Whenever someone looks into getting a surfskate, Carver is generally the first thing that comes to mind. Carver skateboards have been around for so long, their board quality is undeniable, and the boards are widely suited for many types of riders and riding types.
In separate posts, we’ve discussed Carver surfskates at length, including an in-depth Carver comparison guide that analyzed and compared a large number of boards in the Carver lineup.
Still, I get a many queries from riders all ages and backgrounds asking for help choosing the right Carver surfskate for them. So in this post, I decided to provide helpful info to help answer these questions.
Which Carver to choose? A quick survey
These are the most relevant responses from a small survey of 30 Carver riders. The riding styles column uses the following abbreviations:
- RC: “Relaxed Cruising” (aka relaxed surf carving)
- ST: “Surf training” (aka radical surf slashing)
- DP: “Distance Pumping”
- BP: “Bowl & Park”.
|Height (ft)||Weight (lb)||Level||Styles||Main Carver setup||Length/WB|
|5’7||143||Average||RC, BP||Carver Da Monsta C7||31″ / 17″|
|5’10||176||Newb||RC, DP||Carver C7 USA surf team||32.5″ / 18″|
|5’9||168||Average||RC, BP||Carver Resin C7||31″ / 17″|
|5’11||125||Average||RC, ST||30.5” Carver CI C7 truck||30.5″ / 16.75″|
|5’9||160||Good||RC||C7 Riddler with Bones Ceramic Bearings & 4President 70mm wheels||35.5″ / 20.75″|
|6′||170||Average||RC, ST||Greenroom CX with Carver hard bushings, 81a 66mm Cinetics||34″ / 18.875″|
|5’11||220||Average||RC||Da Monsta 31” C7||31″ / 17″|
|6’2”||190||Average||RC||Greenroom with C7||34″ / 18.875″|
|5′ 7″||145||Average||RC||Resin C7||31″ / 17″|
|6’2||190||Average||RC||Greenroom, C7, 75 mm wheels||34″ / 18.875″|
|6′||187||Average||RC||Carver Serape||29.75″ / 16.25″|
|5’6||130||Good||RC, ST, BP||Lost/ maysym||30.5″ / 17″|
|5’8||137||Average||RC, DP||Resin||31″ / 17″|
|5’9||141||Good||RC, ST, BP||Taylor Knox Pro Model||31.25″ / 17.5″|
|5’10||170||Good||RC||Mini Simmons CX||27.5″ / 15″|
|5’5||121||Average||RC||Lost Maysym 30.5 C7||30.5″ / 17″|
|5’11||161||Average||RC, DP||Greenroom c7||34″ / 18.875″|
From the survey results, we can see the Resin is chosen by riders 5’7 to 5’9 tall with average riding skills for relaxed carving, bowl & park (heavier rider), or distance pumping (lightweight rider).
The 34″ Greenroom, on the other hand, is the choice of taller riders 5’11 to 6’2 who use it primarily for mellow surf carving, surf training, and distance pumping (lightweight rider).
The 30.5″ Lost Maysym is preferred by 5’5 – 5’6 riders weighing 120 – 130 lb for regular surf carving, intense surf training, and park & bowl.
See the Google Sheet with the complete responses, including the alternative surfskate setups the respondents ride.
Factors that influence which Carver is best for you
Your choice of Carver board depends on a bunch of factors. This table summarizes which rider characteristics impact which aspect of your ideal Carver surfskate:
|Carver length||Carver width||Carver WB||Carver shape||Carver tail||Carver trucks||Carver wheels|
Your height and stance
The taller you are and the wider your riding stance, the longer your deck should generally be so you don’t find yourself riding with your feet too close to each other – which also affects your balance and riding comfort.
Longer deck generally (though not always) goes with longer wheelbase. As a taller rider, you need extra stability, so more wheelbase is better.
The Carver deck shape can also have its importance, e.g. a board with a wider nose (such as the Carver Proteus) or tail (e.g. the Super Snapper) will give you more foot space allowing for a wider stance compared to a narrow nose.
Heavier riders generally should go for a wider Carver deck (e.g. the Super Snapper) and/or longer wheelbase for added stability. If you need a highly responsive board for super rad turns, then a shorter wheelbase can also work provided deck width is sufficient.
A heavy rider may want to go for slightly harder wheels (e.g. 80-82 duro) and harder bushings.
Your shoe size
A rider with a bigger shoe size will obviously feel more comfortable on a wider Carver deck – again, like the Super Snapper.
Deck shape and tail are also important as some shapes, e.g. the Super Slab, have constant width across the deck while others like the Channel Island Black Beauty have a tapered nose and/or tail which make it harder to ride with a larger shoe size.
Your riding skills
Wheelbase is an important factor to consider for your Carver based on your riding level. While a beginner will feel more confident with a longer WB, a more advanced rider looking to practice extreme surf turns will opt for a shorter WB.
As discussed, the ideal WB for you is also dependent on your height and weight, so this is all relative – which is why deciding which Carver to choose can be so challenging. When trying to decide between 2 given Carver boards, however, WB should be a factor.
The Carver shape also needs to be examined. Fuller outlines like the Yago Skinny Goat are less challenging to learn to surfskate on than a fish tail like the Emeral Peak or a sleek shape like the Black Beauty.
Your riding level can also guide your Carver setup. If you’re new to surfing and surfskate, the CX is generally a more stable setup to start with. The Carver C7 truck is more “surfy” and well-suited for practicing more advanced fluid surf turns due to the spring system.
Your riding style
Finally, the type of riding you plan to do also should influence your choice of a Carver surfskate. The main aspects impacted are deck size, wheelbase, shape, and setup.
If your goal is mostly “surf cruising” and mellow surf carving, you might choose a mid-length deck with an average wheelbase (e.g. a 31 – 33″ Carver deck for an average sized rider), with a full outline for cruising comfort. E.g. the 32″ Super Surfer with a CX.
If, on the other hand, you plan to do serious surf training and extreme turns on your Carver, a tighter wheelbase and the C7 can give you snappier response. You want a decent kick for slashing and a tight shortboard outline for rad turns. E.g. the Channel Islands Fishbeard.
For more of a commuting and distance pumping riding style, a longer Carver deck and wheelbase with extra foot room may be a good choice. Something like the Carver Tyler 777 or the Proteus with a CX truck setup.
If your style is more drawing curves and longboard-style carving, a Carver Hobo, Knox Quill, or Blue Haze paired with a C7 setup may give you the wide turns and surfiness you crave.
If bowl riding is your main thing, you might choose a stubby deck like the Swallow or the Yago Skinny Goat. Alternatively, you can opt for the roomy Super Slab or a street style Carver like the Bel Air or the Impala (C5 street surfskate truck).
Featured: Super Air Nautique G23 Paragon – Courtesy of Nautique