Kicking it Up a Notch — Apex 40 Diamond Drop Review

Kicking it Up a Notch — Apex 40 Diamond Drop Review

Oh Hello Adoring Masses,

   I have been rocking a new deck for the past couple of weeks the Apex 40 Diamond Drop. Most people were pretty surprised to hear that Original released another Apex 40 after already dropping two versions not too long ago. However, the new Apex fills some gaps left by the older models.

   The Apex 40 now comes in three models. Each one has the same basic shape but is designed slightly differently to lend itself better to other disciplines of riding. There is the Apex 40 AVRockerConcave which has the flattest platform with the most sharply angles kicktails and is designed for some serious freestyle and flip tricks. Next in line is the Apex 40 DoubleConcave which has a micro drop in the platform and is meant for the intersection of freestyle and freeride. Finally there is the new Apex 40 Diamond Drop which has a full on drop platform and tons of concave to help keep your feet locked in. This board is intended to have a focus on freeride but remain just as comfortable on the flats.

   I have really been enjoying the Apex 40 Diamond Drop but before I get into all the reasons why, let’s go over the technical specifications of the board.

Specs:

Apex 40 Diamond Drop

Length

40.75 in

Wheelbase

28 in

Width

9.75 in

Concave

 Tub

Drop

0.925 in

Special Features

Double Kicks, Drop, Carbon, Kinky Tub Concave

 

As far as construction goes, the Apex 40 Diamond Drop is something else. My favorite part of the construction is the layer of carbon fiber. While carbon is definitely heavier than wood (making the Apex 40 a little heavier than other boards of the same size) it is also incredibly hard to break. I like that I can take my Apex off big ledges or do a million flip tricks without worrying about the board snapping ever. I have intentionally tried to beat my Apex to hell and it doesn’t look any worse for the wear.

 

Beyond the construction of the board my Apex 40 Diamond Drop is also outfitted with the new Original Kicksavers. They are thick plastic pieces that fit over the noses of the Apex line (any Apex) and protect your board from an array of damage inflicting sources. Having these on your board keeps it safe and sound from razor tail and the dreaded curbing incidents that are known to kill longboards.

 

The Apex 40 Diamond Drop can really hold its own in a variety of riding situations and styles.

Commuting
This board is freaking fun to commute on! It really has everything you could look for in a campus crusher or store runner. The drop platfrom makes the Apex 40 Diamond Drop super duper easy to push. It keeps you lower to the ground so that you don’t have to squat really low every time you want to push like you do with most topmount boards. Another great feature for a commuter is the presence of at least one kicktail, and the Apex 40 Diamond Drop has two of those bad boys. They make dropping curbs or popping your board up nice easy so that you can zoom around town in style.

 Downhill
The Apex 40 Diamond Drop is not the best board in the whole world to downhill on, however, there are a few nice things you notice when going fast. The best downhill aspects for me both have to do with the drop platform. The full drop in this Apex gets you down low and keeps your center of gravity close to the ground which always helps with speed. The other thing I really like is the concave of the Apex 40 Diamond Drop which is very comfortable and keeps you locked in, the angle of the drop in the platform also gives you a nice spot to tuck up against if you’re ever trying to your full tuck on.

Freestyle
If there has ever been a board that is ready to freestyle it is the Apex 40 Diamond Drop. I have only ridden mine with the Original Kicksavers on it and they make this board all the more dope for freestyley goodness. The kicksavers give the board a little added pop and a little more width for your feet to grab onto. I was worried they would feel kind of awkward before I actual rode it, however, I actually prefer having them on there. Also when I fall freestyling, which happens sometimes, I don’t have to worry about my board because the kicksavers keep it nice and safe. I thought that the drop platform would make flip tricks kind of weird but was pleasantly surprised to find that it didn’t at all. I really enjoy this as a rough and tumble freestyle board that I can take through anything.


Freeride
This is the discipline that the Apex 40 Diamond Drop was designed around. I think the other decks in the Apex line fall short in the realm of freeride, however, the Diamond Drop picks up all the slack and then some. This board is freaking great for freeride and I take it out to the steep hills on the regular. All the angles and concave in the board lend themselves to long slides like nothing else. The concave keeps you locked in so that you can slide from the platform but, if you’re into it, you can also wrap your heel or toe around the edges of the board. I also really like that the Apex 40 Diamond Drop has kicktails on either side because I really like symmetrical boards and I have been trying to learn how to hold out blunt slides, which has been nice and easy on this board.

Let’s get to the bottom line:
Would I recommend this board to a friend?

I absolutely would. Normally I recommend a board to someone looking for particular traits in a board, however, I think that the Apex 40 Diamond Drop would actually make pretty much any longboarder quite happy. Unfortunately, some people seem to have personal vendettas against Original, but I think this board might be enough to change to their minds if they would actually take one out for a ride.

All in all the Original Apex 40 Diamond Drop is one board to rule them all. It is symmetrical with double kicks for people who like spin and freestyle, it is a topmount which is nice for freeride, but it still rides low which is great for commuting and going fast. To top it all off the black dip and the Pink Floyd-esq graphic is quite the head turner when cruising through town.

 

Any questions, concerns, loveletters, spam, comments?
Send them my way!!!
Stay Awesome,
Wayne

 

My Current Favorite Setup:
-Original Apex 40 Diamond Drop
-Surf-Rodz 176mm RKPs 50* Plates
-Orangatang Baluts 72.5mm 83a
-Daddies Ceramic Bearings
-Orangatang Nipple Bushings Soft
-As always Holesom pucks and a Helmet

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

Beastiality — Original Beast Review

Beastiality — Original Beast Review

For those of you who may or may not have seen, Original released their very own Freeride board a little while back. Actually though, I mispoke, Original didn’t just drop one freeride board, they dropped an entire line of 4 freeride boards. They call them the Beast and that’s because they are indeed animals.

   Although many of you may know this already, I feel it is important to make this point to people newer to the sport, there is a distinct difference between freeride and freestyle. Freestyle longboarding involves lots of flip tricks, manuals, and dancing. FreeRIDE longboarding involves hitting long slides and getting down hills in creative and innovative ways. The boards for either type are very different from one another and the Original line of Beasts are freeride boards.

What does one first notice about a beast? In the case of this board, the first thing I noticed was that it was a super sexy beast. Dropped through, low, sleek black, with big ol’ flared kicktails on either side, and a sick grip job. That is the type of beast I have always wanted to ride. If you have ever known anything about me and my riding style then you would know that I LOVE kicks on a board, so I was super mega excited to take the Beast for a spin.

   However, before getting into how it handles on the roads lets talk the board and its specifications. Original has a line-up of 4 different models of the Beast with two sizes and two styles of concavity. The two size options are a more stable 41in deck or more agile 38in deck. The concavity options are a rocker-concave, better for more tricks, and a W-concave, better for downhill oriented riding.

Board Specifications

Pro’s

Con’s

Length

41in

Kicks

Heavy

Width

10.25in

Symmetry

Grip falls off gas pedals easy

Wheelbase

28in

Gas Pedals

 

Shape

Symmetrical

Waist

Drop-Through

Drop Through

 

Special Features

Gas Pedals

Kicktails

Sweet grip job

 

The Beast 41 Rocker Concave, the one I have been riding, has a nice concave to it, which although is not as extreme as the W-Concave, can still lock your feet in for some downhill action. I felt very comfortable taking my Beast really fast downhill when it had Paris trucks on it, however, once I put a set of Surf_Rodz on the board it was game over. It made it even lower and more stable. I was able to hit some serious downhill runs on this board despite it being the board designed for a more freeride style. I wouldn’t recommend the RockerConcave to win you some races, but it can definitely hold its own going fast.

  Although it can hold serious speed what the board is really meant for is handling loooong slides. This is what the Beast REALLY excels at. Having the concavity to lock your feet in place while gaining speed and then the huge gas pedals with which you wrap your toes or heels around kicked this board’s and my own sliding ability up a couple of notches. My standing slides were drastically lengthened and very controlled when rocking the Beast. I can really just haul down a hill and turn sideways into a slide with 100% confidence and ease. I have really liked freeriding on this board and I think anyone who picks up a Beast will fall in love with its sliding potential.

   Having big old flared kicktails like it does has lent this board to more than just straight freeride. The Beast line is pretty freaking good at freestyle longboarding as well. Like I mentioned above, I LOVE a board with kicktails, I think that having kicktails adds a whole different dimension of skating to your ride. The tails on the Beast are not only prevalent but they are extra-functional. You can hit all your favorite shoves, bigspins, manuals, whatever you’re looking for with these tails. The Beast, being a freeride board, is a tad heavy for super aggressive freestyle, but once you get used to the weight it’s smooth sailing.

   Tails are not only a welcome addition to any board for freestyle but for commuting. You can use these tails to drop off curbs and grab a tigerclaw with the greatest of ease, the hardest part is getting used to lifting the weight of the board up. Being a drop through makes the Beast a lowww rider, which helps make pushing around town all the easier.

   It can’t all be good though. My biggest qualms with the Beast are that it is a heavy board, the grip falls off the gas pedals kind of easily, and the tails chip. Hitting a bunch of freestyle/flippy tricks inevitably means that your board ends up hitting the group upside-down, which pulls the grip off the rails and the chips the tails up a bit. However, I don’t see this as being a big deal because gas pedals don’t necessarily need a bunch of grip on them, all you need is to be able to wrap your foot around them for that extra Umph in your slide.

   All in all the Beast does its name justice!!! It is a freeride machine that can hold its own going fast and hitting up some freestyle time. I have really enjoyed riding this board and I will continue to thrash it for many many days to come. If you’re and intermediate rider who is very interested in freeride but also wants a board that perform well in other disciplines… you might want to get a beast under your feet!

Any questions, comments, concerns, advice…. Hit me up!
Wayne

My Current Set-Up:
-Beast 41 AvRocker
-Surf_Rodz 200mm RKP
-Orangatang Stimulus 80a Wheels
-Bones Reds
-Orangatang Nipple Bushings (Purple)

Ascending to the Apex — Original Skateboards Apex 40 Review

Ascending to the Apex — Original Skateboards Apex 40 Review

   Have you heard the news? The news… the news I’m talking about, the news is that there is a new Sheriff in town in the Original Line-up. That’s right, there is a new Apex hanging around and it goes by the name of the Apex 40.

Let’s get into the technical specifications of the new Apex 40. This may be mildly confusing to some people, especially those newer to the sport, but the Apex 40 comes in two different varieties and it is important to understand the differences. Your two Apex 40 options are the AVRockerConcave and the DoubleConcave, which is the one I have been rocking. The difference between the two boards lie in subtle changes to the platform and kicktails.

The Apex 40 AVRockerConcave is the board devoted more to freestyle and commuting. The AVRockerConcave has taller kicktails than the DoubleConcave board and not as much as much of a drop down. Making it a rockstar for freestyle, hitting those big spin tricks, and taking on some smaller hills. This Apex is constructed with 3 plies of maples and carbon reinforced quad-axial fiberglass making it one tough son of a gun.

Board Specifications AVRockerConcave

Length

40.75in

Width

9.5in

Wheelbase

27.5in or 29in

Shape

Symmetrical, Topmont

Concave

.58in

Special Features

Dual Kicktails, truck mounting options

That was about all I can tell you about the AVRockerConcave because I was actually given the DoubleConcave Apex 40 to review. This board is meant for a little more freeride than freestyle, although either board can do both. The DoubleConcave has a tiny drop platform (a quarter of an inch), gas pedals, and as the name suggests, some nice concavity.

Board Specifications DoubleConcave

Length

40.75in

Width

9.5in

Wheelbase

27.5in or 29in

Shape

Symmetrical, Topmont

Concave

0.55-0.62in

Special Features

Dual Kicktails, truck mounting options, 0.25in Drop Platform, Gas Pedals

The Apex 40 series has a rather unique construction. The boards are very thin for their length with only 3 plies of maple. Seeing how thin they were made me question their sturdiness, however, once you stand on one of them that question is cast from your mind, they are clearly built to last. In addition to the maple the Apex 40 has quadaxial fiberglass and carbon holding everything together. This added a huge amount of durability to the board because carbon fiber is damn near impossible to break. The flex on my Apex 40 is not necessarily bouncey but it can definitely pop you in and out of hard carves and what not, but more importantly I think the flex helps it absorb impact shock. You can bottom out the deck if you really try, but its not super easy.

I was super stoked to take this board out and put it through some runs around town, so I set it up right away with a combination I haven’t beat since then (except a wheel change).
-Surf_Rodz 177mm Indeesz
-Orangatang Stimulus 86a wheels
-Orangatang Nipples Yellow (board side)/Venom SHR Barrel 86a (road side)

The reason I like this set up so much is that Indeesz have a similar geometry and surfy feel to the S-Series trucks that Original produces and design many of their boards around. Although I don’t believe that Original necessarily recommends S-Series trucks for the Apex 40 because it is more of a freeride oriented board I DO think that they obviously consider their own trucks when making boards. Anyways, I just never found a set of reverse kingpin trucks that I felt suited the board as much as the Indeesz, they made the board lower, super pumpy, and really really slidey.

Now lets get down to how the Apex 40 performs in different styles of riding. This bad boy excels in that middle point right between intense freestyle and crazy freeride. Which means that it is super fun on both the flats and on the hills. Its not your typical super heavy stiff downhill deck or your featherweight flexy cruiser.

The Apex 40 is rocking some nice gas pedals, which are rails you can wrap your heel or toe around to get extra torque on slides, and they really add a lot of additional UMPH to your slides both 180s and long standees. The microdrop in the deck locks your feet in a surprising amount for being so little. You feel really confident in your stance when riding in the pockets. However, since the drop and concave are pretty mild holding long glove slides takes some getting used to, but once you figure out the positioning of your feet, it gets kind of awesome. The deck is a little light for a typical freeride deck which, in my opinion, made it much more agile on the hills. Throwing the board around for a slide takes very little effort and even more challenging tricks like slide shovits were smooth on the Apex 40.

Taking the Apex to the flats for some freestyle time is awesome, and possibly my favorite riding aspect of the board. The board is symmetrical with two mounting options for your trucks. I tried both and I very much preferred the inner mounting option for freestyle because it gives you a little more pop off the tails. The apex is a little heavier than the majority of freestyle boards, but what it loses in weight it makes up for in awesomeness. The damp flex makes it so you never bounce off your board, I have taken it off pretty high ledges and didn’t bounce off or bottom out. The concave is mild enough and the platform is long enough for some serious board dancing and the concave actually locks your feet in nicely for peter pans. Flip tricks are also super sick on the Apex 40 because you have so much room to land on your board and you have dual kicks. Kicks are literally the best addition to any freestyle board in my opinion, they have opened a whole new dimension of freestyle riding to longboarding.

Commuting around town on this board is pretty rad. It is not the light bouncy commuter many people think of when a commuting board comes to mind, however, the Apex 40 is sick at getting you from point A to point B. What I liked about it was that you could pop the board into a tigerclaw over a curb and immediately tuck and flew down your every day hill with an equal amount of confidence and ease. Mentioned above the board locks your feet for standies really nicely, which basically means you can add style points to your commute by busting some 180 slides all over the place.

Of course it can’t all be good. I’m going to take a second to talk about some of the weaknesses of the board. The Apex 40 is not a dedicated downhill board, which does not mean it can’t go down hills very fast, it does mean that there are better boards out there for strictly downhill longboarding. Having a lower drop down deck and deeper concave is generally desired for a downhill board. Additionally I think I would have liked to see the tailed dropped a little lower so tricks like ollies, which are better with some serious pop, would be easier on the board.

Would I recommend the Apex 40??? I totally would! Like I mentioned, I wouldn’t recommend to someone trying to win DH races. I think that beginners would really like this board if they rode it too, however, I don’t think that is the demographic of riders who would truly get the most use out of it. I think this board is exceptional in that it hit the perfect middle point between serious freeride and nasty freestyle, so those riders who are good at both and love to switch in between them should consider this board. It will hold those long slides, it will flip around in tricks, and it will stand up to a beating.

Thanks for Reading!
Any comments, questions, concerns, letters of Admiration?
Hit me up!
Wayne

My Current Set-Up:
-Apex 40 DoubleConcave
-Orangatang Balut 72.5mm 83a
-Surf_Rodz 177mm Indeesz
-Bones Reds
-Orangatang Nipples (purple)