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RollsRolls Woody reveiw

During the recent trip, lots was discussed about what makes the perfect distant board. As for lots of things, the choice can be a matter of taste but there are some obvious criteria that need to be filled. Ones which spring to mind are a wide and stable deck, good dampening and the ability to cope with varying terrain both from a surface and hilly/flat point of view.

With all this in mind, I thought it would be a great idea to speak about a board which deserves a little more credit than it currently getting – the RollsRolls Woody.

I do not own this board, the following is a reveiw by Tim Pritchard, a good friend of mine.

My friend Chris Vallender and I had been planning a distance longboard trip, CaRott, for a little while and all planning was going well, until, I went and fell off my push bike messing up the strength in my ankle. We continued to prepare for the trip as there was still 3 months until it started. My recovery was very slow and I decided that I needed a new setup if I was ever going to make the 180mile/300km trip. I only managed to get on a board around a month before the trip!

After a couple weeks of investigations into various boards, the RollsRolls Woody was my board of choice.

The main thing for me was ride height as I wanted to save my knee and ankle as much as possible. Also, my skills of pushing with my wrong foot, mongo, had worsened greatly and I was expecting to push regular for the entire trip. This was luckily not the case. Mongo came back to me quickly on the low and shock resisting deck, thankfully.

I did a large amount of research into ride height of various trucks, decks and the benefits of drop-through decks. For the record, the Woody goes lower than you need i.e. if you use thin risers and Randals with 50* baseplates, you’re going to get rail bite and bottom it out. In my opinion, this is a good thing as you know it’s as low as it can be!

The flex of the deck is quite different to any other deck I’ve ever ridden. The flex of a Loaded is both long, fast and returns quickly which is great for carving and fun. The Woody is a much more mellow flex; it still has a good amount of flex but it is slower on the way down and the way up. This makes it more stable and takes out the vibrations effectively. The loaded flex is completely different and gives far less vibration damping.

The shape of the Woody wasn’t exactly what I expected. The area for your feet at the front and rear are almost flat and the centre of the deck is more cambered to help turning. After clocking up the miles I soon became to love the shape of the board. The mostly flat areas were comfortable which was essential on pushes that lasted 2 hours. The cambered middle section meant I knew where my feet were at all times which was also nice. Lastly, the section that rise up front and back, the mudguards, means you can put your toes or heal just onto it which makes balancing far easier when tired. Having my heal just touching this when doing mongo made it far easier than ever before; instead of trying to balance and push, I just balanced! And Pushed!

I wouldn’t say there were any bad points about the board, just things you need to consider. It’s true that RollsRolls don’t put much varnish on the board as they want it to be as natural as possible so you need to give it some varnish if it’s going to get wet. They provide griptape with the deck and anyone buying a Woody will surely know how to fit this. It also means you can use your choice of grip which is very much a personal preference. Lastly, the wood is quite soft and the Woody is a delicate deck. The choice of material is to give the best ride possible and not for strength. It’s something you’ll need to consider mostly when transporting it like on the train or in the boot of a car. If you have something hard on top of it, it will mark it. Treat it with respect like I have and it’ll keep on going for a very long time! It should also be noted that the hole spacing’s are for old school trucks, the wider hole spacing, therefore the original Paris trucks won’t fit!

In conclusion. I’d say that this is very much a specific long distance pushing board, and great for it. I wouldn’t recommend it as a first longboard or for anything other than a low down push deck. You won’t be able to do tricks, dancing, slides or bowls in it, but you’d be mad to try. For the longboarder who wants the best pusher, this is the one.

As noted in the ‘Thank you’ section of the CaRott write-up Peter, the founder/owner of RollsRolls spent lots of time explaining the work and thought process which has gone into creating the woody. It really is much more than a simple piece of wood! What follows is an interesting description of the manufacturing process of a Woody, in Peter’s words:

Decks from Loaded and others with a lot of flex are made by laminating veneer (thin wood). Laminating means: let the veneer soak all resin it can soak, press it under heat and much pressure. Result: the resin will move to every filament, to any gap; after that the deck is >40% resin and <60% wood. The wood is not wood as you know; it is a composite and the filament of former wood is it’s structure. This composite flexes well and lives long. But is has not the damping and warm feeling of wood. To my feeling a wood-composite deck is the same as one made from glasfibres: it works well, has excellent riding abilities and does not wear down much.

And there is another reason why you will find often wood-composite decks: they are cheaper, in manufacturing costs it is half of the price from real wood. For composites you can use b-quality wood as no one will see it and no one feels it. And you can process it in an industry line (not from hand). You may ask why a Loaded deck and a Woody is same price for you: Loaded has to pay a distributor and a dealer (both take more of half of the customer price); I do not have those, I sell online only or via dealers who like our products and agree to get not even half of the margin they would get for industry boards.

So how is the Woody made? The Woody deck is “real” wood. We glue 11 layers veneer with as less glue as possible together. So the wood is not covered all over by resin/glue. And that’s the same at the top layer: the wood is covered only by varnish. If you sand the varnish away, you will have real wood; and this will soak water if not covered. We manufacture the Woody that way as I like to have the feeling of real wood under my feet. I know it is a kind of luxury.

A deck from “real” wood needs a little care, it’s not carefree like a wood-composite. So you need to cover the surface where you stand and move on the deck – usually by grip tape. (Some riders, mostly surfers, do not cover the surface as they like to ride barefoot or they take care to wear shoes with a soft sole and no dirt beneath the sole).

So all in all a real, a distance board which is up there with the best…for more information visit: http://www.rollsrolls.com/

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