Choosing Wheels

img_20171125_104251.jpgOver the last year, we have used 11 different wheels, including various models from: Orangatang, Hawg, Walzen, Metro, Atom, Abec & Blood Orange, and thought it worth documenting our experiences and preferences.

First off, it is important to note, that all this is in the limited context of our cafe-cruising, street pumping and carving, limited trick ability and tentative deck foot-work (calling it “dancing” is a bit much). We don’t live with streets or paths where we can downhill safely or (yet) have the ability to do big dancing and tricks.

 

Info-graphic from w82.com

For what we do, I suspect just about any wheel would work, but our choice usually comes down to the following four characteristics:

  1. Larger diameter (70mm+) – to smooth out the local rough roads and pavements. We don’t push our boarding that much to notice any subtle acceleration difference from using smaller wheels (smaller wheels accelerate faster than a larger one), but do notice immediately when smaller wheels rebound against old rough pavements.
  2. Colour – hey, aesthetics are important to us; when cafe-cruising, it is important to have a cool board with colours that work together.
  3. Lip edge & contact width – either:
    • a square/sharp lip with a larger contact width, like the Hawg Mini Monsters and big Orangatang Kegels, for max grip in the turn when cruising; or,
    • a rounded lip with a smaller contact width, like the Blood Orange Liam Morgans and Metro Red Motions, for the boards we like to throw around and do basic tricks on.
  4. Built-in Lights – my 8-year-old son will only use wheels on his board with built-in lights 🙂

I initially thought that the durometer rating would be a big factor for us, but have ended up happily using wheels from 78a to 84a with no issues.

None of the wheels we have used have given us any problems and I would happily buy any of them again.

Kegel
big 80mm pavement-crushing 80a Orangatang Kegels

 

 

 

King Louis ready for fancy footwork

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Our dancer (well a board to do some fancy footwork on) named King Louis, a custom-made from the ever excellent Hecs Deck, is now up and running with the addition of the Blood Orange 70cm Liam Morgan 82a wheels – new wheels to us, so interesting to see how they perform.

Wheelbase: 59cm
Length: 100cm (39”)

Beautiful top and bottom veneer, a blue-tinted fish-scale patterned wood.

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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.

King Louis Arrives

image1The new custom deck from Hecs Decks arrived (as ever, thank you Hector), with its very unusual and beautiful fish-scale wood pattern. I have called it King Louis.

Not sorted some trucks and wheels for it, but will probably go with some 70cm+ cruising wheels in dark blue, as the top and bottom wood has a slight blue tint to it, something like the Liam Morgan Blood Oranges may work well with it.

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As usual, the issue with really nice wood on the top of the deck is to grip it or not. Since trying clear grip-tape on the Hecs Fish, and hating it, I am left with spray-grip if I want to show off the wood pattern or some intricate cut-out grip-pattern; however, I don’t think a grip pattern aesthetically would work with the King Louis.

Re-gripped the Hec’s Fish

After ripping the (hated) clear grip-tape off the Hec’s Fish, I got up early with an idea and found our Christmas cookie-cutters, including a star-shaped one. I am actually pleased with how it all turned out, given it was an early morning JFDI – plenty of practical grip and it still shows off the wood and my tree design.

The cookie-cutter was not sharp enough to go through cleanly the grip-tape, but it was easy enough to make an indent and then cut the shapes out. The tricky bit is then measuring out lines and putting the shapes in a regular pattern.