At first glance you would think that the Phase 1 42″ longboard and Bling Old School skateboard are two totally different boards and should not be compared. However, a) they are my only two skateboards at the moment, so I am going to compare them!, and b) they are actually not as far different as it would first seem — both skateboards fit the cruiser market, but come at it in totally different directions. Read on …
The Bling Old School, is an old school design, perhaps better suited to pools, but still marketed in the cruiser space. It has 59 millimetre 85a wheels, making it more suited to the bumps of pavements than new school skate park boards with 51 millimetre to 54 millimetre wheels at durometres of up to 100a.
The Phase 1 is a longboard, but perhaps is not sophisticated enough to race on downhill slaloms (I have never tried!), but it also is marketed into the cruiser segment.
So both skateboards are cruisers: one an old school skateboard; the other a longboard. But both are at a similar price point. I bought the Bling for $134.95 (now advertised at $139.95 at Skater HQ) plus $12.78 postage and the Phase 1 at $130 (Australia’s Favourite Skateboard Shop price on eBay has just gone up to $135) plus $20 postage.
So in my opinion, worthy of a comparison!
The advertised dimensions of each board are:
Phase 1 42″ longboard skateboard
- seven ply full Canadian Maple deck 42″ x 9″ kicktail concave/convex shape
- classic red and white design
- T282 180 mm 50 degree angle kingpin raw aluminium trucks
- USA red cushions
- 8/14 TPR angle pads
- ABEC 5 chrome steel bearings
- 70 mm x 46 mm HR 82A casting solid red wheels
- black grip tape.
Bling Old School skateboard
- width 7.875″
- length 30″
- bearings ABEC 5
- wheels 59 mm 85a Cruiser.
In addition, a weigh-in on my bathroom scales (an inaccurate way of measuring, I know!) reveals:
Bling – 2.4 kg
Phase 1 – 3.6 kg
So what are they like to ride?
The Phase 1 just encourages you to carve up the pavement. The soft bushings in the trucks are egging you on to slalom the dotted white line down your favourite hill. The Bling on the other hand likes to go straight. It must have harder bushes in the trucks. However, it is also a narrower board with far narrower trucks, so probably does not get the leverage on the turns that the Phase 1 does.
The Bling, being a shortboard length, encourages you to do small ollies over pavement cracks. That is just as well because with the smaller, harder wheels, it does take a pounding at times. The Phase 1 sails over bumps large and small with ease. The Bling has thrown me off over the front a few times from hitting rocks, small gumnuts (a uniquely Australian problem!) and twigs. I have had no such problems with the Phase 1.
The Bling Old School skateboard tends to get speed wobbles earlier than the Phase 1 longboard. However, even with the Bling, you are going much faster than you can run by the time the wobbles kick in. The Phase 1, despite its softer bushes, is stable until a higher speed. However, it is still not what I would call a high speed downhill board.
Speed. Now this is where it gets difficult. My Phase 1 initial impression review stated that I thought the board was slower than the Bling. Testing has now proven this to be the case. From a standing start at the top of my favourite hill, the Bling rolls a good 15 to 20 metres more than the Phase 1. It should be the other way around. My initial impressions have been confirmed.
Overall, buyers seeking a cruiser-style board in this price point (around $150 including postage) should be happy with both boards. A small amount of customising (softer bushes on the Bling Old School skateboard and faster wheels/bearings on the Phase 1 longboard) would take both skateboards from good, to great.
In fact, that is exactly what I have done with the Phase 1 longboard. The photos below show the standard Bling Old School skateboard (short board) and the Phase 1 42″ longboard customised with new wheels and bearings.
Update 6 April 2008: It appears that eskatestuff are no longer selling these skateboards under the Phase 1 name. Their current boards are branded Vault.