Product Reviews – July 2009
A while back, a friend and I were involved in a conversation trying to explain how there are skateboarders and then there are longboarders, the two are not mutually inclusive. Having a pair of Tarantula Trucks around would have helped illustrate our point. Upon looking at them, most skateboarders would wonder why one would want to mount their trucks on top of their deck. Conversely, many longboarders would see a board lower to the ground with wider wheel spacing and the possibility of a more stable board. Since I’m not a longboarder, I mounted these on the longest deck I had laying around (Black Label Chet Childress) and slapped on some wheels off a cruiser/filmer board. They do have a noticeably more carvey feel than a traditional truck and with wheels now 10 inches apart, one can see how it would feel stable—albeit at the price of making your board look like a Cootie™ (it’s a kids game, look it up). I did have an issue, however, with my wheels rubbing on sides of the trucks. It turns out you have to designate either center core or offset wheels when ordering. At $115/set, it would be nice if they came with a spacer set instead of offering freedom of choice in wheels. Speaking of choice, Tarantula’s are one of those products you’ll know just by looking at them whether or not they are for you.
I find it interesting that I’m reviewing a skateboard, mainly because until recently, I hadn’t skated in close to a decade. Be that as it may, the Fiber deck provided to me is not only a hell of a lot of fun to skate, but seems to be built up to standard as well. Granted, this sucker’s a little on the beefy side ––8.25”x 31.75”––it’s perfect for us old “fogies” who simply like to push around and have fun. I’ve never been one for technical flip tricks, but I can see this deck being a bit of a problem for those who are. Because of its girth, it seems like it would make tech tricks a bit more challenging than a smaller board. All in all, this is a perfect deck for either pools or vert, as opposed to street, but it fits me quite well.
Graffiti Series: “Peace” Earbuds
A lot of people get stuck only buying what is known to be good and stylish, but the people who try new things (take the less-traveled path) are usually the ones who stumble upon the treasure in the end. These headphones may look cheesy as all hell, but their performance is the cheese, the “big cheese,” if you know what I mean. The bass output is enough that even at low volumes you feel in perfect harmony of surround sound for watching your movie while listening to the soundtrack of your life. If you want to share your music with others, which you should, the headphones at full volume through your average iPod are loud enough to cover a well-rounded, acoustically inclined area around your ears. Let’s not get bogged down in semantics here, let’s just say that if you want some originals you gotta pay to play.
“Jaime Reyes” guest model Fast Whips deck
Straight off the boat from Hawaii comes the In4ma+tion Jaime Reyes guest model Fast Whips deck. It’s not often that a company includes a female skater in their guest line but she’s been on the scene there for a good while and is quite the ripper. A little back info: In4ma+tion started off seven years ago as a shop in Hawaii and has grown into a skate and streetwear shop. They added a NYC design studio a couple years back. The Fast Whips series features classic hot-rod-style graphics with the Jaime Reyes model adding some googley eyes to a classic car. Who doesn’t like googley eyes? As far as the ride, it comes in at 8 inches, a good all around size, has a solid feel and pop with a long scoop nose and a tail that’s a little on the flat side. That’s all personal preference, so if you like a slightly flatter tail, give it a go. If not, you may want to check out a different deck in the line, but don’t slack, they put em’ out in limited numbers. –Baade
RUN SLC T-shirt
249 E. 400 S. SLC, UT
Who runs these streets? Chase Loter over at Fourth Street Music, that’s who. Chase has taken the classic RUN DMC logo and added an SLC twist to it. It’s a pure genius idea that has been kept simplistic. The shirts come in black or white, small, medium or large. Bust down to Fourth Street Music on 249 E and 400 S to pick up your own RUN SLC tee along with some classic vinyl records. Just be wary of some bitters: even though Chase has only been printing these shirts for a short time, I’ve already seen RUN SLC knock-offs popping up in the streets. Patent pending fools. There is only one place to get the legit print. –Swainston
A Visual Sound/ Tincan Folklore Boxset
Most new videos, it seems, are bogged down with who can one up the next person at the new hot spot. It is refreshing to see films that were shot over 13 years ago that still look like modern day skate films and portray what skateboarding is all about: having fun. The early days in San Francisco, street lines, black and white film stills, shenanigans and true love for the art of skateboarding all shine through the television screen in A Visual Sound as well as Tincan Folklore. Jason Lee and Chris Pastras are to thank for paying such wonderful cinematographic attention to details for the success of filmers and videographers of today. You can tell they thought out the videos just like a major motion picture––storyboards, plot development, intros, climaxes, and outros for each person who graced the screen (and their team) for these two skate vids. If you have yet to see these flicks, I highly recommend taking the time to track them down and be amazed at what someone with a little bit of vision, a camera or two and friends willing to help can accomplish when they unite to give it all they’ve got. They made the truth of their vision come to light. –Adam Dorobiala
Hell Fiberlam Skate Deck
If it’s not broke don’t fix it—just make it better. The dudes over at Odeus (Alex and Mitch Lemons) are working with some new materials to better the traditional seven-ply maple skateboard design. They removed two layers of maple and added a top and bottom sheet of carbon fiber, giving the board a feathery weight of 2.9lbs. The board skates like a gem: the crisp carbon fiber gives it extra pop and it slides a bit quicker than a traditional maple wood board. The only downfall I’ve noticed is the strength of the nose and tail when it comes to destructive nose dives and head on collisions into walls. Next time you’re in the market for a new deck, I highly suggest trying out a fiberlam board. Not only will you be delighted about your new purchase, you will also be supporting a local up-and-coming skate company. Skate down to your local shop and check them out now, or log onvto www.odeus.com to order one online.