I talk a lot about pumping on this episode. I really like pumping, and feel like it is something that doesn’t get discussed much in skateboarding except by long distance pumping skaters. They, of course, are a completely different story that we’ll have to discuss in the future. Well, here is a video a made a few years ago. I’m riding a 40-something inch 13 ply Baltic Birch longboard that I made from a piece of plywood. It is completely flat and has cut outs for the wheels. In all honesty, it was supposed to be a copy of an old Gravity board, but I ended up messing with the shape too much and it turned out to not be nearly as cool as a Gravity. Anyway, it does show the pumping before you carve up a wall I was talking about with Bob.
Our final longboard freestyle podcast (for now) before we move onto ditch skating on longboards as a topic. Originally, we were attempting to make a weekly mini-podcast of approximately ten minutes each. We can’t seem to make that happen, and our single topic podcasts seem to work best at 20 minutes each.
I’ve been attempting to tie freestyle footwork with longboard dance tricks. More can be read on luchaskate.com about that, but Bob talked about having ridden a longboard in a freestyle contest.
Eventually we talked about some non-freestyle or dance related skateboards including Alva and Skull Skates. Below is the Alva Fender board I was talking about:
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.
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.
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.