New Aera RF-1 Longboard Trucks

Aera Trucks presents new RF-1 Longboard Truck for DH, Freeride and Carving

Aera Trucks, the synonym for precision and response just released their newest Aera RF-1 Trucks. After years of development, these bad boys finally hit the market and longboarders from around the globe are already putting them to the test.

150

Aera Trucks RF-1 DownhillCold forged, machined axle and kingpin, ultra high-end production truck. Stocked with Hardcore Bushings, and is sold fully assembled.
Sickboardshop
129,95 € per truck

150

Aera Trucks RF-1 NarrowCold forged, machined axle and kingpin, ultra high-end production truck. Stocked with Hardcore Bushings, and is sold fully assembled.
Sickboardshop
139,95 € per truck

The RF-1 Aera Trucks feature cold forged hangers and bases with CNC cut axle holes, permanent kingpins, and bushing seats. These are said to be stronger than other machined or CNC varieties with nearly the same level of precision.

Cold forging is the process of stamping a hardened aluminum material with 30,000lb of pressure – this nets a very precise part, and also one that is stronger since the material flows into its final shape.  ~ Aera Trucks

The unique pivots on the RF-1 are paired with in-house poured urethane pivot cups that allow deeper carves, more lean and greater stability.  Aera’s RF-1 are completed by Hardcore Bushings and Grade 8 hardware.

Furthermore, the Aera RF-1’s are available in three models in two colors and sold individually so riders can mix and match:

Aera RF-1 DH (Downhill)  feature 46˚ bases and a 176 mm width, paired with 93a Bushings. As the new go-to truck for downhill at high speeds or heavier riders, these feature the hardest Hardcore bushings of the bunch.

Aera RF-1 FR (Freeride) provide 46˚ bases, a 180 mm width, and 90a Bushings. Known as the all-arounder in the lineup, these can be used by the majority of riders for intermediate downhill and freeride.

Aera RF-1 Carve (Dance or Commute) consist of 50˚ bases, a 180 mm width, and 88a Bushings. Designed for the masses as great trucks to start with, these can be used for all varieties of longboards thanks to its versatile baseplate. This set-up is promoted to be easy to carve, have fun in the city or do some easy freeride and downhill.

150

Aera Trucks RF-1 CarveCold forged, machined axle and kingpin, ultra high-end production longboard truck. Stocked with Hardcore Bushings, and sold fully assembled.
Sickboardshop
136,50 € per truck

150

Aera Trucks RF-1 FreerideCold forged, machined axle and kingpin, ultra high-end production truck. Stocked with Hardcore Bushings, and is sold fully assembled.
Sickboardshop
129,95 € per truck

Photo by Mila Zasou

What can the history of skateboarding teach us?

I came across a video of a guy who owns 5000 vintage skateboards. The guy’s name is Todd Huber and he is a skateboard collector and founder of Skatelab, which is a museum, a shop and an indoor skatepark.

Here’s the video:

What was the most interesting to me was not the number of skateboards he had, but how much the history of skateboarding was present in the collection.

Because this sparked my interest, I did some reading. That is why I compiled a short history lesson for you guys. At the end, you’ll find some pointers of what I learned in the process of writing this article.

The 50s marked the invention of skateboarding. As a spontaneous movement of multiple people, kids started making their own skateboards from planks of wood, nailed with roller-skates. Back then, if you wanted one you had to make one and kids started messing around in their parent’s garages.

In 1957, Alf Jensen’s “Bun Board” was the first commercial skateboard to be produced. The number of boards sold was manageable, and the metal rollers mounted on this board never broke through. The board served as a model for the first skateboard that was produced in 1959 by the Californian company Roller Derby Skate in large numbers. ~ Alex Lenz in his upcoming book The Lost History of Longboarding

By the 60s, clay wheels got introduced and replaced the metal wheels used before. The trend of skateboarding was high, but it soon kinda died. You can imagine why – skating on clay composite wheels was probably horrendous.

Back then, skateboarding wasn’t considered a sport, nor a hobby, it was just something a few kids did and the majority of adults were not paying attention to it. Multiple companies at that time separated from skateboarding because too many kids got hurt and it wasn’t good for their image.

In 1964 Jim Fitzpatrick, the first member of Makaha Skateboard team, which at the time produced the clay-wheeled skateboards, went on a two-month tour, traveling all over Europe to promote skateboarding and his brand.

He was also the first person to skateboard underneath the Eiffel Tower. In an interview I found, he said he skated there for about an hour while people gathered around him in a circle clapping. Later he carried his board to the top of the tower. In the ”Cult of the longboard” article in Trasher July 1995 magazine issue the author mentions Fitzpatrick as someone who personally introduced skateboarding to Europe.

During the sixties, kids were skating barefoot as grip tape wasn’t yet invented. Some of the wooden boards had grooves for extra traction, but you guys can guess how little that helped. The Randy 720 was the first shoe designed for skateboarding back in 1965. But the evolution of skate shoes has its own history.

Around that time Patti McGee was featured on the cover of Life magazine, the first skate magazine popped up called SKATEBOARDER magazine (which only put our four issues, but got renamed and relaunched in 1975), people started skating pools, vert and the first skateboard organization was formed.

In contrast, many shops stopped selling skateboards as they were considered too dangerous by public officials and cities started banning skateboarding on the streets.

In ’69 Larry Stevenson, the founder of Makaha Skateboards mentioned above, patented the kicktail enabling the evolution of skate tricks we know today. He, however, didn’t get much out of it as only a few companies decided to pay the royalties. Because of this, his patent later got ruled as invalid.

By the early 70s, Frank Nasworthy introduced a small batch of the first urethane wheels named Cadillac Wheels. The Dogtown and Z Boys era began and Alan Gelfand performed and named the first ollie.

Thought the seventies trucks also got their prime time when Ron Bennett built one of the first trucks specifically designed for skateboarding. Freestyle and slalom was a popular thing and the invention of the Stoker trucks created something for downhill. With the invention of the reverse kingpin trucks in 1977, longboards were as stable than ever.

Dennis Shufeldt in 1975 photographed by Warren Bolster
Dennis Shufeldt in 1975 photographed by Warren Bolster

Based on the info I got from various sources, the sport split into two branches: skateboarding and longboarding somewhere around this time period.

The story returns back to Jim Fitzpatrick. He worked for Powell Peralta in the 80s and 90s on the Bones Brigade and with the invention of the VHS the first skate movies got recorded. He also worked as a writer and production assistant for what came to be known as “The Savannah Slamma,” produced by Thrasher Magazine.

In the early 90s longboarding took off as mass production of the boards started in the US. Around that time sub-disciplines like freestyle, slalom, long distance and downhill gained momentum.

With the invention of the  World Wide Web in 1990 by Tim Berners-Lee the promotion of skateboarding soon wasn’t limited to the only word of mounth and printed magazines.

The bottom line

And what can we take out of this brief history lesson? Well, quite a few things actually…

Be an active member of the community.

The influence of skateboarding teams and individuals was huge. Skaters back then did skate demos, talked with people and portrayed the sport the best way they knew how. Like some brands and individuals do today, organizing skate sessions, beginner classes, longboard events, and other meet-ups, still has massive value.

Attending local and international events is also has importance. Normally this is the only way to skate in a controlled environment and push your limits without the risk of ongoing traffic. It’s also a great chance to meet other skaters and make new friends.

Promote responsible and safe skating

By putting out media, one can be responsible and educational by raising awareness about safety gear and skating within your limits. Posting videos of one nearly escaping a collision with a car might get a lot of views, but the bigger picture is more destructive than positive.

Connect with the media outlets you like

Why not can connect with and support the magazines, websites, and blogs you like? They are there to distribute and present your content, support the sport and present it in an objective manner to a wider public. If you want to promote longboarding to the masses, don’t just settle with your limited circle on socials.

Help and support beginners

Every skater also has a chance to educate others. So many times beginners bought a cheap longboard, road it once and then stopped because it wasn’t what they expected – just like the situation with the clay wheels.

Be open-minded and connect with others. If you have a newcomer on your local skate spot, teach him/her a thing or two so they get a push in the right direction. With the basics, they can start practicing on their own just like you did and actually learn a lot faster.

Together we can provide a positive environment without hate or judgment and show newcomers and the general public that longboarding is not as dangerous and as lawless as it looks at a first glance.

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/.

The Alchemist - precision longboard trucks by Revolt

The Alchemist – precision longboard trucks by Revolt

The Alchemist – precision longboard trucks by Revolt

Simplicity, effectiveness and a down-to-earth design is not something that today’s market is focusing on. Usually brands try to fill their products with lots of features (which isn’t a bad thing) together with making them look as best as they can, but maybe skimp on the actual ride feel of the product. Revolt is now introducing their first trucks, made to be simple, effective and cheap. Let’s take a look at what their trucks have to offer.

The Alchemist – Features

The Alchemist precision trucks by Revolt have a 175mm wide flippable hanger with a 1.8mm rake, all on a 42° baseplate, making them snappy and responsive, but still stable and controllable enough at high speeds. The board- and roadside bushings are sitting inside a non-restrictive bushing seat which allows for both regular, as well as fat/chubby style bushings.

The Alchemist precision trucks by Revolt

Positively raked (axles further away from the deck) trucks give a more lively and direct feel, negatively raked (axles closer to the deck), they give a more solid and stable ride.

We didn’t over-do the rake so I see it more as a little tuning option to fine-tune your setup, depending on your own preferences and your riding style – from full-on downhill, to slower, “techy” hill-bombing. ~ Mathijs Baars, Revolt Innovations founder

The trucks come equipped with Riptide pivot cups and Riptide KranK bushings. KranK’s are known to have amazing riding behaviour, no matter how far you tighten your trucks. The trucks are sold in three different bushing setups; fat cones, chubby barrels or regular barrels, each with two durometer options.

You can also order the Revolt trucks with any combination of bushings, they will be put together according to your wishes and delivered on request. Also added in the mix are custom CNC cut speed rings, spacers and washers, made out of high-grade steel. However the trucks are set up, downhill or freeride orientated, they will offer amazing riding behaviour for all kinds of bushing/washer setups and riding types.

The trucks are available in 4 colour combinations. You can pick between a blue hanger on a silver baseplate, silver hanger on a blue baseplate, a funky purple hanger on a green baseplate and the traditional all-black version.

Video – Germany Trip

The idea behind Revolt

What started as a simple idea to make a pair of great, down to earth, simple, yet effective, downhill trucks later grew into a whole brand based around this concept.

The longer I spent designing the trucks, the more I learned. I started talking to riders about their preferences in trucks.” ~ Mathijs Baars

After two whole years of designing, a basic design of the trucks with promising downhill capabilities and versatile bushing seats was laid out.

I think weight reduction and looks are two useless concepts for downhill trucks, it only makes them more expensive and doesn’t add anything to the ride feel. Weight really is a matter of taste in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong though, these trucks are made for downhill.

The trucks are sold as a mid-priced precision truck, coming in at 320€ for a complete set. People often compare them to bigger brands but I find that really odd, since they offer a very different style of products. Often they sell bare metal trucks (with over engineered kingpins). Nothing against that but it is a different market. We sell a high-standard complete package with, what I see as, really cool bushings, cups, washers, speed rings and spacers. ~ Mathijs Baars

I asked Mathijs to tell us something more about Revolt, how it grew over time, what it’s vision for the future looks like, what they are all about… Here’s what he told us:

We got some young and talented riders, who were willing to grow as riders, as Revolt grew as a company. They helped us with the development of the prototypes. After that, large scale production started and we started to grow our Revolt brand, go to events, talk to people, get our stuff out there, into the world.

My amazing girlfriend does most of the artwork, which I am really fond of. Our first T-shirt is a great example. Another friend of mine helps me with designing the products. Us three make the core of Revolt.

We had some struggles getting the business stuff right, but it turned out our awesome camera man from the Germany trip could support us with that.

For the future? Glad you asked. I don’t like where longboarding is going (sue me). Revolt will be about innovations and a certain, unique style. I want a bit of the skate culture to be revitalized and most of all to lose the arrogance I find so many companies show in both their products and merch. ~ Mathijs Baars

Where to buy Revolt Alchemist trucks

At the moment of writing this article, the price for a set of Revolt Alchemist precision trucks is 320 Euros and you can purchase them via Revolt’s official website.

Bolzen Trucks V2 lineup & Omen Longboards collab

Bolzen Trucks V2 lineup & Omen Longboards collab

Bolzen Trucks announced the upcoming release of the new Bolzen trucks V2. Designed by Heiko Schöller and Frank Beste, the new trucks promise to be even more playful, turny and agile, while being based on the same proven and trusted geometry, we already know from them.

Bolzen V2 longboard trucks

Bolzen trucks V2 180mm 50°

This truck is the workhorse in the Bolzen’s lineup and this year they plan on adding 2-3 new colour options to it. Very agile, responsive and turny, but still stable enough for some faster runs, the Bolzen 180mm 50 degree trucks offer a great choice for riders with many different styles. The new German-engineered bushing seat allows the hangar to turn very far and come back to the centre quickly. They come stocked with 85a double barrel bushings, making them soft and responsive right out of the box.

Based on the specs and recommendations, the Bolzen 180mm 50 degree trucks make a good choice for freeride, freestyle, dancing or mid-sized city cruising setups.

Bolzen trucks V2 180mm 45°

Same hangar and features as the 50° trucks, but with a 45° baseplate for some added stability at speed. Planned colours will be black and black/ raw (for now) with more options coming up. Best used for downhill or freeride setups. The bushings that come with it are 90a double barrels, making the trucks more stable at higher speeds.

If this truck can deliver on their high promises, popular choices like the Caliber II 44° might get some serious competition in in the cast truck market.

Bolzen trucks V2 155mm 50°

The Bolzen 155mm 50 degree truck makes an ideal choice for 8-9” wide city cruiser setups. Because of the more narrow hangar these trucks will feel snappy and responsive under your feet. They come with 85a double barrel bushings, same as the 180mm big brother. The new bushing seats return the trucks quickly to the the center and eliminate unwanted wiggle room.

Bolzen & Omen Longboards collab

From now on, Omen Longboards will be equipping their completes exclusively with Bolzen trucks and making their completes perfect out of the box.

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Omen Longboards and Bolzen trucks collab

For more check out the Bolzen’s website or follow them on Facebook or  Instagram.

GUGA Black Lotus street luge trucks

Guga Trucks with Mikel Echegaray – Black Lotus, the Spanish luge truck

I met Mikel Echegaray Diez for the first time in 2011 at Kozakov and we both immediately noticed how alike we think about luging and racing, even though he was Longboardalm luge team‘s and my biggest rival on the track.

Mikel Echegaray at Teolo. Shot by
Mikel Echegaray at Teolo. Shot by Vincenzo De Santis

From then on, the Spanish crew visited me at my place in Austria, Mikel and I travelled the 2012 Euro tour together and I visited him in beautiful Donostia in the Basque Country. During this time, we became really good friends and our friendship still goes strong.

GUGA Black Lotus street luge trucks
GUGA Black Lotus street luge trucks

At that time I also got the GUGA Black Lotus trucks for my street luge. What an eye opener!
I never thought that I could ride lines like that, with tons of grip. One of the main features that makes this truck one of my favourites is the second pin which holds the hanger in position. They also feature the adjustable hangers (175 mm, 185 mm and 195 mm) with 10 mm axels. Baseplates are available in 40, 50 or 60 degrees.

Read through to find out more about the GUGA trucks, the people behind it and Mikel’s Pro Model, the Black Lotus,  from the man himself.

Mikel Echegaray shot by Ruben Otero
Mikel Echegaray shot by Ruben Otero

Hi Mikel! Tell us a bit about Guga Trucks and how you guys came up with it.

For sure. So, the Guga trucks is being run by a slalom-downhill rider Inigo Amuchastegui and myself (Mikel Echegaray). It all started as a small project of developing a truck that would originate from the Basque country and would take in count all of our experience and riding skills.

We wanted to create a stable and grippy truck and we created the first model “Sustrai”. After this one we noticed that 205 mm truck was too wide for skateboarding and we decided to build “The Fugu”. This is a spacebar 172mm truck with the same technical aspects as the “Sustrai”.

With the help of Asier Esnal, who joined Guga to help us develop “The Slalom Series” trucks we built our slalom specific truck. We made it with a spherical bearing on it to avoid the slop problem.

I noticed that this could be a good idea for a street luge specific truck. And we did it. We applied a geometry truck similar to Randal’s, with the spherical system and spacer-able. That is Black Lotus.

The Black Lotus comes from a mixture of some parts of other trucks that we like. Based on Randal Comp truck with a good bushing seat, spherical bearing…spaceable.

What was/is your part on the development of the Black Lotus?

I had the main Idea of doing a Randal based truck, because Randal has been the best truck for street luging. I wanted to put the second kingpin on it to get more grip and more precise turn. Asier Esnal was the guy who designed it and gave it the main technical ideas.

Why did you decide to use 10mm Axles on the Black Lotus?

Because 10 mm axles are stronger than 8mm, especially when you want an spacer-able truck.

Guga Trucks are not sold in stores, how can one buy them?

We are not actually selling the trucks. Making this trucks in Spain in small series is very expensive. We are only selling them at production price to close friends and riders we know. Actually, we are not making any money from this project.

What are your future plans for the Guga trucks and your racing season 2016?

We are gonna make a very small series of trucks and we will see what happens. Regarding the racing season, the main idea is to race in North America, Europe and maybe South America.

That’s great Mikel. Thank you for chatting with me.

Last year we made a video overview of Mikel’s street luge setup, check it out.

There you have it folks. I suggest you give the Guga trucks a try if you get the chance. If you’re interested to find out more about the Guga Trucks and Mikel, follow them on Facebook:

Guga Trucks on Facebook
Mikel on Facebook.