Surf skate has been gaining popularity in recent years, attracting both surfers and skateboarders. While surfers use it to improve their skills on land, skateboarders seek a unique riding experience through this activity.

Combining elements of surfing and skateboarding, this hybrid sport allows riders to simulate the feeling of riding a wave on a skateboard. With its fluid and dynamic movements, surf skateboarding offers a thrilling alternative to traditional skateboarding. But before you jump in, it’s important to understand the fundamentals and techniques involved. That’s where this article comes in.

The Ultimate Guide to Surf Skating

As the name indicates, surf skateboarding is a sport designed to mimic surfing on a surf skateboard. So, think about it this way: if the waves are not cooperating with you, just get on the board and surf the streets. 

This is actually how it all started! Back in the summer of 1996. Two surfer friends from two very different places found themselves bored on a day where the sea was pretty much flat. Although skateboarding was a very fun activity, it just didn’t feel quite the same as surfing, and they felt the skates needed some tuning up! Consequently, they ended up building the first prototype of what would become the “Surf Skate”.

How do Surf Skates Work?

Even though these boards look like regular skateboards, underneath lies a secret: the Surf Adapter. It is possible to include it directly into the skateboard. It may also be mounted to any standard skateboard. Regarding the latter, the surf adapter will act like a crane arm that allows the skateboard (or longboard) trucks to move side to side.

And of course, given that any standard board already tilts and turns on its axis, it resembles the art of surfing! As a result, if your skateboard is fitted with an adapter, you will be able to move in a variety of ways. Therefore, this will enable you to make smoother and tighter turns. This wider range of motions is what gives the surf skate the ability to swift from side to side.

There are a lot of surfskate brands around the world and each one works with a specific truck model system. At Rapturecamps, we work with SmoothStar, which is one of the most complete surf skateboards for surfers! We will now explain a little more about what makes SmoothStar so special: Custom made boards!

A few things are taken into account when choosing your own board. For example:

Height – The rider’s height is directly connected to his/hers surf stance. Meaning that during the whole time you are on top of a SmoothStar board, it will mimic your exact surf stance. It will feel more natural to you as a surfer, to be on top of this board, than on a regular skateboard. “A narrower surf stance causes the rider to fall off, “bog rail”, or accidentally slide out on their SmoothStar/surfboard. A stance that is too wide will result in the rider being less manoeuvrable on their surfboard or SmoothStar.”

WeightThe second most important factor to the success of these surfboards, which is taken into consideration when purchasing! It’s directly related to the height of the rider, and the board itself has to suit the rider’s weight vs height. The wheels can adapt to each person’s weight. Depending on each rider’s physical features, they have constructed different sets of wheels.

Base and length – Being a custom made design to your physical conditions, these surfboard skates are also built with different wheelbases and deck sizes so the surfskate can adapt to your own surfing stance. The shape of the deck is also taken into account, as they can be more or less concave. This provides (or not) the rider to have more line speed or have a more vigorous role on specific turns and movements.

How to begin surf skating?

Surf skating may be a fun method to learn the basic skills needed to practice outside of the water if you’re new to surfing. You can become an expert on surfing on dry land. Consequently, this can be a great help for when you are riding those waves!

Surf Skating brings you better balance, stability and will improve your body positioning on the surfboard (or surf skate). All of these attributes will enable you to easily catch more waves, and ride them for a longer time!

Intermediate & Advanced Surf Skaters

Another skill you will gain as an intermediate surfer by surf skating is to learn compression, extension and timing. These elements are key factors for you to learn how to control the speed generated by all your moves. The speed is generated by your body movements, just like on a surfboard. So, all in all, surf skating will help you improve your surfing skills faster, while having fun!

Becoming an advanced surfer is no easy task. If you already are one: Congratulations! But what can surf skating do for you? Essentially, it can generate more power on your stance and perfect your manoeuvres. Training with your surfskate will undoubtedly improve your skills. Also, it will help correct your bad habits, while still working on your “surfing muscles”.

Surf Skateboarding with Rapture Surfcamps

We are implementing Surf Skate lessons on all of our surf camps. At the moment we are offering these lessons in Ericeira, Milfontes and also Morocco! However, all of our surf camps will soon be fully prepared to teach you how to surf skate. We will cater to all levels from beginner to pro!

Our surf-skate lessons price include the board itself and all the protection equipment you need to make this happen! 

As a surfer, this will be the best tool to help you improve your skills. So you’ll be training for those angled take-offs! So take a little extra help from our surf skate lessons and start surfing the streets!

Hear What Rapture Surfcamps’ Guests Have To Say:

FAQs About Surf Skating

What is surf skating?

Surf skating is a style of skateboarding that simulates the feeling of surfing on land. It typically involves using a skateboard with a special design, such as a surfskate or a skateboard with a front truck that allows for more fluid and surf-like movements.

How is surf skating different from traditional skateboarding?

Surf skating differs from traditional skateboarding in its emphasis on carving and pumping to generate speed, mimicking the movements of surfing. Surf skate boards often have a unique truck design that allows for a more dynamic and fluid ride, enabling surfers to practice and enhance their surf-style manoeuvres.

What are the benefits of surf skating for surfers?

Surf skating is an excellent off-season training tool for surfers. It helps improve balance, leg strength, and overall surf-specific movements. Practicing on a surf skate can enhance a surfer’s ability to manoeuvre on a wave and improve their style and flow.

Can anyone learn surf skating, or is it for experienced surfers only?

Surf skating is accessible to individuals of all skill levels. Beginners can use surf skate boards to develop balance and get a feel for surf-like movements, while experienced surfers can use it as a training tool to refine specific manoeuvres and stay in shape when they’re not in the water.

What features should I look for in a surf skate board?

Look for a surf skate board with a front truck that allows for greater turning ability, mimicking the surfboard’s movements. The deck’s shape and size can also impact the feel of the ride. It’s essential to choose a board that suits your skill level and the type of surf skating you want to practice.

Where can I surf skate?

You can surf skate in various locations, including skate parks, parking lots, or any smooth, paved surface. Some surf skaters prefer practicing in environments that simulate the feeling of riding a wave, such as on sloped driveways or in empty swimming pools.

How can surf skating complement regular surfing?

Surf skating is a valuable cross-training activity for surfers. It helps surfers maintain and improve their surfing skills during periods of flat waves or when they can’t access the ocean. The muscle memory developed through surf skating can positively impact a surfer’s performance in the water.