There’s beginning to be a lot of talk on the streets about a company by the name of Surf-Rodz who are beginning to make some big waves across the international longboarding community. In case you haven’t heard of them, Surf-Rodz produces the popular V2 deck, and revolutionary RKP (reverse king-pin) and INDeeSZ trucks. I got a chance to visit their Seymour, CT manufacturing facility and sat down with co-owner and founder Wayne Gallipoli to talk about Surf-Rodz, what they’re doing, what they hope to be doing, and what they want to bring to the sport.
Surf-Rodz is producing CNC (computer numerical control) trucks. Get the confused look off your face, I’ll explain what it means. Most trucks are produced using a method called casting, super-hot liquid metal is poured into a mold, allowed to harden, removed from the mold, and are polished and shipped. Surf-Rodz doesn’t do this, instead they take a solid block of aluminum and machine it down into the component they need. What does this mean? Precision, durability, and the ability to do some pretty revolutionary stuff with trucks.
Trucks might seem like the established, static technology on the skateboard, with most attention these days being focused at wheels and deck manufacturing but that’s not the case at all. As skaters push the limits of what they can do, they’re also pushing the limits of what their gear can do. Wayne said after seeing traditional cast trucks starting to fail earlier and cost skaters performance there was a clear need for change in the industry, and SZ was ready to step up and make it happen. Surf-Rodz’s trucks can get replacement parts as needed, saving you money in the long run. Grind down a hanger? You can buy a replacement for a fraction of the cost of replacing the entire truck. Bend an axle? Good news, Surf-Rodz’s axles can also be changed out too, saving you money once again by eliminating the need to replace the entire truck. Surf-Rodz also have adjustable hanger widths depending on how you assemble the axle/hanger, allowing you to have 3 different widths with one set of hardware. That’s a range of 127mm-197mm on the INDeeSZ and 150mm-170mm on the RKP — lots of options, one price, one set of hardware. Not only can you change the width of the hanger depending on how you’ll be riding that day, the way the trucks are designed take full advantage of the pivot pin axis, allowing the rider to utilize the full range of motion and control turns much easier.
Still need more? How about designs and colors on trucks? Surf-Rodz is leading the way in truck graphics, and let me tell you, they look cool. Really cool. Through an anodization process (this is pretty much the only part that isn’t done in-house) the trucks are colored pretty much anything you could think of. Nice, vibrant colors that are bound to the metal itself, meaning it won’t chip or crack like paint would. The possibilites are almost endless, when I was talking to Wayne at the shop they had just found out they could do up to three colors on one piece, meaning we could see some really cool combos in the near future. While I was there I also got a sneak peek at the new camo-themed trucks, these things are just too freakin’ sweet. Surf-Rodz can also do laser engraving now and has plans to do some limited edition runs (check out the picture of me holding the “Captain America”-esq trucks) and custom engravings in the future, although right now they’re still in the planning stages. Honestly, I’d never seen any trucks that look so beautiful.
If your mind isn’t blown yet it gets better. Surf-Rodz are not only better than every cast truck and other CNC trucks, they’re half the price. The INDeeSZ will set you back $199.99 and the RKPs go from $210.00-$250.00, not too steep when compared to the Bear Precision Trucks which retail at $400. Because Surf-Rodz is run out of the same shop they machine the hardware at they can make changes faster than competitors and offer better prices than other companies who have to outsource the work. What’s that mean? The more popular SZ gets the lower the price will get, making them more and more affordable. One of Wayne’s goals with SZ is to make affordable CNC trucks, allowing them to get into the hands of every skater possible.
So where does Surf-Rodz go next? Really, the sky is the limit it seems. While I couldn’t get all the juicy details, it sounds like SZ is on the verge of a couple new ventures that could prove pretty revolutionary for other aspects of the sport, too. It’s clear that Wayne is dedicated to driving the sport forward and a desire to stay one step ahead of what skaters want. I’d also expect to see Surf-Rodz starting to collaborate with some deck companies in the future to do completes thatfeature either the INDeeSZ or RKPs and possibly even more decks themselves (they currently offer the V2). In fact, just this morning Drang Longboards announced that they were designing a new line all around Surf-Rodz, an example of what will surely start becoming a trend as SZ grows more.
It was clear in my conversation with Wayne that he and his partners are excited about what they’re doing and are excited about their ability to drive the sport forward, helping skaters push the limits of what was previously thought possible. Wayne himself is a skater and is passionate about the sport and getting feedback about the trucks and input from the community on what they’d like to see. If you have any suggestions or questions about Surf-Rodz pop over to their Facebook Page and ask away. While you’re over there you may as well also like our Facebook Page too.
I’ll write a full review of the trucks themselves in the near future. For now take a look at some of the other pictures I took while visiting SZ.