Finally got the family stable together: six Europans and a Canadian.
From left to right:
Hecs Decks Fish (Gullwing+Metro Express)
Kaliber Wild Africa Affe (Paris V2 trucks+Orangatang Kegel wheels)
Jungle Pintail (Paris Adam Colton trucks +Blood Orange Liam Morgan wheels)
Hecs Decks King Louis (Paris V2 trucks +Metro Motion wheels)
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.
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.
Hecs Decks King Louis
Wheelbase: 59cm Length: 100cm (39”)
Beautiful top and bottom veneer, a blue-tinted fish-scale patterned wood.
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.
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).
So I decided to try my hand at wood burning patterns, using an electric wood burner/engraver and am really pleased with how it, the tree, turned out – the “HD” was already there, I added the tree,
I used a basic stencil for the outline of the tree, matching the starting trunk width with the HD logo, and one of the leaf-shaped wood burner bits to do the leafs.
The deck was then covered with clear grip-tape; which, although sold as ‘clear’ is really just opaque and lessens the impact of the burnt wood design. Less than ideal, but the small board needs grip, especially when it is wet out. Sometimes sacrifices have to be made for practicality.
UPDATE 29/10/17: I hated the clear grip so much, I have taken it back off. It showed up foot dirt, and gave very little benefit in terms of showing the wood and pattern, that it seemed pointless. The board needs grip, so will think of a creative way to use black grip, without hiding completely the design.
Not particularly hard, but worth taking the time over as there is no erasing option.
Sometimes the stars align and you have to seize the day (to mix as many metaphors as I can) – I contacted a few makers over the last few days looking for a new deck with a single or double kicktail, including the small UK maker (are we supposed to call small makers “boutique makers”?) Hecs Decks, who shared that they have just started making an evolution of their short cruiser; yet to be named, but with a kicktail. So, hey, seize the day and ordered one with a gloss Bubinga finish. 🙂
Details from the very helpful Hector (hey, just got it: Hec’tor):
835mm length (33″) with a wheelbase of 505mm.
Big round tail with a mellow angle.
Mellow concave which curves towards a peak just forward from the centre of the board.
12 ply with thin layers (“so that it’s stiffer”)
Photos of his stunning walnut first cut (and what convinced me).
Have a spare set of Paris 180cm V2s and some 4President wheels to try on it when it arrives, but may drop down to some slightly narrower trucks. Will see what it is like before deciding on what to do with the face/top; which is probably just leave it and only ride it easy and dry, like the Hackbrett, although I do have some ideas on fancy grip patterns after gripping the Kaliber.
So that’s a Zenit AB, a Jungle Board pintail and now a Hecs Decks all to come and join the growing family collection… wupps 🙂