Archive for the ‘Gear Reviews’ Category

I bought this a few years ago with the intent of learning some flatland freestyle maneuvers; footwork and such to help improve my balance and physical awareness on the board. Decomposed has a great thing going, and they’re super helpful in guiding newbies into what they need to get started.

Longboard Review

How long have you ridden the board

2 years

What is your setup like?

Royal 4.0 Trucks, Speedlab Moonshine Siren wheels, Toy Machine T-Sect bearings, Shake Junt griptape

Typical Session Discipline

Flatland freestyle, dinking around the driveway, mostly 70’s style footwork

How much did you pay?

$45ish

Where did you purchase it?

eBay

What were the strengths of the deck.

Great shape, great construction

What were the weaknesses?

The board was advertised as 7.5″ wide, but actually measures out at a full 7.625″, a full 1/8″ wider, which is where I ran into difficulties in getting a wide enough truck/wheel setup

Similar decks you have ridden?

Capital/East Coast Skates Chessboard, with how wide it is it’s also similar to any of several street decks I’ve ridden

Would you recommend it?

Yes

 
There’s a few oddities with this board – noted above, the width discrepancy. Also, I have no idea what sort of finish or clearcoat is on this board, but I’ve noticed that the griptape peels up, and stickers on the bottom sorta “melt” into the finish, making them difficult to remove.

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Royal Trucks Review

Posted: 2021-01-30 in Gear Reviews

Purchased from a discount bin at Zumiez, I originally bought the Royal 4.0’s for a mini cruiser, although these days, they’re living on a Decomposed freestyle board. The axle width is 6.5″, and the hanger width itself is 3.875″

Equipment Review

How long have you ridden them?

8 years

What Setup are you running them on?

Originally on a handmade board with UFO wheels, as a 70’s sort of knockoff. Currently sitting on a Decomposed Yoyo deck with Speedlab Moonshine Siren wheels.

Typical Discipline?

Flatland Freestyle

How much did you pay for them?

I don’t remember…on clearance, so it might’ve been in the $30 range

Where did you buy them?

Zumiez

What are their weaknesses?

They were sold as 4.0″ wide, but the hanger width is only 3.875″, which makes it a little tricky to dial in on a freestyle board.

What are their strengths?

They turn quickly and snappy while using soft bushings. Because they don’t have a bushing seat casted into the baseplate and rely on cup washers to hold the bottom bushing, they’re incredibly easy to tweak. Cupped washers give you a little more rebound on the back end, flat washers give you a little more initial lean-in, flipped cup washers enhance the turn all the way through. Royals are generally pretty good, though a touch underrated in the grand scheme of trucks.

What similar equipment have you ridden?

Tracker Midtracks, Tracker Fulltracks, Bennett 4.0’s

Would you recommend them?

Yep.

I’m not quite sure where to start with this review.  I purchased these off of the admin of Silverfishlongboarding when the site was going dark and they were looking to offload some demo boards.  I received these trucks on a Bareknuckle Ripper…sort of a cool, flexy freeride board with a vertically-laminated core, and some excellent W concave – the feel is incredibly similar to the OG Loaded Vanguard, which was made from oak.  The board came on Powell Experimental Bombers, the prototype wheels that became These Wheels.

The board, as received

The kingpin configuration is incredibly unique – whereas normally the pivot pin points outward on a skate truck (there are a few exceptions), these Zombies have the pivot on the inside.  What we’re looking at is essentially a truck with traditional geometry (something like an Indy or a Tracker), with the kingpin dewedged to a negative degree (so it turns backwards), then rotated 180 on the board.  That steel pivot houses a spherical bearing and acts like the pivot cup; the kingpin itself is shrouded by the bushings.  The benefit of setting up a truck like this is right in the name “Lowrider:”  It drastically reduces the ride height, and doesn’t interfere with turning geometry at all.

Of course, the drawback of reduced height like that is that there’s a lot less room underneath the hanger, kingpin, and queenpin for rocks and debris; something which I’m intimately familiar with, having gotten severely fucked up when I caught a rock underneath my kingpin in 2014.

Because everything is steel-on-steel, the ride is quite harsh when just rolling around; every little bump and imperfection is directed straight into the board.  But, with that comes an incredible solid feeling.  It’s truly something; it takes the board from feeling like “just” a skateboard into feeling like a specialized piece of equipment.  It’s the complex IPA to your Budweiser; it’s the top-shelf Scotch to your Jack Daniels.

The machine work is simply fantastic!  Every little detail is accounted for.  The axles are a true 8mm stock, which means that bearings fit just a touch tighter and more true.  But, because of the fact that the threads are machined onto the axle stock, there’s just not enough room to run 8mm race-core wheels like Kryptos or Hesher Snowballs.  Any normal wheel will fit, with 10mm spacing (I suppose even the early 00’s Power Paws, with a 12mm bearing spacing would work as well, which are often too wide for most trucks).

One oddity that I discovered:  Because of the high precision in the axle and truck interface, my Orangatang Onsens rode like a wet fart!  I have no idea what happened, but when I put the Zombies on my Rolling Tree and set it up for tech sliding, the board just dug in when I tried to slide and threw me on my butt a few times!  I did a little bit of reconfiguring, and landed on a setup with Cult Ism wheels that can honestly slide just as well as my Earthwing Hope.  So, while my Rolling Tree is no longer set up for actual “techsliding” anymore, it’s definitely as close to a modern “freeride” board as I have in my quiver.

More reposting of my document backups to this blog.  Enjoy!

Howdy y’all! I had the fortune of winning some of those Veloz trucks in their online giveaway thingy they had a while ago. So, since I couldn’t find any good information about the trucks when I was researching, I thought I’d balance out my skate karma (skarma?) and give a little back to the community by way of a review!

 

So, the trucks were Veloz trucks…the 3 pack, with a 50 degree front, a 50 degree rear, and a 0 degree rear. I mounted the 50 front and the 0 rear on my Dregs Race, and the pair of 50’s on my CLB Eleanor. The Dregs, of course, is a topmount; and the CLB is a sort of topmounted Demonseed with a wedged front and dewedged rear. The Dregs had 66mm Earthwing Superballs (the old black ones from a few years back), Speedy Lunatic bearings, and the white OEM bushings that came with the trucks. The CLB had the old 76mm Earthwing Superballs, Element Black bearings, but I actually had to dig out some Bones Hardcore bushings to throw on top since the bushing seats are really restrictive. The course that I tried the setups on wasn’t much compared to some of the roads I see on here; it was a bike path with a beautiful S-curve to it that tightened up as the path went downhill. It’ll kick you up to 20-25mph with a good tuck. And, it’s the course that I did my Zig vs. Otang review thread on.

 

Now for the fun part…the actual review

 

On the Dregs, I thought the 0 degree rear felt really damn cool…kinda like riding on a Porsche or something. A lot of people really, really dislike the 0 degree, but I thought it felt good on a topmount. They felt, to me, kinda snowboard-ish where you kinda have to lean forward into the turn. They also gripped like Lindsey Lohan grips a kilo of coke (she can afford that much). I rode them in the rain, and stuck the lines like nobody’s business. That is, until I actually tried pushing them to slide…Then, it was like *grip*grip*grip*grip*HOLYSHITI’MGOINGBACKWARDS*

Apart from the uber-restrictive bushing seats, I could actually see the 0 degree rear being sweet in something like maybe a GS or LDP setting…it’s got a surprising amount of lean; so much that if I bent over and grabbed the rail, the front trucks would actually lift up and the rear would stay planted. Usually, on my setups, the rear lifts before the front.

 

The CLB…ah, yes…the CLB. I didn’t touch a thing about the bushings before mounting the 50’s up on the board, but when I stood on the board in my room, I could not get much in the way of lean out of them. So, I took the OEM top off and threw some Blue Bones bushings in their place. Even still, when I rode the board, the trucks felt bound up like a fat man after am all-you-can-eat cheese buffet. They turned well enough, but felt like they could really come to life at a faster speed. The 50 degree rear also had a rather rough, abrupt transition from grip to slide as well, although not nearly as harsh as the 0. For my money, on a dropped deck like that, Randals are better. That said, I do wanna try the Veloz trucks (with both the 0 and 50 rears) on a dropthru.

 

All in all, they’re good trucks. The painted finish is smooth…I don’t think they’re powder coated, although I may be wrong. Randal hangers will fit on Veloz plates, however Veloz hangers will not fit onto Randal plates without a little pivot cup modification. The Veloz pivot pins are about a quarter inch longer than Randals. Speaking of more Randal vs. Veloz, the old yellow Randal bushings are the same size as the OEM Veloz bushings. However, due to the tight bushing seat on the Veloz, you probably can’t fit anything like a Stim or Eliminator in there…I even had a little trouble with an old Abec11 bushing that was cut from a wheel. It may be just the black color, but the area of the hanger immediately around the bushing seat kinda reminded me of a Gullwing Charger. The axles don’t seem to be a true 8mm; they seem to be whatever the imperial equivalent is (5/16?), but they do look really good and really high quality with almost a machined look to them. The threading looks a lot cleaner than Randal; again, very clean and almost machined. One odd thing I noticed was that the nuts were hard to loosen and tighten…So hard that I felt like I was cross-threading them at times (I wasn’t, for the record).

 

Overall, they’re stabler than a 50 degree Randal, have tight bushing seats, and grip like a mofo. I give 9/10 on a topmount, just for the Porsche factor, and a 6.5/10 on a dropdeck, just because inherently stable trucks don’t bode well on inherently stable boards. However, I must reiterate that I’m dying to try these on a dropthru or on a pumping board

After trying these trucks in the context of the review, they lived on my Dregs Race for a little while until I mounted them on a luge.  The luge was a setup such that I could use the two 50 degree trucks on the front, and the 0 degree on the rear.  It worked decent enough, I suppose, but I never really rode the luge.  I was able to eventually throw them onto a LDP board, with the 0 degree rear, and it was everything I expected…but, being 180mm trucks, they felt wide and sluggish on the 36″ Sk8Kings Maximus.  The quality on these trucks is fantastic; they’re likely from the same foundry that made Gullwing Chargers, Paris (for a number of years), SayShuh, and Road Rider.  But, as it keeps coming back to in these equipment reviews, results are results:  These, sadly, never found a permanent spot on my boards…which is something I blame on my own neuroses; all of my boards have a “theme,” and these Veloz trucks never really fit into any theme.

My CLB Eleanor is my Stealth Bomber:  A carbon fiber board with black Randals, black bearings, black bushings, and…well, they had black wheels, but there are currently some blue 85mm Kryptonics on it.  My Creep Show is my modern ditch board, on Paris Street Trucks and Cult Ism wheels.  My Flip Tom Penny is my period-correct 1998 board, hearkening back to my first memories of skateboarding.  My TVS, Dregs, and Sector9 Race are all set up circa 2002, a’la the Gravity Games and the X-Games.  My Earthwing Hope and my Rolling Tree Nimbus are set up for downhill tech-sliding.  My LVBC 8.5″ is similar to the Creep Show in that it’s a ditch/slide/bomber board.  And, my Tunnel Comp is a modern (well, circa 2012) interpretation of a 70’s board; the board itself is a clone of a 70’s board, Road Rider  is a resurrection of a 70’s nameplate, and Chris Chaput founded Abec11 after being a pro skater in the 70’s.  So, what I’m getting at is that…well, the Veloz Trucks never fit my styles.  My justification for being a neurotic gear whore is that each and every board is different…

I was fortunate enough, back in 2012 or 2013, to be contacted by Neversummer about a trial program they had set up for some new boards they were debuting.  I was able to test out a 42″ double-drop freeride deck called The Deviant.  As with other boards and gear, my opinions did change over the years, so I’ve attached my original review to the very bottom of the post:

The Deviant is a double-drop freeride/speedboard that measures in at 42″ long by 10″ wide. It’s got kicks, some kind of badass “Carbonium” bottom sheet, and some pretty comfortable W-concave (P-tips weren’t added until 2014). Similar boards I’ve ridden include the Rayne Demonseed, the Landyachtz Evo, the Earthwing Supermodel, and the Chicagolongboard Eleanor:

-The Demonseed, of course, is a boat; the Deviant is smaller, nimbler, and lighter. The rides/slides are fairly similar, being that they’re both double-drops. The Evo is a directional speedboard that feels like an Indy car or something, whereas the Deviant is really more of a freeride board. I vastly prefer the Deviant to the Demonseed or the Evo. Both the Demonseed and the Evo feel very old-school, whereas the Deviant is a very modern double-drop. Take these with a grain of salt though, since I have only ridden each Canadian board a handful of times.

-The Eleanor is like a more refined Evo; lighter, less drastic wedging, and better concave. It lacks the W of the Deviant, isn’t symmetrical (front and rear have different wedging amounts), and is a wee bit heavier. As far as ride quality goes, both boards feel remarkably similar…a fairly solid, locked-in feel.Of all these boards though, I felt like the EW Supermodel was the most similar to the Deviant. The Supermodel is a simple, no-frills workhorse. The Deviant feels like they took that idea, and added stuff (like the W concave and kicktails). Everything that my Supermodel lacks, the Deviant has. My biggest complaint about the Supermodel is that the standing platform is just a little “off.” I’ve had it before, not frequently, but regularly enough to take note, that my foot will slide off the platform of my SM and wind up getting wedged between the wheel and the deck. That doesn’t happen on the Deviant.

 

The NSA Freeride wheels that came on the Deviant have become my favorite wheel. It’s everyone’s favorite semi-generic AEND freeride shape with one difference: The inner and outer lips aren’t the same. Look at Abec11 Powerballs, Sector9 Butterballs, Sweet Spot Milksurfers, etc. etc. The inner and outer lips are mostly symmetrical. The NSA’s outer lip is sharper than the inner lip, which gives me a lot smoother release

 

I’ve never like Bear Grizzlies on dropthroughs, and the Deviant is no exception. I rode the Grizzlies dropped through for most of the time I’ve had the board, and there’s just something about the dampened turning that a dropthrough gives that doesn’t do it for me. Plus, the double-drop platform is LOW. While the board slides slicker than greased lightning, I just couldn’t get used to how low it was. So, I topmounted it, and all my problems went away.

 

Next on the docket is to try some new trucks and wheels. Perhaps Randals or Road Riders are in order.

 

Overall, the Deviant has treated me well. My biggest complaints are mostly ergonomics, but the fact that it’s become one of my most-ridden boards should illustrate that I’ve gotten over it.

 

And, the full text of the early review I sent to Neversummer about a week after I’d ridden it daily:

Never Summer Longboard Review

  1. What Never Summer board are you riding?

-Deviant

  1. How long have you been Longboarding?

-6 years

  1. What board are you currently riding?

-Too many to list…a few old-style topmount speedboards, a few newer drop decks and dropthroughs, a few semi-generic cruiser types, and some short wheelbase pool/park/sliders.

  1. What is your setup like?

-Typically Independent or Randal trucks, riding on Earthwing, Abec11, or Sector9 wheels.

  1. Have you ridden a Never Summer longboard before?

-Not in any appreciable form. Rolling around a skate shop, yes…Out in the wild, no.

  1. Compare the two?

-Typically, I don’t like Bear Grizzlies on dropthrough decks, but somehow they work well with the Deviant.

The wheels are fantastic. I’m very impressed by a centerset hub with an offset style shape, like the NSA wheels have. Compared to similar AEND-manufactured wheels (like Abec11 Powerballs and Sector9 Butterballs and Goddesses); the asymmetric design of the NSA’s adds an element of an almost “creamy” feel while sliding, while maintaining cornering ability and roll speed.

The board feels like an upgraded Earthwing Supermodel… the Supermodel is a very clean and simple workhorse, whereas the Deviant has more bells and whistles. Nothing seems extraneous, except for the kicks, which I personally don’t use.

Compared to my old CLB Eleanor, which is a directional drop deck with a 2” drop (wedged front and rear, no dropthrough), the Deviant feels livelier with increased rider input as a result of its W concave. However, the CLB is more of a speedboard, and the Deviant is clearly a freeride board.

  1. Typical Session Discipline?

-Slow speed freeriding…usually less than 20mph, on tight bike paths or other narrow bands of asphalt. But, I do occasionally hit up to 35mph.

  1. What were the strengths of the deck?

-Great shape and size. It’s just the right size for me, since my biggest gripe with my Supermodel is that it’s about 2” too short. The concave inspires confidence and locks the rider in very well when going downhill, and I’m not normally one to venture outside of simple radial concave. The finish is very durable, having scraped over some curbs and speed bumps. The stamped metal dropthrough plate was a nice touch.

  1. What were the weaknesses?

The W Concave is extreme for pushing; it made my feet hurt when pushing less than a mile. I’m sure some riders will appreciate the kick nose and tail, but I found them hard to use due to being quite steep, so I mostly just ignore them. In further testing, I found the deck to be a little low, so much so that my glove scraped the ground when I grabbed rail one time, although that’s mostly my own personal preference.

  1. Similar decks you have ridden?

-CLB Eleanor, Earthwing Supermodel, Presque Longboards custom dropthrough, Rayne Demonseed.

  1. How was the shape/ride feel of the board?

Secure and locked in for all kinds of downhill disciplines. I felt very confident sliding, carving, and even pumping. As I mentioned before, the standing platform was the right size for me to perfectly utilize all the space. The ride wasn’t harsh, as some dropthrough boards tend to be. However, my arches did hurt after pushing a distance just a little longer than half a mile.

  1. What style/shape of longboard would you like to see?

-A clean and simple topmount speedboard.

  1. Would you recommend it?

-Hands down, yes. Especially the wheels. I’m in love with the NSA wheels.

As mentioned in a few previous posts, I was fortunate enough to be able to compare 70mm 80a wheels from both Orangatang and Abec11, on identical setups, on a controlled course.  Couple of key notes from my head-to-head comparisons:
-Abec11 Reflex urethane has a LOT of residual energy in the wheel.  With Urethane, as noted in one of the “Hi Kids” articles, you’ve got compression and rebound.  Compression, in a wheel, is how soft the leading edge is.  This’ll help you ride smoother.  Rebound is how quickly the trailing edge pops back into shape, and helps you hold speed better.  During carving and sliding, compression will let the sharp lips lift up and let you slide easier; rebound will keep those lips firm and maintain their structure, giving you tons of grip.  Abec11 Reflex urethane is VERY rebound-forward, to a point where it almost feels out of control compared directly to Orangatang.
-Orangatang urethane is the opposite side of the coin:  Very compression forward and drifty.  The shape is grip oriented, but the urethane is drifty.  The leading edge of the wheel deforms more than Abec11 urethane, and softens and mellows the ride…It’s a lot more forgiving on urban sidewalks, but gets a little weird when you try to push it onto drifts and slides.

And now, onto the main event:  My actual words that were posted on Silverfish circa 2008 (shortly after Orangatang wheels hit the market):

zig vs. otang…70mm, 80a for both…that’s lime zigs and otang 4-prez for you unsofistimicated folk

 

first impression…just kicking around, the otangs feel less “squirrely.”  to me, on zigs you have to consciously maintain your foot position on the board, or else it might go a bit wonky if you have a less-than-perfect kick in there.  with the otangs, i didn’t feel that…i felt like i could comfortably throw most caution to the wind and kick like a fool. also, the otangs seemed to roll farther on the shitty stretch of road on my commute…bear in mind, the road still felt just as shitty and rocky, if not moreso, but the board rolled farther with every kick.

 

my conclusion:

the otangs feel big and smooth like a luxury yacht; the zigs feel fast and nimble, like a ski boat.  if you’re stuck between lime zigs and 4-prez just on a STRICTLY cruising board, it’s not really worth the extra money for the otangs.

 

further reviews and conclusions to come

The comments on “squirrely” were about the rebound-forward feel of Abec11.  And, mentioned in my Orangatang Equipment Review, these posts were written through the lens of me being bitter and jaded at the Silverfish Hype Machine, and not making Orangatangs be the best wheel I’d ever ridden.  As I’ve grown and matured, I realize the shortsightedness of that perspective, and have tried to change my way of thinking.  And, I’m diggin’ way back here, but if I’m remembering right, the first review was kicking around town for an hour or so with each wheel.

welp…just got back from a little ol’ DH seshy-sesh.  like everyone’s been saying, the o-tangs are easier to drift out…but, it seemed to me like the zigs held their speed a bit better.  the o-tangs felt like they accelerated quicker, but skived off more speed in the turns (a product of the drift, perhaps).

 

one weird thing i noticed was that it seemed harder to keep control in turns with the otangs.  it’s kinda hard to describe; like the otangs didn’t want to turn. idk what was up, but i found myself consistently nailing lines through the turns on zigs, but on otangs, i was all over the turns (one time even touching a wheel into the grass on the inside of the turn then swinging way wide).  i guess it makes sense, as the zigs are slalom wheels, and therefore meant to be as “turny” as possible, and the otangs were designed just to be a fun wheel.

 

i thought the o-tangs felt a little more enjoyable altogether, but apart from a few small differences like i mentioned above, both wheels did feel quite similar.

 

conclusion?

zigs:

-hold speed better

-hold lines in corners better

-don’t slide as well

 

otangs:

-accelerate quicker

-weird turning (???)

-easier to drift, and control the drift

Part deux!  There was a quarter mile downhill S-curve I’d go to when I wanted to test gear in a controlled environment.  It topped out at maybe 25mph, and had progressively tighter turns; as you got farther down the hill and faster, the turns got tighter…just fast enough to have most every piece of equipment come to life and give just enough insight into how it would react in a downhill setting.  The best description I’ve come up with for the O’tangs being hard to control (especially on those tighter turns) is understeer:  The front wheels (presumably due to the drifty nature of the wheel) had a hard time staying planted, and wanted to go straight.

It’s funny, what you’re saying about the ‘tangs feeling less twitchy [I]sounds[/I] a bit ridiculous to me, but that’s exactly what I first noticed when I switched to purple 4prez from lime BZ’s on my Dervish. While the BigZigs seemed to turn really deep and quick, the 4prez really narrowed up my carves and seem to turn much more gradually.

And that’s a cool bit of insight from Kyle Chin, former brand manager of Loaded Longboards, and was sponsored by Orangatang wheels.  He agreed on the first few points that Zigs felt rocky and a little weirder to push on.  Carving down a hill, like he noted, is where O’tangs shine, as when you’re carving, you’re balanced and centered on the board…My hitch with a more downhill/racing oriented position is that your entire weight is above the front truck.  With all your weight on those front 2 wheels, they’re gonna drift out and pull you straight.

And, a final thought:  My reviews and forum posts are negative towards Orangatangs.  But, results speak for themselves.  I put the 70mm 80a Orangatang 4Presidents onto my commuting board and rode them every day…to and from work, to and from classes, all the way through college.  They got a LOT of love from me.  I sold my 70mm 80a Abec11 Zigzags to a friend and never replaced ’em.

this is my first board, and i really like it. i’m glad that this is my first board…not only did i get it at a REALLY good price (orig price was $150, but i got it for $90), and it’s a really great board for learning the tricks of the trade

 

Longboard Review

How long have you ridden the board

a little over a month

What is your setup like?

Tracker Dart 184’s, RUSH ABEC7 bearings, Gravity SuperG wheels (73mm, 80a), black doh-doh bottom bushings and superballs on top

Typical Session Discipline

Cruising…sometimes carving

How much did you pay?

$90

Where did you purchase it?

Ground Zero, Marquette, MI

What were the strengths of the deck.

Great for all-around riding, quite stiff compared to other boards, not too heavy,

What were the weaknesses?

graphics, while going for the whole vintage thing, are still a little plain. wheelbite due to having no wheel wells at all…and the stiffness makes you really feel the riding surface (don’t know if that’s good or bad)

Similar decks you have ridden?

none

Would you recommend it?

Yes

 
This is it, ladies and gentlemen!  This was the board that started it all.  My first board ever.  The board that introduced me to the weird world of longboarding.

They’re quieter than 96a Noskool, they’re gummier than a 95a Rainskate. They’re kinda rattly for kicking around and cruising. I can honestly see these being good maybe in a ditch, or a concrete skatepark.

 

Equipment Review

How long have you ridden them?

8 months

What Setup are you running them on?

TVS Lady Cruiser, Randal DH trucks…combined with the wheels, it’s a complete from circa 2001

Typical Discipline?

Um…yes.

How much did you pay for them?

$25

Where did you buy them?

Cawlin…the moderator on here

What are their weaknesses?

Kinda slow, not much information available on them, and they were a bit harder than I expected

What are their strengths?

They don’t wear at all, or pick up those nasty black streaks that hard wheels sometimes do. They grip like a mofo too! I couldn’t get them to drift at all, and really had to push to get them to slide…which was really odd because they’re 95a or thereabouts. They’re also surprisingly fast.

What similar equipment have you ridden?

96a Noskoolz, 97a BDS Shogo Kubo Dragons, 95a Rainskates

Would you recommend them?

Yes
Yet another weird bit of history – these are alleged to have been prototypes from 2002 or 2003 that never made it out of the prototype stage.  They were poured by Madrid, and were inspired by the UFO wheels of the 70’s.  I was sold these wheels with the understanding that they were 85a or so, but they’re substantially harder than that.  They’d feel great on a 70’s-style setup for concrete parks or ditches, but I don’t feel like they’re all that great for downhill sliding and stuff.  The only way I was able to get information on these wheels was by emailing Madrid directly, and by looking up old .PDF’s of International Longboarder and Concrete Wave magazines.  Maybe if you’re looking for information on these weird-ass wheels, your search will bring you to this page.

TVS Lady Cruiser

Posted: 2019-03-29 in Gear Reviews
Tags:

Riding this board really makes me appreciate how far longboarding has come this millennium. It was a ton of fun for me researching what trucks and wheels were used circa Y2K, and even more fun hunting them down.

 

Longboard Review

How long have you ridden the board

1 year

What is your setup like?

Randal DH trucks, Red Krypto Classics…although I do swap out for some Dregs Labeda wheels or UFO wheels once in a while.

Typical Session Discipline

Bike path bombing; freeriding

How much did you pay?

$60

Where did you purchase it?

Eastcoastskates.com

What were the strengths of the deck.

Retro steez! The reason I bought the board was because I was trying to find all the boards that the guys rode in the Gravity Games circa 2000 or 2001. I found a stash of NOS boards like this, and decided to pull the trigger. It’s a really nice symmetric shape, with fully functional kicktails. The graphic is sharp, and seems to be screen printed.

What were the weaknesses?

Really narrow, but that’s how boards were back then. The wheel cutouts are big enough to step on if you’re not looking, but they’re placed for trucks like Indys or Trackers…the Randals I have on mine don’t line up properly.

Similar decks you have ridden?

Vision 48″ Cruiser, Pavel DHB Ditch board…not sure if I’d put this in the same category as a Superglider, but I use it for similar activities.

Would you recommend it?

Yes

Ah, the old Terminal Velocity Streetboards.  Staple brand of the late 1990’s and early 2000’s.  I’ve got this set up as close to Gary Hardwick’s historical board as is practical for my modern style of riding.  Some of my first memories about longboarding were watching the Gravity Games on NBC, and they were one of the first to broadcast downhill skateboarding on a national stage.  I watched guys like Gary Hardwick, Biker Sherlock, and Dane Van Bommel race standup boards in wild suits and crazy helmets!  Gary was clad in white and black, with a Stormtrooper helmet; Biker and Dane were clad in black and yellow with flames up and down each arm.  Truth be told, I was more drawn to street luge in those days, completely unbeknownst to the fact that one day, I’d be doing standup on the very same boards I was watching on TV.  One cool feature of this board is that there’s no concave whatsoever – the board is flat as a pancake.  The reason being is that concave enhances and increases turning ability.  Turning ability leads to instability and speed wobbles.  Therefore, the late 90’s/early 00’s mindset was that flat boards were more stable than concave boards.  Generally, we know now that concave enhances control and, in a broad sense, increases stability…I mean, there’s a LOT that goes into stability, but that’s a rudimentary look at things.  The TVS Lady Cruiser was the same size and shape as the TVS Cruiser, which was the same size as the board Gary Hardwick rode in a few of his races, although Gary’s had a truncated nose and tail, and had the trucks dropped through the deck.  So, this deck is a reasonable facsimile to a Gravity Games setup, given the fact that I was trying to assemble these boards more than a decade after the fact.

It’s a fun, unique longboard made with a great modern construction. It does have a few faults, but what board doesn’t?

 

Longboard Review

How long have you ridden the board

2 years

What is your setup like?

Roadrider trucks, Element Ceramic bearings, Abec11 Retro Freerides. I’ve also tried it with Other Planet trucks.

Typical Session Discipline

Downhill carving, drifting some corners

How much did you pay?

$0

Where did you purchase it?

Got it from the guy who did the reviewe below this one

What were the strengths of the deck.

Great shape! The same excellent construction that I’ve come to expect from Watson Laminates. The board has a very positive, engaging feel. It’s stiff, but not bone-jarring, and inspires a lot of confidence.

What were the weaknesses?

The spray-on grip is a little lax. Combine that with the rocker of the board and it can feel dicey when you’re doing the more intense styles of freeriding or downhill. Honestly, if the board were 1 ply thinner and allowed the rider to fully utilize the camber (ed. 2019) (to spring out of carves), it would be much better.

Similar decks you have ridden?

It’s hard to say…Loaded Dervish, Earthwing Superglider, maybe even the Gravity Hypercarve. It’s a very unique carving shape with a stiff feel…nothing else that I’ve ridden really compares.

Would you recommend it?

Yes
This is another cool bit of longboard history – back in the 70’s, the Tunnel skateboard team were quite prolific downhill racers.  In the early 2010’s, they adapted their signature downhill and slalom shape into a modern longboard.  This is the modern adaptation!  As mentioned in the review above, the camber feels a little weird underfoot, but you get used to it.  I would love to see this board with one less ply in the board, so the rider could really dig into the board and return some positive energy, but as it is, it’s a dampening flex like my CLB.  It’s a cool board, and even though I don’t ride it much, it’s one that I won’t get rid of.