Street Sledge - A new type of ButtBoard for everyone

Street Sledge, from the UK, the new type of ButtBoard for everyone

The Street Sledge has mass appeal at an affordable price and a design based on fun, function and safety, the boys have developed something incredibly unique. The Street Sledge gives the full-on luge riding experience and brings it to a whole new audience.

Mihael and Tom had a chat about it.

How did you go about creating the product?

Bodhi and I have enjoyed buttboarding so much over the years that we wanted to add a ButtBoard to the many skate lines we have helped with and worked on. We wanted to make a board design inspired from our classic themes that was suited to racing and formed using the most high-tech materials we could get our hands on.

Street Sledge - Tom Campbell testing the complete on a local hill
That was the dream, however the reality is that there would be a lack of demand drawn from the core market to support the investment needed to cover the costs of developing and producing a mould. We discovered a simple balance: to create a mass market board aimed at the youth skate market and first-time riders breaking into the scene that could also be a play-thing for those seeking an adrenaline rush.

Street Sledge - Final models in four colors

Why plastic?

We initially made a prototype by forming a piece of foam into what we knew as the basic shape we wished to achieve. After adding some fibreglass and test riding the draft product, a final form was born; it was evident that wood was not the right material. So, after further testing, we opted for a mix of fibreglass and plastics.

What features make the board different?

To begin with, the Street Sledge is tough and light with a super deep central pan giving a low centre of balance, rooting the rider to the board. Included in the shape of the deck are wheel flares designed for deep turning, along with well-placed handles designed to replicate the handles riders build for their street luges.

Less obvious features include the built-in split angles for the trucks – the front is wedged up +10 degrees while the back is -10 making it super stable for all, including beginners, to ride and enjoy.

When will it hit shops?

It’ll be in shops late spring, and will be retailing in the UK at £99, in Europe at 120 Euros, and $135 in the USA. However, you can book your Street Sledge now to make sure you get one from the first batch for this season by pre-ordering with a £50 deposit from Bodhi and I at Gravity House.

Lyde Begue's IXO SK-08 pro model deck

The new IXO longboard deck for Lyde Begue is just stunning

Lyde Begue, a French downhill skateboarder ranked 8th in last year’s IDF women’s skateboard ranking, recently joined the IXO team.

IXO is a Spanish manufacturer specialized in carbon fiber products, mainly high-end car parts for brands like Spano GTA, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, and Bentley as well as military aircraft parts, but they also list a few high-end downhill skateboards with an average price of 1300 €.

The IXO recently parted ways with Emily Pross when she announced KebbeK Skateboards as her new sponsor, but have soon after welcomed a new female longboarder.

Lyde and IXO made the announcement via social media, presenting her new pro model longboard deck, the IXO SK 08.

We’re very happy of having Lyde on board, she’s a very talented skater but also a fantastic, smiling and kind person.  ~Pedro Sanchez, IXO

Lyde’s pro model deck is personalized according to her wishes and riding style. At IXO they also took into consideration her weight, that is why the IXO SK 08 is expected to be a bit heavier.

The board’s construction consists of 100% carbon fiber surrounding a Nomex honeycomb core, vacuum compacted and cured in an oven.

Roadside the deck is finished off with a special metallic chameleon tint that shows off the carbon fabric underneath, protected by eight layers of high gloss nano-ceramic varnish on both sides and polished twice to reach the high IXO product standard.

For now, the price or release date is not known, so be sure to keep an eye on Lyde during the next racing season.

Photo credits: Lyde Begue and IXO

European longboard wheels

European longboard wheel brands

One thing is for sure, longboard wheels are that one part of our gear which we use up faster than everything else. The more you skate, the more you need and if you’re looking to support your local business there are quite a few options available on the European longboard wheel market.

We’ve compiled a list of European wheel and longboard companies that have their own branded wheel models for you to get to know better and maybe discover some new ones.

There may be other European wheel brands that we did not mention, so if you know any, let us know in the comments below, so we can add them to the list. You can also share your experience with these brands to help others.

Please note that this list is in random order and the point of this article is to introduce you to European longboard wheels rather than evaluate them. It’s up to you to try them out and decide which are the best for you. 

Let’s get started…

Ninetysixty Freeride & Slide wheels

Ninetysixty is a longboard wheels brand by the German shop Longboardshop.de  which also has a rich history in manufacturing snowboard and longboard decks under the brand name Pogo. All of their decks are made in their 400-year-old farm in Baden Württemberg.

The Nintysixty longboard wheel range includes 4 models. They come for quite cheap so don’t expect them to have a “pro level” performance. Nintysixty are great entry level wheels especially if your focus is to learn how to slide, but they will also serve well to more experienced riders focused on faster freeride or tech sliding.

Ninetysixty Freeride Wheels 70mm

The Ninetysixty freeride wheels will cater to your budget and your freeride needs with a 70 mm height, 56 mm width, a 78a durometer, rounded lips, and a 48 mm contact patch. The core is semi centered so you can’t flip them, but they will make up for it with a stone ground finish meaning you don’t need to break them in which makes them also very beginner friendly.

NINETYSIXTY 70mm Freeride Wheels
NINETYSIXTY Freeride 70mm Longboard Wheels

Nintysixty Freeride wheels features:

  • Size: 70 mm
  • Width: 56 mm
  • Contact patch: 48 mm
  • Durometer: 78a
  • Core: Semi centered

Available in black or green, the Nintysixty Freeride wheels are priced at 34.95 EUR and available at Longboardshop.de.

Ninetysixty Slide Wheels 70mm

Sporting a vibrant yellow color, the 70 mm slide wheels by Ninetysixty are another entry level wheel good for improving your freeride skills at medium speeds. The wheel is 70 mm high, 45 mm wide with a contact patch of 40 mm and a 78a durometer. Their centered core is designed to avoid coning, enabling you to flip them around every once in a while.

NINETYSIXTY 70mm Slide Wheels
NINETYSIXTY  Slide 70mm Longboard Wheels

Nintysixty Slide wheels features:

  • Size: 70 mm
  • Width: 45 mm
  • Contact patch: 40 mm
  • Durometer: 78a
  • Core: Centred

Sharing the same durometer and price like the wheels mentioned above, these carry a price tag of 34.95 EUR.

Ninetysixty Slide Wheels 65mm

The smallest and the cheapest in the Ninetysixty collection are the 65 mm white Slide wheels. With an 80a durometer, 40 mm width and a 34 mm contact patch, these will easily go sideways. They have been described as slippery and appropriate for those who are trying to learn stand up slides at lower speeds.

NINETYSIXTY 65mm Slide Wheels 
NINETYSIXTY Slide 65mm Longboard Wheels

Nintysixty Slide wheels features:

  • Size: 65 mm
  • Width: 40 mm
  • Contact patch: 34 mm
  • Durometer: 80a
  • Core: Centred

As an all-around wheel meant for cruising, sliding and also street skate, these only cost 29.95 EUR.

Slide Perfect Wheels

Slide Perfect Wheels is a UK based longboard wheel company that started with Bodhi Keen and a group of friends in 2015, with the aim to provide smooth sliding and affordable wheels for the UK market. Years of playing with different formula’s resulted in a line up focused on going sideways. The wheels are designed and tested in the UK.

Slide Perfect Supremacys

The SP Supremacys freeride wheels are available in three durometer options (86a, 83a, and 78a) which you can choose from for just the right amount of slip or grip.  All share a large centerset core, a total height of 70 mm, 47 mm width, rounded lips, and a stone ground finish. It is noted that these have a very slippy first few slides, but once you break them in, they should provide a nice and consistent experience for your sideways action.

Slide Perfect Wheels - Supremacys 78a, 83a and 86a
Slide Perfect Wheels – Supremacys 78a, 83a and 86a

Slide Perfect Supremacys features:

  • Size: 70 mm
  • Width: 47 mm
  • Contact patch: 44 mm
  • Durometer: 78a, 83a and 86a
  • Core: Centerset

The price of a set of Supremacys is £35.50 or around 40 EUR on their website.

easygoinc.

This Austrian brand is mainly known for their longboard decks, but they’ve recently expanded their repertoire to clothing and van makeovers. But besides that, they currently offer one wheel model known as the Freds Slidewheels.

easygoinc. Freds Slidewheels

These green 65 mm wheels have an offset core, a width of 37 mm and a 78a durometer. With a nice freeride shape and a stone ground finish, the Freds are another good entry level wheel at a cheap price.

easygoinc. Freds Slidewheels
easygoinc. Freds Slidewheels

easygoinc Freds Slidewheels features:

  • Size: 65 mm
  • Width: 37 mm
  • Durometer: 78a
  • Core: Centred

The price you ask? Well if you check out their website you will find the Freds Slidewheels for as low as 29.90 EUR.

Walzen wheels

Waltzen is a German company that developed their own urethane formula which is now 100% made in Europe. In the past, we did a post about the Walzen Insul wheels with Roman Tschofen , but for this article, I chose to have a closer look at their Walzen Kiosk wheels.

Walzen Kiosk longboard wheels

The Walzen Kiosk wheels are available in three different colors. The green and orange models sport a 60 mm diameter, a  width of 41 mm, rounded edges and a contact patch of 32 mm. The core is offset and is placed inside their personally developed urethane with a 78a durometer.

Their blue Kiosk longboard wheels share the same dimensions as their green and orange counterparts, with the only difference being an 82a durometer. All Walzen Kiosk wheels are priced at 44.90 EUR  on Concretewave.de.

Walzen Kiosk wheels features:

  • Size: 60 mm
  • Width: 41 mm
  • Contact patch: 32 mm
  • Durometer: 78a (green & orange), 82a (blue)
  • Core: Offset

Olson&Hekmati

Olson&Hekmati is a European longboard brand based in Mainz, Germany. Besides their flagship board models and slide gloves, they offer quite a few longboard wheels that will cater to your needs. In the past, we did a review of their Pro Grip wheels with Steffano Barbizzi but in this article, we’ll have a look at their cruiser and freeride longboard wheels.

Olson&Hekmati Cruiser Grip 63 mm longboard wheels

The Olson&Hekmati Cruiser Grip wheels are available in three different colors. Each has a total height of 63 mm and width of 45 mm. Their 79a durometer, offset core, edged lips and a glossy finish offers a good amount of grip when charging your favorite roads.

Olson&Hekmati Cruiser Grip 63 mm longboard wheels
Olson&Hekmati Cruiser Grip 63 mm longboard wheels

Olson&Hekmati Cruiser Grip 63 mm longboard wheels features:

  • Size: 63 mm
  • Width: 45 mm
  • Contact patch: 43 mm
  • Durometer: 79a
  • Core: Offset

The price is just 10 cents below 50, with a price tag of 49.90 EUR on their official website.

Olson&Hekmati Cruiser Slide 60 mm longboard wheels

If you’re more into sliding then the Olson&Hekmati Cruiser Slide wheels would be a better choice since they have a freeride shape, a rounded design, and a 79a durometer. Their 60 mm height and 40 mm width and a stone ground finish make these wheels good for learning standup slides and also tech sliding.

Olson&Hekmati Cruiser Slide 60 mm longboard wheels
Olson&Hekmati Cruiser Slide 60 mm longboard wheels

Olson&Hekmati Cruiser Slide 60 mm longboard wheels features:

  • Size: 60 mm
  • Width: 40 mm
  • Durometer: 79a
  • Core: Centred

The Olson&Hekmati Cruiser Slide wheels are available in three different colors and priced at 44.90 EUR.

Delta Boards

Update: Delta Boards indefinitely discontinued the production of their longboard wheels in February 2018.

Delta Boards is a German skater owned brand which amongst other things offers six longboard wheel models split into two collections, the Bluesky series, and the Inthane series. In this article, we’ll check out the Delta Boards Reifenz longboard wheels from their Bluesky series.

Delta Boards Reifenz longboard wheels

The Reifenz longboard wheels are available in two sizes, 70 mm and 65 mm, both well below 50 EUR. We’ll have a closer look at both, starting with the 70 mm model.

The Reifenz 70 mm longboard wheels are made from their Bluesky urethane with an 83a durometer and a centered core. With a 45mm width, a good rolling speed and a stoneground finish these wheels were created for leaving a great amount of thane. As a result, you can’t expect them to last as long as other more expensive wheels, but with a low price of 27.50 EUR these are still a good wheel to try out.

Dela Boards Reifenz 70 mm longboard wheels features:

  • Size: 70 mm
  • Width: 45 mm
  • Durometer: 83a
  • Core: Centred
Delta Boards Reifenz 70 mm longboard wheels
Delta Boards Reifenz 70 mm longboard wheels

The Reifenz 65 mm longboard wheels share the same formula and durometer as the 70 mm model but have an offset core and a width of 45 mm. This smaller model is priced at only 22.50 EUR making them the cheapest longboard wheel in this article.

Dela Boards Reifenz 65 mm longboard wheels features:

  • Size: 65 mm
  • Width: 45 mm
  • Durometer: 83a
  • Core: Offset

Lobo wheels

This Polish longboard wheel brand known as Lobo introduced their first wheel model back in 2015 in a limited handmade series fresh from Lobo’s own workshop and laboratory in the north of Poland.

If you search our website you will find that we already did some reviews for their Lobo Kraken downhill wheels and their Medusa freeride wheels with Michal “Ty Mon” Tyburski which based on Michal’s experience last ridiculously long.

Well, Lobo Wheels are currently still hard at work updating their website with their current lineup, but by the end of February / early March, you’ll get a chance to know more about their new 2018 DH Kraken and Meduza freeride longboard wheels in two durometers (77a and 81a).

Although the pictures above are from their last year’s models, you can expect the 2018 Lobo wheels to have a new core design and different color models. The expected price for their Meduza freeride wheels is 57 EUR while the Kraken downhill wheels will be price at around 65 EUR.

Long Island

Long Island is Spanish longboard brand with a wide array of longboard decks, skate accessories and currently nine listed longboard wheel models that cover most disciplines. Because there are so many wheels to chose from, I’ve chosen the 65 mm Giants for this article, but you are free to check out their other wheel models on their website.

Long Island Giants 65 mm wheels

The 65mm Giants are one of the listed Long Island’s freeride wheels. They are 65 mm high, 45 mm wide, with a contact patch of 43 mm. Rounded edges, a sideset core and a stone ground finish complete this 83a wheel.

Long Island 65 mm Giants Longboard Wheels
Long Island 65 mm Giants Longboard Wheels

Long Island Giants 65 mm longboard wheels features:

  • Size: 65 mm
  • Width: 45 mm
  • Contact patch: 43 mm
  • Durometer: 83a
  • Core: Sideset

Based on their characteristics, these would be a good wheel for freeriding and even beginners who want to step up their stand up game.  The Giants are available on the Long Island website and numerous stores at around 35 EUR.

Mindless Longboards

Native to the UK, Mindless Longboards offer a wide array of longboard completes, trucks, wheels and even accessories that cover all riding styles and levels. Currently, their products are split into two lineups, the Mindless Classic range, and the Mindless Voodoo Magic Premium range.

For this article, I chose to take a closer look at their premium collection which includes three longboard wheel models, the Haraka, Kabila and Maji wheels described below.

Mindless Voodoo Maji 70 mm longboard wheels

The Mindless Voodoo Maji sets are made from their very own Mojo formula urethane packed into a 70 mm high and 51mm wide longboard wheel with rounded edges and a contact patch of 42 mm. These feature a stone ground finish, a pre-ground running edge combined with outer to inner rounded lips and a slightly offset core. The Voodoo Maji wheels are available in three different color/ durometers and are priced at 34.90 EUR on their official website.

Mindless Voodoo Maji 70mm longboard wheels
Mindless Voodoo Maji 70 mm longboard wheels

Mindless Voodoo Maji longboard wheels features:

  • Size: 70 mm
  • Width: 51 mm
  • Contact patch: 42 mm
  • Durometer: 78a (green), 81a (purple), 82a (orange)
  • Core: Offset

Cult wheels

Cult Wheels is a longboard wheel brand from the United Kingdom. It is a sister brand of Sabre trucks and Lush Longboards, managed by the Vandem longboard shop.  If you search our page you will find our review of their Cult Emperors which we did when they came out and even Tikialex’s experience putting the Cult Raptures on his street luge.

Despite having a bunch of good wheel models, for this article, I chose to focus on only one of them, the Cult Chronicles.

Cult Chronicles

If you’re looking for a good 65 mm wheel to put on your freeride setup, then you might consider trying the Cult Chronicle. All in all their width is 50.5 mm with a contact patch of 36.5 mm and a center set core.

Cult Wheels Chronicles
Cult Wheels Chronicles

Made from the Cult Neurothane formula in a 78a durometer and a stone ground finish, these wheels wear evenly and offer a great amount of fun putting them sideways. The Chronicles carry a price tag of 48 EUR but despite their size, they offer long-lasting fun.

Cult Chronicle longboard wheels feature:

  • Size: 65 mm
  • Width: 50.5 mm
  • Contact patch: 36.5 mm
  • Durometer: 78a
  • Core: Centred

DTC Wheels

DTC Wheels originate from France and are the best known for their precision aluminum core longboard wheel models. While the price for these is higher than the average in this article, DTC enables skaters to send in their cored aluminum wheels to be reshaped with a fresh batch of urethane for less than the price of the original wheel.

However, I decided to check out their more affordable M series with a ‘standard’ plastic core which I found to be less known.

DTC M series 70mm longboard wheels

The DTC M series longboard wheels are designed with a freeride shape, a total height of 70 mm, an offset core, rounded edges and a contact patch of 36.8 mm.

DTC M series 70mm longboard wheels. Photo by Skate Deluxe skate shop
DTC M series 70mm longboard wheels. Photo by Skate Deluxe skate shop

DTC M series 70 mm longboard wheels features:

  • Height: 70 mm
  • Width: 47 mm
  • Contact patch: 36.8 mm
  • Durometer: Soft
  • Core: Offset

The DTC M series 70mm longboard wheels offer the trusted DTC knowledge at a more affordable price of 49.99 EUR on Skate Deluxe.

Thing Wheels

Thing Wheels started their journey in France back in 2009 but put out their very first prototype a year later with the support of local partners. Since then they have been hard at work testing their numerous prototypes and by the end of 2015, they first introduced the final product on a local French freeride. Well, we first saw Thing wheels in 2016 when we visited Go Goats freeride. At the time we also posted an article about Thing wheels which you can check out here for more info.

THING ’01’ LF longboard wheels

The THING ’01’ LF longboard wheels are 70 mm high, 52 mm wide and sport a contact patch of 38 mm. The all-around shape is completed by rounded edges, thick solid lips and a big centered core to keep them rolling. This model is available in three different colors/durometers.

THING ’01’ LF longboard wheels
THING ’01’ LF longboard wheels

Thing’s own urethane formula called LEVEL FORMULA (LF) makes up the  01 LF wheels in three colors and hardness levels: violet (Hardness 2), yellow (Hardness 3) and green (Hardness 4) on a hardness scale from 1 (softest) to 6 (hardest). All of them are designed, developed and made in France.

Thing ’01’ LF 70 mm longboard wheels features:

  • Height: 70 mm
  • Width: 52 mm
  • Contact patch: 38 mm
  • Durometer: violet (Hardness 2), yellow (Hardness 3) and green (Hardness 4)
  • Core: Centred

Because Thing wheels are produced in small quantities a, the price of a set is 69.50 EUR, but you should also know that these are currently available only in France via their official website.

Buddha Wheels

The Spanish Buddha Wheels are a sister brand by Hydroponic that cater to freeride, downhill and cruising needs. The wheels are made from their Technical Urethane formula also known as BuddhaThane.  As an introductory model for this article, I chose the Fukyo wheel model.

Fukyo longboard wheels

Buddha Fukyo freeride wheels are described as versatile and aggressive by the manufacturer. The wheel dimensions are a 70 mm height,  45 mm width with bevelled lips (between a Square and Rounded) and a center set core.  Its 85a durometer and BudhaThane should provide long slides without loosing grip.

Buddha Fukyo longboard wheels
Buddha Fukyo longboard wheels

Buddha Fukyo longboard wheels features:

  • Height: 70 mm
  • Width: 45 mm
  • Contact patch: 38 mm
  • Durometer: 85a
  • Core: Centred

The Buddha Fukyo longboard wheels go for 44.60 EUR on the hyclothing.es online store.

Bastl Boards

Bastl Boards is a family business that calls Leipzig, Germany its home. Bastl was founded in 2008 with a simple mantra ‘’have fun skating’’. Since then the brand developed into an international team of riders while continuously collaborating with local artists.

Well besides longboard decks, their own coffee and clothing, they also have their own branded longboard wheels made in the US.

Bastl Popow longboard wheels

If you have a look at their website, you will find six different coloured wheels in a 82a and 80a durometer made from their ‘Big Smile’ formula. The Popow wheels can be mixed and matched to keep you setup colourful and fun. Despite the different colours, they all share a 65 mm height, a centerset core, rounded lips and a grounded surface.

Bastl Boards - Popow longboard wheels
Bastl Boards – Popow longboard wheels

The Bastl Popow wheels are designed for dancing and cruising, but it’s stated that you can also take them for a ride at your local freeride spot.

Bastl Popow longboard wheels features:

  • Height: 65 mm
  • Contact patch: 35 mm
  • Durometer: 80a, 82a
  • Core: Centerset

The price is 15 EUR per wheel so you can choose your own colour combination.


Now it’s your turn…

Have you skated any of the wheels mentioned in this article? Share your experience with us and help others to know more about these European longboard wheels.

If we forgot any other brands or if there’s brands that we’re not aware of, please let us know about it via our email info@longboardmagazine.eu and we will add it to the list. Thank you.

Wall Ride skate rack by Zanocchi & Starke

Save space with the Wall Ride skate rack by Zanocchi & Starke

Zanocchi & Starke, a design studio founded in Turin, Italy created their own skate rack know as the Wall Ride. It is a practical and versatile wall mounted rack, great for those who want to keep their home organised and their walls clean.

Wall Ride skate rack by Zanocchi & Starke

As opposed to standalone skateboard racks which we often see in stores and trade shows, this wall rack can be safely screwed into a wall saving space and doubling as a shelf. With Wall Ride the wheels of the skateboard never risk dirtying the walls and the graphic of the deck is always in plain sight. Three hooks and two shelves allow to hang and host anything else used in everyday life.

Wall Ride skate rack by Zanocchi & Starke

Furthermore, the same slot used to slide the longboard or skateboard into the rack serves as a handy bottle opener.

If you are in need of more space and want to keep your home organised, you can get a Wall Ride skate rack for 125 € directly from Zanocchi & Starke.

Triple Eight NYC - The Certified Sweatsaver with Tony Hawk

Triple 8 – The Certified Sweatsaver Skateboard Helmet

Triple 8 NYC announced two new exciting news. The first one is the release of their new half shell skateboard longboard helmet ‘’The Certified Sweatsaver’’ and the second is their welcome of Tony Hawk to the team.

Here’s why this news is exciting…

Triple 8’s Certified Sweatsaver is a ‘’bucket’’ skateboard helmet in a hard shell ABS construction with high impact absorbing EPS foam and thick dual density soft foam surrounded by their plush Sweatsaver fabric.

The brand states this is the first and only helmet to fully integrate EPS foam and dual density soft foam. They’ve created what they like to call a dual certified skateboard helmet or The Holy Grail of Comfort and Protection.

Triple Eight NYC - The Certified Sweatsaver
Triple Eight NYC – The Certified Sweatsaver

The Certified Sweatsaver Helmet is available in various color models and complies with both U.S. CPSC 1203 and ASTM F1492 Skate Safety Standards.

Feature-wise it includes multiple ventilation vents on the front, top, and back of the helmet, 2 sets of fit liners and an adjustable strap with a plastic buckle.

As Triple 8 mentioned on their website, a portion of the sales will be donated to the Tony Hawk Foundation to continue its mission of empowering youth by creating public skate parks in low-income communities.

Alkemist Longboard deck collection 2017

Alkemist Longboard 2017

Alkemist Longboard recently presented their latest collection which now includes four decks; three previous models upgraded according to their riders’ feedback and one completely new deck. All of them feature colourful eye-catching graphics done by the French artist Mikael Moune.

Alkemist Longboards 2017 Collection

Both top and bottom graphics are sublimated on a high quality foil to ensure that they will stay there for a very very long time. Most people will put the grip tape over it, but the top layer graphic is a really nice feature.

Although it’s fairly young, the French brand Alkemist Longboard is gaining recognition quickly, especially on the European scene.

Their well designed high-performance decks and a team of very skilled and active riders like Clement Blondeau, Sylvain Mostel, Alice Bonnet des Tuves and Tiki Tarz,  helped them with getting noticed in the crowded longboard market. Well deserved, that’s for sure.

Since the launch of its initial collection, Alkemist has been busy gathering their riders’ feedback with the aim to improve the initial designs and to launch their second version this year. The new board collection is promised to be lighter, stronger and more efficient.

Let’s check out the boards…

New: Alkemist Alkatraz 37″ Longboard deck

Alkemist Alkatraz 37″ Longboard deck

The newest addition to the Alkemist Longboard collection is a top-mount deck dubbed Alkatraz, created in collaboration with Alkemist rider Tiki Tarz, which features a symmetrical platform with double kick-tails.

The Alkatraz is built with versatility in mind and it’s meant to take your skateboarding to a whole new level. The deck is 94 cm long and 23.9 cm wide, and compatible with both new and old-school truck mounts, while providing with 51.3 cm wheelbase.

The construction of the Alkatraz doesn’t differentiate from the other Alkemist boards, but that’s a good thing because it only means that you’ll be enjoying the same high quality.

The wooden core sandwiched between two layers of fibreglass combines Birch and Ash wood which makes the board both lightweight and strong.

As described by Alkemist Longboard, the Alkatraz can handle a lot…

With a comfortable concave, wheel flairs and kick tails you can do anything with this board. From boardercross events and slide jams to the mountains, you can roll in bowls and skate parks or just down the street to pick up your groceries. ~ Alkemist Longboard

Symmetrical platform, double kick-tails, medium concaveflared wheel wells and a comfortable size make the Alkatraz a great choice for smashing pretty much any terrain.

However, nothing is the best for everything, so it’s fair to mention that the Alkatraz wouldn’t be the best choice for beginners looking to get into downhill due to its shorter wheelbase which makes the board very responsive, especially at higher speeds.

But no worries, Alkemist Longboard has got you covered with three more decks built specifically for downhill and freeride; Sweet Smoke, Ghost Knight and Valkyrie.

Let’s check out those as well…

Alkemist Sweet Smoke v2

Built primarily for freeride, the Sweet Smoke by Alkemist features a simple radial concave, a kick-tail and large wheel wells to accommodate bigger wheels with the addition of multiple wheelbase options.

The Sweet Smoke is a directional top-mount. It measures 91.3 cm in length, 24.5 cm in width and provides a 56,2 cm to 61,6 cm wheelbase. Depending on your favourite wheelbase option and setup, this board can deliver on fast downhill runs and dominate on various slide jams.

The Sweet Smoke is composed of a wooden core sandwiched between two layers of fibreglass ensuring that the deck is both lightweight and strong.

Alkemist Ghost Knight v2

The Ghost Knight blurs the line between downhill and freeride. It’s a directional dropped top-mount deck built for speed and designed in collaboration with the Alkemist team rider Sylvain Mostel. However, with having a smaller but functional kick-tail it doesn’t rule out your everyday shenanigans.

Micro drops in the front and back lower the centre of gravity resulting in a more stable ride at higher speeds. The board also features a W concave which is more defined in the back compared to the front. Combined with the micro drops it creates comfortable pockets that keep rider’s feet safely locked-in when performing high speed manoeuvres.

The Ghost Knight longboard deck measures 93 cm (36,6″) in length and 24 cm (9,4″) in width. Multiple wheelbase options range from 60,7 cm to 63,7 cm which make it possible to adjust the responsiveness to your needs and preferences.

Composed of a dual wooden core sandwiched between two layers of fibreglass the Ghost Knight, like Alkemist’s other boards, is lightweight and strong.

Alkemist Valkyrie v2

Last but not the least, Alkemist has got the downhill enthusiasts covered as well with the upgraded Valkyrie, a directional top-mount deck built for high-speed skateboarding.

Valkyrie’s directional top-mount platform fused with a W concave in the back and progressive concave in the front makes it a great choice for those who are looking for the best ratio of comfort, control and responsiveness.

The Valkyrie longboard deck is 90.5 cm (35.6″) long and 25 cm (9.8″) wide. It has an adjustable wheelbase which ranges from 64.2 cm (25.2″) to 68.7 cm (27.04″) allowing you to adapt it to your preferred style of riding.

Like the other Alkemist decks, the Valkyrie also has a dual wooden core consisting of Birch and Ash wood, which provides the right mixture of strength and lightweight. The wooden core lies between between two layers of triaxial fibreglass.

Price and where to buy

All Alkemist longboard decks come with the same price tag and are currently available via their website for 178,99 Euros (deck only).

To make it easier for their buyers, Alkemist also offers completes with the setup including AHMYO wheels and Caliber trucks. The price for a complete is 288,99 Euros.

For more info about Alkemist Longboard visit alklongboard.com and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

Do you already shred an Alkemist board?
Share your experience via the comments below. Thank you!

Loaded Pushin Cushion

Loaded Pushin Cushion Poron Foam Sheet

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…

The KebbeK Skateboards Opalescent collection

KebbeK Skateboards celebrates 25th Anniversary with Opalescent deck series

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 - LUCA longboards - Mono 39

Edoardo Barbi feat. the MONO 39 by LUCA longboards

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 - Hemp Skateboards

Rolkaz Collective launches sustainable 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 collection; Mountain Freak and City Shredder

Alternative Longboards 2017 – 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.

A history of skate shoes

Killer Kicks: 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

A day in the Alternative Longboards Workshop

Alternative Longboards factory tour and production overview

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).

TSG 2017 Joint Knee Guards

The new TSG Joint Knee-Sleeve Pads

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

TuckYeah Longboard Travel Bag Review

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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.

Cloud Ride Wheels welcome Mariano Conti

Mariano Conti joined the Cloud Ride Wheels team

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.

King Lui Boards - the 2017 Guardian longboard deck

The Guardian – a new deck by King Lui Boards

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!

AHMYIO Vibez longboard wheels

Trippy new wheels by AHMYO will make your brain dizzy

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 https://aeratrucks.com/.

ROCKET Longboards 2017 new longboard deck models

ROCKET Longboards presents three new decks for 2017

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 Model

ROCKET Ian Freire Pro Longboard Deck Review

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

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

You know we love uploading expert reviews for you, and this longboard couldn’t be the exception.

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.

No Sweat - Helmet / Hat liner

NoSweat disposable liners for helmets or hats

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.