Best Carver Skateboard: The Complete Comparison Guide (2020 update)

Carver Skateboards has pioneered the surfskate since 1996 and is still the most iconic surfskate brand out there. Carver is the first name that usually comes to mind when you think about surfskate. Though some solid competitors have emerged, many riders remain faithful to Carver, for the high quality and uniqueness of its surfskate trucks and decks.

Carver has quite a huge lineup, however, and choosing the best Carver skateboard for oneself can be a real challenge! In this post, I want to take a close-up look at the current Carver Skateboards lineup and help you pick the best Carver surfskate for your own needs.

These are 10 of the most popular Carver skateboards:

Snapper28″15.38″Rounded square$198$216
Lost Psycho Killer29″16.25″Swallow double wing$240$242
Lost Maysym 30.5″17″Rounded asymmetrical wing$240$242
Knox Quill31.25″17.5″Squash$255$278
CI Black Beauty31.75″17.75″Pintail$246$286
Blue Ray30″17″Squash$242
Nomad30.25″16.75″Rounded pin$220$242
Emerald Peak30″16.5″Swallow$240$242

See the complete chart in the next section for a wider range of Carver models and features for each model.

*This post may have affiliate links, which means I may receive commissions if you choose to purchase through links I provide (at no extra cost to you). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

The ultimate Carver Skateboards surf skate list

In order to help you sort out which is the best-fitting Carver surfskate for you, I’ve put together an exhaustive compilation of all the Carver boards available in the 2019-2020 lineup, complete with specs, shape attributes, and riding characteristics.

Click on the following image to view the list in the form of a Google Sheet which you can sort and filter:

2019 carver skateboard lineup and specs
[UPDATE] 2020 Carver skateboards with specs and characteristics (click to view)

Click here for the full selection of Carver skateboards on Jack’s Surfboards.

How to select the best-suited Carver skateboard for your needs?

carver skateboard street surfing

Basically, there are two sets of criteria you need to match when choosing a Carver surfskate:

Rider characteristics

  • Your size and weight: taller riders typically need a longer wheelbase (distance between trucks). Bigger riders with larger feet may want more deck width and/or nose width.
  • Your boarding skills and style: your experience with board sports (surfing, snowboarding, longboarding etc) can influence your choice of Carver skateboard. A shortboard surfer may choose a shorter and surfier Carver, a longboard surfer a more flowy setup, a longboard skater may opt for a more stable Carver setup.
  • Your riding goals: the best Carver skateboard for you will likely be different whether your main goal is surf training/simulation, relaxed cruising and carving, distance pushing and pumping, skatepark/pool/pump track riding, or downhill speed.
  • Your riding environment: you may choose a different Carver skateboard (deck, trucks, wheels) whether you plan to ride mainly in small driveways, city sidewalks, skateparks, smooth bike paths, or uneven pavement.
  • Your personal taste: for a given size and type of setup, your preferences in terms of shape and graphic design will guide your final choice of the best Carver skateboard for you.

Carver surfskate features

  • Wheelbase: this is a crucial factor when choosing your Carver board. A longer wheelbase means more stability but slower turns.
  • Width: while wheelbase is more important than length, deck width plays a key role in how comfy and responsive your Carver board feels
  • Shape: the aspect ratio and shape design of your Carver board is important not just for aesthetics, it impacts how the board leans, carves, and pumps. Concave is also important for technical riding.
  • Tail and nose: tail shape (e.g. pintail, squash, round), nose width and concave, kicks (small or large, single or double) should match your riding style. Kicks are important for slashing, cutbacks, and skatepark.
  • Trucks: your choice of Carver trucks (C7, CX, C5) should match your riding style. Certain Carver decks should be paired with specific trucks. C7 is flowier, CX is shortboard-like, C5 is great for street tricks.
  • Wheels: each Carver setup comes with a specific set of wheels matching the board’s riding style. Larger wheels are best for distance cruising, medium wheels for surf carving, smaller wheels for tricks.
  • Style and artwork: each Carver skateboard has its own unique style, most of them based on either a specific surfboard shape or pro surfer. Some Carver decks come with signature artwork from a famous artist.

Now that we have an idea of the criteria to use for choosing the right Carver skateboard for you, let’s look at specific examples of rider needs and the best match in terms of Carver surfskate.

Best groveler Carver skateboard for every day, progressive surf skate

If you’re an average-sized rider looking for an everyday Carver surfskate to improve your carving and street surfing skills, the following are some of the models that may best fulfill your needs:

The Channel Island (CI) Pod Mod is a relatively wide and short (9.75″ x 29.9″) skateboard with a shape based on Channel Island’s Pod Mod best-selling, progressive, everyday fish surfboard shape.

carver skateboards ci pod mod
Channel Island Pod Mod

See the price for the Channel Island Pod Mod here on Amazon

The Courtney Conlogue (CC) Sea Tiger is also on the short and wide side making it a good choice for improving your surf skills., with a very similar size but a slightly longer wheelbase (16″ vs 15.5″). Its full squash tail (vs swallow tail for the Pod Mod) makes it a snappy surf trainer, on the borderline with performance.

carver skateboards cc courtney conlogue sea tiger
Courtney Conlogue Sea Tiger

See the price for the Courtney Conlogue Sea Tiger on Amazon UK

The Carver Haedron nº3 is another good option for surfers looking to progress. It’s a 30″ long deck with a slightly longer 16 3/8″ wheelbase, making it an easy board for practicing pumping and driveway slashing.

carver skateboards haedron nº3
Haedron nº3

Check out the Carver Haedron nº3 here on Amazon UK

The Yago Skinny Goat 30.75 is another progressive board, this one with a wider stance (0.75″ width) and even more wheelbase. A good option if you’re a slightly bigger rider looking to improve.

carver skateboards yago dora skinny goat 30"
Yago Skinny Goat 30.75

See the Yago Skinny Goat with CX or with C7 on Jack’s Surfboards.

Best Carver skateboard for performance surf training

Some Carver skateboards are very well-suited for proficient and advanced riders seeking to cross-train for performance surfing.

The Carver Firefly is a snappy, 30 1/4″ long deck with a roomy squash tail and kick, and a relatively wide nose for foot control. This facilitates radical turns, slides, and cutbacks. A CX setup combined with the 65mm wheels results in a very responsive performance board.

carver skateboards firefly

See pricing for the Carver Firefly here on Amazon UK

The Carver CI Flyer is a thinner and responsive shape with a wider tail bump, based on the iconic Channel Island Flyer performance surfboard shape. The lean shape paired with C7 trucks offers quick snappy turns for shortboard cross-training.

carver skateboards CI flyer
Channel Island Flyer

Check out the price for the Channel Island Flyer on Jack’s Surfboards

The Carver Knox Quill skateboard is another performance option. Despite its 31.25″ deck and relatively long 17.5″ wheelbase, this board allows full power transfer during deep carves and sharp cutbacks. The wide spoon nose and tail provide added control for radical surf maneuvers.

carver skateboards knox quill
Knox Quill

Check out the Carver Knox Quill on Jack’s Surfboards

Best Carver skateboard for distance, longboarding, power surfing

If you’re looking for the best Carver skateboard for distance, down the line pumping carving and power surfing on flat or downhill, you may consider the Channel Island Black Beauty. This lean, symmetrical narrow pintail with a longer ( 17.75″ ) wheelbase allows for long drawn-out lines and faster pumping on open roads.

The Carver Oracle, with its distinctive skull artwork, gives you maneuverability and responsiveness on flat but also speed and stability downhill due to its respectable 17″ wheelbase.

carver skateboards oracle
Carver Skateboards Oracle

The 32-25″ USA Thruster with a C7 truck is also a good choice if speed and stability are important, for both fast power-riding on flat and for downhill. This is big thruster shape boasts an 18″ wheelbase giving it stability at greater speed – also making the Thruster one of the best Carver skateboards for taller riders.

carver skateboards USA thruster
USA Thruster

Check out the price for the USA Thruster here on Jack’s Surfboards

The Haedron nº6 has even slightly more length and wheelbase (18.5″), also making it a very suitable board for drawn out carves and downhill – especially with a CX setup. The Haedron has slightly less tail room for the foot than the USA Thruster (pintail vs squash).

carver skateboards haedron nº6
Haedron nº6

The Tyler Riddler, the largest skateboard in the Carver lineup, is a 35.5″ progressive longboard design with a 20 3/4″ wheelbase and a bump wing template. The Riddler is no doubt Carver’s top option for smooth longboard trimming.

carver skateboards tyler riddler
Carver Tyler Riddler

Check out the price for the Carver Tyler Riddler on Amazon UK

Best Carver Skateboard for cruising, pushing, relaxed pumping

Short and snappy Carver boards with tight turning CX setups are great for rad surf maneuvers, but not always so good for cruising and pushing. The 29.5″ Carver Swallow is an easy to pump and very stable board for cruising due to its special shape combination.

The midsize (33.75″ x 9.875″) Greenroom, set up with a C7, also offers stable carving and comfortable cruising and pushing, with an ample platform and a relatively wide stance. The 70mm soft wheels also add to the stability and cruising comfort.

carver skateboards greenroom
Carver Greenroom

Check out the price for the Carver Greenroom here

The Carver Headron nº6 (see picture earlier), with a comparable length, width, and wheelbase, is another good skateboard for easy pushing and cruising – as mentioned, its pintail shape also makes it great for flowy down-the-line rides.

Best Carver skateboard for street and skatepark

If you’re coming from a traditional street skateboarding background, or are a fan of pool and park surf riding, the following are probably your best options for a Carver skateboard.

The 30.75″ Booster with a CX is a great option for advanced radical surf training and pool and park riding – subdued wheelbase (16″), deep concave, wide tail (6.625″) and nose (4.25″) kicks.

carver skateboards booster

Check out the price for the Carver Booster on Jack’s Surfboards

The diamond-tailed, 31″ Carver x Lost Plank, when set up with a Carver C7 truck, offers quick efficient pumping in pools and skateparks as well as aggressive street slashing. Its super-wide (10″) shape eliminates any toe drag.

carver skateboards lost plank
Carver x Lost Plank

The 32″ narrow-shaped Carver Impala Street Surf is designed to blend traditional new school skate tricks with grippy and snappy shortboard-style carving. The slightly bigger Bel Air Street Surf, on the other hands, is meant for blending skate tricks and longboard-style surf flow, being a mix of pool and street board. Both come complete with the narrower C5 truck best-suited for traditional skatepark and street tricks.

carver skateboards impala street surf
Carver Impala Street Surf (click to Amazon)
carver skateboards bel air street surf
Carver Bel Air Street Surf

Best Carver skateboard for younger and/or smaller riders

Younger and smaller riders should generally opt for smaller Carver skateboards for a more responsive and snappier riding experience. The Triton Argon is the smallest board in the Carver lineup, at 26″ x 8.75″ (14.4″ wheelbase). It’s a nice, wide and responsive board, easy to carve for lighter riders. It comes with Carver’s lower C5 trucks, softer bushings (adequate for lighter riders) and smaller 61mm wheels.

carver skateboards triton argon
Triton Argon

Check out the Triton Argon here on Amazon UK

Another valid alternative is the slightly larger sized (27″ x 9″), fish-shaped Triton Hydron, also designed for groms and younger riders.

carver skateboards triton hydron
Triton Hydron

Check out the Triton Hydron on Amazon UK

The Triton Nitron is a slightly larger version of the Hydron (1″ longer, 1/4″ wider), same wheelbase but with a wider nose and a squash tail.

Triton Nitron
Triton Nitron (click for pricing)

Check out the Triton Nitron 28″ here on Amazon UK

The Bureo Ahi has a similar size and shape than the Triton Hydron, but also adds concave, a full kicktail, and small a nose kick. The Ahi is a revolutionary, eco-friendly, high-performance plastic skateboard made from recycled fishing nets. It comes with the CX5 mini trucks and large 65 mm wheels.

carver skateboards bureo ahi
Carver Bureo Ahi

Although also quite small at 28″, the Carver Snapper is wider (9.625″) and designed as a mini-board for full-sized riders with its relatively long 15.375″ wheelbase. It’s a good Carver option to use for warmup before a performance surf session.

carver skateboards snapper
Carver Snapper (click to Amazon)

Best Carver skateboard for retro or classic style

If you’re into retro surf style or classic shape, a few Carver skateboards may attract your attention.

The Mini Simms, for example, is inspired by a Bob Simmons (widely considered the “father” of the shortboard) shape. The very short (27″) and wide outline results in a very tight turning board which still feels like a longboard.

carver skateboards mini simms
Carver Mini Simms

Check out the price for the Mini Simms on Amazon UK

Some of the Carver x Lost boards reproduce some of Lost Surfboards‘ legendary classic styles. The Carver Lost RNF model, for instance, uses Mayhem’s most classic model inspired by the vintage “hot rod” style from the 50s, with a double sidecut outline.

Carver x Lost RNF

Check out the price for Carver Lost RNF on Jack’s Surfboards

The Carver Bel Air Street Surf skateboard is also based on the hot rod shape. The Greenroom also uses a retro template with an ample platform (picture in earlier section).

The Origin also draws its design from widely-used early surfboard shapes, resulting in smooth and flowy rides with strong rail-to-rail responsiveness.

carver skateboards origin
Carver Origin

Best Carver skateboard for flashy & impressive artwork

If you’re an art and design lover, the best Carver board for you is probably one that not only has the right shape and setup but also stands out by its artwork.

The Carver x Lost series are the products of a collaboration between Carver and Lost Surfboards, with some featuring awesome art: the Lost Beanbag with its super cool riding skeleton doing a classic hang-ten, the Lost Psycho Killer and its beautiful earth colors, the Lost Rocket V3 and its ocean landscape and dreamy shades of blue.

The Swallow and the Greenroom also boast amazing surf art, the former featuring a big set of turquoise waves about to break on a sunset background, drawn in portrait mode, the latter displaying a barreling green wave and firey skies in landscape view.

Carver Greenroom (click to Amazon)

The Carver Yago Dora 30″ also has beautiful contemporary pop-art inspired graphics with juxtaposed geometric faces and shapes in white color on a black background.

Best symmetrical Carver skateboard

Symmetrical boards have a special feel to them and are well-suited for dancing and classic freestyle tricks, riding both ways, freeriding on hills, etc. Actually, none of the Carver skateboards is 100% symmetrical since the CX, C7, and C5 truck sets are directional, that is, they are not meant for riding in both directions – the rear truck being more stable than the front.

Even for regular surf carving and pumping, however, symmetrical shapes have their appeal for style and technique. The Haedron (both nº3 and nº6) is a great near-symmetrical pin-tailed Carver board.

The super-short (27″), super-chubby, super-turny, squash-tailed Mini Simms is another awesome example.

The Lost Beanbag is a true double-ended twin shape, short and wide like the Simms though with a round tail.

Mini Simms

See the Lost Beanbag here on Jack’s Surfboards.

Most versatile Carver skateboard for a single board quiver

If what you need is a versatile Carver board for doing a bit of everything, some surf carving, some cruising and pumping, some pushing and commuting, maybe a bit of pool riding, check out these two board:

The Triton Xenon is an (affordable) all-around option due to its longer wheelbase (15.5″ for a length of 29″), slimmer deck with a 9 5/8″ width, and taller CX trucks which make it suitable for many riding uses.

carver skateboards triton xenon
Triton Xenon

Check out the Triton Xenon here on Amazon UK

Another notoriously versatile board that makes a good single board candidate is the midsized (33″) Haedron nº6, which works great for drawn-out carving, pumping, and distance pushing

Best Carver skateboards for innovative/progressive shape

If you’re the explorer type in skateboarding and/or surfing, you’ve probably noticed a few of the 2020 Carver surfskates embrace innovative, progressive shapes from the surfing world. The Carver x Lost Rocket V3, for example, replicates Mayhem’s modern triple-winged design.

The Carver Proteus’ boxy template and wide nose is a reuse of the shape of its surfboard counterpart.

carver skateboards proteus
Carver Proteus (click for price)

Check out the Carver Proteus 30.5″ on Amazon UK

The Lost Maysym is asymmetrical lengthwise, that is, is has different outlines on each side, and its rounded tail features an asymmetrical wing. This progressive shape seeks to optimize performance in both stances (normal and switch).

Check out the Carver Lost Maysym on Jack’s Surfboards

Best fish Carver skateboard

In surfing, fish surfboards are shorter and rounder than regular shortboards, wider, usually thicker, and have a swallow (W-shaped) tail. In the water, they are “skatier” and allow quicker and tighter turns in smaller waves while being easier to paddle on.

Fish-shaped skateboards, on the other hand, are mostly about the stylish look. The wide shapes of fish skateboards do give you more foot room for performing snappy surf-style maneuvers, but that’s not really specific to fish skateboards. Regardless, if you like fish-style shapes, Carver has a few options available in the 29 – 30″ deck length range:

The 27″ Triton Hydron fish model for groms (younger skaters) also belongs to this list.

Photo credits:
Featured image and product shots courtesy of Carver Skateboards


Hey fellow boardrider, want to post a comment or question? Due to the ever-growing number of comments on this site, I've moved them here:
As always, I try to answer as many of your questions as possible. Since the forum is better organized, other riders may also help answer your questions. You can still post comments here if you want to but from now on, I'll mainly be monitoring the forum. Ride on!

  • Many thanks for your outstanding and very useful overview. Also your new article about Yow is the best one I’ve read so far. Coming back to Carver. How would you charketerise the Triton Green Glass 32,5? For example compared to the Carver US thruster 32,25

    • Thanks for the good words! I haven’t tried the Green Glass but looking at the specs they both have almost exactly the same shape and dimensions, same squash tail, rounded nose, kick etc. The only difference is that the Triton apparently has a sligthly longer wheelbase about 3/8″ longer which can make it a tad more stable and comfortable for longer pumping rides. Generally speaking tough, Tritons are more affordable than Carvers but perhaps not as strong – Carvers are bullet-proof and built to last for years. Hope it helps!

      • Hi Big Kahuna – Great review of all Carver boards, super helpful!
        Is Triton a model or Carver boards or a seperate brand??

        • Hey Ryan, thanks for your good words. Triton is a sub-brand of Carver Skateboards, it’s Carver’s affordable surfskate line targeting younger and smaller riders at a lower price point (up to $100 cheaper). While Carver boards are 100% US-made, the Tritons are produced in Asia resulting in lower costs. Carvers are known for their durability (they last forever) but the Tritons are decent quality boards with similar shapes (though shorter) and functionality. They come fitted with the CX truck, not the C7.

          • Thank you so much for this! I have been looking for the breakdown all over the internet of what the differences between triton and carvers are and this thread, and your comments, in particular, have been so helpful! thank you!

          • Hey Colin, glad you find the info helpful. Thanks for the good words! Ride on, Jesse

  • Hi Jesse – thanks again for the great article and advice. One more question for you – i’m looking for a board for my 12yr old. He’s progressing nicely in the water and is comfortable on both short and longboard skate & surfboards. With all the choices of Carver’s, i’m having trouble deciding on what’s best for him. He’s tall for his age – rides a 5’6″ shortboard. I’m looking for a Carver that will help progress his surfing. What style Carver would you suggest – with which trucks? Thanks heaps for your help! Cheers – Ryan

    • Hi Ryan, well that’s a hard question and one that most groms ask at some point. I would say any Carver model in the 28″-30″ range would work, and I would go for a C7 for a fluid surf feel. However, if your kid is looking to learn radical shortboard maneuvers e.g. off-the-lips, tight turns and snapbacks, picking up speed through rail to rail transition, back-foot driven maneuvers etc, something like a YOW (S4) or Swelltech may be better option for him/her. The good think about Carvers is that they’re strong quality products built to last, and the C7 is great for classic-style surf training while being stable enough for cruising and commuting some distance. YOW and Swelltech, on the other hand, are much looser and hence less stable, but super turny and closer to a pure shortboard feel, thus better for that kind of surfing but not so effective for cruising, moving around town, and pushing. Hope this helps!

    • What kind of riding are you looking to do? Surf training? “Surf commuting”? All-around?
      What’s your experience with longboarding and boardsports in general?
      In general, with your size you should probably go for a longer wheelbase e.g. the Greenroom, Haedron 6, or even the Tyler Riddler (35.5″ length, 20.75″ wb)

      • I intend to use the board for fun only, touring, light downhill, ( I live in Holland, the flatest country in the world)skatepark, I would love to slide. I had a skateboard, 40 years ago and wrecked it on downhill rides.
        I don’t want to push, that’s why I want a carver. My natural behavior on wheels is generally to the more adventurous side.
        I am a reasonable skier, snowboarding hurts to much so I quit on that one.
        Why do I never find loaded boards with Carver trucks ?

  • Hi Big Kahuna, thanks for your really helpful, motivating en nice reading site.
    I noticed your enthusiasm over the Loaded Omakase. Would that, combined with a carver CX be a good starter for an very fit, older 6″ 190 pounds reacquainter ? Other options are the Tyler Ridler or Moonshine Hooch. Regards Eduard

    • Hey Eduard, thanks for the kind words, means a lot!
      I find the Omakase + CX to be a cool combination namely due to the 10″ width and the great concave/wheel flares which make carving and pumping a very efficient. The large foot platform and robust construction would be a good match for your size and weight. As always though, it depends on your goals and riding style mix. Surf training? Distance pumping and carving? Any pushing/commuting? City or open roads? Riding experience?
      The Tyler Riddler is a huge board (35.5″ vs 33″ for the Omakase), great for big wide carves, distance pumping, and longboard style riding.
      Never rode the Hooch, looks like a strong board but narrower that the Omakase so perhaps not as comfortable for deep surf carves. Also, I have no clue if that wide square nose will play well with a turny surfskate truck for extreme turns, and if wheelbite is a risk since the front wheels are tucked under the nose. Just a thought.
      I’ll soon make a video of the Omakase with CX so you guys can see how that goes. Before that though, just received the new DB Flow Wedge surfskate, looks pretty cool, I’ll report on that as well shortly.

      • Thanks!
        Forget previous reply, I mis read.

        I’ll go for the loaded. Maybe buy a different one for long distances. I red about these on your site, it also appeals to me, but you can’t have it all in one.

        • You can do long-distance and deep carving with the Omakase Grip n Rip setup (here). With this setup I’m even able to do some decent pumping on the Paris V3 – though not as fluid as with a Carver truck.

          Before switching to the Omakase, my main setup was the Loaded Poke with the Surf Simulation setup (here), worked great for distance pumping but now I prefer the Omakase which is wider and even more pumpable/carvable.
          You can get the Omakase deck standalone (here) and get the CX separately. Another option is, you can buy the Grip n Rip complete and the Waterborne surf adapter (here), haven’t tried that combo but it might give you the best of both worlds, just take the adapter off for stable LDP!
          My 2 cents. Aloha!

  • Your website is great, but I still have a couple questions. I’m interested in picking up a Carver for some casual street riding/carving while my kids are riding their bikes, playing outside, etc. I haven’t been on a skateboard in years and I’m not a surfer (I’m landlocked in Texas), but it looks like the USA Thruster could be a good option (6’2″, 200 lb). For a relative newcomer, do you think the C7 or CX trucks would be a better fit? I’m conflicted and could use some advice.

    • Hey Sean, I ride the CX all the time, very stable, closer to a regular truck, yet really easy to pump and make tight turns with. It’s bushing-based whereas the C7 uses a spring system, so different feel. The C7 is great for surf training, but for all-around riding and some commuting I like the CX a lot. It can also be used for more radical type riding in case you later grow your skills, e.g. snappier maneuvers or bowl/park riding. Your kids (if old enough) are going to love it too, I see kids 7-12 having a blast on these boards. I’d say the USA Thruster sounds like a good choice for your size, weight, and level due to its ample foot platform (good for a 12+ shoe size) and nice stable 18″ wheelbase. The 70mm wheels will give you a nice roll and good cushion on rougher pavement. My 2c! Ride on

  • Hey man !
    Thank you so much for all your very useful articles, I enjoyed them 😉
    I’ve never quitted skatin’ and cruisin’ around & started surfing; I m working on generating speed and soon my first turns (hopefullyè!).
    Ain’t got the opportunity to try any here in Belgium but thanks to you,
    I know that I m gonna go for a Carver C7, Smoothstar, or YOW… & also read somewhere about the Newborne transformator which seems interesting…
    How could I make the right decision ?!

    • Hey Miad, hum “Newborne transformator”… Do you mean Waterborne Surf Adapter? See this post.
      About your options, as always it depends on a lot of things. For a beginner, I would say Carver C7 is the easiest of the three, then Yow, then Swelltech, which is the one with the most lean, and the most backfoot driven (closest to surfing IMO). If you want to cruise and commute, C7. If you want to pump distance or go fast, C7 (or CX). If you want to ride bowls, C7, CX or Yow if you’re good enough. For freestyle jump tricks, CX. For driveway slashing, any for the 3. Helpful? lol

  • Hey big kahuna, Loved the in-depth detailed review! Interested in getting a carver but I’m also a bit overwhelmed with the amount of choice out there as have never ridden a surf skate before. I have some experience skating and surfing and want a board to do a bit of cruising but mainly to practice my surf turns and hopefully progress to snappier manoeuvres. I’m 6’2 and 182kg. Could you recommend a good setup for me please and should I be looking at the cx or c7 trucks. Many thanks man

    • Hey Mills, looks like you’re expanding your options from Slide to Carver! The CX is more stable and better-suited for regular cruising than the C7, and still lets you do some nice snappy surf turns. It’s a tradeoff between surfier vs comfier cruising and pumping. Non-surfer beginners often start with the CX for all-around riding and then move to the C7 for more specialized surf style. Whichever you choose, pick a longer wheelbase for your size.

      • Thanks again for your help really appreciated! Think I’m going to go for the Knox Quill as it’s a longer board with longer wheel base and CX trucks! Super excited to give it a go!

  • Hi Big Kahuna,
    I’ve been reading your articles and comments again and again (they’re great, thank you!) but still can’t decide on my set up 🙁
    It’d be great if I could get your advice!

    A little about me: I’ve been riding a Slide Swallow since couple of years now, both cruising and practicing some (wide) turns. My feeling is that the Swallow is very stable but a bit “bulky” and I’d like to try to evolve to a bit sharper turns. I like to do some power pumping, but my style overall is more on the flowy side, and I’m not an “extreme” rider 🙂 I take my time to practice little by little rather than trying more extreme manoevers right away ^^”
    That being said, it seems to me from your comments that the CX would be a good option for me.
    As per the board I am esitating between mounting the trucks on my Swallow board, or buying a complete set up.
    One that I like from Carver is the Snapper, it would be definitely easier to carry around than my 33′ Swallow and maybe allow for sharper turns (?) but I’m afraid that it would be too small for me (5’6, 140lb) and my riding style.
    (Note that I went for a 33′ board because one of my most frequent mistakes in surfing is to keep my stance too narrow ^^”)

    So yeah, as you can see lot of factors there 😀

    What do you reckon??

    Big thanks!

    • Hey Ambra, well the 28″ snapper (15+ wheelbase) will certainly feel MUCH snappier than your 33″ Slide, I would say it’s best-suited for extreme turns. If you want flowy riding and pumping, I would go for something with a slightly longer wheelbase and length e.g. 30-31″. Also, the C7 has more of a classic/flowy surfing kind of feel than the CX, so it may suit your style better. Just my 2c!

  • Hey there! Great article … wondering if you can help me choose…

    I just learned to surf officially this year on a trip to South Africa. Bought a 6′ surfboard and everything. I also was introduced to Carvers and learned to ride them too.

    I don’t live near the ocean, so I want something that feels as close to suring as possible for me to do when I am home, so when I get back to surfing, I’m conditioned.

    I don’t want something cumbersomely long, but also don’t want to be so snappy that its only good for going in circles.

    I’m debating on the Origin, the Resin, or the CI Flyer. With C7 trucks.

    Any suggestions?

    • It depends, what’s your height/weight? What’s your surf level now, are you able to stand up and ride down the face of the wave?
      The C7 is pretty good for surf conditioning, but if you really want surf training IMO Swelltech is the closest, it really feels like being on a wave. It will help you improve your surfing while you’re landlocked. Check out this post.
      Carver OTOH is better if you want to do some commuting as well.

        • I updated the Carver comparison guide to include the new 2020 models, should be helpful if you haven’t made up your mind yet. I’d still go for the Swelltech for pure surf training though.

  • No love for the Resin?
    I find that it fits squarely in the ‘single board quiver’ category, especially with C7s. Adjustable, wide, and pumps well.

    Great write-up though!

  • Hi! I’d like to get into surfing eventually and thought this would be a good option to train on land while I can’t be on the water. I’ve been doing some research and am leaning towards the Carver Channel flyer with a c7 – would this be a good fit given that I am 5’2 and about 95 lbs? Or would a shorter board serve the same purpose given that I am small?


    • Hey Angie, it also depends on your level and what you want to do. Do you have board sports experience? Do you want to do radical surf maneuvers like tight snapbacks? If so, given your size you could go smaller e.g. 28-29″. OTOH if you’re a newbie you may want a bit more stability and easy pumping, which a 30-31″ model like the Flyer can provide for you.
      For easy beginner surf skate you may also want to check out the Flow Wedge, see my review here. The Slide is another pretty good beginner board (see here).
      Ride on!

      • No I don’t have a lot of board sports experience, so pretty new at this. Was just looking for something that would make surfing a bit easier later on. Eventually I think I’d want to learn snapbacks and stuff. Would maybe the pod mod be better?

        • Down the road you’ll certainly be able to pull radical moves with either one, but in the short term I think the Flyer will help you learn faster as it’ll give you a bit more stability with its wheelbase over an inch longer than the Pod Mod. The Flyer also has a fuller squash tail vs the Pod Mod’s swallow tail – a full kick will give you a bit more secure foot placement and more grip in tight backfoot-driven maneuvers.

  • Hi Big Kahuna. That was really helpful thanks! I’m thinking about a budget version to start with. The obvious option would be Triton the Black Star or the Blue Horizon. Or should I invest more and buy a deck with C7 wheels as surfer friends suggest? I want to improve my surfing but I also need a board to cruise around the city and get from A to B. I’m 1,73 m tall and weight 62 kg. Thanks for your advice! Cheers -Rich

    • You mean C7 trucks, correct? That would work though the C7 is kinda pricey. If you’re a newbie surfskater with a limited budget and you want to also be able to move around comfortable, you may want to check out a Flow (here) or a Loaded Poke with CX trucks (here). Both work really good for me for “surf-style commuting”.
      Also take a look at the new longboard selection tool here – I’m adding more boards daily.
      Ride on!

      • Thanks so much! The Flow looks really great, but don’t you think I should go smaller as I’m 5’8, 136 lbs? No recommendation for either the Blue Horizon or Black Star? Maybe I’m too fixated on Carver but everyone seems to love them. Cheers!

        • Hey Rich, given your weight and height you can certainly go smaller if your goal is mainly shortboard-style surf training. The 30-31″ Triton boards are great for that and they look awesome. The Flow I suggested is 32″ so not much longer, so it’s all down to your personal preferences. Just be aware that the shorter the surfskate the more effort it will take to use it for transport, there’s kind of a surf vs commute tradeoff. In my experience the Flow Wedge is super comfortable for commuting and still great for surf carving, which is why I often recommend it for newer surfers. Plus it’s very affordable. But of course, Carver is Carver! (or Triton)

  • Hi there. I own the Omakase with V3s and I wonder how the board works with the waterborne adapter. Is it comparable with the C7 or near to swelltech? I already own the Tyler Riddler with C7, too, so it wouldn’t make sense to pimp my Omakase if both boards feels the same afterwards. Could you discribe it for me? Regards

    • Hey Michael, haven’t had a chance to test the Omakase + Waterborne combo yet, sorry. If you do please share your experience with us. Ride on!

  • Hi Big Kahuna,
    Thank you very much for a very informative and insightful post. As many commentators here, I am looking for a surf skateboard and would greatly appreciate it if could direct me in my searches. I am a surfer, have been surfing for a few years, but live in a land-locked country and would like to practice my turns when I am at home. I ride a wave quite well and can do left and right bottom turns. I am 164cm and 52kg. I have never had a skateboard though. Generally speaking, cost is not a concern for me (within reasonable limits) and I am looking for the best product that will help me to improve my surfing. I don’t plan to use my board for commuting, only for surf training. But being on a cautious side, I am leaning towards more stable boards. What would you recommend? Thanks very much in advance!

    • Hello, well it’s a broad question but if your focus is surf training albeit with some stabilty then a Carver with C7 truck is probably a good option for you – for your size you can probably shoot for something in the 28-30″ range, check out my Carver comparison guide here if you haven’t already.

      For performance shortboard-style surf training I would suggest a Swelltech (see this post) but these boards are very loose and somewhat unstable, best-suited for advanced surfers. At the other end of the spectrum, Slide is nice and stable and still surfy (see this post). A Carver will be more high-end if you have the budget though, and the C7 truck will give you some pretty effective surf training and help you build up your surf skills.
      Hope you find the board of your dreams 🙂 Aloha! Jesse

      • Thank you very much! This is very helpful. I’ve checked out your Carver and Slide reviews, both of which are excellent, and am debating now between Carver Courtney Conlogue (CC) Sea Tiger and Slide Quad or Joyful Splatter (the smallest size that Slide offers). Swelltech, perhaps, will be too much for me to handle. Thank you once again. Very best.

  • Jesse, all of your posts are very informative, can’t that you enough. Considering Haedron6, USA Thruster, CIBlack Beauty. late 50s experienced surfer (5’10”, 170), been riding a 46″ sector 9 for some time now. so carving vs shred and tricks, etc. The idea here to make the jump to completely differnt truck so the CX7…find it interesting that recommending CX with the Haedron6, but the CX7 with the other borads…am I missing something relative to the other aspects of these boards? secondly, as these three have similar dimensions, set up, does it really come down to visual appeal or do you feel there are other significant distinctions? Many thanks.

    • Hey Tom, the CX and C7 are very different trucks, the CX is closer to a classic longboard truck and bushings-based while the C7 uses a spring and has a more flowy classic surf feel. The CX typically plays well with a shorter wheelbase, and is often used for snappier, more shortboard-like moves so it’s often paired with shortboard-type deck shapes.
      As for the decks you mentioned, they do differ in lengths (31.75″/32.24″/33″) and more importantly in wheelbase (17.75″/18″/18.5″) which can be significant. Depending on the type of riding, you may favor a fuller vs a leaner shape, e.g. the Black Beauty has less foot platform towards the nose and tail while the USA Thruster has a wider outline, and the Haedron is in-between. These can influence your ability to do extreme surf maneuvers (you’ll want a leaner outline for snappier turns) vs your comfort for flowy turns (e.g. with the C7) or distance pumping. No easy answer! Ride on

      • All good, I was just surprised with the larger wheelbase and “in between” shape/dimensions as you say, I keep seeing the CX as recommended for the Haedron6, which seems counterintuitive to the other boards of this size. I’m leaning towards it for versatile shape but going w CX7 for flow and wide carves.

      • Here is one for you:
        I’m relatively new to skateboarding of any type. I started about 2 years ago and have only used Carver trucks. I have all 3. When I try using other trucks I really struggle. I think I’ve been spoiled by Carver. Recently I’ve become interested in longboards and have tried a couple. I love the fact that with just a few strong pumps you can glide much further. The problem is the trucks. I need the Carvers. Can you recommend a deck that would work well with the C5 truck? I’ve sort of narrowed it down to about a 40” board with a 27” WB. The only board I’ve found that comes close is a 10” pin tail with a kick tail. Do you think this could work? I like the lower to the ground feel of the C5. Great reviews by the way.
        Many Thanks Kevin

        • Hey Kevin, sorry don’t have much experience with the C5, and the guys I’ve seen riding with it mostly did pool riding. But I’m with you on fitting Carvers on a larger deck for awesome pumping and fluid carves, I love running the CX on both the Loaded Poke and the Omakase. Hope you find your unicorn!

  • Hey Big Kahuna thanks so much for the detailed review.
    I wanted to know if you could help me choose a board. I rode the 31″ da monsta board with c7 trucks for a couple of years and I had a lot of fun. I don’t do tricks nor anything crazy, I like to pump and do somewhat tight turns. I’m 5 10′ and 165lb. My shoe size is 10us.
    Im considering the 31″ Carver oracle but I’m not sure if a wider board like the 31″ plank is a better option due to shoe size and manageability.
    I don’t really surf and I ride the boards for fun. Do you recommend the c7 or the cx? Thanks.

    • Hey Ethan, the Plank is slightly wider in the middle. has significantly more foot room on the nose and tail, and has a longer wheelbase, so I’d say it’s better for some distance pumping. It’s still going to turn tight compare to the Oracle. I’d go for the Oracle for extreme shortboard surf snapbacks in driveways and such, but I think the Plank will be more comfortable for moving around and better for pumping.
      As for CX vs C7, tough call. Unlike the C7, the CX has no springs but rubber bushings. If you’re used to the C7 you might find the CX stiffer and not as flowy at first, but it’s great for distance pumping. It’s also snappier for extreme turns and bowls while the C7 has more of a classic flowy surf feel with fluid turns. So it’s really a personal preference thing, the feeling between the 2 is quite different.

  • Thank you for this article, it is a lot of help.

    I have been riding a Penny board for a couple years now and feel pretty comfortable and want to take a step up. Something with more room for my feet, a good pump, and to eventually lead me to surfing. I am drawn to a 28″ snapper C7 and was wondering if that’d be a good place to start? I noticed it falls under the category of younger and smaller riders, I’m 21 years old, 5’7 and 120lbs. Let me know if this would be a good board for me or if you would recommend something else.


    • Hey, as always it depends on what you want to do. 28″ is quite short, the short wheelbase makes the board very turny and easy to get pumping from a standstill, but it will be on th twitchy side so not so great for riding distance. If you want to practice fluid surf turns in driveways it’s a good option, but if you want to move around further distances I would go for a slightly longer deck e.g. 30″ (wider stance, more stable pumping).
      The CX is also more stable than the C7 for pumping distance, while the C7 has more of a fluid classic surf feel.
      See also my new surfskate selector tool here.
      Ride on!

  • Hey, one more question…. My C7 starts to squeak after 2 months of using, have you ever recognized that on yours? Can I put some oil on it without worrying?

    • I’ve had squeaking on my CX, fixed it by inserting some surf wax inside the pivot cup underneath the bushings. Never had the issue on a C7 so I can’t help but check out this video around 7:20, it’s in Spanish but you can the guy taking the C7 apart for maintenance.

  • Hi Big Kahuna

    Wondering if you can give some pointers on what board options i should be considering. Beginner surfer (just starting to work on gradual turns), Intermediate/high snowboarder (enjoy my best carving), last skateboarded 30 years ago. I’ve always wanted to start longboarding to do mostly cruising but hafta admit, watching videos of carving on these surfskates have me excited. I guess I’m looking for something friendly for starters but has some upside to progress to some surf style carving and help with progressive training in between surf seasons. Any guidance appreciated! Thanks!

    • Hey Kyo, well there are lots and lots of options so it’s a hard question. Your choice depends on your specific goals, your size, and a bunch of other factors. Are you also looking to commute or pump distance on your board? Do you want to do flowy classic surf carving or radical cutbacks and roundhouses? Will you be riding bowls? How tall and how big are you, what kind of stance?
      To get you on track, first take a look at my surfskate selector here and start by narrowing down your choices.

      • Gotcha, so I’m 5′ 7″, 141lbs, leaning more towards flowy classic surf carving, goofy, won’t be riding boards and while not using for commutes, will probably do short distance rides around the neighborhood. Not sure if that’s specific enough 🙂 Thanks again, really appreciate your help.


        • For classic surf you might consider a Carver C7, a Slide, or a Flow – depending on your budget. Aim for a longer deck for to your size e.g. something in the 31″ – 33″ range, a longer wheelbase will give you more flow and stability compared to a super short deck. I would probably stay away from YOW, Swelltech, Smoothstar since they’re really loose, better suited for hardcore surf performance – although it also depends on the deck and your skills. A Caver CX could work as well though snappier and not as fluid as the spring-based C7 but still stable enough for learning. Play with the filters in the surfskate selector for identifying some good models for you.

          • Thanks again! I was using the surfskate selector and landed on Carver Greenroom. Question, among the 2020 lineup of Carver, is there something similar to the Greenroom? And find myself a bit indecisive between the C7 and CX. Is there a fairly noticeable difference in stability between the two? (I’m leaning towards CX). Thank you again and sorry for all the questions. I’m probably overthinking it by this point.


          • Looking at my comparison sheet in the Carver post, it seems the closest 2020 model to the Greenroom would be the Black Tip – 32.5″ length, 17.5″ WB vs 33.75″/18.875″ for the Greenroom, so slightly shorter and quicker turning.
            The C7 and CX have very different feels, it’s hard to decide without trying. I find the CX more stable and great for distance pumping, but the C7 is more flowy and feels more like a bigger surfboard.

  • Hi Big Kahuna,

    You have convinced me to choose an actual Carver rather than the Triton, due to the longer term durability and build qualities…

    But now I’m struggling to pick a board right for me, I’m hoping you still feel like being so helpful! I am 5,9 and weight ranges from +-87kg – 93kg (198 – 205lbs). I’m looking for a board to improve surfing (beginner in terms of pumping for speed and maneuvers) but also cruise the city and get the surfing feeling while out away from a decent wave… I’ll be looking for banks or slopes to mind carve, but unlikely to get too experimental in a park or air…

    Thanks very much!

    • Since you’re a bigger rider and looking to do some distance pumping I would suggest perhaps a larger deck with a full outline for pumping momentum and a ample foot space for building up your carving skills. E.g. somthing like the Greenroom or the Knox Quill – of course there are other options. The CX works well for city commuting and snappy carving.

  • Hi!

    I’m a beginner skater and am not a surfer by any means. I’ve loved trying out my friends’ Carvers and really want one of my own! I mostly want it to cruise from class to class and through the hills and driveways at my college. I thought I wanted a Mini Simms or a Triton because they’re small and probably lighter weight, but I’ve heard I should get something longer if I’m mostly looking to cruise. I’m about 5’2 and 120. What board/trucks do you think are best?

    • Hey Michie, I agree you may want a longer deck/wheelbase for getting around, a smaller deck is going to be more turny and require a lot more effort to maintain momentum when pumping. I would say look for a deck in the 29″ – 31″ range, should be big enough for your size. The CX works very well for pumping distance, I ride it all the time for miles on bike trails and large sidewalks. Just be aware that the Carver trucks are quite tall so pushing a lot will be more tiresome than a regular truck since the distance to the ground is higher. If OTOH you mostly wanna pump your way through college then the CX is your guy! Ride on!

  • Hi Big Kahuna,

    Thanks so much for your articles! They’ve really helped me understand more about surf skates. Though with the overwhelming amount of choices out there I would appreciate your two cents.

    A little about me
    * I’m 164cm or 5’4, 56KG
    * Previously lived by the coast, back then I was feeling comfortable in the water, able to get up, ride the wave, and learning to surf left and right. I’ve since moved in land and have noticed that my surfing has stopped improving (so sad), hence interested in purchasing a surf skate.
    * I feel that I’ll be more into the classic style surf training as well as learning turns etc. though probably a bit away from radical tricks!

    From what I’ve read, I’m leaning towards Carve, C7 trucks, and considering the 1. Firefly 30.25 2. The Resin 31 and/ or The Knox Quill 31.25’. Interested to hear your thoughts!

    Thanks a bunch – Jess

    • Hey Jess, all three would work for surf training with the C7, I would say the Knox Quill may be a bit slower for turns given your size with its longer 17.5″ wheelbase. The Firefly and the Resin are very similar with just 1/2″ difference in wheelbase (and <1" in length) but it looks like the Resin comes with slightly bigger wheels (69mm vs 65mm for the Firefly) which I think is better for flowy carvy turns and fluid pumping with a C7. I guess I'd go for the Resin - but I'm also a bit biased as I love the blue water graphics haha.

  • Hi Jesse!

    I’m so glad to found this website with such a lot of useful info! : )

    I’m a newbie with just a little experience on snowboarding, and would like to get a board to commuting within 3 km, learn some basic tricks at skatepark with my son, and practice snowboarding (not sure whether this is realistic). I’m 5’2, 110 lbs, and turning 40 this year.

    Do you think if the Carver CC Sea Tiger (2020 version) with CX trunk would be suitable? I saw that CX truck is recommended for the 2019 version (16″ wheelbase, 78A wheel), while it’s ok to use both CX and C7 for the 2020 version (15 3/4″ wheelbase, 81A wheels). Is there a specific reason for this?

    My 2nd choice is the Carver Knox Quill if this is also a suitable option.

    OTOH, I’m also thinking to get a skateboard/ longboard, adding the Waterborne Surf and Rail Adapters on front and back, as it seems workable for my purposes, and these adapters sounds better than the Carver C7? If this is suitable, what would be the ideal length and width for the board? or any suggestion for the board?

    I’m open for suggestion. Thank in advance : )

  • Hi Jesse,

    I’m so glad to found this website with full of useful info! : )

    I’m a newbie with just a little experience on snowboarding. Would like to get a board for:
    (1) commuting to the local shops in 1-3 km
    (2) learn some basic tricks at skatepark with my son
    (3) get something to do when my son play at the park
    (4) practice snowboarding (not sure whether this is realistic)
    FYI, I’m 5’2, 110 lbs, turning 40 this year.

    Would Carver Sea Tiger with a CX trunk suitable for these purposes? Is there special reasons for CX trunk is recommended for the 2019 version (16″ wheelbase, 78A wheels), while it is ok to use both CX and C7 for the 2020 version (15 3/4″ wheelbase, 81A wheels)?

    My 2nd choice would be the Carven Knox Quill. If you think this is more suitable, would you suggest to partner with a CX or C7?

    OTOH, I’m also thinking to get a skateboard/ longboard, and add the Waterborne Surf and Rail Adapters on it, because it seems it would do my purposes, and sounds to be perform better than the C7. If this is a workable option, could you please give some ideas for the kind of board and the length/ width? or, any specific board to suggest?

    I’m open to suggestion. Thanks a lot in advance : )

  • Sorry, Jesse. On top of my previous options, I would also like to add the Loaded Omakase on list for your comment. I wonder if this one is too big for my size (5’2, 110 lbs). Thank you once again : )

  • Hallo Big Kahuna, this is an excellent article. Many thanks for putting the effort to compile all this together! A quick one if I may – I’m a bad surfer and even worse skater but the surfing feel/ training is what I’m after. What would be the best carver setup (or any other setup?) to improve/ train as if surfing a 9′ + longboard somewhere on mellow waves? I’m 184cm, 80kg. Many thanks! Mario

  • Thank you for the extensive reviews from both the YOW and Carver. Maybe you can help out as I want to extend the quiver yet not get something too far off from what I already own and really complement. I already own a Hamboard Logger and a Smoothstar however the latter actually a tad too big for me considering weight and length. So I am looking for something to complement and also a bit smaller to take with me. As I am still a beginner (I am getting to get to know my Hamboard better and better) I am looking for something to cruise, go for longer distances, yet also be something to train my surfing skills with and maybe also go for some curbs/parking hills and maybe the bowl someday. I am familiar with the Smoothstar yet want a bit more stability. My question is what you would recommend (169cm, 67kg): YOW or Carver and which model? Reading it all made it for me even more confusing even though the explanations all made sense, haha.

    Kind regards and thank you in advance,


  • Hi there,

    I am 180cm and 77kg.
    Looking to skate mostly around boardwalks and streets, I want a board that i can progress on as im still pretty new to the sport so something that is fun for cruising but I can also learn surf maneuvers on.

    have two boards in mind, the yago dora skinny goat or the pintail blue haze 31.

    Both quite different was wondering what the experts would suggest?


  • Hey,
    Great review, I’m thinking about getting a 30.5″ Prisma – C7 Complete – can you offer any opinion on this, i cant find much online? I am a complete beginner to skating, I surfed some years ago for a bit on wider 7ft+ boards. Looking for a smoother ride in general, with the possibility of some sharper turns once i get the hang of it (nothing to radical though). I’m 5:10 165 pounds.

  • Hey Big Kahuna,
    Loved the article.
    I’m a senior school teacher involved in a surfing program in Victoria, Australia, and at work we were discussing introducing surfskating as an additional part of our program/training/skill development. Our students are aged from 15-18y/o and are of varying skill level. All can surf, some still ride beginner long boards, others are competent short board riders. Varying heights and weights. I’m looking for a suggestion for a board model or possibly 2 that would be versatile, durable and assist in surf skill development. We have a really nice new smooth Asphalt driveway (100m long and flat, with a slightly angled large car park at the end). This is where we would ride.
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated, even other brands/models that may be better suited.

    • Hey Marty,
      That’s a tough one since you have different rider sizes/weights and different levels. As you may know the choice of a surfskate depends heavily on those three factors (height, weight, boardriding level). Regarding the choice of truckset, more experienced surfers are likely to prefer the Carver C7 truck for fluid surf-style carving while newbies will probably feel more stable and confident with the Carver CX. Smaller riders would do fine on a smaller deck <30" while bigger ones could go 32"+. For beginners you may also want a fuller shape with wider tail and nose.
      As you can tell, this isn't an easy equation and my take is you should get as many different boards as you can to suit everyone's needs.

      Aside from Carver, you may want to check out Slide, they’re nice and stable yet carvy enough for beginner surf training – and affordable.
      For advanced surfers, Swelltech is IMO the ultimatesurf trainer.

      See also my surfskate selector tool and my newer post on choosing the right surfskate for you.
      Best of luck and ride on!

  • Hi, I’d love some help on choosing the best board for me. I’m 165cms 65kgs. I snowboard, but don’t surf (and never will) looking at carvers and smoothstar. It will mainly be used in big open places and for very short commutes. My hubby has an old Carver flyer which I like but found harder to get speed and keep momentum compared to a friends smoothstar Filipe Toledo. I felt like I needed a bigger board than my husbands but smaller than my friends. I love carving & speed! Would love some suggestions.

    • Hey, tough question as there are so many variables. If your goal is speed and momentum vs super-tight turns in a driveway or parking lot, that narrows it down a bit, indeed you want a longer deck/wheelbase but with a more stable truck for optimal pumping. Smoothstar and Swelltech are more pure surf training boards, they’re generally not considered the best choice for going fast. There are tons of options for fast pumping such as the Loaded Omakase with CX trucks or the Loaded Poke with CX. You could also get one of the longer Carver completes (with CX). Check out my surfskate selector tool and this newer article on choosing the best surfskate for you. All the best, ride on!

  • Hi, Big Kahuna, thank you for your reviews.
    I bought bureo ahi, but tracks don’t look like C5 or even CX. Is it possible, that it comes with CX mini? But according to the description of the model at shop web-site it must be C5. I’ve found that my tracks are CX mini. Is any big difference between C5 and CX (C4) and CX mini raw?

    • The mini CX is a small version of the CX which means it’s a RKP truck primarily designed for surf-style pumping, only shorter and narrower to fit a smaller deck with shorter wheelbase like the Bureo Ahi and make it more stable. The C5, on the other hand, is a TKP (traditional, or standard, kingpin truck), a special “street” truck designed to perform street and park tricks while combining those with surfskate pumping. Each has a distinct feel (RKP vs TKP) and which is better for you depends on how you want to ride the Bureo, mostly surf carving/pumping or street/park?

  • So I’ve been riding the Yago Carver board for a couple of weeks now and hands down, for the type of person who surfed and skated most all of my adolescent life, this has to be one of the best all around boards that I’ve had so far this year where I’ve tried over 50 different skateboards… This particular board is great for commuting and smashing everything down the road as you go, it’s berrings fly and the large and soft wheels make it impossible to hear rolling through Walmart or any store with smooth ground. I also discovered that going down hill at high speeds with this particular board going near 50mph, got me speed wobbles causing me to clip a vehicle in the middle of a busy traffic circle, dislocated both shoulders and was covered in blood from massive road rash but I accept falling as apart of skateboarding as not one aspiring skater to pro level has fallen, so it’s something one must embrace. I’m glad I’m not dead and sure, going 50mph in Long Beach, California is a normal thing out here and we’re not going to stop living it up.

  • My brother and I consider to invest in a quiver carverboard ; we are both beginners early 40 year old, 190lbs, 6’’ and foot size us9.5…
    We search 2 complementary boards in order develop wide skills carve long, short, snap, cruising…
    Please help us choose the best combo…
    thanks in advance for your ideas

  • Hey. Looking for some advice on selecting a carver. I to develop my technique for pumping/speed generation and eventually developing more radical turns. I am 5’11, 215lbs. Its been a long time since Ive skated much, but I am a lifetime snowboarder and finally progressing my surfing from longboards only into midlengths and fishes.

    Carver’s stock on their website is pretty limited right now due to COVID, but there are a few models that look like they might fit the bill. Any recommendations between the C1 Flyer, the Oracle, and the Blue Haze? Im also leaning toward the CX trucks.

  • Can someone give me a review about the Lost Psycho Killer?
    I want a CX carver, I already have a C7 and I dont know which one should I pick, the psycho killer or the CI flyer.(if u can tell me about the psycho killer it would be awesome. Thx

  • Oh forgot to tell
    I’m an advanced surfer I surf a lot of years and I want something that will help me improve my surfing but also be super carvy and strong of the lips. I’m 5,10 70 kg and I’m already have a c7 carver and I want a cx one. I had the surfpunk carver that I liked but was too long and I have the USA booster c7 which is good but it’s old and half broken. Just to remind I am considering buying the CI flyer or the lost psycho killer and I would like to have reviews about them. I’m open to any other carver suggestions so if you have something hit me up. Thx

  • Hi, thanks for sharing all this information! I do have a question regarding the Carver Da Monsta; is there a board in the current Carver lineup which resembles that particular board most? As I really liked that one and would like to continue surfing in the same C7 style…

  • Thanks for this guide Big Kahuna!

    Can you recommend a board for me or confirm if I’m looking at the right ones? I’m 5’6″ 135lbs. Very comfortable on a riding skateboard/cruiser. Nowadays mainly cruise on flat parks and streets, but doing some pumping and carving would be nice! I’m a novice at surfing and haven’t been in awhile, but am looking to consistently learn in future, so a ideally a board would help with that too. From your guide and my profile I’m looking at Greenroom or Courtney’s.

  • Hello big khauna,
    Thanks for your outstanding and very useful overview.
    How would you charketerise the super surfer? For example compared to Black beauty ❓
    I’m 1.80m
    About 85kg
    I’m surfing for several year’s and looking for fast riding across the city and some fun at the pump park as well.
    I had before the resin, and praktel.
    Thanks again for your help

  • Big Kahuna,
    I’m struggling with what to do! I’m getting conflicting advice from others. I’ve decided to go with a Carver as something like a YOW may be too challenging at my level.

    But I’m not sure with deck or truck system (CX or C7).

    Background: I really just started surfing this year. I’m using boards between 8 and 9 feet and can catch my own waves, though I can’t really turn yet. I’m around 5’8 and 1/2, 152 pounds. Looking for something not too advanced but to help me cruise around, keep my balance, and do some training over the winter. Thank you.


  • Hey there!! thank you for this article! it was very helpful… I am land-locked in Georgia but have experience both surfing and skating. I would not say I am superr experienced, but i am enough to be able to challenge myself. I mostly have surfed fun boards and have one short board. What would you recommend for me: someone who is athletic, active, but not overly experienced in skating/surfing… I would use it to just mess around in my town, not at any skateparks or anything. I really think i would lovee one that has great cutbacks and carving, i just don’t want to pick one that is out of my league either. I am 5’6, 125lb and i think basically my question is, which board is one where i won’t kill myself on it, but is still challenging enough?? haha. I want to improve my surfing skills so that when i do get to go surf I see noticeable improvement. Thank you!

    • Hey Maya,

      Well, it’s not an easy question to answer since as you know, each surfskate system has its pros and cons.
      If you wanted pure surf training, I’d say definitely go for the Swelltech, it’s the closest to surfing I’ve tried (I’m a lifelong surfer).
      If you wanted all “surfskate commuting”, I’d say pick a Carver CX, stable and great for distance pumping.

      Since you want surf cross-training but also some neighborhood riding, the Swelltech may not be the best choice. I mean you can get used to it for transport after a while but it’s relatively unstable and high off the ground for pushing, and it’s not ideal for distance pumping either. It’s really best for practicing extreme surf turns.

      The YOW is closer to the skateboard end of the skate-surf spectrum compared to the Swelltech. It’s very lose as well but not as high riding, and not nearly as “rail-diving”. You can’t easily do 360s with the YOW.
      Also, you can lock the YOW truck to turn it into a a normal longboard for easy cruising and pushing.

      The Carver C7 is a good compromise between surf training and a convenient ride for getting around. You can choose how surfy you want to go by choosing the right length/wheelbase and tuning the truck tighter or looser.
      The Carver won’t be as “shortboardy” and loose turning as the YOW but will be more “all-around”. You can still get some pretty good surf training out of a C7 (especially with a shorter deck) though it’ll feel more like a classic surf / longboard than a shortboard. You can also cruise and get around the neighborhood quite comfortably.

      The CX is very stable, great for heavy pumping. I use it on my Loaded Poke and Omakase. Great snappy surf carving as well, though a lot more stable than a YOW or Swelltech. And less flowy than the C7. I’d probably recommend the C7 over the CX for the kind of surf training you want.

      All in all, I would say either a YOW or a C7 would be your best bet. YOW for more extreme surf turns, or C7 for fluid classic surf but comfy riding in the neighborhood. The C7 will feel natural from the start, but my guess is you’d become comfortable with the YOW very quickly too. Just keep in mind the YOW will take more effort for going from A to B.

      Hope this helps
      Ride on!

      • Hi Big Kahuna,

        Great detailed article and review! I would like to get your recommendation on my daughter that wants to learn to surf. She’s 12, 5’2 ft and 120 lbs. No experience in boarding. Tried a different brand board recently and learned really quickly but I heard Carver is the best choice. I’d appreciate your advice.
        Thank you!


        • Hey Jenn, Carver is the oldest and one of the best quality surfskate brands – that’s reflected in their board prices. If you’re looking for a surfskate she’s going to progress on for a few years, I’d say go for a Carver, it’s a good investment. There are other quality brands like YOW or Slide but a Carver C7 truck is a great surf training option for kids – many young surfers 10-12 ride them at my local spot. For her size and level, probably choose a board in the 28-29″ range. Welcome to the surfers world!

  • Hello, I’ve been surfing for 25 years and snowboarding for 3. I’m 5’9″ and weigh 185lbs. I’m looking for a board to cruise and carve on something smooth and flowers that can do an occasional snap when I want. I’ve spent most of my life shortboarding, but in a surfskate I’m looking for something that flows and carves well.

    I greatly appreciate any suggestions. Thank you!

  • Hi Big Kahuna!

    First of all superb review. Very complete and detailed, thank you!

    Sorry this will be a long intro before my question… 😉

    I have currently a Triton Green Glass 32, of which I am having lots of fun in pumptracks, bowls, and in pushing in the streets.
    I am trying to find a board, with C7 trucks, to up the game a bit. I was looking at the Greenroom 34, but kind of realize this is the same as my Triton, just over 2 inches bigger… So maybe not the way to go.
    One of my friend, who introduced me to surfskates has a Venice pintail 36 and I really fancy the shape of it, although I am not familiar with the size (yet?).
    I like the fact that the Triton is a quite polyvalent.
    Then I now look at the Headron. Shape is really nice, and it would fit with what I am doing when I ride.
    Thing is: number 6 is only 1 inch longer than my board, so is it worth it? I would not mind go a bit longer, but I am afraid that the 9 would not allow me to have fun in the curves and bowls…

    Any input on this?

    Many thanks!

  • hey big kahuna,
    i live in London and looking for a board that is good for cruising and pushing on surfaces that are quite rough with some bumps, aswell as being good at going round corners like a penny board, i am 5’11 and around 150lbs. any suggestions?

  • Hey, it’s a great article about carver’s specifications, and it’s a ton of useful information. you know, I need to print all those tables 🙂

    One more question for you – how strong C7 mechanics will be if the rider is overweight 🙂 I mean, will you suggest CX because it will be damaged less. I don’t find this kind of info.

    Thank you for your answer

    • Since the C7 is spring-based, it’s not as bullet proof as a bushing truck. Also depends on what you do with the C7, how hard you ride etc. TBH I don’t have experience with how well the C7 holds up with heavier riders, but I would probably go for the CX to be sure. You can always get harder bushings if necessary, easier than replacing springs! HTH
      ride on!

  • Hi Big Kahuna,

    Thanks for writing this awesome article! Lots of great info here but wondering if you may be able to help me as I have zero experience skateboarding and am looking to learn.

    I’m 33, 5’0, 110 lbs. My main goal is be able to cruise around town from point A to point B. Ideally it would be great to have a board that if I was inclined to start learning tricks once I got comfortable that I’d be able to do that on. Do you have any suggestions on a good starter Carver?

    I have some experience surfing, mainly 9′ longboards if that helps at all…

  • Howzit man, I’m a novice surfer with a 6’2 short board. I’m slowly progressing into turns and I need help on my pumping and carving. What do you think would be the best model for me?

    Awesome review by the way!!!

  • this is such a great article! thank you! I am a complete beginner at surfing as well as skating and I have been trying to find Carver C7 black tip with absolutely no luck! Black Tip seems like the perfect board for technical training while I am away from the ocean, stable enough for a beginner like me but now that I zeroed in on it and unable to find it anywhere, I do not know which board to go for instead. Do you have any other recommendations?

    • Hey, thanks for the good words. I actually do have a great recommendation, however I can’t share it publicly here because it’s a brand new surfskate from a top leading brand which will be officially unveiled in a couple of weeks. I already have it on hand and I can tell you right now it looks A LOT like the Carver Black Tip, only better! It’s simply fantastic.
      If you’d like to know more just shoot me a message on the website’s contact form – again I’m not allowed to talk about it in public just yet before the launch which is coming up in July.
      Ride on,

About me

Big Kahuna

Hi I'm Jesse. All my life I've been passionate about the board riding lifestyle. Some years ago I got into longboarding, and in doing so, I discovered a whole new universe and a fantastic community. There's something for everyone in longboarding regardless of age, gender, size, and fitness level. Ride on!

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