Slide Skateboard Review: The Affordable Quality Surfskate

If you’re new to surf skating and looking to pick your first surf skate, you’ve probably heard of the Slide skateboards.  While Slide is not as publicized as other surf skate brands, it’s been carving (pardon the pun) a nice spot for itself in the land surfing world.

Why would a wannabe surf skater look at a Slide skateboards vs a more established brand out there?  Here are a few key aspects that make Slide skateboards stand out from the bunch:

  • They’re very affordable – as low as half the price of other surf skates
  • They’re quality built: manufactured in Spain, strong material and components
  • They’re very push-friendly: the lowest riding surfskate truck system out there
  • They’re great for pumping and commuting: much more stable and pumpable than most surfskate trucks
  • They’re the best surf skates for street/pool/park riding
  • They’re beautiful: surf-inspired graphic designs by lifetime ocean surfers

Suprisingly, to date there is precious little information available on the Slide skateboards. In this post, I will share what I’ve learned through my own and other riders’ experience riding these boards.

If you’re new to surf skate and would like to learn more about what it is and how to get started, first check out my in-depth post here.

Who makes the Slide surfskates?

Side skateboards review

Slide is a partnership between 3 entities:

  • A Taiwanese woman, June Liu, who initially designed and engineered the Slide truck, a spring-loaded multidirectional, torsion surf carve truck system which equips all Slide skateboards
  • Hot Buttered, a well-known Australian surf equipement company which manufactures skateboards and trucks since 1987 (OZE brand)
  • Sancheski, Europe’s oldest (and legendary) skateboard manufacturer in Irun, Northern Spain, which produces and markets the Slide brand in Europe.

Sancheski is a respected company that has been involved in the surf, ski and skateboarding industry in Europe for decades and has lots of experience making quality products, both vintage and leading-edge.

While the Slide surf truck was first designed in Taiwan, the current Slide skateboards are designed by Sancheski with a strong focus on both quality and price.

Over the last couple of years, the Slide surf truck has also undergone major improvements and has been made very strong and durable.  The “Newave” truck now equips all new Slide completes.

Slide surf truck

It’s worth noting there are a lot of copies of the Slide truck out there, often mounted on cheaper decks (like it’s the case for Carver and Yow trucks for example). A close look at copycats, however, typically reveals visible differences in the molding.  The copies I’ve seen so far are based on the older truck version.

What are the Slide surfskates good for?

The Slide skateboards are quite different from other surf skates.  The first thing that strikes you when getting on a Slide is its great stability for a surf skate. This is mainly due to 3 things:

  • Low truck height, making the board ride lower to the ground
  • A tighter spring, making the front truck less loose than others
  • A constrained turning angle of the front truck torsion system

A key consequence of this stability and low height is that the Slide is highly pushable, something rarely found in surf skates.  The adjustable nut on the front truck furthermore lets you easily increase the resistance in the spring whenever you’re ready for some serious pushing.

Also, the limited turning angle and relative tightness of the front truck – and the tall risers that come stock with the truck – makes the Slide virtually wheelbite-free

The surf truck system with its tight and constrained torsion spring also make the Slide a capable pumping board due to having just the right amount of turn in the front truck and a stable “normal” truck in the rear. 

In other words, Slide skateboards are great for the following types of riders:

  • Beginner surf skaters e.g. surfers who are seeking effective cross-training but don’t have skateboarding experience – stability is essential here.
  • Short distance commuters (1-2 miles) in tight city areas.  You can push and pump comfortably through town on a Slide without killing yourself.  Slide boards provide a low ride, responsive pumping, and easy pushing.
  • Carving lovers looking for the next step beyond a regular carving longboard (e.g. the Loaded Poke).  The Slide truck allows for tight turns without being overly loose.
  • More experienced Surf skaters who want to do street, pool, and skatepark style riding.  Slide surf skates are stable and low riding enough for these styles. 

As mentioned, the Slide skateboards are well suited for pool riding as they are not excessively turny. The trucks are also low enough for riding pool and park. You can remove some of the stacked risers and run smaller wheels to make the board even lower to the ground, which works better for pool and vert tricks. 

The Slide surf truck is also grindable for street tricks since it has no kingpin.

Slide vs other surfskates

If you’ve read this far, you may be considering getting a Slide surfskate.  If so, you probably want to know how Slide skateboards compare to other surfskates, such as Carver, Yow, Swelltech, or Smoothstar.

As always when it comes to skateboards/longboards, which board will best suit you depends on your riding style and goals, and of course, your budget.

The first thing to note is that the Slide truck is noticeably more stable, lower riding, but less turny than a Yow, Swelltech and Smoothstar, all of which have very loose trucks – the Swelltech truck actually spins a full 180º. 

Landlocked surfers looking for surf cross-training will typically choose a Yow, Swelltech or Smoothstar as they provide the closest feeling to a riding on a surfboard in waves.

On the flip side, Swelltech, Yow and Smoothstar surfskates are generally too twitchy and unstable for city commuting. Again, these trucks are very loose and turny, making pushing and commuting even over shorter distances challenging and tedious over time.

Key takeaway: due to the way the Slide surf truck is designed, the Slide skateboards are lower riding, more stable, but less turny than other surfskates.

Focus: Slide vs Carver

Carver surfskates stand somewhere in the middle, being not as loose as the above “surfier” truck systems, but looser than the Slide.  Carver boards are easier to push and commute on than the pure surf counterparts, particularly when set up on a longer deck (e.g. Triton or Hedron).

Many surfskate riders not looking for a hardcode surf simulation will choose a Carver CX.4 front truck for a good “all-around” surfskate feel.  It allows them to practice surf carving and pumping (including uphill) while not being excessively loose so as to get in the way of some cruising and commuting.

So how does a Slide board compare to a Carver? A lot of it is a matter of personal taste.  The Slide truck is tighter and stiffer than the CX or C7. Some riders like a looser truck for more of a surfy feel, while others prefer the stability of a Slide while still getting that carving experience.

Another key distinguishing factor is ride height.  Slide skateboards ride noticeably lower than Carver boards, making them more comfortable for pushing and commuting beyond very short distances.

The Slide surfskates are also much more capable than the Carver skateboards for doing street tricks, pool and skatepark riding – again due to their much lower center of gravity and better stability.

Also, the price of a pair of Carver trucks will almost get you a complete Slide surfskate.  A Carver complete may cost as much as 2 Slide surf skates, and a Yow is more than 50% pricier.

All in all, which surfskate you choose depends on how you want to ride.  If you’re a beginner, a Slide skateboard is a great choice due to its stability and constrained range of motion in the front truck.  However, whether the Slide truck will later meet your needs depends on what you’re looking for, that is, where you want to be on that skate-vs-surf style range.

For many riders, the Slide range of motion is just perfect as they value the ability to comfortably shred in a pool or on a vert, do street tricks on a surfskate, and push/pump on longer commutes.

For others, the Carver CX or C7 gives them more “radical” tight turns and freedom while still being able to do some commuting – albeit at the cost of more effort than on a Slide.  Slide fans, however, reply that with the right skills, you can go as radical as you want on a Slide, and enjoy the nice carving and pumping ability.

(VIDEO OF THE 3 BOARDS ON THE RAMP)

The Slide surf truck

The Slide surf truck is a very strong and durable truck built around Slide’s patented torsion surf-carve system.

The truck has 2 bolts, a horizontal one for stiffening or loosening the spring, and a vertical one that works like a traditional kingpin, e.g. for disassembling the truck. 

The front surf truck doesn’t use a bushing, which some argue results in a slightly less flowy feel compared to other surfskate systems.  On the other hand, the absence of bushing in the front, along with the tall spacers that come by default with the truck, help keep the Slide skateboards wheelbite-free despite their low height.

An important aspect of a surfskate, however, is the back truck bushing.  Slide has done a great job with that in its latest version of the truck.

The Slide truck’s swing arm doesn’t rotate as wide as other surfskate trucks, around 35º to the right and to the left. As I mentioned before, while surfers may see it as limiting for doing very radical turns, the truck works really well for carving and pumping as well as street and skatepark riding.

In Europe, besides complete skateboards, the Slide surf truck can be purchased standalone, starting at around 60€ (for example here).

Slide complete setups

Slide offers a broad range of complete surfskates.  Some are designed in Australia (by Hot Buttered), others in Spain (Sancheski), while a few are developed collaboratively by the two entities.

Most of Slide’s skateboard shapes are inspired from popular surfboard designs from the 60s and the 70s, such as:

Swallow tail nose rider (60s):

Slide skateboards Swallow Tail Nose Rider

Fish tail (70s):

Slide skateboards fish tail

Diamond tail single fin (70s):

Slide skateboards diamond single

For some shape styles, the skateboards come in a choice of beautiful designs and colors, with a couple of deck sizes between 30″ and 33″.  The Slides all come equipped with the Newave surf truck.

The Slide surfskates are very competitively priced under $200.  If you’re looking for an even better deal, check out the following models available on Amazon:

Slide skateboards Sunset Beach
Slide Urban Camo 32"
Slide skateboards Black Sox 31"
Slide skateboards White Sox 33"

The complete surfskates come with quality 65mm or 75mm wheels with a soft 78A durometer – giving you good carving traction and comfortable commuting.  The smaller wheels are best suited for street and park, while the 70mm work best for longer, faster commutes.

Some riders mount the Slide truck onto normal street decks for good skatepark performance.

Takeaways

There’s really something about the Slide surf truck and surf skates.  They’re super low, super nice to pump, super affordable.

The Slide rides differently than the pure surf alternatives.  More stable, lower, easier.  You can actually push and commute on it. And if you’re new to surfskating, it’s a perfect board to start with.

Yet, as you get better, the Slide will let you carve some pretty cool turns while pumping and pushing your way through town.  If you’re a street,and park kind of rider, a Slide is probably the best surfskate for you out there. 

Classic surf-style carving and pool/park riding, that’s exactly what the Slide surfskate is designed for.

At almost half the price of a Carver, and with solid quality and durability, the Slide skateboard offers a compelling surfskate alternative. Slide’s fan base has been growing continuously, and for a reason.

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Photo credits:
http://www.slidesurfskateboards.com
https://web.facebook.com/SLIDESKATEBOARDS

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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. I hope this site can help you learn a lot about the riding styles and techniques that best suit your personal goals. Ride on !

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