Loaded Pushin Cushion Poron Foam Sheet

Loaded Pushin Cushion

Loaded Boards released a new product; the Pushin Cushion foam sheet which you can apply on top of your deck as an additional layer below the grip tape to minimize the vibration and make the ride more comfortable.

In addition to the comfort the Pushin Cushion provides, it will indent under the rider’s weight and create the pockets which will keep the rider’s feet safely locked in, providing a similar support as 3D concave.

Pushin Cushion specs

The Pushin Cushion is made of Poron XRD high-performance viscoelastic damping foam that hardens on impact. You should note that this doesn’t mean that the sheet will not get chopped off if your deck flips over.

The sheet is self-adhesive and it comes 100 cm (40″) in length and 25 cm (10″) in width. It’s long enough to completely cover the most of the boards. The thickness of the Pushin Cushion sheet is 3 mm (0.12″).

Loaded Pushin Cushion

You can also cut the Pushin Cushion foam to smaller pieces and apply it on top of the main sheet to additionally create your custom 3D concave (see the video below).

The Pushin Cushion comes packed in a nice box, rolled rather then folded to avoid wrinkling. Currently it looks like it’s available only in yellow colour and the price for a piece is 40 USD via Loaded’s website.

Here’s how it looks when applied to the board…

Loaded Pushin Cushion

Here’s how to apply it to the deck…

KebbeK Skateboards celebrates 25th Anniversary with Opalescent deck series

The KebbeK Skateboards Opalescent collection

The 2017 KebbeK Skateboards board collection consists of 10 board models, hand painted in-house with a custom, limited edition formula of opalescent paint. As a result, the boards provide a colourful visual show, transforming right in front of your eyes.

Besides the great look and feel, the paint job also provides scratch resistance making the mentioned eye candy last longer.

Here is a workflow preview of the KebbeK crew preparing every single longboard in Montreal, Canada.

And because the history behind KebbeK involves a tight knit crew of friends and skaters, they continue to support team riders as well as communities around the globe, with humanitarian projects like “Cuban Links” being a staple in their recent work.

Since their beginning, KebbeK riders merge their personalities and different perspectives and create a unique vibe and atmosphere as the boards they skate on. And because a brand is nothing without their team, we decided to introduce the pro model decks of Benjamin Dubreuil, Emanuele Daigle, Raphael Therrien, Juergen Gritzner and Isac Printz.

Benjamin Dubreuil

In 2016 KebbeK introduced three redesigned board collections, including pro model decks of their team riders. It was no surprise that Ben’s model was amongst them. This year his board is still a part of the collection unchanged but flashing a new opalescent look.

Ben Dub has been with KebbeK since 2008 and he’s described as a man of mystery. When he’s not enjoying living off the grid with his dog, he’s up for fast lines, cutting alleys and hopping over obstacles, and his pro model is made for just that.

Living free of boundaries and skating everything you come across in your daily life was the inspiration behind his pro model.

This directional downhill/freeride deck includes a fat tail and a varying wheelbase of 23.8″ to 27″, with a total length of 38″ and a width of 9.75″.

With a 0.5 inch rocker, a micro drop, flushmounts and a 9ply construction of, what else than Canadian maple, the board provides a simple but effective shape, perfect for exploring the wilderness.

Ben already put his board to the test and like every year, he found some other fun uses for it besides skateboarding.

Raphael Therrien

As the newest pro team rider at KebbeK, Raphael a.k.a. Crafty from Montreal, got his own deck model this year. Formerly known as the Top Mount 36 introduced back in 2001, the board changed it’s name and look for this year’s season.

His deck is 36″ long and 9.5″ wide and has multiple wheelbase options ranging from 24″ to 25.75″. The wide platform and the concave offer freedom of foot placement making it playful for everyday skating and experimenting with your stance.

The boards also received an overhaul last year, that is why the Raphael Therrien pro model now features a rocker, 0.5 micro drop, flushmounts, deep wheel wells and a nifty kick tail which you can pop over anything.

Emma Daigle

Emma’s pro model deck stands for the same things she does. As an avid traveller with a great connection with nature, Emma is known for her nomad lifestyle. This is also the reason her downhill deck is designed to tackle any condition and is small and light enough to fit a traveling lifestyle.

With a 33.5″ length and 9.5″ width, the small, jet comfortable 24 to 25.5″ wheelbase includes a 0.25 inch radial drop to keep your feet comfortably locked in.

It’s 7 ply maple construction is 2 less than other pro models, but a top and bottom Fibreglass enforcement ensures its light weight and robust exterior.

Juergen Gritzner

One of the stars of the “Lost in Havana” documentary, the austrian skater Juergen Gritzner together with KebbeK Skateboards donated 100 of his pro model completes to kids in need, helping them start their own longboard journey.

With s similar mindset as Jurgen, his pro model deck is all about freedom of skating, foot position and mixing together different skate styles. Sharing the same dimensions with the Ben Dub pro model deck, Juergen’s stands on its own with a directional shape, a 0.5 rocker, a micro drop and flushmounts.

For more about Juergen and his pro model, check out the feature here.

Isac Printz

And last but not least is Isac Printz. As the second newest pro rider at KebbeK Skateboards, his pro model was known as Rockin Rookie back in the day, which was released in 2008.

His deck of choice, the mentioned 38″ long and 9.8″ wide topmount longboard suits his riding style as he enjoys visiting race events and the adrenaline rush at higher speeds.

The KebbeK Skateboards Opalescent collection
Isac Printz pro model

His pro model was inspired by slalom skaters and the popularity of topmount decks back in the day and with a wheelbase anywhere between 27 to 30″, this speed board is perfect for charging down epic mountain passes and fast maneuvering in tight race heats.

With their latest project, three of KebbeK team riders, Emma, Juergen and Isac, with flow rider Benjamin Sabol released their Better Weather Tour video. Filmed last year in between skate events, the team went rouge and explored the surrounding mountains in search of new experiences.

To find out more about the remaining deck models in the 2017 Limited Edition Opalescent Series, visit the KebbeK Skateboards.

Edoardo Barbi feat. the MONO 39 by LUCA longboards

Edoardo Barbi - LUCA longboards - Mono 39

Due to a right ankle fracture and several complications Edoardo Barbi (@edoardo_barbi) couldn’t skate for about 3 months.

“It was as if I didn’t have a foot on the deck, so weird!” he said, but finally he seems to be back full of stoke and energy for the season.

Edoardo is sponsored by Luca longboards, a Polish company that produces high quality decks and in the video, he’s riding the new LUCA MONO 39″ deck which he helped developing and testing.

LUCA Mono 39 specifications

The Mono will soon be available via www.lucalongboards.com. Until then, here’s a cool 3D preview and the basic board specifications…

LUCA longboards - Mono 39 3D preview

Length: 99 cm / 39”
Width: 25 cm /9.84”
Wheelbase: 65.4cm – 71.4 cm / 25.7″ – 28.11″
Concave: 1.25 cm / 0.49”

LUCA longboards - Mono 39

Follow LUCA longboards on Facebook or Instagram.

Rolkaz Collective launches sustainable Hemp Skateboards

Rolkaz Collective - Hemp Skateboards

Skateboard and longboard decks are typically made out of maple wood that takes 40 to 60 years to mature so it can become a desk we love and shread. Considering how many decks are made per year, there is no denying that the skateboard industry is one of the largest causes of maple deforestation.

In the past, the one of the answers to this problem was incorporating bamboo wood in the deck construction, as it grows faster and more abundantly compared to maple.

Although it’s true that bamboo decks are more sustainable, but if you ever stepped on one, you know that they are more flexible and not really DH appropriate.

Rolkaz Collective - Hemp Skateboards

The development of more sustainable skate decks continues and currently hemp is the new big deal. It is one of the strongest natural fibres, it’s recyclable and it holds numerous options of its application.

Some longboard brands like Holesome and Clutch already incorporate hemp laminates into their longboard decks, Gravity Skateboards use an eco-friendly hemp replacement for fibreglass and Arbor Collective use hemp in some of their textile products. These are only some longboard brands that follow the hemp glory and try to make skateboarding more sustainable.

Rolkaz Collective - Hemp Skateboards

So far, I haven’t seen a 100%  hemp longboard, but there are some smaller cruising and skateboard decks emerging on the market.

One of these are hemp skateboards by Rolkaz Collective currently campaigning on Kickstarter with two cruising decks made from 100 % eco-friendly materials.

Hemp Skateboards by Rolkaz Collective

Rolkaz Collective was created to raise awareness that more sustainable materials and responsible processes can result in a unique and fun skateboard for daily street nomads.

Their two decks are made from a combination of hemp and flax seed glued together with a high performance plant based resin. All of the three components are locally grown and processed in Europe.

Rolkaz Collective - Drifter skateboard

Drifter is a 28 inch all-round cruiser deck for city shenanigans, skateparks and daily commuters. With a mellow concave and a kicktails it can offer a pleasant pop and an enjoyable ride.

Rolkaz Collective - Mala skateboard

The Drifter’s mini sister is the Mala. This mini cruiser features a shorter wheelbase that is also suitable for kids.

Both decks come in four colourways; purple, lime, blue and raw. As mentioned above, they are currently available only on  Kickstarter as a complete, which includes Paris Street Trucks and 60 mm 78a stoneground wheels.

Fore more information about hemp skateboards by Rolkaz Collective visit their Kickstarter campaign or head to their Facebook page.

UPDATE, January 14th, 2018: Rolkaz Collective’s Kickstarter campaign failed. Only 2,332 USD was pledged of  25,000 USD goal.

Alternative Longboards 2017 – Mountain Freak and City Shredder

Alternative Longboards 2017 collection; Mountain Freak and City Shredder

Recently Alternative Longboards invited us to visit them in Poland in celebration of their 5th anniversary. They gave us a long awaited tour around the factory and explained their board production in great details.

Alternative’s neatly organised and almost completely customised production line impressed us greatly. You can read all about our visit and Alternative’s board production in this article.

We were also very excited to share the whole experience in the live video via our Facebook page. If you missed it, you can still watch it here.

In this article we’re going to check out their decks and cover the new ones in more details…

New Alternative 2017 Collections

Alternative Longboards 2017 - Mountain Freak (left) and City Shredder (right)

This year Alternative longboards presented two collections, each including 5 longboard decks designed and built for a specific type of skateboarding.

The Mountain Freak collection for downhill and freeride covers everyone who’s primary objective is going fast and sideways while the City Shredder collection offers a range of decks designed specifically for freestyle, longboard dancing and cruising.

New: Polyurethane Sidewalls

This year Alternative is extremely excited to introduce some exciting improvements, one of which is the polyurethane sidewalls. After three years in development, these are now finally included in all City Shredder decks as well as in Mountain Freak’s Chauma (both versions) making the boards highly impact resistant and waterproof.

One of the questions asked during the life stream was why sidewalls are not added to other downhill and freeride boards from Mountain Freak collection…

As Szymon Smialek, one of the owners explained; The freestyle boards tend to get more abused compared to downhill boards and including the sidewalls into the downhill and freeride decks would affect the end price of the products.

New: Double Wooden Core

While the sidewalls seal and protect the freestyle and dancing boards, most of the Alternative’s downhill and freeride boards are covered by “dual-wood core” which features a harder wood on the outside (board’s edges) and soft light wood on the inside. This makes them lighter and more rigid compared to their predecessors.

So, let’s check out each collection and the decks they hold…

Mountain Freak – Downhill & Freeride

As already mentioned, the Mountain Freak collection includes 5 deck models, all designed and built for downhill & freeride; Bunting, Chauma, Starling, Wrobel and Fantail.

Alternative Longboards - Mountain Freak longboard decks collection for downhill and freeride

The composition

Both Mountain Freak and City Shredder decks now have top and bottom layers with a graphic sublimated on a scratch resistant foil followed by a layer of fibreglass and the double wooden core in the middle. The bottom fibreglass layer also includes carbon fibre stringers which run across the whole length of the deck to deliver the right amount of stiffness.

The graphics

The graphic for each board in Mountain Freak line-up is actually a part of one big piece created by Sebastian Skrobol. This project marked the third time he worked with Alternative. Dubbed “Big Ass Monsters“, it shows a city in flames and all kinds of “monsters” enjoying the show.

New: Alternative Starling

Next to the boards which we already know from last year (Wrobel, Chauma, Bunting and Fantail) the downhill and freeride line-up by Alternative grew by one new deck this year, the Starling.

Starling by Alternative Longboards

The Alternative Starling top-mount deck is 96.5cm (37.99″) long and 23cm (9.05″) wide. It has a comfortable progressive concave merged with rocker and micro-drop to ensure that the feet are locked-in at all times. In addition to that, the rocker and the micro-drop lower the centre of gravity resulting in a better stability at higher speeds.

The Starling provides with multiple wheelbase options ranging from 65 to 69 centimetres (25.59″ – 27.16″) making it’s a great choice for those who prefer a wider stance.

Thanks to the fully functional kick-tail, the Starling is not limited to downhill skateboarding only.

The 6mm deep flared wheel wells ensure that this board can also accommodate larger wheels without worrying about getting a wheelbite.

Overall, pretty awesome and versatile deck for downhill and freeride.

New: Chauma M & Chauma W with sidewalls

Both Chauma M and Chauma W got upgraded with polyurethane sidewalls. Since this deck is a hybrid of freeride and freestyle deck, it is expected to be abused much more then other decks from Mountain Freak line-up and Alternative decided to upgrade it with that extra protection.

Alternative Chauma W longboard deck

You can check out the rest of Mountain Freak decks via Alternative’s website or 2017 catalogue.

Now, let’s see what’s new for the freestyle and dancing freaks…

City Shredder – Freestyle, Dancing & Cruising

The City Cruiser also includes five decks, most of them designed for freestyle and dancing, but it covers those who are in it just for the cruising and commuting.

Alternative Longboards - City Shredder longboard decks for freestyle, dancing and cruising

Compared to last year’s collection of freestyle, dancing and cruising decks by Alternative, the City Shredder collection now includes 2 new decks; Verdin and Erget.

The Hummingbird deck has been taken out while Junko, Flamingo and Ostrich has been embraced by many riders which encouraged the Alternative crew to upgrade them for the 2017 release.

The composition

All decks in the City Shredder collection now come with the polyurethane sidewalls which makes the boards highly resistant to impacts and waterproof.

Top and bottom sheets are a scratch resistant foil with a sublimated graphic, followed by a layer of fibreglass and a single wooden core in the middle. The bottom fibreglass layer also includes carbon fibre stringers which run across the whole length of the deck and take care of the right mixture of flex and strength.

The graphics

The graphic on each City Shredder deck is also a part of one big piece created by a talented artist Grzegorz Wróblewski whom Alternative worked with for the first time. Vivid and colourful, these are definitely “eye catchers”. Take a closer look and you will discover many interesting details.

New: Alternative Verdin

With the Hummingbird out of the picture, Alternative’s City Shredder line-up can’t miss a short agile board for the everyday urban cruising. That’s where the new Alternative Verdin steps in.

Alternative Verdin 2017 longboard deck

The Verdin is 94cm (37″) long and 23.5cm (9.25″) wide and features a single wheelbase option at 57cm (22.44″). It has a mellow radial concave to ensure that it’s both comfortable and responsive.

Described as “short, bouncy and manoeuvrable”, the Verdin has a medium flex and a short wheelbase and symmetrical platform with the kick-tails on both sides. Pumping and carving, some easy skate tricks, that’s what it’s made for.

Since it’s small and lightweight, it’s also great choice for the casual ride to school or work.

New: Alternative Erget

The Erget is the latest addition to Alternative’s longboard dancing decks. It fits right in between the Ostrich and the Flamingo by being 110cm (43.3″) long and 22-23cm (8.66″-9.05″) wide.

Alternative Erget 2017 longboard deck

The board features a symmetrical platform, double kick-tail, a “delicate” radial concave and is available in soft and medium flex with a single wheelbase option of 74cm (29.13″).

Just like the other boards in City Shredder collection, the Erget also has the polyurethane sidewall built in to protect it when failing the trick and landing it sideways.

Overall, great looking longboard dancing deck…

There you have it 🙂

It was really exciting to visit the Alternative’s factory and see how they produce their boards and to present their 2017 collection…

These guys are really something special; hardworking and extremely dedicated to deliver high-quality products, but they never forget to have fun and that’s what I liked the most about them…After all, skateboarding should be all about fun. Right?

Connect with Alternative

For further information check out the Alternative 2017 Catalogue or visit their website at www.alternativelongboards.com. To stay on track with their latest creations, follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

Killer Kicks: A history of skate shoes

A history of skate shoes

Certain skateboarding shoe designs defined skateboarding. It’s through particular designs that you can chart the history of the sport itself; from the early days of the multi-purpose Converse All-Stars to the highly-specialised Nike SB Koston 3 Hyperfeel.

It’s not just the names that became more elaborate. When the Randolph Rubber Company, a small, Massachusetts-based outfit, created the Randy 720, the first ever purpose-built skate shoe, it would signal the beginning of the race to design the best skate shoe.

50 years later, the pinnacle of skateboarding shoe design comes from multi-billion dollar companies, by way of years of innovation, testing, the input of professional skateboarders and amateurs alike, and pure experience. Whilst the sport’s popularity has ebbed and flowed, a loyal community has encouraged the evolution of tricks, boards, technology and, of course, shoes. Sock-like collars and new, more versatile materials show us the industry’s development.

Simple Footwear’s History of Skate Shoes charts how we went from the 720 to the wild aesthetics of the Osiris D3, and everything in between. As skating developed its own specialities, shoes followed suit; DC’s collaboration with big-air specialist Danny Way being a great example. A 10-foot drop out of a helicopter onto a ramp propelled not only himself through the air but DC’s global profile through the roof. Similar celebrity skater endorsements fuelled design inspiration.

Reinforced mid-soles, high-top ankle support, big-air modifications, vulcanised rubber soles, varied lacing technology… what happens below the surface is just as important as what happens above. The variety of visual design is testament to the diversity inherent to skateboarding culture. Wild colours and patterns serve as expressions of the influences within skateboarding, and the popularity of skating shoes in culture in general is just as telling.

A history of skate shoes

Alternative Longboards factory tour and production overview

A day in the Alternative Longboards Workshop

It has been 5 years since Szymon Smialek and Michał Milewicz built the first Alternative Longboards deck in Michał’s apartment in Warshaw back in 2012. Soon after Piotr Dąbrowski joined them.

Since then the Alternative family grew and the project evolved massively. Nowadays it has a very impressive production line in Nowy Sącz where they produce top-notch decks which resemble a very distinguished look and outstanding quality.

Alternative never cut back on the community support and the brand quickly became known to most of the riders across Europe as well as Asia where the scene recently literally exploded.

During the past few years I got to hang out with Szymon a lot as Alternative is one of the regular supporters of our freeride event, KnK Longboard Camp.

We had nothing but the best times together. After many invitations Nadia and I were extremely excited about the opportunity to finally visit the Alternative’s workshop and show it to the world via live stream on our Facebook page.

After 12 hours of traveling through snowy Austria which impressed us with the improvements on the highway rest stops, especially the free WiFi…and driving on what was probably Slovakia’s worst road, crossing a high mountain area, we finally arrived to Szymon’s place in the middle of the night.

After Szymon eased my mind by ensuring us that the Slovakians actually have some good roads as well and that they shred a lot, we didn’t go to sleep as one would expect.

Instead, we stayed up having an interesting conversation and discussing ideas till sunrise. As the day brightened up, we finally decided to catch few hours of rest as we had two busy days ahead…

The Polish welcome party

As you can imagine, we woke up a bit later that same day. The weather was kind of bad all around Europe and Poland was no exception. We didn’t have the time to skate anyway.

As soon as we had a delicious breakfast, we drove straight to the workshop to meet up with the rest of the crew and check out the production line for the first time.

The workshop is located in a somewhat older industrial complex, but once we took the first step inside we were positively surprised as everything looked really clean and neatly organised.

The plan for the day was to get the tour of the workshop and prepare for the live stream which was scheduled for the next day.

We started out by making a very special announcement video with the help of Ja Rom and Łukasz and Aśka Tomkiel featuring an improvised flame-thrower and the famous Polish vodka Žibrowka.

For us, this was out of the ordinary, but the Alternative crew is used to this kind of shenanigans. As Szymon explained in advanced, they are like one big family and try to have as much fun as possible to keep the morale high during long working days which often turn into night.

Later we continued with the factory tour in a more casual manner, still thinking on how we didn’t burn down the building.

New at Alternative: Double wooden cores and Sidewalls

While preparing a new layup and cutting fibreglass sheets, Szymon was excited to tell us about their new double wooden cores.

The combination of a soft wooden core surrounded by hard wood makes their decks even more durable and impact resistant. This in turn also increases the wheels wells at any given board by double the amount as in previous collections, with a 6 mm height to be exact.

A new and exciting thing we got to see on the Alternative decks for the first time were the polyurethane sidewalls. After a long 3-year development stage and a lot of hardship to get it perfect, the sidewalls are a big step forward for the brand.

The sidewalls are mainly included in the City Shredder collection for cruising, dancing and freestyle, ranging anywhere between 8 to 10 mm, depending on the model.

As Szymon later explained, freestyle boards tend to get more abused while riding compared to downhill boards.

Including the sidewalls into the Mountain Freak collection for downhill and freeride would affect the decks’ end price, but Alternative wants to keep them as affordable as possible.

Patience, innovation and hand built machinery

Because the brand is already past the development stage, Alternative now has a chance to play around and focus on the board construction and other techniques that make their boards stand out.

During the first season of board production, Alternative scrapped around 100 decks in order to learn and perfect the lamination and pressing process.

To produce the final versions for their 2017 lineup which consists of 11 decks, they had to first produce around 40 prototypes per deck model.

Every deck model requires 3 moulds; 2 for pressing the concave and 1 for the CNC cut process. Thanks to the in-house designed CNC machine they are able to cut the boards and produce the moulds themselves.

As explained in the video, during the 5-year period they spent around 1200 working hours to get the milling process developed to the point where it is now 5 times faster then it was when they started with the tests.

Each of the four main rooms at the Alternative factory has a humidity and temperature monitoring system installed to make sure that the boards are being laminated and pressed in the most suitable environment. The information is then available in a mobile app or computer at any moment. Pretty impressive detail if you ask me…

All boards are being pressed in 5 custom designed and built presses which impress the most with their compact size and great power. All of them are controlled by a single computer station which makes it much easier and faster to operate.

Alternative longboards also uses a barcode tracking system in order to supervise the production of every board they produce.

As the boards go through the production process, they are scanned in each step which enables the company to have an insight in the current production status. All of this information is also available through the mobile app or computer.

Szymon explained that they like to say in a joke that Alternative boards are made with thunder

It took them 1 year to perfect the sublimation technology which is a process of transferring the graphics from a special paper to the foil.

Thanks to the machine which treats the foil with 10,000 Volts to make them more absorbent to the ink and the in-house designed sublimation press, they are able to produce colourful and scratch resistant graphics.

Nadia was impressed with “the thunder machine” the most as we could clearly hear and see the electricity (in a beautiful purple colour) as well feel a strange sensation in our bodies and heads due to the Ozone that got created around it, just like during a thunderstorm.

Coming towards the end of the production process, the boards are taken to the sanding room where they get as smooth as a baby’s bottom, currently thanks to Ja Rom.

The final stages of the Alternative board production include preparing the boards for their new lucky owners. This involves removing the unnecessary foil, placing a sticker on every board which includes information about when and who built it, plus wrapping it all with love in a protective plastic cover.

Factory tour wrap up and Live Giveaway

We finished our day in the workshop watching Szymon pack one of the boards to be shipped to the new lucky owner. This was my second tour around a longboard factory and I must say the Alternative crew really knows how to make you feel like a member of the family and are sure to leave a positive impression on anyone visiting their workshop.

The next day, we spent preparing for the Live Giveaway and Alternative factory tour we did via our Facebook page. If you missed it, check it below and stay tuned for the upcoming article about the new Alternative decks.

If you can’t wait for it, check out the decks at www.alternativelongboards.com and be sure to follow them via their YouTube, Facebook or Instagram channels.

[facebook url=”https://www.facebook.com/longboardmag/videos/1291444234237018/”]

Photos by Mihael Zadravec and Nadia Hozić (Longboard Magazine).

The new TSG Joint Knee-Sleeve Pads

TSG 2017 Joint Knee Guards

Primarily made for all-mountain bike riders, the new Joint Knee-Sleeve Pads by TSG will most probably be picked up by the longboard community in the same manner as other mountain bike gear, one of which are the G-Form Pro X Knee Guards.

The TSG’s Joint pads feature a washable slip-on Lycra sleeve with a Softshell construction and an articulated PU foam which provides protection.

TSG added a vented mesh back and cut-outs at the back of the knee with the addition of an anti-slip silicone laminate on the Lycra sleeve for the guard to stay in place when riding.

At first glance, the TSG Joint  knee pads might looks similar to G-Form protective pads, but before I started judging, I did a short search to see which similar products are available on the market.

I found out that a brand called Demon has in the past introduced it’s Demon X D3O Smartskin knee pad, similar to the shape of G-Form back in 2015. Also SixSixOne, another mountain bike brand, did their own take on the shape with their Recon knee pads in 2016.

Despite the common shape and technology, the difference between the brands are that they are not so commonly marketed in the longboarding world.

Because G-Form is so popular amongst longboarders, I decided to make a side-by-side comparison of their Pro-X Knee Guards and the new TSG Joint Knee-Sleeve Pads. Let’s have a look shall we…

G-Form Pro-X  vs. TSG Joint Knee-Sleeve Pads

Both pads share a design of a slip-on knee guard with protective panels placed on the front of the knee to provide flexibility and protection. Although both feature and elastic compression fabric, the difference is that the G-Form Pro-X include a RPT Impact protection, while the TSG Joint Knee-Sleeve Pads include a Softshell construction with added PU Foam.

 

Both can be machine washed and have a mesh back panel which provides extra breathability and moisture-wicking properties. However, the TSG design also includes a cut-out at the back of the knee.

The difference is also the weight. A pair of large G-Form’s weigh 170 g, whilst a pair of TSG Joint’s weigh a bit more, 520 grams to be exact. This is due to its Softshell construction and extra padding on the lover sides of the knee.

Price wise, the G-Form Pro-X cost 75 euros on their official site, while a pair of the new TSG Joint Knee Pads will save you 5 euros, with a price of 69,95 euro.

For more information about the TSG Joint Knee Sleeves visit https://www.ridetsg.com.

TuckYeah Longboard Travel Bag Review

TuckYeah Longboard Travel Bag

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The time when I carried my longboard gear around in an ugly random bag is now long gone since I got the TuckYeah longboard travel bag last summer.

My longboarding gear is now also more organised and in contrast to stuff laying all around the apartment, it’s now neatly stored in the longboard bag under my bed.

Let’s check out the bag’s features and specs first…

Features and Specs

I found the TuckYeah longboard bag to be big enough to store an average sized longboard as well as a bunch of other much needed gear and accessories, except the full-face helmet, while still being conveniently compact and easy to transport.

The main compartment is 105 cm long, 39 cm wide and 10 cm heigh. The inside has a big centred pocket measuring 55 cm in length, 35 cm in width and being 8 cm high.

There’s another small pocket on the outer side, measuring 22 x 15 cm. It comes in handy for storing your phone, wallet, keys and other smaller things.

Both pockets as well as the main compartment feature a good quality zipper.

In addition to the carrying handle the TuckYeah longboard bag features adjustable shoulder straps which make it possible to carry it on your back.

Another cool feature is that the bag can be folded and downsized to half of its original size when you take out the board. This way it transforms into a regular sized backpack.

Look and feel

The TuckYeah bag comes in a dark blue colour with the white logo printed on the top side.

It is made of a strong and durable fabric. During the six-month period there’s no signs of wearing down except of some stitching that got stretched a bit, but I guess that’s my own fault as I overloaded it heavily while testing.

The padding is very soft in order to be able to fold the bag into a backpack. Considering this, I would recommend using the TuckYeah bag for travelling with the car, but not so much for airline travels where it might be handled with less care.

Final thoughts

Like I already mentioned, the TuckYeah bag is a great companion for local sessions or traveling with the car. While the stitching could be a bit better (stronger) the bag should last for a while if handled with care and if it’s not overloaded.

It comes with a price tag of 60 Euros and is available via BSD Ricami website.
Follow TuckYeah Apparel via Facebook.

Mariano Conti joined the Cloud Ride Wheels team

Cloud Ride Wheels welcome Mariano Conti

The Cloud Ride Wheels team just got a new gun in its arsenal. Mariano Conti, a 17 year old Italian from Rome, recently joined their family of international shredders.

Mariano is currently in his 4th year of high school and lives with his family not far from the beach. Besides going fast and pushing his board sideways, he also spends quite a lot of time in the water catching the waves.

A few weeks ago Mariano Conti teamed up with his friends Mirko Paoloni, Edoardo Barbi, Andrea Pedrotti (the filmer) and Felix Pirker (the photographer). They got on a plane and headed to Tenerife for a week of pure longboarding.

According to Mariano they had 7 days of solid shredding on the black tarmac, leaving behind massive thane lines, cored wheels and coming back home with tons of amazing footage. You can find their trip under the hashtag #putoslocostrip both on Facebook and Instagram.

His favourite choice of wheels and the ones he’s shredding in the video are the Cloud Ride Slide 70mm 80a and 83a, teamed up with a DB Longboards Keystone 37” longboard deck.

Cloud Ride Slide wheels

According to Mariano, the Slide wheels are really fun to slide. He described the slides as nice and powdery, meaning they leave lots of thane lines.

This was also the goal at Cloud Ride when they were developing their ‘’Cloud Thane’’ formula, to enable a buttery and smooth slide, leaving behind thane. I guess, they are a freeride wheel worthy of their name … ‘’Slide’’.

Cloud Ride Wheels - Slide 70mm, 83a
Cloud Ride Wheels – Slide 70mm, 83a

The Cloud Ride Slide wheels are available in 4 different durometers: 77a (Indigo), 80a (Green), 83a (Blue), 86a (Purple), all featuring a diameter of 70 mm. With a contact patch of 45 mm, these offset freeride wheels also give a dash of grip which you need when skating.

When new, the Slide wheels have a 45 degree edge which provides a super easy slide even with the first sideslip.

With a perfect union of grip and slip, the Slide wheels by Cloud Ride can handle any crack, debris or and everything else your slide trajectory takes you over, giving the feeling of a comfortable slide to the rider.

As they wear down, the contact patch increases and allows the rider to impart the same amount of force on the slide, as when they were new.

The Slide wheels are merely amazing! When you’re riding them you feel the comfort under your feet. Seriously, I have tried many freeride wheels and in my experience these perform very well considering factors like quality, performance and value. Every time you slide, you feel the wheels smearing thane around. And that’s awesome! They roll fast and give you some grip even at higher speeds. But if you want to have a solid downhill sesh, where you need more grip, you should go for the Cloud Ride Storm Chasers instead. They roll fast and give you some solid extra grip even at high speed. ~ Mariano Conti

We’re sure we’re going to see a lot more action from Mariano and we’ll keep you posted, but you’re also welcome to follow him on Facebook or Instagram.

To learn more about the Cloud Ride and their wheels offering, check out their website at www.cloudridewheels.com.

The Guardian – a new deck by King Lui Boards

King Lui Boards - the 2017 Guardian longboard deck

So far we’ve seen some hints regarding the new 2017 Guardian aka the Wächter longboard deck by King Lui Boards. We decided to talk to Fabian Anders, one of the three guys behind the brand, to bring you the latest news about their first ever drop through deck.

The Guardian - first drop through longboard model from King Lui Boards
Fabian Anders showing off a prototype of the 2017 Guardian longboard deck

King Lui Boards is a relatively young brand located in Wertach, Allgäu Germany. Currently, they have 7 different board models in their lineup, but also two boards in the making. One of these is the 2017 Guardian.

The new 2017 Guardian board model

The Guardian is the third re-design of their first ever longboard deck, released back in 2015.

The idea for a new drop through model emerged when the crew took a tour around Germany back in 2016. While skating with old and new friends, they got inspired and decided to add a more versatile deck to their existing lineup.

This freeride and big mountain inspired longboard deck is made from ash wood with two layers of fiberglass and a dash of poplar. All together it weighs 1.6 kg.

King Lui Boards - the 2017 Guardian longboard deck
Concave picture of the Guardian 2017 prototype by King Lui Boards

The Guardian features a twin tip shape with a total length of 95 cm and a width of 23.5 cm. The dimensions of the board determine the wheelbase at 65 cm.  In addition, King Lui also spiced it up with a 1.6 cm concave, double kicktails and a double micro drop.

King Lui Boards - the 2017 Guardian longboard deck
The final look of the 2017 Guardian longboard deck by King Lui Boards

Although, the King Lui Boards crew is currently on a skate trip, Fabian took the time to send me a pic of their first final Guardian deck made for 2017. With a nice wooden grain finish, the deck will be available on the market in about one to two weeks.

For the latest news about their current lineup visit the King Lui Boards Facebook page or check out to their website.

The 2017 Samba X-Flex carving longboard by Lush Longboards

The original version of the Samba by Lush Longboards got tweaked to become their new so called ”ultimate freestyle carving machine”, the Samba X-Flex.

Samba X-Flex 2017 complete by Lush Longboards

The Samba is 90 cm long and 23.5 cm wide and has a 72.4 cm wheelbase. The design includes an Angled Drop Down profile with a Flushmount. In addition, it also features the Lush X-Flex Composite construction, with which they were able to tweak the board’s flex pattern to just the right amount for carving.

Further improvements include a little more concave, a shorter overall length and a tweaked platform, to eliminate wheel bite at maximum lean.

The board is designed to alter the truck geometry which in essence creates a very turny ride, similar to snowboarding and surfing.

Although the board is not really made for speed, freeride or tricks, it is a great cruising & carving deck for the every day commuter.

Learn more about Samba X-Flex here.

Happy cruising & carving!

Trippy new wheels by AHMYO will make your brain dizzy

AHMYIO Vibez longboard wheels

Their crew of international team riders are on a mission to steeze all year long and hype downhill skateboarding. Moreover, one can also not ignore action filled clips of riders ripping AHMYO wheels that make you forget you’re stuck behind the computer.

This brings me to their latest wheel announcement which stands out print-wise and got me confused for a sec. Here is the video so you know why:

Trippy right?!

The Vibez

The video above got me to visit visit their website. I found a quote about the Vibez wheels featured on the video:

The ancient Vedic Masters spoke of NADA BRAHMA, “the world is sound, the world is vibration”.

Modern physics confirm that matter is made up of subatomic particles vibrating at a certain speed. Even our thoughts are emitted into the universe in the form of vibration with its higher or lower frequency, attracting equal vibrations.

The different frequencies in which each object or being vibrates allows our brain to differentiate them. Yet the principle of vibration tells us that nothing is immobile, and in that constant movement, everything is connected.

A great quote, I must say, and their products and work really embodie that. Their latest model, the Vibez longboard wheels, are made with a new formula, that is sure to leave some thane lines once you push them sideways.

Furthermore, Vibez feature a sideset 64 mm, 84a freeride design with a smooth grounded surface, rounded outer edges and minimal bevelled inner lips.

Here is a video of their team rider Tristan Degen, putting the wheels to the test at his local skate spot:

Aera K5 longboard trucks review by Ben Stainer

Aera K5 Longboard Trucks review by Ben Stainer

Longboard trucks have come a fair distance. From resembling great large hunks of metal, looking as if Thor had a drunken rage, to metallic pieces of artwork and enough precision to make a Swiss watchmaker cry.

Related: Aera Trucks RF-1 longboard trucks

Having said this, it’s essential to note that the longboard industry, especially for truck manufactures, has seen a decline in recent years. The reasons why could in themselves create another article altogether and when the conversation does spark, creates a debate more heated then the question of does pineapple belong on pizza.

With this in mind, the quality of longboard trucks has been rising significantly, with many new players entering the game and some old faces closing up shop. These new truck manufacturers such as Skoa and Rouge have been giving the old crew on the scene (Rey, Paris, Bear, Aera and Randall to name but a few) a better reason to come up with more ideas then the creative team at Disney on Adderall. Sadly, Rey are no longer around, but from their demise, a great deal of research and development has shone through.

Aera Longboard trucks baseplates

Aera K5 longboard trucks

Aera’s new K5 truck has been making the rounds on Longboard Porn 2.0 ever since a photo of Byron Essert’s front truck with Matt Kenzie directly behind him in a race heat touched down in 2016. The Clinching of the IDF No.1 by Carlos Paixão on the new trucks has also had many both excited, but also dreading how many limbs/years of savings would be needed to afford the K5, with a flurry of selling of old skate gear and prized possessions in order to leap onto the Skate one website faster than a cheetah in the Serengeti.

Which brings us neatly onto the beginning of the review! Having K5s shipped across the Atlantic to England terrified my frilly arse for two reasons. Firstly, will I be made bankrupt by the Taxman slipping the customs duty under the door like a silent assassin and secondly, will FedEx ‘Lose’ the parcel the second it leaves the warehouse?

The ordering process and setting them up

Ordering them, I had a general sense of bewilderment, but also elation.

I can feel my wallet getting smaller than the surface area of a dice adding the sums, but I feel stoked that I’m getting them.

It’s a feeling so bizarre that I ended up looking at the mirror after clicking the PayPal button and wondering why I had done it. Nonetheless, after just three days, the FedEx man did arrive with the trucks, with my inner child proceeding to run inside and rip the box open with delight.

Aera K5 Longboard trucks

Set-up was super easy, the kingpin sitting super far into the baseplate meant that at first I thought that I was sent the wrong length of axle, but after gentle persuasion with a skate allen key and the tool, the two kingpins rested super well, the new pivot cup design, after a bit of squeak, snuggled the hangers pivot pin like a sleeping bag.

Aera K5 Longboard trucks

The trucks do come with 88a hard core bushings, with a soft side and a hard side, in other words witchcraft dual duros. I decided to try them out, despite usually riding 95a/92a owing to weighting 95kg.

Longboard dance test

Dancing on the K5s is incredibly stable and one of the great surprises of the review, going along the pathways, I thought that I would be struggling at lot with a 164mm hanger, but it was not to be.

Aera K5 Longboard trucks - testing for dance and freestyle tricks

The extra-large pivot cup and the reaction to pop shuvits, Peter pans and cross steps was predictable and flowed through the truck more fluently then the notes out of a grand piano.

Aera K5 Longboard trucks

I would say that if you are going to use the K5s for partially this purpose or to carve a lot, 168/174 mm would be better suited, since the 164 mm hangers do not have the turning radius to perform the tight circles that a great deal of longboard dance demands. Nonetheless, a brilliant truck for this purpose, even if it’s not a discipline from which you first assume Aera trucks.

Freeride / Downhill test

Initially, I was worried about doing freeride on such narrow hangers, I thought that the trucks were going to jolt me more aggressively than a Taser. However, the trucks, even on their narrowest width, perform much the same as an Aera K3, but with the stability and precise slide expected from the K4.

Aera K5 Longboard trucks - DH and freeride testing

Even at slow speed, the trucks didn’t feel like they wanted to jerk back and throw me away and in tight cornering, the truck can be aimed like a laser, taking the racing line and holding you onto it like a limpet.

The 46 degree baseplate is as stable as a bridge foundation and provides a good mixture of downhill and freeride capability, although two lower baseplate options (42 and 30 degree) and a higher option (50 degree) are there for you to decide upon.

Conclusion / Customer Service

Overall, the Aera K5 has had a lot of expectations and demands. The years of debate and speculation have finally been answered and, in my own eyes, the K5 has lived up to those expectations.

A design more sexy then the contents of playboy magazine and an all-round truck that delivers in freeride, downhill and, most surprisingly, dance. Years of research, development and incessant questions have come through with a design that will keep Aera in the game for a very long time.

Worth the hundreds of dollars? That’s entirely your discretion, but fuck yeah in my personal opinion!

Also 5 Star service to Aera for making sure that I had everything on my trucks and for tolerating my incessant emails.

For more about Aera Trucks see their official website at http://aeratrucks.com/.

ROCKET Longboards presents three new decks for 2017

ROCKET Longboards 2017 new longboard deck models

About a month ago I had the pleasure to present the Ian Freire Pro longboard deck by ROCKET longboards, built with their own LAF technology which makes the board extremely durable, lightweight and waterproof.

The announcement has garnered much attention, over 1k people visited the article during the first couple of days since it was published.

In the meantime, ROCKET’s website got a pretty rad overhaul. There you’ll find more information about their current team, work process and a bunch of other cool stuff.

Welcoming Ian Freire from Brazil, a Red Bull No Paws Down 2015 champion, will help ROCKET to stand out even more during this upcoming season. Something tells me that we’ll see Ian back to the Bear’s Guts this year, as last year Patrick Lombardi walked away with the title.

Daniel Iseli and his crew presented the Ian Freire Pro deck along with the two new 2017 models and the rest of the Rocket’s collection at ISPO Longboard-Embassy.

As he told me in one of our conversations, ISPO was a great success for ROCKET. The feedback on the new boards was great and people loved them.

Well, Daniel… What else can you expect when doing such a great work 🙂

Now, let’s see what’s there to love…

LAF – Strong, lightweight and waterproof

ROCKET took a big step forward this year and introduced a new construction technique code-named LAF which is shortened for “Light As Fuck”.

It includes a very light wooden core sandwiched between carbon and glass fibres with clear 3D embossed highly scratch resistant PBT top sheets. The core is sealed down with extremely strong polyurethane rails which make the board highly resistant to impact and waterproof.

The boards built with LAF weigh around 30% less compared to longboard decks built in a traditional way, while preserving the same flex and vibration absorption characteristics often missed in full carbon decks.

ROCKET currently offers two boards built with LAF – the Ian Freire Pro and the Stealth.

New ROCKET longboard decks in 2017

ROCKET offers 12 longboard decks, but in this article I’ll cover the 3 latest; the Stealth, the Ian Freire Pro and the Scout.

You can find all the other boards available for purchase with a free worldwide shipping via ROCKET’s website and you’re also most welcome to read my review of Dominic Shcenk’s pro model, the Domination.

So, let’s start with…

The Stealth

The Stealth extends ROCKET’s already quite versatile board selection by covering the riders who prefer the style of skateboarding that includes freestyle and dancing.

It’s a symmetrical top-mount deck, with 0.47″ concave and three wheelbase options raging from 27.5″ – 30″ enabling to match the flex and the length of the kicks to a preferred riding style.

The stealth is built with LAF technology and promised to last for a very very long time.

It is extremely impact resistant and waterproof thanks to the polyurethane rails as well as very lightweight, with a total weight of only 1600 grams (3.5 lbs).

The board also features minimal wheel well flares and pressed-in wheel wells which makes it safe to ride with more loose trucks.

The Stealth deck specification

  • Length: 43.5″
  • Width: 9.2″
  • Wheelbase: 27.5″ – 30″
  • Concave: 0.47″
  • Weight: 1600 g / 3.5 lbs

The price tag on the Stealth is 269 Euros.

What else to say, it’s a great looking double-kick freestyle deck, I’ll bet you’re already drooling all over your keyboard, so let’s move to the next one…

The Ian Freire Pro

The Ian Freire Pro is a 35,4″ long top-mount directional deck with a symmetrical platform designed with both downhill and freeride in mind.  It provides the same leverage regardless of the direction the board is facing making it a breeze to ride switch as well.

The Ian Freire Pro comes in two width versions; a wider 9.8″ and a narrower 9.2″ version. Both versions feature a progressive concave (16mm to 12mm), flared wheel wells and a rocker.

The wheelbase is adjustable from 23″ to 26″. The shortest wheelbase will enable you to use the board’s kick tail to its full potential, while the longest will make it more stable for downhill runs.

Just like the Stealth, the Ian Freire Pro is built with LAF technology to last for a lifetime as it’s highly impact resistant, waterproof and very lightweight, weighing only 1400 grams (3.1 lbs).

Related: You can read the full overview of the Ian Freire Pro in this article.

The Ian Freire Pro deck specification

  • Length: 35.4″
  • Width: 9.8″ or 9.2″
  • Wheelbase: 23″ – 26″
  • Concave: 0.47″ – 0.63″
  • Weight: 1400 g / 3.1 lbs

The price tag on the Ian Freire Pro is 269 Euros.

Last but not least…or to be more exact, the third new board ROCKET introduced this year is…

The Scout

The Scout is an all-around 33″ long and 9.2″ wide directional top-mount deck with a kick tail.

As described by its maker, the Scout has an asymmetrical banana rocker which descends slightly in the front and raises steeper in the back to form the tail.

A short convex part behind the back truck anatomically adapts to your feet. This makes the tail super comfortable to stand on and also gives you a nice pocket for your toe side stand up slides.

The Scout is promised to be a great choice for skating pump tracks, pools, commuting or even bombing the hills, if you prefer a shorter wheelbase or if you’re a smaller person.

Built from Canadian SFI certified Canadian maple and Glass fibres, the Scout also features an extremely durable epoxy soaked veneer top sheet which protects the glass fibres underneath.

The Scout deck specification

  • Length: 33”
  • Width: 9.2”
  • Wheelbase: 19.3” – 21.6”
  • Concave: 0.4” – 0.5”

There you have it, the three newest boards by ROCKET Longboards.
Interested to see the other 9 boards? Click here.

ROCKET Ian Freire Pro Longboard Deck Review

ROCKET Ian Freire Pro Model

The rumours are true… Ian Freire from Brazil, the 2015 Red Bull No Paws Down champion joined the ROCKET Longboards team and scored a pro model deck designed completely according to his requirements for downhill and freeride.

The Ian Freire pro model deck is built with ROCKET’s new ridiculously strong LAF technology which makes this board extremely durablewaterproof and weigh only 1400 grams (3.1lbs).

As Ian shared with us, he always wanted to design his own deck and already had plenty ideas on his mind when at the end of last year, Daniel Iseli of ROCKET proposed the collaboration.

With mixing my ideas with Daniel´s knowledge in board construction, we managed to come up with a decent design to make a prototype.  I was stoked about the prototype, but when I saw it done with the LAF technology, I was blown away. This board is a game changer!

Ian Freire Pro Model Deck Features

The Ian Freire Pro Model deck is 35,4″ long and has a directional shape, while its standing platform is symmetrical in order to provide the same stance and the same leverage regardless of the direction the board is facing.

The lucky future owners will be able to choose from two width versions, 9.8″ and 9.2″ (slim), while both versions feature a progressive concave (16mm to 12mm), flared wheel wells and a rocker.

ROCKET Ian Freire Pro Model - side view.

With wheelbase options ranging from 23″ to 26″ and a kick tail, the Freire Pro Model deck is promised to deliver not only on the hill, but all around as well.

I would recommend this deck to everyone that likes to skate all kinds of hills, freeride or downhill, and want to do it all with one board. With a perfect size to freeride, flared wheel wells and a symmetrical platform, it’s the perfect board to do some stand up slides, but it is still big enough to go really fast. A mellow kick tail provides a really big pop on the smallest wheelbases.

ROCKET Ian Freire Pro Model - diagonal view.

ROCKET continues to evolve its production and is proud to introduce the indestructible polyurethane rails, which make the board highly resistant to impact.

The ultra durable polyurethane rails also seal the wooden core sandwiched between carbon fibre sheets, making it waterproof. As you can see from the photos, the carbon fibre is visible through the embossed 3D top sheets complementing the board with a badass look.

ROCKET Ian Freire Pro Model - nose view.

What’s the price

The production of the Ian Freire pro model is more time consuming, which justifies a higher price tag. The price for the deck is expected to be 269 Euros. Considering that it might last practically forever, the price doesn’t sound too big anymore.

The Ian Freire deck will be available for purchase in midd March via their current dealers.

Keeping the hype real

Since he started manufacturing longboards, Daniel’s focus remains on the core longboard community where he feels at home. While the cruising trend is plummeting and many companies are facing to shut down their cheap boards productions, ROCKET keeps growing.

As a one-man company which produces everything in-house in Switzerland, the only way to survive is to find a niche. I ride downhill since 2002 and I was always looking for the best gear. Hence I found my place in producing high quality boards for customers who use them as sports equipment instead of fashion accessories. This gives me the advantage of being less dependent to the ups and downs in the market based on some hypes. Since I started to ride downhill I saw that the core scene didn’t change much numerically.

More articles about ROCKET Longboards.

 

 

ROCKET Domination, Dominic Schenk’s pro model longboard deck review

ROCKET Domination, top view, concave and the micro-drop in the front. Photo by Mihael Zadravec

Daniel Iseli from Switzerland started building longboards around seven years ago. He officially introduced ROCKET Longboards in December 2013 with a collection of four models, which soon grew into a full blown lineup of nine premium quality decks presented at ISPO 2016.

ROCKET DominationDominic Schenk’s pro-model longboard deck was released in late summer 2014. Since then the deck undergone a series of upgrades, until its final and current version.

"The evolution of the Domination". Photo by Dominic Schenk
“The evolution of the Domination”. Photo by Dominic Schenk

In-house designed pneumatic presses, CNC-machined moulds, top materials, development and extensive testing with some of the Europe’s best riders… Daniel got it all covered very well and now distributes the boards around the world with confidence.

If you are interested to learn more about ROCKET Longboards see this article published in Concrete Wave Magazine, Fall 2016. For now, let’s check out the board and its features…

ROCKET Domination
Dominic Schenk’s pro model longboard deck

ROCKET Longboards Domination longboard deck. Photo by Mihael Zadravec
ROCKET Longboards Domination longboard deck. Photo by Mihael Zadravec

The Domination longboard deck was developed together with team rider Dominic Schenk for IDF racing season 2014, which didn’t turn out to be a huge success.

However, Dominic placed second at the Red Bull No Paws Down World Championship in 2015, and took the Domination on the podium. With so many eyeballs looking at his direction, it was hard not to notice “the rocket” Dominic was “flying”.

Six months later and after two years of development and testing, the Domination longboard deck is now one of the best choices when buying a highly functional and quality board for downhill or freeride.

Shape, look and feel

Before I go into more detail, let me say that the photos I made hardly justify the beauty of this deck.

The Domination features a directional shape with a simple outline which narrows towards the center of the deck and kind of reminds us of a rocket. It looks simple and “evergreen”.

The glossy bottom side with the artwork really stands out and it gives the board a special look and feel. It feels as if it would be glass, but of course, it’s not. It’s a thin layer of PBT with the graphic sublimated on it.

The graphic was done by Chris Bögle a.k.a. Killerartworx and it features a pirate lady with a skeleton head and a hat, sitting on a [treasure] chest while playing a guitar.

ROCKET Domination, graphic by Chris Bögle a.k.a. Killerartworx. Photo by Mihael Zadravec
ROCKET Domination, graphic by Chris Bögle a.k.a. Killerartworx. Photo by Mihael Zadravec

While the graphic apparently doesn’t have any deeper meaning, it’s nicely done and it’s interesting. As if it would be reminding us that life is not forever and we should skate more.

Composition and materials

The Domination deck features six layers of SFI-certified maple sandwitched between three layers of carbon fiber sheets to provide a solid and stiff platform for high speed skateboarding and slides. It weighs 2,05 kg.

As already mentioned, the bottom side is additionally covered with PBT for extra protection, graphic application and glossy finish. The top side of the board features an extra sleek look as you can see the texture of the black carbon fibres sheet.

ROCKET Domination longboard deck - 6 ply SFI-certified maple and top carbon fibre sheet. Photo by Mihael Zadravec
ROCKET Domination, 6 ply SFI-certified maple and top carbon fibre sheet. Photo by Mihael Zadravec

Dimensions, wheelbase and truck mount

The ROCKET Domination is a directional top-mount longboard deck. It is 91cm long (35.82 inch) and 25 cm (9.84 inch) wide. Wheelbase options range from 56 cm (22 inches) to 68.5 cm (27 inches), which allows personalisation depending on your stance width preference.

Platform and concave

Too many concave features might be a turn off for riders who are concerned about a platform narrating their stance. The Domination shouldn’t fall into this category. When I stepped on it for the first time, I was surprised to find out how comfortable and well designed the platform is.

A combination of centered W-concave with a 0.39″ micro-drop in the front and flarred wheel wells creates a comfortable pocket which will prevent your front foot from slipping off.

The micro-drop in the front is compensated with a slight rocker in the back which ends where the truck mount starts and it doesn’t affect the angle of a truck hanger. In the front, this is taken care of by a CNC-machined flush mount. The combination of the W-concave and a continuous 0.59″ concave, provides a locked-in feeling of the back foot when in tucking position.

ROCKET Domination - Top / Concave, kick-tail and micro-drop, back side view. Photo by Mihael Zadravec
ROCKET Domination, back side view. Photo by Mihael Zadravec

The flarred wheel wells are much bigger in the front, while in the back they are minimal and you can hardly feel them when standing across the platform.

The deck also features a minimal 3D kick tail for added fun and trickery.

Price and where to buy

At the time of writing this article, the recommended price for ROCKET Domination is 219 EUR (outside of Switzerland). This puts it in the upper middle price range. In case if you decide to get one, you will find it available via Sickboards for 218,95 EUR or via The Cave longboard store, which opens soon.

If you’re ordering from Switzerland, you can find the Domination in your local shop or order from ROCKET Longboards website in case if they don’t sell it.

To stay on track with ROCKET Longboards follow it via Facebook or Instagram.

There you have it! To wrap up this review, here’s a rad video Dominic Schenk made just for this occasion. Thank you for reading through!

Watch the video
Dominic Schenk feat. ROCKET Domination

Follow Dominic Schenk via Facebook or Instagram.

NoSweat disposable liners for helmets or hats

No Sweat - Helmet / Hat liner

In the past, I’ve seen some black snapback hats with white salt marks, guys squeezing sweat from their helmets and have spent a lot of hours travelling in a car smelling of skaters. Although this liner might not be helpful for people who hardly break a sweat while skating, I think some of you might find it interesting.

About the NoSweat helmet liner

NoSweat is a replaceable liner for hats and helmets mostly used in mainstream team sports, but it can also be applied to skateboarding.

NoSweat disposable liners for helmets or hats

It consists of 5 thin and lightweight layers of fabric that breathe and absorb sweat, while simultaneously reduce odour. Furthermore, it also eliminates fog buildup, making it a good add-on to a full face helmet.

Application to any head gear is super easy. First you peel off the label covering the adhesive, then you place it inside your helmet or hat and finally firmly press it along the edges to make it stick.

Designed to not damage the interior of your headgear, it’s also easily replaceable. The brand offers two grades of adhesive, standard for helmets, and extra strength adhesive for streetwear hats.

NoSweat offers two grades of adhesive, standard for helmets, and extra strength adhesive for streetwear hats.

Depending on how much you sweat while skating, NoSweat recommends replacing the liner after every use, but you can probably use it for maybe 2-3 sessions.

Currently they only ship to the US and Canada, but the brand wants to expand internationally. For more into, visit the NoSweat website.

In conclusion, I like the idea and the easy application. Making a helmet less stinky is always great and avoiding sweat burning your eyes is welcomed. But I didn’t really find any info regarding the price and how much sweat it actually absorbs. All in all, if it works, it ain’t stupid.

What do you think about NoSweat liners?

Do you find this product useful or do you think it’s totally unnecessary? Would you use it? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Juergen Gritzner Pro Model Longboard Deck by Kebbek Skateboards

Kebbek - Juergen Gritzner Pro Model

Juergen “Ill Eagle” Gritzner‘s pro model longboard deck by KebbeK Skateboards has finally got it’s own promo video. We are stoked to finally see Juergen back on screen since he went under the radar after the “Lost in Havana” premiere at KnK last summer.

KebbeK Skateboards completely redid their lineup and presented the new longboard decks at ISPO 2016 in Munich. We were stoked to see Juergen’s pro model in the stack, representing the Austria’s finest.

Watch the video and read the rest of the post to learn more about Juergen Gritzner Topmount 38 longboard deck and its features.

 

The Juergen Gritzner Topmount 38 longboard deck features

The Juergen Gritzner Topmount 38 is a versatile directional top mount longboard deck which features a fully functional kick-tail, flushed mount and 9 ply maple construction.

The board is 38 inches long, 9.75 inches wide and it provides multiple wheelbase options, ranging from 23.8 up to 27 inches. It features a micro drop and a 0.5 rocker concave for perfect freedom over your foot placement, while providing a good locked in feeling.

KebbeK Skateboards: Juergen Gritzner Top Mount 38 longboard deck

 

Price & Where to buy

Currently, the Juergen Gritzner deck comes with a 160 Euros price tag in Europe and around 120 Dollars in U.S. You can get one on Concrete Wave (free shipping EU) for 159,90 Euros or on Amazon.com (free shipping U.S.).

For more about KebbeK Skateboards, visit their website or follow them via Facebook or Instagram.

WAPH Laces – The strongest laces system ever created for your shoes

WAPH Laces

The young french brand WAPH, which is becoming more and more famous in kitesurfing and wakeboarding, has rebuilt the traditional laces tightening systems to make the bindings never get loose. And it works pretty well, without making any knot.

WAPH Laces - Jaune

Then the brand adapted its system for shoes, first for wakeskaters (skateboarding on water) but it began obvious that it could be used for any board sports that require a strong tightening with no risk of getting loose.

WAPH Laces - Jaune S

Here is why the WAKESKATING pack from WAPH, composed of 2 laces + 2 buckles, will really be useful for us! The lace is 3x more stronder than other laces, and can handle some pretty hard treatments ! The buckle was especially design for the WAPH lace, to guarantee the best tightening ever. Its real cog wheel inside reall yblock the lace in a perfect way, and gives you the best comfort.

Without making a knot, the laces are shorter (90cm) and there’s no risk to walk or ride on it.

The whole system is 100% made in France and seems to be a great weapon for those who always have trouble with their laces. This might be the solution : no knot, no scotch, just this small buckle to block the lace.

WAPH laces - Collection

It seems that the system is really loved in wakeboarding, kitesurfing and wakeskating, sports in which the laces have a hard life, so it must be perfect for longboarding too.

Visit WAPH website for more info at www.waph.fr and follow the brand Facebook or Instagram.


GIVEAWAY – Try WAPH laces for free

Would you like to give the WAPH laces a try and let us know how they worked for you?

Tell us what you think about the WAPH laces based on what you’ve read and seen in the video above; Leave a comment below and WAPH will draw 3 lucky riders to receive the WAPH Laces pack.

The winners of this giveaway will be announced in Comments, so be sure to check the Notification option. Good luck!

Root Longboards Moby Dick x Peter Markgraf signature longboard deck

Root Longboards welcomes Peter Markgraf with his signature deck Moby Dick

The Root Longboards family has grown by a new member and a new deck model.

After close cooperation with Peter Markgraf, Root Longboards presents The Moby Dick. Peter’s signature model is a freestyle board made from Bamboo / Ash Tree core, enhanced with fibreglass and carbon for an ultralight, yet robust construction.

My mission was to create a board that inherits both, the street skating and the longboarding style. Building a bridge in-between some of the most demanding expressions of skateboarding when it comes to wear and tear of your beloved gear.
~ Peter Markgraf

The Moby Dick Root longboard deck comes in at 110 cm long and 23.50 cm wide, with a wheelbase option 65 – 70 cm. Making those trick possible are double 15° kicks, while the 2.5 mm micro drop and a 1.5 mm rocker provide grip and that extra needed pop to elevate your tricks.

The freestyle / dance / cruise board is available for 249 Euros via Root Longboards website.

Furthermore, it’s eye catching graphic was made by Boggie Gramb, check out more on their Instagram or website.

THING Wheels – New longboard wheels made in France

THING longboard wheels

This fall at Go Goats freeride I got introduced to new European longboard wheels called THING Wheels. There was a bunch of French riders skating these and their slides looked really smooth. That sparked my interest and I talked to some of them to learn more about this new wheels made in France.

According to what they were saying and from what I’ve seen, you can expect the THING wheels to have a smooth consistent slide with easy initiation and controllable hookup. In general, they should be great longboard wheels for freeride.

Photos by Maxime Lassale via Laféedesrations Derideàroulettes, Rider Hugo Besset at Go Goats freeride 2016.

The wheels are also promised to be durable, but it’s hard to judge without skating them myself. I’ll try a set when I get the chance, until then I’ll just have to trust our French friends 🙂

At this time THING wheels are not available for purchase yet, but the word is that they will start to sell them soon and the price is expected to be 67,90 Euros.

THING Wheels Features

As their first model, THING plans to introduce THING ’01’ LF longboard wheels.

THING ’01’ LF longboard wheels are 70mm in diameter with overall width of 52mm and 38mm contact patch. They have round edges and thick solid lips (17.5 mm) and a big centerset core.

THING 01 LF Longboard Wheels. Photo by THING Wheels.

For the past four years, THING was developing and testing their own urethane formula called LEVEL FORMULA (LF) which is now used to produce 01 LF wheels in three colours and hardness levels.

  • THING 01 LF Violet
    Hardness 2 – Recommended for downhill and fast freeride
  • THING 01 LF Yellow
    Hardness 3 – Recommended for downhill, fast freeride and freestyle
  • THING 01 LF Green
    Hardness 4 – Recommended for freeride and freestyle

*Hardness scale from 1 (softest) to 6 (hardest).

They fit a standard 10mm spacer or any other skateboard bearings with built-in spacers and the complete set of four wheels weights 730g.

Overall, THING wheels seem to be a great freeride wheel and the only improvement from my standing point could be a stone ground finish.

As mentioned earlier, THING Wheels will come with a price tag of 67,90 euros. Not the cheapest wheel on the market, but according to rider testimonials these are definitely worth trying out.

Check out more longboard wheels brands from Europe here.

Watch the video

A couple of days before they hit Go Goats freeride, a group of French riders enjoyed some fine hills in the area. Here’s a clip of Hugo Besset chasing Thib La Roulette down a tight and fast mountain road and showing off new longboard wheels from France – THING Wheels ‘O1’ LF.

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Graveyard Longboards Full Collection Overview

Georg Mekisch, Graveyard Longboards team rider

If you’re looking to buy a new longboard or just discovering new longboard brands, you should know about Graveyard Longboards from Germany. These guys have that good, literally homegrown stuff, definitely worth checking out.

In this article, you will learn about Graveyard and the people behind it, plus,  I will describe in more details each one of the seven longboard decks they currently offer.

Here’s a list of the decks and a shortcut link to jump straight to its section:

If you already own a Graveyard longboard, you are welcome to share your own opinion with the rest of us via the comments bellow. This way you will also help someone to choose which longboard to buy. The same goes for any questions you might have, which I will gladly answer.

Meet Graveyard Longboards

Christian Weiss and Christoph Schmalz from Northern Germany started Graveyard Longboards in 2014 and it took them around 1 year to perfect and launch the initial 3 deck lineup in 2015.

In the beginning of 2016 they launched the upgraded collection of 7 longboard decks built for freeride and downhill.

Christian and Christoph live together and share a room while the rest of the flat is a workspace where they spend many hours handcrafting the boards. When the weather is nice, they take their stuff outside, open up a beer and do the final scrubbing. It doesn’t get more real than this.

Chris Chros sanding the boards. Photo by Graveyard Longboards.
Chris Chros sanding the boards. Photo by Graveyard Longboards.

No complaints have been heard up until this day. I’m quite sure that you can expect nothing but the best support from them. In case if you got an impression that these guys are relaxed… It’s true, but when it comes to Graveyard and their products, they are serious about it and mean nothing but good business.

Graveyard decks are available in multiple longboard stores run by skaters, which also confirms that their decks are good as well as popular in the community, even though it all started just 2 years ago.

Graveyard Longboards Team Riders

Graveyard Longboards crew. Photo by Markus Knoblechner.
Graveyard Longboards crew. Photo by Markus Knoblechner.

Graveyard has a big family of team riders; Janto Just, Dana Akatuna, Dominic Rico Gomez, Daniel Krug, Robert Ganscshow, Arno Tien, Patrick Bartel and Dani Haller all rip on their Graveyard longboards and give input for the further development.

Recently Graveyard also welcomed a very dear friend of mine from Italy, Andrea Skizzo Moreni.
Here’s a cool clip which features his addition to the team…

[facebook url=”https://www.facebook.com/graveyardlongboards/videos/1097801316924116/”]

Let’s check out the decks

OK, so here they are, Graveyard Longboards, each one of them described and explained. If you want to know more or would like to add some info yourself, leave a comment below.

Graveyard Vindicta 84 & Vindicta 88

Graveyard Vindicta 84 & Vindicta 88

Graveyard Vindicta is a symetrical top-mount deck wich makes a great choice for both downhill and freeride. It comes in two length versions. As the name suggests, the Vindicta 38 is 38 cm long and it offers a wheelbase options from 60 cm to 66 cm, while the Vindicta 88 is it’s longer version, being 88 cm long with a wheelbase range from 64 cm to 70 cm. Flared wheel wells will allow for bigger wheels as well, up to 75 mm or even more with the help of some risers. The platform is 24.5 cm in width at its widest point and thanks to the 8mm pockets it will provide a solid foot lock for huge standies. In case if you don’t feel that’s enough, you’ll be happy to know that this deck’s platform has a microdrop as well. I find that especially useful when freeriding as it provides even more support and stability. Graveyard Vindicta is priced at 209,90 Euros.

Graveyard Medicus

Graveyard Medicus Longboard Deck

Graveyard Medicus is a directional top-mount deck, great for downhill and freeride, measuring 94.5 cm in length and 25 cm in width with the wheelbase range from 61.5 cm to 67,5 cm.  The platform has a radial 18 mm concave and 9 mm centered rocker. The Medicus comes in with a fully functional kick tail, as well as with lightly flared wheel wells to accommodate bigger wheels and provide a solid foot lock while freeriding or railing corners. This deck is priced at 189,90 Euros.

Graveyard Pestilentia

Graveyard Pestilentia Longboard Deck

Graveyard Pestilentia is the smallest board in the Graveyard’s lineup and is most suitable for younger riders or girls. Since it has a fully functional kick-tail, it can be easily taken to the streets, skatepark or bowls / pools. The Pestilentia is 91 cm long, including the kick-tail and is 24,7 cm wide. It offers a wheelbase range from 55 cm to 61 cm. Its directional top-mount platform features a radial 18mm concave and no rocker. The deck is priced at 164,90 Euros.

Graveyard Scriptum

Graveyard Scriptum Longboard Deck

Graveyard Scriptum is what its creators, Chris & Chris call “the racemachine”. The Scriptum features 15 mm concave, one of the biggest out there. In combination with the 10 mm rocker, its platform provides with maximum stability and extreme foot lock and responsiveness . There’s no kick tail for goofing around, but then again, this board is meant for serious racing and high speeds. The Scriptum is 88 cm long and 24.3 cm wide and also has flared wheel wells which create nice pockets to keep you on the board even when performing the gnarliest slides. You can set it up with a wheelbase ranging from 62,5 cm to 68,5 cm. The Graveyard Scriptum is priced at 189,90 Euros.

Graveyard Sepulcretum

Graveyard Sepulcretum Longboard Deck

Graveyard Sepulcretum is another freeride deck from Graveyard’s collection. It’s platform is basically the same as Scriptum’s with and addition of a fully functional kick tail. This board will take you places… Any places. It’s 97 cm long (including the kick tail) and 24,7 cm wide, with the wheelbase options raging from 62,5 cm to 68,5 cm. The Sepulcretum deck is priced at 199,90 Euros.

Graveyard Anthrophopagus

Graveyard Anthrophopagus Longboard Deck

Graveyard Anthrophopagus, a deck with the most complicated name in the Graveyard’s lineup also features the most mellow rocker of 5mm. It’s a top-mount directional deck made to be simple and to provide a comfortable ride to those who are not fans of the flared wheel wells. Its purpose is to shred fast downhill. The Anthrophopagus is 93 cm long and 24.8 cm wide at its widest point (front). It offers the most wheelbase options, raging from 65,5 cm to 74,5 cm. It’s priced at 184,95 Euros.

There you have it! The complete Graveyard Longboards collection. Be sure to follow them via Facebook for the latest media and product releases.


Where to buy Graveyard longboard decks

Graveyard doesn’t offer direct purchase via their website, but you can find your favourite dealer on it. Knowing Chris & Chris, I can recommend their products with a confidence – you will love the quality and the mentality backing up their products, that’s for sure.

www.graveyard-longboards.de

Lobo presents Kraken downhill wheels feat. Giuseppe Maltese

Lobo Kraken downhill longboard wheels

Lobo Wheels from Poland is one of the rare brands who offer longboard wheels developed and manufactured in Europe. In addition to their firstborn, the Meduza freeride wheels, they recently added another product to their collection, the Lobo Kraken downhill wheels.

Lobo Kraken Downhill Wheels

Lobo Kraken longboard wheels for downhill.

Lobo Kraken are downhill longboard wheels with a diameter of 75 mm and maximum width and contact patch of 65 mm. The wheels feature a wide centerset core with micro fibres for better vibration absorption which will fit a 10 mm spacer.

The Kraken wheels are currently available only in 74a durometer and red colour.

Our DFAF formula is designed for speed and grip but combined with our centerset wide core, that will give you predictable and smooth pre-drifts. It wears very slowly so you’ll need less sets for racing. ~ Lobo Wheels

Lobo works tightly with their whole team on wheel development, but the Kraken wheels were masterminded mostly with Giuseppe Maltese from Italy who joined the team in fall 2015.

These wheels are awesome! The roll speed is good, with the help of the big core they start going fast very quickly. The slide is the best part of them. It is very predictable so when you want to grip the corners, you can do it very safely because of the extreme grip they have and when you want to slide, they start to drift in a very comfortable way, very smooth. And last but not least, they have an incredible durability. ~ Giuseppe Maltese

Where to buy Lobo Kraken wheels

All Lobo wheels are available for purchase via Lobo’s website. The Kraken downhill wheels are fairly priced at around 64 Euros, considering how much meat they have and the durability we’re promised.

To stay on track with Lobo Wheels, follow them via Facebook or Instagram.


Lobo Meduza Freeride Wheels
Now available in new durometer options

Last year, in 2015 Lobo presented their first wheel  Meduza freeride wheels,  which were available in only one durometer. They promised to deliver more options in 2016 and so they did. Lobo Meduza wheels are now available in 77a and 81a durometer, both being 71mm in diameter and 50mm wide with 36mm contact patch.