Hurrah, my custom Jungle Boards pintail deck is on its way.
A cool set of Paris Adam Colton trucks and 70cm Walzen Insul 78a wheels await it.
Over 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.
For what we do, I suspect just about any wheel would work, but our choice usually comes down to the following four characteristics:
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.
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.
Length: 100cm (39”)
Beautiful top and bottom veneer, a blue-tinted fish-scale patterned wood.
Picture, update from Sam on the Jungle Pintail, just awaiting the grip-spray.
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.
The 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.
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.
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.
Finally got some real black grip-tape to use on the Zenit and, importantly, mirror the carbon-fibre underside. I say “real black” because most of the grip-tape I have found to date has actually been various shades of grey; which is annoying when it is universally sold as “black”.
Finally fond real black sold by the ever-excellent and helpful Skate Deluxe (Monster Grip Tape Heavy). It is heavy grip which a little too rough for my liking, but as ever is if form over function. Also being heavy grip it is more difficult to cut and trim, but the end result is not bad and confirms the single mirrored top and bottom design works well.
I will stay on the lookout for ‘real black’ lighter or medium grip-tape, but for now, it works.
Put on some new slightly shorter 9″ Gullwing trucks on the Hecs Fish, alongside my favourite cruising wheels, Hawg Mini Monsters, and Oust Moc7 bearings. Shorter, for purely aesthetic reasons, given the deck is slightly narrower. The 50º Gullwings are well made and feel very similar to my usual Paris V2s.
The standard Gullwing bushings (90a) were too soft for my liking, so am trying out some Mindless 94a barrels (the blue ones) matched with some Bones Medium 91a hardcore cones (white/yellow).