WORDS & PHOTOS Jake Grove
Ho-Ho-Happy holidays and welcome to our final Tried & True skate-gear feature of 2017! This December, we’re highlighting some of our favorite skate goods to end the year – ones that anyone would be stoked to find under the tree. All of ‘em top-quality, skater built and approved, and of course stylish as hell. So sit back, relax, and check out a few of our favorites:
The Chroma “Aspect” Freeride/Downhill Board is the complete package for speed and kicking out endless slides. A classic combination of rocker, radial concave and noticeable rear W-concave provide plentiful board feel and a locked in yet non-restrictive positioning. A subtle front micro drop “bubble” grabs the front foot and makes a footstop unnecessary, while the functional kicktail allows it to skate a bit of everything with all around ease. 8-Ply hard maple makes this chroma equally durable and light, and we have found it to be an ideal freeride setup, or smaller downhill board with its 37″ length, 9.65″ width, and adjustable 24″ to 26″ wheelbase. The details of the cnc cut flush mounting and wheel wells add to the overall build of the deck, and keep a lower ride with greater clearance.
Chroma is a newer brand to the downhill industry, but don’t be fooled! The guys are skater run, a true roots operation, and the skaters behind the brand know their shit when it comes to downhill.
Peep some Chroma goods and their Genesis video here!
The GGI “Thunder” Pool and All-Around Skateboard is one hunk of a board and built to have a serious driving force. This 32 3/4″ long transition deck comes in at 11 5/8″ wide. Yes, you read right, this board is a legit tank! That said, the rear of the board has a strong tapered shape for greater turning power through the rear heel, and the 16 to 17 3/8″ wheelbase options along with the large block tail and generous nose provide a plenty large standing platform for all sorts of pool-riding goodness. GGI handcrafts their boards out of Southern California, and are all made from some of the highest quality wood down at Watson Laminates – sealed together with a full dip white sparkle “galaxy dust” paint, cnc machined holes and wheel wells, and a classic screen printed graphic. We find the GGI Thunder to be an ultimate board for larger transition riding, but have ridden it through a bit of everything and are surprised with the capability and unique feel provided by this larger platform. Carve grinds feel effortless with no heel hanging off, and the board all around carries speed like no other!
GGI skates are hand designed and made by skaters for skaters, and have a classic quality that is growing harder to find in a modern board. True roots and keeping it classy!
Check out GGI and more of their unique board lineup here!
Paris Truck Co has been a go-to truck since the earlier days of the downhill skateboarding industry, but have also created a highly capable street truck lineup throughout the past few years. The Paris 108mm Street Truck is built to skate a wide range of everything, and with their narrower profile are exceptionally at home on any mini or narrower setup. The taller profile of Paris street trucks are especially favorable to larger soft wheels, and therefore lend it to be a worthy truck for hills and freeride as well. Going into the components of the street series, this truck is crafted from a gravity molded aluminum and features heat treatment for added strength and durability. As mentioned, the 57.15 mm axle height allows for larger wheels with less wheelbite, and the stock 93a bushings help keep things in check as well. We found the 108mm size to be at home on our 6-7″ mini shralpers, and provide plenty of lean with a good dose of stability for all pursuits from garaging, to tacoshop lunch runs, and every ditch, street, and obstacle in between. The street series come in a 129mm, 149mm, and 169mm axle as well, and are ready to step up any setup.
Paris has been in the game for a good while now, and through years of rider experience has dialed in their trucks to truly stand up to the test.
Check out top quality street and reverse trucks from Paris here!
The newest Loaded Leather Race Gloves provide ultimate protection for downhill and freeride pursuits with their carbon fiber knuckles, goatskin leather, and thumb and finger pucks. These gloves truly have all the bells and whistles, and also feature leather reinforcements where needed, breathable top mesh alongside an inner coolmax wicking fabric, reflective sections for visibility, and ergonomic finger shapes. These gloves are provided with high density slide pucks for the palms, fingers, and thumbs, but each finger has its own individual velcro – meaning that if undesired the finger pucks can be removed to only use the central palm puck. We don’t like shredding our hands to pieces, and with these durable race gloves that thought goes out the window. Proven to last 1,000,000 times longer than garden gloves and cutting boards (is that still a thing?) these gloves are not only designed specifically for downhill skating, but word on the street has it that they can double as a sturdy knuckler if the need arises… Badass black and built to last.
Sorry, these are not raw vegan, but are a sacrifice of goat-kind to save the flesh of our own two hands…
Anyhow, Loaded not only makes these badass gloves, but also a killer line of boards and more and are one of the truly innovative brands out there.
Check ’em out some more here!
Thanks again for checking in to our December, 2017 edition of Tried & True! Be sure to check back next month (2018, baby!) for another collection and fresh skate related products! Stay shreddy Wheelbase Fam, and happy holidays to you and yours!