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?
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.