Finally, It rained! There wasn’t dry pavement for weeks…and then I’m tasked with reviewing rain wheels and it stops. Well, this week it fucking stormed…and I’ve never been more excited. Why? Not because I have rain wheels, because I have the only rain wheels specifically designed for freeriding in the wet! Eastside H20 wheels are round lipped…but have treads. They are soft and grippy…but come stone ground. They’re made for the rain but they’re clear and thane like crazy. Everything about them seems to be oxymoronic…my first thought was, either these are a miracle wheel that no one else has thought of, or they’re going to fail miserably! I was hopeful…but cautious. So with a helmet, knee pads, and a pillow strapped to my ass, I ventured out into the pouring rain for one hell of a fun skate session.
Ok, so this wheel isn’t Skatans gift to British longboarders…but they are extremely well designed and thought out. Being that they were Freeride wheels my first instinct was to try a nice long heelside check. I iced out immediately and ruined my pillow. Ok…How about a quick 180? Perfect! Quick, smooth…clean release and a definitive hook up. Not something you expect in the rain. Luckily, I’m pretty tech with my freeride so I ride anything from 81-88a. It didn’t take long to figure these wheels out…if you ride harder wheels it won’t phase you either. Really, there’s no way to have wheels feel the same in the rain…so you won’t be able to switch out your skiddels and still side the same. Instead, Eastside offers a new feel that delivers on its own way…if you do ride wet, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. When normal wheels are icing out in the rain and other rain wheels are hooking up abruptly and unexpectedly, H20s shed just enough of that clear thane as the wheel hooks up for a clean and consistent deceleration that doesn’t slip out or halt abruptly. You still need a lot more weight over the board…but once you find where these wheels release and hook up it doesn’t change. For the first time ever I was riding a wheel that was predictable, even in the rain. A few minutes in and not only was I getting some really long checks…I was purposefully targeting giant puddles for that epic splash! They ride the same even nearly underwater. (P.s. no freestyle section in this quick fix…but I just have to mention how fun slap shuvits are in a puddle. Lol.)
Ok, so I had a hard time waiting to try these wheels…maybe I rode them dry a little before it rained. Was that wrong of me? Yes and no…the idea behind these wheels is that they’re super grippy so they have traction in the rain…but they’re stone ground and thane well so that losing and regaining that traction feels more gradual and controlled. What this means for riding them dry means that they core quick. Which might sound like a good thing to some of you…but remember, the treads only go so deep. So I would recommend getting actual mids instead…especially since these aren’t the greatest wheel dry. They release surprisingly well but hook up abruptly, albeit predictably…It still tends to make longer slides choppy at slow to medium speeds. Add that to the massive chatter and these are ok dry…but definitely not worth ruining right before a rainy day (which, with your luck is exactly when you’ll core them…You know who you are).
Well that’s just about it…yet another “quick fix” that ran much longer than I had originally intended. To recap, these are great freeride rain wheels…not because they slide the same as you’d expect dry, but because they are predictable once you get used to them. They slide dry too…but it’s not worth dulling your tread. I’d also like to note that they do get pebbles stuck in them, but that didn’t seem to affect the slide much, dry or wet. For more info be sure to like Eastside Longboards on Myface.
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DISCLAIMER: This company was confident enough in its quality that it was willing to provide me with product to review.