Product Reviews – September 2010

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Almost Haslem Board. Photo: Swainston

FULL BLEED: New York City
VICE Books
This book is a visual epilogue of raw skate history that has gone down in America’s most raw city, New York. With images spanning nearly 30 years from over 40 contributing photographers like Atiba Jefferson, Spike Jonze, Peter Sutherland, Ed Templeton and Mike O’Meally, I feel like I’m actually skating the streets as I turn the pages. Everything from classic Gonz and ripping Dill photos to completely unknown skaters pushing through the streets fill this book. It’s the life, sweat, blood and love for skating in New York bound into a book. Find a copy and share it with everyone you can. –Chris Swainston

Wicked Quick
Crinkle V-Neck Tees
I tested these two plain, “crinkle” v-necks: one light blue, the other gray/black, and found them to be comfortable, not too distressed or bleached for my taste, and mostly durable. Trying to pull off a sweaty, plastered-on Wicked Quick T too fast made it wicked rip the seams wicked fast, unfortunately. I suddenly became more elitist after visiting their website, “Wicked Quick” is plastered across most of the designs from their spring/summer line along with dragons, skulls, and other ill-chosen graphics worn on models posing in junkyards. This particular “crinkle” design will work at most douche-bars in town if you don’t need a fleur-de-lis motif. If you really yearn for some clothing to attract fake-tanned, ditzy bitches, buy one of their designs with some graphics, but don’t send it to me: I don’t need help looking more douchey. –JP

O.J. Wheels
53 mm Perma Crooks
These are the first wheels where I was so excited about the graphic that I rocked it on the outside of the wheel. At least since I was young and naive about the functionality of skateboard technology. Basically, this wheel has everything I want out of a graphic: clean, concise color usage, a few lines, a seal of approval and last but not least, an owl. Hoooooot. Seriously rad. The downfall of these superbly designed wheels is the fact that the formula is much too weak for my standards. Even as the durometer of the wheels feel perfect (nice and grippy yet still allowing a slide at higher speeds)the fact that I was steady mobbing, hit a twig and it was enough to send me flying off my ride and flatspot the less-than-20-minute-old new tires, was enough to bum me out. Even though skating on any surface that isn’t bricks and still sounds like riding on bricks is an amazing feeling, it’s not that stealthy ghost ride I, myself, prefer (unless of course, there are actual bricks or stones to ride over). Maybe if you were on the team, they would be worth the time of taking a new pair off and placing a new pair on after every session, but for the most part, I cannot fully endorse these wheels on the formula alone. Keep bringing the super fuckin’ awesome designs though—I want to keep skating these just so I can show people how cool the graphic is. –Jonathan Livingston

CRUNK!!! Energy Drink
My heart hurts, my head hurts, my body hurts. These are all things I expressed while on day two of product testing Crunk!!! energy drink. The peach-mango drink packs many punches, one of them being a tasty alternative energy drink. Crunk!!! has horny goat weed in it as well. Test conclusion: it’s alright. It won’t turn you into the zoot-suit donning coyote from the cartoons, but it will give an effect similar to that. It definitely gives you a bit of a blastoff. Crush one after work and you will be smashing around the city pushing wood in no time. Without a doubt, Crunk!!! gets you buck. Really, though: stay away from binge drinking this stuff (they warn you for a reason). –Jemie Sprankle

Almost Skateboards
Chris Haslam Double Impact Deck
So I was tre flippin’ dis 20-stair the other day, but my boards just kept breakin’. So I sent Almost da footy and was like, “Bros, I need the strongest deck with ultra light 6 plys, a full carbon top sheet, unmatched pop and die-cut carbon impact dampening discs to reduce breakage at typical breaking areas so I can land dis’ tre bomb. Can you hook it up or what, ‘cause this shit’s going to be sicker than Sheckler.” Of course they were like “Fo’ sho’.” So they sent me the brand new Chris Haslam double impact deck and were like, “Let’s see what you can do with this baby.” Not only did they hook it up, but the board has a 45-day guarantee against breakage (but not if you focus it) and other manufacturer’s defects. Needless to say, I set dat board up and stomped that 20-stair tre bomb first try. After that, I thought I’d take it mellow at dis buttery-ass ledge spot I be hidin’ from everybody. Got a fakie big-flip crooks nollie backside flip out in four tries. Shit was banger. In my opinion, there ain’t no better board in da biz than dis Almost. You best watch yo self Shecks, I’m comin for yas. –Ernesto Rodriguez

Almost Haslem Board. Photo: Swainston VICE Books' Full Bleed. Photo: Swainston O.J. Wheels Perma Crooks. Photo: J. Livingston