WORDS & PHOTOS Jake Grove
Welcome to our fifth online edition of Tried & True, and just in time for the holiday season! Tried & True is a monthly collection of skate gear that we’ve tested ourselves and found to exceed our expectations here at Wheelbase. We release these collections each month and include in them some of the best, new, innovative, and classic products around. So sit back, relax, and check out some more of our favorite skate goods this November:
Longboard Larry “Caiman”
The Caiman deck by Longboard Larry is a versatile board perfect for anything from broadwalking, cruising, to freeriding. Coming in at 40” long, 9” wide, and with a fixed 25” wheelbase, the Caiman is the shortest model in the LBL Crocodile series. The Caiman is pressed with 8 plys of maple and bamboo, and is built beefy to be a stiff board. The mild concave utilizes a gradual radial concave and rocker instead of camber to hug your feet no matter the maneuver. The full sized kicktails of the Caiman also provide a decent amount of pop for ollies, shuvits, and other flatland and dancing tricks.
The Caiman’s large build is at home through cruising, flatland, and dancing styles of riding, and we found the rocker and fat kicks accented this. That said, the stiff and sturdy build, deepened wheel wells, and gradual concave also make this board a perfectly capable downhill and freeriding setup. We recommend setting the Caiman up with some 180mm reverse trucks as well as a soft 70mm wheel to keep the board ready to roll, lean, and carve. The Caiman is an ideal nimble flatland and dancing board, and with the large standing platform, provides room for most tricks, terrains, and styles.
Longboard Larry handcrafts boards from Independence Oregon, and the company has grown from Larry himself making all the boards to a small and dedicated staff working to create unique, new, and innovative shapes. These decks are made in America with an attention to detail, and are hand numbered and finished. Larry and his team have challenged some of the classic wood pressing methods, and are continually creating their own unique products, and making fun with it.
Check out more from Longboard Larry Here!
Powell-Peralta “Flight” Deck
The Powell Peralta Flight Deck is a modern innovation on a classic double kick design. For the past five years, the guys over at Powell Peralta have been pushing the limits on board construction, strength, and performance; and have put their knowledge into practice with the new Flight decks. Coming in a range of sizes from 8” x 31.45” up to 9” x 32.95”, and two different shapes, the flight decks are ideal for most any street, park, pool, and ditches. For our testing we rode the 8.5″ wide, 14.375” wheelbase, 6.88” nose, and 6.63” tailed deck and it felt really dialed in and the lighter build provided maximum pop. With its maple wood, epoxy glue, and fiberglass reinforced build, the flight is also 10% lighter, 25% thinner, and twice as strong as a standard 7-ply deck.
We’ve tested the Flight deck since its recent release, and have found it to ride different than any other deck we’ve tried. As mentioned, the Flight is lighter, thinner, and yet still stronger than a standard 7-ply, and opens the door to extend your limits; ollie higher, flip faster, and most importantly the Flight decks don’t break nearly as easy as any other standard deck. We recommend setting the Flight deck up with a 159mm or 169mm street truck, and the hard wheel of your choice for use in a wide range of transitions and features. This deck is ideal for most skate situations, and has become a staple in our quiver.
Powell Peralta has been around since the 70’s creating top quality skate goods, and is one of the older skate companies around, yet still pushes the limits on designing innovative products. With a facility in Santa Barbara focusing on perfecting the modern skateboard, the company has produced a wide range of boards through the Skate One branch.
Check out more from Powell Peralta Here!
Paris V2 180mm Trucks
The Paris 180mm V2 trucks are a classic reverse kingpin design that has become a staple in many areas of cruising, and downhill. The V2 has built upon the original Paris reverse with a stronger and beefier design, and comes in a 50 and 43 degree baseplate for a range of riding styles. The Paris 180’s feature a standard 6-hole mounting pattern, are built with rake, and come stock with a 90a cone/barrel bushing combo. The V2’s feature a very open, unrestrictive bushing seat, durable pivot cups and longer kingpins, as well as a thick powder coating over the aluminum hangers.
We recommend these Paris Trucks for most cruising, and downhill applications, and have found that the open bushing seat provides a very leany and unrestricted feel, perfect for all applications from boardwalking, to commuting, to freeride. The truck is also stable up to speeds, and with a 43 degree baseplate available, it is perfect for faster downhill as well. The V2 is the great all-around reverse kingpin truck, and is built to last. From beginners to pros, these trucks perform and work perfectly on both larger and smaller boards.
Paris has been making top quality trucks for all types of boards for years now, and they have perfected their designs to allow for maximum shralping. The standard Paris 180mm truck still outperforms in many ways, and is a perfect go-to truck for a wide range of long wheelbased and cruiser board shredding.
Check out more from Paris Here!
Sugar “Canes” 81a Wheels
The 81a Sugar Cane wheel is a 70mm freeride wheel with an extremely buttery smooth slide. This wheel is shaped with a 46mm width, 40mm contact patch, and a round outer lip. The offset core placement along with the high quality urethane formula provide one of the smoothest and most predictable slides we have experienced, and provide a very predictable slip to grip ratio. The canes come with a stone ground finish, ready to slide out of the packaging, and come in two durometers; a 79a pink version, and the 81a blue version that we have been riding.
We recommend the Sugar Canes for any style of freeriding, and have found these wheels to perform best in slipping, sliding, and gliding situations. That said, the soft urethane mixture and supportive core also make this a great option for cruiser, flatland, and other boards. Toss the canes on a topmount, drop through, or get creative and pop them on a larger double kick; no matter the board these wheels want to slide, and will provide an ideal addition to any freeriding setup. The 70mm size provides plenty of thane to burn through, and with these wheels, thane lines will trail behind you with maximum visibility.
The guys over at Sugar have perfected a sliding shape and formula for any rider, and true to their name their wheels are sweet, sugary, and smooth. Designed by skaters for skaters, we couldn’t be more stoked on these freeride wheels.
Check out more from Sugar Here.
G-Form “Pro X” Elbow & Knee Pads
G-form has designed one of the most unique and innovative set of pads out there; they’re light, flexible, and harden on impact. With a body-mapped impact-absorbing RPT pad incorporated into a super breathable low-profile sleeve, these pads are out of the way, yet ready to protect. G-form produces a wide range of protection gear using this technology, and their elbow and kneepads have proven to be a perfect pad to toss under pants, longsleeves, or just to have a level of protection without the bulk, heat, and feel of standard hard-cap pads. The technology behind this padding makes it so that the pad itself stays soft and flexible during normal wear, and bends with the body naturally, however when impacted, the pads instantly harden up and absorb the shock of the fall, protecting joints, bones, and skin from the injuries of impact. These pads are truly one of a kind, and perfect for riders that dislike the bulk of standard pads but still want to hop back up right after a slam.
We recommend the G-form pads for any skating and action situations where impact-based crashing is likely, and for use under pants and other clothing. The G-form pads are ultra slim and we never really notice we have them on until that unexpected slam, and our knees are shielded from the impact. Fit them under pants, leathers, and other tighter clothing no problem, and ditch those bulky pads. Although we prefer the G-form pads in most situations, we do have to recommend wearing clothing over them for high speed situations where crashing is more likely to be sliding than impact; these pads do not currently offer a hard cap version, and will protect you regardless, but under high speed conditions may not hold up as well. That said, we have received word that G-form is designing a product that will solve that downfall, in the works for 2017!
G-form has been producing pads for a wide range of action sports for years, and has created their own innovative and engineered products. The crew just gave us word of a new “Pro Slide Knee and Elbow Pad” designed specifically for higher speed asphalt contact, coming out spring of 2017. Keep your eyes peeled for those as well!
Check out more from G-form Here!
S-One “Eddie ‘El Gato’ Elguera” Helmet
The S-One Lifer helmet is one of the safest and best fitting halfshells available for skating. With a dual safety certification, ASTM to protect from multiple low level impacts, and CPSC to protect from a single heavier impact, the lifer is built to protect and looks fresh at the same time. Repeated testing has proven the lifer’s hard foam build to outperform all soft foam, and many other hard helmets on the market. The lifer comes in multiple liner sizings to ensure a snug and proper fit for all heads, with an EPS fusion foam and ABS outershell construction. This combination provides both a deep fit that protects and fits better, making the helmet more comfortable as well. With a better fit, protection, and look, the S-One helmet is one of the best helmets we’ve owned.
We recommend these helmets for all skating applications, and prefer our S-one over all other helmets for parks, pools, downhill, and even cruising to the store down the street. The current halfshell lineup also offers some fresh designs such as the Eddie “El Gato” Elguera model we’ve been rocking, keeping riders stylish and protected at the same time. Pick up a S-One lid to replace your loose, crashed, or grimy old helmet, and feel the difference.
S-One has been trusted by countless pro’s, and is rooted in California’s rich skate and action culture. Their unrelenting approach to the elevation of safety has earned the brand a reputation for top quality safety gear, which can be seen in the perfected design of the lifer halfshell. Impact testing, rider feedback, and popularity haven’t lied; the Lifer helmet is one of the best fitting and stylish helmets out there.
Check out more from S-One Here!
Thanks again for tuning in to our November, 2016 edition of Tried & True! Be sure to check back next month for another collection and fresh skate related products!