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Coldest skate ever…

I’ve been a little bit behind with updating this blog but lots of stuff has been going on outside of longboarding and weather hasn’t been up to much either. Another thing is that one of my New Year’s resolutions was to learn to ski, and after my third day last weekend I can safely say that I’ve given it a good go! I was managing red runs without berating those that led me down them or scaring myself too much…

At the start of the month, I did manage a good skate with my good friend Tim Pritchard. About the time of his visit this kind of thing wasn’t an uncommon sight in Geneva which is quite close by:

 However, although the week previous to his visit the temperature hadn’t gone above the -15°C, the weekend he was here was a cosy -10°C. Needless to say that with clear skys there was no way we weren’t going to skate. It is just what we do when we get together. It was the coldest skate ever…

In the past, I’ve skated in cold conditions especially when I was in Paris.

It’s all good once you get going and it was no different this time. Tim and I took the lakeside path, him on the G|Bomb and me on the Subsonic GT. Through the icy fields we went…

It was fun to skate and pump around the ice patches:

The  G|Bomb, good at pumping and pushing, not so good as a snow plough:

Great times…

… with some super-smooth stretches:

I got chased by dogs:

One things about dogs. It really annoys me when they decide to chase me when I’m riding a bike or longboard. I heard that one thing you can do is make noise at them to intimidate them… I tried, looked stupid infront of about 10 people and failed to get them to go away. After a good deal of barking once I stopped they got bored and went away by their own accord.

In the end, we managed around 30km in some really cold conditions including wind that never became a tail-wind, regardless of the direction we took.

A nice pic of a nice board in some weak Winter sun:

Dreaming of a warm chin-massage:

Tim, showing off his head-wear:

We finished off at the crazy sculture at Ouchy:

For those of you who are interested in what we gorged ourselves on post-skate, here is the awesome-ness that sorted us right out. Dumplings for the win!


Slacker report

Winter has officially arrived and with it all the usual horrible-ness – well that was until Autumn made a bit of a come back and meant that I could go out riding last weekend! Stoked! I also finally got round to writing something…result.

I’ve racked up a good few sessions now on the Subsonic GT and it’s low-ness has been misjudged three times, resulting in the pristine look being exchanged for a slightly more rugged one:

Last weekend I went on a nice leisurely skate towards Morges:

The cool thing is that I discovered that the bike route 1, section 6 actually carries on a lot further than expected although I had to run for about a kilometre to get across an unpaved section. This is awesome as it means that in theory I could get to Geneva without too much difficulty by just continuing the route.

I’ve also started using Endomondo to track my outings whereas previously I’d been using Runkeeper. All in all Endomondo seems to be a little more feature-packed, it certainly appears to be more social-media orientated. You find the same notion of ‘friends’ as on Facebook against which you can compare performances.

I actually started using Endomondo because over on the French forum Riderz there has recently been an upsurge in LDP/distance related talk. This is really good to see because for ages it was just Alex Bangnoi and myself yapping on as we tend to do. In the distance related thread there has been a couple of friendly challenges using Endomondo app and personally I’ve found them to be a really good way of motivating myself.

I turned 28 a little while ago and this event coincided with the arrival of a package from Pritchard Skate Designs. It is a slightly taller and pimped out (read coloured) version of the FWD+ short:

Look out for more tasty footstop treats seeing the light of day in the coming months. I wanted it to be a litle higher to be able to really push my front foot into the stop, I haven’t done many sessions on it yet but so far I’m really liking it.

In terms of gear, the following will probably be old news to most of you but I still think it is worth a mention. In all of my trucks I have never used the stock bushings as I have always found that the aftermarket bushings to feel a lot better. Also, I bought my trucks back in 2009/2010 before truck companies had really started to think seriously about the importance of the squishy bushings. Therefore I have run up to some obstacles: finding the right washers and almost always  having to stack them because they weren’t the right height – that kind of thing.

These puppies are a dream come true:

They are the Axcelspring washer cups by Griffin Skateboards‘ mastermind Thane Magee  and this is what they’re all about:

People are snapping their kingpins on their trucks left and right. The grade 8 washer and grade 8 kingpin in combination with bushings that are too soft are hanging up the kingpin and snapping it. Old, traditional washer cups surf around on the bushing and on the kingpin too much. It’s about time we have a state of the art washer cup that works to help the rider be safe. We have been working on solving this problem since 2009.

Why Are These Better?
The center sleeve puts the pressure on the center of the bushing, giving it more energy. The facing on either side of the washers gives extra grip to help grab onto the baseplate and the bushing. No movement equals straight power. It’s made in the USA in a one inch size and is machined from 303 stainless steel.

Whilst we’re on gear, the following caught my eye last week: Num cups

Some information from the thread:

Why?
Because your stock pivot cups suck. Chances are if you loosen up your trucks, you can wiggle the hanger back and forth in the pivot cup. And if you can’t, you most likely will be able to in the near future. This is because so many truck manufacturer’s keep using that same crap black plastic for their pivot cups that deforms are provides no compression of the hanger pivot which leads to slop.

How do these make my trucks feel better?
I’ll sum it up short for now: A pivot cup that provides compression of the hanger pivot does not allow for slop in the pivot cup area. This in turn moves all of the turning focus to the bushings. With these you’ll probably want to go down a duro or two from the regular bushings you’re using because of this.

I’ll be following this idea closely…more information on the Silverfish thread.

Bustin have also been busy and recently announced their latest lineup of reflective apparel for the winter:

The above is my favorite design. Here is some information into the thought gone into these new products:

This time around we had three focuses as we redesigned the gear;  (1) Improve the reflective safety gear (2) Incorporate some of the dopest board graphics into some shirts and (3) Make a hoodie that you can’t live without.

Sweet as!