Product Reviews – April 2010

RNCK Skate Key. Photo: Swainston

Rough Neck Hardware
RNCK Skate Key
Blazin’ in hot, straight out of sunny San Fran is Rough Neck’s design on a classic skate key that will fit in your pocket. It has all the socket sizes you need—kingpin, wheels, hardware and most importantly, the hardware socket has a hinge on it. This hinge is what really seals the deal for this being the best tool I’ve ever had. It allows the tool to bend around that awkward spot on the front bolts of your trucks, giving you a solid grip on your nuts and eliminating stripped hardware.  The only thing that could make this tool any better would be changing the place of the allen and the phillips screwdriver head so that you can get more leverage on the bolt head. Rough Neck’s shit don’t stink, so go get some. –Swainston

Swirl Headphones

Headphones are a dime a dozen, but good ones are few and far between. AIAIAI is a German company breaking on SLC’s streets. These earbuds are simply designed with little unnecessary flare, besides the curly cord at the end of the left earpiece. As far as I can tell, that’s just for style points. The key feature of these buds is that the end piece of the cord is shaped to wrap around your ear to help hold those buds in securely. Pretty smart if you ask me—I’ve ruined more than one pair of headphones crushing them with my skateboard or tangling them up in the spokes of my bike.  Cruise over to Fresh and swoop up a pair. They also offer a couple different sets with a phone mic for all of you that can’t disconnect for even a phone call.  –Swainston

SML Wheels
52 mm Austyn Gillette signature wheel

This wheel company came into the scene like a first round NBA draft pick: great product, awesome team and a clever name. Founded by James Craig and other 100% skaters, don’t you think they’d know what they’re looking for? They also come with a “loose guarantee,” which means that if you don’t like ‘em, then tell ‘em and they will make them not suck. So with that in mind, I have tried to make them suck, but have come to the conclusion that these wheels can’t suck. They are the perfect hardness for the park rat or the street shralper. I don’t know if a shop in Salt Lake carries them quite yet, but they certainly should. All you wood pushers out there need to hop off those STFs and check out what other companies have to offer—you might be surprised. Fuck a big wheel, ride SML. –Hehshun

Sno Dice
Jump And Rail Dice

One day when I came to SLUG, Adam gave me these things called SnoDice. After looking them over, I noticed there was a set for jumps and a set for rails. Each die had a trick and a few snowflakes on them instead of  your typical numbers one through six . With the rail set, for example, when you roll the four dice one may say 270 on, another one would say whether to do it switch or regular and the last two say what trick to do and whether or not to spin out. If you get a snowflake, that’s a wild and you can do whatever buttery trick you want! The dice sat in my car for about three or four weeks until I finally was able to use these black squares of boardslides and tail slappys at the Brighton park preview day. I let my friend Josh roll the dice cause I thought they were lame, but after a few rolls things started to get fun. We started betting on the tricks and a few other kids joined in on our game of snowboarding craps. By the end of the day I came to enjoy these SnoDice. So if you’re going to some urban hand rail, hitting up a backcountry booter or just getting your shred on in the park and don’t know what to do, go pick up a set of SnoDice! To step up the excitement factor bet cash, Molca Salsa or cigs and you’re sure to have a great time with these dice. –Jeremy Riley

Zu Boutique by Davey Havok

I had some reservations about donning these bedazzled bad boys in public (not so much because of the rhinestones, but because they didn’t mesh well with my all black wardrobe..and the rhinestones), but decided to man up and embrace my sparkly nature, both inside and out. Designed by the increasingly effeminate and decreasingly relevant Davey Havok of AFI, these shoes are comfortable if you lead a primarily sedentary lifestyle like myself. If you need shoes that aid in any sort of specialized task (Zu’s website recommends avoiding biking, skating and all other forms of rigorous activity) or shoes that keep rain, snow and dirt out, look elsewhere. Even though they’re a bit garish and not exactly practical, I fully recommend these shoes as someone who spends the vast majority of my day sitting at a computer and avoiding strenuous tasks like walking—they’re functional and distracting! –Ricky Vigil

Neck Gaiter

In today’s fashion-centric snow world, companies often get too carried away with the steeze factor and end up neglecting the true functionality of the product they are promoting. This is not the case with Shogo. A Japanese-based designer, Shogo offers clothing that can be worn on the slopes and the streets. Testing the Shogo neck gaiter was reminiscent of my days balling it up on the playground in a loose-fitting pair of mesh shorts. Made from virtually the same fabric, this article proved itself in a variety of conditions and proved more versatile than anticipated. From those blisteringly cold mornings ski patrolling at the ‘Bird to more mellow breezy days, the Shogo gaiter was up to the task. Its breathable fabric allows it to keep from freezing up when you’re mobbin’ down the piste and prevents the dreaded foggy goggle effect. Perhaps the best part of the Shogo neck gaiter is its simple yet effective design and easy on the eyes style. Plus, you can wear it as a head wrap or under-helmet piece. Works well as a goggle wipe too. –Sean Zimmerman-Wall

RNCK Skate Key. Photo: Swainston Shogo Neck Gaiter. Photo: Dorobiala