I have been having a chat with a reader about the speed of various skateboard wheel/bearing setups below my post on the Phase 1 dropdown longboard.
In the meantime I have taken the opportunity to wander around a few stores selling skateboards and spin the boards’ wheels. I have been absolutely staggered how tight the off the shelf board wheels are. Give them a good spin and they barely roll half a turn more. Spin any of my longboard wheels, including the Phase 1’s and they will easily spin for a good 10 or so seconds (although I have not officially timed them!).
So let’s say someone hops off a new school skateboard with the bearings set up as original and has a go of the stock standard Phase 1 longboard. They will probably be impressed at the speed.
On the other hand, I have been spoilt with the Bones Reds skateboard bearings and ABEC 11 70s Flashback wheels. I know how good wheels and bearings can be and as a result think that the Phase 1 wheels/bearings are slow.
What I am saying is that speed is relative.
Anyone else able to make some comparisons/observations of the Phase 1 boards?
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.
I went to Kmart today to check out the boards there and they are ABSOLUTE RUBBISH. The bearings were so hard they did not even spin when I twisted them as hard as I would need to when I tighten a bolt to hold the wheel to my bikes frame. Even worse, the wheels were crooked on the axle and the actual hanger on the trucks was less than a centimeter thick so DO NOT BUY A KMART SKATEBOARD, THEY ARE JUNK
I got my Vault Drop down today, and it was like a different world after my 20 dollar skateboard. Expectedly I didn’t realise this and my moderate decline from my house was my stumbling block. The skateboard started accelerating, and I realised that I don’t really know how to slow down a skateboard, so I just tried to run off it, but was going around 20km/h and fell off, landed on my left arm. Now its all stiff and in pain. Ah well, bruises heal and it makes me appreciate skateboards for the dangerous and thrilling beasts they are.
Tommorow I might go to a flat parking lot and learn the board a bit better at a slower speed. Do you think for a reasonable beginner its a good idea to flip the spacer back the other way so that the steering is not so sensitive?
Read my post http://blokespost.com/?p=129.
If you are used to a normal skateboard, I suggest that you will want to do this modification. I found it difficult to keep my balance at low speed because I could not turn sharply enough to keep my balance.
The way they come out of the box is really only for high speed work in my opinion.
I’ve been riding a landyachtz dropdown (as opposed to dropthrough) in Brisbane with ABEC3 bearsings and a set of 85ml flywheels. I have ridden a few sets of wheels now, and feel the flywheels offer the best quality available, although this is reflected in the price.
For commuting purposes it is more than satisfactory, despite it’s four and a half feet or so of board I have to lug around uni. As a downhill board it performs well in my mind as the centre of gravity is level with the axles, allowing for a smooth, controlled turn into a drift.
If you buy a board from a department store,you may as well burn your money. A skateboard is not a toy, it is a piece of specialist sports equipment and each part will have its own nuances. Would you buy a car because the company that made it makes bicycles? No, you’d want a car company. So why would you buy a skateboard made by a toy company?
There are heaps of great skate stores all around Brisbane who will sell you a good quality, cheap set of deck and trucks. I advise for beginners a set of Modus Black bearings, or ABEC1 equivalent and some relatively large, hard wheels. That is if you are going for a trick board. If you want a longboard for cheap, have a look at cruisers which are less of an investment. They’re not my style as I’m pretty tall, but I have friends that have used them successfully as commuter boards.
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