Review: ABEC 11 Gumballs (Wheels)

With Memorial Day past summer has officially begun. With longboarding season long underway it’s time to start doing some gear reviews to give you some insight on what to, and not to buy this season. If you want to write a gear review for the site make an account here on the blog, write your piece, and submit it for review. Make sure you use a valid e-mail address in case any edits need to be made so you can be consulted first. After a quick read and a couple possible edits it’ll be posted quickly and added to the reviews section. Leave any comments at the bottom of this post if you have questions about anything.

To start the summer off I wanted to look at a set of wheels. A good set of wheels can make all the difference and are definitely on the cheaper end of the parts spectrum. The ABEC 11 Gumballs come in two different hardnesses, 76A and 78A. For this review I was riding the harder, 78A wheel. The first thing you notice when looking at the Gumballs are the fact that they’re FAT. Lots of contact with the ground means the Gumballs will give you a lot of traction through turns and at high speeds. Both sizes are more than large enough to roll over almost any small obstacle that might get in your way and make for a very smooth ride over both pavement and cement.

If you want to slide, the Gumballs require some breaking in. Out of the box the wheels are much softer than you’d find with, say the ABEC 11 Freerides or Orangutan Purples, and offer a superb amount of grip for taking corners at high speeds. Once broken in, however, the wheels can be slid with a little effort for speed checks and slides but will still maintain their grip at high speeds without any effort. Even well broken in the wheels are grippy as all hell and don’t want to leave the turn, you have to give it a little effort to get them sliding, once you do they’re predictable and hookup again without much effort at all.

The amount of grip the Gumballs offer really make them better suited to downhill rather than freeriding. While you can get the wheels to slide, it does take a considerable amount of speed and effort. Once you get the wheels sliding, they give you a predictable slide and hookup again without much effort, making them great for speed checks and drifts through turns at high-speeds. Overall the Gumballs are a great choice for  both cruising and going fast as their big size creates a smooth, stable ride through most riding situations.

The ABEC 11 Gumballs will run you around $48 and can be purchased via Amazon here:

Update on site progress

Quick update on the progress of the website thus far. I’ve upgraded the blog to BuddyPress, a plugin for WordPress that allows users to create profiles, add friends, and create groups with their own discussion boards. Registering will allow you to participate in everything Skate The intends to offer and is absolutely free, you’ve got nothing to lose. Hopefully this will help organize skate sessions, find partners to shred with, and share sweet local spots.

You might also notice that a link to the Forum has been added to the navigation on the top right. While the link is active, the forum is currently still under construction and is subject to change. I’m looking for an easy way to mesh the registration here on Skate The and the forum so you don’t have to register twice. Long story short: I advise staying away from the forums until another post gives the official go-ahead, otherwise your posts might get deleted if we change software.

So, just to clarify in case you didn’t read all of that: everything but the forum is fully functional. Register, start adding friends, invite your friends, and help spread the word. The movement has just begun.

Skate The East.

The ‘Gnar-nage Begins

This is the beginning of something big for longboard enthusiasts here on the East Coast. Skate The East will showcase East Coast longboarding at its finest and help to build a stronger community amongst riders of all ages and skill levels. We’re off to a slow roll right now but will be picking up momentum in the coming weeks so keep your eyes peeled.

In the next day or two (probably closer to two) the forum will be up and running and ready for use by everyone. We’re hoping to make it a place to talk about longboarding, get and give advice, etc., etc. Until then hang tight!

If you’re interested in getting involved with the Skate The East movement shoot me an e-mail: mike [at] This project is going to be a large undertaking so the more support we have the better it will be and the faster it can grow.