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.
They also make their own wheels in 70, 72, 73 and 76mm
Finally got to mount the H3 unit (this is an advance/pilot unit) to our 32″ custom made Hecs Deck. It took longer than I thought because I lost the remote, which has now thankfully turned up.
Fitting the unit was relatively easy; I used one 2.5mm riser pad and half of another to build up the gap the trucks had with my deck curving quickly away for the kick-tail.
Riser pads installe
Gap from the curve of the deck for the kick-tail
This is effectively a slightly smaller battery (2200mah) and single motor version of the H6 – it rides virtually the same, with nice progressive control, sharp braking (be careful) and the odd reverse button.
Our reference V2 next to it for scale.
Full review to come.
Hector of Hecs Deck is moving workshop and has two interesting 40″ custom ‘last out of the workshop’ decks for sale, both in interesting blue tinted wood. One a fish scales, similar to one I already have which is a really interesting wood pattern. If you are interested contact at email@example.com.
New very fine looking Orangatang Caguama wheels sited (not yet officially sold). Interestingly with the Kegel core, meaning they can be used with the stock Boosted pulleys. Looking forward to trying some of these.
Update: The Dutch guys, Sick Boards are selling them (note their price is for two).
Bolt Motion, a new company in Bergamo Italy, has launched a really small motorized board, just 23″ (60cm) long. Looks very cute and I really like the simplicity. personally, I am not a fan of e-skates with small wheelbases – I get the advantage of portability but prefer to have the greater stability at speed of longer wheelbases.
They quote a 14km (8.5 miles) range and a top speed of 30km/h (18.5mp/h), which is easily fast enough for me, on such a small wheelbase.
Video link: Teamgee Factory
A nice little video from Daniel Kwan who visited the Teamgee offices in Shenzhen; however, what is really interesting (at 1:58 in the video) is you see their adaptor unit which apparently is already sold in China. Competition for LandWheel, Onan, Ride Unlimited and the crazily expensive Mellow.
I am really interested to see how good this unit is, as we have a big stable of longboard decks that could work with such a unit.
A few notes on the Giro Switchblade downhill MTB helmet, which I now use most of the time when out on the e-boards. In summary, I really like it, have no issues with it and very happy to recommend it.
Graphics/colors scheme (my Red and White).
Detachable chin guard (the Parachute does not detach).
Half-shell having more coverage (over some of the others).
They all fitted well, which surprised me, and they all had the MIPS safety system, so my choice was really about just color, style, and cost. The cost new, after a bit of hunting around, was £160; which I was pleased with. I could not find discounted deals on the Foxes or the Bell DH, but the 3r Super and Met Parachute were available with deals at roughly the same price.
The Switchblade with chin-guard weighs 985g, which is a bit heavier than the very-light Met Parachute at 700g (but it has no metal chin lock mechanism, as the guard is not removable), but not an issue for me – I am used to much heavier motorcycle helmets. The foam padding is excellent and really comfortable. It has the RocLoc® Air DH system, where you just twist the wheel at the back of the head, to tighten or loosen the fit.
The detachable chin guard is nice, but given I bought this primarily for the extra protection over my normal skate helmet, I could have lived easily with it being none-removable, like with the Met Parachute. Removing and fitting the chin-guard is easy, needing two hands. The fitting is snug and secure.
What, however, does differentiate some of the helmets with removable chin-guards is what kind of half-shell is left when the chin-guard is removed. This is very noticeable between the Bell Super 3r and the Switchblade, with the Giro having more jaw-side cover/protection when used without the chin-guard. Not that one is better than the other, it is really just a preference thing.
I went with the downhill MTB style of helmet, over a full-cover motorcycle style, like the popular TSG Pass, for the extra ventilation and, being honest, it felt less conspicuous – a kind of a dumb rationale in some ways, but that is vanity for you.
It comes with alternative foam inserts, a nice carry/storage bag, and a spare visor.
Some review videos:
I had some idle time, and after ordering some new ones (Bones Hard Core) to try and spares, I thought: “what are the 10 things to know about bushings?”
So, to help, my 10 things to know…
- They are important – a bushing is a simple polyurethane item, but with a really complex job to do (including keeping you safe) balancing complex multi-directional forces. It is worth understanding how they work and getting the right ones for you.
- Guides, not rules – there is no definitive rule here – use what works for you. Mix what you want. There are some good guidelines on what to use for your riding style, board, trucks, and weight, but they are just guidelines. They are relatively inexpensive, but impact so much – buy a few, buy some spares. Try different ones. Buy a bagful.
- Different shapes – they come in different shapes (cones, barrels, stepped…) and construction (hard center, soft center…), which all work slightly differently depending on how you want to ride. It is OK to mix shapes on the top and bottom side to tune how the board performs.
- Different durometer – they come in different softness/hardness (rated in durometer or “duro”) which you match to your weight and riding style. It is OK to mix the duro on the top and bottom. There are plenty of guidelines for matching your weight and style to the duro.
- Different sizes – they come in different sizes (people often miss this): short, tall, fatter etc. Again it is OK to mix them and mixing is common; plus two that are tall can often not fit on the same kingpin.
- Match the truck – Some (it is rare) trucks are different to all others and need to work with specifically designed bushings – just make sure you don’t get mixed up.
- Cup AND bushing – don’t think just “bushing”, think “cup/washer+bushing”. The cup/washer, that the bushing sits on, also impacts how the board performs. Match the size and shape of the cup/washer to the bushing size and shape.
- Never cut to fit – never ever cut a bushing to make it fit. Cutting it will introduce micro cuts and tears which can sheer under pressure and leave you in a whole world of pain. If it does not fit, change it or the cup/washer.
- Replace? – if damaged, in any way – swap them out and throw away. Any damage can introduce a fault line which can then sheer under pressure. As said, they are inexpensive – just change.
- Good ones? – Yes, good ones are worth paying for – they are not “all just some plastic”. The formulas are different and how they perform can be very different – surprisingly so. Bad ones also run the increased risk of sheering. Even the best, however, are relatively inexpensive, so it is worth paying for the good ones from trusted brands like Venom, Riptide, BloodO, Oust, Orangatang, Shorty etc. if not sure, trust your local skate shop.
Note, virtually all boards/trucks come with stock cheap bushings, set up for whatever they consider is the ‘average customer’ weight and riding style. I would recommend always changing to what works for you – your weight and riding style. The Paris ones that came with their trucks I like, but some of the cheap ones used on e-boards are poor and I would replace straight away.
Regarding e-boards, there is not much difference between a conventional longboard and an e-board in terms of bushings. The trucks are generally the same. Most people just set-up their e-boards as a downhill longboard, for greater stability at speed, using stiff (high duro) barrel+barrel – but you can do what you want and run them differently if you want greater carving etc.
And finally, note that there is a small optimum range for the tightness or looseness of the kingpin nut. Too tight and you will deform the bushing and it will perform worse or, worse, sheer. Don’t over tighten to change the performance (or help reduce speed wobble), change the bushing.
A great thread on Electric Skateboard Builders on setting up bushings: link
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’
‘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
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.