Longboard Media Jam

Longboard Media Jam

Hey Longboard World,

We don’t often post up about events because there are just soooo many that we couldn’t possibly keep up with them all.

However, something kind of cool and very new is coming up, check it out, Longboard Media Jam. It is a contest with an entry fee and these fees go to benefit the victims of Hurricane Sandy! A panel of judges will choose the top 16 videos.

These videos will then be stitched together and premiere in a movie theater in New Jersey!!!!
The viewers will then choose the top 3 videos! The winners will be awarded mad skate gear!!!


Here is the link to the event!
Read all the rules and guidelines

Now get filming!!!!!

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








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.

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

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

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

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!

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,

My Current Favorite Setup:
-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,

Flash Back, Flash Forward, Flash Sideways? — Abec 11 Flashback Review

Flash Back, Flash Forward, Flash Sideways? — Abec 11 Flashback Review

Hello Public,

I have been taking the past few weeks to work on some wheel reviews and it has been awesome. The first wheel I want to review is a classic among freeriders… the Abec 11 Flashback. Now Flashies (as they have been lovingly nicknamed) have generated a sort of cult of followers over the years and I was curious how they would feel as I actually reviewed them. However, per usual, before we get into how they handle on the pavement let’s talk about the technical specifications.

Flashbacks are 70mm wheels with a 43mm contact path. Abec 11 says that Flashies have square lips and they do have a definite angle to them, but I would say they are ever so slightly less than square. They come in a wide range of durometers from 75a all the way to 84a, so really soft or a little harder, pick your pleasure. Finally they have a sideset bearing hub so they aren’t meant to be flipped backwards (although I did put that to the test too).

Like all the wheels I test I put Flashbacks through the motions in most major disciplines of riding…

Flashbacks actually make a pretty nice wheel to ride around town. If you’re looking for a chill glide around town with wheels that absorb vibrations and bumps grab a set of the softer Flashies and you will be golden. If you are more of an agressive commuter you bump the durometer up a notch or so to make kicking out slides a little easier.

Flashbacks are not intended to be a downhill wheel but they do have a few admirable qualities for going fast. The first is that if you are on shorter runs being a 70mm wheels allows them to accelerate faster than a larger, say 75mm, wheel would which means you get up to your top speed faster. The other nice thing for downhilling is that you can drift super predictably on Flashies, however the downside of that nice drift is that they don’t have very much grip. If you are running a softer durometer with the mold release still on you should be fine taking most turns but trying to take something sharp while going fast may result in you sliding out.

As far as freestyling goes Flashies have got you covered. They aren’t too heavy but they are big enough to give you some nice roll from one push. This is great for trying to linking up tricks or board dancing. Another interesting freestyle trait of Flashbacks is that have a nice range of hardnesses, so you can go with the really soft or a little harder based on your preference.  I feel like with these wheels you can really take your freestyle from the parks to the streets and be equally at home.

This is it for Flashies. I learned why they have such a huge fanbase when I started to freeride them really hard. The set I reviewed were 78a in durometer so they were pretty soft and also pretty dope. Flashbacks has a super smooth slide. They are the definition of what you might call a buttery slide. Since my wheels were a little softer they took a little more effort to kick out into a slide than a harder wheel might but once you break the wheels free they just glide. In addition they drop super thane if you hold your slide out for long enough. Some people don’t like seeing thane and some do, but regardless its always kind of cool seeing some lines left on the run you just took as you’re walking back up the hill. My Flashies have also worn very well don’t have any flatspots or ovaling which is always something to look for in a good freeride wheel.

Alright well, even though I have been loving Flashies to death (literally almost to the death of the wheels) every wheel has its trade offs. Dropping those cool thane lines on the ground means you are leaving your wheel on the ground when you slide so Flashbacks are not the most durable wheel on the market. However, coming in at a cool $36.00 a set they are also one of the cheapest wheels out there, so replacing them doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg.

If you are looking for a wheel that is ready to hit the hills and go super sideways then I wouldn’t look any further than Flashbacks. Any dedicated freerider knows that he/she is going to need to replace they wheels they burn through in a few sessions and Flashies are probably the best bargain out there. I have loved my Flashback and will continue to love them to the core. If you ever get a chance pick up a set and try them out for yourself!

Any questions, comments, concerns, cooking recipes, parables????
Send them my way!

Special Thanks to Tyler and Alex for appearing in these photos!

Stay Awesome,

Current Favorite Setup:
-Loaded Dervish Sama
-Paris 180mm Trucks
-Orangatang Nipples (Purple)
-Bones Redz

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.


Original Drop Beast




30-31in (depending on Trucks)





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.

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.

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.

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 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!

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

Matt Fagan, Agent of Orange — Bombsquad Agent Orange Review

Matt Fagan, Agent of Orange — Bombsquad Agent Orange Review

 This review is by Mr. Matt Fagan, an awesome dude with some equally awesome insights about the Bombsquad Agent Orange


My name is Matt and I like to play skateboards. What probably makes my typical game of skateboards different from yours is that I live in Boone. That means if I want to skate, I’m probably going to be skating a fast hill. Unlike some places where you seek out the fastest hills, in Boone you’re surrounded by fast hills and have to find ones you’re comfortable skating. This could be finding ones with nice pavement, little traffic, ones that don’t end blind intersections, ones that friendly people live on, ones that don’t have cliffs to the outside or rock walls to the inside of corners, etc. The hills are not particularly fast, but going fast in a straight line requires different gear and skills than going fast around tight corners, or going fast through sweepers before predrifting a hairpin. This means a setup must be stable but able to turn fairly tight at speed and grippy but still able to be slid to shave off speed. This brings us to the Bombsquad Agent Orange, and how it works for my type of riding, and what is does not do as well at. Bombsquad is a smaller manufacturer based in Texas. They make noseguards, footstops, and stiff boards out of maple, and used to make aluminum boards.Hola.








28.5in, 27.5in, 26.5in



   The basic shape of the board is nothing particularly unusual. It is the classic directional topmount speedboard that has been around for a long time. It’s on the shorter side based upon the wheelbase options, but the standing platform is about 28in, so it does not feel cramped for me at all. The board is fairly wide, but not more so than other similar boards. Compare it, for example, to the Comet Voodoo Doll, which is 10.25in at the widest point. The widest point of the Agent Orange is where you need it. Full width is not far behind the front bolts. A lot of similar boards (the previously mentioned Voodoo Doll as well as many of the Sector 9 Downhill Division boards) are at their widest much closer to the middle. This is probably a vestige of their pintail roots, as width there is not particularly usable. That the Agent Orange has tapered a bit by then is useful for several reasons. First, it is simply less wood to carry back up the hill or push around. Second, it makes footbraking at speed significantly easier. It allows you to keep your leg closer in, similar to a waist on many popular freeride boards. Taper also helps with stability a little bit by reducing leverage under the back foot. It just lets you weight up your back foot in a turn for grip without wobbling through them.

The Agent Orange has multiple wheelbase options to adjust based on personal preference. I have found that I like the shortest (26.5in) option the best, but some of my taller friends who have messed around with the board prefer one of the three longer options. I’m short and have a fairly short stance, but some others find the slightly longer wheelbase make sliding easier. The shorter wheelbase and wide nose mean you can get right up on top of the front truck. This makes you more stable and, combined with the width and concave, give you massive amounts of leverage.

   Speaking of the concave, I find it to very comfortable. It’s not super mellow like the Comet Voodoo series, but it isn’t super aggressive. It’s definitely there, but it does not make the board uncomfortable for pushing. I have really small feet, so concaves probably feel different to me than other people, but this is one of the few I’ve stood on that instantly felt right. The only others that have for me are Incline cave and Bustin EQ cave. I’ve heard that the board is pressed in the same concave mold as the Earthwing Supermodel, which has a concave that gets progressively steeper towards the edges. I’m not sure if it is actually pressed in that mold, but it does feel like it could be. The concave doesn’t feel quite as extreme though because the board is narrower, particularly in the back. The middle of the deck feels flat enough for comfortable pushing, with no W. While there may be no W or concave-killing gas pedals, the rails are pretty sharp (only rounded enough for you to not cut yourself), so dig your heel in or monkey-toe that slide.

   The board doesn’t have any noticeable flex for me. It’s only 8 ply, which keeps it fairly light, unlike the 1,140,593 ply Evo or 10 ply Greaseshark. The shorter wheelbase and concave seem to keep it stiff. I have ridden a lot of 9 ply boards that have more flex. A lot of people get sketched out about riding a shorter wheelbase faster because short wheelbases are less stable, but I certainly feel more stable on a smaller, stiff board than a longer one with a little flex. Topmounts are supposedly less stable too, but the Agent Orange makes up for that with grip, huge foot platforms, and the leverage to turn hard or kick out a slide.

   So the Agent Orange excels at going around corners rather quickly, but is it any good at going slow? Some speedboards, such as the Evo, feel good going fast and absolutely dead at lower speeds. A lot of this depends on truck and bushing setups, but the Agent Orange can actually be fun at lower speeds. Being a topmount, it isn’t the easiest board to push, but with the right truck and bushing setup it can be super carvy. Like I said before, the concave isn’t so aggressive that pushing is uncomfortable on your feet; it’s just more work because you have to bend your knee more. On the other hand, getting used to footbraking on a topmount makes you able to footbrake from any speed on a drop-through or drop-platform deck. It also isn’t exactly a freestyle board, but the nose and tail are pretty functional, especially on the shorter wheelbase. Tricks involving the nose and tail are obviously a lot easier on something lighter with kicks such as a Tan Tien, but they’re not too difficult on the AO. The nose and tail are about as functional as those on an Apex 37, which is much more of a freestyle board. Being a good downhill board, it is also a good freeride board when setup for slidey freeride action.

   I have noticed a few weaknesses of the board. First, the sharp rails get torn up pretty easily. I’ve had the board come out and flip over during faster slides (due to lack of skill/practice and nasty pavement) and the rails got pretty scraped up fast. This is particularly a problem at the back wheelwells right before the cutouts, as the board is only a couple plys thick and that’s the highest area on the back of the board. I can’t comment as to how the board stands up to being curbed, as most of the roads I skate don’t have curbs (sometimes they have cliffs to fall off though). The sweet graphic also comes off pretty easily.

   I also experienced my board warping after a couple months. I hadn’t ridden it in the wet and I had only owned it over the colder months so no hot trunks to warp it. I took a couple pictures and emailed Bombsquad explaining the situation. Within 30 minutes, I got an apologetic response asking for my address to send a new one. No requests to send the board in for examination, just an apology and offer for a new one. This is why I would buy another board from them. If there’s a problem, they’ll fix it as quickly as possible.

   As far as set-ups go, I’ve tried Paris, Randals, and Gunmetals on the board. I’ve messed around with all the wheelbase options and some different baseplate angles. I enjoyed the board the whole time, but my two favorite setups were split angle Paris and 46* Gunmetals. I ran the Paris with a 50* front and the rear at 42-43*. With the fat nose that lets you get your front foot right up by the front truck, it works well having the front do more of the turning while the back grips and stays stable. I really like the Gunmetals because I find 46* to be a great middle ground for stability and lean at high speeds and carvy fun at low speeds. I can cruise and carve around at pushing speeds and do 40mph+ runs without messing with anything. Both of these truck setups gave me more confidence than others that I could go faster than I’d ever been before while still being able to turn quickly when I needed to.

   Talking trucks brings up another question, “What about the dreaded topmount wheelbite?” Well, the wheelwells are super deep, as in they go into the third ply from the top, almost through it at the deepest point. The only problem is that they are not particularly long. They match up perfectly with Randals and worked well with Paris (I could run ~75mm wheels with double cones sloppy loose with only a shockpad). I have had wheelbite issues with my Gunmetals though. Gunmetal v2s will lean forever though (I get about the same turning circle with the Gunmetals as a Paris or 50* Randal on the same bushing setup due to leaning so far, despite getting less turn from the lower angle). The 46s are ¼ inch lower than Paris trucks, which is good because I needed ¼ inch riser to get clearance without running tighter trucks or harder bushings than I like. Gunmetals shorten the wheelbase just enough that the deepest point of the wells is not where the wheel hits. This is really just an issue because I like soft barrels and the inner wheelbase with super leany trucks that don’t quite work with it. A fatcone or venom freeride shaped bushing would probably fix the problem too. I have no doubt that Bears or Charger IIs would have no wheelbite issues on the board. Supposedly 50 Calibers work fine as well, but I would imagine the 44s would have problems on the shortest wheelbase, but be fine on the longest option.

   All in all, I really like this board and will probably continue to ride it for a long time. As much as I enjoy other boards, this is what I feel most comfortable on going fast. The only wobbles I’ve gotten on my current set-up were due to flatspots on the front wheels causing vibrations at 35-40 in a turn. While I love the ease of pushing and sliding drop-throughs, I won’t take anything else as fast as I do my Agent Orange. The shape is just so simple and functional. The only addition I’ve made so far has been a little Vicious 3D concave pocket/reference point for my back foot in a tuck to give myself something to push against, making tucking easier. My current favorite setup is below, although I’m thinking about going back to split angles with a slightly larger split soon. Maybe I’ll try more like 50/40 or 46/35 and mess with the wheelbase options again. The variety of setups this board works well with is only made even more tunable by the multiple mounting holes.

Favorite set-up:
Bombsquad Agent Orange
Gunmetal Mac10s with venom barrels (87a bottom, 86a SHR top)
Abec11 Grippins
MHS bearings and spacers

Thanks for the great Review Matt! You rock our socks!

Bustin HQ Using their IQ to make the EQ — Bustin Boards EQ Review

Bustin HQ Using their IQ to make the EQ — Bustin Boards EQ Review

What’s up party people?

My friends over at Bustin Boards have been cooking up some super sweet new creations in their labs as of late. One of these new developments is known as the EQ which they have deemed to be the new speedboard and freeride deck in the Bustin line-up. Well I was lucky enough to have one sent over to me recently and have been rockin it super hard so I would be able to tell you what I was thinking about it.

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My Heart’s a Stereo — Stereo Vinyl Cruiser Review

My Heart’s a Stereo — Stereo Vinyl Cruiser Review

Hello World!
I had been eyeballing the Stereo Vinyl Cruiser for a little while because it is compact and super cool looking…  Well the crew over at Stereo was nice enough to send one over to me so that I could try one out and relay my thoughts on them to you. Which is exactly what I intend to do now.

   The Stereo Vinyl Cruisers are not your typical skateboard in that they have large soft wheels and carvey trucks they are also not your typical longboard in that they are only 22inches long. Which is quite the shortness compared to what you might normally find me riding (i.e. something along the lines of my 48.5in longboard). Being so small it actually took me a day or two to get used to, but after learning not to step off the board it was all smooth sailing.

   The Stereo Vinyl Cruiser comes in at a tiny 22in long and 6in wide. It is rocking equally little trucks with super soft bushings for that carveyness a board like this yearns for. The wheels are 59mm in diameter and 78a in hardness with a pretty wide contact path for such a small wheel. This gives the wheels a nice acceleration and roll speed. But enough with the technical specifications, let’s get into what matters, how the board rides.

This Vinyl little bad boy is super duper fun! Every inch of the cruiser is put to good use without the bells and whistles you might see on other boards. It has plenty of room for a comfortable stance when riding around town and it has a nice little kicktail on the back. The kicktail is great for a couple of reasons 1) any board is better with a kick 2) it makes dropping curbs when cruising through town a breeze and 3) you can actually get a little pop off of the tail so you can ollie and kickflip and what not. Where does this board really shine? It shines in two departments… commuting and looking steezy.
You can grab this bad boy and get ready to SHRED the town, the campus, the skatepark, anywhere. I love getting my Stereo Cruiser under my feet in the sunny weather and just riding. Going from point A to point B isn’t the goal on this board this, instead the goal becomes to get to your destination in the most exciting and creative way possible. You can’t help but have a blast on a Stereo Cruiser, it’s almost like that’s what they were designed for…

Not only is commuting super fun on this board it is super is stylish! You totally turn heads when you cruise by a group of people with this little piece of awesomeness under you. Not to mention the fact that you totally get to rock the matching pair of sunglasses that come with the deck! I love that my lime green board has a matching pair of lime green glasses. Whenever I step on this board I feel like I have to live up to its super stylish fun vibe, so I channel my inner Z-Boy slap on a pair of old school vans and my matching shades and hit the town.
It is also a great board for people to learn on, in fact I give skateboard lessons to some of the kids at the afterschool program I work with every now and then and the Stereo Cruiser is perfect for them. It fits their feet and size super well, it rolls further with every push than a traditional skateboard, and it looks fun with all its bright colors! Everyone I know who has ridden this board has fallen in love with it, haha. My buddies who skate street and in parks like because its different and funky but still functional in many different situations. All my amigos who ride longboards like it because its has great commuting capabilities without all the weight and bulk of a full length longboard.

   Would I recommend the Stereo Vinyl Cruiser??? That is a resoundingly complete yes! It is a great board for someone looking to cruise a town, a fantastic board people to learn on, and those a little more advanced will find it just as gnarly! It can do everything you’re looking for in a little shredder and to top it all off you can stash it in your backpack when it’s not time to skate (even  though that time is NEVER, haha). However, do you know the best part about the Stereo Vinyl Cruiser? The price tag!!! You get the complete and the rocking sunglasses for only 80 bucks! I have had a blast on my Stereo Cruiser and I think anyone who likes to skate would love to grab one of their own, so head and try one for yourself!

My Stereo Vinyl Cruiser with a little grip added

Per Usual, any questions, comments, concerns, love letters, hit me up!


First Board Mag Competition Sponsored by Earth 2 Air

First Board Mag Competition Sponsored by Earth 2 Air

We have kindly been donated a number of board docks and board bags which we will be giving away to lucky email newsletter subscribers. If you have not already subscribed – use the sign up box to the right to sign up to our newsletter!

The Earth 2 Air board docks are a great way of showing off your prized board. They work with skateboards, longboards, snowboards, kitesurf boards and wakeboards. They are really easy to mount to the wall and come with all the necessary bits.

We also have some Earth 2 Air board bags. The Earth2air Mountainboard Bag is the perfect companion to your boarding session and is ideal for protecting your car and house from sand, mud and grass that collects on your board. It has been designed to be compact, lightweight and easily portable. It packs down into its own integrated stuff sack when not in use so it can be tucked away (or taken with you) when you’re off riding and won’t be left lying on the beach.

Enter now!
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