In December I purchased and put together a brand new setup. I had severely sprained my ankle in September ( refer to a previous post ) resulting in a three month rest period and the new board was a gift to myself on my return to skateboarding.
The setup in question is a 8.5″ Hockey Skateboards “Team” board, Jessup grip, Thunder Trucks ‘149 highs’, Reds bearings ( with spacers ). 54mm Prize Fighter Cutlery wheels and Indy bolts. This board represents a slight departure from my previous ones as it is wider with a steeper concave. To match this difference in width I have switched to 149 Thunders. I’ve never had a set of Thunders and was excited to try them out. The wheels and bearings are the same make and size ( of wheels ) as the last two sets have been.
So what attracted me to the new setup you may well ask? My answer would be that throughout the mid nineties until present day I have rode thin boards ranging from 7.5″ to 8.25″ but now want to try out something different. Back then and until very recently the boards I rode reflected the technical tricks I wanted to try. In the nineties I was a fan of the Girl and Chocolate companies. The riders on those teams rode boards under 8″ wide and if that size was good for them it was good for me too. The trucks I rode were low to the ground and the wheels small allowing for a fast flip of the board and an overall light setup. My skating ethos back then was all about technical advancement in terms of tricks. Although I appreciated the simple act of rolling I wanted to keep up with what everyone else was doing and the setup I rode reflected this.
Roll on 2017 and with a nagging injury to contend with my skating has gone back to basics. I want to feel more stability on my board thus the wider deck and high trucks. I appreciate simpler tricks and no longer skate all day learning every flip trick there is. The new wheels and bearings are fast and give me an advantage on the rough streets. The Thunder trucks took some getting used to being slightly wider than my old ones but are now working wonders and appear to grind in a solid fashion. The Hockey board has great pop ( wood by Paul Schmitt ) with its steep nose and tail and seems very resilient to wear and tear. At first I thought it wouldn’t flip as easily due to its size. Well I proved myself wrong with my ‘flagship flips’ popped and locked. Just cruising around feels joyous on this board, compromising a small amount of technical prestige for a ‘soul skating’ setup I feel has paid back in dividends and my skating has almost had a rebirth ( or maybe its all in my head ? )
Would I recommend this setup, most definitely! It works for my skating and tricks. The board has a great shape and construction. The wheels haven’t flat spotted and have retained their shape and speed after several sessions. The trucks turn and grind well. I’m really stoked to be riding something wider and more stable. My flat ground tricks feel solid and my size eleven trainers aren’t hanging over the edges. I’m going to keep an eye out for another Hockey board to replace this one when it gets old.