Arsenal was born of the influx of precision truck companies we saw a few years back. Which isn’t a bad thing. Sure, it was quite the over saturation at the time…but the expense of precision weeded out the weaklings pretty quickly. Arsenal was one of the few to stand the test of time. Now that they’ve proven that they know how to make one hell of a precision truck, they’re taking that knowledge and applying it to cast. Let’s check them out.
Well this is the entire point, isn’t it? So let’s get right to it. You know, that thing I said…the point. Let’s get to the point, damn. Anyway, downhill is a great place to start because we can discuss the fundamentals of this truck. Which, frankly, is all there is to it. Instead of flashy bells and whistles Arsenal spent their time and energy perfecting the fundamentals, and it shows. It actually made them a surprisingly hard truck to review because there isn’t really much to discuss without sensationalizing (which I try not to do). There’s nothing flashy about then really…nothing special to make them stand out against other cast trucks except for the fact that they’re simply better. With a surprisingly un-bowed axle for a cast truck, a pressed in kingpin and tight, clean pivots they already feel extremely precise. Add that to a deep bushing seat with very low tolerances and its as close to precision as you’ll probably feel without having to buy precision trucks…and that’s before any upgrades.
OK, so some of you might have noticed that I glazed right over “deep bushing seat” and are already headed to Facebook to tell me about how the borg hive-mind that is longboarding has decided those aren’t cool anymore. Well jokes on you because this is one case where you should really give them a chance. They hug the urethane of the bushing and hold it in place for more consistent turning and, thanks to the tall bushing compatability, don’t feel very restrictive at all. If you’ve ever run cup washers with talls you’ll know what I mean. Theirs so much free urethane to compress when you turn that it’s only near the end of a pretty deep turn that you start to progressively begin feeling it getting more restrictive. You could even argue that, in this case, it’s a plus… because you still get hella lean but start to get more rebound as it bottoms out. Giving you a clean controlled turn for initiating slides, but a good solid return to center that makes for a smooth and predictable hookup.
For better or worse, freestyle is another place that cast Arsenals really emulate precision trucks. What does that mean? Well, it means they have a hardened to shit axle and both the hangar and the baseplate are Heat Treated to a T6 Temper…this gives them an extremely impressive strength (especially for cast), but also makes them a little heavier than the latest/lightest editions of popular cast trucks (though it would probably be lighter than the previous generation of those same popular trucks). All this means is that flip tricks that might be second nature for you take a little more thought at first…though anything my riders already had dialed took less than three tries to really nail on Arsenals. Well worth the five minutes of practice once they started taking them off bigger and bigger drops. Arsenals pretty much stood up to anything we could throw at them.
Lol. Just kidding… I know this is usually where I would try some weird shit the product isn’t designed for and tell you how well (or disastrously) it worked out, but there’s no point here. Arsenal aren’t throwing you any curve balls here…anything you’d personally be comfortable doing on RKPs and arsenal will fill that need. It’s pretty much the type of quality and performance you’d expect…just more of it. Sorry to the guys at Arsenal if you saw this and thought I included dancing in your review. You give me these badass black trucks that look like they belong on Batman’s Longboard and I have the audacity to dance on them!? Yea…I get it, it’s a douche move. Rest assured, I barely even tried it. It wasn’t half bad actually, but I only have the 44* baseplates so it was silly to even try, let alone review.
At the end of the day, it’s hard to communicate the simplicity of perfectionism. Everyone says their product is better…and for every product there’s plenty of people who will agree. It’s all personal preference…so how do you put into writing what makes a truck great when it’s only gimmick is a basic proven geometry and an attention to detail and devotion to quality? Idk…I tried my best. It’s really one of those try it to believe it deals. So if you’re curious, it’s well worth the investment. Hit them up in their Facebook page for more info.