The search for the perfect wave requires looking beyond the ocean. Luckily, that wave may be closer than you think. We can surf the ocean. We can surf the snow. But, can we surf the land? Elevated Surf Craft Founder Lebowitz created Surfskate, a line of skateboards, to continue the search for when the snow has melted and the ocean is flat. For years, the Elevated Surf Craft crew has been experimenting with a variety of skate deck styles to surf the streets. Now, the skateboards, paired with our snowboards and surfboards, allow for a quiver in any conditions. Below, Aaron gives us an insight into his process, challenges, and recommendations for the Surfskate line.
What was the process for shaping the Surfskate decks?
During quarantine, while homebound, the crew and I headed to the hardware store where we picked up some plywood, drew out templates, and just started cutting. After a year or so of testing out prototypes, we concentrated on certain styles and began to work with a professional skateboard manufacturer who could press the concave and rockers into the proper wood, cut cleanly and paint and grip with their graphics. Summer arrived while the production was underway, so we received a batch of DIY blank decks to move into phase 2 of their prototype shapes. As soon as the blanks arrived we set up a sawhorse in the backyard as our pop up workshop and let the jigsaw rip. Shaping a new craft often requires at least 3 rounds to get all the elements dialed in.
What challenges did you experience in creating a new product line of skate decks?
It seemed like the pandemic brought out the need and desire for everyone to start creating, especially in the play at home realm. However, the pandemic also brought shortages and delays. We’ve run into challenges with materials and production deadlines--as has everyone else--so we had to take a step back, be patient, and take it one step at a time.
How are these boards assisting in surf and snowboarding as a training tool?
Onland training is hitting a major stride, especially when people have been homebound or away from the mountain slopes or ocean waves. They’ve found that practicing maneuvers with repetition in any environment can directly translate to when they need them in the surf or on the snow. Also, a lot of surfing is visualization, seeing the wave sections and reacting appropriately. The more we look for these patterns the more natural it becomes to recognize them everywhere.
What are the ideal trucks and wheels for these skate decks?
We designed these decks to use any truck and wheel combination. A softer wheel, say 78a, will be smoother for cruising whereas a firmer wheel, like 85-90a, will be faster and provide a slide. Loose trucks will provide a grooviness in the ride but to truly experience the surfskate experience we recommend adapters such as Waterborne or Carver. These allow the front truck to pivot and provide more engagement through the turn.
The new skateboards are designed to coordinate with specific surfboards and snowboards in the Elevated Surfcraft lines. A rider of a Goldfish snowboard, for example, can simply pick a Goldfish skateboard and immediately feel a performance echo of that board. Aaron and his team envisioned a line of skateboards that would transition riders smoothly from the snow and water onto land. They did so without sacrificing the design, performance and feel Elevated Surfcraft boards are known for.