I never understand when a wheels get so hyped for like a month and then suddenly it’s trendy to hate on them. It’s sad that the cliche joke: “those _____ are so last week” can be applied to longboard wheels and actually make sense! In fact, it makes so much sense that you lose the joke part since a week is no longer a humorous exaggeration…the hype train really is that quick to move on. Which doesn’t make sense to me because, If they suck, then where is the hype from in the first place? For Liam Morgan Pro wheels I’ve could easily assume that it was the magic of celebrity endorsement that tricked these groms into loving a wheel they had never tried…but having tried them myself I realized instead that the hate they get now is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the purpose of these wheels…let’s compare and contrast slide styles and how they’re affected by these wheels.
Kick that shit:
This is how most of us learned to slide…and depending on your own particular style and terrain, still a viable option for the experienced skater. Basically, you lean back just enough to keep from high siding but not enough to initiate the slide…instead, traction is lost when the back foot is deweighted and used to shove the board around. This sucks on LMF wheels…try this and they will act like grippy wheels, being hard to slide and even inconsistent. These wheels are not made to putt around on…and that’s from a guy who sometimes skates a golf coarse. Which, coincidently, is where I was underwhelmed by them…it’s right behind my house so I go there to practice when I can’t get anywhere else. Not worth it. These wheels need speed! That being said…the kick out method is the only way these wheels are going to kill much speed, even when sliding. So it may be good to know…a wheel that slides forever is great, until you find yourself in a dangerous situation and need to stop abruptly. Luckily, LMFs can be coerced into performing both ways, depending on your technique.
Leaning like Liam:
This is the opposite end of the spectrum…while a normal skaters technique is going to be somewhere in between the two, it’s also possible just lean far enough that your weight is pushing the board more sideways than it is weighing it down. The closer your form is to this, the better these wheels perform…I call them my steeze lean training wheels. Why? Because frankly…while anything goes in skating, the faster you go and more you lean for slides, the more even your wear patterns will be and the more control you’ll have over slides. So these wheels force you to learn good technique. Honestly, I’ve never ridden anything like them…they grip well and the release is really late, so you have to get nearly horizontal. Except…when most grippy, late releasing wheels are trying to hook up early and give you really choppy slides the LMF glides smooth and hooks up gradually, and only when you want it. Now, joking around that they’re “training” wheels by no means should imply that they’re for amateurs…the late release and long slides does add up to a pretty small margin of error. When first getting to know these wheels you’ll notice that it’s easy to over lean…even an experienced skater might ice out a few times finding that perfect ratio of grip to slip. Though, once you find the sweet spot you’ll be glad you did…these wheels slide for days but remain controlled and consistent the whole time. Plus, they make you lean so hard that, dare I say it? You may look as cool as the greaser himself.
Known affectionately online as: monkey see, monkey DON’T EVER FUCKING DO THAT! Basically, it’s when instead of leaning or shoving the board you hook your toes on the edge and manually force it to slide. It’s on the shame scale somewhere between pushing mongo and not wearing a helmet. Which makes it a weird thing to include in a review…but I have a few reasons. First: I sprained my ankle. Bad enough that I thought it might be broken…it wasn’t, but it did blow up like a balloon and make it hard to lean very far forward. So…I monkey toed. Which, on LMFs made for a surprisingly technical feel. That’s reason two…this smooth sliding fast freeride wheel is great for quick rotations and slide shuvits if you deweight enough or even ::GASP:: monkey toe. Reason three is that my reviews are for everyone, so if you happen to monkey toe…now you know, LMFs grip well but whip around quick and feel pretty technical if you deweight drastically (which, at the end of the day, is all monkey toe is…so little weight in your back foot that you need to manufacture grip by hooking your toes).
That’s about it people…ignore the hype train, these wheels are in fact great for what they’ve designed for. If that’s not what you want out of a wheel, then don’t get upset because your friend convinced you they were the freeride wheel to end all freeride wheels. They aren’t…but if you regularly practice mid to fast freeride and want to work on that gangster lean, then they are in fact the perfect wheel for you. I personally think it’s refreshing that Blood Orange developed a wheel for such a specific purpose…because it absolutely excels at it. I can’t wait to see what they set their sights on next, and if you’re curious too, like them on Facebook for more updates!
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DISCLAIMER: This company was confident enough in its quality that it was willing to provide me with product to review.