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  • Steve Palmer with Surfskate Love here, and in this  video I'm going to save you a ton of time and  

  • money by giving you a step-by-step process for  choosing the perfect surfskate for you. I started  

  • my website and channel because when I first got  into surfskating and fell in love with it, I was  

  • really surprised by three things: 1) how  few people know about surfskating, 2)  

  • how it's primarily focused on surf training  specifically for surfers, and 3) how hard it is  

  • to find good information to make the right  decisions. And in my opinion it's that third  

  • one that's holding surfskating back from fully  exploding. People don't even know what a surfskate  

  • is let alone how to choose one. And because I love  surfskating so much, I set out to do something  

  • about that. And the first thing I did was buy  every surfskate I could get my hands on from  

  • all across the world. I've been buying boards for  months and all told to date I have spent over  

  • four thousand dollars on surfskates. And in this  video I'm gonna share my experience with you so  

  • that you don't have to waste four grand dialing  in on your perfect specs. If you go through this  

  • process, you could get into the perfect surfskate  for you for as little as $79 and no more than  

  • $400. So as you can see, I've tried all the major  brands and almost everything out there including  

  • Smoothstar from Australia, YOW from Spain, CarverWaterborne, Hamboards, the Curfboard from Germany,  

  • the Mindless from the UK, and a whole lot moreAnd there's a handful out there that I haven't  

  • been able to get my hands on yet, but I think  I have a pretty good grasp of what's out there.  

  • To cover all the details that I need to in this  video, this is going to be a longer video. But Im  

  • going to help you navigate it by using timestamps  in the video description. So I'm going to start at  

  • a high level and then you're going to dial in on  where you should focus and then you can just use  

  • the time stamps to get the relevant information  for you. I don't sell boards, I don't represent  

  • companies, I don't use affiliate links. My loyalty  is to you, the surfskater out there trying to  

  • make an expensive decision that you don't want  to get wrong. Believe me, I've been through this  

  • process. Okay so let's dive into this step-by-step  process for choosing the perfect surfskate for you.  

  • The first step is to choose which brand to  buy based on your budget, your riding style  

  • and purpose, and the experience you're looking forAnd once you've chosen the right brand, then you  

  • start zeroing in on your specific board specs for  your height, weight, riding style, environment, and  

  • purpose. I'm not going to go into a lot of details  on specific brands in this video. If you want to  

  • learn more about any of them I invite you to watch  my other review videos. So here's the bottom line:  

  • for reasons that you can learn about in my  other review videos I'm going to right out  

  • of the gate eliminate every other company except  for five: SwellTech, Smoothstar, YOW, Carver, and the  

  • Waterborne Surf Adapter. There are other systems  out there that may be a better fit for some riders.  

  • But I really think that those five brands are  gonna be the best option for about 90% of riders  

  • out there. So let me give you an overview of these  then so you can hone in on the right brand for you.  

  • But first let's talk budget: the Waterborne Surf  Adapter is by far the cheapest way to get into  

  • surfskating. T's just 79 bucks on Amazon. SwellTechs range from $199 to $245. Carvers cost between $240  

  • and $260. And for Smoothstars and YOWs you'll  pay anywhere from $300 to $400 depending on your  

  • shipping options. So depending on your budget that  might eliminate some options for you right there.  

  • Now let's talk about each of these systems and  who and what they're good for. SwellTech is by far  

  • the most sensitive and hard to ride surfskate on  the market. It's for one rider and one purpose  

  • only: that's very advanced riders and advanced surf  training only. Honestly, in my opinion, SwellTech  

  • is for maybe three percent of the surfskating  population. And for most people I would probably  

  • recommend to start with a Smoothstar anyway. But  if you're a very advanced surfer and you really  

  • want a challenge, then use the time stamps to skip  to my SwellTech section. Now Smoothstar and YOW.  

  • These are what I call the Mercedes and BMW  of surfskates. They're the best, smoothest, most  

  • luxurious feeling surfskates on the market  and they're very similar in terms of their  

  • smoothness and range of motion. Aside from   SwellTech, they have the widest range of motion.

  • In my opinion Smoothstar is smoother and glidier  but it's built more for surf training specifically.

  • And I don't ride bowls but I would be willing to  bet that most bowl riders would probably prefer Smoothstar over YOW.

  • Smoothstar decks have a much deeper concave and a sharper kicktail than YOW decks. I'm just a street cruiser and for that YOW is my favorite.

  • I love my Smoothstar for tight spaces and shorter distances but it's not great for long distance cruising So I'm going to bottom line  

  • it and say, If you're looking for surf training  specifically, go with Smoothstar. But if you're  

  • really just looking for more of a street cruiser  like I ride, then go with YOW. And you can click  

  • on the timestamps in the video description below  to skip to either section now. Now let's talk about  

  • Carver. If you're not a surfer but you come from  just a skateboarding or a longboarding background  

  • and you want to get to get into surfskatingthen hands down Carver's the brand that I'm  

  • going to recommend you start with. And if that's  you, go ahead and skip to the Carver timestamp  

  • below. And that leaves us with the Waterborne Surf  Adapter. The Waterborne is a great surfskate truck  

  • and its range of motion and feel I would say  is somewhat comparable to even Smoothstar and  

  • YOW. And it's also the best truck for long distance  pumping that I've tried. The Waterborne is perfect  

  • for two people: first and foremost the person who's  budget conscious and you don't really even know if  

  • you want to invest into surfskating. Well you can  just spend 79 bucks on the surf adapter and you're  

  • into a surfskate. And the second person it works  well for is the rider who loves to customize  

  • and tinker and fine-tune your ride. And if that's  you then click to the Waterborne timestamp below.

  • All right, so if you think SwellTech is your best  fit, then let's go deeper into how to choose  

  • the perfect SwellTech for you. SwellTech is  actually fairly easy to choose because they  

  • offer only seven models with five different  lengths. I got their Austin Keen model because  

  • it's 33 inches long and on any other deck 33  to 34 inches is my sweet spot for my height.  

  • But on the SwellTech it's totally different. For  my height, I should be in their longest one the  

  • 40 inch Premiere Blackout. So honestly, I would say  that there's not a whole lot of difference in the  

  • SwellTech models. The single biggest determining  factor in the SwellTech is the right length for  

  • your height. So really the only guidance I'm going to  give you there is just really pay close attention  

  • to their guidelines on their website and go on  the longer end. If you're used to a 31-inch board  

  • then you're gonna want probably their 36-inch model in the SwellTech. But again, follow  

  • their sizing guidelines on their website. And  that's pretty much all I'd say about SwellTech.

  • Now let's talk about choosing the right Smoothstar for you. If you've decided that Smoothstar  

  • is the brand you're looking for, if you go to their  website you'll see that they basically offer seven  

  • different models. They have some variety within  those models but it really is seven models ranging  

  • anywhere from 26 inches for kids all the way up to  this 35 and a half inch Manta Ray, which I got for  

  • my height. So with Smoothstar, you're not gonna  get really any variety as far as the deck goes.  

  • Any deck you get on any model is going to be  that deeper concave with the sharper kicktail  

  • than any other deck you're going to find on  the market. And the way that deck rides  

  • really is a significant difference in a Smoothstar compared to any other brand out there. So  

  • if you're not comfortable with a deep concave  deck then right out of the gate you're probably  

  • going to eliminate Smoothstar and go with the  YOW. So with that said, there's really just two  

  • variables when it comes to choosing your Smooth star and that's the deck length and the width of  

  • the wheelbase. And Smoothstar makes it easy for  you. Go to their website, they have a page called  

  • "Choosing Your Smoothstar," and they give you really  clear and specific sizing guidelines. And like the  

  • SwellTech, I'm going to say really pay attention  to those and trust them. And the way Smoothstar is  

  • built, you're probably going to want a longer deck  than your typical sweet spot length. In my case,  

  • 34 inches as I've said is the perfect length  for me in any other deck. But on the Smoothstar  

  • the Manta Ray is 35 and a half inches and that  is the best fit for me. I was considering this  

  • and the Felipe Toledo which is I think 34 inchesBut I know from riding this for a fact that  

  • anything shorter than this would be too short for  me and wouldn't be the most comfortable ride. So  

  • follow their sizing guidelines and err on  the side of longer when it comes to Smoothstar.  

  • And that's really about it when it comes to  choosing your Smoothstar model because they don't  

  • have variety in the decks they don't really  have variety in the wheels or or any of those  

  • other component parts. It really is just that deck  length and that wheelbase based on your height.

  • Moving on to YOW. Again, YOW is for the person who  wants the most luxurious, highest-end surfskate but  

  • you're going to be more focused on street cruising  than surf training. So let's help you choose the  

  • right YOW model for you. In my experience, YOW and  Carver are by far the hardest companies to choose  

  • a model based on just what you see on the website  because they don't give a lot of guidelines.  

  • And furthermore, YOW does not give good product  pictures. All they give you is pictures of the top  

  • and the bottom of the board. But they don't give  you any perspective pictures to show you what the  

  • concave looks like. And that was one of the things  that I was surprised about but when I got my YOWs  

  • is how flat the decks are. Because you can't tell  from the website what the concave or the kicktail  

  • looks like at all. And on their product description  pages, to describe the concaves they use three  

  • descriptions: "performance," "medium," and "high," but if you're like me when I was buying my first YOW  

  • and I didn't even have a lot of  experience with board sports period. I have  

  • no idea what any of those mean. So personally  I really really wish YOW would do a better job  

  • of giving better product pictures and really  describing how each of them ride better. Because  

  • it's pretty difficult to choose a YOW andthink that there's only a couple models that have  

  • the high concave. So I think pretty much across the  board if you get a YOW you can pretty much expect  

  • very little concave to it. Even if it says it's a  medium concave, relative to other concaves you've  

  • experienced it's probably fairly low. Like the  Smoothstar, the two biggest variables I think  

  • when it comes to choosing a YOW are the deck  length and the wheelbase. So I've gone through  

  • three YOWs. I started on the 36-inch YOW Malibu  because, having come from a longboarding background,  

  • I wanted something that felt more comfortable  to me. And that Malibu has a wheelbase of  

  • 22 and a half inches. So that YOW Malibu is  my perfect long distance cruiser. I have put  

  • so many miles on that thing. I can jump on that  Malibu and I can cruise three hours through my  

  • city. And it's probably the most comfortable ride  that I have. So after experiencing the 36-inch  

  • Malibu, then I wanted to try something shorter  and I wanted something with a tighter wheelbase  

  • to experience how much of a difference that would  change the ride. After a lot of research, and again  

  • I didn't really know because YOW doesn't help you  very much, I settled on their 34-inch Padang Padang  

  • model with an 18 and a half inch wheelbase. And my  experience on that board was that the length is  

  • good but the wheelbase, going from a 22 and a half  inch wheelbase to a 18 and a half inch wheelbase,  

  • that was what made the single biggest  difference in this ride. It wasn't the deck  

  • length. So that Padang Padang is a completely  different ride. I has a way tighter turning  

  • radius and it is way better designed for  surf training specifically. Unfortunately,  

  • that wheelbase is too short for my comfort. I'm a  street cruiser and so 18 and a half is more of a  

  • something for performance riding where you're  doing really tight stuff in in tight spaces  

  • and that's not my style. So I spent like 350 bucks  on that Padang Padang model and it's okay for me but  

  • it really is not my ideal. YOW offers a few models  that are 34 inches and the big variable in them is  

  • the wheel base. So after experiencing that Padang Padang with the 18 and a half inch wheelbase, then I  

  • wanted one that was their same deck length butlonger wheelbase. So the next YOW I bought was the  

  • Pukas Dark, which is 34.5 inches long. So pretty  much the same length as the Padang Padang but  

  • it has a 20 inch wheel base compared to the 18 and  a half inch wheelbase of the Padang Padang. And  

  • that makes a huge difference in the ride just an  inch and a half wheelbase. The Pukas Dark is a way  

  • better long distance street cruiser for me than  the Padang Padang even though there's only a half  

  • inch difference in the length. So unfortunately, I  can't give you the exact specs of what your YOW  

  • should be. There's a lot of variables that go into  that and YOW doesn't give you the best information

  • Obviously, the shorter the wheelbase the tighter  the turning radius. So if your style is more like  

  • me, the long distance cruiser, you just cruise  around town, choose the right length for you  

  • based on your height but then on that length look  at the wheelbases of the models offered in those  

  • lengths and go with the longest wheelbase that  they have on that length. But if you are more of  

  • a surf trainer and you want the tighter turning  radius, then you're going to want to look for the  

  • ones with the narrower wheelbase. And as I'm sure  you know, YOW has three trucks now they have the S4  

  • the S5 and the Meraki. I'm going to really just  simplify that for you and say I think that the  

  • Meraki is an improvement over the both the S4 and  the S5 and so I'm going to just pretty much say,  

  • and I think they all just come stock with the  Meraki anymore anyway. So go with Meraki on the YOW.

  • Now let's talk about how to choose the  right Carver for you. And in my experience  

  • honestly Carver is probably the hardest company  to choose a board from because they offer so many  

  • models, I think it's something like 33 models, and  those models all are very different. They all have  

  • different specs, they have different board types  and sizes, ways that they perform. And Carver gives  

  • very little guidance and information on how to  choose the right one for you. So the first thing  

  • I'm going to tell you about Carver is, there  is somebody out there, I don't know who it is,  

  • somebody on Facebook sent me the link to a Google  spreadsheet that somebody created that breaks down  

  • every single Carver model gives you all of their  specs and then tells you this ride is good for  

  • this purpose. So if you go down to the video  description, you're going to see a link to that  

  • Google spreadsheet. And whoever it is that created  that, thank you, thank you, thank you because that  

  • is an invaluable resource to the surfskating  community. And to speak to my experience, really the  

  • thing that I would say with Carver is go through  a big-picture process of elimination to just  

  • eliminate the clutter of those 33 models. Basically  start with your deck length. So in my case, like as  

  • I've said, the first one i ever bought was the 777  because that was their longest model and I had  

  • come from a very long longboard cruiser. But after  that I bought the 33.75 inch Greenroom and for me  

  • far and away the Greenroom is my Carver board. It  is the perfect fit for me. The Greenroom is in my  

  • top three favorite boards of all time and the deck  on the Greenroom is my favorite deck of anything  

  • that I've ever tried. But again, I didn't know that  until i bought both the 777 and the Greenroom.  

  • So in my case, because I'm 6'2" it was actually  fairly easy for me to zero in on my Carver models  

  • because I knew that I really was only looking at  two options, and that was their two longest ones,  

  • the 777 and the Greenroom. And so that immediately  eliminated every other option for me. But where  

  • Carver can get very problematic is if you're  in that 31 to 32 inch range because they have  

  • a bunch of different models in that range. They're  all designed differently and are for different  

  • purposes. So again, for that I'm going to direct you  to the link to that Google spreadsheet that will  

  • break that down for you. Another thing I'm going  to suggest when it comes to choosing your first  

  • Carver is to avoid the more, like what i would call  specialty or novelty boards. Those are the boards  

  • like the ones that have the colored tops, I would  say to avoid those. They also have a couple models  

  • for skateboarders the Bel Air and the Impala. I  would also say to eliminate as beginner boards  

  • their symmetrical boards like the Lost and  the Black Beauty. So that's the best guidance  

  • that I can give you on Carver is go big-picture, do  your research and figure out your deck length. From  

  • there, eliminate all the other options. And then  from there look at their models at those lengths  

  • and then zero in on the specs use that Google  spreadsheet. And then from there it comes down  

  • to choosing which trucks you want, either the CX or  the C7. And I'm gonna just bottom line that for you:  

  • If your riding style is sharp, tight, snappy, slideyyou do a lot of slides and things like that, then  

  • go with the CX. But if you're like me, more ofstreet cruiser, you want it to feel more flowy,  

  • more glidey, looser, wider range of motion and for  more long distance cruising, then go with the C7.  

  • Now let's talk a little bit about the Waterborne  Surf Adapter. Now obviously you're not choosing a  

  • deck you're just buying the adapter. But I did  just want to give you some basic guidelines on  

  • how to go about customizing your Waterborne to get  a good surfskate ride. The honest truth is although  

  • I really dig the performance of the Waterbornethe Waterborne is not my favorite because I am  

  • not that customizer. I'm not good at it. I'm the  kind of rider who really just wants somebody else  

  • to do all that work and research for me and just  hand me something and let me buy something off the  

  • shelf and ride it. So there's going to be riders  out there who are going to be way more qualified  

  • to speak to how to optimize the Waterborne  than me. The best that I can give you is general  

  • guidelines. So the first thing I would say isif you come from a skateboard or a longboard,  

  • you're going to want to find a deck that is  more aligned with surfskate specs than probably  

  • what you're used to riding. If you're on a long  longboard with a long wheelbase, I can promise  

  • you that the Waterborne is not going to work great  for that. There may be other riders who have other  

  • preferences but I think probably most people would  agree that 9.5 to 10 inches is a good  

  • width for a surfskate, which is wider than most  skateboards and longboards. From there you want  

  • to get the right deck length. And I'm going to say  avoid anything over 36 inches long at the very  

  • longest. One of the biggest differences I found in  this process is the wheeledbase. In my experience  

  • the Waterborne does not like anything that's  long and with a wide wheelbase. I've tried the  

  • Waterborne on I think five or six different decks  at this point. My favorite that I've tried out of all  

  • of them is this Loaded Omakase. And you'll hear  a lot of people talking about this online. A lot  

  • of people use this on the Waterborne. Personally  I like it, I don't love it. I think it rides  

  • kind of like a tank, honestly. It's big, it's clunkyit's heavy, and I think that these holes should be  

  • set back more. I think that that would make this  Omakase ride better. So even though the Omakase