WORDS & PHOTOS Jake Grove
Welcome to our May, 2017 edition of Tried & True. Through this ongoing monthly product feature we are excited as always to showcase some new, classic, innovative, as well as top-quality skate gear from 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:
Arbor Backlash 37
The Backlash 37 by Arbor Skateboards is a widely capable downhill oriented board, but also performs through freeride, freestyle, ditches, and handles a little bit of everything. This board comes in 37″ and 40″ varieties, and for a skate-everything capable setup we prefer the shorter of the series. At 37″ long, 9.5″ wide, a 22-23.5″ wheelbase, and deep yet subtle radial rocker concave, the Backlash is a nimbler downhill board. That said, the 8ply hard maple construction and topmount build give a stiff and stable ride. Other features that make this board unique are the cnc flush mounts, 3/8″ rocker, and a generously sized kicktail.
We’ve put the backlash to the test in nearly all terrains, and find that it is a truly diverse setup; one that is perfectly suitable for downhill and higher speeds, but comfy for freeride, cruising, and has a kicktail that makes it capable in parks, pools, and street. If we were to keep one setup on hand for all skating, that had to include the ability to go fast, the backlash would definitely be among the top of our list. We recommend the 37″ backlash setup with some trucks around 180mm at a 50 degree baseplate for all around freeride and skating, and with a 44 degree truck for specifically higher speeds. This board along with a reverse truck would work well with a 70mm square-lipped wheel for downhill, or a 65mm wheel for all around skating where tighter turning is required.
Arbor has been a long-time board maker in the downhill industry, and to this day crafts quality and unique products that stand out from the rest. Not only have we found arbor boards to stand the test of time and live up to all-around skater’s needs, these boards are crafted with a badass wood stain look, giving added style points. For more from arbor, check them out here!
Gravity “North County”
The North County mini board by Gravity Skateboards is a 30″ mini cruiser, that is ideal for burrito runs, charging to class, and yet still has a generous kick for all around shralping. This deck comes in at 30″ long, 8.75″ wide, and a wheelbase of 17″. The 6-ply construction keeps it lighter but still holds a stiffer yet comfy ride, while the mild radial concave that flows into the generous kick keeps it comfy for longer cruises. While it is amazing for cruising, the tail and feel of this board also works great in pools, parks, and all around skating; the 6″ tail and 2″ nose give plenty of pop and feel while keeping the board to a shorter size with a larger standing platform.
We’ve setup our North County cruiser with some 149mm standard trucks and a 65mm wheel to keep on hand for boardwalk rides, burrito runs, and driveway slashing, but find that with the 30″ size it always ends up in the trunk of a car or elsewhere convenient and ready to roll anything. With the nice feel of the tail, we have also spent some sessions on it at the local parks and pools, and its makes for a rad little shredmobile. The best board is the one you have on you, and the Gravity North County mini will be there without being in the way!
Gravity continues to create boards out of Southern California, and builds a variety of shapes for all uses. Check out more from them here!
Gullwing “Shadow DLX” Trucks
The Shadow DLX truck by Gullwing is an all around thrashable standard-kingpin truck, with sizes ranging from 7.5″ to 9″ and a durable yet lighter build. We’ve been running shadows on all varieties of kicktail boards for years, and find that they provide near everything needed from a top truck; they have a smooth grind, precise fit, and are strong enough to meet all-around skating needs. These trucks also turn especially well, and once the stock bushing are broken in they have a very nice carve and pump feel through bowls and transitions. with a classic shape and solid build, theres not much more we can ask from a standard truck. The ride strong and feel great! Additionally, with the new addition of colored coated baseplates and hangers, the Shadow has a sleeker look and added strength.
We recommend these standard kingpin trucks for any and all double kicks, cruisers, and skate-everything setups that are between 7.5″ and 9.5″ wide. Gullwing has been a key truck producer since the 80’s, and their legacy lives on through their timeless truck designs.
Check out more from Gullwing here!
Powell Peralta “Snakes”
The Snakes freeride wheels by Powell-Peralta is one of the newest additions to the growing downhill collection over at Skate-One and one of the smoothest wheels around. Coming in at 66mm and 69mm with a 48mm width, the snakes feature a rounded lip profile and 38mm contact patch sitting around a centerset core for the ultimate freeride design. These 75a wheels are poured with a new Soft Slide Formula that is proven to be faster rolling, smoother sliding, and outlasting many other wheels on the market. The Powell-Peralta downhill lineup is truly innovative and these wheels are no different!
We’ve put these recently released set of wheels to the test hill after hill, and they do not disappoint! The two sizes fit great on most any boards, and offer one of the most predictable, smooth, and pure butter slides around. We’ve heard nothing but great things from our team of riders, and local homies sporting the snakes on the hills, and are excited to see the legendary brand push out more downhill oriented gear backed and designed with top riders like K-Rimes.
Powell Peralta has been producing top quality skate gear since the 1970’s and continues the legacy as a part of Skate-One based out of Southern California. Check out more from them here!
Blood Orange “Street Wheels”
The Blood Orange “Street Wheels” are a rather new yet perfected wheel on the market, and come in 2 shapes and 6 different sizes from 52mm to 58mm. These wheels are poured with some of the highest quality urethane in a 99a custom made durometer made from scratch. These wheels are available in conical and rounded molds, and provide a highly responsive, durable, and reliable option for transition and street skating.
We’ve been riding a set of these in our local parks and street spots for a hot minute, and have been impressed by how far we can push them. They maintain a higher rollspeed in many street circumstances, and provide an ample amount of grip, yet subtle slip when desired, through transitions and banks. With the many size and shape options, there’s a wheel to fit every board properly, and all styles of riding as well. These blood orange wheels are a truly skater-made wheel that stands up to the test of heavy riding and widespread shralpage!
Check out more from Blood Orange here!
Blood Orange “Liam Morgan Pro Slide Gloves”
The Liam Morgan Pro Slide Gloves by Blood Orange are the perfect combination of comfort, durability, and style that perform on the hills.These gloves come in two sizes for both riders big and small, and with their kevlar reinforce fingertips and shock-absorbing foam under the puck, last longer and protect hands better. The ventilation holes and breathable material keep it comfy in even the hottest conditions. The durable suede covered thumb and fingertips as well as wrist cuff also provide a sense of grip for rail-grabbing tricks while the included round puck profile creates equal wear and feel.
Slide gloves may seem like a simple design to some, but continue to progress in build, materials, and looks and blood orange has brought some of the freshest ones in their latest collection. We highly recommend these gloves for all downhill and ferried applications, and find that they are a truly durable and stylish alternative to other gloves around.
Blood Orange has been a key producer of downhill goods it of Southern California for years and continues to push new and innovative gear regularly. Check out more from them here!
Thanks again for tuning in to our April, 2017 edition of Tried & True! Be sure to check back next month for another collection and fresh skate related products!