Carver Skateboards has pioneered the “
Carver continues to build top-quality skateboards and trucks, for many the best
The surf community’s involvement with the brand is astonishing. Carver is the official surf trainer for 7 international surf teams for the 2020 Olympics. Their skateboards and other products are sold in 61 countries.
If you’re considering buying a surf skateboard or truck , you can’t go wrong with a Carver. Although Carver’s boards and trucks are pricier than others, they’re clearly every extra dollar. The hardest part, however, is deciding which truck and deck to choose based on your build, experience, riding goals, and riding environment.
In this article, I will go over the principal characteristics of Carver’s main surf trucks (the CX and C7) as well as their skateboard decks and completes, and help you pick the best Carver board and truck for your needs.
Which Carver surf truck to choose?
The Carver surfskate truck is a special geometry truck that’s mounted in the front of a skateboard to make it much turnier and responsive than a regular skateboard or longboard truck.
The front truck is designed to turn much more than the rear truck. Together, the front and rear truck allow rail to rail carving and self-propelled pumping that feels a lot like riding a surfboard.
The Carver surf trucks can be purchased standalone or as part of a complete skateboard. There are 2 very different front trucks you can choose from, the C7 and the CX:
The Carver C7 surfskate truck
This truck, Carver’s original, uses an internal spring and 2 turning axes:
- the hanger
rotatesaround the kingpin
- the swing arm rotates around the bushings and pushes against the spring which brings the arm back in the middle during rotation.
The result is a smooth and fluid riding
The Carver CX surfskate truck
The CX truck feels like riding a high-performance shortboard. It’s a lightweight RKP (reverse kingpin) truck that has no spring and only one axis. It uses a pivot pin that makes for sharper and snappier turns and pumping than the C7. Some tuning can be done on the single axis (vs. the 2 adjustable axes on the C7), and changing the bushing allows for deeper adjustments if necessary. The CX is lighter, more stable and agile than the C7, making it better suited for hard carves and cutbacks and street and park tricks.
The CX has a “mini” version for small decks (27″ x 7 3/4″ and smaller). The mini can also be pumped like a surfboard on a very short wheelbase deck.
The Carver C5 hybrid truck
The newer Carver C5 hybrid surfskate truck is a lower, shorter and narrower truck that works well with new school double kick street decks and smaller wheels. The truck gives the tail more pop for combining surf-style flow with traditional skateboard tricks (ollies, kickflips, grinds etc).
Carver C2 and C4 rear trucks
When you buy either the C7 or CX front truck, it comes with the C2 rear truck, a classic skate truck slightly modified to behave like surfboard fins in turns when used in combination with the front surf trucks.
The C5 surf truck, on the other hand, comes with the C4 rear truck instead of the C2. The C4 is a classic-style lower profile truck for traditional street skating. It’s also designed for snappy turns but optimized for grinds and nose/slide
Now that we know about the trucks – Carver’s most essential component – let’s take a look at the complete skateboards.
The Carver skateboard lineup
The Carver skateboard lineup is quite broad with over 20 board models so choosing one can be quite overwhelming. To help sort things out a little bit, I’ve categorized the Carver skateboards by size (mini, short, medium) and
Carver surfskates 25.5″ to 29″
The mini Carver boards are designed for very fast turning, snappiest carving and easy pumping in small spaces – driveways, parking lots, small banks. Like for a surfboard, the shorter the looser but less stable. A mini is generally well-suited for a smaller rider or for someone looking to practice shortboard snaps and cutbacks.
Tye Stick 25.5” Carver skateboard
More compact even than a traditional street deck, this super portable board fits in a backpack but can still be pumped like its bigger siblings, thanks to the mini CX truck it gets shipped with. (8″ wide, 65mm wheels, 14.25″ wheelbase. $160)
Bureo “The Ahi” 27″ Carver skateboard
Awesome plastic deck made of recycled fishing net nylon. Double kick and upturned nose, large tail kick, wider (9″) and rigid deck, concave for foot lock-in. Comes with the CX mini. (65mm 81A wheels, 14″ wheelbase, $195)
Mini Simms 27.5” Carver skateboard
Retro model (inspired from a shortboard design from the 40s) with a wide nose over the front truck for easy nose riding. Very light, fast pumping, including from a standstill. Very wide for its size (9 3/8″). It rides like a larger board, though the short wheelbase makes it best for tight spaces. (wheelbase 15″, 65mm 81A wheels. $231)
Swallow 29″ Carver skateboard
Short and wide, the short wheelbase makes it easy to pump while the width makes it comfortable for cruising. Nice kick tail for kick turns and obstacle hopping. Ships with either the C7 – for flow – or CX – snappier. (width 9 5/8″, wheelbase 15.5″, 65 81A wheels. $182 C7 / $198 CX)
Channel Island Pod Mod 29.25″ skateboard
Designed in collaboration with Al Merrick/Channel Island based on their famous Pod Mod surf shape. Built to help improve surfing performance. (width 9.75″, wheelbase 15.5″, 69mm 78A wheels. $245 CX, $261 C7).
Conlogue Sea Tiger 29.5” Carver skateboard
Built for pro rider and surfer Courtney Conlogue. (width 9.75″, wheelbase 15.75″. 65mm 78A wheels. $258/ $286)
Carver surfskates 30″ to 33″
This is the short board size range, equivalent to a regular thruster surfboard. Surfskates in this range are designed for mixed usage, mixing suf-style pumping and tight carving with normal pushing and short-distance traveling. The variations in size within this range have subtle effects on riding feel, e.g. more responsiveness vs more stability. Go longer and wider if you’re a bigger rider and/or you like stability vs looseness.
Proteus 30” Carver skateboard.
Box shape and cut-off nose allowing for a wider stance and reduce swing in snap turns. Nose concave for front foot leverage, ample 6″ tail for kick tricks, ollies, pivots
Firefly 30.25” Carver skateboard.
USA Booster 30.75” Carver
Channel Island Flyer 30.75” Carver board
Oracle 31” Carver
Resin 31” Carver skateboard
One of Carver’s all-time best sellers, the skateboard version of a squash-tail thruster for slashing waves. Snappy and
Knox Quill 31.25” Carver
An evolution of the Fort Knox, made specifically for surfing hero Taylor Know. The Quill has an extra 0.25″ in length and 0.75″ in
USA Team Resin 32.5” Carver skateboard
Longer wheelbase for bigger performance riders, designed for better straight-line speed and stability. Wider stance, large
Point Break 33.75″ Carver skateboard
Developed for the movie in collaboration with the stunt team. Focus on
Yago Skinny Goat 33.75″ Carver skateboard
Double-kick board made for surfer Yago Dora for a surf and park riding style. Longer 17″ wheelbase for a wider stance.
Greenroom 33.75″ Carver skateboard
Mid-sized retro skateboard with ample foot space, designed for comfortable pushing and carving (width 9.875″, wheelbase 18.875″, 70mm 78A wheels. $227/$243)
Carver surfskates 34″ to 36″
Carver boards in the 34″-36″ range are geared toward more speed and stability for pushing and traveling over longer distances. Longer surfskates are harder to pump, requiring a more involved and sustained body movement. Because of their longer wheelbase, they are tougher to get moving from a standstill without first pushing. However, they can be pumped to higher speeds than shorter boards, and are more stable at such speed, making them great for long distance pumping.
Tyler Riddler 35.5″ Carver skateboard
The Riddler is somewhere in between a carving shortboard and a longboard, with a deck long enough for some
Haedron nº9 35″ Carver skateboard
With a 20.25″
Park & pool Carver surfskates
These skateboards use a double-kick design aimed for pools, skateparks, banks, and incline riding. The ample kicks lock in your feet for aggressive slashing in a vert or a bowl, taking off and getting air, and mixing “off the lip” fin throws and cutbacks with classic street and park tricks. The stable and lightweight C5 hybrid truck facilitates doing ollies and aerials while preserving the pumping and carving
Impala Street Surf 32” Carver skateboard
A thin (8.5″ width) and lightweight double-kick board with ample nose for a wide stance, equipped with the low, narrow and grindable C5 freestyle Carver truck. The Impala is designed for street and park riding, while still allowing nice and tight surf carving. (width 8.5″, wheelbase 14.5″, 6.5″ kicktail, 5.75″ nose, 58mm 90A wheels. $182)
Bel Air 32.25″ Carver skateboard
Pool + street focused double-kick board, slightly longer and wider (8.875″) than the Impala, inspired from a design from the 50s (hot rod). C5 setup. (wheelbase 14.75″, kicks 6.5″ & 5.5″, wheels 58mm 90A. $182)
In this article, I’ve tried to provide useful information to help you choose the surfkate truck, skateboard size, and board type that best suits your need.
Whether you’re a smaller or bigger rider, whether you’re a surfer looking to cross-train, a surfer newbie, a seasoned longboarder, or a street-style skateboarder looking to expand your skills, there’s likely to be something for you in the feature-rich and high-quality Carver skateboard lineup.
Although to this day Carver no doubt remains the undisputed godfather of surf-style skating, there are quite a few competing brands you may want to look at depending on where you see yourself on the surf-vs-skate spectrum. See this post for a deep dive into the basics of