Long gone are the days of skateboarding. The newest cool way to zip around town is on a caster board. This nifty two-wheeled human-powered vehicle can provide hours of fun and adventure.
The caster board goes by a variety of different names such as J-board, RipStick, and the Waveboard. But the most common name remains the Caster board. It has gained popularity over the years because it’s much more maneuverable than regular skateboards.
Caster boarders have much more control over the deck which allows them to zip past traffic while looking as cool as a cucumber. Not only does it grant you a fashionable commute to work, but it’s also a fun way to get into shape. The caster board promotes an active lifestyle.
The caster board comes in a wide variety of designs, shapes, and sizes, perfect for adults and children alike. Those who are looking for some adventurous fun and activity should invest in the perfect caster board.
We reviewed Australia’s best caster boards and created a complete buyer’s guide. Keep on reading if you want to learn all the ins and outs of Caster boards and what you have to consider before purchasing one.
Top 6 Caster Boards in Australia 2020
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How Does a Caster Board Works?
A caster board got its name from, well, the casters that are attached to a board – very inventive, we know. A caster is basically a single or double wheel that’s designed to be attached to the bottom of another larger object.
In this case, two caster wheels are attached individually to two different decks. The decks come in a variety of different designs and shapes and are connected with a torsion bar. A clever design that allows the caster boarder to steer each deck independantly creating a twisting motion. Giving the rider control to tilt and steer each caster at a 30° angle.
When the rider pushes their feet onto the decks at different angles, they can zig-zag past obstacles in a jiffy while reaching great speeds.
Origin and Invention of the Caster Board
The caster board is quite a new invention. Invented in 2006 by Carlton Calvin. Calvin is the president of the company Razor USA who wanted to create the perfect outdoor toy. He introduced the RipStik into the US market and the idea went globally pretty soon.
That’s why the caster board is usually named the RipStik, because it was the first of its kind. Since then, many other manufacturers jumped on the bandwagon and produced their own styles and designs.
The original RipStik has gone under a lot of construction, with Razor USA wanting to perfect the technology and design.
What is the Function of a Caster Board?
The primary function of a caster board is transportation. Just like a skateboard, bicycle, or kick scooter, the caster board can take you from one point to another. It’s extremely eco-friendly because it doesn’t consume any fuel, create waste, or cause traffic jams.
You won’t be able to ride cross-country on the nifty vehicle, but it’s perfect for local commuting to work or the beach.
The clever design allows boarders to grip the decks with their feet, providing a safe ride, less prone to accidents than bicycles.
Furthermore, the twisting motion created by the torsion bar, casters, and two individual decks, creates the opportunity to do a variety of different tricks. You can either use it as a vehicle or experiment with a variety of tricks that traditional skateboards can’t perform.
Who Can Use Caster Boards?
Anyone! Yes, that’s right. The caster board comes in a variety of shapes, designs, sizes, and colors. Perfect for anyone who wants to improve their balance and practice their motoring skills.
Maneuvering the board does take some getting used to as well as relevant training and practice. It’s recommended that children from the ages 5-12 buy a kids version of the unit. Much more advanced designs are available for individuals 13 years and up.
For safety, it’s always advised that young caster boarders wear knee pads, elbow pads, and even helmets for protection.
What is the Difference Between a Caster Board and a Skateboard?
The first, most prominent difference between a caster board and a skateboard is the deck. A skateboard has one long deck board on which both feet are placed. The deck can’t twist and relies on both feet to simultaneously steer it by moving body weight.
On the other hand, the caster board seems like an upgraded version of the skateboard. It has two separate decks on which feet are placed. The two decks are connected with a rotating torsion bar that allows the two decks to twist. This is how it got its second name – wave board because it gives the effect of riding a wave.
Furthermore, a skateboard typically has 4 wheels whereas a caster board has only 2 caster wheels. A skateboard’s wheels are fixed in place whereas a caster board’s wheels can rotate.
It requires much more skill and technique to ride a caster board than a skateboard. Riders have to lean from side to side to propel the board forward. Whereas you can kick the ground for enough energy when riding a skateboard.
Although they are both similar in action, the caster board is for more advanced skaters who like a challenge. Both boards have some limitations when it comes to performing tricks, but one can put in a lot of time and practice to master these skills.
Many pro boarders have claimed that riders should start with skateboarding first before moving on to caster boarding. Depending on your natural balance and quick-learning style – it’s completely up to you.
Best Caster Board Brands
There are loads of copy-cat brands on the market. When you purchase a caster board from a reputable establishment, you are guaranteed that it’ll be durable and made from high-quality materials.
Here are the top two brands in the industry:
Razor is known for its high-quality skateboards, scooters, longboards, and caster boards. The company came into existence in 2000 and became known worldwide for its groundbreaking adventure outdoor toy designs.
The founder and CEO, Carlton Calvin, invented the Ripstik and introduced it to the world in late 2006.
They pride themselves in designing a range of technically advanced products that includes kick scooters, electrical scooters, and bicycles among others. A leader in the industry – you won’t go wrong purchasing a caster board for Razor.
Street Surfing is a brand associated with some of the best wooden caster boards on the planet. Its motto “Lighter, Faster, Blaster”, shows that this brand is all about finding the fastest, lightest ride. As well as encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle.
Street Surfing’s caster board series is branded ‘The Wave’ to embody the flowy wavelike movements made by their high-quality caster board. Founded in 2004, Street Surfing has now developed a series of scooters, longboards, skateboards, caster boards, and accessories.
The sleek and durable designs are a perfect purchase for all boarders.
Key Factors to Consider When Buying a Caster Board
Bear in mind the following key factors when shopping around for a caster board that fits your needs:
Children’s caster boards aren’t suitable for adults because they have a maximum weight limit. Depending on your weight, you need to find a board that can take at least 10-20 kg more.
It’s important to adhere to the weight constrictions. This will allow the board to perform as its meant to and will also allow maximum longevity.
Durability and Material
A caster board takes a lot of beating. You’ll be riding into hard walls and sidewalks plus the occasional falling accident. It’s therefore important to purchase a caster board that is made from durable materials.
Materials usually used in the manufacturing of a caster board are polymer, steel, rubber, wood, and plastic. Polymer is the most durable material, whereas plastic is the least.
Especially for beginner boarders it’s extremely important to take precautions when riding. Extra safety measures can include accessories like helmets, elbow pads, and knee pads. Some riders prefer wearing gloves to help protect their hands when they fall down.
Have a look at the safety accessories that some brands offer. Also, check the deck texture to see if it provides a better lock and grip surface.
Colour and Customization Options
The great thing about caster boards is that they come in a wide range of colours and designs. Some decks have modern shapes and quirky forms, whereas others have an array of bold colours.
You can shop around to look for a specific model in a colour and design that best suits your style.
Ease of Use
This is a simple feature, you have to consider how easy the board is for you to ride, steer, and control. Bear in mind how stable you feel while standing on it and whether the decks are easy to rotate when you put pressure on your feet.
At the end of the day, you want to be able to ride the vehicle. Although it will take some practice, you should be able to use it quite easily from the get-go.
Bear in mind that you are going to have to carry the board around on terrains that aren’t suitable for riding. The heavier it is, the more difficult it would be to transport. Although the board weight is a factor, when you are a beginner the weight of the board might give you more reassurance and stability.
Depending on which age and size board you get, weight range from 3-6 kilograms.
You might think that all boards have the same size and dimensions, think again. There are a wide variety of different dimensions to suit all shapes and sizes.
Some are specifically designed for short people, tall people, broad-shouldered people, and people who are extremely tall. Other factors that change the board dimensions are narrow and broad stance styles too.
If you are tall you will need a longer board, whereas shorter people will have more control with a shorter deck – makes sense.
Make sure that the dimensions of the board fit your body length, weight, and stance style.
The torsion bar connects the two decks to each other. It’s usually made from a strong metal that’s coated in either rubber or plastic. A spring mechanism is placed inside to ensure a comfortable twisting movement.
Make sure that the torsion bar is made from durable material and that it twists with ease.
Caster wheels should be replaceable and removable. If they are fixed to the board you have to reconsider your purchase. The reason for this is, that after a few months of riding the wheels are going to be worn and you are going to have to replace them.
It’s therefore wise to check whether the brand offers replacement wheel packs that you can purchase separately. High-quality wheels are made from urethane and measures 66-76mm in width.
When it comes to buying quality, you can’t opt for the cheapest caster board. This is one outdoor toy where you can’t compromise quality over price.
Buying a cheap model will cost you to buy a new one in the future, especially if you are planning on riding it regularly.
Speed is dependant on the technique applied by the rider, but for those who are looking to reach high speeds, the best option would be to buy a high-quality caster board. There are electrical boards available that can assist you in reaching top speeds without putting in too much effort.
The Best Caster Boards Australia Reviews
Razor Ripstik G Caster Board
Overview: As we already established, Razor is the original creators of the caster board. Their designs never disappoint. They did it again with this hybrid design of the perfect blend between a skateboard and a snowboard.
The full length of the board measures 90 cm. Which is the perfect size for tall adults. The aircraft-grade aluminum torsion bar is extremely durable, that allows for extreme grinding and tricks.
The deck can pivot and is attached to two 360° caster wheels. This allows for snowboard-like carving.
The deck is a highly advanced design with spiked traction pads for extra grip, a flicked kick tail, and nose, as well as a deck that has a slight concave. The design can hold a maximum weight of 100 kilograms.
It’s easy to transport around as it weighs only 3.88 kilograms.
Key Features: Durable Torsion bar, 360° caster trucks, Spiked traction pads, kick nose and tail, concave deck, Maximum weight of 100kg.
- Perfect for those who take caster boarding seriously
- Maximum weight of 100 kilograms
- Caster board weighs only 4 kilograms
- Not for amateur riders
Razor Ripstik Ripster Caster Board
Overview: Another excellent product from Razor, the RipStik Ripster is a shorter caster board with excellent features. Made from high tech polymer, it’s a durable and affordable caster board. With the catchy tag, “Small Stance, Big Ride” it’s perfect for short riders.
The two deck plates are designed with a slip-resistant concave and are removable for interchanging and cleaning. A rubber padded steel torsion bar connects the two deck plates.
The wheels are made from urethane and can be easily replaced when they get worn.
With a weight of only 2 kilograms, it’s easy to transport around. The model’s maximum weight capacity is 80 kilograms.
Key Features: Lightweight, slip-resistant concave deck, 360° caster urethane wheels, ABEC-5 bearings, high-tech polymer material, kick nose and tail
- For kids ages 8+
- Concave, removable deck plates
- High-quality material manufacturing
- For shorter riders
- Great value for money
- Not suitable for tall or larger riders
Razor Ripstik DLX Caster Board
Overview: The RipStik DLX is perfect for children ages 8 and up. Its weight capacity is 100kg, which makes it perfect for kids and adults. The unique design features spiked traction pads, a kick nose and tail, and a concave deck.
The model has 360° degree inclined aluminum casters and an aluminum torsion bar, which makes it incredibly durable. The torsion bar can spin, which allows riders to achieve maximum moves. Especially if you like doing tricks and grinding on railings.
The urethane wheels are 76mm and have high-performance ABEC-7 bearings. Another excellent high-quality feature of the DLX, is the tight spring that holds the torsion bar in place. This puts less strain on ankles and allows the rider to achieve more difficult grinds.
With its sleek design, it combines both beauty and pro-riding technology. With the added benefit of weighing only 5 kilograms.
Key Features: Aluminum torsion bar and casters, urethane wheels, ABEX-7 bearings, spinning torsion bar
- Made from highly durable materials
- Smooth ride because of the high tech design
- You’re going to have to replace the wheels quite often, from riding it so much
Street Surfing Wave Original
Overview: The funky Street Surfing Wave Original is unique because of its vivid appearance and top traction grip pattern design. With a sleek curve on its front and rear, it enhances mobility when moving around tight corners.
Even though the deck is made from plastic, it’s still a good enough quality for beginner riders. The deck plates are interchangeable which gives the rider a variety of colourful deck colour designs.
Wheels are durable urethane and measures 78 mm in width. The ABEC-7 bearings add to the caster board’s durability. The torsion bar is manufactured from aluminum and isn’t coated in rubber but has a 4 ply reinforced steel for added durability.
The Wave can hold 100kg in weight and is recommended for girls and boys from ages 6 and up. Its lightweight of only 2.5 kg makes it easy for younger children to carry around.
Key Features: Lightweight, made from plastic and aluminum, 4 ply reinforced steel torsion bar, maximum weight of 100kg, ABEC-7 bearings
- Perfect entry-level board
- Interchangeable deck plates with funky and bold colour designs
- Expensive for the kind of material used to manufacture
- Not suitable for pro-riders who will be rough on their boards
Street Surfing Wave Mini Caster Board
Overview: Similar to the Street Surfing Wave Caster Board, the Wave Mini SL is the smaller version of the big surfer.
The difference is the size. It performs exactly the same as the full-sized Wave caster board with the exception of having smaller deck plates. Specifically designed for much younger riders.
Yet again, Street Surfing provides a variety of funky board colours and deck designs. With a grip tape on the decks that provide top traction. A fun extra feature is the wheels that can light up.
Made from plastic, it isn’t extremely durable, but if you maintain it well, it will last a couple of years until you are older to buy a more advanced version. For much younger children, the Wave Mini SL is a great option as it only weighs 900 grams.
The wheels have ABEC 5 bearings and are made from urethane.
Key Features: Top traction grip tape, ABEC-5 bearings, urethane wheels, 360° casters, small decks for younger kids
- Perfect for very young riders
- Maximum weight capacity of 100kg
- Funky and bold colour designs
- Traction grip tape on top of the decks for added support and stability
- Expensive for the materials used to manufacture
- Made from plastic which isn’t that durable
Razor RipStik Ripsurf
Overview: The RipStik Ripsurf was just too much fun not to include on the review list. With a patented design from Razor, this fun caster board is shaped like a real surfboard. You’ll surf on land with this one-piece caster board.
Made from fibre-reinforced and industrial-grade polymer, Razor has yet again created an extremely durable board. Urethane caster wheels combined with the durable deck can support riders of up to 100kg.
This board is perfect for those who want to cruise around looking cool as a surfer dude. It doesn’t feature a torsion board which limits tricks and movements.
Key Features: Unique board design, textured traction pad deck, kick tail, polymer construction, lightweight
- Unique patented design
- Comes with a 180 days warranty
- No torsion bar for doing tricks and grinding
Without a doubt, you’ll be the coolest kid (or adult) on the block when you arrive at school (or work) on a caster board. When you consider all the above information you will be able to purchase a caster board that best fits all of your needs.
The more you practice the better your skills will become. Zipping around in the scorching hot sun on a caster board will allow you to ditch the traffic and get some exercise. While looking hot as fudge.
When you buy the perfect caster board for your weight, size, and style, the sky will be the limit and you’ll be performing tricks in no time.