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/.

Idle Slide Gloves welcomes a new member to their family, Ben Stainer

We’re stoked to hear the great news from the KnK Slivo King, Ben Steiner. He’s currently enjoying wet UK sessions and local small events. About a week ago, his after-summer adventures and positive energy got him a sweet deal with the UK based brand Idle slide gloves.

Ben Stainer © Kai Menneken
Ben Stainer rocking Idle slide gloves © Kai Menneken

After the KnK, Ben visited two events hosted by a group called Brianne Collective, Tregaron freeride where he swooped up 5th place and Dig deep outlaw race, finishing 1st.

Ben is currently sporting retro looking slide gloves that combine different materials and a great deal of warmth in cold weather conditions, making them a great choice for the UK climate. Their good flexibility and awesome array of bright colors will make you want to keep your hands up while sliding. Here’s what Ben has to say about the good news:

Somehow, after the adventures of Norway and the Hairpins of KnK, I was asked to represent Idle slide gloves. It was surprising, considering that I didn’t believe myself to be anywhere near the level that sponsorships envisaged. The belief was that you had to have balls (or ovaries) the size of melons and enough skills to make a Russian gymnast seem obsolete. ~Ben Stainer

Idle slide gloves
Idle slide gloves Idle

After their first model ”The Galaxy”, the brand listened to the riders feedback and introduced their second model ”Retro Vibes” featuring better stitching and extended wristbands combined with an eye catching 80’s style. These gloves include padded fingertips and padded Velcro on the synthetic leather palm that reduces puck vibration, a needed feature when sliding on rough pavement.

The included UHMW pucks seem to be a bit too thin but you can easily replace them with your preferred piece of plastic. The Velcro patch offers a good fit, big enough to protect your hand and just small enough to allow your hand to carry out smaller tasks such as, in Ben’s words, opening a zip or doing shadow puppets.

The Idle Slide Gloves come in two sizes, S/M and L/XL. To people with medium sized hands, concerned about the gloves being too small or too big, Ben assures:

If you fear you’ll be too small, the gloves memorise you faster then a government supercomputer. ~ Ben Stainer

Idle Slide Gloves v3 - Sneak peek preview
A sneak peek preview of Idle v3 slide gloves

If you favour the smell of leather, than be on the lookout for their third model, the Idle v3 slide gloves, that promises ruggedness, bigger pucks and an even better array of flashy colors.

We’ll keep you posted.

https://www.idleslidegloves.co.uk/