Review: Hawgs “Easy” 78a 63mm Wheels

Image stolen from Daddies Board Shop, where I got these wheels. Click for full size

It’s been a while since I bought new longboard wheels. I think. Yeah, hit has. I got these wheels to put on my Zenit Judo 44″ board, because I thought the 70mm wheels I have on it were too heavy. But the thing is it rolls really well. So I took these new Hawgs “Easy” 78a 63mm wheels and put them on my Bustin Boombox, replacing the several years old Rainskates that were on there. Again – the setup – Randal-II 180s, one thin riser under each truck. I have some orange Reflex bushings in them from ABEC-11, which I don’t think you can get anymore.

These are really simple wheels. Very square, with a hint of radius. They seem to have center-set bearings, or close. Not sure. There isn’t a lot of urethane protruding beyond the bearings, which means most of the riding surface is supported by the bearings and core. The edges don’t flex and mush out, so you don’t lose speed for squishiness of the edge. The riding surface is “stone ground” “pre-broken-in”.

I set these up properly, with good bearing spacers, speed washers, and classic, dependable, double-shielded NMB bearings. Buyings expensive bearings is stupid. A set of NMBs should be about $12. The hubs in these wheels are good, and the spacer gap fits a 10mm spacer perfectly. I put the wheels together, and they roll quietly and perfectly.

My board

So, the proof is in the riding. These wheels are fast and very smooth. With no mushy lip to slow them down, they really keep their speed. I haven’t tried sliding them, and I probably won’t. That’s not really my thing. They are nice and light, which is nice because the Boombox is a really heavy deck. I wouldn’t ride them on a slalom board, or a serious downhill board, but that’s not what they are for anyway. Not sure which urethane company manufactures these, but to me the formula feels really good. I like 78a on most longboards. If I want to flow, I want to flow smoothly. 78a is a lot more resilient than mid to high 80s. Me likee. I recommend.

I got these from Daddies Board Shop. I’ve bought a lot from them over the years. They deliver quickly and have great service. Show them some move.

 

A little more about my BoomBox

Here’s a little video I made when I was out skating today, talking about his setup and changes I’ve made. I need to get the squeak out of the trucks. The pivot cups are squeaky.

Talking about my Bustin Boombox from Bob Loftin on Vimeo

And here’s dorky thing I put on Instagram. You know, I love freestyle and ditch skating and doing tricks, but I also love just rolling smoothly on a really nice board.

Ride along with Pandemic Bob from Bob Loftin on Vimeo.

Autumn in Flux

So, I got a message from Bob in which he mentioned a Skull Skates video called Autumn in Flux. Honestly, I hadn’t heard of the video before. It is hard for me to admit that because I have absolutely loved Skull Skates for years. My favorite board as a teen was the Swank model, and I’ve been wearing the same worn out Skull Skates shirt for close to a decade. Well, a quick Youtube search and now you can see this video too:

This is a great example of Freeriding on a 42″ longboard.

I know, I’ve mentioned on the podcast that I prefer my skate video parts to be just skating, but this is a great watch.

FS360 Podcast: Ep3

In our 3rd episode, we talk about David’s efforts to do flatland freestyle (in the more traditional sense) on a 40″ board, and talk about the challenges of doing that, and some strategies for adapting your longboard skating to that discipline — all inspired by the great Chris Chaput, who used 40″+ longboards in his freestyle routines in the 1970s.

Next episode – ditch skating.

Chris Chaput, doing frontside 360s on a longboard back in the 1970s, from the video “Blaze On”. Click Image to get the video on Amazon streaming (not an advertisement – we just like the video).

Eastbilt

I couldn’t say exactly how long it has been since they’ve gone out of business (7-8 years), but I miss Eastbilt very much. They had a longboard option that was perfect. 21-ish wheelbase. About 10 inches wide with a beefy nose and tail. Set up with some 215s it was a beautiful thing. And you could buy the uncut blank to shape yourself.

Notes on the Second Podcast

Longboard dancing/Freestyle skateboarding

Are they synonymous or are they something different? On my other website/blog luchaskate.com (where I will continue to post my current skating) I am going to post my journey as I attempt to learn both and combine them. Currently I’m working on taking my freestyle footwork to a 40 inch board. In the meantime, I’m attempting to learn basic dance moves to interweave. But enough about that.

The next video is important because the clip that gave this website it’s namesake and gave us the topic for this podcast. It is Chris Chaput (yes, that Chris Chaput of Abec11) with some longboard freestyle skating mixed in with other disciplines. Notice the frontside 360s he’s turning. Yes, that is how this website got it’s name.

So, I believe both longboard dance and skateboard freestyle can be overlapped, but are certainly different in presentation.

Freestyle:
1. Stops and starts more often: stationary tricks like rail flips etc…
2. It doesn’t count if you put your foot down (just ask Tony Gale)
3. More circular: freestyle tends to happen in a more confined space “dance floor” with audience surrounding in contests

Longboard dance:
1. Flow without stopping: stationary tricks are seen much less often
2. No comply based tricks are the norm
3. More Linear: dance tends to be in one long line (similar to a street skating line)

On another personal note, I could listen to myself without any self-loathing this time. This isn’t because I was better at speaking. It was because I made notes and gathered my thoughts for a few minutes before we started. I’ll have to continue the note making.

Ditch Skating

Back in the early 2000s, when I lived in Austin and rode nothing but longboards, a bunch of us would skate the ditches around town. This one, the Turkey Bowl, was my favorite. My friend Bosco was working on a documentary and shot a bunch of footage. These are a few clips. Yeah, I have the master tape with the time codes. I’ll send it back to him soon — just want to digitize it. I’ve had it for like 15 years. Clips are me, Bosco, Jack Newkirk, and John Nau.

This is why you want a longboard that is shaped like a stretched-out traditional board. Just a long skateboard. Super fun! Man, those were good sessions.

Longboarding at the Turkey Bowl from Bob Loftin on Vimeo.

A Friend

Back at our dear departed hill again, this is Sean, one of my oldest friends, carving it up on his Gravity Kalai. Sean can ride anything with wheels. Click the images for full size. They really are pretty good.

Carving down the hill.
Same image, just fiddled with. Clicky clicky for full size.
Another one with some altering. The dark band at the top right corner is actually the deep blue of the sky that day.