Talk about a Good Omen — Omen TKO Review

Talk about a Good Omen — Omen TKO Review

Hello There World of Skate,
Omen Longboards was recently kind enough to send me over one of their new decks the TKO. The Omen TKO is a topmount freeride board with double kicks that is designed to meet the challenges of a rider who wants a board that can do everything. However, this isn’t just your run of the mill commuter board with kick tails, this board is meant to do everything and do it FAST! This isn’t your Mom’s do anything board, it’s more like Evel Knievel’s board if he is feeling reckless and dangerous. Yeah it can go that fast.

The Omen TKO comes in two flavors, a topmount and a drop-through. It’s nice having some options and being able to choose between a topmount or drop-through because most riders have a preference. I am personally a topmount kind of guy, especially when they have a drop, so that is what Omen sent my way.

However, before I get any further into this review let’s talk about the technical specifications of the Omen TKO.

Specs:

Omen TKO

Length

39.75 in

Wheelbase

28 in

Width

9.5 in

Concave

0.45 in

Drop

0.5 in

Special Features

Double Kicks, Drop, Flat W Concave

Commuting
The TKO is an interesting board to commute on. I mentioned that my board was the topmount version of the TKO which makes commuting on it a little strenuous because, like with all topmounts, you are higher up off the ground so each push takes a little more work. Which is why I feel like if you know that you are going to be doing a whole bunch of commuting on your TKO you should consider the lower the ground drop-through version. However, both the drop-through and the topmount versions have that 1in drop which is great. It helps the board ride lower and keep you a little more stable since your center of gravity isn’t way up in the air.
I normally find commuting on boards with W concave to be a little awkward. However, the team over at Omen had the right idea with the flat W concave. When I am pushing around town the flat W is nice and comfy and doesn’t make me want to die like most do.

Freestyle
I mentioned that the Omen TKO is a symmetrical double kick board, which makes it nice for freestyle applications. You can flip your board around and it will feel the exact same as when you started, which is great for all sorts of freestyle and freeride applications. The kicktails on this board  were obviously well thought out. They balloon out so that you get that nice compromise between wheel clearance and a big tail to put your foot on. They really are quite big tails for a board that has a narrow neck, not to mention the fact that they are about 3in long. I haven’t been able to actually ollie the board very high (just like an inch or so) but the tails do actually generate lots of pop. They are mega functional and I am quite a fan of them.  Finally, if you are into doing any kooky dance moves on your longboard then you may like the TKO. The platform has that nice flat W concave which makes it easy to move your feet around on and get groovy.

Downhill
The TKO does not have any flex to it and is nice and thick, making it pretty freaking stable when going fast. The drop in the platform is great for keeping your feet in one place. The unique platform on this board is really nice because you can tell where your feet are without ever looking down, this is due to the way the W concave, the drop, pockets, and waist all fit and work together. If you ever get in a bind and need to footbrake while downhilling the nice waist on the board makes it just a little bit easier because you don’t have to spread your legs very far apart to get your foot on the ground.  I have taken this board down some of the steepest hills around and haven’t had any complaints.

Freeride
This board was literally designed as a freeride board. No matter how long I talk about how good this board is at other disciplines of riding, where the TKO truly shines is in serious freeride. The pockets lock you feet in place so you can slide from the platform. The flat W concave gives you just enough of a lip to slide your board toeside and heelside very easily without having to reposition your feet. It is nice and thick so it doesn’t warp under you feet when sliding. The drop in the platform also doubles as a footstop which is just another great way to lock your feet in place. If there one thing I can say about this board is that if you don’t want to move you feet you do not have to. Finally, you can even bluntslide this board all day long with no problem thanks to those lovely kicks.

It can’t all be good…
The biggest downside I have found with the TKO is the weight of the board. It is definitely not a light board and it can make freestyling kind of difficult. Being so thick definitely made the board nice and stable but it is one of the heavier boards I have ever ridden. That being said, weight is in no way a bad thing for all types of riding. For example, if I am downhilling or freeriding the weight of this board is inconsequential and all I care about is how it performs when going fast.

Bottom Line: Would I recommend this board to a friend?
I would recommend the hell out of the board to anyone looking for a serious freeride board. If you like to go slideways then you will not just like this board, but love it! I have really been enjoying this board and it has helped me step my freeride game up considerably.

The Omen TKO is a board that is meant for stepping your freeride game up. Not just stepping your slides up, but really kicking your fast and long slides up like 10 notches. This board has the platform and stability that allows you to push slides out with repositioning your feet, heck without even having to look down at your board. If you are interested in a board that can really freeride like a madman but also has the versatility to be useful in your daily commute then check the Omen TKO.

Any questions, comments, concerns, dialogue, hatemail???
Send it my way!
Stay Awesome,
Wayne

Current Favorite Setup:
-OMEN TKO (TOPMOUNT)
-Surf-Rodz RKPs [50* Plates]
-Orangatang Baluts 72.5mm 80a
-Daddies Board Shop Bearings
-Orangatang Nipples (Medium)
-Holesome Slidepucks and Helmets
-of course my party shirt

A New Beast Rises — Original Drop Beast Review

A New Beast Rises — Original Drop Beast Review

Long ago in the days of ancient Greece there was once a monster known as the Original Beast. This dark evil beast had the head of a lion and two tails. It looked something like this….

Well the legendary Hero Waynanidas saw this monsterous beast and knew what he must do! He confronted the Beast and thoroughly shredded it to pieces (http://longboard-life.blogspot.com/2012/02/beastiality-original-beast-freeride.html)! The victorious hero thought that he had nothing left to do but celebrate with months of festivities. Which is exactly what he did!

However, during his celebrations Waynanidas didn’t notice that a new was Beast spawning. This new Beast dropped from the very sky above and became known by the local people as the “drop beast.” When Waynanidas heard this news he knew that once again he must shred this beast!

The new Original Drop Beast is a cut above the rest. I liked the older version of the Beast but this one is something else entirely. The lowered platform with the new concave is everything I could have hoped for. However, before we do anything else, let’s talk about the specifications of the new Original Dropped Beast.

Specs:

Original Drop Beast

Length

41in

Wheelsbase

30-31in (depending on Trucks)

Width

10in

Drop

0.95in

Special Features

Double Drop, Symmetrical, Waist, Double Kicks

The Dropped Beast is a board centered around freeride, which for those of you who aren’t sure what freeride means, it is a type of riding that involves lots of powerslides and creativity while heading down a hill. The Drop Beast comes in two lengths 41 and 44 inches (which means there is not a 38in option in this version of the Beast, like there was in the older version). The deck is stiff, has a waist, drop-through mounting, a dropped platform, and two kicktails. All of which make the Drop Beast a very versatile board that can handle its own in many different styles of riding. This makes it a very good choice for an all-around board that can handle some serious challenges when it’s time to get down and dirty on the hills.

Commuting:
The very first day I rode my Drop Beast was for push race in Charlotte, NC and I’m talking the very first time I even rode it. One of the things I really like about this Beast is that it is SO low to the ground. It makes pushing it around town totally easy. The race I took it to was a 5 mile push race on a pretty flat course and riding the Drop Beast after always riding taller boards made the race too easy! I felt like I could push all day long and not feel a thing.

Freestyle:
The Drop Beast wasn’t necessarily designed to be a freestyle board specifically, however, the addition of two massive kicktails on the board make it a freestyle machine anyways. Although kicktails are becoming more and more of a trend in all types of boards, they have only recently started being added to freeride boards. Kicks have been coming out in all sorts of shapes and varieties lately and Original got it right with their kicktails. They have a ton of pop to them! I love hitting things like shove-its and tiger claws on the Drop Beast, I have even hit some ollies on this board because the tails have so much pop.

Downhill:
The Drop Beast is such a low riding son of a gun that is great for downhilling! You feel like you’re standing on solid ground and not on a skateboard flying downhill when you’re going fast on this board. The drop platform altered the concave of this board when compared to the previous models of the beast. Instead of the platform feeling like you’re standing in a tube, due to the concave, the drop platform flattened it out a bit. Now you have two foot spots and edges where the platform meets the drop. The result is a very stable feeling board no matter the speed you are hitting.

Freeride:
Freeride is where the Drop Beast is truly at home! Like I mentioned above it is a board designed for freeride, so this is naturally where it naturally excels. The drop platform is exceptional at holding your feet in place for long slides. Which was honestly a little counter-intuitive to me because I thought having more concave in the deck would lock me in better, however, being able to push your feet up against the point where the drop meets neck of the deck is fantastic. Instead of having to install a footstop on your board like lots of people do on their freeride setups… the board has two built right in.

 In addition to having two great footstops and an awesome platform to slide from the tails bring your freeride game up a notch as well. You can work on awesome slides from the tails, hit wheelie slides, and do all sorts of things that only a tail can offer you. The Drop Beast is just such a great freeride board and has actually moved to the top of my freeride favorites, which was a pleasant surprise.

Well it can’t all be good. Let’s talk about the downsides of the Drop Beast. The biggest downside that I found with the board was actually how low it rides. If you get it setup right it is fantastic, however finding that right setup was a little hard for me. I initially put some Surf_Rodz RKP trucks and 70mm wheels on it and the board ended up touching the ground when I turned… womp.  However, once I switched to some trucks that rode a little bit higher off the ground than Surf_Rodz 70mm wheels worked fine. I do however get nervous trying to early grab on this board because I have scraped my fingers on the pavement a few time due to that lowness, haha.

 Would I recommend the Original Drop Beast to a friend?

I absolutely would. I liked this board a whole lot more than the older model of the Beast and have found that it has become one of my go to boards for many situations. I even hit my first real bigspin on the Drop Beast, so that was exciting. This new strain of Beast can really do it all, commute, freestyle, push, downhill, and freeride. Freeriding the Drop Beast was a dream come true. My slides feel more controlled and are significantly longer. If you are looking for a board that can do a little bit of everything but that has a flare for freeride then look no further than the Original Drop Beast.

Any Questions, Comments, Concerns, Death Threats, Chain Mail???
Send it my way!
Wayne

 My Favorite Setup:
-Original Drop Beast 41
-Paris 195mm Trucks
-Orangatang Baluts 72.5mm 83a Purple
-Orangatang Nipples Medium Purple
-Bones Redz