Thinking about buying the Penny High-Line surfskate?
Well, you're in the right place because this was my first surfskate and for the price, it was actually pretty solid.
But, it might not be the best for you.
Surfskates have quickly become an obsession of mine. Fast forward and I now own twelve others, which if you're curious, you can find my other reviews here.
I’m gonna take an in-depth look at all of the parts and give you my personal opinion on who I think it’s best for.
Contents (Click to skip)
Who Is It Best For?
If you’re looking for an entry-level surfskate complete that’s more affordable than just about any other brand out there, this is a solid option.
I wouldn’t go as far and say it’s a great board to use as a technical surf trainer like a Smoothstar or YOW, but it still holds its own.
You can definitely get away with something cheaper if you slap a Waterborne surf adapter on one of your current boards. Their conversion kits will run you about 75ish dollars, which really isn’t too bad considering it’s so well made.
Out of all the surfskates I have, this board feels the most punchy, which is a combination of the waterborne adapter and the wheelbase being 14 inches.
It’s definitely not a board to cruise around town on since the front truck is so aggressive. I've had a few of my friends try it out and they had a hard time balancing on it while pushing.
If your weight isn’t centered directly in the middle of the board, you can easily tilt to the side and absolutely eat it.
So, get the Penny High-Line SurfSkate if you want a solid entry-level surfskate and don't mind that the deck length is on the shorter end.
Where To Buy?
You can buy it directly from Penny's official website, which is how I purchased mine.
Or you can buy it from Penny Skateboards Amazon page.
If you buy using the Amazon link above, I will receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you). If you found any useful info in this article I’d really appreciate it since it helps us fund future content.
Like every one of my reviews, this is the part where I completely take the board apart.
From the deck to the bearings, I inspect each part for quality purposes.
The screws, nuts, and washers that come with all Penny Boards are made of high tensile steel, which makes for solid quality.
Since the Waterborne adapter makes the board a little higher, the back truck needs a riser pad, which is why the screws are a different size.
A minor thing I did notice was that they only put a total of five-speed washers, when technically there’s supposed to be eight.
Every other Penny Skateboard I've ordered has always had eight washers.
It’s really not a big deal and I’m sure it’s not a common mistake they make, but I still wanted to point that out.
Overall, just your standard skate hardware.
The trucks are where the magic happens for this board. It’s the front Waterborne adapter that allows you to turn on a dime.
To simplify it, the adapter is mounted to the deck and then the Penny truck attaches it, which allows the truck to pivot super aggressively.
Instead of using a spring like almost every other surfskate adapter, they make use of a urethane bushing, which is pretty cool for durability purposes. It won’t rust or break like springs are prone to doing.
I love seeing a company that’s doing something completely different so I gotta give it to Waterborne, they have a really cool product.
The one downside is you can really hear the squeaking. Not only that, but as a functional surf trainer, it doesn’t give that constant tension like fins would when you’re doing turns.
When I turn on my Smoothstar, I can feel the spring pulling me back into position, which feels very similar to the way fins catch the wave while you’re surfing
If that makes any sense at all?
The other sick part about the adapter is that they designed it so you never get wheel bite. There’s a divot built into the front, which prevents your wheels from catching the board. A really neat feature, that’s so subtle yet so effective.
If you’ve never tried a legit surfskate before, then pumping on this board will feel pretty similar to pumping down the line on a surfboard.
I’ve gotta say, it’s so fun and it really got me hooked on surfskates. Every time I ride this board, my mind is blown by the amount of speed that I can pick up just by pumping from a standstill.
Now, the back truck is a standard Penny truck with a riser pad to even the board out. The quality of both the Waterborne adapter and Penny trucks are top-notch.
Moving onto the deck, the w shape concave feels really nice.
It’s also wide enough to fit your feet comfortably on it while carving.
But now that I have experience with larger surfskates like my 33 inch Smoothstar and 32 inch YOW, the 29 inch length feels too short for my liking. It would be cool to see them offer a larger size in the future.
They added a light sanded grip to the traditional waffle print to give some extra grip, which if anything gives it more of a beachy feel. It doesn’t really help in terms of adding more grip.
Especially if you get any moisture on the deck, it’s super common to start slipping.
Now, chances are if you’re looking for a surfskate, you like to ride barefoot.
So, I think it’s worth noting that the waffle print does get a bit irritating after a while. It’s not like it really hurts, but when I go from using one of my other surfskates that has traditional grip tape, I can definitely notice a difference.
So if you’re a barefoot rider, I'd probably say, go with a wooden deck that has traditional griptape and get a waterborne adapter.
The wheels are made of 83A polyurethane, making them soft enough for doing sharp turns without them slipping.
However, if you want to get the board to slide after a turn you can do it with enough force.
They're also solid for cruising over pebbles and cracks. But the High-Line SurfSkate really isn't an overall cruiser board. It's made for sharp turns.
The bushings and caps are your typical barrel and cone skate bushings. I compared them to the other ones that come on Penny Skateboards and they're the same.
They're not too soft or stiff, I'd say they're just right.
I'm not a huge bushing's nerd, so as long as they allow for smooth turning and aren't too stiff, then they're fine with me.
The bearings are Penny Skateboards signature ABEC 7 bearings.
All of the boards that Penny offers come with their ABEC 7 bearings and spacers. They're solid, but I really wish they had it completely capped like the Hamboards SAN-O double rubber sealed bearings.
The back of these bearings are exposed, which makes it easier for sand and water to get into the core of them. This probably isn’t a huge deal, but it’s just nice having bearings that are double capped.
It's really not the end of the world especially since you can pick up a new pair from Penny's website for about $15.
Overall, the parts are up to the standard I'd expect when paying $180ish for a SurfSkate. The only suggestions I'd make for future improvements would be a better grip pattern and to cap the back of the bearings.
I really don't have a problem paying the $180, especially since it's so fun to ride. I think they nailed it with this Waterborne collab.
Likes & Dislikes
I've been riding this board non-stop for the past few weeks. It's easily one of my favorites that I own. In this section, I'll go over my favorite things about it and things I'm not a huge fan of.
By far the best part about this board. It's what turns the front Penny truck into a carving machine. You can literally turn on a dime thanks to the adapter.
Every time I ride this board, my mind is blown by the amount of speed you can pick up just by pumping. I can literally hop on the board and without pushing, pick up a considerable amount of speed.
Plus they designed a small divot in the adapter which prevents wheel bite.
I personally feel like they nailed the shape of this board. It's the perfect size to get a solid stance. Plus the middle has a slight arch which is a good reference point of the center of the board.
Another thing I like is the rails curve slightly upward, allowing for better rail control. The adapter and deck are easily my two favorite things about the High-Line.
Every board in the world is gonna get pavement scuffs. But, when you have a plastic deck, you're gonna get deeper pavement scuffs.
It's a bit annoying when you slightly scrap the tail of your board on the pavement and it takes a solid chunk out of the board. That's the major downside of the Penny Skateboards compared to wooden decks.
But it might be able to be prevented in future releases with some sort of tail guard. At the end of the day, it's not a huge deal – just something I noticed.
Waffle Sanded Grip
Personally, I usually ride my boards barefoot. And the deep waffle print makes riding it barefoot a little irritating. The other thing they did to make it have a more surfy feel was a subtle sanded grip. I'm not gonna lie, when I first unboxed it, I thought it was a mistake.
If they were to make a 2.0 version, I'd love to see a lower-profile waffle grip so it's not that irritating when riding barefoot. And a little more aggressive sanded grip. Maybe even completely do away with the waffle print, but then again that's Penny Skateboard's signature look.
Another thing I wanted to mention is that I reached out to Waterborne skateboards and asked if the adapter on this board is covered under their lifetime guarantee.
And surprisingly, the waterborne adapter on this specific board is made by Penny, but it’s still waterborne design.
So I guess they sold the concept to them and get royalties for every sale. I’m not 100% sure, but I say this because, instead of Waterborne’s lifetime warranty, you actually get Penny’s warranty which for the 29” is only 90 days.
I personally don't think that's a big deal because I've put my board through the ringer and it's still completely functional. I've ridden it through puddles and even had it fall in a pool. Overall, it's super durable.
Frequently Asked Questions
In this section, I want to go over some common questions I've got over the last few months.
Penny Surfskate vs Carver?
The main difference is that Carver surfskates are more mellow and cruiser focused. The truck that's the closest in design to Waterborne is their C7, but that still doesn't pivot as aggressively.
Since I get similar questions to this all the time, I put together a page where I describe the feeling of all my surfskates to hopefully help you make a better, more educated decision.
How To Ride A Penny Surfskate?
The first time I stepped on my Penny surfskate, it felt like something completely new. And even though I've been skating since a kid, I felt super uncoordinated haha.
I'd suggest you start by going slow, down a lowkey hill. Focus on finding your balance and slowly shifting your weight to one side, then back to the other side. Once you get more comfortable, you can start to do more aggressive turns with it.
If you want to learn how to pump, I'd suggest moving your front arm back and forth (almost like a snake motion – left to right). This helped me get in a better pumping motion and gain speed. It really just takes practice and you'll start to get it.
If you want something more surf training focused, I’d suggest looking into a Smoothstar, YOW or SwellTech.