BLACK IS THE FASTEST.
Obviously, everyone knows that. Stealth bombers, ninjas, the Batmobile…this is flawless logic people. Which, by the transitive property, tells us that black longboards are extremely swift, nearly invisible and…could probably beat you up. That’s just science. So does that automatically mean someone on a Wild Monkey Racing board will go faster than you? Yes, but not for that reason…its because they’re really well made speed-oriented decks. Simple, streamlined, stealthy, and with just enough unique features to make them worth looking into. So lets do just precisafuckinlutely that and run down what makes the WMR Kukri the board it is.
This one’s a no-brainer (which, if you read the first parragraph, you’ll know is right up my alley)…the Kukri is built for speed, above all else. In fact, at first glance, one might even suspect that speed is ALL this board is made for. That’s absolutely not true, there are features that aid in other uses, though you’ll notice that at no point did WMR forget that this board was meant to haul ass downhill. It’s a simple directional topmount at its core, with a subtle concave and two notches near the back WMR calls “hips” that provide just enough grip and leverage while allowing the overall shape to remain very streamlined. The wheelbase options didn’t hurt it’s cause much and the giant wheel wells allowed for some big wheels and low degree trucks for some nice stability.
That low degree trucks thing was discovered by accident. Mostly because I hated this board with high degree trucks. You’ll notice in the pictures that I originally tried stock paris…Why? because it matched the grip. lol. I know, I know…some of my more loyal readers are probably saying “wait…isn’t that one of your pet peeves: choosing form over function?”, and they’re right…but it’s different when you’re trying to make it look good on camera. So while I still make sure the setup I shoot makes sense (Paris V2s rock afterall)…it often isn’t the best thing I try. That being said…I really wanted to like Paris on this board for freeride, I did. Instead I found myself feeling way to tall and even at the longest wheelbase, pretty divey…in a bad, unstable kind of way. The good news is, if it’s your preference, freeriding low degree or split angle trucks really compliments this board well and feels very stable during long slides, The hips give you the grip/locked in feeling the concave may be lacking and provide the leverage you need to get sideways when lean>turn.
So maybe the hips are noticeable at first…though one could argue that realizing their function could take a moment. What is pretty well hidden is the useable tail this board can have. Yes, I do consider that a useable tail…but no, I didn’t mean to say “functional kick”. It’s hard to say whether or not it was intentional, with the release of the Shiv WMR has proven they do in fact know what a functional kick should be…but like I said before, everything non-speed related about this board seems to have been snuck in under the radar. Mounted on the shorter option you get about 3” of flat beefy tail. You’re not going to get the satisfying snap of a well angled kick, but you can definitely get it off the ground if you know how to ollie. Bonelesses, early grabs, and no-complys also work well on this board…and even the DH only rider should know at least one of these, if not to expand your riding and reach new places, then just to clear the occasional unexpected obstacle and not bust your face. At speeds I’d recommend either learning to ollie or early grab though, lest you part with a foot.
As impressed as I am that WMR managed to milk so much versatility out of a predominantly downhill oriented deck theres only so much you can sneak in there before you start sacrificing speed to a less linear design. That’s basically a very fancy and arrogant way of saying…I don’t have a fourth section. In fact, if the freestyle section hadn’t run long there’d be nothing here. Since it did though, lets talk about what that stubby little tail means for your freeride, shall we? This board is very flat, those hips help…but they’re only in the back, which doesn’t help with the already off-feeling switch riding. So again, while this board branches out from its basic speedboard roots its very much in ways that aid in DH, speed checks, predrifts, even ollies…basically directional tricks you can do fast. That’s not to say other tricks aren’t possible, that’s up to the rider, but being that this is a gear review I’m talking specifically things the design of the board aids you in doing. One thing I loved about the little nub of a tail this board has was that after a 180 you could easily pivot back to normal or shuvit so that you’re riding switch with the board still pointed downhill. This way, the nubs are still in the back, which really does help make those switch slides a little less daunting.
Anyway, that wraps up our review of the Wild Monkey Racing Kukri. Make sure you check out their facebook page, and if you can’t see one in person then seriously…bug your local shop until you can. My god…skate shops must hate me.
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DISCLAIMER: This company was confident enough in its quality that it was willing to provide me with product to review.