Monthly Archives: December 2014

Pantheon Gaia Review


Gaia of the Greek Pantheon was a primordial being that represented the concept of life. She was the personification of the earth and mother to all living things, even the Gods themselves…or, as my readers would recognize her: “That mossy bitch from God of War.” (that’s right, I know my target demographic.) Either way…That’s one epic legacy to live up to. So let’s thrash some wood and see if Pantheon Longboards is up this most herculean of tasks (get it? Reference five!)

Versatile as it is, the Gaia seems made for downhill. What looks like very subtle concave online is actually a pretty aggressive tub. There’s just enough flat in the middle for comfortable pushing and room to explore difference stances. Though, the abrupt wall of concave still really cradles your foot and provides a lot of leverage, especially when gripping a turn. Plus, combine that with the crescent drop and you have a fantastic pocket that feels great in a truck. The wheelbase options all really compliment this discipline and the EFP feels extremely solid and stable.

There’s definitely two different philosophies when it comes to freeride: “Go fast; slide far” vs “Do tricks; get techy”. I don’t play favorites…I like both, but I do prefer my setups to pick a side. The Gaia has definitely done so…it chooses larger wheelbases, a symmetrical concave, and superior pockets to an easily accessible kick. That’s not to say you couldn’t slide-shuv or blunt on this beast, but it’s definitely designed to take speed a little better. Plus, once your feet plant, they feel damn good where they are. The tub cave almost feels like micro drops for your toes/heels so switching between frontside and backside has never felt more effortless.


Let’s talk about that kick. Sure, the pockets feel like home base, and the crescent drop is a great warning that you’re reaching the instability of a past-the-bolts stance…but they aren’t so harsh that the kick is inaccessible. Which, for a flat speed-oriented kick is superb for popping ollies. If street oriented stuff is what you’re into I would say this is a little bit of a compromise…but if you want to haul ass and still make it up and down a few curbs, Pantheon did it right. With a more abrupt snap than you’re used to with flat kicks, you’ll get more distance than air and a clean arch is an easy thing to accomplish. Grab a few ramps or head to a boardercross event and you’ll have the time of your life on this board.

No board is perfect, everything has its compromises…usually I don’t “criticize” as much as I just try to steer my readers on the right direction…for instance, the Gaia is more fast freeride oriented than it is techy. That’s just an observation and hopefully it will help you when deciding if this board is right for you. That being said…my one major criticism of this board is something I feel they could easily rectify without compromise. The wheel wells are too short! They’re plenty deep and beautifully crafted…but unfortunately only prove useful when using the two wider mounting options. Which is a pity because the flush mount is nice, but really makes wheel wells necessary when running looser or lower degree trucks on the shortest wheelbase.

Well kids, that’s it. The Pantheon,Gaia is one great deck…planning to tackle Mount Olympis? You couldn’t choose a better piece of wood. For more information and even some stoketastic holiday edition boards check out the Pantheon Facebook page.

DISCLAIMER: This company was confident enough in its quality that it was willing to provide me with product to review.

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Posted by on December 14, 2014 in Uncategorized


Restless NKD (A Review by Guy Panno)


Restless is one of those “under new management” brands out to change their image (for the better) and doing a damn good job of it. The NKD board is quite the example of this. With a familiar (and rather popular) shape…but a bit more narrow than the competition and sporting bigger wheelbase options, Restless isn’t playing around. First thoughts were that the board is gonna kinda maybe fucking excel in DH and drifts.

The Board is a one directional board and restless did a good job at keeping it that way. By incorporating 3D wheel wells they made a concave that is very comfortable and really locks you in. Holding tucks feels natural, but even with a relatively narrow platform you won’t feel as if you’ve sacrificed any of the liveliness you’ve come to expect of a top mount. The W concave in the back is very comfortable and well placed behind the back holes. This compliments the big wheel flairs adding a lot of reference points for preparing a slide or when you’re about to grip a corner.

The Wheel Flairs combined with the wheel wells gives you a lot of clearance. I’m that kid who is always dragging around my big Bag-o-wheels…and I have a lot of different sizes and hate to have to adjust and retune my setup every time I want to change to a new set (which is often). The front of the board is nice and mellow and I don’t know if its me but I could feel the micro drop in the front more than in the back. It makes for a great reference…I usually would use a foot stop for this kind of board but I didn’t feel I had to. I never lost track of where my feet were, and the wheel flairs and micro drop locked me in enough for any stance or scenario I could throw at it. To top it all off: even with the small width and aggressive wheel flairs I still could go for long sessions without any foot aches. The concave is very intuitive and well designed.

This board has a cool design for freestyle. With just enough micro drop in the front it flick ollies off of, mellow stock grip, and a slightly lighter construction than similar boards…the right trucks make freestyle really fun. By “right trucks” I mean light ones…this deck is right in that weight class where you really notice a difference in weight depending on what you set it up with. Mount some light trucks on the innermost holes and the nubby little swallow tail is pretty decent. Though that’s not what excited me…I didn’t get to try it, but the NKD also has a big brother: the WIM. It’s essentially the same board, spectacular concave and all…just with a kicktail. I don’t usually mention other boards in reviews but seriously guys, anyone who’s dreamed of (or even tried to make) a Wolfshark KT…you have to check out the WIM. it’s a dream come true.


I don’t dance. This board doesn’t dance. I’m ok with that. Look, I’m not saying it’s uncool…Jon dances. That’s a bad example because he isn’t cool…but still. I guess what I’m trying to say is, you can dance of you want to. Just leave this board behind…because this board don’t dance, and since it don’t dance, It’s definitely a friend of mine.

What the fuck am I doing?
Moving on…

Instead of an actual 4th section, I’ve decided to save up all my criticisms and share them with you all at once like some weird, self important bitch fest. It should be cathartic…ready? Let’s begin: The board squarely shines the most at its smallest wheel base…almost exclusively, in fact. The bigger ones come up as a bit of a disappointment to me, it’s not a bad option to have them available (especially in such an obviously speed-built deck) but I definitely got the feeling that the concave was designed around complimenting the smaller wheelbase. Also…No Rocker!! While the board offers up some tasty micro drops, I guess they decided that was enough and forgot about the rocker. Maybe I’m spoiled…and I know having rocker is preference and not a requirement for every board..but to me, your feet just don’t feel cradled when trying to free ride the board. Finally, and on a similar note the stock grip mentioned earlier will most assuredly need to be replaced if you plan to go down even a mellow incline. Like…I don’t know, a wheelchair ramp? It’s practically skateboard grip. The good news is, it comes off easy and you can always replace just the patches under your feet. That way, you still have that cool graphic and a little patch to slide your feet on during ollies.

For more information on Restless longboards check out their Facebook page. It’s chock full of little delights, like the NKD Advanced (the carbon fiber version).

DISCLAIMER: This company was confident enough in its quality that it was willing to provide me with product to review.

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Posted by on December 5, 2014 in Uncategorized