Hamboards Twisted Fin Review

By Billy | Updated: March 8, 2021

Thinking about getting the Hamboards Twisted Fin surfskate?

You’re in the right place because Hamboards sent us one to test out and share our honest thoughts.

This is actually Cory Lopez’s signature Hamboards model. And if you don’t know who Cory is, he’s an absolute surfing legend.

Here’s my Hamboards Twisted Fin review to help you decide if it’s right for you or not.

Disclaimer

Hamboards sent this to us for free, but under the terms that we could be completely transparent and they never saw this review before we published it. If you want to learn more, check out our transparency page.

Who Is It Best For?

If you don’t mind being high off the ground and want something that’s going to challenge you with aggressive rail-to-rail turns, then maybe the Twisted Fin is for you.

Keep in mind that if you’re a beginner, this will most likely be too aggressive.

For my riding preference, 75% of the time I’d take a front spring adapter surfskate, like YOW or Smoothstar, and then when I want something more aggressive, I’ll ride my Hamboard or SwellTech. It really comes down to your personal preference.

Is It Worth It?

For $220, is the Hamboars Twisted Fin worth it?

If we’re strictly talking about the quality of the Twisted Fin, I would say yes. But like I stated above, the riding feel of it is not for everyone.

If you’re looking for something that carves very aggressively rail to rail, you don’t mind that it’s high off the ground and the deck is on the smaller end, then the Twisted Fin will be worth it for you.

Where To Buy?

Check your local shop and see if you can buy it through them. It’s always good to support local.

Hamboards Website

If you do decide to get it, Hamboards set you guys up with a 10% discount on any of their boards.

We will receive a small commission if you end up buying through our link, but it’s at no additional cost to you.

Riding Feel

So now I want to describe the riding feel because I think that’s the most important part of these reviews. If you’ve ridden Hamboards HST 200 trucks before then you know they have a choppier feel. Mix them with a small wheelbase and the Twisted Fin rides much more aggressive than other surfskates out there.

I said this in my Hamboards Pescadito review, but I’d say the HST 200 trucks are best if you have mellow hills and you want to just cruise. It’s nearly impossible to pump from a standstill on it, which is why their land paddles are so popular.

The way HST 200 trucks are set up with the spring on both the front and back, makes it much easier to ride fakie than on a YOW, Smoothstar, or SwellTech.

On those other boards, it’s nearly impossible to ride backwards because that front spring adapter mixed with a traditional back truck makes it nearly impossible.

Check out the YouTube video at the timestamp (3:37) – you can see Mikey riding it for the first time and it’s very choppy.

Parts Breakdown

I took it apart and inspected the quality. I do have to give it to Hamboards, you can tell they’ve spent a lot of time ensuring everything is high quality.

Deck

The deck is basically a more aggressive version of their Biscuit. It has some low-key concave to lock you in when you’re doing those aggressive carves and a slight kicktail to lock your back foot in place.

It has a clear grip on the deck which is a nice addition and solid for barefoot riding.

Trucks

The trucks that come on a Twisted Fin are the HST 200s. If you’re unfamiliar with these they basically have a 25lb restorative spring in the front and a 20lb silver spring in the back.

Because there is a spring in both trucks it makes for aggressive rail to rail carving. From an engineering perspective you can tell they spent a lot of time making sure that these are high-quality trucks.

Wheels

The wheels are 80a Hamboards, which are harder than what I personally prefer but they do allow you to slide. The downside of the harder wheels is you can feel bumps and cracks more prominently than if you had softer wheels.

My guess is that if they added larger wheels since the HST 200s carve so gnarly, you’d get wheelbite.

Bearings

I noticed they added bearings that have built-in spacers which I’m a huge fan of.

That’s nice to see because on the Biscuit they had separate spacers, which isn’t a big deal, but it is a pain when swapping wheels. It seems like they’re on top of it and constantly trying to improve.

Likes & Dislikes

Below are some main things I like and dislike about the Hamboards Twisted Fin.

Quality Parts

After taking apart the Twisted Fin and other Hamboards, it’s obvious to me that they spend a lot of time on the quality of their parts.  Like I briefly mentioned above, the small adjustment of adding built-in spacer bearings, speaks to the fact that they’re always trying to improve.  From the HST 200 trucks to the decks to the wheels, everything is high-quality about Hamboards.

Riding Fakie

With most other surfskates it’s very difficult to ride fakie without the front adapter jackknifing.  That’s not the case with the HST 200 trucks since there’s a spring on both the front and back truck. This makes it easy to ride fakie and regular, so if you want to do some crazy maneuvers and ride fakie it’s going to be a lot easier than on a YOW or Smoothstar.

Choppiness

Although the HST 200 trucks are much easier to ride fakie, the downside is that there’s a bigger learning curve because of how aggressive the rail to rail turning is.

Out of the box, the HST 200 trucks are tightened all the way which for most people is going to feel very choppy. You can get into a less choppy feel once you loosen the trucks. Everyone’s riding preference is going to vary especially given your weight and height so you got a tinker with it a little.

Height

Someone left a comment on our community post and said do I need a commercial airline ticket to ride that high in the air.  And I thought that was pretty funny because this thing is the highest off the ground out of all my surfskates.

Beginner Friendly

Hamboards HST trucks in general are definitely not beginner-friendly just because of the choppiness and adjusting you have to do.  So when you add the HST 200 trucks with thick riser pads, it sets the Twisted Fin much higher off the ground than any of my other surfskates.

If you check out the YouTube video at the timestamp (3:37) you can see Mikey riding it for the first time and it’s very choppy.  That aggressive rail to rail carving that the HST 200 trucks offer, mixed with the shorter wheelbase makes it’s not beginner-friendly.

Comparison to others

A common question that I get asked is how does Hamboards compare to other surfskates.  In this section, I’ll compare Hamboards to Carver, YOW, Smoothstar and SwellTech.

I’ll be referring to the HST 200 trucks in the comparisons below.

Twisted Fin vs Biscuit

The first-ever board that I bought from Hamboards was their Biscuit, which is the cruiser version of the Twisted Fin. It has traditional kingpin trucks, is lower to the ground, and has no concave or kicktail. If you like the size of the Twisted Fin but don’t want that aggressive carving, then you might want to consider the Biscuit.

Hamboards vs Carver

Hamboards has a much more aggressive rail to rail riding feel compared to Carver. I’ve tested every type of truck that Carver offers and all of them I would describe as a crossbreed of a cruiser and surfskate. They’re much more mellow than Hamboards.  If you want something that you can take for longer cruises and is more stable then I would recommend Carver. Otherwise, if you want the most aggressive rail to rail carving then Hamboards might be right for you.

Hamboards vs YOW

YOW has a front spring adapter and a normal back truck. The front adapter allows you to swivel back and forth, so you can pump from a standstill. In my personal opinion, I think it has a more natural pumping feel compared to Hamboards. With Hamboards you’ll have trouble pumping from a standstill since there are springs on the front and back truck, making it harder to carry your momentum through. YOW is one of my favorite surfskate brands because I prefer that front swivel adapter feel but it’s really going to depend on what you prefer.

Hamboards vs Smoothstar

Hamboards and Smoothstar have a very different feel. Like I’ve been saying throughout this whole article Hamboards is very aggressive rail to rail. Smoothstar on the other hand has a fluid and predictable feel to it. They’re not as divey as Hamboards rides. Smoothstar has a front spring adapter with a normal back truck so there’s no aggressive rail to rail carving.

Hamboards vs SwellTech

Out of all the surfskates Hamboards and SwellTech ride the most aggressive rail to rail. Similar to most of the other surfskates SwellTech has a front spring adapter (probably the most innovative design) with a normal back truck. Both have a pretty steep learning curve compared to the YOW or Smoothstar. On SwellTech you can get the front adapter to jackknife, which will throw you off the board.

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what up i'm billy. i've been skating, surfing, and snowboarding most of my life. i enjoy shredding, then sharing my thoughts. hope it helps ya.