If you don’t know already, I’m on a mission to buy and share my honest thoughts about surfskates.
So far, I’ve bought and tested…
Of course, I had to buy a Carver skateboard since they’re a staple in the surfskate community.
Here’s my Carver skateboards review to help you decide if it’s right for you or not.
Contents (Click to skip)
Where to Buy?
The best place to buy your Carver surfskate is from their website.
Or if you want something cheaper, there are often used ones listed on eBay.
Who Is It Best For?
I’d suggest getting a Carver if you want something that’s in between a cruiser and surfskate.
Though you can do sharp turns, it’s not as aggressive as other surfskates I’ve tested.
This is my go-to board when I need to skate more than a few blocks to check the surf.
If you want a surfskate that has more stability than others, then I’d say go for it. Otherwise, if you want something for surf training, I wouldn’t suggest it.
My two favorite surfskate trainers are…
This is where I take everything apart and inspect the quality of the board.
C7 Trucks vs CX Trucks
I found way too many articles that left me more confused about the differences than before.
So, I rode my CX and C7 side by side. I did my best to match the wheelbases since that’s a solid factor in determining turning radius.
Originally I thought I would like the C7 better since it has a spring loaded pivoting arm, however it just doesn’t feel as good as the CX.
The CX feels snappier and overall easier to pump versus the C7 feels more drawn out.
I even loosened the C7 pivoting arm as much as I could to see if it made any difference. Once I reached a point in my turn it felt like it was jolty instead of fluid.
If I were to buy a new Carver over again, I’d go for the CX trucks because of how fluid they feel and they’re easy to adjust.
The CX is solely bushing and geometry-based, which feels more consistently fluid and rebounds nicely.
Since the C7s have a bushing based back truck and a spring-loaded pivoting arm in the front, it feels a little more off in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong it’s a solid truck and I still ride it but if I was choosing between the two, I’d pick CX every day.
The C7 feels a little too front heavy in my opinion.
Maybe it’s all in my head but that’s just my opinion.
Carver’s hardware is solid. The main difference is that they have allen sockets versus Philips heads.
My YOW PIPE 32″ has the same type of Allen socket screws, however, the SwellTech and Penny High-Line have Philips screws.
There’s really no difference between the two options.
I decided to go with the C7 trucks (mostly because I had no idea what I was doing) but like I stated earlier in this article, I have/tested the CX trucks as well. If I were to buy again, I’d choose the CX over the C7.
Although there’s not a massive difference – either one you pick will probably be fine.
Overall, the build quality is really solid to all other surfskates I’ve tried. You can tell they’ve been through numerous versions to make it sleek.
They have small riser pads that are basically made up of two smaller ones.
The way Carver C7 trucks remind me of a similar design to Smoothstar thrusters.
They have a tension spring underneath, connected to a pivoting arm that you can adjust with a wrench. And there’s a pivoting arm with some washers/bearings.
The shape of this Carver is well done. Out of all the surfskates, I love the way that Carver does their grip. Their subtle logo with their grippier traction pad is what makes it outshine the others in my opinion.
However, I do wish I got a model that was longer. To give you an idea, I’m 5’11 and weigh about 165lbs. The Carver that I got is 29.25″ long, with a wheelbase of 15.5″ and it just feels too short to get any real pumping.
Now clearly this will come down to your personal opinon, but I was chatting with another person from the SurfSkate subreddit and they had a 29″ Carver. They also thought their wheelbase felt too short.
So, when picking your Carver, it’s probably best to do thorough research and might even be worth asking the surfskate subreddit.
I’ve surfed two Channel Islands surfboards in the past, so I loved the graphic on the bottom of the deck.
I love the replicated look of an actual surfboard.
This Carver comes with 69mm 78a Roundhouse Concave Smoke wheels.
I have no complaints after riding these for over a month now. They’re wide enough to cruise over cracks and pebbles.
I’ve heard some people say that using SharkWheels is a solid option if you want to turn it into more of a cruiser. But honestly, these have worked fine and I don’t think Sharkwheels add that much of an additional benefit.
Nothing really stands out about the bushings, just your typical barrel and cones.
A pretty neat thing about the Carver bearings is that the spacers and speed washers are built-in.
I’m not 100% sure if it affects the performance, but I love it from an assembly aspect. The fact that I can take them out without having to worry about the washers and spacers flying out is a major plus.
Likes & Dislikes
After riding my Carver for a while now, here are some things I like and dislike about the brand.
I think they have really cool designs. Their griptape layout is interesting, with the more aggressive grip in the back, mimicking a traction pad.
Carver is the oldest surfskate brand on the market (I think). But with years of experience comes refinement of the quality of their products.
From the wheels to the bearings, you can tell every single part has been carefully thought out. This is why I always have no issues recommending Carver Skateboards to anyone.
The major issue I’ve noticed with Carver compared to other brands is they really have no information to help you properly size out your board.
Personally, I think this is the biggest challenge when picking a surfskate. If you want to see a great example of this, Smoothstar has it dialed in.
YOW surf is going in the right direction, but still not there. Because of the lack of information, I ended up picking a board that was too short and the wheelbase is too snappy for my liking.
It seems like Carver always has a limited inventory and if you want one, you’re forced to get whatever is available. This is probably because of the pandemic, but it’s still annoying to not get a board you actually want.
As always, if you have any questions about sizing, wheelbase or surfskates, drop a comment below – happy to help!