Review: TR Custom Longboards’ “Peeping Tom”

This review comes from Skate The East friend and guest writer Cory Medlar. I got the chance to visit TR Custom Longboards this past weekend so I was more than excited when Cory told me he had written a review on one of their boards. TR is capable of doing some unbelievable things in his shop, I was pretty blown away. I’m going to write a Local Spotlight post for TR Custom Longboards sometime this week to give everyone some more information on the man behind TR, how the boards are made, and what makes him different from other longboard makers, until then enjoy Cory’s review of the “Peeping Tom.” You can also find Cory’s last review of the Surf-Rodz FreerideSZ and a quick bio about him here
Board Stats: 39.5 X 9.5 Drop Through, 7ply, Mild Concave, Two .032” thick exotic wood veneers/inlay
Tested on the following setup: SZ INDeeSZ 10mm (197mm), 10mm SZ Precision Bearings, Red Cone Solidz (roadside), Black Barrel Solidz (boardside), ABEC11 70’s Flashbacks 88a.
Rider Stats: Cory Medlar, 155lbs., 5’7″, Regular Stance

Where to start with the TR Custom Longboards “Peeping Tom”? This deck is a twin, 7ply, drop through, Freeride deck. The deck is 9.5” wide at its two widest points and has a slight taper towards the middle; this allows the deck a mild amount of torsional flex under my 155lb frame. Being a 7ply deck it also has a very mild flex for my riding weight, as I am not a heavy rider you may see different results in flex as you get near the 180-200lb range, if that is where you find yourself then I would ask for a 9ply version to add rigidity. Another thing you will notice about the “Tom” is that the beautiful veneers/inlays are not covered with grip tape but rather silica sand (much like that of deck paint on sailboats), this grip feels much like that of Gator Grip. I was skeptical at first as I had not ever ridden anything like this before but was pleasantly surprised when I threw some slides at higher speeds my feet held fast to the board with ZERO slipping! Since picking up the Board from TR for testing I have been particularly abusive to the silica grip to ensure its durability and I can say that I have had none of it begin to flake off (Even after riding it in the rain)(I will update the review later on the LONG TERM durability), so if you HATE re-gripping boards due to either the hassle or price of grip look no further (I even heard rumblings in the Halls of the TR shop that they are thinking of packaging it as a separate purchase so you can do it to you own board at home).

I have been riding the “Peeping Tom” for a few weeks now and have put it through its paces and found that the “Tom” excels at Freeriding but can crossover to be a Mild DH as well as a nice and low cruiser deck. When I took it freeriding I liked the small amount of torsional flex as it helped me to control my slides a bit more by independently leaning more or less over the rail with one foot over the other. (It almost felt like a snappier spin on the way out of one). I also felt that the mild concave of the board cupped my feet well, not allowing them to slip off during longer, held out slides (25-30mph) as well as the concave almost telling me where to put my feet. When I took it out for a good Long Distance Push I loaded up (no pun intended) my 80a Durians instead of the 88a Flashies and found it’s a fairly good push deck as well. The small amount of flex in the board was able to absorb more of the road bumps and vibrations; I also enjoy a small amount of flex to allow your non-push leg some give with each kick as to not cramp up your thighs and calves. (Almost like a small amount of suspension) This board also runs very low to the ground making it a breeze to push, especially when mounted on SZ INDeeSZ (ZERO RAIL BITE on this set-up). The other thing that really stood out to me was the overall weight of the board being very low. This makes it much easier to push long distance, to carry multiple times up a hill, and for me it’s easier to control a feather under my feet than a dump truck. In the mild DH testing I did (25-35mph) the board held up well and did not feel too springy under my feet at speed on rough pavement. This board prices out around 200 dollars depending on inlay/wood choices and is worth every penny.I am currently working on a modification of the “Peeping Tom” that would see it hit around 10” wide rather than the 9.5” as well as the addition of small kicks just past the trucks to add to the Freeride capability of the board (Mannys, Curb Jumps). Once the mold is finished I will add that as well to the review.

One of the hallmark features on each and every TR Customs Longboard is the exotic wood veneers and inlays. These are the top and bottom sheets of the board and each veneer is .032” thick, not really adding to the overall weight/flex of the deck. This look can be achieved using many different types of wood creating complex and beautiful designs out of the natural grains and colors of the woods. This is where the boards really begin to shine as they become more than just a piece of high performance wood and more a functional work of art. When I look at TR Custom Longboards I see a “Beautiful Form with Beastly Function”. These boards are made by hand by Tom Rutledge with pride, he is an engineer with a true passion for woodworking and creating the right deck for you.


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