Allow me to introduce you to the ambassador of modern European flare: The Marionette. Anonymous has already proven to us that they know how to make a damn good dancer…and that they aren’t afraid to try something different. So what about the Marionette hasn’t been done yet? Well, partnering with a Korean longboard shop helps. Dancing is huge in Europe and no where more so than Korea, they treat dancer decks the way we do freeride…
constant innovation and thoughtful designs. The Marionette is a fantastic example of this. No where else in America can you find this kind of modern utilitarian dancer…at least not such a great one.
Slight camber, responsive flex, a fantastic EFP (thanks in part to a useful but not limiting waist) this board has it all…and then some. The balanced dimentions means you don’t have to rely on “flop-N-stop” to know exactly how the board will carve (because you only have the one option), and you don’t have to worry that being able to control the amount of turn when it’s useful will also mean that you have to try and predict how much the board will carve when just trying to dance in an open space. Everything feels very controlled and knowing where to step is pretty intuitive. My favorite thing though may be the smallest, but (like Il Ballerino before it) shows how much thought and foresight goes into an Anonymous product. The top layer of fibreglass means there grip holds on great, but also peels off easily without leaving residue. This doesn’t seem accidental since the griptape pattern was apparently designed around remaining functional through several stages of “undress”. I personally like removing the large middle piece for pirouettes and the like while leaving the sides gripped for confident stepping. Though even the sides can be removed without having to ungrip the kicks. I just think that’s really ingenious.
As great as this board is for dancing, it simply isn’t content to constantly be leaving all four wheels on the ground…it desperately wants to be flying through the air. The shorter, somewhat flat kicks make manuals slightly more tricky (coming from skateboards I’ve never been comfortable having to point my toes downward to get a board to nose manual…maybe that’s just me), but the pop they get is worth the trade off. Basically, it’s like if you’ve ever watched a dance competition and seen the guys on the shorter boards (relative to dancing) who link a few average steps only to reach the tail and just step off the board and watch while it spins spasticity into oblivion, then jump back on for the perfect landing once it’s done. Yea…apparently those tricks are planned and not just a glitch in the matrix, and the Marionette is a longer board that can execute those same tricks without losing the dance part. Which is good, because it’s a dancer… What’s the point of leaving people bored while you cross step for the hundredth time to set up your next killer freestyle trick? Though, dancer or not, the Marionette is as much an advanced freestyle deck as it is anything else.
Ok, so let’s talk about freeride a bit. It can’t hurt, right? The Il Ballerino kind of killed it at freeride, at least for a dancer deck. The Marionette? Not really so lucky…it really does pull back on the versatility a bit in order to shine that much more in its intended disciplines like freestyle and dancing. It’s light, so your won’t have to muscle it around or anything, but that doesn’t mean it won’t still fight you if you try to put it sideways. The flex is very reactive, and the light springy bamboo isn’t easy to reign in. Especially considering the long wheelbase making it really hard to keep both feet near the bolts. Now that doesn’t mean it’s impossible…but you really do have to think in terms of supporting your dancing (because that’s what kind of board it is). Basically, if you can get one foot best the bolts and really deweight the other, sliding will work. So quick 180s, small checks, no complys and even blunts (though it’s hard on those kicks) are available to spice up your dance routine. Sure, it’s definitely not a freeride board…but don’t rule out those cool flatground slides because of it.
Again, not a board that’s designed for distance skating. However, not only is the ability to your maintain momentum on flat ground important for a dancer, but dancing seems to attract the minimalist in-touch-with-your-board types. Not to stereotype, I’ve just happened to notice that skaters who mostly dance also tend to travel on that same board…it’s part of the freedom of the discipline, you can do it anywhere and half the fun is exploring and adapting to new terrain. As for this board, it can get pretty low with your weight pressing down it, and a springy flex combined with the angle of your foot on a cambered deck has been said to aid in energy return…but these claims are unsubstantiated and my LDP abilities aren’t nearly consistent enough to conform or deny, so take it as you will. What I can say for sure though is that pumping on this board is fantastic. As a board designed for speedy footwork, not only does one precarve into a dance line not kill a bunch of speed, but pumping a few times actually gains you momentum. It’s not going to bring you up to speed from a complete stop like more advanced pump-specific split setups, but it keeps you going between pushing…and sets up a great dance line if you get bored. I wouldn’t call that great at LDP or anything, but maybe something very free form meant to be an entertaining (even if less efficient) way of traveling distances. Let’s call it skogging. That’s like…at least close to what skogging is right? I seriously can’t figure it out.
Don’t forget to contact Anonymous Longboards if you have questions or want to purchase a board! Here’s the Facebook Page.