Wheelbase and Trucks

Below is a picture of the three boards I ride most often right now. As you can see two of the decks are completely the same. However, one is set up with tkp trucks and the other with rkp trucks (slant and caliber respectively). As you can see, the wheelbase with the rkp trucks is clearly smaller than the tkp trucks. Yes, folks, wheelbase given on a deck isn’t really the wheelbase.It is, of course, the distance between the truck holes. A true wheelbase is the distance between hanger and hanger.

I have noticed that the deck set up with rkp trucks FEELS smaller than the truck with tkp trucks. When board walking I go into a wheelie on accident often and the the board feels much smaller than the other board. It is interesting to note in that I could easily have a deck several inches longer with a wheelbase of several more inches on the rkp deck to have the feel of the deck with tkp trucks.

My Bushing Dilemma Continues

Well, not so much a dilemma as a situation and not so much a situation as just another switch in bushings.

After feeling like I’ve talked smack about Bones bushings in both a podcast and a post. . .I’ve gone back to them in my freestyle/dancing hybrid longboard. Yep. I switched back.

You see, the week after I switched out bushings from Bones to Riptide I felt off. I felt off the whole week. I thought maybe skating seven days a week for over a month added into my other workout routines had made me tired. I thought maybe I needed to give my body a rest and promised myself that, after I finish getting ready for the Round-Up Online Showdown, I would take a few days off the board to rest.

And then I realized it wasn’t the weight lifting, running, cycling, and skating adding up to too much activity. I didn’t necessarily feel tired I was just skating as if I was tired. Nope. It was the change in bushings. Sure, the Riptide pump better. Sure, they return to center better (they are barrels after all). But they just didn’t feel right for this board. So, indeed, I am back on Bones Hardcore bushings once again. They are much better for the freestyle aspects of my skating on this board. However, I am about to throw these Riptides on another set up to see how they work. I think they might be just right for a non-freestyle related set up.

Bushing Follow Up

My Riptide Krank Street bushings have arrived this week and I’ve installed them onto my Globe board. As you can see from the photo, they make my set up a double barrel. What that has done is made my board return to center much more quickly than a double cone set up will.

The 94a hardness seems to give it enough stability, and the turn is very nice with this set up. Now, setting up a board with Riptides will cost about double the amount Bones cost, but the real test of value will be how long they last in comparison to the Bones.

Update: After about a half hour on these this morning, I switched out the front roadside bushing to a Riptide 84a red short street krank barrel. It turns/pumps a little better, but still returns to center nicely. I had used the 84a reds on a slalom set up before I bought a bennett vector truck. I had originally wanted to keep the set up exactly the same between the two trucks, but I like the red up front a little better.

Notes on Episode 7

It was my conversation with Bob during this episode that made me conclude that Bones Hardcore bushings aren’t as good as I think they are. Sure, they come out of the package and onto the board feeling great. Sure, they have great rebound for cones up front. Sure they are great at first.

Unfortunately, it is after a couple months of riding that they lose their luster. They bore out too wide becoming sloppy at the bottom of the bushing (where the insert isn’t). I looked into my miscellaneous skate stuff box (containing tons of bushings, bolts, sex bolts etc…) and looked through my used Bones bushings. The hole in which the kingpins sit is too wide on all of the used bushings. They lose their shape. As Bob pointed out, this is the same company’s urethane that I just had issues chunking in a set of wheels. Maybe I’m ready to switch from Powell products?

On the opposite side of the coin, Bob absolutely loves the harder Bones STF wheels. No chunking issues on the harder wheels. It is interesting.

Also interesting is that I can’t seem to keep cone and barrel straight in my mind during conversations. I continually called barrels cones and called cones barrels. Sheesh.

I’ve actually ordered some Riptide Street Barrels and Short Street Barrels in a harder duro to try out on my freestyle/dance board. I’ve added some pumping to it and, yes, the Bones bushings will pump, but I’d like to see if these Krank formula Riptide barrels will rebound to center better than the Bones cones. I have a feeling they will if only because they are barrels. I don’t want to pump long distances and I don’t want a soft bushing up front because I want to continue focusing on freestyle footwork and dance.

Set Up Update: Wheels

In my last post, I wrote about my current longboard setup. In that post, I mentioned that I had changed the wheels on my board from the stock setup to a set of Mini Logo AWOL 59mm 80a ATF formula wheels. The AWOL made it two months, but started chunking this week.

So this was, of course, a bummer. I was hoping this set of wheels would last at least another month, but they were already worn down about 3mm. and I can’t stand skating a chunked set of wheels (I feel the same way about chipped boards).

So, I stuck the wheels that had actually come with the board back on it, and gave it a go.

These are a stoneground white 62mm 78a offset (nearly center set) wheel. They are about 48mm wide and the contact patch looks to be the same width as the wheel. They are about 8 – 10mm wider than the Mini Logo I was riding, and that extra width was very noticeable. The board is much more stable during a turn which made all of my footwork easier.  Additionally, they slid on a ghost ride 360 shove-it with ease, and felt just as fast as Mini-Logo. This really shouldn’t be a surprise because I have been a very big fan of the softer Star Trac wheels, and as I mentioned in the last post, Globe owned Dwindle when those wheels were released.

I’m hoping that these wheels last a good while because I’ve been scoping out a replacement, and I haven’t found anything right in the same size/shape. I may look into finding a set of 60mm Abec11 Noskoolz if those are still around out there.

About My Board: Globe Trucker Longboard

I’ve mentioned my current 40″ longboard setup a lot, but haven’t taken the time to really describe what is going on with it. The board is, in truth, 39″ long (not 40) and is made by the Australia based brand, Globe. I didn’t really know much about Globe before I bought this setup. I researched a bit and found out that Globe also owns the third party brands Stussy, Obey,and Protec. They also own Hardcore distribution which distributes the major skateboard brands across Australasia, and at one point they owned Dwindle (Almost, Blind, Dusters California, Tensor, Kryptonics Star Trac reissues, and Enjoi).

I ordered the board because of a seeming lack of standard shaped boards with longer wheelbases. At one point (as I’ve talked about), I rode Eastbilt longboards almost exclusively. I moved away from longboards for awhile, but when I came back around to riding longer wheelbases, standard shapes had become difficult to find. Dancing boards were available but generally longer than I wanted, and often made with fiberglass (I wanted maple only construction). Other longboards didn’t have nose and tails made for doing any trick riding.

This board measures in, as I said, at 39″ long and is 9.25″ wide with a 21″ wheelbase. The concave is very mellow as are the kicks on both the nose and tail. The tail is slightly steeper, and the one negative I have about the board is the the nose is a little too mellow for my tastes. I’d like to have the board feel completely the same whether riding on nose or tail, but the difference isn’t enough to put me off the deck.

I got this as a complete and it came set up with Slant traditional kingpin trucks. These trucks, when sitting next to a set of Tensor alloy trucks, appear to be exactly the same just with a different branding. This would make sense since both brands were under the Globe brand at one point. I don’t know how the trucks would hold up under grinding and stair drops, but for the style of riding I’m doing with this board, they seem to be just fine. The trucks came set up with what appears to be 5 degree wedge risers, and had some very soft, very turny bushings (more on that in the next podcast).

I didn’t have much confidence in the wheels although they looked good enough. Since finding out they owned Dwindle when the Kryptonics Star Trac reissues were released gives me confidence in them although I have yet to try them. I swapped them out for a set of Mini Logo AWOL 80a wheels. They are  Bones ATF formula and are fantastic wheels. They slide yet only seem to release when I ask them to.

The other change I made to the board is an addition of nose and tail skids. Both are made by Mode skateboards and are saving it from having razor tail on either end of the board. I also cut out a freestyle circle in the grip which makes both footwork and dance easier on it.

Notes on Episode 6

I missed last week’s notes, but here are my notes on episode 6.

Bearings!!!

Rather than go into another rant on bearings, here is the link to a great post on the Stoked Ride Shop website:

https://stokedrideshop.com/blogs/bearings/why-bearing-spacers-really-matter

Also:

G-turns!

I do a sideways stance for G-turns while bob does a more 70s forward front foot stance.

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.

A Deck Rant

Unlike my Frontside360 counterpart, Bob, I’m more unreasonable when it comes to a traditional skateboard shaped longboard deck. Sure, I have drop down/drop through boards (two of them), and I enjoy them for what they are. They are great push machines not meant to flip or ollie. In truth, I find “street” tricks done on a board like that to generally be clunky. If you see me on one of my double drops, you’ll see me putting a few miles on my legs. Period.

So, when I want to trick skate I’m looking for something different. I’m looking for kicks on both the tail and nose. I’m looking for a semi-symmetrical to symmetrical shape. I’m looking for a stretched out skateboard. But I’m not looking for a dancer per se. At very nearly 200 pounds I’m not looking for high flex. I’m not looking for fiberglass. I’m looking for a long skateboard that I can slappy grind should I want. I’m looking for a board I can ollie should I want. I’m looking for a board that isn’t so long that I can’t throw down some walk the dogs.

I found this board several years ago.

The board in the picture is a loco 37 hybrid longboard skateboard deck made by Landyachtz. Why aren’t there more of these types of boards?! This is a Brad Edwards style board. This is a Jesse Parker style board. This is a do anything deck. You can do some freestyle tricks, street skate, cruise, carve, skog, and do some “dancing” moves all on a board like this.

I woke up a couple hours early this morning, and I was searching for the next board like this I could ride. While this thing has given me some good years I know it won’t last too much longer. But none of the “major players” in longboarding really offer a deck like this. Arbor has one, but I can’t find just the deck (I don’t want a complete). Globe has one but the same issue applies (and I’m not sure about Globe’s quality). Landyachtz doesn’t seem to offer one anymore. Gravity has completely screwed up their choices and their website kept sending me to something really dodgy. So, no good choice there and now I need to scan my computer.

The only place I seem to be able to find a deck like this is through funbox distribution, so I guess my next hybrid longboard will be a blank. That seems a shame to me.

2 Boards – a comparison and a truck rant

Gullwing Split-Axle trucks from the mid-late 1970s. Click for full size.

A few weeks ago Eric Sanders sent me a pair of the new Paris V3 trucks. I refrain from calling them “reverse kingpin” or “RKP” trucks, because the kingpin isn’t really reversed on this style of trucks in any way. It simply goes under the axle, rather than up more or less straight. This of course allows the truck to turn much more tightly. In the old days, the first trucks I remember having this geometry were Gullwing Split Axle trucks and Speed Springs. I’m not sure which came first, but we’re talking about 1975, so this idea isn’t new. The next ones I remember were the Variflex Connection trucks, in the late 1970s.

In the modern era, the Randal-II was the only truck with this geometry when I began riding long skateboards in the early 2000s. I know Randal had been making their trucks for a while even then.

Mid-1970s Speed Spring trucks, by Innovative Designs, Inc. Click for full size.

My point — this is not a new kind of geometry. So all these Johnny-come-lately truck makers haven’t really invented anything. It was all done before. Way before.

BUT, I have to say, being a tried-and-true Randal man for lo these many years, these Paris trucks are really quite nice. For one thing, the parts all fit together quite well. When Paris trucks first came out I thought “Pah! A Randal-II copy, and probably cheap Chinese-made crap.” I can’t really say I was right, since I never saw or tried them, but I’ve heard reports that the first two versions of this truck weren’t that good. Not horrible, but just nothing to make me want to change from Randal-IIs for. A few things I like about them. Like I said, the parts seem to fit together correctly. The stock bushings are actually good. No need to change them immediately, and the bushing seats are molded correctly for them. The ends of the hangers are well-faced, providing a proper surface for your speed washers and bearing to press up against.

Late 1970s Variflex Connection trucks. Click for full size.

So yeah – nice.

Correction: these are actually the Paris V2 trucks. But obviously I like them. They’re good!

If you want to great writeup and specs on the Paris V3 trucks, check out this description on Tony Gale’s Offset Skate Supply. Tony does the BEST and most detailed product descriptions on the internet.

One thing to mention. As Tony says in the above link, the Paris baseplate is oddly shaped, and the very front of the baseplate and the pivot actually sit out in front of any normal riser pad. So a normal riser, in other words, does not support the entire baseplate. At first this is a bit disconcerting, but when I look at my Randal-IIs, the pivot is ALSO not supported. It sticks out in front of the baseplate! It just doesn’t look weird because the baseplate itself is a standard rectangular shape, with the pivot itself protruding from the front. When I realized this I decided not to stress out over the weird look of the Paris baseplate hanging out there.

Baseplate/pivot comparision. Randal-II on left, Paris V3 on right.

Anyway, I had no board to put these newfangled trucks on, so I ordered a Zenit Judo deck from Muirskate.com . It’s a “dancing” deck. Now as you will know if you know me or you’ve read any of my rantings, I am sometimes critical of the “dancing” trend. In fact, it is one of the reasons I suggested to the Mighty Thornton that we start this site. Now, I’m always glad to see anyone enjoying themselves on a skateboard, but I just don’t personally like the dance “style” that has evolved over the last 15 years. It’s just not my thing. Hate on me at will, but that’s how I feel. On the other hand, there aren’t a lot of longboards available now in what I’d call a stretched classic skateboard shape, so I thought I’d give this a try. See? I’m not unreasonable.

Paris V3 180mm trucks with 50 degree baseplate. You can see the well-faced hanger ends. Click for full-size.

This board is 44″ long, has very very mellow concave, rocker, and nose/tail kicks, and is symmetrical. For a bit deck, it is light. It has fiberglass outer layers, and a carbon fiber “stinger” buried in the middle of the plies to stiffen it up. So I like that technology. These nose and tail are long enough to get the job done. I set it up with the Paris V3s and some old but unused Metro Motion 70mm 78s wheels. 1 thin riser under each trucks. I took it out.

It’s a snappy setup. My personal gravity well bestows upon me about 215 pounds of weight on planet Earth, and it is stiff enough under my mass. It flexes, but it’s not saggy or bouncy. I would have to say they got the flex “just right”. I can see how a “dancer” would really enjoy this board. I think it is versatile enough to have a variety of funs on it, the Paris trucks provide very responsive and sharp turning. I barely had to adjust the trucks. After about 15 minutes of skating I tightened them a bit. That’s saying something. I feel like the 70mm wheels are a bit big for my needs, so I’ve ordered some smaller wheels (63mm). I think they will help a lot. For one thing, it will lower the board a bit and make it easier to push, and it will make it lighter.

Here’re some shot of the new board beside a couple of others for comparison, with notes in the captions. Sadly the Bustin 42″ Boombox is no longer in production. It’s a very good board.

Zenit Judo, next to my 42″ Bustin Boombox, next to my Alva Metallic Rocker (34 x 10.75 w 17.5″ WB).
Zenit Judo next to Bustin Boombox. Judo has shorter wheelbase, but is longer overall due to longer nose and tail. it’s a lot narrower too — again — designed for “dancing”.
Bustin Boombox on the right. You can see the slightly lowered mid section (lowered about 1/2″ about 2″ being the trucks), rocker, and concave. That plus smaller wheels = easier to push. Each board is very unique and has its strengths.