Muir Skate Closing Down


Very sad to hear that the legendary US retailer Muirskte are closing down 25th of April (next month).

I don’t know anything about why, other than what they posted on Instagram: Instagram PostI can only guess the longboard market has peaked and there are just not enough sustainable sales. For every 10 people on skateboards I still only see 1 person on a longboard and never someone under 30. Plus, if I was a kid, I would not really have the money to spend on premium longboards – skateboards are just significantly cheaper than premium longboards. Equally, virtually all e-boards are now bought online direct from the maker, there are no real independent shops for e-boards (which is not good, we need good local customer support and not just ‘send back to China’). That’s a tough market for Muirskate, and others, especially if they have to hold lots of expensive stock.

Sorry to hear this guys, thank you for all the effort and promotion of the sport. Good luck with your next adventure.

E-board Myths


(myth – “a widely held but false belief or idea”).

I see a lot of people looking, who are new to e-boards, many who are also new to skateboarding or conventional longboarding – which is great, the more that get to enjoy it, the better the community and the industry will get. Come on in. Consequently, I thought it worth getting some of the re-occurring myths busted to help new folk – so my starter for 5:

  1. E-boards have brakes and can stop – any abrupt stopping capability would be highly dangerous, the good ones have an ability to progressively slow you down, that’s it. You need technique and riding skill, as well as finger control.
  2. It is safe and legal to ride through city traffic (like some no-helmet reckless social-celebrity fuckwit in NY) – in most cities, it is not legal and certainly not safe (god-forbid no helmet).
  3. E-boards are good for long commutes – they are actually a PITA: slower, more stressful, more dangerous and certainly less robust than any cycle. Get one for fun, and the occasional commute, but really just fun.
  4. You can ride happily in the wet – a few e-boards have water-resistant ratings on some parts, but that does now include things like the bearings, which will rust quick. More importantly, you significantly lose grip both on the road and deck in the wet – 20mph with minimal grip..? I can show my accident photos as to why it is not worth it.
  5. They are consumer ready items, just buy and go – this is still early days in the market evolution. Based on the community and personal experience, more e-boards turn up with faults or quickly develop faults, than not; hence, be ready and think how you are going to things fixed. Equally, they all need a basic set-up and importantly set-up for your weight and riding, which may mean changing the bushings. I am still amazed that e-boards don’t ship with a range of different duro bushings and some instructions as to why they are important and how to change.

Disclaimer – sure, these are just my opinions, nothing more. I am happy if you disagree, just not on the no-helmet riding bit – just don’t do it folks. Brain damage is not cool.


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.

How much to spend?


A few friends have asked me lately about returning to skating, after long absences, and buying a longboard (complete), so I thought it worth documenting how we framed it, specifically in answering the question: “how much do I need to spend?”.

Longboards and skateboards, like cycles and other basic mechanical things, are simple items and, when buying, you get what you pay for – more money just buys better-made parts. Equally, unlike with the luxury goods market, there is no real rarity, nor overly powerful brand names, where demand falsely drives up prices – this is a buyers market, not a sellers, so you are simply buying components that have been made to a price-point.

In very general terms, I categories boards sold into the following cost brackets:

  • <£75 – supermarket trash; don’t buy, the experience is just not going to make you want to progress and stick with it.
  • £75-150 – cheap cruising starters, but they are not going to last or progress with you. You will replace at some time – they are not keepers, but are perfectly good to start on and importantly get confidence.
  • £150-250 – decent complete boards that can be more focused on the type of boarding you want to do: freestyle, carving, downhill, dancing etc.
  • £250-400 – quality custom-assemblies (deck, trucks, wheels, bearings etc.)
  • £400+ – exotic, custom-builds: beautiful and exotic material, your own design etc.

There are always going to be a few exceptions and bargains to be found; we bought for my younger son (aged 7 at the time) in a closing-sale an Atom 36″ drop-through for £50, which was a great starter for him and over the year we only needed to change the bearings (£15).

Rather than  buy a complete board, if you want to assemble your own board, which is easy to do, I would look to pay roughly the following for the parts:

  • Deck: £150-300
  • Trucks (pair): £50-150
  • Wheels (set of 4): £30-70
  • Bearings (set of 8): £15-100

To me, a good self-assembly would start at £280-300 – less than that and I think you can get better value from buying a complete board from a single maker.