Surf Skate 3 | Here is an incomplete but hopefully still helpful list on making the first moves. I am not a trained sales expert but very happy to share my personal experiences with you. First things first: many people asked me about what kind of board I would recommend. I personally had a simple slalomboard for a long time before I bought my first surf skate board, an old Carver Firefly 30.25″. Now I am super stoked with my Smoothstar Johanne Defay 32.5”. This little history of my board choice reflects my personal progress: the more safe, stable and comfortable I felt on it, the more radical and surf specific of a combination I chose. Here’s what I wish I had known from the start…
Truck System: Experience & Skills
Trucks have the main influence on the a ctual skate characteristics of your board, they are the heart of the board. Different brands offer different trucks with unique features. Some feel more stable (e.g. Carver CX, Yow V.4 S5, ) and others are built to be more loose (e.g. Carver C7, Smoothstar Thruster, Yow V.4 S4, ) and let you go more radical. Both systems guarantee a surf feeling! But in case you have absolutely no experience go for a truck system that is ‘harder’ and feels smoother. It will offer more guidance: less insecurity – less crashes – more fun! If you start off with a lot of board experience (street skating, surfing & snowboarding very frequently) you can go for a looser system that reacts very fast and fully profit from the possibilities of those boards. The good thing about trucks is that you can modify them to your needs by adjusting the central screw of the front truck.
Decks: Size & Looks
If your goal is to train surf movements then choose a deck that you can position yourself on like on your surfboard. Simply spoken: The taller you are the longer your surf skateboard deck. I am 164cm and use a 32.5” board. Find out your length by putting your feet into the surf position and measure the distance between your feet. Then add some extra centimeters (cause you obviously don’t stand on the ends of the board) and you will have an idea about your perfect board length. Now here comes the less technical part: colour and tail form do not influence your surf skate board at all. Make sure you love your board’s looks! May it be a leopard print or a crazy colour combination, it does not matter. This may sound very superficial, but the better you like the looks of your board the more often you will grab it and go surf skate! Simple as that.
Hit the Road Jacks (and Jackelinas)
Since nobody can hit the waves at the moment due to Covid-19 you can still make some basic adjustments that help you better your surfing right from the start.
- choose a street that’s wide, free from pebbles and cars and if possible, has a slight dowhill angle
- protective gear and a helmet are not a crime: you don’t want to claim a hospital bed in times of viruses going crazy
- make sure your shoes fight tight and have a thick, flat plastic sole
- put a smile on your face and get ready for the action
- stand on your surf skateboard like on a surfboard: front foot at a 45° angle, back foot at 90°, hips and knees bent, upper body oriented to the front, your core muscles activated for overall stabilty (see pictures)
Then just go with the flow, let your board take up speed and fo for your first wide turns. As soon as you are speeding out of your comfort zone: guide your board uphill by putting your board on one rail (lean into the turn) and looking where you want to go (upper body rotation). It all starts sounding very familiar to you? It is! Surf skating is soooo close to surfing and the same rules apply.
So as a homework for you: Enjoy your first rides on the board and/or control your basic position on the board in case you are not completely new to this. Can’t wait to tell you all about your first simple manouvres in the next post! As always, if you have questions feel free to drop a comment below or send an email. Let me know how you are doing!