History of Carver

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HISTORY

It all started one quiet summer in Venice, California in 1995. Greg Falk and Neil Carver had been surfing all winter, and were pumped to surf the warmer waters of the Breakwater during the long days of summer, but it was as flat as a puddle. Not even a longboard ripple to justify getting wet. So, like the many generations before them, they took to the streets with skateboards in search of hills to surf. The historic neighborhoods of Venice and Santa Monica are a veritable skatepark of steep alleys and banks, and as they dropped in on those asphalt waves they were struck with how unlike surfing it was. Sure, they sort of got a surf-like experience, as much as standing on a board and banking turns can provide, but they really missed the snap and drive that a surfboard has, that crisp pivot you get at the tail that lets you really pump a wave for speed. Their skateboards felt stiff by comparison. They tried loosening the trucks even more but all they got was speed wobble, and the steepest hills became virtually unskateable. And even with those loose trucks, the dynamic of the turn was still all rail-to-rail, symmetrical nose-to-tail. Picking up the nose to tic-tac at high speed down a steep incline was sketchy, so they were left only imagining the performance they wanted, unable to get that feel with any skateboard on the market.

The First Prototypes

history

It became clear that at the very least, the front truck would have to turn more than the back one in order to approach the turn dynamic of a modern Thruster surfboard. Using angled risers and different combinations trucks and bushings, they returned to the hills to test their ideas. But just adding a little more turn to the front was only part of the equation. There needed to be some lateral sway, sort of like dragging the nose sideways while still in full contact with the pavement. In order to achieve this, there needed to be some kind of flexible arm that allowed for this lateral movement, and after numerous sketches, they welded up the first Carver prototype truck in the derelict garage behind Neil’s house.

sketch

At that point it was all for pure fun, “We just wanted a street surfer to ride, so we had to make one. Had there been anything available that even approached the performance we were after we would have gladly bought it and spent our time riding the hills instead,” Greg reminisced.

But while many companies promised a surf-like skate experience, it was all just marketing and board graphics on the same trucks everyone had been riding since the ’60s.

Right after the welds cooled on the first prototype, they assembled their sway arm onto a board using some thrust bearings that Greg had in his studio. But even on a moderate incline it was nearly impossible to ride. When making a turn, the board banked in the wrong direction! It turned out that they had reversed the angle of the bearings. In spite of the awkward handling though, there was still a hint of the movement they wanted. Back in the shop Neil welded up a new truck with the correct angle for the thrust bearings, and they returned to the hill. Now they felt the snap they had been looking for! All that month they went back to that little hill and skated those driveway banks like they were waist-high peelers. Many sessions ended prematurely, though, when a part either bent, broke a weld, or rattled loose. Even so, they wore down many sets of wheels testing those early trucks.

As they progressed and moved on to steeper inclines, they soon came up against the limitations of their prototypes. For one, the arm needed some kind of sprung resistance that brought it back to center, so Greg tied a bungee cord to the end of his truck and anchored it to the underside of the deck. It was an easy temporary solution that gave them more time on the hills while Neil worked on more compact spring systems.

And while the angled pivoting arm now correctly tilted the deck into the turn, it did so at a fixed rate. So the next improvement was to simultaneously vary the rail angle for more fluidity. Basically, it needed a second independent axis of movement.

After months of drawing, he went into the shop and welded up the first truck that had a double-pivot universal joint.

workshop3

It incorporated everything he and Greg had learned from their extensive of testing, and packed it into a fairly compact mechanism. “The afternoon I tested that prototype stands out to me as the first time I really felt that this could be something more than an experiment my buddy and I made. I didn’t even take it to a hill, but just circled around an inclined driveway a few doors down from my shop, but that was all it took. I carved down the smooth cement, bottom turned and effortlessly pumped back up. After fighting with all those tricky early models, this one just disappeared under my feet. The dual-axis mechanism allowed the board to turn at a variable rail angle, making it feel like I was riding on water. I stayed out on that driveway late into the night drawing figure eights all over that bank.”

While the surfing feel of this swing arm had already been proven over many sessions, it still needed a lot of work to develop into something beyond a handmade prototype. And with other surfers and skaters around Venice asking for these new ‘carving trucks’, the guys decided to produce a cast version so more of them could be made. Around then Neil was working with a third-generation run aluminum foundry. The late patriarch who built the business had even cast trucks for another Los Angeles skateboard company, R.A.C.O, during the early ’70s. With a manufacturing partner in place Neil and Greg formed a company called Carver.

There was still a lot of engineering to be done before the truck was ready for production though. Taking time off from work, Neil began drawing swing arm trucks, searching for a mechanism that combined the dual-axis concept with a small but powerful and adjustable internal spring.

While the carve was truly magic, the compact spring idea still needed work, so they ended up strapping another bungee to the bottom of the board. Everyone that saw that prototype just shook their heads condescendingly. “I have to admit, it was hard to show it around at that early stage,” Neil said, “but the bungee worked well enough to get us back out on the hills testing the fine points of the geometry. It didn’t feel like some precarious prototype anymore. Greg and I were wearing down wheels to their cores every week, taking on the steepest hills we could find.”

Months were spent researching all kinds of spring systems in search of something that could fit into the cramped little space under the arm and still hold up to the heavy-duty requirements of skateboarding. Plus it needed it to be adjustable for different rider weights and preferences. It also had to increase in resistance towards the extremities, so it could act as a progressive stop. And if that wasn’t enough, it had to smoothly swing past a non-indexing centering bias, as most centering spring systems, like a swinging door spring, have an indexed ‘click’ at the center point. It turned out that what they needed didn’t exist yet.

Weeks turned into months as Neil tried to incorporate all of the disparate design demands into something that was simple, sturdy and easily made. After hundreds of drawings and dozens of prototypes, and near the end of his strained credibility, he finally cracked the solution. “I felt confident with the link-and-compression-spring design we were riding at that point. Greg and I could finally go out for a skate and not bring a bag of tools with us anymore.”

The whole process was taking much longer than anyone had anticipated, but with many solid solutions and so much already invested, they let the process dictate the pace, accepting no compromises. That next year was all about the design of the cast parts, how they could be best made and assembled, while being lightweight and strong.

The First C1 Production Parts

Compared to the uncertainty of designing the dual-axis pivots and the compact spring system, this part of the process turned out to be really fun. Translating the welded prototypes into masters for casting while knowing everything worked perfectly let the focus remain on making each casting beautiful. Once a set of drawings factoring assembly clearances and casting draft angles was complete, sculpting the final masters began. These parts are made around 3% larger than the final production parts in order to account for the small amount of shrinkage that occurs as molten aluminum cools. The masters are made from whatever works, in this case a combination of polystyrene plastic, wood and Bondo. The new truck was dubbed the C1.

Once the design was complete they began the lengthy and expensive process of securing a patent for their innovative design. It took several years to complete the process, but ultimately they were awarded their first patent.

Once the tooling and jigs were ready, they began making these new Carver trucks in small batches of several hundred and getting them into the hands of surfers and skaters.

The feedback was great. Laird Hamilton got a hold of a board and immediately connected with the way it surfed. It was his perfect surf trainer to stay in shape for riding the giants of Peahi, also known as Jaws. An innovator himself, from tow-in technology to his revolutionary Foil Board, he recognized this breakthrough in skating and saw how it dovetailed with his own cutting edge pursuits.

Carver proudly introduced several Laird signature models with his input on shapes and graphics. Having such an icon endorse their boards helped the young brand establish the core image they maintained throughout their history.

Japanese pro surfer-turned-distributor Aki Takahama also felt the deep relationship to surfing he got when riding Carver, so he took some of the boards to Japan to see if anyone there would feel the same way. No one expected the intense response they got from the local shredders. Renowned Japanese pro-surfer Mineto Ushikoshi joined the Carver team, helping to design his own line of decks and graphics in conjunction with his U4 signature brand, and added his technical surfing approach to riding the new trucks.

Orders came in faster than Carver could make them, and the guys got a crash course in supply and demand. It didn’t take them long to kick it into high gear though, and soon thousands of boards were journeying across the sea. As the Japanese scene grew, great riders emerged, and they developed their own distinctive style of surfskating.

The C7 Generation

As the market in the US began to take notice, Greg and Neil heard different feedback than what they were hearing from Japan. American riders wanted something more stable, easier to push, more adjustable. Back in the shop Neil welded up a new prototype with a longer spring, stiffer rotation geometry and a more compact thrust bearing. It was a bit firmer rail-to-rail, which made it easier to push distances and carve steep hills. The guys preferred this version as well, so they once again made new masters and went into production. This became the C7, one of numerous new truck models slated to expand the upcoming Carver line.

The C2

With this performance boost for the front truck, the old C2 back truck was feeling a little sluggish. So they took this ordinary workhorse and put it through the same iterative design process they applied to their other trucks. Among the improvements, they engineered it to turn a little tighter and snap back to center more positively. They also made a lower version, the C4, for street skating, with a reinforced slider plate and extra material on the hanger for longer grind wear.

With the newly completed truck line there was finally a little time to just skate and surf and think. Carver had created a fluid and reliable set of street surfing trucks, but there were other areas of the surfskate market that needed to be addressed. While there were plenty of riders who connected with the fluid feel and adjustable spring system of the C7, there were others who just wanted a more familiar truck that still gave them a surfy feel. Basically, a truck with the same two castings, bushings and pivot pin of a standard truck, but reconfigured into a new geometry that loosened up the nose of the board and performed like a cross between the C7 and a standard truck.

“I started calling it the CX because it was still a mystery to me, and instead of giving it a model number, I just wrote ‘X’,” said Neil about this new truck. He worked on in it spurts for years, trading between helping to build the Carver brand and diving into research and development.

Around this time, a large distributor approached Carver interested in taking their boards to a broader national market, and asked if they had a simpler model of carving truck. It was the perfect situation for the CX, so the guys brought their latest prototype to the meeting, pitched them on the idea and the distributor loved it. Only it didn’t really work yet! All of a sudden the future growth of the business hung on solving that mystery. “I went through the previous years of research, skating old prototypes and making new ones, all in search of that magic feeling. I made graphs of the various elements of truck geometry and set about systematically charting the effects of various subtle changes on turning performance”.

birth3It became all about understanding what each angle and proportion felt like underfoot. “For each new prototype I only changed one thing at a time so its effect could be isolated and measured,” Neil explained. With an understanding of these effects, he combined the elements he knew would produce the specific performance they wanted. To the casual observer, all the prototypes of that period look the same. Indeed, some of the changes were only a few degrees of kingpin angle, for example, but the effect on performance was dramatic. After almost five years of making prototypes that didn’t work, it seemed as though this whole idea might be a futile pursuit. But just as it seemed like it was never going to work, a few of the right tweaks resulted in the first RKP truck that carved and pumped, where all the other prototypes just turned.

So unique was this geometry that the USPTO granted Carver another truck patent for it. In the end, that large distributor ripped them off, nearly bankrupting the small company. It was the first of many business lessons to come, and a model for how to overcome those problems. Even in spite of all that, it still felt like they had come out ahead. They now had another important part of the line, the new CX.

The Pipewrench

Meanwhile, Greg had been pursuing the design of a skate tool that was as functional and well designed as the other products in the line. It was nice to be able to adjust your ride on the fly with a compact pocket tool, and all the other available tools were too big and often poorly made. By now Carver had firmly established a protocol for product development; keep making prototypes until everything works perfectly, and only then move on to production. The consequence of this philosophy is that it takes an almost unreasonable amount of time to finish a new design. Few companies can afford such a protracted research and development program, but Carver wasn’t interested in just putting out another product. They were designing these things for themselves, and they needed to be completely satisfied with them. The formula is simple: more work you put into design, the less work it will take to use it.

Two years later they rolled out the Carver Pipewrench, a compact stainless steel skate wrench with a magnetic Allen key catch that performs every adjustment a skater could need. You can completely rebuild any truck in the line, including the C7, with this little nugget.

With so much effort put into product design on the one hand, and manufacturing processes on the other, early marketing remained mostly word of mouth. Which was not so bad.

“We witnessed countless companies rush into the marketplace with hastily thought out products and big ad campaigns and then simply disappear the following year” Neil said. “We decided to build a long term, grassroots base and service it the best we could, and let our growth occur organically.”

The Gullwing Charger

Around this time Sector 9 was looking for a new truck to launch their reboot of the classic Gullwing truck company. President Steve Lake had been looking at every truck on the market but couldn’t find one he liked, so he made an offer to Neil; make him a truck he likes in 4 weeks and they would produce the design and pay him a royalty for each truck sold. It was just the kind of challenge Neil was looking for; he had accumulated a lot of esoteric truck knowledge over the years and liked the idea of making a mainstream truck with Gullwing’s mass distribution. Neil had ridden Gullwing trucks as a kid too, so the project had an added resonance.

Over the next year Neil would go on to make and name an entire line of trucks for the historic brand, from the Charger, the main truck in the line, to the Bomber (a downhill truck), the Grinder (a street skating truck) and the Transaxle (an innovative RKP street truck that was never mass produced).

A New Carver

By 2007 recognition of the brand was growing, but the company was having some internal problems they just couldn’t seem to shake. For one, whenever the factory produced a big order, they always ran short on some very small part that held up the entire shipment. Vendors were calling for late payments and it was hurting their relationships. All this was impacting the bottom line and they seemed to be always out of money, even though sales were good.

At that time the business was divided between manufacturing and shipping, which was run from the foundry in the City of Industry, and the design department that Neil and Greg ran from Venice. The design department was fully focused on developing new product, as well as producing videos that showcased Carver surfskating on the local hills.

As the separation between the two halves of the company increased, Greg and Neil felt at odds with how fulfillment was managed. They went to the factory to set up systems, but without constant supervision the issues always crept back soon enough.

The rift between the Eastside factory and Westside designers eventually came down to a standoff. Eastside wanted to keep operations at the current factory, Westside wanted to move everything closer to the beach where they could keep a closer watch on fulfillment. Neither side was willing to compromise. Eastside didn’t think a couple of surfer-artists could fund or run a factory, Westside didn’t believe the problematic factory culture could ever change. The company was a crossroads. After lengthy negotiations, in late 2007 Neil and Greg borrowed against their homes and bought back all the outstanding shares in the company and set up a small factory in the beachside city of El Segundo.

It was an enlightening transition. In 2008 the Great Recession hit hard and fast, and the guys had to negotiate new terms with vendors they owed past balances to, as well as run the office, help make boards, pack, ship and still keep up with promotion and product development. They didn’t have a lot of cash reserve, and if it ran out, they’d sink and lose their homes, so they made sure they did everything right. First they had to convince all their vendors and customers that this was a new Carver, one that paid its bills and delivered on time. And now that the guys were in charge of every aspect of the company, it was finally a promise they could keep. The business slowly regained its footing and rebuilt all it’s relationships.

During this challenging time the Gullwing Charger was selling on thousands of boards every month, and the project was paying royalty dividends that further helped to support the growing brand.

The CV Top Mount

By 2010 downhill skateboarding was the fastest growing segment in the industry, and while Carver was doing very well with surfers, the downhilllers were all about speed and sliding and they had no use for a squirrelly surfskate. As all-around skaters, the guys liked some aspects of the faster set-ups, but felt there could be tweaks to the performance that better suited their riding style.

As with all their innovations, it began with extensive prototyping and testing. In order to improve the testing process, Neil made prototype trucks with an adjustable bushing plate, allowing for quick changes to the geometry for easy comparison testing. What they learned was that a standard RKP truck has a very angled kingpin, leading to a narrow range of movement rail-to-rail. A lot of guys were using super soft bushings to compensate for this, but this left the trucks a bit too squirelly overall. Borrowing an idea from the CX geometry, he made the kingpin a bit more vertical to soften the rail, allowing for the use of a harder bushing. This resulted in an RKP truck that had both a more stable center for pushing and downhill, while also giving it a deeper rail range, making it easier to carve and even pump for speed while going fast downhill. And because it was a symmetrical set up it was perfect for reverse and fakie maneuvers.

Another detail of the prototypes that stood out was how the smooth, perfectly round greased pivot pin rotated so much better than the typical cast pin from a production aluminum truck. That difference had a surprisingly strong effect on performance. Precision CNC trucks machined from billet have this feature but are very expensive and still sport the same stiff kingpin geometry as any other standard RKP truck. Since this smooth interface is so influential to great performance, Greg designed several processes to machine the cast pivot pin with special jigs and cutters, making the jigs himself and producing cutters with a nearby aerospace manufacturer.

With the addition of a dab of grease, this polished half-sphere essentially became a simple thrust bearing. Without much frictional resistance the rider is free to feel the rebound of the bushings as the truck responds quickly and smoothly underfoot.

The CV Drop Up

One key aspect to stability at speed is a lower center of gravity. Downhill racers mount the baseplates of their trucks on the top of the deck through a cut out hole, lowering its overall height. While it does work, this style of Drop-Thu mounting leaves the bases protruding up onto the riding surface and interfering underfoot. Recognizing that you could still drop the height through the deck but move the mounting plate to the underside for a flush top deck, Carver took the precision machined pivot pin design and geometry of the CV Top Mount and a designed a production Drop-Up baseplate around it. While this baseplate design fits any standard Drop Thru deck, Carver took advantage of this opportunity and made a custom Drop Up deck with a smaller cut out, strengthening the deck and giving it a more finished look.

The CX

The Japanese concept of Kaizen, which means ‘continuous improvement’, is woven into the culture of the brand, incrementally improving everything from business operations to design and manufacturing. And so development of the CX continued, testing for new ways to squeeze more pump performance out of their patented geometry.

Using the newly developed precision pivot pins and adjustable bushing seats learned from the CV prototypes helped accelerate improvement. This ability to micro-adjust the geometry by increasing the turn angles and bushing seat height boosted performance of this new CX, the fourth-generation production model, in some ways surpassing the performance of the venerable C7! What made Carver the surfer’s choice was the extreme pump and snap of its signature dual-axis truck, and now Carver had another simpler, lightweight surfskate truck that snapped and pumped just as well.

With the newly completed truck line there was finally a little time to just skate and surf and think. Carver had created a fluid and reliable set of street surfing trucks, but there were other areas of the surfskate market that needed to be addressed. While there were plenty of riders who connected with the fluid feel and adjustable spring system of the C7, there were others who just wanted a more familiar truck that still gave them a surfy feel. Basically, a truck with the same two castings, bushings and pivot pin of a standard truck, but reconfigured into a new geometry that loosened up the nose of the board and performed like a cross between the C7 and a standard truck.

“I started calling it the CX because it was still a mystery to me, and instead of giving it a model number, I just wrote ‘X’,” said Neil about this new truck. He worked on in it spurts for years, trading between helping to build the Carver brand and diving into research and development.

prototype2Around this time, a large distributor approached Carver interested in taking their boards to a broader national market, and asked if they had a simpler model of carving truck. It was the perfect situation for the CX, so the guys brought their latest prototype to the meeting, pitched them on the idea and the distributor loved it. Only it didn’t really work yet! All of a sudden the future growth of the business hung on solving that mystery. “I went through the previous years of research, skating old prototypes and making new ones, all in search of that magic feeling. I made graphs of the various elements of truck geometry and set about systematically charting the effects of various subtle changes on turning performance”.

It became all about understanding what each angle and proportion felt like underfoot. “For each new prototype I only changed one thing at a time so its effect could be isolated and measured,” Neil explained. With an understanding of these effects, he combined the elements he knew would produce the specific performance they wanted. To the casual observer, all the prototypes of that period look the same. Indeed, some of the changes were only a few degrees of kingpin angle, for example, but the effect on performance was dramatic. After almost five years of making prototypes that didn’t work, it seemed as though this whole idea might be a futile pursuit. But just as it seemed like it was never going to work, a few of the right tweaks resulted in the first RKP truck that carved and pumped, where all the other prototypes just turned.

So unique was this geometry that the USPTO granted Carver another truck patent for it. In the end, that large distributor ripped them off, nearly bankrupting the small company. It was the first of many business lessons to come, and a model for how to overcome those problems. Even in spite of all that, it still felt like they had come out ahead. They now had another important part of the line, the new CX.

The New CX.4

The Japanese concept of Kaizen, which means ‘continuous improvement’, is woven into the culture of the brand, incrementally improving everything from business operations to design and manufacturing. And so development of the CX continued, testing for new ways to squeeze more pump performance out of their patented geometry.

Using the newly developed precision pivot pins and adjustable bushing seats learned from the CV prototypes helped accelerate improvement. This ability to micro-adjust the geometry by increasing the turn angles and bushing seat height boosted performance of this new CX, the fourth-generation production model, in some ways surpassing the performance of the venerable C7! What made Carver the surfer’s choice was the extreme pump and snap of its signature dual-axis truck, and now Carver had another simpler, lightweight surfskate truck that snapped and pumped just as well.

A New Era For Surfskate

Carver fully recognized that it was a bastard child to the skateboarding world with its soft wheels and surfy deck shapes. Skateboaring culture had evolved away from its surfing heritage and had evolved into a tight knit culture closed to anything but the prevailing ‘street style’ of riding. So Carver embraced this difference and decided to take it’s meager ad budget and focus on the one publication that reached the core of their riders: Surfer Magazine.

The guys were now faced with how to communicate the innovative performance of their boards when countless other skateboard companies had already promised a ‘surfing experience’ and failed to deliver on anything more than a longer deck with a picture of a wave on it. Videos were able to show the unique boards in action, but with a single still photo it just looked like you were surf-styling on a regular cruiser. Working with new team rider Taylor Knox and legendary surf photographer Art Brewer, they set out to show the impossibly tight cutbacks on a single page using numerous composited figures that showed the whole maneuver as a sequence. It was like playing a short video clip on the page.

This style proved to be the winning ticket. Surfers were able to truly see what kind of riding was possible, and along with the an increased presence in surf shops nationwide, surfers were able to try out demos of the boards and feel the performance for themselves.

The CV Top Mount

By 2010 downhill skateboarding was the fastest growing segment in the industry, and while Carver was doing very well with surfers, the downhilllers were all about speed and sliding and they had no use for a squirrelly surfskate. As all-around skaters, the guys liked some aspects of the faster set-ups, but felt there could be tweaks to the performance that better suited their riding style.

As with all their innovations, it began with extensive prototyping and testing. In order to improve the testing process, Neil made prototype trucks with an adjustable bushing plate, allowing for quick changes to the geometry for easy comparison testing. What they learned was that a standard RKP truck has a very angled kingpin, leading to a narrow range of movement rail-to-rail. A lot of guys were using super soft bushings to compensate for this, but this left the trucks a bit too squirelly overall. Borrowing an idea from the CX geometry, he made the kingpin a bit more vertical to soften the rail, allowing for the use of a harder bushing. This resulted in an RKP truck that had both a more stable center for pushing and downhill, while also giving it a deeper rail range, making it easier to carve and even pump for speed while going fast downhill. And because it was a symmetrical set up it was perfect for reverse and fakie maneuvers.

Another detail of the prototypes that stood out was how the smooth, perfectly round greased pivot pin rotated so much better than the typical cast pin from a production aluminum truck. That difference had a surprisingly strong effect on performance. Precision CNC trucks machined from billet have this feature but are very expensive and still sport the same stiff kingpin geometry as any other standard RKP truck. Since this smooth interface is so influential to great performance, Greg designed several processes to machine the cast pivot pin with special jigs and cutters, making the jigs himself and producing cutters with a nearby aerospace manufacturer.

With the addition of a dab of grease, this polished half-sphere essentially became a simple thrust bearing. Without much frictional resistance the rider is free to feel the rebound of the bushings as the truck responds quickly and smoothly underfoot.

The CV Drop Up

One key aspect to stability at speed is a lower center of gravity. Downhill racers mount the baseplates of their trucks on the top of the deck through a cut out hole, lowering its overall height. While it does work, this style of Drop-Thu mounting leaves the bases protruding up onto the riding surface and interfering underfoot. Recognizing that you could still drop the height through the deck but move the mounting plate to the underside for a flush top deck, Carver took the precision machined pivot pin design and geometry of the CV Top Mount and a designed a production Drop-Up baseplate around it. While this baseplate design fits any standard Drop Thru deck, Carver took advantage of this opportunity and made a custom Drop Up deck with a smaller cut out, strengthening the deck and giving it a more finished look.

The New C2.4

Developed in tandem with the new CX.4, the new C2.4 is completely redesigned to include everything from the precision-machined pivot pin to a new geometry that positions the pivot pin in-line with the net axis of rotation. This takes away any twisting or binding that occurs in the pivot of all standard kingpin truck designs. Normally this binding is not a problem, but with the extreme rail-to-rail action that comes from pumping a Carver, a hardcore rider can actually wear away a pivot pin

What was once just a regular back truck has evolved into a precise rear pivot that works under your back foot like a set of fins hooked into the face of a wave. The increased action and smoothness is matched perfectly with the front truck, integrating into a seamless mix of performance that enable faster pumps and tighter turns with all the properties of grip and drive you need.

State of Surfskate 2014

It’s been nearly 18 years since that flat summer, and Carver is going strong and still growing. The new factory is humming along, the latest product line covers a comprehensive range of riding styles, video production is showcasing an exploding list of talented Carver riders, and the company has a solid base of distribution worldwide.

Josh Kerr has recently joined the team with a pair of new pro models, and future collaborations are in development.

As skateboarding evolves to be more inclusive of innovation, historic styles such as Surfskate are finally re-emerging on the scene. There are numerous other surfskate brands now, mostly in Japan and Australia, where nearly a dozen brands try to make trucks modeled after our signature dual-axis invention, with mixed success. As the leader in this charge, Carver continues to make the most trusted and reliable American-made surfskate equipment available, develop cutting edge innovations, and drive progression forward for all the dedicated riders who rely on our equipment for surf training and just a fun way to surf the streets.

“I see people on our boards all the time now, and I can always tell when they’re riding a Carver by the way they’re surfing their boards,” Neil says. “It’s such a great feeling to watch how much fun they’re having, and knowing we made that for them” adds Greg.