Product Reviews – September 2009

F1ND "Sunset Boulevard" skateboard. Photo: Swainston

F1nd Skateboards
“Sunset Blvd” 1986 Natural
F1ND is doing things right straight from the get go, making their boards with that quintessential 100% hard maple right here in the USA. The particular board I got my hands on was the 1986 Natural, a part of the “Sunset Blvd” series created by artist David Born. A little linier than I’m used to, the board measured up at 7.75in. Seeing as how I hadn’t skated a board this small since high school, I decided to keep the first session nostalgic with a church parking lot flat-bar and flat-ground sessions to break her in. It took me a minute to skate away the skepticism of a smaller board, but after an onslaught of tricks started firing out of my feet, I was hyped.  The board had a nice medium groove of concave–not too deep like a canoe and not flat like a pancake. The best way I could describe this board was it felt like I was skating the essence of California, smooth, crisp and flawless. The one exception being that the bolt holes for my back truck were drilled slightly askew so I couldn’t get all four bolts locked in. It made no difference to the way she skated and I’m quite certain it was only a manufacturing defect. I give F1ND two thumbs up with a bonus thumb for being local. Hit up their web page for a full view of their line up. –Swainston 

Sole Vert Messenger Bag
Typically, when I’m toting my laptop around, I just tuck it under my arm.  It’s convenient if I’m just hopping in my car to cruise to work, but can be a bit hazardous when I’m biking, catching a flight or going on a multi-hour road trip with a Subaru full of people that’s packed to the brim with pillows, backpacks and eventually a ton of beer smuggled across the border. In cases like these, the Jan Sport Sole Vert bag has saved my ass from having to replace my MacBook. The bag has two sections––one that holds a 13” laptop and one similar in size with a key ring and two smaller pockets (which have turned into great stash pockets for my SLUG business cards and loose change). Unlike the Jan Sport bags I sported in junior high school, this bag is a great burnt yellow color and has a hip modern design. My only real complaint with the bag is the rubber bottom that looks a little like the sole of a shoe. Although this feature looks rad, allows the bag to stand up straight and makes me confident that this bag won’t fall victim to deteriorating after just a few uses––it also makes me fear getting a gnarly vertical bruise from the hard rubber banging against my thigh as I run through an airport attempting to catch a flight. This bag is great if you can pack up your stuff, load in and quickly load out. If you’re traveling by foot … beware of the bottom––it’s sure to protect your stashed goods, but your butt and thighs might take a beating. –Jeanette Moses

Pocketed Tank Top
Available at Fresh (900 s. 840 e.)
Shogo has definitely given us something to talk about, but his designs speak for themselves and make others speak too. The gear brings out compliments from every Tom, Dick and Harry each time you wear it. Within fifteen minutes people start saying, “Wow, that’s nice,” or, “That looks so comfortable.” The only proper response to both those statements are, “I know, right,” and “Yes, yes it is.” Seeing that I have always wanted a shirt with the same luxury of a hooded sweatshirt pouch (or similar) and this tank top has sewn in pockets on the sides, (which makes it easier to keep that money folder ready for spending, as well as mixing up the design worlds ideas of what a tank has to be) it is a perfect fit. Not too long, not too tight, just like the right-temperature porridge, of the vesture nature that is, for these bones to roll in. Not to boss you around or anything, but I would recommend that if you want to get some frosty new clothes to sport in the summer that can easily be used as an undergarment when skiing season hits, you gotta get over to Fresh before the shelf is looted and pillaged of this fine apparel.  – Jonathan Livingston

Velo City Bags
Large Backpack with the Organizer upgrade
With the bike-messenger-type bag and backpack already holding ground as a must have for trendy cyclists and non-cyclists alike, it was only a matter of time before someone started a legit bag company local to Salt Lake City. Think Chicago Wig but closer to home and with better prices and you’ve got Velo City Bags. If you’re actually a messenger, the huge backpack I tested out all week would make perfect sense. It has everything you’d ever need in order to carry even the most awkward item across town. On top of that, it has space left over for your phone, wallet, even laptop. You can upgrade the already handy backpack with extra pockets like this one, with an organizer that even has a spot for pens. If you aren’t a messenger and just want to look cool with a smaller functional and waterproof bag, you can buy the standard size instead of the large one. My only negative critique is that the fabric isn’t breathable, but what backpack isn’t going to leave you with a sweaty back when you ride your bike during a Salt Lake City summer day? Call Velo City to custom order a bag with your choice of colors and features or check them out in person at FRESH. The backpack lives up to everything a bike backpack should live up to and, best of all, it’s local so your friends won’t make fun of you for selling out and buying Chrome.  –Chelsea Babbish

F1ND "Sunset Boulevard" skateboard. Photo: Swainston Shogo Pocketed Tank Top. Photo: Dorobiala Velo City Bags. Photo: Dorobiala