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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I promise this blog will not just be pictures I post of myself, but there’s a global pandemic going on, I’ve been home with a sinus infection, and it’s been raining all the time, so I’ve been looking through a lot of my old pics from my dear departed Texas Longboarder site. I think I’ve realized that some of the pictures of me skating are those in which I’m really not doing anything. Just skating around, carving. They almost always look better than when I’m doing a trick. Arm position can make a shot look good, I’ve learned, but the knees really make a difference. I think all the really classic photos from skateboarding history prove this. Show me some good knee style and I’ll show you an excellent picture.
In this episode David compares traditional flatland freestyle with longboard dancing, and we talk about this video from our blog (you might want to skip the first couple of minutes). Bob remembers the early videos of Adam Colton and boards of Longboard Larry!
Speaking of Adam Colton and Adam Stokowski, HERE is one of those videos, from 13 years ago, that really started the longboard dancing craze. Frankly, I still like the way the Adams do it. They are riding the homemade boards that led to the Longboard Larry Oldschool Dancer.