Note: The Product Blog is an independent review of new surf gear and solely reflects our opinions based on our own experience. This is not an advertisement.
The Carver board blurs the line between skateboarding and surfing. Standing by the assumption that most surfers do own a skateboard, I'd argue there's good reason for it to be one of these.
Carver Skateboards lent us this 31" Fort Knox board, Taylor Knox's signature model. On it is their patented C7 signature front truck, invented by the company's founders Greg Falk and Neil Carver. According to the company, the truck is designed to create the same fluid dynamic for a skateboard that a surfboard has in the water. The C7 has the ability to rotate laterally, like the nose of a surfboard, while the rear truck pivots with the rails like the fins.
Its potential was discovered in an alley between my place and the liquor store, which transformed a standard shortcut into an asphalt left made up of driveway banks and sidewalk shoulders. I didn't look cool (I probably don't in the water either), but I'll be damned if I didn't let my imagination run with the board.
The pivoting front truck took plenty of getting used to; it forces you to unlearn your skate instincts and revert to your surfing basics to create speed and momentum. The ability to accelerate by pumping, throw a drop-wallet roundhouse in the driveway and then combo a reverse off the curb is something most skateboards won't afford you, and this is the niche where the Carver lies. It's limited in that it doesn't handle transition or ramp skating as well as a standard skateboard setup, but whatever it lacks in all-around function it makes up for in novelty.
This specific model retails for $215, and the company offers a variety of complete setups online and in most surf shops. The price is pretty steep for a skateboard, but the Carver should really be categorized in a unique, hybrid "surf-skate" class. The board is perfect for cruising between classes, fighting through a flat spell, or making the trip down the trail to Uppers.
Carver Skateboards | Fort Knox
Black, 31″: $215