The Orangatang Balut is a performance slide wheel that is 72 1/2mm tall, 44mm in width, with a 35mm contact patch. It weighs in a 4.7 oz, and has a centerset bearing-seat. The wheel’s symmetrically designed hub is hollow & spoked, and is covered with Orangatang’s new slide-formula urethane: ‘Euphorethane’. The Balut comes in the brand’s standard colorways of Orange, Purple, and Yellow—with respective durometers of 80a ,83a, 86a. Check out www.loadedboards.com for more info and images.
There has been a lot of buzz about these wheels, so we were eager to get them out in the streets and test them ourselves. We hit a range of terrain including some downhill runs, banks and spillways, as well as some other roadside features.
Pros: The Balut’s light-weight and small contact patch combine for quick smooth rotating slides. The new ‘Euphorethane’ urethane formula and centerset design provide for greater control when kicking it out sideways. The Baluts also have a surprisingly quick roll speed, and pickup.
Cons: The Balut’s slide is not as buttery as some of Otang’s other offerings, and rough pavement is a bit more noticeable.
While we enjoyed shredding the Baluts on a traditional double-kick, we would like to see a smaller version geared t0wards that style of riding.
Overall: The Balut is a predictable,ultra slidy freeride wheel. The new ‘Euphorethane’, while not as buttery as the old formula and a little noisier, does provide for added control when combined with the new light-weight centerset core. There have been fears about the longevity of the urethane-patch due to this larger core design, but our Baluts have been well ridden and still have much more life in them.