Moronga is Spanish for Slide — Orangatang Moronga Review

Moronga is Spanish for Slide — Orangatang Moronga Review

Hello Students of Radness,

The chipper group over at Orangatang recently dropped another wheel sensation; the Moronga. A bunch of people in the community are saying that Morongas are basically Balut 2.0 and they may be saying that with some good reasons. The Moronga and the Balut have the same diameter, the some contact patch, and use the same urethane formula. However, I think that saying Morongas are a just a tweaked version of the Balut is kind of a simplification and that it glosses over the fact these wheels are, in fact, better than Baluts in a variety of ways.

I was lucky enough to be granted not one but three sets of Morongas. Which has allowed me to shred one wheel in each durometer and therefore give you the most complete review and overview possible.

Let’s get into the technical specifications of the wheel. Morongas come in the three signature color-durometer combinations offered by Orangatang: Orange 80a, Purple 83a, and Yellow 86a. The lower number, of course, being the softest and the higher number coming in as the hardest. Unlike the majority of Orangatang wheels Morongas are poured with a Euphorethane formula and not the standard Happythane. The core of the wheel is very large, wrapped in thane, and topped off with a rounded but relatively thick lip. In addition, the bearing seat is centerset which means the wheels can be ridden in any direction. Morongas have a 72.5mm diameter and a 35mm contact patch with a width of 44mm.

Well now that we have got the techy stuff out of the way, let’s talk about how these bad boys handle in the field.

Commute
Morongas are a great wheel for cruising through town and impressing all the soccer moms with your commuting steeze. Coming in at 72.5mm they are a bit taller than your average wheel, which adds to your top speed, but they have a more narrow contact patch. This narrow contact patch translates to a wheel without a lot of weight behind it which means that you can get Moronags up to speed very quickly. I really like the fact that I can slide to a stop for a traffic light and push back up to my regular speed with minimal effort on these wheels. Unfortunately the Euphorethane formula in conjunction with that large core does have a little bit of a downside, that combination makes your wheels feel really hard under your feet. So if you commute over terrible pavement or lots of bumps the vibrations will start to rattle you after a few miles.

I have found that the Purple, or 83a, Morongas are my favorite hardness to push for a long time. Mostly because harder wheels are faster than softer wheels and soft wheels can eat up vibration. Purple Morongas are right in the middle and allow you to achieve a nice balance between speed and vibration dampening. This balance is great for pushing between classes or for my 2 mile push to work every day.

Freestyle
In my opinion, when it comes to freestyle longboarding the lighter the wheel the better. Which is why Morongas kind of rock for freestyle. That narrow contact patch we talked about earlier makes them a hair lighter than other 72mm wheels. It is really noticeable when trying to hit serious flip tricks like bigspins and kickflips. The first time I slapped my Morongas on my Chubby Unicorn,after rocking 4Presidents, I kept over-rotating all my tricks because I wasn’t used to how light my setup had become haha.

 

Another nice aspect Morongas can offer all you freestylers out there is how easily you can pop them into a 180 powerslide. When I freestyle and link tricks I like being able to throw my board in and out of a switch stance through slides (much steezier than pivots) and Morongas let me do that without a problem.

Yellow, or 86a, Morongas are undoubtedly my favorite durometer to freestyle on. Being nice and hard is just so nice for flatland. Mostly because, as I mentioned, I like to kick out into 180 slides like it is my job. The Yellows are definitely the easiest durometer to bust out a slide on the flats with and I dig it.

Downhill
I can tell you this much, while the Morongas are certainly not a downhill shape they can definitely get you from the top to the bottom. The 72.5mm diameter means that these wheels are going accelerate quickly and sustain a slightly higher top speed than your average 70mm longboard wheel. However, these wheels don’t have much bulk to them, which means they are not very massive, so they are not going to get as much momentum going as a wider wheel would.

I don’t think that Morongas are going to be anyone’s go to race wheel anytime soon (unless you’re racing some crazy technical course). That being said, I was very surprised at how much grip you can get out of Morongas when you want to, mostly with the softer durometer. I was surprised because the wheels are so slidey in general but if you really spend some time on them you can easily learn their grip-slide patterns. If nothing else Morongas are predictable, which is fantastic when going fast and you need to know exactly what your wheels are going to do.

If you are looking to downhill on these wheels then I highly recommend the Orange, or 80a Moronagas. They have the most grip out of the three and drift beautifully. I tried going fast on my Yellow Morongas a couple times, it was scary, haha, they cannot offer the predictability and smooth drift at speed that the Orange ones can.

Freeride
I think that we all know what Morongas were really meant for… slides on slides on slides. Morongas eat freeride for breakfast and poop out silly long standies. You might think that was a joke but I am deadly serious.

Having such a narrow contact patch give you less resistance against the ground when looking to hit slides. That’s just plain and simple science. In addition to that narrow contact patch Morongas are rocking a pretty sweet lip shape. The lip is rounded and thicker towards the outside of the wheel relative to the inside near the bearing seat. This allows the contact patch to remain consistent down to the core of the wheel (note: I have not been able to core these wheels yet because they are so durable. I know the aforementioned information based on the design of the Moronga itself). The core is very large, it is the same spoked core as the Balut, and works in conjunction with the lip shape to offer exceedingly minimal wheel deformation while sliding. Which all boils down to a very very consistent wheel and slide.

In addition to being inherently slidey due to their contact patch and lip shape Morongas are also poured in Orangatang Euphorethane formula. Euphorethane is definitely one my favorite thanes out there because it is so freaking durable. The trade off in durability is that Morongas do not dump thane like some less durable wheels on the market, but that is not a problem for me. I don’t need to measure my thane lines to have fun.

How do they slide?
Morongas slide fantastically all the time. However they feel different based on how you are sliding them. If you are using your Morongas without going very fast they are going to be a little noisy. Now, I think this kind of scares people off because they think noisy means chattery, but let me be clear in that they are not chattery. They may let out a majestic call, much like a hawk, when being slide at slower speeds but the slide is still smooth and consistent.

However, if you are going fast enough to hold a slide out for more than 5 feet or so they quiet  right back down. They jump from the noisy zone to what I call the sugar zone. What is interesting about Morongas is that when they truly break free after a few feet of sliding, into the sugar zone, you can hardly feel the transition. I have noticed with many other wheels that the transition between trying to grip and breaking free can be kind of jerky and weird. Morongas have no such problem and are very predictable under your feet.

When it comes down to freeride I think that any color Moronga would serve you well, it all depends on how you ride. If you are just learning how to hold out long slides go with the harder Yellow ones. For those of you who have been enjoying freeride for a while now but don’t hit slides over 25mph I would consider the Purples. People who love to hit a billion foot slides after going 45mph should definitely get the Orange. I personally rock the Purples and love them! However, always remember that I cannot give you a definite recommendation on durometer because in the end it all comes down to preference.

It cant all be good…
Nothing is perfect; and Morongas, although awesome, are no exception to this rule. I would say the only real downside I have come across with this wheel is on the commute. The large core and dense Euphorethane formula makes for a rough ride over bumpy pavement. Morongas can shake your teeth out of your head after a mile of rough pavement, haha.

The Bottom Line
Would I recommend Morongas to a friend?
I think that Morongas are fantastic wheel and that they suit the needs of a very diverse group of riders. If you are into freestyle grab yourself a set of the Yellows. If you like to freeride then either the Purple or the Orange will suit you at whatever speed tickles your fancy. If you havent taken the time to try Orangatang products then there has never been a better time than now. Morongas are killing it!

Thanks for Reading!
Any Questions, Comments, Concerns, Hatemail, Spam???
Send it my way!

Stay Awesome,
Wayne

My Current Favorite Setups:

Commute:
-Bustin Sportster
-Surf-Rodz RKP176mm 50*
-ORANGATANG MORONGA 83a
-Venom Bushings
-Daddies Bearings

Downhill:
-Loaded Chubby Unicorn
-Surf-Rodz RKP176mm 45*
-ORANGATANG MORONGA 80a
-Venom Bushings
-Daddies Bearings

Freeride
-Loaded Chubby Unicorn
-Surf-Rodz RKP176mm 50*
-ORANGATANG MORONGA 83a
-Venom Bushings
-Daddies Bearings

Freestyle
-Loaded TanTien
-Paris V2 180mm
-ORANGATANG MORONGA 86a
-Orangatang Nipples (soft)
-Daddies Bearings

An Illuminating Wheel — Northern Lights Review

An Illuminating Wheel — Northern Lights Review

Hello My Friends,
I have recently started riding a new set of wheels, Northern Lights by Balance Skate Products. Northern Lights are new to the Balance line-up and were designed as an all around wheel with a knack for all of your freeride endeavors. Something really cool about these wheels is that the cores actually glow in the dark. Yes, you heard me right, the cores glow in the freaking dark!

Which means as soon as these wheels arrived at my house, before I even put them on board, I let them sit under a lamp for a minute then turned off all my lights. Northern Lights lay no false claims. They totally glow in the dark, which is just plain old fun.

I know everyone is curious about how well these wheels handle, but before I get into that, let’s talk about the technical specifications of the wheel. Balance Skate Products’ Northern Lights are 70mm in diameter with a 38mm contact patch. The core, aside from being glow in the dark, is slightly offset. Northern Lights come in only one durometer of 83a. They are round lipped and the riding surface is stone ground or “pre-broken-in.”

Downhill
Northern Lights are not really a downhill specific shape, however, I have taken them pretty fast more than a few times and was happy with the results. Coming in at 70mm makes these wheels a very typical size for longboarding but not necessarily for super downhill mode which normally rocks wheels around 75mm. Bigger 75mm wheels have a higher top speed than 70mm wheels so you probably aren’t going to break any speed records on your Northern Lights.

However, these wheels are actually really fun if you like a little bit of slide in your downhill runs. The narrow contact path and the rounded lips make for a very drifty wheel when going fast. If you like to go fast and then slide through a turn the you will enjoy these wheels. That being said, Northern Lights are surprisingly grippy when you want them to stick and held some moderately turny lines when pushing some speed.

Commuting
I do a lot of skateboard commuting (despite the bitter winter cold) on my way to work every day. My commute to work is about two miles long with lots of hills, roads, sidewalks, curbs, cars, and people to maneuver through. I put Northern Lights through these motions every single day, two miles there, two miles back, on every dry day since I got them back in December. Two of the things I really liked when commuting on these wheels were the quick acceleration and the light weight.

Being a 70mm wheel means that you really don’t have to put that much effort into getting these bad boys up to speed. One or two pushes and you are well on your way. They don’t hold speed for a super long time, like a more massive wheel would, but since it takes so little effort to push them it is definitely a fair trade off. Additionally I really enjoyed how light these wheels were when I had to push them for two miles every day.

Freestyle
I mentioned that having a light weight wheel was great for pushing around town, well I think that a light weight might be even more applicable to freestyle skating. If you like to freestyle as much as I do then you probably already know how beneficial a light wheels can be. Northern Lights are great for flip tricks because they don’t weigh your board down very much, especially for a 70mm wheel, which means your spins or flips don’t require a Herculean effort.

Generally when I freestyle skate I throw lots of 180 slides in the mix when linking tricks. Northern Lights are really nice for quick 180 slides on flat ground. You can break the traction very easily and spin them around without a problem. The slide is nice and smooth and the transition is pretty quiet, which is always a plus.

Freeride
Like most people I have been getting more and more into freeride lately and am always questing for a fantastic slide wheel. Northern Lights have definitely hit a sweet spot for freeride. They break traction smoothly and consistently. These wheels do not drop an enormous amount of thane, which means they also do not wear stupidly fast. I can also say that they have been wearing very evenly and uniformly throughout my entire test phase with no flat spots or ovals. Now to answer the question on everyone’s lips, “are they buttery?”

Northern Lights do not have what I would consider to be a buttery slide, they have a very interesting slide that I have really come to enjoy. Once they break traction Northern Lights feel like what an icy slide would be like, however, they are completely controllable. The first time I held out a big slide on Northern Lights I could have sworn they were going ice out right away based on the way the felt under my feet, but I was very pleasantly surprised to find that their slide is super controlled and predictable. I don’t think I have ever ridden a wheel that felt so icy but remained so freaking manageable. Northern Lights are one of my favorite freeride wheels as of late because once you break traction and start sliding they just go without sacrificing control.

It Can’t All Be Good
Every product has a downside or two. I would say that the biggest downside to Northern Lights might be the fact that they look so similar to other wheels on the market. I have heard people say that they are just Metro Motion knock offs. There are in fact many wheels on the market poured in the very same mold as Northern Lights.

However, to these people I would say, “Don’t knock them til you have tried them.” Because while you may have ridden similar wheels I promise that you have not ridden thane like Northern Lights.

The Bottom Line
Would I recommend Northern Lights to a friend?
I wholeheartedly believe that these wheels are a solid choice anyone looking to freeride and freestyle on their board (which is most people these days). They are light, slidey, and very durable. What more could you ask for in a wheel? Northern Lights are a great all around wheel, however, I think that they are at their very best in freeride. If you are looking for a long lasting wheel that can handle pretty much any type of abuse you can throw at, then I would consider Northern Lights.

Any Questions, Comments, Concerns, Hatemail, Junkmail???
Send it my way!

Stay Awesome,
Wayne

My Current Favorite Setup:
-Loaded Chubby Unicorn
-Surf-Rodz 176mm RKP 50*
-Venom Bushings
-NORTHERN LIGHTS 70mm 83a
-Venom Bushings
-Daddies Bearings

Fairy Tales Really Do Come True — Loaded Chubby Unicorn Review

Fairy Tales Really Do Come True — Loaded Chubby Unicorn Review

 Hello Friends,

I come to you today with a review that many people thought would never be written, that of the infamous Loaded Chubby Unicorn. The Chubby Unicorn has definitely been under development longer than any board I have ever heard of and there has been more stoke and hype around this specter of deck than I thought imaginable.  We have all seen the glimpses of the Chubby Unicorn in pictures and videos for a very long time and it will finally be available worldwide on December 4th.

The Chubby Unicorn is a topmount, double kick, symmetrical freeride and downhill board. Despite the seemingly simple shape the Chubby Unicorn, lovingly called the Chubby by many, is a board unlike anything currently on the market. However, before I get into how this thing handles on the road, let’s talk tech.

 

Loaded Chubby Unicorn

Length

42.25in

Width

9.75in

Wheelbase

28.25in

Kicktails

7in (to inner bolts)

Special Features

W-Concave, Wheel Wells and Flares, Recessed Truck Mounts, Grab Rails, UHMW Skin, Urethane Rails

The Chubby Unicorn spent an insane amount of time in development to make what Loaded thought to be the best downhill freeride board on the market. In doing so Loaded added some serious tech to this deck to really make it perform in the manner they wished.

There are several novel features, unique to this board, that are not currently available anywhere else on the market. The most intriguing of which are the Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE)  skin on the bottom layer of the board and the urethane sidewalls coating the rails. These were both added to give the board some extra durability and dampen vibrations when going at top speed. I know that everyone has as many questions about them as I probably did, so I made sure to spend extra time testing every aspect of these new features.

If you have ever read one of my reviews then you already know that I always review a board in each of what I consider to the four main categories of longboarding. This review shall be no exception, so let’s get started.

Commuting
When it comes to a commuter the Chubby sure can make a run to class or work a whole lot of fun. Especially if that run to class or work includes some nice terrain to tear through in the process. I personally find W-Concave to be kind of hit or miss with me in many aspects of riding, but commuting is generally where I don’t like it. However, the W on the Chubby is nice and flat on top so it doesn’t make my feet sore when pushing on it for a long time. Another nice thing for me, because I’m a mongo pushing kook, is the concave. While it is definitely there, like the W, it is not crazy steep foot cramping concave. Finally, I would say that the weight on this board is just right for a commuter, I have ridden dozens of boards that are composed of like 20 plies of maple and they weigh a ton, coming in at less than 5lbs makes the Chubby pretty enjoyable to push around.

Favorite Commuting Setup:
-Paris 50*, Orangatang Nipples (Hard), Orangatang 4President 83a

Freestyle
Well the most obvious trait this board has for some freestyle action are the two giant kicktails on either end. I think that most boards keep their tails a little too short, well the Chubby said screw that! Loaded beefed their tails up with big ol’ 7 inch kicks which is great for freestyle and for freeride alike. There is enough tail to actually pop a significant ollie (not the 1inch ollie you get with most longboards) and you can get plenty of leverage on the tails to do things like shoves, big spins, tiger claws, you name it. Some of the more subtle freestyle bonuses are the urethane sidewalls and the UHMWPE skin on the bottom. They are really nice because if you’re like me, and you don’t have perfect manuals on lock, you will often drag the tail of your board along the ground. Of if you are constantly hitting ollies or big pop tricks off the tails you scrape your tail up pretty fast.  The problem is that on a board with a price tag as daunting as the Chubby Unicorn getting super fast razor tail would be terrible. Fortunately, that urethane sidewall and UHMWPE skin have done wonders to keep my board in tip top shape (despite the fact that I have been intentionally trying to thrash it to give you the best review possible).

Favorite Freestyle Setup:
-Paris 50*, Orangatang Nipple Bushing (Soft), Orangatang Stimulus 86a

Downhill
The Chubby Unicorn is one fast moving son of a gun. I can honestly say that I don’t think I have ever felt as stable on a board as I have on the Chubby. To be fair, this board was designed with me or someone very close to my height, weight and shoe size in mind. I am about 5’9”, 160lbs, and wear a size 10.5 shoe and this board felt like it was meant to be. I am the first to admit that downhill is my weakest skill in longboarding, but I can at least get pretty fast if I try, and I took this board to some of the biggest hills Chapel Hill has to offer and it performed very well. It made me feel more confident going fast which was great because as we all know that person who is the most sure of her/himself is generally the best at downhill, haha.  I probably maxed out in speed at around 40mph on some 45* trucks and I didn’t feel even a slight wiggle under my feet. It is seriously like riding a on a magic carpet, or actually, just like riding on a big fat Unicorn. The wheelbase is long enough to keep stable but not so long that you lose maneuverability. The concave keeps your feet where you want them to be without being overbearing and restrictive. In addition I really liked have the wheel flares on the board as a reference point I could feel without looking down at the board. Finally the recessed truck mounts lower the board just a tiny bit and takes your center of gravity down there with it which adds a little more stability to your runs.

Favorite Downhill Setup:
-Surf-Rodz RKP 45*, Venom Bushings, Orangatang 4Presidents 80a

Freeride
I am aware that the Chubby is downhill/freeride board, but I would like to make the argument that it is actually a freeride/downhill board. Mostly because this board, in my opinion, is at its best during some freeride action. I like that the Chubby retained a wheelbase of only 28.25 inches because it makes the board so freaking nimble on the hills. If you like 180 slides you can spin until your heart’s content with this board due to that small wheelbase and the multifaceted uses of the concave. I have mentioned that the concave isn’t anything super serious, but it is in its simplicity that it shines. The rails and W have enough to grab onto with your feet no problem when transitioning between slides or holding out long slides. I’m no pro rider and cannot hold 16453 foot slides for days, but I have definitely hit my longest slides to date on this board. Additionally I really like to use my tails when I freeride, so I like having the enormous tails on the Chubby when hitting the slopes. The tails have a little bit of concave in them  and are so beefed up that you can definitely keep your foot locked in on the tail in any situation. Finally, let’s talk grab rails. If you are a fan of early grabs or stalefish/indy slides you will be a fan of these grab rails. They are definitely deep enough to grab into with your fingers and get a little more grip on your deck. The only time I ever had an issue with them was if I were wearing slide gloves with finger pucks on them; but then you can’t really grab anything anyways so I can’t really call that the grab rails’ fault.

Favorite Freeride Setup:
-50* Calibers, Blood Orange Bushings, and Orangatang Stimulus 83a or Baluts 80a

Check that Skate Face!

Durability
I don’t normally devote an entire section of a review to the durability of a board, but I think the Chubby merits this special adjustment. I know that everyone wants to know if the Chubby Unicorn is really worth the extra money and the durability of board definitely plays a role in that. I have actually been attempting to thrash this board; I have treated it like absolute hell. I have been taking it off stair sets, curbing it, flipping onto the rails, trying to razor the tail… you name it, I have put this board through it. Through all of this my Chubby still looks better than most of the boards I have and that I take way better care of. I haven’t even been able to scrape through the urethane sidewalls to see the wood on the tails or the rails yet.

It Can’t All Be Good…
Every board has its up and downs. There is no silver bullet longboard that will be a perfect fit for everyone. I believe the Chubby Unicorn has come incredibly close to being a do it all board, but I also acknowledge that this board won’t be it for everyone. My main reasoning is the concave. Some people are really big fans of very extreme and elaborate concave and some people just do not like W concave. This is simply a case of not being able to please everyone because everyone looks for something a little different in a longboard.

The Price
I also happen to be a pretty gifted mind reader and I know the other downside everyone is thinking about right now. The whopping price tag. The Chubby Unicorn is going to set you back $360 for the deck. That is a freaking investment right there. I know that this has ruffled a lot of feathers with people who have been waiting forever for the Chubby to come out only to find they can’t afford it. While I am in no way saying this board is cheap, I do think it is worth the price.

My background in sports started with cycling and surfing which both carry a much larger pricetag than longboarding does. A decent surfboard, even used is going to be at least 300 big ones and the price only goes up from there. Now, to get anywhere near a decent road bike will cost you $1000 and to get a bike that is competitive at the racing level we are talking well over $4000. The Chubby Unicorn is a professional level board using the most innovative manufacturing techniques on the market; it is the crème of the crop, and you really do get what you pay for.

Bottom Line
Would I recommend the Chubby Unicorn to a friend?

Yes, this board has received the Wayne Capps Seal of Approval in pretty much every way. I would however, encourage anyone looking to purchase a Chubby to try one out before you buy. This board does require a significant investment into the sport of longboarding so you need to be sure that you’re in it for the long haul and that you feel comfortable on the Chubby.

I think this board would best suit someone who is looking for one board to do everything. Many people out there now have quivers of boards (myself included) and I think that the Chubby might be a great alternative to a quiver. It costs less than getting more than one board and, in my humble opinion, can do the job of many boards better than any two boards combined.

If you know someone with a Chubby, give the board a try and see if you like it. I am fairly certain you will be impressed and I have to give mad props to Loaded for making such a solid board.
 Thanks for reading! Any questions, comments, concerns!?!?!?

Hit me up!
Stay Awesome,
Wayne

My Current Favorite Setup:
-LOADED CHUBBY UNICORN
-Surf-Rodz RKP 50* Trucks
-Orangatang Stimulus 80a
-Venom Bushings
-Daddies Bearings

Smelly Slidey Goodness — Holesom Slide Puck Review

Smelly Slidey Goodness — Holesom Slide Puck Review

Hey Longboard-Life Enthusiasts,

I have been known to write the occasional review on longboard related gear and I have hit decks, trucks, wheels, ect… well today I have something special lined up for you, my first ever slide puck review! Holesom was awesome enough to send me over some super awesome pucks to try out and I have been putting them through the motions of every day use.

People who skate with me regularly know a few things about me:
1) I skate every day possible
2) I love standing slides
3) I am actually not too good at glove slides

Well one of those facts has recently changed! I have been practicing up with new Holesom pucks and have picked up a few glove slide to add to my arsenal of skate knowledge.

Now, enough about me, this is a review after all so let me talk about Holesom slide pucks.

The first thing I want to touch on is just how damn stylish these pucks are. The Holesom logo is built into them (which has a purpose we will talk about shortly) with three holes in the pucks which immediately sets them apart from every other puck on the market. In addition they also come in a whole bunch of awesome colors from brown to pink to glow in the dark which also sets them apart from other pucks which are predominantly black. However where Holesom pucks really get the most points for uniqueness is that they are SCENTED! Yes you heard me correctly these pucks actually have different flavored smells (my favorite are the bubblegum ones).

Alright, I know what you’re thinking now, “these pucks sure do look nice, they even smell nice, but do they perform just as nicely?”

The answers is a definite yes. Holesom pucks are kind of spectacular for a few reasons beyond their smell.

The first reason is that they don’t wear down very fast. I have taken my Holesom pucks on everything from super smoother fresh pavement to old janky cheese grater pavement and they have rose to the challenge. The pucks I use the most often still look brand new and still smell great. The formula used in these pucks is quite resistant to scratching or wearing down and I really like that.

The second reason they rock is that those holes I talked about earlier are awesome. The website says that the holes are in the pucks for less resistance when they hit the pavement. I initially thought that there really couldn’t be that much of a difference between pucks with holes in them and pucks without. Therefore, I put them to the test.

I set up a pair of gloves with Holesom pucks (which have holes in them) and a pair of gloves with regular pucks (which don’t holes in them) and took them to a favorite hill. To test them I chose a spot on that hill to start at each time and rode down without pushing so that only gravity gave me momentum. Then I executed a glove slide with each type of puck. I did that a whole whole bunch of times and in the end I came to the conclusion that Holesom pucks actually do offer up less resistance then regular pucks because I slid further each time.

The final thing I wanted to touch on about Holesom slide pucks are the confidence they add to my rides. I didn’t really ride with gloves that often before I got these pucks (hence why I couldn’t glove slide) but now I ride with them every time I go out to skate. I do so because having gloves on helps keep you safe and whether consciously or not you are more confident when you know that you are riding safe. There is just something about knowing that if you fall while hitting a big standy you will have something safe to land on that is very comforting.

Would I recommend Holesom slide pucks to a friend?

I would do so in a heartbeat. They keep you safe, they look great, they handle very well, and to top all of that off they even smell nice. I honestly cannot think of a bad thing to say about Holesom pucks. Their great reputation is well earned and I know that anyone who picks up a set will not be disappointed.

Thanks for reading!
Any questions, comments, concerns, recipes, hatemail?
Send it my way!!!
Thanks, and Stay Awesome,
Wayne

the Reckless Vandal — Rayne Vandal Review

the Reckless Vandal — Rayne Vandal Review

Hey Party People,
I recently got my hands on a Rayne Vandal a board so ready for steeze that it may make you feel like going way bigger and harder than normal… one might even say it makes you feel like a reckless vandal. (see what I did there?) The Vandal really is an awesome board for both freeride and downhill and it has all sorts of nooks and crannies to keep your feet nice and comfy no matter what type of situation you might find you and  your board in.

However, per usual, before we get into how the Vandal handles on the ol’ black top let’s get into the technical specifications of the board.

Specs:

Rayne Vandal

Length

35.5in

Wheelsbase

25.75, 26.5, or 27.25in

Width

10in

Special Features

Tub Concave, 3D Wheel Wells, 3D Gas Pedals, Mounting Options

The Vandal is a direction topmount board with everything you need to go fast and go sideways and even some surprising attributes to make it pretty fun in other applications.

Commuting
This board is a pretty dope board to cruise through town on. It is small enough to be nimble on sidewalks but has more than enough room to steeze things out with. Something I really like about Rayne construction is the use of bamboo and pre-tensioned fiberglass. This combination makes their boards both strong as an ox and light as a feather. Being so light is really what makes this board so nice to commute on because it takes like no energy to get moving.

The Vandal also has some nice adjustable wheelbase options, so if you know that you are going to be riding through some close quarters pretty frequently you can dial the wheelbase in nice and tight. This allows you the ability to whip 180 and check slides with little no effort.

Freestyle
Most people would be kind of surprised to know that the Vandal, although definitely not intended to be a freestyle board, has some nice traits for tricks. You can reel the wheelbase down real low to give your Vandal a little tail. Now the tail is not kicked but it is super functional. you can boneless, tigerclaw, shove, and manual with this little tail all day long. In addition something one of my buddies did that was kind of cool is put a footstop on his vandal. This footstop was meant for intense freeride/downhill time but it doubled as an “ollie block.” He would pop an ollie and then slide his foot up against that footstop to get a little more leverage on the board and add height to his jump. There’s a little pro-tip if you’re ever trying to take you Vandal up curbs, haha.

Downhill
The Vandal is fast. There are no “ifs,” “ands,” or “buts” about it. This board was built for speed and lots and lots and lots of it. Having never actually ridden a Rayne before this Vandal when I heard that it was made of bamboo and fiberglass I immediately thought of more flexy cruiser type boards and couldn’t picture it being stiff. However, the second I stepped on the board all my thoughts of flex dissolved. The Vandal is nice and stiff and has super comfy foot pockets. The board was molded with such thought and foresight that I felt very comfortable going at about my max speed on this board the day I got it.

Freeride
Where does a Vandal truly shine? Well, to be perfectly honest it was quite a close call between downhill and freeride, but in the end I think the Vandal’s true forte is going sideways (and feel free to disagree with me). The platform on this board is something else, the wheels wells form awesome 3D gas pedals that you can really dig your feet into for slides. They feel great for spinning around and transitioning between heel and toeside slides and also make you feel really confident when leaning into bigger slides. The shape of the wheel wells is so intuitive and natural that you don’t find yourself needing to monkey foot (when you wrap your toes or heel on the rail of a board to get more leverage) hardly at all. I still do it out of habit when I am going slow (check out some of my pictures), but at high speeds my feet stay on my platform at all times even when switching my slide direction.

Let’s Get to that Bottom Line:
Who would I recommend the Rayne Vandal to? I think that this board is great for all those folks out there who are looking to go fast and go sideways. While the Vandal is pretty good for commuting and even has some nice feature for some light freestyle, it is really all about speed. Speed while downhilling and speed while pulling off impossibly large powerslides. The Vandal is currently my topmount of choice because I know when I step on the board I am going to be locked in for any speed I might hit and ready to hit a slide at a moment’s notice.

If you are looking for a directional topmount board that can do a little bit of everything but really excels at downhill and freeride then I would humbly recommend the Vandal. It has everything you need to go super fast and slideways. Plus, to top all of that off the construction on the board is great and I know that my Vandal will last me a long long time.
Photo Cred: Flerine!

Any Questions, Comments, Concerns, Loveletters, or Memes???
Hit me up!
Stay Awesome,
Wayne

My Current Favorite Setup:
-RAYNE VANDAL
-Surf-Rodz 176mm RKP Trucks
-Orangatang Baluts 80a
-Venom SHR Bushings
-Daddies Board Shop Bearings

Kalypso 4President — Orangatang 4President Review

Kalypso 4President — Orangatang 4President Review

Hey Everyone,

Check out the video review!
Kalypso 4President

Kalypso, my dog, and I decided we wanted to give you our opinions on Orangatang 4President wheels! The 4President line of Orangatang wheels have been around for a pretty long time and have a reputation for being a fast and reliable wheel for many different disciplines of riding. In my personal opinion they are as close to a do anything wheel as one can get. But before we get into how these wheels handle on the road, let’s talk about the specifications of the 4President.

My Co-Star Kalypso

Like all Orangatang wheels 4Presidents are offered in their 3 signature durometers/color combinations, 80a orange, 83 purple, and 86a yellow and these wheels are poured with Orangatang’s HappyThane urethane formula, which a lot of people either love or hate, but I personally love. 4presidents are a hard lipped wheel with an offset bearing seat and measure in at 70mm with a 53mm contact path.

So what does that mean for your riding? Being a 70mm hard lipped wheel gives 4presidents a very quick acceleration and the ability to carve hard and take corners at speed. However, the reason I said that the 4prez is as close to a do anything wheel as you can get is because if you break these wheels in they will slide allllllllll day for you. I really enjoy freestyle, downhill, freeride, and commuting on these wheels.

Disciplines of Riding:

Orangatang 4Presidents perform well in MANY different types of riding from slalom to sliding and everything in between. Let’s talk about how they handle in different riding scenarios.

Commuting:
4presidents make a great commuting wheel for several reasons. The first is that they accelerate quickly and hold speed for a while, which means that they glide for a long time after each push. The second is that they have fantastic grip, even when broken in, for pumping. If you pop these bad boys on a flexy board you can really just pump the day away and hardly ever put a foot on the ground. I have actually pumped UP hill on 4Presidents when I throw them on a flexy board like a Dervish. Kalypso loves to commute on these wheels because she doesn’t have to pull as hard because they roll so easily and for so long!

Freestyle:
I actually really like to freestyle on these wheels! 4Presidents may be a little bit wide and heavy for some people’s freestyle tastes, however, I thoroughly enjoy them. I like that they have a little grip but still slide like crazy if I really throw myself into the slide, even at low speeds. Plus there is always that benefit of being a wheel that doesn’t require that much pushing once it gets started rolling. Not having to push all the time is great for tricks like cross stepping and all that board dancing whatnot.

Downhill:
When it comes to downhilling 4presidents are a fantastic wheel! They get up to speed very quickly and hold speed for a long time. I have seen some serious race set-ups with 4presidents on them as opposed to the larger InHeats due the the faster acceleration of 4presidents. If you don’t break in your 4presidents they can really take a corner too, they grip really hard when going fast. However once you break them in it’s a whole new ball game!

Freeride:
Freeride on 4presidents is insane. They take a little work to break in, you gotta get that shiny release mold off and round out the edges a bit, but once you do it’s game over. I love to slide on my 4presidents. They are as much fun going sideways as they are going downhill. They have a very smooth and consistent slide with no surprises thrown in the mix. I feel very comfortable whenever I slide on these wheels. In addition they wear pretty slowly which is nice. I have a set Orange Stimulus wheels that have worn at much faster rate than the 4Presidents have. I also haven’t ever had trouble with flatspots or ovalling, which is super sick.

All in all, I would say that Kalypso and I LOVE Orangatang 4Presidents! They accelerate quickly and hold speed for a long time. You can pump and freestyle them all day. They can corner like a boss when they aren’t broken in… then when they are broken in they love to slide! Like I said earlier, I think that Orangatang has gotten about as close as you can get to a “do anything” wheel as is possible with 4presidents.
Just ask Kalypso!

 

Thanks for reading/watching!
Any questions, comments, concerns, bills, junkmail, loveletters???
Send them my way!
Wayne

Bangin Bootlegs! — Seismic Bootleg Review

Bangin Bootlegs! — Seismic Bootleg Review

Hello There Adoring Public!

I have been rocking out on a new set of wheels lately thanks to the lovely team over at Seismic Skate Systems. Seismic has been making wheels for a very long time now and in the past year decided to try their hand at a set of slide specific wheels. They came out with two models of  slide wheels; 70mm Bootlegs and 75mm Landslides. I have been enjoying the smaller of the two models, the Bootleg in 84a, and they have been satisfying my freeride desires quite well.

That’s a nice face I’m making… you’re welcome planet earth

Before I get into how these wheels handle on the road I would like to talk about the specifications of Seismic Bootlegs. They are 70mm freeride wheels with a 50mm contact path, which is relatively wide for a freeride specific wheel. Bootlegs also feature rounded lips and a stoneground riding surface so that they can slide cleanly right out the box. They also come in two durometers a soft 80a which are red and a hard 84a which are sky blue. One of my favorite features of the wheels is that they have a centerset bearing seat, which means that you can flip and rotate these wheels to your hearts content. Now enough with the wait… let’s get into how they handle on the road!

 

Commuting

I have really enjoyed commuting on these wheels for several reasons. The first is that 70mm is a great size for pushing around town. 70mm is big enough to roll over most bumps, cracks, and twigs yet not so large that they take a long to get up to speed. In addition the 50mm contact path allows you to carve hard for people and traffic slalom without fishtailing out of control.

Freestyle

Bootlegs were an interesting wheel to freestyle on. They are a little wider than the normal wheel I might try to hit some freestyle tricks on, being wider gives them a little more girth than most 70mm wheels. It took some getting used to but I ended up liking them because even at low speeds I could hit some nice little 180 slides without hardly any effort, which I know is not crucial to everyone, but I happen to really like that ability in a slide wheel.

Downhill

Being a 70mm wheel automatically means that Bootlegs are not going to have the highest top speed among wheels, in fact I would wager that their bigger cousins, the Landslides would have a higher top speed. What Bootlegs can do, very well, is accelerate and hold speed. Having on a 70mm diameter allows these wheels to get up to speed very quickly and having a wide contact path gives them that extra weight to add to their momentum. Basically these wheels like get to fast quickly and stay fast. However, you don’t really want to try and corner while going to fast on these since they are designed to slide, they will do just that.

Freeride

This is where the Bootlegs really shine, freeride. These wheels were born to slide. I would describe their slide pattern as a sugary slide, which basically means they aren’t as hard as an icy wheel would feel under, but not as soft as what I would call a buttery wheel. Sliding the Bootlegs and all their sugary glory is really fun and easy once you get a feel for them. Spinning 180 degrees is no sweat with these bad boys, especially when moving at any significant pace. Holding out longer slides on Bootlegs is great and just as easy. You can actually feel the wheels under you feet, and the first few times I took them sideways all I could think was that “these wheels are about to ice out under me” however they never have. They skirt that point right before icing out very nicely which makes your slides just go for day.

In addition my Bootlegs have stood the test of time pretty well. I have taken them sideways a whole bunch over the past few weeks and they have shown very little signs of wearing. What is more important is that there is no sign of flat spotting, oval-ing, ect…

 

Would I recommend Seismic Bootlegs to my friends??

Why yes, yes I would! I would emphasize that they are not a strict downhill wheel, but that they are great for freeride. You can take every which way on the pavement with ease. The only freeriders I might caution are those who ONLY like buttery slides, because like I said, my Bootlegs were more sugary than buttery. However, if you take the time to get to know and love your Bootlegs they will love right back and help you bring your freeride game up a notch or two.

 

Thanks for reading

As usual anything you want to say to me or ask me… just hit me up!

Wayne

 

My Current Setup:
-Seismic Bootlegs 70mm 84a Blue
-Bustin Boards Ibach
-Surf_Rodz RKP’s or Paris 180mm Trucks
-Orangatang Nipples Soft Orange
-Bones Redz

also here are some more photos: