Hydro Surf Shop Blog

Surf Hardware Gear Guides and Useful tips

What is a SmoothStar & why you need one.

What is a Smoothstar?

Filipe Toledo uses his SmoothStar to take his surfing to the next level.

A SmoothStar is a skateboard like none other. They are designed to mimic surfing as closely as possible in order for you to practice & improve your surfing technique when your stuck on land while still having fun. For a long time SmoothStar has been known to Australian surfers as the best surf training product outside the water. However, unless you have tried a SmoothStar, it is hard to understand why it feels so much like surfing. The SmoothStar replicates the surf feel because the front truck has a special turning device called the SmoothStar Thruster. The Thruster makes the front of the board loose so the board can turn and drive off the back trucks, the same as you would with surfboard rails and fins. The feel is “rail-to-rail” surfing on land. The proof is in the pudding with SmoothStar, several Australian WCT surfers used SmoothStar growing up including 2X World Champion Tyler Wright, former World Title runner up Owen Wright, former World Title runner up Sally Fitzgibbons & Laura Enever.


One of the biggest obstacles many surfers face that hinder their progression is time. The average wave only lasts between 5 to 10 seconds, that's not a lot of time to practice & perfect your turns. If the waves are no good or the surf's crowded, your wave count decreases & so do your chances to progress. Compare this to a rugby player who can just stand on the ground & practice passing & kicking a ball all day, their rate of progression is much faster. SmoothStar now enables you the opportunity to do the same. Being able to try the same turn over & over again in a matter of minutes allows you find out what body movements work & helps aid muscle memory. On top of all this they are a heap of fun & great for surfers of all levels & ages.   

Owen Wright used SmoothStar to cross train as a grom & look where he is now. 


SmoothStar surf trainer boards are for everyone & will help you dial in your technique regardless of your surfing or skating abilities. See below how SmoothStar will aid your surfing whether you are a beginner in the whitewash, an intermediate weekend warrior, all the way to advanced high performance surfers.

Beginners

When a beginner first stands on a surfboard, one of the hardest things to do is ride on a wave without falling off. Keeping knees bent and heading in the one direction is essential and SmoothStar helps this. Quite often, a beginner will fall off the surfboard numerous times to the point of exhaustion. Due to the Thruster, SmoothStar mimics the feel and instability of a surfboard. The feeling underfoot on SmoothStar is perfect for beginners to learn and practice balance. Beginners are encouraged to bend their knees, lowering their centre of gravity, thus provides beginners more stability and balance when they go surfing. Once they master the basic stance, they can progress to riding down a small hill and maintain control and balance.


INTERMEDIATE

 SmoothStar can help progress and intermediate surfer into the next level. SmoothStar can help to improve & correct surf technique, and assist you getting more drive in and out of turns. With good timing and practice on land, SmoothStar will help intermediate surfers generate more compression and speed along the wave face. Utilising SmoothStar as a training tool, you will strengthen core surfing muscles and improve bottom and top turns, not to mention general carving speed. One of the major factors preventing intermediate surfers advancing their technique is the lack of compression in their legs. Good compression is the key to speed on a wave. With speed, you can carve your way to sharper turns, cutbacks and critical maneuvers. SmoothStar is an excellent surf tool to help improve your surfing compression.


ADVANCED

One of the underrated aspects of advanced surfing is the position of your shoulders and hand placements. Every advanced surfer should put their hand in the face of the wave to use as a pivot. However, one element that is overlooked is the hand and shoulder movement when completing the top turn. With SmoothStar you can practice going from a bottom turn to a top turn – as you approach the top part of the top turn, you should throw your outside arm up above your head and swing your shoulders around to the direction away from the white wash. This will provide you with more torque and more spray from the top of the lip.


How do i choose the right Smoothstar?

SmoothStar have a really great, in depth guide on choosing the right board which you can view HERE. We feel that wheel base is really one of the key aspects of choosing the right SmoothStar for your riding ability. Typically the shorter the wheelbase, the tighter the turning and more critical turns. However, you don’t want it too short that you shorten the width of your legs too much that you lose balance. Typically, we recommend thinking about your surfing stance which is approximately a little bit wider than the width of your shoulders. Measure the width of your stance against the Wheels Base of the SmoothStar models to find the board that will best fit your surfing stance. Below we have a quick & simple guide that will help you match your surf stance to the right board.


We have a full range of SmoothStar surf trainer boards so there is one to fit your size & ability no matter what level you surf at. See below as we break down each model & look at it in detail from the smallest model to the largest.

This is a great board for the groms. It's responsive & turns quickly and has the cheeky Flying Fish model graphics. Perfect for practising those surf manouvers such as bottom turning and cut backs. The nice wide slightly concave deck and swallowtail kicker allows you to perform effortless tail slides while the thruster turning mechanism allows you to drive the board forward accelerating you into your next turn. Age bracket: Groms of all ages who want to take on the world. Senior surfers looking for a new best friend.


This 32.5″ Johanne Defay Pro model has been closely developed with Female pro Surfer Johanne Defay and mimics her powerful carving surf turns. The 32.5″ model has the deepest concave of all of the smaller high performance models under 33″. The deeper concave enables riders to hold the rail more than other models and helps maintain compression through the turn just like surfing manouvers such as: Round House Turns, Drawn out Carves and Grab Rail turns. The tail is extra wide so this helps adults not just groms do radical snaps and not have the toes drop off the back of the tail. Johanne’s board is suitable for groms over 155cm and adults under 181cm.

33" Holy Toledo.

Brazilian pro surfer Filipe Toledo and SmoothStar combined together to produce a surf skate that is high performance but able to be ridden by all surfers. The Holy Toledo has the drive of the SmoothStar 36″ Cruiser but the critical turns of the 32″ Flying Fish. The riding performance of the Holy Toledo is exceptional. Australia was the first country to receive the Holy Toledo and surfers who haven ridden it has been amazed how good it feels under the feet and how similar it felt to their surfing style. The deck concave and tail is perfect for surf carving the streets. The deck is wider than most other skateboards so it helps you to keep your line when you are drawing out your bottom and top turns. The Holy Toledo suits surfers aged 14 – 50 years of age.

Watch Brazilian surfing superstar Filipe Toledo walk you through his SmoothStar pro model & how it has helped him improve his surfing.


The 35.5″ Manta Ray is suited to the "surf dads” or taller surfers over 6ft (183cm) that have a wider surf stance. We’ve made a board that has excellent drive and hold through the deepest bottom turns and tightest top top turns. It has a contour deck shape: more width on the tail so you can push down hard through the turn. The front foot area is also wider again for pushing hard for carving driveways or small skatebowls. The Manta Ray has white SmoothStar Starfish wheels which are 2mm wider and 4 mm thicker than SmoothStar Stingray wheels. More rubber connected to the asphalt means the bigger guys have more hold through the turns.

Watch as 6'3" Harley Kay works on his technique out of the water while having a whole lot of fun on his 35.5" Manta Ray.


Now you know what a SmoothStar is, how it can improve your surfing, how much fun they look to ride & what one will suit you best, you can grab yours HERE.

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