Beercan Boards

I really like the look of these recycled aluminum decks from the small US maker Beercan Boards of Douglas, Gorgia – yes, they are made from recycled beer cans and other aluminum and plastic products. Very cool, and I am very tempted but suspect I would have to incur import tax and duty.

They do some nice custom/limited editions versions, including a stunning 38″ Punisher version.

beercan5

They also make their own wheels in 70, 72, 73 and 76mm

beercan wheels 2

 

Mechanical Longboard Brakes

I have been looking, purely out of interest, at various mechanical braking options for conventional longboards.
Most people will either just run-off the board if things are getting all scary, or footbrake if not going too fast. A few, with more experience and practice, can slide a board, but that still needs space and safe situation to do so. The concept here is of having another mechanical option.

In summary, there seems to be three different types of solutions:

1. Braking on the wheel – Mingo Skateboard ‘The Frog’

Mingo brake
Mingo Skateboard’s ‘Frog’ device is attached to the exposed truck (drop-through deck) and foot pressure forces brake levers on to the wheels. The reviews I read were not that complimentary, including it scaring the wheels – a shame, and I might still try it, as it does not require any drilling into the board.

2. Braking on the road – Pogo, Handmade & Boolah Boards

German company Pogo, Korean Handmade and US Boolah Boards use the same simple mechanism of the foot forcing down a brake bad against the road. Some require a hole drilling for the foot pad and others use the space some trucks have with drop-through deck mounting. All require the arm with the brake pad attached to be attached (screwed or bolted) to the deck.

3. Braking on the truck – Brakeboards

Australian Brakeboard use a daily sophisticated truck based mechanism a little bit like a bike disk-brake. Mechanical more complex than the others, but can be used without screwing or drilling any holes into the deck. Shipping and tax are sadly incurred getting it to the UK, plus the only options seem to be either buying that Rat Board, with 150mm trucks, or their custom 180mm trucks at $500; add in tax and shipping and the latter is a very expensive solution.
(As ever, let me know if I have missed any other solutions).


To start with, I thought I would try with a braking on the road solution and ordered the Korean company Handmade’s Slide Brake (which seems to be just sold on Amazon). It is quite a simple solution, to work with one of our drop-throughs (probably the ZenitAB, but might use the Kaliber Affe) but it does require me to drill a hole for the arm screw/bolt… which will hurt!
I will do another update once installed and tested.

Boa Wheels

New US maker Boa (might just be new to me), has brought out two longboard wheels, which interestingly have the same core hole system as the Orangatang Kegel, meaning that they can be used as a direct replacement, with no change of pully or belt, with Boosted V2 boards.

The wheels, both 83a, are the Constrictor at 100mm and the Hatchling at 90mm.

UPDATE (7/4/18): Ordered some Constrictors and will write a review when they arrive.

Muir Skate Closing Down

Muirskate

Very sad to hear that the legendary US retailer Muirskte are closing down 25th of April (next month).

I don’t know anything about why, other than what they posted on Instagram: Instagram PostI can only guess the longboard market has peaked and there are just not enough sustainable sales. For every 10 people on skateboards I still only see 1 person on a longboard and never someone under 30. Plus, if I was a kid, I would not really have the money to spend on premium longboards – skateboards are just significantly cheaper than premium longboards. Equally, virtually all e-boards are now bought online direct from the maker, there are no real independent shops for e-boards (which is not good, we need good local customer support and not just ‘send back to China’). That’s a tough market for Muirskate, and others, especially if they have to hold lots of expensive stock.

Sorry to hear this guys, thank you for all the effort and promotion of the sport. Good luck with your next adventure.

Sad to see Yuneec Boards no longer made

 

Yuneec gen1
Yuneec E-Go gen-1

 

Sadly it looks like Yuneec has stopped making e-boards (although I have found no official statement). They are still making their other products, drones etc., it seems that they have just stopped selling their e-boards. I say “sad” as we have had one of the first-gen boards and it is still going strong, it has been bomb-proof, and now used very happily by my 8-year-old.

Its single belt-motor is now a little slow compared to most current modern 20mph+ boards, but now perfect for my youngest getting used to real e-boards (and not toys). It has excellent real 90cm wheels, a progressive remote control, and a nice flexing deck; plus, as said, ours has had great reliability and with minimal battery age sag after 2 years!

You can still buy them from some independent retailers, some of them now significantly discounting them, however, I imagine getting support and things fixed will not be so easy going forward unless you can pick up cheap salvage units to strip for the parts.

I can understand why they stopped, it is still a niche market that is overcrowded with options and now a flood of budget hub-motor boards, some of them really good. Tough competition and not really the market demand to scale up manufacturing and make a good profit – the same reason most of the crowd-funded struggle and sadly will disappear.

Virtually all of the budget boards are now hub-motors; not my favorite technology for our crappy old victorian pavements, but they are significantly cheaper to make than belt-drives – just basically fewer parts and assembly. Hence, it was good to see Riptide and Jed Boards launch recently belt and gear-drive options, I hope they do well and make it to some form of sustainable scale.

 

Sad to see the E-Go be no more.
Been great; thanks, Yuneec for the excellent work and all the fun.

Yuneec gen2
Yuneec E-Go gen2

Playing with a Boosted

boosted

Every cloud has a silver lining (sorry Graham)… I have an estimated guest in the stable, a dual-motor Boosted. My friend, Graham, has unfortunately broken his leg and can’t board for a while, so has lent me his prized Boosted electric longboard… now known (unfairly) as “leg-breaker“; note: it could have been any board that caused his tumble, it was not down to anything particular with the Boosted.

First impression (compared to the Yuneec we have and a borrowed Evolution) is of a nicely balanced (flex-stiffness) board, great wheels (the big 8cm Kegels) and a smooth controller; however, the controller catches me out with its deadman’s trigger. If the trigger is released, which is easy to do, the board slows down to a halt; not really an issue, just something to get used to.

Will step it up from baby mode this weekend, if the weather is good.

UPDATE: The Boosted is staying, now mine 🙂