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Quinboards Buck Spencer Review

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Quinboards is one of those bands that doesn’t like to be put in a box. They find it hard to concentrate…they can’t think in there. You know…inside the box. The one they were put in. You could even say they would prefer thinking OUTSIDE the box…Ay?…Ay? Know what I mean? Outside the box? Nudge, nudge. Wink, wink. Say no more? …Ah? Nudge, nudge. Snap, snap. Wiggle, wiggle. Say no more? Oh never mind… You’re a fucking square, like a box. omg, I just did it again! I’m on a roll. I’m literally rolling. That would never happen inside a box. You know, because they’re square. They can’t roll. Unlike the guys at Quinboards…they aren’t in a box, so they roll smooth as hell. Just like their boards do. Bam! Segue back to skating. You didn’t think I could do it but I did…we’re back to the review, no digression needed, just came right back around. You could almost say: We came full circle! Unlike a box, you know…becau-FUCK! I did it again. Let’s just move on…

Bowl Riding:
Let’s keep this obnoxious asshole vibe rolling with a discipline I probably shouldn’t have even tried on this board: Bowl Riding. It’s actually surprisingly decent at it. Your not going to be rocking to fakie very easily, and tranny/vert are not the best on this deck, but anything fluid, fast and with an embankment is actually really fun. Basically, while it’s not a trick or park board by any means, it provides a lot more control and versatility than its clunkier downhill brethren. It’s extremely stiff, and pretty thick and beefy as well. So it definitely seems like one of those crazy stable behemoths since it provides the stability and confidence of those tanks…just not the weight and lack of maneuverability you’d expect to go with it. Since, in reality, the ash and carbon fiber construction makes this a surprisingly light and nimble ride. You know what’s even more fun though? Realizing you’re on a board that kills it both in a bowl and on the hill…and taking it to where they combine those two things: Kona Skatepark. Oh fuck yea! Do yourself a favor and try this board in a snake run.

Downhill:
Let’s tighten the reigns a bit and get back to this boards true calling… It’s a downhill machine. Hence the name: Buck Spencer. I’m not certain…but I think it’s both a reference to this being a collaboration with Buck Longboards and the manly Italian actor Bud Spencer (he’s like a European Chuck Norris…which is why they can definitely name their next colab Buck Norris if they like, compliments of the twisted minds here at TLC). Though they could have called this Little Bunny Fufu and it would have still been a beast…there’s just no ignoring the construction and design. Of coarse, there’s the beefy yet lightweight feel which is a nice compromise not to have to make, but just the concave is really thought out. There are wheel flares in the front that provide leverage and lock you in no matter how you angle your front foot, much less limiting than a drop would be. The back however, does have a really nice drop that makes a perfect place to wedge your foot against when tucking. There’s a lot more to it than that…but let’s expand on the concave in the freeride section.

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Freeride:
Continuing on with the concave… There’s also a really unique asymmetrical rocker (Yes, it gets more unique than a half-droped deck). It’s higher in the front and lower in the back just before the drop. This makes it to where the standing platform is angled backwards slightly and leaning your weight forward feels more like your leveling yourself out than pushing your balance forward. This helps negate that “about to flip over your handlebars” feeling you get from some decks. There’s no easy way to explain it really… It just feels very natural and secure. This coupled with how the asym rocker hammocks your back foot, and the drop/deep tub concave making it feel almost like it’s strapped in…you really have an insane amount of control over the back of the board, even with very little pressure applied to your back foot. The entire design really encourages good form and makes it feel really natural not just taking this board sideways, but doing it correctly. If the term flatspot/oval resistant could ever be used to describe a deck…this would be it.

Parking Garage Pump:
So, full disclosure…not everyone loved the asym rocker. It won us over by a huge majority, but everyone is different. The good news is, you can remove the asym rocker next by using about a 1″ riser on just the back truck. I took it a little further myself and used a 6* angled riser. Using a relatively high degree truck and dewedging only the back gave the board a nice 47/41 split and raised the back of the board just enough to level out the standing platform. The rocker is gone and the drop feels a little more aggressive. It’s a great option for those who like the unique concave but don’t want rocker. Plus, the more vertical feeling drop keeps your stance consistent and locks your back foot in for a really solid pivot point while the flares in the front give you great leverage for pumping. It’s not exactly made for any cross country style LDP, but if you want an extremely fun garage bomber with enough pump to get you through the flats…this board will probably help you win some garage races.

So there you have it, the Buck Spencer! Yea, I know…even the non-downhill sections have been kind of about downhill. I just find it interesting that Quinboards put so much thought and effort into making a great downhill board that it ended up exceeding their expectations a bit. They weren’t aiming for a versatile deck…but there’s so much overlap that in perfecting it’s downhill features they inadvertently covered a few other disciplines as well. For more info on Quinboards check out their Facebook page and give them a like.

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Posted by on October 29, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Wheelrz 85a Diablos Review

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First Impressions:
Wheelrz Diablos are a fun looking wheel. They’re this bright redish-orange with pitchforks and a crazy font that seems like carelessly scribbled demonic script. The whole thing looks like what you’d imagine Skatan might doodle in his notebook while spacing out in ethics class. As for the urethane itself, I like the color a lot. I’m always a fan of the obnoxious highlighter wheels that will never match anything…it helps quiet the little voice in your head that actually cares about dumb shit like that, and usually leaves great looking thane lines. The one misstep in the graphics is that the “D” in Diablo looks a lot like a sideways “A”. Maybe it’s my dyslexia, but that isn’t the best when trying to read a rotating text.

Riding Experience:
Diablos are unique in that they are one of very few wheels where a stone ground finish really does equate to a nice slide right out of the wrap. Most wheels that slide well immediately do so because they just break in that quick…can’t exactly credit the finish for that. However, Diablos are a slow wearing wheel and do take a while to really break in. Before they do, the slide is a little icy, but the release and hookup is really defined. Great for techy shit and quick 180s. As they slowly break in they start to sink into the pavement, gradually providing more resistance and in turn, more control. It’s funny, because they wear so little and the break-in period is so long, I imagine it would almost perfectly coincide with the learning curve of a beginner skater. Effortless 180s out of the package, and more lean and control as you start to go faster and hold out bigger slides. For this reason, they definitely seem perfect for anyone who’s learning how to slide. Even an expert who’s trying to kick that cheat wheel habbit will appreciate being eased out of the ice.

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Criticisms:
My assumption about the thane lines was dead wrong. After they’ve broken in a bit, they’ll leave faint lines on a hot day…but for the most part, they don’t really leave discernable marks. Of coarse, this is just the 85a…so I can’t really comment on the wear patterns of the 80a.

Final Thoughts:
At the end of the day, Diablos are a great wheel with a very unique feel. If you’re learning to slide then I can recommend them, sight-unseen, and feel pretty confident that I hooked you up…I don’t even have to know you. Even if your an experienced skater who’s working on that steeze lean… They’re going to gradually provide more resistance as you grow more confident on them, letting you get more and more horizontal. They feel like a buttery cheat wheel (which I find are almost always chalky) only with a bit less “cheat”. Making them seem like one of those “love them or hate them” wheels…but you’ll never know which one you are until you try.

Check out the Wheelrz Facebook Page for more info!

 
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Posted by on August 11, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

DaSilva Aldous Review

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The hippy mentality isn’t the first thing you might relate to hardcore skateboarding… If anything, combining the two usually results in the shaggy barefoot beach cruising type. I don’t think most real skaters “hate” those guys, but we don’t exactly aspire to be them either. That’s why it’s so refreshing to see a brand that’s both. They embrace both cultures so strongly that it develops something completely new and somewhat profound. Applying the free love, back to nature hippy vibes with the meditative aspects of downhill and cathartic feeling of freeride results in some of the best feelings in the world, the coolest/nicest guys you will ever meet, and some fantastic handmade decks built with the utmost love and care. If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m talking about DaSilva Longboards from Israel. Brace yourself friends, because here be Hippies.

Freeride:
Lets not waste anyone’s time here, the Aldous was designed to be the swiss army knife of skateboarding…and for Longboards, the “knife” part is always freeride. Want to make a good versatile board? Don’t skimp on the skids. Dasilva is clearly familiar with this rule of thumb, and proves it with the freak concave. It has a great depth and cradles your foot in nearly any stance. Plus, the Bellbottom flares are very well thought out. Well defined but not obtrusive or excessive, your going to feel comfortable both on or between them. Respectively, larger stances will benefit form the leverage they provide, while smaller ones will feel even more locked in with the way they somewhat simulate microdrops. In fact, I myself freeride with a snowboard inspired duck-stance…so my heels feel super locked in between the flares while my toes get some extra leverage from being on top of them. (you won’t find me complaining about either of those things anytime soon!) Finally, the concave continues onto the tails, which scoop upward slightly, creating a nice pocket. So while it’s clear that this board was designed around an in-between-the-bolts philosophy of freeriding…reaching and utilizing the kicks while going downhill feels safe and comfortable. In short, your blunt slides won’t suffer, they’ll just take a little more peroration than on boards where riding on the tail is a more viable option.

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Downhill:
There are two versions of the Aldous, stiff or flexy. I think we’re all used to the varying flex patterns of dancers or pump decks, but they never seem to reach downhill stiffness, just different amounts of flex. Recently however, we’re starting to see brands designing boards around both stiff and flexy constructions. It’s actually really cool because now you have even more options. I for one have definitely seen shapes I absolutely loved until finding out they had mad flex…the Aldous is one deck that’s never going to have that problem. The one I got to try was speed stiff and downhill ready. The pockets made by the bellbotom flares are a prefect place to wedge your foot when tucking, the concave is comfortable but really locks you in, and the overall design is relatively streamlined…though if the drag from the kicks really bothers you, Dasilva uses Freak cave in a few other shapes that are a bit more speed friendly.

Freestyle:
Personally, I’m a fan of the kicks though… They really walk the line between the highly functional (but intrusive) popsicle inspired kick, and the streamlined (but short and stubby) downhill kick. At the shortest wheelbase they are plenty long and have decent pop. They are upturned slightly but in a way that extends smoothly from the boards natural rocker. Add that to the way the concave continues onto the kick and the bottom of the deck somewhat resembles a speedboat. How’s that for imagery? It’s definitely the most you could possibly reduce drag while still having such functional kicks. All that works very well on the top of free board as well. The length is the kicks and the way they scoop upward gives you great leverage, and the extended concave makes rotations easy to initiate and control. Not to mention how light their construction is Basically, if you’ve been looking for a good DK that doesn’t compromise much, the Aldous nailed it in the freestyle department.

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Dance:
Full disclosure, I haven’t gotten to try the flexy version of this deck…so I can’t really comment on the type or amount of flex it has. However, considering how much thought has been put into the Aldous, and the fact that there is a designated dancer in their lineup…methinks they might have done some research/experimentation on flex patterns. Aside from that though, even the stiff version shows promise as a dancer. Both wheelbases have a decent EFP, but the larger one really gives you a lot of room to walk around in, especially with TKPs. The width means you can choose how far your steps are from the center, making it easier to control how much the board turns, and slope of the concave makes standing near the rail feel much more natural. Plus, I found that the flares are a great indicator of when your reaching the kicks. Probably not a huge concern for a master dancer…but it’s a pretty cool feature for a board like this, considering a lot of people would probably just be using dabble a bit in dancing.

Done. Here’s the Facebook page. Now I’m going skating. Suck it nerds.

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Blacktop Truck Review

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Blacktop, as a company, is what I would call a perfect storm of conflicting ideas. It’s a collaboration between a Korean manufacturer and an American designer/distributor, both of which are avid skaters and really nice guys…though both are also very smart and rather opinionated. Each having their own (very different) idea of what makes a good truck well…good. However (hopefully I won’t offend anyone by saying this), the original Korean Blacktop was frankly a bit clunky looking and utilized very dated features (that were left behind for a reason). Similarly, the American vision for the product would easily have fell victim to the “over-saturated market” criticism considering its failure to bring anything that new to the table. Luckily for us, the Blacktop Trucks I’m reviewing today aren’t either of these. Instead, they’re the result of extensive research, debate, rider feedback, and (most importantly) compromise. Neither the archaic revamp, nor the popular modern clone, these trucks are something entirely their own…new, exciting, and innovative.

Dance:
Tripping:
Yes, the original concept for these trucks was to be a distinctly dance oriented precision. This was quickly abandoned for a much more versatile geometry…but with the popularity of tripping in Korea (and Europe in general), it’s probably a good idea to see how much of that flatground heritage they’ve managed to retain. By the way, “tripping” is a MUCH cooler name than dancing…at any rate, the responsiveness of these trucks is great. Once you learn where to place your feet, your control is unparalleled. This is fantastic for experienced dancers, since you can really decide how much each step will make you turn. For beginners, the 50° baseplate is a great option because it’ll make longer wheelbases feel more nimble, and soft bushings will stimulate that “flop and stop” that makes beginners inaccurate steps more predictable, and you can always move up to harder bushings as you progress.

Downhill:
Ok, let’s talk tech. This is where things start getting really fun. Forget everything you’ve ever heard about bearing pivot trucks because blacktop has changed the game. Yes, it’s a bearing pivot. No, it’s not spherical. No, it isn’t affixed to the baseplate. No, it doesn’t suck. Instead, what you’ll see here is a cylindrical bearing…so instead of the side to side movement you’d have in sphericals, it actually removes slop. In fact, it’s probably one of the most direct relationship between turn and lean I’ve felt. Which usually translates to a rough and unforgiving ride (a huge concern early on). This was addressed by encasing the bearing in urethane. That’s right…the bearing has its own pivot cup. This absorbs shock from the road and allows for a more natural bushing compression. It’s very precise and responsive, but not twitchy. Basically the opposite of everything bad about sphericals. The only drawback is that the hangar has to go on first, so the kingpin has to be flipped.

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Freeride:
This is where these trucks really shine. The road dampening makes for a smooth ride and clean slides. The precise turning makes for a consistent and easily predictable release (which means getting used to new thane is a quick learn). Plus, the dance roots come through a bit as an increased responsiveness to foot placement and great leverage. You’ll swear you’ve never had more control over your board. If I had to compare it to anything I’d say it feels like a bolted in pivot…except it’s a much smoother ride and the flipped kingpin redeems itself a bit when you realize how much easier changing out bushings is than with similar technology. The 45° are prime for freeride and have great lean…and while the other current options (50° and 27°) are pretty good for running splits, the upcoming downhill oriented R-Spec will bring about even more viable baseplate degrees.

Freestyle:
For a precision truck, these are insanely light. Which is probably a lame things to say…using an exaggeration like “insane” and a qualifier like “for a precision” in the same sentence. I was raised better than that. Let me be more specific: They feel like your average cast. Not your super lights or your hollow kingpins or especially your balsa wood axles (pretty sure some trucks actually have those). Nah, just the good old generalized cast were all pretty used to. Which, in my opinion, is fantastic for anyone looking to step up to precision because they’ll be familiar. They’re easy to get off the ground and stand up to harsh landings. It’s hard to bend these things…I’m 200+ and I tried to fuck them up. Didn’t happen. The one thing I’d warn of is that the whole foot-placement sensitivity thing we discussed earlier also applies to sloppy landings. If your feet aren’t directly above the bolts, don’t expect to land going completely straight. You’re not going to slam, and it won’t ruin your trick, but it’s a sketchy thing to learn for the first time going down hill…my rider can attest to that. Just have your landings on point before you try freestyle tricks going fast. Or just be prepared to land a little squirrely.

That’s about it kids. The Blacktop Facebook page is updating constantly with posts none of us are cultured enough to understand. Luckily, the pictures are pretty self explanatory…and the page is run by the owner, who is very helpful and knows English. Plus, you kind just read a review about them. So, you know…there’s that.

 
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Posted by on June 13, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Gtank 72mm Review

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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.

Downhill:
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.

Freeride:
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.

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Push:
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.

Freestyle:
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

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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

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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.

Downhill:
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.

Freeride:
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.

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Freestyle:
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.

LDP:
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