It’s been a while now since I’ve been able to write a review. A lot of personal problems have been keeping me down and I need to get some positive energy flowing. So I’ve decided to get back into the swing of things with a product that I just can’t help but feel good about! Frankly, the Liqwood Kamikaze managed to get me right in the childhood…since my first longboard was an old Gravity board and my favorite skater at the time was Brad Edwards (if you don’t know who that is, Google him immediately. It’s way more important than anything I can say…you can come back to this), the Kamikaze looked like everything modern longboarding has left behind. Fun for me? Sure…but maybe not the most alluring prospect for a young skater. Luckily, in testing the deck I came to realize that, despite its classic surf esthetic, Liqwood did a great job of incorporating all the modern features one might look for in a deck. Allow me to explain…
The Kamikaze is a freeride machine. It might have looked like an old school, stretched-out skateboard to me (meaning I expected it to be flexy, flat, and made for TKPs), but instead I found myself on a stiff, curvy, deck designed for RKP trucks. It felt super stable under foot and the wheel wells allowed for quite a bit of lean. One aspect I found particularly interesting was the concave. It’s essentially a very mellow bacon concave with subtle hips near the back end. The combination of the wide flat flares of the bacon-esk shape and the notches that the hips create really give you that locked-in feeling without the need for excessive concave. I know this conjunction of features isn’t an entirely original concept, but a lot of the boards that utilize this combo also have massive foot-cramping concave. Liqwood seems to have realized the potential here and decided to maximize grip and leverage while still remaining comfortable. Good call, that will also come back to us in the freestyle section. Wait for it…
…Bam: Freestyle. How long did you wait? It shouldn’t have been that long…it’s the very next section. Maybe you read slow, or you could have taken a pee break. I’m not here to judge…not you anyway. Speaking of which, the Kamikaze was pretty harshly judged on freestyle and came out smelling like…dirt. Though it performed very well! In using the aforementioned features in the shape as well as a nice elliptical concave, Liqwood managed to keep the center of the riding platform smooth and obstruction free. Some of you may recognize this as the part that your foot slides on when you ollie. Add that to the fat kicks and substantial pop the deck has and you have yourself a great board for street/park style riding. Plus, it’s just the right length where ollies still have a bit of spring to them, but fingerflips and tiger claw variations are going to have that fluid Brad Edwards steeze.
Speaking of which…despite the modern construction and features I couldn’t help but hope this board was at least capable of some old-school slashing. So in honor of one of my childhood idols, I set out to add a new section to my reviews. I switched my RKPs for some TKPs and set out to find a ditch to thrash. Now, I don’t ride ditches very often, and yes…I did fall a lot. Though countless bruises and some pretty bad road rash wasn’t nearly enough to stop me from having the most fun I’ve had on a board in a while. The relatively short wheelbase keeps you feeling surfy and nimble while pumping up and down the ditch and the intuitive concave keeps the board on your feet no matter what odd slides you end up trying. Plus, wells and small drains are fun and easy to ollie.
So the kamikaze is definitely stiff enough to handle some good speeds with grace and stability. Though to really excel at downhill I feel like there should be something about the design of a deck that makes it better than others at speeds. The kamikaze is not that deck. With two large kicks creating a lot of drag, and all of its best concave features surrounding a mostly flat center…not only won’t your board be very streamline, but you aren’t going to feel very secure in a tuck. Plus, Liqwood boards come with a beautiful varnish coat that can shatter rather easily. When you fuck up a kickflip then you get a few spiderweb cracks that actually look pretty cool…but I can’t help but think a high-speed curbing will leave your board looking a little too much like a half eaten glazed doughnut.
Overall I’m really impressed with everything I’m seeing come out of liqwood, they’re a bunch of crazy goofballs and their boards definitely reflect the fun loving nature of their designers. If you want more info yourself than be sure to check out their Facebook page.
DISCLAIMER: This company was confident enough in its quality that it was willing to provide me with product to review.