Body protection for riding
Skatezone protective gear article

I am a big supporter of always wearing helmets when out on the e-board, and most of the time on my conventional boards, always wearing mine (a standard skate helmet by Bullet). For once, I will leave out my usual diatribe on reckless fuckwit social-celebrities promoting helmet-less city traffic riding and just cover some options for protective gear.

I have considered a full-face skate helmet, with greater protection but lighter than a motorcycle helmet, and may get one depending on my riding.


The other things I consider essential are my gloves, where I use normal cycling gloves as they offer decent friction protection without limiting remote-control movement.

In addition, when going fast (and not nice and friendly with my youngest) I use my armored motorbike jeans made by Force Riders, with armor in the knees and, importantly, hips. Previously I have had a bad pelvic injury, so protection of my hips is important for me. Interestingly, pelvic protection is not normally worn by skateboarders, but as I have learned it can be a fragile body part if you fall in a specific way.

I am not sure if Force Riders jeans still exist (I could not find any links to them – mine were bought on Amazon), but there are other makes, including Richa, Bull-it, UglyBrosRoadskin, and Draggin, who are well established and with a solid reputation. My Force Riders were relatively inexpensive, but I replaced the basic foam protection that came with them (same with many of them) with much better and more flexible sorbothane and shock foam CE rate armour. They work really well, especially when out just cruising around the local cafes (looking less kiddie-like than external knee pads), and I would highly recommend wearing them.





E-boards, trucks & bushings

Red 93a Paris bushing

With rain outside (yet again), I changed the bushings on the Boosted Dual. The stock bushings are apparently 86a durometer, which in theory are too soft for me at 85kg (187lb). I say “in theory” because they don’t feel like 86a, they feel much firmer; however, they are easy to change, so why not. I had some spare Paris made barrels, so put in 93a board-side and 90a roadside. I may step-up to 94a+93a, but will try the 93a+90a combination first.

UPDATE: After trying it (I am 85kg), I moved up to the 94a+93a combination and have settled on that.

I used Paris bushings for now (the 94a’s I have are DohDoh), as they are what I had spare, but any good make – Venom, Oust, Blood Orange, Riptide etc. – would work. I see a lot of e-boarders talking about Orantang Nipples (I guess it is the Loaded marketing machine again), but they are too soft for me for downhill and speed, even their supposed “hard” ones are only 89a.

I like to run the e-boards like conventional downhill boards, based on the premise that both need to be stable at speed: two barrels and firm, rather than my usual barrel+cone cruising set-up on the conventional push boards. In simple terms, barrels have more surface area over cones and will hold their shape more.



With e-boards and their high-speeds, my preference would be to not run bushings at all and use spring trucks, like the Trampas or Seismic G5s. A polyurethane bushing has a complex job to do, given all the multi-dimensional forces it has to react against. Their dominance of the truck world comes from skateboarding, where they are cheap and make truck manufacturing easy; but skateboarding is not e-boarding, especially at speed. For now, however, I will live with the Boosted and Yuneec running conventional longboard trucks, but if there is ever an upgrade option, or I replace one of the boards with a Nottingham made Trampa or some exotic derivative, I will do it and go for springs.


Finally, I see a lot of people jumping into e-boarding having not ridden push boards before, not a problem if people take it easy to learn e-boarding and build up the speed carefully. One thing, however, that does become apparent, with those who have not push boarded before, is that lack of awareness of how important bushings are and the need to use ones with a durometer that matches the rider and type of riding. Given how inexpensive and simple they are to change, there is a need to get greater awareness in the community and new riders using what is right for them; especially, given the job of a bushing is to keep you out of a hospital and enjoying the ride.

Riptide bushings (note – there is no color standard, all manufacturers use different colors for their various durometer ratings).



Got the family stable together before wrapping-up for winter

boards - topside

Finally got the family stable together: six Europans and a Canadian.

From left to right:

  • Hackbrett Balance
  • Hecs Decks Fish (Gullwing+Metro Express)
  • Kaliber Wild Africa Affe (Paris V2 trucks+Orangatang Kegel wheels)
  • Curfboard
  • Zenit AB
  • Jungle Pintail (Paris Adam Colton trucks +Blood Orange Liam Morgan wheels)
  • Hecs Decks King Louis (Paris V2 trucks +Metro Motion wheels)

boards - underside

The beautiful walnut Balance will get wrapped up for winter (summer, no grip board), along with the Afee (gets a break and donates the Kegels), King Louis and Jungle Pintail (another cafe posing only). The Hecs Fish stays out (as always, it is the easiest to transport), the beautiful cherry and carbon-fiber Zenit AB is getting re-gripped, and gets the Kegels for a change, and the Curfboard needs more practice and experimentation.

First Impressions of the Curfboard



So finally got some time out on the new Curfboard this weekend with its unique carving front truck (the rear truck is a standard RKP design).

As mentioned when it first arrived, the whole board is well made; the 33″ (84cm) deck with a 62cm wheelbase is nice, with a good level of flex for me as an 85kg rider, the trucks feel quality and the 70mm wheels, which feel around 82a, are well finished with no obvious crack/splinter faults.

Link to Curfboard Ad Video

Curfboard video of the front trucks working

I had a couple of questions on Reddit Longboard forum, one “was it a gimmick?” and two, “does it feel divey?“. The first is “no” and the second is “yes”. I don’t feel it is a gimmick at all, it is different from a conventional longboard and, for me, very enjoyable to use in the right situation, and that is a key point I will come back to. “Divey” because there is no rebound to work with, no force to exert against to make the movement more progressive; there are no bushings to push down against (except on the rear truck). I get why not, and the principal involved; I may get used to it more, but I miss that opposing force to give a more progressive feel. It carves well, in the right situation, and pumps well, but I still miss some progressive movement in the trucks.


The key here as mentioned before is “in the right situation” – this front truck, for me, is in its element on a gentle to moderate hill, where you want to carve; with an advantage over some of my other caving boards, in that it does not need much road width – it can carve tight. On that gentle long, but narrow road, this is a near perfect weapon.

I would, however, not fast downhill on this; speed wobbles for me came quick and its short quick carving does not slow the experience down nor dampen the wobbles. I will choose my hills very carefully when out on the Curfboard. I did not try any sliding nor am encouraged to do so, but this might be my inexperience and sliding capability.

Another aspect I would recommend being careful of is just pushing off – if the front foot weight, and your balance, is not perfectly balanced, the board will dive immediately. First time out and, every now and then, this caught me out – this is a truck that you very much need to build your confidence on carefully. Consequently, unlike some of my rock solid boards like the Zenit AB, this is a board I would not take to casually, half-sleep, cruise around town. I know the local roads and paths I will use this on and look forward to it, but only those. Sadly I don’t have a smooth pump track near me, as I suspect this would also be its natural home but will search one out just for the experience.

Finally, coming back to the lack of resistance progression, I can’t help feeling that there could be a future development of this truck to add an element of progressive resistance, and if so, I will be at the front of the queue.

Nicely made Curfboard.

More Information:



Curfboard Arrives


Amazingly quick, the new Curfboard arrived from Germany with its new-fangled unique (to Curfboard) front carving truck.

It is just the front truck that is different, the rear is a nonormalKP truck. The front ruck for carving just swings on the two pivots and does not use bushings, it is all down to the pressure applied on the angle.


All the parts look well made, the deck, trucks, wheels etc. Sadly, I can only comment on how it looks and feels in my kitchen and hallway as it arrived in a storm and I have yet to actually get a chance to get out on it.

The deck has a high flex in it and covered with clear grip-tape, which I will replace quickly – just my personal dislike for clear grip-cover (it is never actually ‘clear’ and gets ugly with dirt). The 70mm wheels are standard longboard wheels, which seem similar to my 82a Hawg Mini Monsters.

Jungle Board Arrives


My Jungle deck arrived (as a Christmas present) from Sam at Jungle Longboards, based in South London, and a stunning deck is. Lovely custom veneer work on a stiff old style pintail; very much a traditional longboard and cafe-cruiser.

To keep with the jungle theme, I fitted Paris’ Adam Colton custom trucks. I was planning to fit some of my green Walzen Insul wheels but, in the end, preferred the 77mm purple Metro Express 78A wheels, running Bronson G3 bearings.


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

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.

big 80mm pavement-crushing 80a Orangatang Kegels




King Louis ready for fancy footwork


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.