Monthly Archives: May 2015

Gtank 72mm Review


It’s funny how life works…Gtank products always looked promising to me, but being that they’re made for both Freeline skating and longboards I kind of assumed they’d be great mids. Boy was I wrong! They’re so much more than that. I know how A.D.D. skaters can be…and I usually don’t do this, but if I were to sum everything up in a one sentence review it would be: Gtanks feel like Remember thane on a large vented core. BAM! Mind blown.

So this may seem silly, especially considering the description I just gave…but it was the first thing I noticed. You have to understand, I was not expecting the ice I got from these things. I took a speed run down a decent sized local hill so that I could throw a huge glove down and break them in. Of coarse, it’s a long drive to any real DH runs so this was only about a 25mph hill with a fence at the bottom…I was there to freeride but still learned enough about GtankĀ  wheels to know better than to actually test them downhill. The first thing I noticed was the absolutely fantastic roll speed…with a large vented core and really high rebound urethane, these pick up speed very easily. I was booking it by the time I reached the bottom of the hill and decided to initiate the pendy a few feet early just to eat some speed…jokes on me! I know it was probably just in my head, but I still swear that, once I got sideways, I went faster! Needless to say, I slammed into the fence. Despite the roll speed, I don’t recommend these for anything where you might need to shave speed or shutdown very quickly.

Ok, so I started pretty negative in the review. Though that was in fact my first experience on the wheels and frankly…it’s probably the only thing about them that didn’t leave me crying with happiness. Even slamming into the fence seemed good at the time, because I got right up and couldn’t wait to get back to the top of the hill. The wolf walk up I was thinking “where have these been all my life!?”. They were fantastic for freeride, I couldn’t believe it. Slides were long and icy, but controlled. The release was nonexistant, and the hookup was subtle and polite. They slid forever and never locked up on you…though you can definitely feel when they want end the slide (they start giving more resistance). If you let up at this point they gracefully pull back under you…or you can easily push past it and hold out the slide. They do get more icy if you push past their desired hook up point, but not uncontrolled. The only time I iced it was after the wheels tried to hook up and I didn’t let them…but it’s easy to learn how to adjust for this and hold really long standies. Not to mention, these things barely wear! A few hours at the spot known for eating wheels in the midday Sun and they still were barely a half millimeter in. Plus, what very little speed you might have ate while sideways (which is a only a little more with standies) is immediately recovered by the wheels insane roll speed.


On that subject, let’s talk about versatility. Sure, this wheels great speed might not account for much downhill I’d you can’t grip a corner going fast…but this same logic doesn’t hold true for LDP. The combination of high rebound urethane and a large supportive core makes them accelerate just as well as they can hold speed. This is great for pushing long distances or commuting because it only takes a few pushes to keep you going a pretty good speed for a block or two. Plus, the soft urethane rolls over most inconsistencies in the road rather smoothly, and the minimal wear will keep them this way longer (even if you also freeride them). This equates to quick acceleration and minimal deceleration, making them a go-to wheel for rough terrain. Old uneven asphalt and cracked sidewalks that used to be an instakill on my inertia now only slow me down a little. Sure, other LDP wheels will have a higher top speed. Which is more desirable on smooth riding surfaces…but for chunder, Gtank is in the top 3 best LDP wheels I’ve tried…and I’m impressed a freeride wheel was even a contender in that race.

Not to beat a dead horse here, but as you might have guessed…these are great freestyle wheels as well. They’re 72mm and soft so that landing is going to be kush. Plus, despite their size, they are very light. That big spoked core nixed like half their density so getting them off the ground isn’t a struggle either. You might expect such an icy wheel to be unforgiving and slide out if you land a little off…however it’s actually pretty hard to do even on purpose. You have to be really trying to get them to slide…it’s a perfect storm landing with your weight more on your foot while leaning hard one direction and going down the hill the opposite direction. It’s unlikely this will happen by accident, and if it does you weren’t going to land that trick anyway. Lol. However, if there ever was a soft wheel to purposely throw a 40oz of Fire on…this would be it.

That’s just about it guys and gals. I’m really excited about the direction the market is headed right now…not the cheat wheels thing (that’s been here a while), but the whole versatility angle. For the longest time this like “hybrid” and “quiver killer” were only applied to decks…but now we have a hybrid truck and, dare I say it, Gtank May very well be a quiver killer wheel! Here’s the Facebook page. Keep an eye out shredders, they will be available in the states sometime late June!

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Posted by on May 30, 2015 in Uncategorized


Phat Deanz Dollz


OK, so I’ve put it off long enough. It’s time for me to finally to put into words how awesome Phat DeanZ Dollz line is. You think I’m joking? I’m not…with all the thought that’s been put into these things it’s actually going to be a challenge to describe it all. I’m legitimately nervous and excited enough about this review that I may have been avoiding it. Which is silly because I’ve pretty much built my brand around saying stupid shit and just hoping it makes sense. So, you know…let’s do that thing I said.

First impressions:
The first thing you’ll notice about these wheels is the core. Not surprising, it’s a very trendy core to have…except Phat DeanZ had no idea it would be when Ragdollz came out. Obviously, everything that makes it popular now is what made it worthy of being included in the Ragdollz design.

Next you’ll notice that, like a high end chef, Dean is pretty strict about how his delicacies are served. The three different sized Dollz all have their own respective duro that only they come in…and each size only comes in one duro. So if you want a 73mm wheel, the Bigdollz will be 79a. Same goes for Ragdollz (70mm) which are 81a, and Babydollz coming in 84a. Not only that…but each one has a signature color as well. Bigdollz are only dark blue, Ragdolls are red, and babies come in yellow.

Why is this? Well to be frank, it’s because WAY to much thought went into these wheels. Which coming from me is the farthest thing from being an insult. In fact, I’m actually really impressed because with so many gimmicky wheels coming in multi-colored packs and shit, Phat Deanz is the first brand to actually consider how dye affects the consistency of urethane and coupled it with a size and duro that would compliment it. Simply put, each wheel in the Dollz lineup only comes one way because it’s been tested and researched until it was a perfectly balanced combination is features.

Riding Impressions:
I know…the first impressions already ran long. Sorry about that, and sorry in advanced since it’ll probably happen here too. First off, it’s really fun over analyzing the size/duro/color combos and why they were chosen. A deanz rep says darker dyes seem to hold speed better…and I can kind of see that.

Obvously, the size of the Bigdollz helps but the 78 duro seems to be more for grip than speed. Maybe it’s the power of suggestion, but the darker dye seems to make up for the gooey duro, if even just a bit. The Babydollz were the opposite, the small size and harder duro weren’t as fast but picked up speed easily and would have probably slid a bit copy if the light yellow dye didn’t have them thaning a bit more than I suspect the darker dye would have at 84a. That’s just my hunch… I personally notice lighter wheels seen to thane easier.

At the end of the day, all the obsessive, nit-picky, perfectionist shit doesn’t amount for much unless it makes for a decent product. Luckily, it does. Dollz roll fast and slide smooth. They aren’t a cheat wheel, but they get sideways easy and hold pretty consistently. All three lay wide pale lines…thaning just enough that checks and predrifts feel controlled, but not so much that the wheel wears quickly.

Plus, the most unique thing I noticed is how they hook up. It can seem a little abrupt if you’re used to putt wheels, especially if you’re lean game is weak from putting (like mine was). On the other hand, the high rebound formula and supportive core really takes advantage of the well defined hoop up, shooting you back out of checks and predrifts with what’s almost feels like a slingshot effect. This is something I’ve never notices in other products, at least not so drastically… I’m not sure why it happens, but quite frankly it’s a little to awesome to question. Not only is it hella fun, but in certain situations it’s also extremely useful. It’s easy to take a controlled corner and regain most if not all of your speed. Sure, with all the putt freeride wheels and lightning fast race wheels not everyone is going to be looking for a fast freeride/tech downhill type wheel…but with all the best courses littered with hairpins, and the growing popularity of things like no-glovedown races… I wouldn’t be surprised if people started looking to the slingshot for an edge.

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Posted by on May 14, 2015 in Uncategorized


Liqwood Shredler Review


There’s a lot of manufacturers in this industry who are known for their advanced features and complicated designs. There are also plenty more who’s claim to fame is in their attention to detail and perfection of the basics. However, there is only a small handfull of builders who can say they’re experts at both…Frary of Liqwood Longboards is one of those select few. Last time I stepped on a Liqwood board it was the basic, mellow, and understated Kamikaze. It was masterfully designed and crafted…because it had to be. If the shape, size, angle, or any other dimension of its few features was anything less than perfect, there was nothing to hide or distract from it. Some of the most important aspects of board design are often overlooked for flashier, even gimmicky features…however the kamikaze proves Frary is a master of the fundamentals. Fast forward to 2015 and Liqwood has built upon the basics and is ready to release the epicly over-engineered Shredler! Employing a myriad of unique features very few builders would think of, in a fluid and practical design even fewer would have the knowledge to execute.

The Shredler is a downhill machine. It may have the most complex but intuitive concave I’ve ever ridden. It starts at the nose with a crazy comfortable crescent drop that leads straight into the base of the asymmetrical rocker. The lowest point of which is right where your front foot would be resting between the rails of the deep tub cave. Everything about it so perfectly and comfortably cradles you that you feel like you could barrel down a mountain on one foot and feel locked in. From there, the rails mellow slightly in the middle while a wide W gradually raises from the center if the board. Just before the bolts, the rails flare out into beautiful wheel wells while the W gets a bit more aggressive just before meeting with what Liqwood refers to as a T-bar drop. Which makes for the perfect place to wedge your back foot. One could argue that such specific concave limits your options stance-wise, but if it does fit…it sure does fit fucking perfectly.

Brace yourself guys, I’m not going to shut up about this concave for a while. It’s ridiculous for freeride as well! Your front foot is so locked in, and that hammock feel the asym rocker gives you is just prime for slides. The shape of the crescent drop lets you rotate your foot around it, cocking your foot in all kinds of angles but remaining wedged against the drop and extremely locked in. The back foot feels just as good. The T-bar drop is real aggressive, and probably one of the best toe pockets in the game right now. However, the smooth transition of W to flat leaves the arch support mild and comfortable. Unfortunately, everything comes at a price, and like I mentioned in the downhill section…the concave was clearly designed with a specific stance in mind. This becomes glaringly obvious when trying to use the tail to slide. It’s much to far back and your two options are to go full cowboy your feet are so far apart, or shift your front foot back. Away from the drop, out of the A-sym rocker and back to where the rails mellow a bit. It’s not flat or anything, you’re still locked in, though you’ll be so spoiled by the regular front pocket that it won’t feel like it.


This is where that kicktail redeems itself. When I reviewed the Kamikaze I was most impressed by how functional the kicktail was. It takes a keen eye, a bit of know how, and some accurate measurements to design a kick around RKPs that still pops as clean and efficiently as a skateboard would. Luckily, this is one of those subtle things that was perfected five boards ago. So despite the crazy concave with all its advanced features, the kicktail wasn’t forgotten in the mix. The board is pretty light for what it is, and (at the shortest wheel-base) the kick has quite a bit of pop. It’s wide and flat with plenty of footspace, but the corners are well rounded and make more technical freestyle much easier. Plus, the flat tub near the front leaves plenty of room to slide your foot, and the rocker/drop combo is a nice little scoop to flick off of if your stance is wide enough. If it’s not, you may have to mob you’re ollies…but hey, such is life with a KT.

I struggled to decide on a final section for this board. It’s one of those boards that really does excel at its intended purpose and not much else. Granted, Downhill freeride and freestyle is a fine intended purpose…it just puts a wrench in my gears, simply because everything else I tried was equally mediocre. The one slight exception being long distance pump. It’s not ideal, and I’m sure the hardcore LDPers are rolling their eyes so hard right now that they can actually see the headache it’s giving them. However, the super locked-in front foot, the insane number of wheel-base options in the back, and the tail or T-bar to wedge your back foot on makes for a pretty decent option to build a pump setup around. Would I really choose this over other boards for LDP? Actually…yes. If I wasn’t doing anything serious like cross country. It’s pretty similar to an oversized slalom board (which isn’t what LDP boards are…but still) and it might be worth it to be able to pop up a few curbs on your way to school.

Well there you have it truebelievers, the Shredler is one badass whip (and not just because it sounds like a super villain either). I told you before to keep an eye on Liqwood, so if you haven’t already, give the Facebook page a like…You won’t be disappointed. I have it on good authority that the Shredler will not be the last crazy shape to come out of Liqwood this year.

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 May 10, 2015 in Uncategorized