Posts Tagged ‘silverfish’

Expensive Bearings

Posted: 2019-11-11 in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

Another post from the Silverfish archives (every time I do a deep search on my laptop, I find more and more of these).  This time, discussing my thoughts on expensive bearings.

My original post was as follows:

Your mileage may vary, so bear with me on this. Having tried out a few sets of expensive bearings in the past year, and comparing them to cheaper bearings , I definitely feel like expensive bearings can make a difference in roll speed. Furthermore, I feel like the adage of “buy cheaply, buy often” as it pertains to bearings is somewhat misguided. While bearings won’t make or break your setup (your Krown board won’t win an IGSA race just by slapping some uberbearings on it), there’s a LOT more to it than just buying as cheap of bearings as possible. Now, we’ve all known ‘that guy’ whose hacked-up S9 board and uberbearings rides like sh!t, but that goes back to keeping your bearings properly maintained. ‘That Guy’ doesn’t take care of his board , so any bearing that he swears is the best is going to be better than the beat-to-hell bearings he had before. But, I’m honestly wondering if anyone has legitimately bought, ridden, and taken complete care of any ‘uberbearings.’ I’m madly in love with my Tekton bearings because I feel like they hold speed better in the flat sections of some downhill runs I do, and I can say the same for Element Swiss and Ceramics, as well as Ninja Ceramix and Boss Speed Ceramics. Obviously, wheel size, shape, duro, formula, core, etc. have a greater impact on rollspeed than bearings do, but at least according to my experience, bearings do have a positive impact on things.

User Metaldestroyer seemed to agree:

In my experience a well-maintained set of nice bearings lasts a hell of a lot longer than cheap bearings . Reds die on me in weeks of skateboarding, swiss last up to a year. And my ceramic super reds are a whopping two years old and still just as fast as my brand spankin new magics, so there you go.

My buddy Hiersgarr also agreed:

This is a topic worth discussion as longboarding reaches new levels, with people pushing the lines and progressing all the time. I say let’s have a serious, real discussion about the finite detail of bearing quality and roll. This discussion would do nothing to challenge the established, accepted fact that it is absolutely pointless to get the speediest, priciest bearings for most disciplines of skating (it’s okay to have this discussion). I for one, could say that yes, a fine, small detail to racing at as fast speeds as possible is the quality of ones bearings . Basically, bearings are very susceptible to slowing through any number of means. Proper maintenance is the answer, but when that is controlled for, the properly maintained high quality bearing is worth testing under such circumstances. Without getting too ahead of myself I would believe Mischo Erban has an opinion related to the quality of his bearings . He is an engineer who holds the longboard downhill speed record*, hard to imagine he hasn’t thought about it by now.

*this discussion is from 2013, when Erban did hold the longboard downhill speed record, and right before the industry kicked it into gear and began putting actual effort into bearings.  Mischo used, I believe, Seismic Tektons…shortly after, Kyle Wester broke the record on Bronsons

Incrediboy729 offered a slightly different opinion:

I can definitely feel a difference in my Bones Swiss Six as compared to my Reds. Whether or not it’s worth the money is debatable, but there is definitely a difference. I believe this kinda summarizes it. there is NOTHING wrong with bread and butter bearings , (reds, magic, zealous, mhs) but if cost wasnt an issue, id be running custom-fit 6 ball tektons in every setup, because they are probably a tiny bit faster. Not enough for me to warrant purchase, but enough to be acknowledged. I think we collectively adopted the “never buy expensive bearings ” mantra because of the annoying Swiss-Ceramic noobs, and the fact that 90 percent of us cant afford/dont need anything fancy

The point I was trying to illustrate was that there’s a difference more than enough to just be “acknowledged,” but Incrediboy posits that only if cost weren’t an issue, he’d go for better bearings.  It’s still cheaper to buy one set of $30 bearings and maintain ’em than it is to buy one $10 set a month to throw away when they wear out or break prematurely.

And finally, TestMonkeyUnlimited offers another differing opinion:

Bearings have been adopted from standard applications; Abec ratings were, and still are, created for the industrial applications they are subjected to. The lateral side-load forces they are exposed to when skateboarding doesn’t correlate. The best bearing is any with double side-shields, that are maintained regularly; the equivalent of the “3,000 mile oil-change”, if you will. Running ceramics is akin to only using synthetic oil in your vehicle. But even more costly, comparatively. So just clean them often, because even at 10 bucks, you still wouldn’t chuck & replace them every couple of weeks… Lube really is the cheapest component, so clean & re-lube often. I can’t make that any more clear. And ditto on the placebo effect; unless your trying to shave hundredths off of race times. But for street? No.

He’s absolutely right ABEC rating doesn’t matter.  But, that’s not to say that you shouldn’t seek quality when buying bearings.  Stick with offerings from skateboard-specific retailers.  Find a budget and stick with it.  Know what you’re looking for in a bearing, and find one that fits within your budget.  That’s all part of being an informed consumer, and that was my job when I was working at the skateshop…and, of course, a huge reason I started this blog in the first place.  That’s what I’d add to TMU’s post:  There’s a point of diminishing returns when you look at price point in skateboard bearings, but you can’t automatically say that expensive bearings are “the exact same” as the cheaper ones.

On Experimentation

Posted: 2019-04-07 in Uncategorized
Tags:

Another entry in my Silverfish series, this time, a rant about experimentation.  Skaters are notorious DIY guys, and the course of skateboard history has been shaped by this DIY ethos.  SWB Freeride longboards came about from guys “bricking” their boards; that is, chopping the nose and tail off of dropthrough boards and mounting the trucks and wheels onto the standing platform.  Dropthrough boards hearken back to the 70’s when guys would cut holes in the top of their boards to get a lower center of gravity, for more stability when going fast.  The modern street deck has rounded noses and tails, after wearing down the square noses and tails of the late 80’s and early 90’s.  In the early 70’s, urethane wheels were squared off with sharp lips.  By the late 70’s, skaters had realized that their wheels wore out and rounded over at the lips, so wheel manufacturers began pouring wheels with rounded lips already on them.  The point is that skaters are a unique bunch, DIY runs deep.  The rant below circles around the advent of social media, instant feedback, and having the collective experience of humanity at your fingertips.  This seemed to erode the DIY ethos on sites like Silverfish, and later on Reddit and Facebook…On the one hand it was cool because it signaled that people wanted to spend more time riding and progressing instead of fucking around with nuts, bolts, screws, washers, and bushings; on the other hand, if you have two sets of wheels in your hand and you have to ask which is better for sliding, you’re an idiot, just put the fuckers on and go slide them instead of posting about it online.

What happened to experimenting?
Seriously, why don’t people just try things out anymore? One of the funnest things about longboarding, according to my opinion, is just that: playing around with different setups. Anyone with any amount of experience knows that bushings are one of the cheapest ways to drastically alter your board’s feeling. And, if you’re fortunate enough to be able to buy 2 setups at the same time, why bother spending time asking which will slide better? Why not just…ride both?

Is this something the community at Silverfish has brought on itself? On one hand, I can see where this is definitely factor. People bash other skaters because of  odd/unusual setups…see the “Weirdest Setup You’ve Seen” thread. Anything outside the “norm” is immediately dismissed as nonfunctional at worst, just plain weird at best. In a weird way, it almost seems like the site at large discourages  experimentation via the hive-mind mentality.

Another odd factor that I’ve heard college professors talk on is how kids these days just don’t know how to play around, experiment, and learn on their own. At the risk of getting political, there’s an entire generation of longboarders that went through school under No Child Left Behind, wherein the students were largely taught the tests, and not the actual process of learning.  Since longboarding is so popular among this specific group of kids, it stands to reason that maybe they just don’t know they can experiment and break out of that aforementioned hive-mind.

Does anyone else have any comments? The point I’m trying to drive home is that it it’s perfectly acceptable to tinker with everything…play around…before you post a thread asking a question, explore all of your own possibilities. Hell, half the fun of skateboarding in general is DIY’ing everything; why not apply that to your longboard?

 

My friend, boarderaholic, agreed with my sentiments and added:

That part is fair, and understandable. What gets me are threads that are made where the user asks something like… “I have a Landyachtz Switchblade. I also own RAD advantages, and O’tang Stims. Which wheels slide better?”

It’s really, really not that difficult to take said gear out with you to skate and TRY things. I mean, isn’t experimenting how we got to the world that we have today? This is the beautiful thing about skateboarding, there is so much room to
grow, and be your own person.

 

One of the most common counter-arguments was cost, but that completely ignores the entire premise of the thread:  That you’ve already got 2 sets of wheels/trucks/bushings in your hand, and you’re asking which one is better

For me money is the biggest issue. I tweak what I can and come on here and find DIY stuff I can do to make my board better. I like just messing around to find the best feel and having people to sit around and tweak then ride then tweak then
ride (.ect) is awesome.

 

The Internet is a wonderful thing – it brings the collective experience and knowledge of the entire history of humanity into the palm of your hand.  If you’re considering a new piece of gear, search for it.  Google is wonderful, and it may have brought you to this very blog.  If you already have the piece of gear in your hand, go ride it!

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.

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…

Factual Inaccuracies

Posted: 2019-04-03 in Uncategorized
Tags:

It’s come to my attention that some of the posts I’ve made are no longer factually accurate – things change in the world, and I’m just some jerk on the internet.  While I do strive to call it like I see it and say the things that need to be said, we’re in a world that’s changing faster and faster every day, and it’s hard to keep up!  So, when a brand does something like make a post on Instagram announcing that that they’re discontinuing operations, then they find my blog 6 months later and say “OMG Teh h8rs!” I’m just doing what I can…I took that Instagram post announcing the discontinuation of operations to mean that they were discontinuing operations.  I’ve removed the offending post, so as not to rustle any more jimmies.  I mean, there are posts designed to rustle jimmies and there are posts aimed at specific people, but the post in question was truly and sincerely not meant to do so.

I’ll leave you with some angsty 19-year-old poetry:

love is like downhill:

sometimes you’re in for a short, thrilling ride; other times you’re in for a long run…

you’ve always got to accept the fact that there’s gonna be speed wobbs and you are gonna wipe out a time or two…

standing at the top of the hill can be scary, but you gotta just ballz up and go for it…

sometimes there’s gonna be other people on your hill that just won’t get the #### outta the way; you gotta turn around them and hope they don’t do anything stupid to wipe you out; also you gotta hope that you don’t destabilize yourself into wiping out…

speed wobbs can come from external sources as well as internal…

but no matter what the outcome…you dust yourself off, let your roadrash heal, and do it again…it’s scary ####, but it’s fun as hell…and THAT’S why you do it

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.

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.

 

TRUCKS…

 

  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 theguys@palermolongboards.com.

 

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

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?

chicagolongboards.com (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?

Yes

 

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

I’ve had a few thoughts rollin’ around between the ears since my last post.  With the trucks and wheels I purchased, noted in my last post, I also ordered some slide pucks.  Slide pucks, if you don’t know, are skid pads on a set of gloves used to deweight your board, get the board out in front of you, and slide to a stop.  Otherwise, when I broke my wrist back in 2014, the orthopedist said that some hard plastic (like slide pucks) can be used to alleviate wrist injuries.  He was shocked when he was describing some specific motorcycle gloves, and I knew exactly what he was talking about.

My first pair of slide gloves was an old pair of mechanic’s gloves with Corian glued onto the fingers and palm.  That was an old trick from Silverfish:  Using Corian samples as slide pucks.  Walk into your favorite kitchen store, say that you’re renovating your kitchen, and you’d like to see 4 or 5 different color samples of Corian, then the shop gives you 2×2″ chunks of Corian to take home and compare.  I killed that pair of gloves and made a second, but the pucks were still intact.  I was fortunate enough to be hooked up with the infamous Ninja Bomb Squad out of San Diego, who were developing some pucks with Loaded Longboards…they sent me 6 or 8 4″ palm pucks, out of the goodness of their hearts, and I wore through one pair (and the gloves), gave one away, put one on my wife’s slide gloves, and wore out another pair.  I was sliding a LOT.  I bought my first pair of slide pucks in 2010 or so, and made another pair of gloves with some Sector9 pucks.  Well, those pucks burned through one pair of gloves, then another, and currently sit on their third.  So, that leaves me on my sixth pair of slide gloves, meaning I replace the gloves about every other year, and the pucks just as frequently.  My sixth pair are high-vis, and I bought some fresh Sector9 pucks to use.

That leads me to my main point:  Sector9.  They’re entering their 25th year in the business, and to say that they’ve changed the game is putting it lightly.  When nobody had ever heard of longboarding, skaters still knew Sector9.  They didn’t change the game, they invented it, and they’ve kept up with the game ever since then.  But, with ubiquity comes a great deal of publicity, and by sticking your neck out that far, you’re exposing yourself to haters.  2007 me was a hater.  Sector9 was for posers, kooks, untalented hacks, and clueless n00bs.  The reason I bought that first set of S9 pucks was for nothing more than to support my pals at the local skateshop.  Even when I got a job at my own skateshop a few years later, I could never shake the idea that Sector9 was somehow inferior.  Sector9 hate is one of my most deep-seated biases in longboarding, and it’s unfair, and it’s unwarranted.  They’re a great company, and yeah, they’ve done some shady things, but I wouldn’t be into longboarding (neither would you) without their influence.  I owe my life’s passion, and the greatest hobby I’ve ever had, to them.

Part of my bias came, no doubt, from the forums at Silverfish.  Legend held that in the early days of Silverfish, Sector9 actually did make an inferior product.  My only experience with a S9 board circa 2002 came from riding an old roommate’s board.  S9, if I understand correctly, had some cheaply made OEM trucks during that time frame.  My roommate’s board had bent axles (I may have, and probably did, imagine this part, but I would swear the axles were aluminum and part of the hanger), and simply would NOT turn.  The geometry of the trucks was so dead that you’d lean, but not turn.  He’d always complain of sliding out and losing traction on the sidewalks around campus, so the wheels were really crappy quality as well.  So, stories like this pervaded the forums on Silverfish and were giving Sector9 a great deal of bad publicity.  So (according to legend), S9 asked SFL to remove not just the bad reviews, but all reviews period.  This had the unseen consequence of getting the rumor mill fired up:  They said you’d be banned for discussing Sector9 gear, they said there was a feud between S9 and SFL, they said that there was a conspiracy to conceal just how bad S9 gear was.  There was no banning, there was no feud, and it was a private website, so what use would a conspiracy be?  All of this BS was just hivemind, and was probably more detrimental to Sector9, as Silverfish (throughout its entire existence) housed one of the most comprehensive, user-submitted review and rating sections on the entire internet.  By not having their name in there, S9 was missing out on a big chunk of publicity.

I’ve mentioned previously that my entire longboarding experience was shaped by Silverfish, so this whole S9 drama (no doubt there was drama) formed my opinions to be very negative towards them.  Fact is, in 2019 they’re survivors.  Other brands are dropping left and right, but Sector9 has stayed afloat.  Their capacity has shrunk, of course, but they’re still kickin’, so they’re quite obviously doing something right.

Over the years, I have acquired a few pieces of Sector9 gear:  I’ve got one of their fabled Raceboards (reborn as a DHD Daisy, if I’m remembering their names right) set up on Independent 215’s and Sector9 Goddess Of Speed wheels, for some great late-90’s downhill/freeride fun.  I bought some Sector9 Butterball wheels and while they’re currently in my spare parts bin, they did some pretty cool freeride and bike-path duty on my Earthwing Supermodel (on Randal 180’s)…gotta get those back out this summer.  And, I can’t reiterate this enough:  I was unfairly hating on this company for years.  They make decent gear, and they’ve cultivated the scene to an epic degree.  It’s time to live and let live, and this post is a step in the right direction for me.

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.