Posts Tagged ‘longboard’

Why have a Spot Etiquette?

Preserving the sanctity of a wonderful skate spot should be a natural feeling to any seasoned skater. Newcomers may do something careless, like get or cause injuries, damage property, litter, hit cars, and etc., which can cause a spot to serve consequences to attendees of a future session.

What does it mean when a Spot gets Blown Out?

When a Spot gets Blown Out, local officials and residence don’t enjoy our company. The tolerance toward skaters by the local community is subject to rejection upon visible or audible disturbance. In other words, someone will have a problem with skaters skating that spot, ask you to leave or simply call the local police station. Refusing to leave is a sure way to end a friendly situation.

How do I prevent spots from getting blown out?

Keep spots to yourself. The more people that know about it, the faster it will be blown out. Don’t mention road names or have them visible in videos. Spot etiquette should be followed regardless of whatever location you skate. Remember to smile and wave at all passersby. Be friendly and courteous of the community you skate in. Pick up all your trash, be conscious of your language (don’t curse, especially around children) and be mindful of others using the road. Wear your safety gear, accidents happen. Calling 911 is the last thing you want. Always wearing your helmet can help prevent a bad situation. Cars should be avoided at all costs! If a car is coming the other way, stay in your lane or get off the road altogether.

Who Blew Out the Spot?

The skater(s) that attract unwanted attention. Large groups or gathers of skaters, which is why it’s not the best idea to idle around at the bottom and waste time talking. Skaters that skate outside of their ability and crash. Skaters that fail to be aware of their surroundings, skating right out in front of cars or police. Cars own the streets, not skaters. Skateboards are easily crushed by cars. Severe injury, which may consists of an emergency rescue, can persuade local law the installment of a rule/sign that is intended to reduce future injury or other liability issues. Sharing skate spots with the masses (internet) allow a spot to be subject to overuse. The more skaters, greater the chance of causing an issue with the locals. In every case, the skater(s) are not aware that they are blowing out the spot(s).

Did I Step On Anyone Toes?

It is very likely that someone was offended that you skated their spot. Some spots are held so sacred by the native skaters, an outside-skater must understand the power of such a bond with ideal terrain. If you have seen the spot in a video, it is likely not yours to skate unless you are invited. This is not always true for many skate spots are not filmed. There is no way of a outsider knowing. It is best to contact people you know that do skate these spots to escort you on that particular skate sesh. Don’t bring friends to gnarly skate spots, especially if the terrain is far above their skill level.

Where Do I Skate?

Every skater has his or her favorite spot. Find a spot. Drive around until you find one in your neck of the woods. Get with your friends and localize your spots. There are spots hidden in the most desolate areas. Always assume you aren’t the only one skating that spot.

What Are Spotters?

Spotters are people that stay at the bottom intersection or blind corner that keep a lookout for traffic, pedestrians, or other hazards. Signs should be used in order to signal skaters on their journey down in case they need to stop exists. It is very dangerous skating through an intersection blindly. Spotters are your remote eyes. If people are sitting around watching, tell one of them to save your life and keep an eye out.

Who Uses Hand Gestures and Sign Language?

There are many gestures someone can use. Both spotter and fellow skaters are advised to use signals. This will allow a skater so signal the skaters directly in rear. It is wise to be courtesy to the individuals traveling behind you.

This guy isn’t the best spotter; he should be in the middle of the road making sure you see him. Make sure your spotter is focused on saving YOUR life.

What If I Don’t Know How To Slide?

A good rule of thumb is “do not skate faster than you can stop”. Stopping is important. If you are going faster than you can skate, you are skating outside of your limit. You are a danger yourself and to those skating downhill with you. If so, you should probably learn to Coleman slide. RipTide How To: Coleman Slide (180 and Pendy) – YouTube

Lessons Learned.

1. Know your limits.

2. Wear proper gear.

3. Progress in a controlled environment.

4. Respect the roads and respect the residents. Always be courteous and friendly. We are not entitled to anything, At best, we are uninvited guests. It is YOUR job to ensure that we have hills to skate for years to come.

5. Don’t blow out spots.


Buying your first board can is a huge step. There are lots of decisions to make. This guide is meant to help the uninitiated understand what they should consider. There are many awesome products out there, and the aim is to give you the foundation for making a good decision. After all you want to start your collection of right.


What is a longboard?


There’s a lot of debate (really) and this is probably the broadest definition you’ll find…. You might think Longboards are…well…longer, but there are plenty of `longboards’ that are shorter than your average shortboard. A longboard is a combination of things. Probably the most telling components are the wheels. Longboard wheels are softer and bigger (60mm all the way to 145mm-see rolls rolls cruiser). The size makes them go faster, smoother, and roll over little obstacles easier. Softer wheels grip the road better and give a cushier ride (harder wheels are faster on very smooth surfaces like skateparks, but softer wheels tend to ride faster on rougher surfaces like roads, see wheels). Next, a longboard tends to have trucks that are wider and turn better than shortboards. And last most longboards are longer.


So let’s consider what board length you want.


Your desired length should not determine too much which board you choose. There are more important decisions to make first that will narrow down the length choice. So let’s split up board length into two factors, wheel base, and stance.


Wheel Base- Board length is closely tied to wheel base, which is the measurement from the back wheels to the front wheels, so wheel base depends on how long the board is and then where the trucks are mounted on the board. The length of your wheel base directly effects how tight you board will turn. The longer the wheel base the less tight (or larger turning radius) you’ll be able to turn (your trucks are also a large factor in how tight your board turns). Besides making u-turns and being able to maneuver through obstacles, having a board that turns tight is important for downhill carving. When you are riding downhill (assuming you aren’t sliding yet) the major way to keep yourself from going faster than you are comfortable is to carve out your speed by making S turns (like when you are snowboarding down a steep run). The tighter your board turns, the steeper the hill you can ride and still limit your speed. The only drawback of having a tighter turning radius is that your board becomes less stable once you do take it up to a high speed (More on this under `Trucks’)


Stance- Beyond wheel base, you want to consider stance width and deck room. The longer the board the wider the stance you can sport. Your stance width is largely affected by your height. But once you get up to 42 inches or so, the board is pretty much wide enough for anyone’s stance. Past 42 inches, and now you are talking about how much room there is to move around up there. Boards above 42 inches increasingly give you some room to play around, kind of like a surfboard.


Boards above 50 inches (see the 57″ Ed Economy Bank Rider and Street Rider by Gravity) are pretty much used for either serious downhill speedboarding (remember: a long wheel base means more stability at high speed) or for people who want a really mellow board walk cruiser so they have a lot of room to move around, and a lot of stability so you can totally relax while “hanging ten” and checking out the scene.


A board that’s really short (34 inches or less) means you are increasingly sacrificing some stance comfort for really tight turns (a smaller board is also easier to carry around and store). This is slalom board range. A really tight turning board can be very fun for tearing about as it’ll be super responsive, and can let you carve REAL tight downhill. (Check out the Loaded Fish, Gravity GS, and Landyachtz lil’gaffer!).


…Alright so now you should have an idea of what range you wanna be in for length, or at least what to consider…Length is a characteristic of the overall deck shape. Here are a number of other factors to consider:


Deck Characteristics…


Concave/Flat/Convex – The vast majority of boards are either concave or flat. Concave means that when you are looking at your board head-on from the front at street level, the right and left edges of the deck curl up slightly so that it looks like a very subtle `U’ shape. People that like concave will tell you that they get better grip on a concave board because it helps you “lock” your feet in while carving because the walls of the `U’ help keep your feet from slipping off the deck. Also, concave helps gives you more carving leverage for quicker turns, because more of your weight is transferred to the outer edges of the board as you lean into a turn. Another benefit is that you can feel where the edges of your board are without having to look down. The only real draw back of concave is that it’s a little harder to move your feet around on top of the board, so you might want flat for a big long board that you want to cruise and play on.. There are only a few convex (opposite of concave, rising up in the middles, down at the edges) decks I know of, one is the Carveboard Bubbler, the other is a turner slalom board.


Flat/Cambered/Rockered – Just as in surfboard terminology I use camber for a board that rises up in the middle so if you are looking at it from the side, with your eye at street level, it makes a slight arch. Rocker is the opposite, with a slight upside-down arch lengthwise (some people say ‘concave’ for rocker and ‘convex’ for cambered, but for clarity, I prefer to use those word only for describing the shape width wise). A board with rocker has a lower center of gravity (like a Barfoot) which is important for stability in a deep carve or transitions in and out of turns. A rockered board tends to feels like it’s cradling you as you go in and out of turns as it sort of `swings’ from side to side (see hammocks). Cambered boards tend to be the type that have more flex, and Flex is characteristic that deserves it own heading. So the only thing I will say here about camber is that it doesn’t sag down as far as a flat board of equal flexibility because the deck starts from a higher point, and cambered boards tend to have more springback.


Flexibility – Flex is measured by the amount a board will ‘give’ when you put weight on it. There are boards that range from totally stiff and don’t flex at all (a Tierney rides or Flowlab/Flowboard DCS is totally stiff), to boards that if you jump on, you can get the deck to touch the ground (Take a big bounce on one of the flexier Loaded Vanguard). Flex gives you a softer ride as it can absorb some of the impact when you go down a driveway lip or off a curb. It’s also nice if you are jumping on and off your board a lot. A stiffer board is generally preferred for higher speeds as it tends to be more stable (at high speeds, you want to absorb any bumps in you knees, you don’t want the board bouncing you up and down after going over a bump at 40mph+). Some people consider a stiff board more precisely controllable, because your feet and body movements are directly transferred to the trucks without being muted, exaggerated or distorted by the flex of the deck. However, an intelligently shaped deck that fits well with the trucks you are riding on can really increase the amount of precision and control in your ride (again, see the Loaded Vangaurds, Hammerhead DCS and Fish).


Springback or Quality of Flex – No no, you ain’t the flex masta’ yet my brotha’. Fo’ Sho’ you gots ta consida’ the QUALITY of the flex…or Springback. Some boards have pretty dead flex. This means the deck doesn’t rebound and push you back up as you un-weight the board a bit.


What do I mean `UNWEIGHT’? Damn glad you asked. Well if you are standing straight up on a scale and you quickly bring your legs up, you will weigh less as you begin to `fall’ or move downwards. This is unweighting the board. Then when you start to slow your `fall’ and then begin to stand up straight again, you will weigh more as you are pushing into the scale to slow down and then accelerate your body up. This is how you weight your board (seriously, go practice for a sec on a scale, especially if you have the old non-digital kind with a needle, practice moving up and own on the scale to make yourself weigh less and then more, so that you are controlling the needle and making it swing back and forth. This stuff is really important later when you learn to PUMP).


A board with a high quality flex and a lot of spring back will store energy when you weight it and it flexes down, and then spring you back up when you unweight it a bit (by, for example, picking your legs up a little) . If you are doing some big hard pedaling (kicking off the ground with your food to gain speed), a deck with quality spring back will lower you closer to the ground as you weight the board going into a pedal, and then when you transfer weight to the foot pushing off the ground, thereby un-weighting the deck, it’ll spring you back up. Most importantlythough, and most fun, a board with quality spring back or a high-rebound will spring you out of a turn and into the next one. When you are riding, you weigh more when you are in the middle. of a turn and the G force pushes you into the deck, and then as you come out of a turn, you can unweight the board and let the board spring you up. You can then use that upward momentum to fall back into the next turn, and tranferring energy back into your deck. Now we’re talking about good times! Overall, even before you get this unweighting and weighting stuff down, and are bouncing in and out of turns, many people just find a flexy deck with good springback to be a lot `livelier’ of a ride. (the first time I hopped on a Loaded Vanguard I literally felt like I was riding a live beastcompared to alot of other decks which felt either dead or asleep). Good springback is also important for Pumping, which is when you propel yourself forward without kicking, simply by throwing your weigh from side to side. Learning to pump is certainly a bit challenging, but you’ll eventually want to do it (for a good how-to-Pump, click here) while it is possible to pump a totally stiff board, I personally find it more enjoyable on a board with good quality flex (however too much flex can sap your energy and slow you down) .


Materials- so what makes a board have “good quality flex”? Great question. Largely, the deck materials are responsible for the quality of flex. Your most basic board is made of simple plywood. When a piece of plywood is concave, it tends to have more rebound or springback… But to get some really good flex takes composite materials like fiberglass (Sector 9 Cosmic Rider series, FibreFlex, Flex Dex, Comet skateboards, Loaded, and Landyachtz are all example of composite boards that use some fiberglass) Boards with fiber glass are more expensive to make though, so you are looking at paying a bit more. A further improvement in flex seems to come with the use of vertically laminated wood cores (normal ply wood is horizontally laminated, as the layers, `plys, ‘ are laid one on top of the other, while vertically laminated means the plys are placed side by side in thin strips next to each other, so you can see the different `layers’ when you are looking at the top or bottom like stripes going down the length) in conjunction with fiberglass, which is basis for the technology that Loaded Boards and Comet Skateboards use.


So you’ve got, length, wheelbase, and deck charactertistics (i.e. camber, concave, rocker, flex…) all figured out. Now its time to talk about deck shape.


Deck Shape…


O.K., if you understand this next stuff, you will understand the basic issue of skateboard design and consequently be able to look at a skateboard and really tell what’s going on there. Skateboards started with roller skate trucks, which barely turned, they veered slightly to one side as you leaned, and were very very narrow. Then they started making trucks a bit wider so that you could make the boards wider than a water-ski without the thing tipping over. But the trucks still couldn’t get you around a corner, and in order to make a fast turn, you had to kick the back of the board up. This describes your average eighties board and your 90’s new school shortboard. But if you really want to simulate surfing (and snowboarding) and don’t care so much about tricks, but rather for the feel of the ride, then you got to make trucks that really turn, so you can carve hard and lean into it. Now the problem is, if your trucks turn a lot, and you are riding larger wheels, that means the wheels are gonna hit the deck as you turn hard, which is called `wheel-bite, ‘ and immediately causes the board to stop in its tracks while you get a face full of street. Longboard design is largely centered on how to deal with this problem: how do you make a board that turns well but doesn’t get wheel bite? And each board has its own strategy. Most of the boards being sold today (Sector Nine, Gravity Boards (most), Dregs, Vision Skateboards, Fluid Longboards) use a two or three pronged strategy.




  1. They use trucks like Tracker B-2’s or the Sector Nine `Pivot Trucks’, which don’t turn very tight, and 2. they mount the trucks on the board with a riser so that the deck is raised up a bit which affords the deck more clearance over the wheels, and 3. sometimes, the deck is shaped so that at the point where the wheel might hit the board in a turn, the deck is narrower or there is a piece cutout. Notice how a Gravity HyperCarve has little half-moons cut out above the wheels (called wheel cutouts) in the front, and the deck gets narrow above the back wheels. Or picture the classic longboard shape, a Pintail. The front trucks are mounted way up on the nose where the board is still thin and way back on the tail where it gets thin again. The drawback of using a combination of these approaches is that you end up with not-so-turny trucks, and when you use a riser, you are making the board less stable than it could be as you raise the center of gravity. Another strategy is to make the deck shape so narrow above the front and back truck that you can use really carvy trucks with no riser, and you still don’t get wheel bite. I’m talking of course about a Loaded Vanguard, and that explains why the board is totally cut away at the back and front ends, so it can use the Randal R-2’s which turn a lot sharper than your Pivot truck or Tracker B-2. Another option is to use REALLY wide trucks like Independent 215s which stick out past the deck. (what you want to know about truck width is that the wider the truck, the more stable the ride but the slower the trucks will react in a turn). And yet another strategy is to make trucks that turn sharp and quick, but have a built in turn stopper to stop the truck before the wheels hit the deck, like the Exkate and Baku torsion trucks (Bakus only come on Barfoot and Hobie completes).


So let’s review the 5 strategies for preventing wheel bite, so the next time you look at a board you can tell which ones it uses:


  • trucks that don’t turn very sharp
  • riser pads that raise the deck up higher for more clearance
  • deck shaping that gets narrower or is cutaway above the wheels
  • wide trucks that extend past the edge of the deck.
  • trucks that are set to not turn past a certain point like torsion trucks.


Other deck shape features… The wider the board is where you put your feet, the more turning leverage you will get. Also a few decks like the Loaded Vanguard have rounded-stand pads for multi-directional leverage that help you control the board by pushing on it from different directions. And of course you know what a kicktail is, and what it’s for, and some board like the Gravity Concave Maple Series have a `nose tail’ too. Then some decks like the Barfoot NoseRiders are built with a wide spot to stand on in front for some Longboard surf-style stuff.


Finally, you want to think about wheels. Most completes come with wheels attached, and most skate shops, don’t stock enough components and decks to let you custom build a board. But if you order online, you can choose wheels from a big selection. So take a look at the Wheels section for a comprehensive explanation of longboard wheels, that way if you are buying a complete, you’ll know what your wheels are good for, and if you are having a custom board built, you’ll get a better idea of which wheels to pick.


If you have any questions or want some help in figuring out which deck is right for you, feel free to email


**I didn’t write this I just copied it – Respect To The Writer**

As i alluded to earlier, the ends are flared and have a spoon-type concave to REALLY lock your feet in…the “waist” of the board is about 9″ wide, and the ends flare to 10″.


Longboard Review

How long have you ridden the board

a little over a month

What is your setup like?

indy 215’s, spitfire shortboard numero uno wheels, speedy lunatic bearings

Typical Session Discipline


What were the strengths of the deck.

very unique shape, really locks your feet in where you need it. it’s got a stiff construction, so it doesn’t feel floppy like the earthwing drifter sometimes does.

What were the weaknesses?

due to the flared ends, the board basically needs 180mm trucks…and it’s assymetric, so there’s definitely a “Front” and a “Back”

Similar decks you have ridden?

Earthwing Drifter 38″, blank 34″ poolboard

Would you recommend it?


Straight outta Falmouth, United Kingdom came this Faltown 3.2 Slider!  This was a cool fuckin’ board, with a very unique shape:  Whereas a normal board has even concave throughout the length of the board, the Faltown had hemispherical or spoon-shaped concave on the nose and tail, where your feet would go.  It still had a functional nose and tail, and pockets where the concave transitioned to those kicks, but I can’t describe the 3 dimensional shape where your feet sat…No matter how your feet fell before, during, or after a slide, you were locked in securely without having to use shoe-shredding griptape.  This board was a vital part of my growth as a longboarder, but I can’t say that I regret selling it.  I was in a place when I bought it where I was pissed off and sour at the ‘mainstream’ American longboard market, and wanted to break out of the norms as much as I could.  That’s when I bought this uniquely British board, and right around when I began seeking out historical longboards (historical being a relative term, in this situation, meaning from about 1998 to 2004).

Excellent board


it’s hard to compare this board because i haven’t ridden a board like it. it feels like a shortboard, but rides and turns like a longboard


Longboard Review

How long have you ridden the board

6 months

What is your setup like?

tracker rts/x 149, 81a abec11 gumballs, rock’n’ron skyrocket bearings, 4 deg wedge risers

Typical Session Discipline

commuting, mild DH

How much did you pay?


Where did you purchase it?

used from silverfish

What were the strengths of the deck.

lightweight, very springy (but not mushy), functional kicktail

What were the weaknesses?

concave is a little weird at first, it feels a LOT like a shortboard

Similar decks you have ridden?


Would you recommend it?

This board was the last version of their thermoplastic layup, before they moved to a Fiberlam layup.  And, mine was in the uber-rare red finish!  This was another I regret getting rid of, and have been chasing the guy down since I sold it to try and buy it back.  I had it set up for long-distance pumping, with Tracker Racetracks and Abec11 Zigzags (before changing to Orangatang 4presidents).  I can’t emphasize how comfortable this board was to ride – the flex was springy and lively, and not floppy or dead.  It soaked up imperfections in the road like none other, and was very clearly designed with street skating in mind.  It was definitely olliable before that was a desirable trait in longboards, and had all the right pockets for distance pushing.  My wife loved this board so much that she was a little upset when I sold my 2006 model, but I made it up to her by buying her the last one on Milehighskates before they closed up in 2012.

Excellent board, i regret getting rid of mine


Very good deck, it’s a good length if you like longer boards for tech sliding…otherwise, the size is GREAT for cruising…also, it’s great for “freeriding”


Longboard Review

How long have you ridden the board

A year

What is your setup like?

Tracker sixtracks and Slide A’s for sliding, Indy 169’s and soft noskool clones for cruising

Typical Session Discipline

Sliding or drifting

Where did you purchase it?


What were the strengths of the deck.

Great beefy size, easy to lock into hands-down slides, multiple wheelbases, VERY versatile and durable

What were the weaknesses?

a bit flexy, if you’re into standup slides…the concave was a little weak too

Similar decks you have ridden?

Faltown 3.2, 34″ blank pool deck

Would you recommend it?



The Earthwing Drifter of this generation was made with Watson Laminate’s Fiberlam technology, seen on quite a few brands, including Tum Yeto (Foundation, etc.), Earthwing, even Sector9 and Arbor.  In the context of this board, a 38″ double-kick, the Fiberlam layup allowed a sort of diagonal torsion on the board, which was great for sliding as it allowed for a little sloppiness; it was very forgiving, as it kept all 4 wheels on the road at the same time.  I had the limited edition colorway from Milehighskates, which was green and turquoise, as opposed to the ‘standard’ version which was red and orange.  To this day, more than a decade later, I still regret selling this one…it was really THAT good.

Dregs Race

Posted: 2019-03-27 in Gear Reviews
Tags: ,

I bought it to emulate the rides of the Gravity Games, and it does that very well. It’s definitely not a large, fast freeride board, so don’t buy it if you’re expecting something like that. The board is what it is, and that’s a low-speed techy board, and it really does that like a champ.

Hey, I learned to type, spellcheck, and properly capitalize my words!


Longboard Review

How long have you ridden the board

One year

What is your setup like?

Randal DH trucks, Krypto 65mm wheels I modified the Randal DH trucks with their 50 degree carving baseplates, and tossed on some Abec11 Flashbacks

Typical Session Discipline

bike path bombing, freeriding

How much did you pay?


Where did you purchase it?

RIT Music, Holland Michigan

What were the strengths of the deck.

Light and nimble…Definitely designed for a different style of riding than is popular today, but feels great under foot. Very stiff, as well…You lean, and it turns.

What were the weaknesses?

Narrow at the front; somewhat weird truck placement, so it is easy to get wheelbite sometimes.

Similar decks you have ridden?

Kebbek Revenger, custom Presque Longboards topmount

Would you recommend it?

I bought a new-old-stock version of this board from RIT, which was what was reviewed above.  But, a few years later when I was actually working at RIT, Dregs went bankrupt, and I was able to purchase a 3-board collection from the auction, including a Dregs Race ridden by Dane VanBommel on NBC’s Gravity Games in 2002.  Despite having an identical truck and wheel setup to the new one from RIT, the Dregs Auction one seems more reluctant to turn, as though maybe the wheelbase had been altered for Dane.  There were some unrequited rumors floating around the internet that this board, the Dregs Alpine, the Sector9 Race, the Sector9 Goddess Of Speed, the Sector9 Bombhills, and the Arbor Vugenhausen were pressed in the same molds, and had the same concave.  I can’t confirm this, though I can confirm that Sector9 and Arbor had the same mailing address, and that the owners of Sector9 and Dregs were brothers-in-law (Rest in peace, Biker Sherlock), so there’s probably some validity to the claim.

I’ve saved a metric fuckton of these small snippet reviews from the Silverfish forums, so I thought I’d begin posting them up here for posterity.  I’ll title each post with the piece of equipment, then copy/paste the brief review that I posted, and maybe a few notes at the bottom.  Did I mention I was once a top-10 reviewer on Silverfish?  Because I totally was.

Equipment Review

How long have you ridden them?

4 months

What Setup are you running them on?

CLB eleanor, bear grizzlies

Typical Discipline?

DH (bear in mind I’m a complete scrub, and never really got these above that 35mph threshold.  I’m not gonna bullshit you and say I took ’em up to 75, since truth be told, I may have broken 40 once, and 95% of my skating on these was done in the sub-30mph range)

How much did you pay for them?

came with a complete

Where did you buy them? (now defunct)

What are their weaknesses?

their large size makes them too big for a lot of boards

What are their strengths?

great shape, great urethane quality, the ride quality was AMAZING, very driftable but still really grippy, the large core made them feel fast where other similar-shaped/sized wheels would feel slow

What similar equipment have you ridden?

81a gumballs, 76mm earthwing superballs

Would you recommend them?



Flywheels were a game-changing product in their time.  Abec11’s Classic urethane is badass.  This is one wheel I truly regret selling.

My previous post dealt with a question posed in 2002 about skateboarding’s status in 2022.  Today’s deals with something that we’ve already seen through to completion:  The question posed today was posted in 2007, asking about where skateboarding will be in 10 years…in other words, 2017.

Before I dive into the Silverfish post itself, 2017 and 2018 thus far have seen an inordinate amount of sunsets.  Silverfish itself closed up, and brought with it Soda Factory.  Quite a few online skateshops closed up; those that remain shifted gears substantially.  Malware attacks and lack of general interest have stifled forums.  Somewhat ironically, the very same social media monoliths that killed forums are stumbling in the wake of data leaks.

Now, away we go!

As mentioned above, the following questinos/posts were written/posted in 2007, and retrieved in 2017


My post opens the discussion:  yes, i did just get done reading the george powell article and Ebasil’s question about where he sees skating in the next 10 years…so it got me thinking and i decided that i’d like to throw this question out into the forums.  maybe i’m out of line doing this (as it was basil’s question), but i’m curious as to what everybody else thinks…okay so i’ll start:

i think right now skating as a whole stands at a crossroads…powell said something in his article about how skateboarding has a lot of great talent that could potentially skyrocket the popularity soon.  but, all things go in cycles, and i’d say we’re about set for another recession in the popularity in skateboarding. although if skateboarding continues to reach out to the MTV community (like bam did), the market will grow for skateboarders, albeit most of the purchasers will be posers and stuff.  but i think the most likely thing is that within a few years, skateboarding’s gonna cycle back into a little recession.

While I can’t furnish the George Powell article, nor Ebasil’s response anymore, I would like to pat myself on the back for getting a pretty accurate shot back in ’07.  A LOT of new talent got sucked into longboarding.  A LOT of poseurs got sucked in as well (see…well, nearly every early post in this blog).  It had to happen, but I’m very sorry to see longboarding contract again.  We had a good run though…nearly 20 years, marked at the beginning by The X-Games and Tony Hawk Pro Skater, and at the end by Penny Boards and downhill jams.  Things certainly reached peak MTV with Rob Dyrdek and all of his shows, as well as The Life Of Ryan (Sheckler).  I was ecstatic to see Sheckler’s skate game step up, before he faded off into obscurity.  Dyrdek is still doing his shock-jock reality TV thing.

User Greenamtern: Technology is getting better, pumping out new and cool equipment.  More and more people are getting on board to put in their great idea. Skateboarding has their new recruits ranging from kids who want to try a new hobby to college students looking for neato torpedo transportation to geezers finding that fountain of youth.  California seems to be the only place in America that has the closest thing there is to a full blown skate scene. Yes we have our brothers and sisters riding with passion in every state, but nowhere else comes to mind where skateshops aren’t slowing going out of business and boards spend more time in the garage.  But we find our crews regardless be it through connections through networks like the Fish or by creating a group of your own.

Equipment is getting more and more expensive and less accessible to those who just want to get a beginner board for cruising and messing around.  Skateboarding in all of its variations is getting more well-known. What’s missing is the recreational crowd, the folks who just skate from time to time but don’t really care about all the politics, scenes, latest gear, etc.  There’s a very “you’re either really into it or you’re not” sort of attitude that I get some of the time.

All that said, I think we’re at a point where things have stagnated and can really go both ways.  Companies have been churning out with new gear like I’ve never seen before. Maybe I’m just more aware of it all.  Maybe more people are getting on board the business. If the public picks up and the interest exists, then we’re in for a boom.  If the public maintains its mostly anti-skate/ambivalent attitude, then there’s going to be far more supply than demand. So let’s all make sure we got the people willing to pay the big bucks for our junk before setting up that board shop of yours.

Circa 2007, Greenamtern completely nailed it.

User Wells:  I’m actually kind of astonished that skateboarding hasn’t died recently. In the past the skateboard industry has been sort of a lagging economic indicator-when the economy tanks, skateboarding tanks-but we haven’t seen that since the end of the nineties.

I think we’re going to see a resurgence of park and ramp riding on the strength of all the parks being built these days and possibly some new vert pros. Street is going to continue to be ridiculous.

Pro-model skateboards might get a little bit more interesting in construction and shape, but will probably continue the trend, originated with the Element featherlight construction, toward construction techniques that make decks a little lighter and a lot more likely to break.

The great bearing hoax uncovered by Ron Foster might collapse, but probably won’t. Zaino brothers car-care products still are’t in auto parts stores everywhere, so don’t expect to find Rockets in CCS any time soon

Wells is an OG east coast guy, keenly in touch with trends.  His opening sentence echoes the same sentiment as mine above…briefly, skateboarding typically goes in 10-year boom cycles.  Given that, in 07, the wave of skateboarding had harkened back to the mid-1990’s, they were due for a recession even in 2007.

As I touched on in the previous blog post, parks, ramps, and street got big.  I can’t exactly say that skateboard construction changed any, between 2007 and 2017, apart from a couple of small-time brands that pushed the envelope with fiberglass, carbon fiber, and even repurposed cardboard!

Ron Foster’s Great Bearing Hoax gained traction and took off!  To quickly sum up Ron’s article (posted on Everything Skateboarding), we’ve been duped by skateboard companies into believing that you can quantify speed.  In reality, a truly ABEC-rated skate bearing would be prohibitively expensive; upwards of $10 per bearing.  The tight tolerances required by a true ABEC-rated bearing would be completely destroyed by the radial load of a skater simply standing on a board…add in rolling, and the damage increases.  Add in ollies and other aerial maneuvers, or hard carves and downhill slides, and any sort of precision flies right out the window.  But, what we saw between 2007 and 2017 is the sub-$25 bearing market EXPLODE.  Skaters grew to accept bearings as disposable wear parts, and began demanding cheap, fast bearings moreso than expensive, flashy bearings.  Toy Machine and Independent (of skateboard truck fame) came out swingin’, making some of my absolute favorite bearings of all time.  Magic Bearings were community-designed on Silverfish, custom ordered directly from the manufacturer.  Zealous raised the bar by custom ordering bearings directly from the manufacturer, and added extended inner races (to replace the bearing spacer), and a custom grease that filled in low spots, cracks, and fissures in the balls and races.



Below, we have an example of centerset and sideset from Abec11’s wheel lineup:  Left to right, we have the Noskool shape, the Grippin shape (basically a Noskool shape with square lips…move the core to the very edge of the wheel for a Flashback shape, as seen in the red sideset wheel above), a Striker or Freeride shape, and a Flywheel core.  Though, looking at the diagrams from SteveC, it looks a LOT like he borrowed from the Abec11 diagrams as well.


Below, we have some heavily worn wheels from Mig at Fullbag Skates, so you can see how wheels wear directly under the bearing seat.