WORDS & PHOTOS Jake Grove
Welcome to our August, 2017 edition of Tried & True. Through this constantly growing and revamped monthly product feature we are excited as ever to showcase a new collection of innovative, unique, and top-quality skate gear select across the industry—gear that we’ve tried ourselves and found to be true to quality skateboarding fun. Sit back, relax, and check out a few of our favorite skate goods this month:
Loaded “Blood Slayer”
Dropping today in select shops worldwide, the mystical Loaded Blood Slayer is a tribute to the monstrous reincarnation of the sky-feasting chubby unicorn. This deck is pure bad-ass-ery!
The blood slayer deck is a hybrid shape ideal for freeride, downhill, and freestyle; coming in at 42.25″ long, 9.75″ wide, and a 28.25″ wheelbase, this deck has an abundant standing platform, as fatty as the chubby unicorn itself. Plentiful board feel is provided through the moderate rocker, wide W Concave, functional wheel flares, and the generously placed nose and tail kicks. In further shape details, the slayer is equipped with built in grab rails and recessed angled truck mounts; all of which shave weight, lower center of gravity, and keep steering geometry on point.
Not only the shape of this board stands out from the crowd, but the construction is next level as well. This innovation is formed around a vertically laminated basswood core, sandwiched in Triaxial epoxy and the full belly of the beast is sealed with a special UHMW base; the material commonly used to cover snowboards, and make slide pucks. From here, the rails and truck mounts have an additional high durometer urethane sidewall; poured to protect and dampen from vibrations as well as collision. The flex level is stiff, however the strategically balanced core provides optimal response for vibration dampening and stability.
We recommend setting the Blood Slayer up in a few varieties; depending on the pursuit of riding this board can wear many hats. Trucks for this board would fit best at a reverse 180mm truck, with a 44-50° baseplate for higher speeds, and 50° base for a broader freeride and freestyle oriented ride. A 65mm to 70mm round lipped wheel will lend this board to perform in freestyle and sliding applications, while a slightly larger 70mm to 75mm race mold provides greater roll speed ideal for pushing and higher speeds.
As Loaded puts it themselves, “Why dwell on the past? The future is so much more metal! Farewell corpulent uni-horned equine! The Blood Slayer cometh!” – In other words, check out more on the new Blood Slayer here!
Harfang “Supreme” Wheels
A little while back we brought you the Harfang Roman Candles wheels through our Tried & True feature; well, they’re back and here with a fresh mold and shape straight out of Québec!
The Harfang supreme is a top quality freeride oriented wheel and comes in at a classic 65mm size, 46mm width, and 35mm stoneground contact patch – all wrapped around a supportive FGM (Fiber Glass Matrix) center set core. This series of wheels come in a few options as well; 78a and 81a, in both standard and roman candles (sparking) designs poured with plush formula urethane.
These components give this wheel a supremely buttery smooth and predictable slide; all while maintaining shape and staying durable thanks to the quality build. We have found Harfang urethane to hold some of our favorite rides and slides and there’s a reason; Harfang consistently researches and redesigns products until they are perfect for the market based off team rider response. We recommend the new supremes as a top-of-its-class slide wheel and if the ride itself wasn’t enough, the roman candle edition will light up the night with its sparkling madness!
Harfang has been designing and producing unique and innovative wheels for years out of Québec, and not only produce their own standard, rain, and roman candles wheels, but will modify any wheel riders ship them for rain or sparks. Yaan and the rest of the crew know what they’re doing and we are excited to continue watching them bring innovation to the scene.
Check out more on Harfang wheels here!
Blood Orange “Insert” Bushings
Bushings are like candies; there’s so many colors, flavors, shapes and sizes. Each stands out from the rest in its combination of formula, durometer, size, and design, and serves a specific purpose for dialing in any setup for maximum feel and stability. What’s better than candy-like-bushings? Free insert bushings! And you won’t have to go in any unmarked white van for these…
Blood Orange recently announced and sent us some of their latest bushing designs; a stepped insert bushing made specific to reverse caliber trucks for a dialed in ride at speeds. These bushings utilize the tested High-Rebound formula blood orange is known for, and works to eliminate all air gaps between the hanger-bushing interface and therefore eliminate slop, increase responsiveness, and lend the hanger to return-to-center quicker. The inserts are available in four durometers from 83a to 92a for ultimate customization.
We’ve found these bushings to greatly improve the ride of our caliber reverse trucks, at a minimal cost, and are stoked to revive our worn stock bushings. Now, back to that free part that I know you’re all questioning; Blood orange is giving out a free set of insert bushings for any rider to use in their caliber trucks. All you have to do is send them a SASE to the address on their site, pick a durometer, and get this sent out quick (the SASE must be postmarked by August 31, 2017!). While you’re at it, draw them a skate-inspired sketch and let them know we sent ya!
Check out the full lineup of quality bushings and hardware from Blood Orange here!
The Drang Dendron is one of the latest downhill boards we’ve tested, and are stoked as always on Drang goodness!
The Dendron is a 38″ downhill-oriented deck shaped by pro rider Chris Anders, with art by homie Mack Yo/ @Wheelturner. This board comes in with a 9.375″ width, 25″ to 27″ wheelbase mountings, .6″ generous concave depth, and a gradual micro drop. We have found the Dendron to provide ideal board feel for higher speeds and downhill riding, yet see it as capable for all around skating with its generous scooped kicktail. Other details like the flush truck mounts, deep wheel wells and raised flares, and solid hardwood construction all combine to create a downhill beast!
We have put this dang to the test in a wide variety of skating-terrain, and are hyped to consider it one of our go to downhill setups; easily capable of skating everything in between! We recommend running some 180mm reverse trucks in a 44 to 50° angle, along with some 65 to 70mm wheels for either freeride or downhill pursuits. That said, we are interested in rocking some 215 Independent standard trucks with some 85a wheels for a ditch race machine – will report back with our findings! Get creative!
Drang has been handcrafting some of the highest quality downhill and all around boards out of Salt Lake City, and not only has a diverse catalog of production models, they also offer blanks/uncut boards, pliess for self-pressing, and a complete custom program for individualized setups! I personally have seen homies riding Drangs in SD Since I started downhill back in 2013, and continue to favor their construction, durability and quality designs.
Check out more from the Drang crew here!
Thanks again for tuning in to our August, 2017 edition of Tried & True! Be sure to check back next month for another collection and fresh skate related products!