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 Gtank 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!