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Best Carver Skateboards (The Real Brand!) Comparison Guide

Best Carver Skateboards (The Real Brand!) Comparison Guide

Last updated 05/2023

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.

NOTE: some use the term “Carver” to refer to surfskates in general, including cheap knock-off brands. Carver is a trademark and high-end surfskate brand with a lot of R&D in their products. You should generally stay away from obscure brands for surfskates as they’ll likely give you a lame experience.

Carver has quite a huge lineup and choosing the best Carver skateboard for you 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:

Super Snapper28″15.625″Squash (fat)$252
Lost x Carver Hydra29″16″Swallow wing$230$252
Channel Island Fishbeard29.25″15.5″Swallow$250$285
Triton Spectral30″16.125″Squash$170
CI Happy30.75″16.75″Squash$250$285
Aipa Sting30.75″16.75″Swallow$250$306
Yago Skinny Goat30.75″16.75″Squash$250$265
Kai Lenny Lava31″17″Squash$250$285
J.O.B. Blue Tiger31″17″Squash$270$285
Triton Signal31″17″Squash$192
Knox Phoenix31.25″17.5″Squash$270$285
Super Slab31.25″17.25″Squash$252
CI Black Beauty31.75″17.75″Pintail$246$286
Lost x Carver Quiver Killer 32″18″Round pin$272
Tommii Lim Proteus33″18.375″Rounded$285
J.O.B. Camo Tiger33.5″17.5″Squash$270$285
Continental37″21.25″Round square$270$285

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
2020 Carver skateboards with specs and characteristics (click to view)

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) Fishbeard is a wide and short (29.25″ x 9.75″) skateboard with a shape based on Channel Island’s popular progressive, everyday fish surfboard shape.

Carver Channel Island Fishbeard

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

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

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.

Yago Skinny Goat 30.75

See the Yago Skinny Goat CX or 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.


See the Firefly CX and C7 on Jack’s Surfboards

The Carver CI Happy is a streamlined 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.

Channel Island Happy

See the Carver Channel Island Happy 30.75″ on Jack’s Surfboards

The Carver Knox 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.

Knox Phoenix

Check out the Knox Phoenix CX or C7 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 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

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 777, the largest skateboard in the Carver lineup, is a 36.5″ progressive longboard design with a 21 1/4″ wheelbase and a bump wing template. The Riddler is no doubt Carver’s top option for smooth longboard trimming.

Carver Tyler 777

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

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

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

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

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)

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

Also quite small at 28″, the Carver Super Snapper has a wider outline (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 warm-up before a performance surf session.

Carver Super Snapper

See the Super Snapper C7 on Jack’s Surfboards

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

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.

carver skateboards lost beanbag
Lost Beanbag
carver skateboards lost psycho killer
Lost Psycho Killer
carver skateboards lost rocket v3
Lost Rocket v3

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

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.

Carver lost beanbag
Lost Beanbag
Mini Simms

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 30″ Triton Spectral is an affordable all-around option due to its longer wheelbase (16.125″), slimmer deck with a 9 3/4″ width, and taller CX trucks which make it suitable for many riding uses.

Triton Xenon

Another notoriously versatile board that makes a good single board candidate is the midsized (33″) Haedron nº6 – 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 Proteus

See the Proteus Tommii Lim C7 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


Wednesday 30th of June 2021

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?

Big Kahuna

Wednesday 30th of June 2021

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, Jesse


Saturday 12th of June 2021

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!!!


Sunday 25th of April 2021

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...


Tuesday 23rd of February 2021

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

Big Kahuna

Wednesday 24th of February 2021

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!

luke simpson

Saturday 6th of February 2021

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?