is best known for the development of “surfskate.” This type of surf skateboarding creates the experience of “surfing” the street or “sidewalk surfing.” This niche of the board sport recreates the movements and feel of surfing. Surf-skating started as a way for surfboarders to pass the time when waves were too strong or low, then evolved into one of the favorite pastimes for skaters and surfers.
Carver is often considered the inventor of surfskate. The Los Angeles County, California-based company was founded in 1995 when surfers Neil Carver and Greg Falk were unable to enjoy summer surfing because of flat waves.
Neil and Greg first invented the first-ever surfskate board Carver C7 truck. This allowed them a better experience when carving. Carver tweaked the units because ordinary trucks caused too much instability on the skateboard.
How is the Carver skateboard truck different? The company redesigned classic trucks to provide a better experience for surfskates. This R&D resulted in the Carver C7. The truck changes featured two torsion axles with an added spring.
This was a key feature that distinguished the Carver skateboard from other products which claimed to provide a surfskate experience. However, unlike Carver, it was a marketing gimmick by the competitors that featured surf-inspired graphics with the same truck that dated back to the 1960s.
In fact, the surf community is more closely involved with Carver’s product development than other brands like like Swelltech. The company was the official surf trainer of several international surf teams for the 2020 Summer Olympics. Carver made their skateboard products and accessories available in 60+ countries.
While the company’s high-end build quality products also have premium prices, many industry experts argue you get your money’s worth.
Quick Overview of Carver Skateboards
Carver surfboard skate decks are often considered among the best options for surfskate decks and trucks. This is something due to factors including their:
The Carver skateboard company offers a wide of deck and truck lineup so it’s critical to determine which ones are ideal for your skateboarding based on factors like skill level, riding goals, and riding surface.
In terms of its brand/product lines of decks, Carver offers 20+ models. The general categories in terms of size/length and skating style.
Carver boards are available in the following sizes/lengths:
Mini Carver Skateboards (25.5” to 29”)
The Mini Carver board is designed for fast/easy pumping, fast turning, and sharp carving in small areas such as driveways and parking lots. They’re also more ideal for smaller riders than some other boards. Like when selecting surfboards, a shorter board provides more flexibility but less stability.
The mini board includes:
- Bureo “The Ahi” 27”
- Channel Island Pod Mod 29 25”
- Mini Simms 27.5”
- Swallow 29”
- Tye Stick 25.5”
Short Carver Skateboards (30” to 33”)
In terms of surfing equipment, this short board is similar to regular thruster surfboards. These types of surfskates are for mixed-type skating such as tight carving and surf-style pumping with short-distance cruising and normal pushing.
The variations within this size range provide slight yet noticeable effects related to increased responsiveness versus stability. For example, if you’re a larger rider or prefer stability versus looseness then this size range is ideal for you.
Some Carver board models that fall within this range include:
- Firefly 30.25”
- Greenroom 33.75”
- Knox Quill 31.25”
- Oracle 31”
- Point Break 33.75”
- Proteus 30”
- Resin 31”
- USA Booster 30.75”
- USA Thruster 32.5” (Resin)
- Yago Skinny Goat 33.75”
Medium Carver Skateboards (34” to 36”)
This size category is a good option for pushing and long-distance cruising when you need more speed and stability. Long surfskates are tougher to pump, which requires body movement that’s tougher and longer-lasting. It’s thus a more challenging way to move the board without pushing first.
What are key benefits of a mid-size surfskate-board? You can pump the Carver board at higher speeds versus a shorter board. When they reach such speeds the decks are more stable. This makes them a better option for long-distance pumping.
Here are some of the best options for this size category:
- Haedron nº9 35”
- Tyler Riddler 35.5”
Park and Bowl Carver Skateboards
The double-kick design of these boards makes them most practical for:
The generous kick locks in the rider’s feet to provide hardcore slashing in a bowl or vert. It’s also easier to get air, and mix park and street tricks with cutbacks and fin throws. Meanwhile, the C5 hybrid truck is ideal for pulling ollies and aerials while you still doing classic surfskate pumping and carving.
These models are among the best Carver bards for park and bowl:
- Bel Air 32.25”
- Impala Street Surf 32”
Carver Surfskate Trucks
These trucks include specially-modified front truck that makes them more responsive and turns more versus the standard skate-board/long-board truck. When combined the front and rear surfskate trucks provide pumping and rail-to-rail carving that mimics the experience of riding surfboards.
You can purchase Carver trucks as part of a complete skateboard or as a stand-alone product minus the board. The two main models you can select from include the Carver CX and Carver C7.
Carver Skateboard Review: Features
Let’s look at some of the key features Carver skateboards.
The shape and aspect ratio of the board is critical for various factors including:
In terms of technical riding, you should also consider the board’s concave.
It’s important for the nose width, tail shape (round, squash, pintail, etc.), and concave kicks (small or large and single or double) should complement your riding style. Meanwhile, kicks are critical for cutbacks, slashing, and skatepark.
Each board has a unique style. However, it’s generally based on a surfboard shape or professional surfer. Some Carver decks include a famous artist’s signature artwork.
Features of Top Carver Board Models
- Blue Ray
This board features a rounded rectangular shape like famous bentwood chairs. What’s the plus of the deck’s almost completely symmetrical template? It provides a comfortable location to place your feet while doing downhill or cruising.
This board was designed for the USA’s Olympic surf team. It features an increased nose kick and deep concave. This provides a foot lock-in to do progressive tricks like boneless air and 180º reverses. This deck is ideal for surf training.
- CI Black Beauty
This board was inspired by the famous AI Merrick shape known as the black beauty. The board was originally developed for American surfer Tom Curren for surfing at Bells Beach (Victoria, Australia) in 1985. The deck features a pulled-in pin tail and a longer wheelbase. This allows skateboarders to carve like Tom.
- Emerald Peak
The swallow tail’s introduction has been part of the shortboard’s evolution. This has boosted maneuverability and created new lines. That includes this little board from Carver. It’s fast with cutbacks and fast down the line.
- Knox Quill
Have you heard of rail master and Hall of Famer pro surfer Taylor Knox? He’s famous for is discipline and training and tweaked this model during past years. The model now includes a wider spooned nosetail for full power transfer while doing sharp cutbacks and deep carves. The board also now includes new graphics. This is something that’s easily one of the best surfer training tools and designed by pro surfboarders.
- Lost Maysym
People aren’t symmetrical so it’s not practical for surfskates to be either. How does Carver’s Lost Maysym deal with this issue? Each side has different outlines, which allows the surfskate to offer high performance for both skates stances.
- Lost Psycho Killer
This board features a swallow-tail shape and ResinWorks art. The surfskate is fast-reacting and can be ridden in different surfing styles. The surf skateboards have a small rocker that can lock into curves. Meanwhile, the lower platform provides a good experience while completing deep turns as you slash carves.
The board’s top and bottom graphics provide classic pin stripes, which can have a calming effect wherever you ride this surfskate. The board’s wider nose provides more room for the front foot. This allows the compact board to feel large enough. Meanwhile, the kick tail locks in the back foot and allows riders to stretch out their stance.
This Carver deck is an excellent training board. The board is short and wide, which makes it ideal for pumping and tight turning. You can also select this board with Carver CX trucks to create a more realistic surf experience. Even big riders can have a good experience with this short surfskate.
This small board handles fast and loose. A shorter wheelbase makes pumping the board on flats super-easy. Meanwhile, the wide shape and concave produce comfortable cruiser skateboards. There’s also a kicktail that provides more flexibility for tricks like kick turns. The board also includes surf-artist graphics. You can use this board with either Carver CX or C7 for different results.
Features of Carver Truck Models
When selecting carver CX, C5 or C7 trucks it’s important to pair them with your particular riding style. This includes CX and C7 for shortboards and sharp turns whether it’s on streets on in skateparks. Meanwhile, the C5 is ideal for street skating and street tricks.
- C7 Trucks
This is Carver’s signature skateboard truck that was among the company’s first products. They’re built for fast pumping, smooth turning, and provide excellent overall performance. The front surf truck’s patented second axis boosts a carve’s turning radius.
What’s the result? This allows a rider to snap the board’s nose and pivot turns off the Carver deck’s tail. This key relationship between the two units boosts thrust and increases the rider’s speed. The C7 like the CX has become a popular option for beginner and experienced surfer training.
- CX.4 Trucks
This is something among the company’s hybrid surf/skate trucks. It’s a lightweight hanger and base with a standard reverse king pin (RKP). The truck’s patented shape maximizes the truck systems’ pump and turn.
What’s the big deal? You can pump the CX trucks like C7 trucks but you’ll have more stability for riding fakie and airs. You can catch air quite similarly as you would when surfing so you can try lots of aerial tricks.
- C5 Trucks
While Carver is famous for combining surf and skate features, today more surfskate riders want to do more traditional skateboard tricks. For example, you can combine low and narrow trucks with a double kick board and small wheels/wheelbase.
These features let you do traditional street tricks while still enjoying quick and grippy carving. The C5 lowers the rider’s center of gravity since it’s shorter/narrower. This provides benefits like better control and higher ollies. Meanwhile, the narrow deck makes it easy to maneuver. The C5 represents surfskate’s next generation by combining flow and tricks.
- C2.4 Single Rear Truck
This truck includes a classic rear pivot for the carver CX and C7 truck sets. This rear truck has also been designed to function with the front truck’s extreme turning. Meanwhile, the steeper kingpin boosts the rail range, while the higher baseplate pairs well with the taller front truck. What’s the end result? You get a synchronized truck system that can help to avoid wheel bite.
Features of Carver Roundhouse Wheels
Carver setups include a set of wheels/wheelbase that pair with the skateboard’s style. Carver Roundhouse wheel categories include:
- Large wheels/wheelbase: Distance cruising
- Medium wheels/wheelbase: Surf carving
- Small wheels/wheelbase: Tricks
Carver Skateboard Review: Pros and Cons
Carver skateboards offer many features, but are they worthwhile? Here are some pros and cons to help you decide.
- Surf-like experience
Since Carver boards are a blend of skateboards and surfboards, you can improve your surfing in more than one way. In fact, the boards are widely considered the best in the industry for surf training.
Surfskates can help to improve body posture to control the surfboard’s surfboard. It’s critical to know the starting position and add it to your surfing.
You can practice your posture multiple times while not waiting for huge waves. What’s next? After perfecting your surfing posture you can transfer it from asphalt to water.
A surfskate makes it easier to record videos to review surfing style. The process is a lot tougher while surfing due in part to the high number of surfers in the water like Yago Dora.
You can improve your balance since the position over the board is similar to riding a skateboard. This includes body parts like the feet and knees, which is similar to pumping a surfboard.
This is one of the most critical aspects of surfing and why athletes often consider it to be one of the toughest sports to practice. The four main types of surfing maneuvers include
- Bottom turn
- Top turn
- Cut back
Carver gives trainers the option to repeatedly practice these basic moves on asphalt. It’s important to learn the four movies so you can practice them over and over—and over again.
Then after mastering these moves you can then practice other moves like frontside/backside reentry, and floater.
- Board Selection
Carver has been available for 25+ years so a wide range of boards is available for different surf-skate styles. This is based partly on the surfskate board’s size, which includes mini, short, and medium. There are also a few boards that are ideal for park/pool skating.
Carver’s C7 trucks were game-changers since they made some critical tweaks to the front truck. This helps to provide a truly surfboard-like experience for skateboarders. You can also select from other surfskate trucks including the C5 and CX.
While the Carver brand offers a number of ultra-high quality decks and trucks, they’re not budget skateboards. Does that make them a no-go? If you’re looking for quality surf-inspired boards then Carver products are a wise choice.
An alternative is Carver’s Triton boards, which include less pricey boards and tweaked C5 trucks. You’ll still get solid quality while saving some money in the process.
How Does Carver Compare to Other Boards?
This is a skate line that Carver produces so it’s not technically a competitor. The main difference versus Carver decks is Triton offers the same truck with more budget-friendly boards. In fact, based on the model you pick you could save up to 30% versus Carver models.
What’s the difference between the boards that creates a different price tag? One of the main ones is Carver surfskate-boards are manufactured in California, while Triton boards are produced in China.
Triton also offers fewer decks while all of them still include CX trucks. There are some slight differences to note. The Triton’s CX trucks are narrower. This includes 12mm less hanger versus original Carver trucks.
This results in Triton surfskates accelerating faster while pumping and being more agile. This could be a pro or con depending on your personal preference.
Another difference is related to the grip, which is slightly less resistant on the Triton than Carver. If you’re on a shoestring budget or want to shell out less money to try out a Carver, then a Triton skateboard is a practical option.
Swelltech is another leading surfskate brand since 2011. Carver and Swelltech are both known by almost every rider. Swelltech focuses on specialized surf training tools versus all-around models like Carver. In addition, Swelltech can also help build muscle memory for snaps, cutbacks, etc. This is because Swelltech recreates surfing. Like Carver, Swelltech boards can quickly improve surfing skills.
Miller and Long Island
If you want a slightly cheaper alternative to Carver Boards, then Long Island Longboard and Miller’s Division Surfskate are some good options. The main differences are related to materials quality and components.
However, keep in mind that Carver boards are handmade in California, which explains the higher price tags. What if you don’t mind paying less money for lower quality? If so then Miller and Long Island might be practical options for you.
Are Carver Skateboards good?
Carver brand is a surfskate pioneer and widely considered the most iconic surf skateboards available. There are other surfskate brands that compete well but many riders have stayed with Carver. This is based on the high-quality and unique decks and trucks. The brand has a wide selection of skateboards to pick from.
What is the best Carver skateboard?
The term “best” is relative although there are particular boards that have received wide acclaim for various features. The surfskate models have also received high marks as one of the best surf trainers since they offer an effective crossover of surfboards and skateboards. The company also offers a wide selection of 20+ boards for different types of riding.
Are Carver skateboards expensive?
The prices are somewhat more expensive than the average prices for skateboards. Most are within the $200 to $300 range. However, you’re also getting a high-quality surf skate so it’s worth noting that a good number of customers claim they feel like they got their money’s worth.
Are Carver Skateboards good for beginners?
Due to the boards’ high stability, Carver surfskate boards are generally considered a good option for beginners. They’re also a good option for skaters who are used to traditional skateboard and/or longboard brands.
Do Carver Skateboards help surfing?
Carver surfskate decks are considered one of the best for surfer training. This is largely due to the company being a pioneer of surfskate production. It’s a good option to improve your style, balance, and coordination. Many surfers use Carver boards to improve their surf technique. These boards are ideal for practicing surfing techniques like cutbacks, snaps, bottom turns, and nose riding.
Verdict - Final Thoughts!
Here’s the big question: Should you consider Carver skateboards? Many skaters including surfing newbies and longboard experts can benefit from Carver’s surfskate brands/product lines of decks and trucks. Carver was a surfskate pioneer and remains one of the top brands in the industry. A lot of surfskate fans continue to select Carver for its quality, selection, and surf-like experience.