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.
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:
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:
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.
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.
There is a known weak spot in the board that cracks over time. I hadn’t worked out until my last run what was causing it to split but now I know that it is caused by going over big cracks in the road and up kurbs, etc. On Saturday over a particular rough patch (drainage channels, yep) I actually heard it splinter…yeesh.
Yesterday, I received a huge parcel in the post with the replacement board. After much umming and arring about what to go for I chose to go with a Subsonic GT board. This is the board that was ridden by Ben Colchester during the trip Skating South. Ben was a long time fan of the Subsonic Raven but had the chance to slightly tweak the design…what resulted was the GT.
I was considering a board by Pulse Longboards, such as the ones used Skateventure but decided against it for the simple reason that there wasn’t much information on the board and that it was in an early stage of development. I also liked the idea of the Rock The Drop model by B2 Longboards but wanted something that looked different to the Longboard Larry Pusher V1 (i.e. not wooden-looking).
In the end, having seen and ridden some of Scott’s (Subsonic founder) boards (Tim Pritchard’s Pulse, my G|Bomb) I knew that I could order with no doubt in my mind. Here is what was agreed upon after exchanging a few messages with him:
Board model: GT
Construction: your usual laminates for this board (I’m around 75kg)
Top layer: Black tri-ax fibreglass or carbon
Bottom layer: Silver Texalium
Ride height: around 70mm – 75mm with 85mm wheels
Finish: as weather-proof as possible with resin coated edges
Cut-out ends: Open
Ride: Slight give for shock absorbing purposes
Unboxing the package, I was not disappointed. You can tell by the wrapping the board came in that a lot of love goes into making them.
The quality of the materials is really outstanding…
Here is a shot of the top of the deck:
And the concave of the deck which feels very mellow and progressive:
The big advantages of this board as I see them (without having ridden it) are the following:
– It is not taped at the back, meaning that my back foot should never get numb as has been the case during day trips and ultraskates
– By it’s construction, it is totally weather-proof. I had to re-varnish my LBL after it’s first trip in the rain.
– It has a more aggressive drop, meaning that more of the platform is flat, making the feel more stable.
Last night I took apart the LBL and thought about the many trips we have done together. Although broken, I’m not sure I can get rid of it just yet – it feels like part of the family. Going on the trips I have written about, I’ve done more than 1200km (745 miles) on it but I think that the real total is much more, possibly around the 2000 km mark.
I still recall writing this about it when I first received it back in March 2009 :
Sleek, low but still manoeuvrable this board does exactly what it says on the tin and certainly helps eat up those km! I wrote a longer review here. Although it is now showing some abuse, it is still going strong and is my go-to board for anything other than a ride to the shops…we’ll see how far it takes me!
Now we know how far it got!
Retired old lady with battle-scars on the left…young gun ready to rock on the right (check out my alliteration!)…
Here it is built up from above:
And from below:
Tonight it is time for this…