by Kim Valkamer ~ TSE Surf Instructor
photos Rui Lucas.
Genuine stoke for all landlocked surfers and beginners alike – surfskating to prepare for your next surftrip can be essential and we now have them in the rack too !!
What is a surfskate?
All over the surf world there is one big thing coming up - an absolute surfskate fever. The surfskate is the closest thing you can get to surfing out of the water: a smooth skateboard that allows you to surf the streets when its flat and also to practice for specific manoeuvres on the wave.
Why use a surfskate?
Originally born in 1996 by Greg Falk it took some years to gain popularity within the surfing scene, but now it’s absolutely buzzing! Portugal, Spain, cold Germany or rainy UK, literally everywhere you can see riders cruising around the streets.
Surfskates are designed to allow the rider to gain speed through pumping movements as you would on a wave. Their speciality is the trucks which add an extra axis of rotation to the board.
Basically instead of bending only to the left or the right, the board also allows a movement to the front and the back, possible because the truck is mounted on a rotating arm. With the right body movements, it is possible to skate without actually taking your feet off the board.
They are not only suitable for pro surfers but also bangin´ for newbies !! Surfskates have a huge range of lengths, widths and truck positioning depending on what you are looking for. Speed stoke, radicality or absolute madness, they got ya covered!
If you start researching surfskate on the web, there will be several brands that pop up with super rad boards. But what exactly is the difference between brands such as Yow, Carver, Slide, Smoothstar or Cutback Surfskates?
The main variations will be the construction of the trucks, design and price. There are several ripping surfers such as Kale Brock, comparing and reviewing the skates online - as they can be pricey but are an investment. We definitely recommend doing some research before deciding which brand is the go-to.
Below are our prefered choice of SMOOTHSTARS.
Kim like it smooth..
How to use a surfskate?
We all know the feeling when the parcel lands on your doorstep, the curiosity is bottomless, you rip off the paper and there it is: a sexy, smooth and promising new tool ready to go.
It might take some time to get used to the truck system and to feel stable and comfortable on the carver. To make you cruise down the streets asap, we got some tips and tricks sorted out for you.
Hosting Queen Katie had never done it before and within 10 mins she was nailing it !!
Numero Um: Advance your Stance
As it can be a little intimidating in the beginning, start sorting out your stance. Put your feet at shoulder width apart, front foot slightly overlapping the front truck whilst the back foot should be right in the pocket. Keep your shoulders open and your knees soft and bended. Damn it, that’s like surfing and we love it!
Numero Dois: Loosen up!
If we stress out, we will fall. To avoid that, make sure you have a solid stance on the board and find the balance while the wheels are rolling. We want our body to be controlled but not too tense.
Numero Tres: Control your arms!
Same as in surfing, the direction of our head and arms is probably where we gonna skate. Remember that the movement starts in your upper body, then hips and lower body and eventually the board will follow.
Numero Quatro: Get it rollin´!
The most essential movement on a surfskate is undisputably the pumping to generate your speed. With the legit stance on the board, forward movement will be done easily. To start with put your body into the turn and transfer the motion through your legs to the board. While you are more or less lining up bottom turn after top turn also think about shifting your weight from your toes to the heels.
Numero Cinco: Keep going!
One you got the flow in your surfskating, the are unlimited options to improve. It is a great way to prepare for the next surf session in practising your deep bottom turns, a radical snap or a smooth cutback.
It is a sick way to get used to master boards, find a right stance and keep your balance. If it’s for fun on flat days or if you actually want to practise a specific manoeuvre, the similarity to surfing is mind blowing and will definitely help you to improve!
If you’re hooked, we are happy to show you some moves, tips and tricks here in the camp. We got you covered with our SmoothStar boards and ready to roll!
Further to this all boards and new boards are available for purchase at Jah Shaka Surf Shop & Lagos Quiksilver Board Store. Both a hop skip away.
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