Monthly Archives: April 2016

Broadway Boards Halftones Review


First impressions:
I’m not gonna lie, I was apprehensive about Halftones dual color wheels. The concept was sound, but application had to be perfect. Your wheel spins when you slide (if it doesn’t you flatspot)…so a lot of the idiot trolls who didn’t think striped thane lines would work, must either have piss poor form or an absolute wealth of misinformation about how longboards work…probably both. Seriously, just read “second hand stokes” comments and try not to cringe. It’s amazing how condescending some people can be while simultaneously being completely wrong about everything…only to turn around and beg for free wheels (you know, the ones that supposedly suck). So while anyone with a brain knows the idea of striped thane lines should work in theory, dye does change the consistency of urethane and only certain formulas will combat this (and even then, only within reason)…meaning that performance could easily suffer. Luckily, white and blue were a great choice is dyes and well “within reason”, but the urethane itself still had to be the right formula, one that didn’t react as much to the dye…which I won’t know until I ride them. One thing I did notice upon receiving the wheels is that they look less like a blue and white urethane mixed and much more like one urethane with blue dye added to the side of the mold. That alone removes the chance that a wheel is made up of two urethanes with slightly different compositions or ages mixed together. Which, a lot of people claim is how even single color wheels get swirls…so already Halftones is making sure their quality is above even that of some very popular wheels.

Riding experiences:
Once I took then to the hill, I was surprised by how the wheel rode. Not because anything horrible about them stood out…but not because anything amazing blew my mind either. All in all they were a really well rounded and balanced wheel. They didn’t dump thane, or die in a sesh…but the lines are bold and distinct. They had average acceleration, didn’t go crazy fast but didn’t feel sluggish or slow either. They didn’t kill all your speed when sideways, but they felt controlled and did shave a good amount off. Plus, the slide itself wasn’t icy and wild, but it was easy to initiate and slid for a while. I’d put them right in that category of wheel that everyone likes (even if they like others better) that are regularly suggested to beginners…you know, Freerides, Butterballs, that kind of thing. Really, it’s a basic familiar feel that anyone can ride, and I think that’s done purposefully. They aren’t trying to compete with the heavy hitters on the already over saturated market…they just want to add some harmless and accessible fun to the mix. Now, in mentioning beginners, I would like to bring up over really cool thing I did notice. Not only does the dual color thane not ruin the consistency of the urethane…but one could argue that it’ll encourage better form and therefore more even wear. Basically, by the same principal that makes lower degree slides keep wheels round as they thane, Halftones make more stripes the faster your wheel rotates while sliding. So the closer you are to sliding 90° the less stripes you’ll get until finally the wheels don’t rotate at all and you get one color and a flatspot. Obviously, striped thane lines in no way help your form… but the fun of being able to control the frequency of your stripes is some great positive reinforcement for playing around with/trying to improve your form. I learned stand up pendys on these simply because it was so cool seeing my lines go from really short stripes to long ones and back again.


Considering how much hate these wheels got online (before they were even released), believe it or not, I can’t really criticize them…not because they’re the perfect wheel that can do everything, but because they deliver on exactly what they intended to. They’re super fun to play around with, the feel is going to be accessible to everyone, and they have a very well rounded performance. They aren’t magical cheat wheels or downhill speed demons…but they aren’t meant to be. They’re a really well balanced quality product with a fun little gimmick. I personally wouldn’t pay extra for striped thane, but Halftones doesn’t expect you to. It may be the wheels defining trait, but they treat it very casually and their marketing and prices reflect that. If you ask them, it’s less a “feature” than it is just some unnecessary fun, like multi colored sets (I.e. Skiddles/Tracers), glow thane or, let’s face it, leaving thane lines in the first place.

Final Thoughts:
I can’t help but think about how this might expand. I have a few color combos I think would be cool, and even some I’d be worried about. I think Halftones was very smart in their choice of colors because white and light blue have always seemed so similar in slide characteristic/wear to me in the past. This will be something to consider in future releases, and it’ll be fun to see how far they can take it without ending up with uneven wear. Yea I know, I’m never NOT the sceptic but frankly I think if their first wheel was a white/dark purple combo my review would have been that they ovaled like crazy. Though something like a red/blue or a light green/orange could make for some pretty vivid and awesome thane stripes while remaining consistent and smooth throughout. If you have your own idea for the next color combo, shoot them a comment on their Facebook page, and grab a set of the blue/white ones to help fund the next batch with new colors.


Posted by on April 25, 2016 in Uncategorized


Laissez Faire Anarchy


The Laissez Faire Anarchy…this is going to be a pretty hard review for me to stay unbiased with, since this is one of my favorite boards. Probably the most used of my personal quiver, due not only to quality but versatility. No matter the weather, the time, where I am or if I’ve got the gas money to get anywhere else…this board can make a fun sesh out of any situation. Which is why I’ve gravitated towards it a lot lately. Lots of stressful things going on and not much time to skate? Well, not only can you pull the Anarchy out and thrash just waiting at the bus stop…but it sure takes a beating! So you can really get out some of that aggression you have over your piece of shit car. Then, once you finally can drive to the hill again guess which board still feels right under your feet? I mean, you know… hypothetical situation of coarse, but regardless…

I know I rag on the modern popsicle deck sometimes. A slightly more angled 7.5″ kick instead of a 7″ kick that’s a degree lower isn’t the most creative tweak you can make when designing a board. Though, the truth is, it does make a huge difference in how the same exact shape will perform. These subtleties aren’t the eye catching spectacles that longboard concaves are, but get the right one under your feet and you won’t care if it looks any different than your buddies…it’s just better. That being said, there’s something magical about a hybrid deck from a company with more skateboards in their line up than longboards (or I guess an equal amount now that the Warmonger comes as a KT). I had a hunch they knew how to make a DK, and boy was I right. The kicks are the perfect length/angle for insane pop and great leverage and control. The base of which is already a great little pocket, but add wheel wells and you always know exactly where you’re feet are. We know why that’s good on a hill, but even in street skating it’s advantageous. You know right where your wheels are based on their relation to the easily felt wheel wells. This means you can change stance without looking…and know exactly how much leverage you’ll be getting over the trucks. So changing the height of your ollies is quick and easy, and things like tweaking grinds start to come more naturally.

For the sake of space let’s combine freeride and tech into a Downhill Slide section. It’s just different duros anyway. Depending on the width of your stance and the way you intend to ride, both the 36″ and the 33″ are great options. I have a somewhat wide stance and haven’t quite gotten used to the front foot in the nose thing all the best tech sliders do. So for me, the 36″ is perfect for both disciplines. I ride with my front foot cocked forward in an angle between the flares. It’s not only a good stance for holding out checks, but with most my foot over the bolts I get stability when I need it and just a little leverage over the nose when I feel like eating shit. With my back foot just past the flares wedged in the base of the kick you get one hell of a pocket and easy access to the tail. No matter where you shuffle your feet the flares really do cradle you. That, the great concave, and well designed kicks is really the only subtle things keeping it from feeling like you’re shooting downhill on a skateboard. A feeling I personally hate…luckily, everything about the Anarchy is designed to function like a skateboard, but feel secure and stable like a Longboard. They really nailed the balance, and the result is insanely fun.


The Anarchy kills it at big parks. Small technical parks? Not so much. While I love it in the actual street, a lot of “street” inspired parks are designed to utilize limited space, so they can get cramped. Plus, small ramps are awkward on a 36″ deck. If my back wheels just barely left the flat when my front ones hit coping, it’s not exactly fun to skate that. Plus, the ever popular Jersey barrier is even harder to ride, not that I can even do it on a skateboard. On the other hand, anywhere you wouldn’t mind taking some technicality for stability and the Anarchy is king. The bowl, the vert ramp, the tranny section, big funboxes, big hubbas, double digit stair sets. Basically anywhere that you’d want the board to feel really secure and glued to your feet… because that’s exactly what it’s designed to do. Plus, the width gives you the leverage and control to maneuver large ramps in a fluid, seamless way that maintains your momentum very efficiently, and the option for larger wheels keeps everything smooth and fast. As always, the wells are also great reference points, since looking at your feet is even more disastrous (at least for complete noobs like me) when you’re literally sideways on the vert.

I know, I’ve been including flatground in my reviews a lot lately. You have to understand though, Freestyle was my life throughout the 90s when everyone else was on vert ramps and 27 steps measuring each other’s dic- oops, I mean air. Now that it’s becoming even a little bit accepted, you better believe I’m not going to shut up about it! Plus, the whole reason I said the Anarchy has been so good to me is because it has no boundaries. You don’t even need a curb or an incline, a block of concrete is all you need. Go out to the sidewalk and learn primos, caspers, walk the dog, butterflips, ect… It all works. The curvature of the concave and the rounded rail isn’t perfect for balancing primos, but the wheel wells allow for much larger wheels…which makes balancing so easy, you won’t even notice the rounded rails. In fact, large wheels+round rails make balancing a wash and make pivoting from rail much easier, so frankly I prefer it. The kicks could be less steep for caspers, but not so much that some undercarriage grip (or just a scratched to shit tail) won’t fix it. Plus, the extra ply and solid construction keeps the rail from compressing/splitting from excessive truckstands or even pogos. It really is insanely fun, and much better than NOT skating if you’re stranded somewhere flat.

So…yea. That’s the Anarchy. Pretty cool, huh? I mean, considering it probably won’t be winning the “absolute best deck for this discipline” award in any of the aforementioned categories…it would still be impressive to grab second place across the board. Especially such a close second like the Anarchy would. Between their street series and longboards like the Warmonger killing it in their respective feels, the Anarchy probably was intended to bride the gap. Which it does with insane pop. Get it? Yea…you get it. Check out their Facebook for more.

1 Comment

Posted by on April 9, 2016 in Uncategorized