Alright, so Riptides aren’t exactly unheard of in the world of longboarding…honestly, the RKP version is far from being in need of review. That just makes it even more exciting that they’re recently set their sights on an old standby, Independent Trucks! Hell, Indys were such a presence in my young skater life that I routinely befriended bikers wearing West Coast Choppers shirts because I thought they rode the same trucks as me (I was a sad confused little kid). Even in modern longboarding the benefits of TKPs are becoming more and more accepted…with increasingly eclectic quivers and multi-talented skaters pushing limits every day, a lot of longboarders now skate at least one TKP setup. So it only makes sense that a quality aftermarket bushing manufacturer like Riptide would want to provide us finicky longboarders with the performance and customization we’re used to with our RKP trucks, so they made Street Series. And let me just say, you should thank your chosen deity that they did, because they’re fantastic! (Now I’m just imagining hundreds of thank you cards being addressed Morgan, Colton, Yuppie and Mullen.) So, I’m approaching this review a little differently. No one needs convincing that Riptides are awesome…the news here is that the Street Series is making TKPs a more viable option for longboarders. With so many variations I want to share a few setups I think will have quite a few of you busting out those old standbys from your skateboard days…
The idea of freeriding TKPs isn’t a popular one…but the fact of the matter is, at a short enough wheelbase you can get the leverage of having your feet right over the bolts while still maintaining the stability of wheels that are slightly farther apart than your stance. This juxtaposition of stability and control is complimented great by a soft(relative to your weight), high rebound Chubby or Magnum boardside combined with a short cone/cup washer or short barrel/flat washer (respectively) roadside. Both these options give you a nimble but progressive and controlled lean, great for slow freeride. The smaller carves necessary to execute quick rotations will be snappy and abrupt. The larger carves that make holding out longer slides on such short wheelbases feel more comfortable takes a bit more lean, which you need to hold out a good slide. All in all this setup feels very natural and intuitive for freeride.
For dance my go-to bushing was the Fatcone. This thing worked beautifully on a long flexy deck because a soft enough bushing boardside and a tall cone/cup washer roadside gives you not only a pretty decent “flop and stop”, which makes for a very predictable carve and therefore easy dancing…but since the “stop” is where the cone gets thick and not the farthest the truck can lean you actually still have some play. This gives more advanced riders a bit more control of their movements as the steps become more natural and the carves become more purposeful.
That’s right, no downhill this time. I feel I must get enough flack even reviewing “downhill” in south Florida without telling anyone to go down a mountain with Indys. instead, I feel I’ve ignored tech for freeride long enough…Street Series will have you equipped to do both. The best set up for this was a medium hardness tall bushing boardside and a short cone/flat washer roadside. This gives you clean linear turn and a strong return to center, which is perfect when you want to have good control over turns without displacing to much weight…since icing out is easier to do even glove-down with hard enough wheels.
Here’s where it gets fun! When I was a kid skateboard bushings were impossibly hard, for the pop. You just had to be really good at kick turns. Now days, all the skater groms I know trade in some pop for easier turning. Imagine their surprise when I told them they didn’t have to! Or at least I could make it a little less of a trade off…run a chubby boardside and a short cone/cup washer roadside and all that urethane hugging your truck will add stability, increase your accuracy, and enhance pop. Not as much as hard bushings…but without sacrificing a good carve. Which is all good and well but the songs of you might have already noticed the kicker here…this setup is also one of the ones I mentioned was great for freeriding. can you guess what my Indys are still set up with now? Yea…this shit is fun.
Overall, Riptides Street Series is a really good reason to take another look at TKP trucks on longboards. Maybe you’re not a fan, maybe it’s not your style…but that’s just because you suck and your “style” is limiting your abilities as a skater. If you only have mellow hills and one setup for everything or a decent quiver with room for a street/pool thrasher is time to reevaluate whether it was shitty stock bushings keeping you from rocking some solid Indys this whole time. Check your local shop for these bad boys. Plus, don’t forget to show their facebook page some love.
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DISCLAIMER: This company was confident enough in its quality that they were willing to provide me with product to review.