Rider Profile: Henry Goguen

One of the main reasons I started Skate The East was to shine a light on East Coast skaters and give them a little more exposure. While I’ve been able to do that a little through posting dank videos from East Coast riders, I’ve been wanting to step it up a little more for some time now. One thing that’s been kicking around in the back of my mind has been the idea of doing rider profiles: short clips that introduce you to a new shredder who you might not have heard of yet, show you a little of what they got, and show people that the East Coast has some real rippers indeed. Well folks, here’s our first one.

Henry Goguen is from Washington, D.C. originally but currently calls UMASS Amherst his home. He’s a perfect example of an East Coast all-around shredder who just wants to go out, throw down, and have fun and we’re honored to have him be our first Rider Profile. Keep your eyes peeled because we think you’ll start to see Henry in a lot more places as the season goes on.

Photos: Lauren and Me in Zombie Town, U.S.A.

Lauren and I were skating the derelict old village area of one of our favorite freeride spots and decided to take some photos today. These are two of our favorite shots, if you want to see the entire album head on over to our Facebook Page and become a fan of ours while you’re at it!

Thanks to Lauren for snapping the shot of me!



Review: Orangatang 80a Balut Freeride Wheel

This is a particularly exciting review for me, not only because of how friggin’ excited I’ve been to talk about the 80a Baluts I’ve been freeriding since the end of January, but because it’s also our first stab at a video review! When it comes to discussion about wheels right now the conversations seem to be talking about one of two things: the bad batch of ‘thane and the aftermath that Abec-11 has been dealing with for months, and the new freeride wheel from Orangatang: the Balut. Original Skateboards rider Billy Wilson and I got together yesterday to talk a little bit about what we think of the 80a Balut so far, check it out below and read on after the video for some additional info.

Mike: Original Apex 40 w/ 10mm Surf-Rodz INDeeSZ (also the test setup for below)
Billy: Original Apex 40 w/ Caliber 50 Cals

So, even after you’ve watched the video you have some questions? Didn’t have time to watch the video? I’ll do a short written review, too — just to cover all our bases.

These wheels are different. Don’t throw these on your board and expect them to ride like the Stims, Durians, 4Prez, or InHeats — they just won’t. On this project Orangatang set out to reinvent the wheel as they knew it (bad pun, I know) and scrapped almost everything we’ve seen released from them thus far. Instead of building a new variation of one of their already successful wheels, the Balut is drastically different. Let’s start in the middle, shall we?

The biggest change you’ll notice right away is the big exposed blue core that Orangatang is using for the Balut. The bigger core means that you’ll have a more consistent wear pattern right down to the last bit of ‘thane. It will also help keep your slides feeling super consistent. (If you remember my reviews on the 80a Stims and 86a Durians you’ll remember me talking about how much the slide changed once I started really getting them small, something that I have yet to experience with the Baluts.) Orangatang didn’t just stop there, however. They also decided to change the placement of the core within the wheel. Unlike any of their other wheels, which are all offset (not side-set like I said in the video, that was my goof), the Baluts feature a center-set core. This means you can flip the wheels when you notice you’re getting some coning and don’t have to worry about them riding any different, it also drastically changes the way they ride. And for the record, these are not the same cores used in 4prez/Inheats.

Instead of the “grip/slip” control that the Stims and Durians brag about with due to their fat, rounded lips, the center-set Baluts offer a very different ride. The first thing you notice when you get on the Baluts is just how easy they are to break out into a slide. You really don’t have to put a whole lot of “umph” into them to get them to break out. That being said, I have yet to really experience a situation where I’ve been ultra worried about them icing out from under me. While I haven’t been skating any technical downhill with them (…that’d just be silly) that would require me to take sharp turns at speed, hard carves and corners feel like you have just enough grip to keep you from going over the edge. A big part of that might be the new ‘thane they’re using and the fact that these are the softest Orangatang is offering, the 80a.

The new ‘thane, dubbed “Euphorathane,” is probably where I got most concerned when I first heard about these wheels. Why? Because I’m quite in love with 80a Happy Thane after I got intimate with it for the review I did a little while back. Fear not, though, because the new ‘thane really rocks. It’s tough to really tell just how different the Euphorathane is compared to the Happy Thane wheels because we haven’t seen a Euphorathane Stimulus yet and the Baluts are SO different overall that it’s like comparing apples and oranges at this point. How does it skate? Super smooth, as I said before the wheels break out exactly when you want and offer what I think is one of the most buttery slides I’ve ever experienced. Unlike what we’ve been hearing about the 83a Baluts (I have yet to ride them myself), the 80a duro is soft enough to actually shed some speed and leave some ‘thane on the pavement, but not to the point where you loose too much momentum. I’ve noticed the new ‘thane to be a little more durable too. Coning has been more than manageable and I haven’t had any significant problems with flatspots (so far…), although I know Billy has had a little trouble with them. I’ve actually had less issues with preventing/getting rid of flatspots and coning with the 80a Euphorathane than I did riding the 83a Stimulus wheels.

I’ve really enjoyed these things so far and have had a much easier time learning some new tricks because of how easy they are to break out and how consistent and predictable they are. The 80a ‘thane is soft enough to kill some speed when you want it, grip enough when you need it, and still leave some ‘thane lines while actually being pretty friggin durable. Orangatang addressed a lot of the qualms people had with the Stims and, in my opinion, hit the nail on the head with the changes.

As always don’t forget to Like our Facebook Page where we post pictures and videos (like our recent raw run) that don’t make it to the site! If you’re interested in the “I Rep the East” or “Skate The East.net” vinyl stickers you saw in the video review pop over to store.skatetheeast.net and cop a few so we can keep bringing you ill content!

Video: Sh*t East Coast Longboarders Say

First off: I know the blog has been a bit quiet in the past couple of days but we’ve been keeping a steady stream of updates going to our Facebook Page. Make sure you pop over there every now and then and stay current with pictures I upload on the fly, videos, and more.

If you’re on Facebook, Twitter, or watch YouTube you’ve surely seen the insane amount of “Sh*t XYZ Says” videos that have been making their way around the interwebs. A few weeks back some jokers tried (and failed miserably) to be funny by making a “Sh*t Longboarders Say” video, so needless to say I expected the worst when I got the link for this one. Thankfully my intuition was wrong, the video is SUPER well done and is really funny — they hit the nail on the head for a lot of the lines they used. Check it out and get a good chuckle.

Video: SZ Playday

If you’re following along with our Facebook Page (which you should be by now) you’ll remember that I posted an update earlier saying that we had perfect conditions up here in New England and were off to take downhill runs and footage, an endeavor that proved very successful.After our visit to the Surf-Rodz shop this past week Lauren and I were super stoked about everything Wayne and his crew are doing and called our good friend Henry in for a good ole Surf-Rodz downhill session. Just like I promised I got right to work on editing when I got home and cranked out a fun little downhill video featuring Lauren Suchocki, Henry Lancaster-Goguen, and myself.


Henry: Eden Racing Maple Sparrow w/ ABEC 11 75mm Big Zigs on 10mm 45* Surf-Rodz RKPs
Mike: TR Custom Longboards Blitz w/ Orangatang  70mm 80a 4Presidents on 10mm 45* Surf-Rodz RKPs
Lauren: Rayne Baby Killer w/ Orangatang  70mm 80a 4Presidents on 8mm 45* Surf-Rodz RKPs

Pennsylvania President’s Day Slide Jam — 2/19/12

Despite the groundhog telling us there’s another 6 weeks of winter on the way we’re still seeing a ton of events being lined up for the immediate future — looks like the season is definitely under way! We’ve already seen a few downhill events go down in Florida, Puerto Rico, and Maryland and it’s looking like the slide jams are starting back up too. If you’re itching to get some slide jam competition in right away and you’re in the Tri-State/PA area then you’re in luck with the President’s Day Slide Jam that’s just 10 days away.

What better way to spend President’s Day weekend than shredding some thane? Starting at 12:00 noon the event is going down at Core Creek Park in Langhorne, PA — right on the PA/NJ line, making it a pretty accessible spot for a ton of shredders. As of right now 86 people on Facebook have said their going with another 59 saying that they might go, making this a pretty good sized event for so early in the season.

Loaded/Orangatang and Phat DeanZ were amongst the first to support the event with others such as Original, Tutone, Caliber Trucks, Nelson Longboards, and Volante Wheels meaning lots of prizes for hard skating. While it’s an outlaw event the organizer, Kyle Mac, promises plenty of backup roads very close by so no matter the location, a slide jam will be going down.

If you’ve got more questions head over to the Facebook Event page or leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to get back to you.

New Video and Interview with John Kreutter

If you haven’t heard of this 14 year old from Maryland yet then stop whatever you’re doing and turn your hearing aids up because this kid means business and is here to stick around. Not only does the kid SHRED on both hard and soft wheels but he also helped organize one of the best events last summer: the Baltimore Slide Jam. He also co-founded SkateMaryland.com which focuses on the longboarding scene in (you guessed it) Maryland. I got to ask John a few questions a couple weeks ago about his riding preferences, this summer’s Baltimore Slide Jam and where he derives some of his magical skating powers from. Read on for all that and more and peep his steezy new techslide video.

Skate The East: What’s your name, where are you from, how old are you, and how long have you been skating for?
John Kreutter: My name is John Kreutter, I am 14 years old, and I’ve been skating for about 4-5 years now.

STE: What setup(s) are you currently skating?
JK: Currently I’m riding the Landyachtz x Muir 12 two 5 with Bear trucks and Hawgz wheels for freeride/DH. For Park and Tech Slide i’m riding the smallest version of the “loco” which is a new tech slide board we have coming out in the 2012 Landyachtz line-up.

STE: How long has Skate Maryland been around? How’d you get the idea?
JK: Spencer Flaherty and I came up with the idea for the site about a year and a half ago. We thought it up after realizing we want wanted to get more involved in the local scene, and we figured it might be a way to find some skaters close by. Then we came up with a bunch of other ideas, and it went from there.

One of my biggest goals is to remember to update the site, everyone in a while. (We got pretty lazy for a few months there… NOW WE ARE BACK!)To gain some more site traffic, and to make videos much more frequently to post on the site.

STE: Tell a bit more about your relationship with Landyatchz, how’d you link up with them and how long have you been skating for them?
JK: I hooked up with Landyachtz early summer 2011. I decided I wanted to look for a board/wheel sponsor. At first I was checking out some smaller companies, and I just figured Landyachtz would be out of question at the time so I didn’t even consider them. I eventually realized that I’ve been riding like all Landyachtz gear and I love all of their products. So, I shot a little video and said go big or go home haha. Next thing you know I was on the team.

STE: How do you see longboarding progressing in the Mid-Atlantic? Is there already a strong scene, or is it just getting off the ground?
JK: The Mid-Atlantic area has a pretty strong scene now. Earlier on it was ok, but not too big. Now, it is pretty big and there are longboarders everywhere. Now I’ll be coming home from school and see kids with Nine Two Fives in their hands walking out of the school. There is at least one event every month, and big sessions going down every weekend. The longboarding scene is definitely progressing in a good direction, except THERE ARE NOT ENOUGH TECH SLIDERS!

STE: Last year’s Baltimore Slide Jam was off the hook from what I heard from skaters and saw in videos and photos. What do you have in store for this year? Any big surprises you’re willing to share?
JK: We are still in the early planning process for this year, but we are looking toward doing it in early June. I can tell you two things. It’s going to be extremely fun, and on a closed road. Oh, and let’s just say we might have a Brazilian in town to judge.

STE: Do you have any personal goals for this upcoming competition season? Any events you’d like to podium at?
JK: For this upcoming season I’m hoping to get out to as many events as I can. I’ll most definitely be at all of the local ones, and It looks like I’m going to California in May for the 2012 Muir Skate Downhill Disco. I hope to make it out to Canada sometime this summer for Giants Head and The Danger Bay Slide Comp. We’ll see how it goes…

STE: We can see from your videos that you’re ultra-steezy on both hard and soft wheels, do you have a preference?
JK: I don’t really have a preference, it’s normally what ever I’m feeling at the moment haha. I bring both my tech slide board and my soft wheel board to every session. I like to switch it up, and skate everything. If I’m bored of the local hills for a little bit, I’ll go to the skate park. If I get bored of that stuff I’ll skate some trails. It’s not worth it to limit yourself, It’s fun to skate everything and you guys should too!

STE: How much of your power is derived from Maryland crab-cake consumption?

You Want Stickers? We’ve Officially Got Them! (Also, winners of the Give Away)

Man has it been busy here over the past couple of days! The good news, however, is that we officially have both the “I REP THE EAST” and “Skate The East.net” stickers on sale in our online store! Individually the stickers are $1.50 a piece and are also being sold in multipacks (“I REP THE EAST” in 5 packs, “Skate The East.net” in 3 packs) that will save you about a $1.00 compared to buying them individually. Think of buying a Skate The East sticker as a donation to the site more than anything, the proceeds from these sticker sales are going straight into paying the hosting bills for the site and will help ensure that we continue to bring you the best East Coast longboarding coverage out there. By supporting us you’re supporting the East Coast scene as a whole, so show some love if you can! Head over to store.skatetheeast.net to check ’em out.

We also have winners for our sticker contest! Just like last time I simply entered all the names into a spreadsheet and used Random.org to select 5 numbers. The winners are (in no particular order):

  1. Jake Wade
  2. Mike Linehan
  3. Matt Hogan
  4. Tristan Burke
  5. Nolan San Pedro

They’ve all been contacted and I’ve heard back from a couple, if the rest don’t get back to me soon I’ll do another drawing!

Happy Balut Day!

Many of you have been drooling over pictures and asking questions about Orangatang’s newest wheel line, the Balut, since they first announced them and again when we posted our first few pictures of them. Well folks, drool no more because as of today you’ll be able to finally get your hands on a set of these magical new wheels from Californ-i-a. Many good things are being said about these wheels, and not just from me, either. Norman Plante, Ben DeSnyder, Mike Girard, Paul Kent, Jonathan Douglass, and many, many more have all said unreal things about these new wheel, once you ride a set for a few sessions you’ll quickly understand why.

So, since Norm and Ben decided to release a little East Coast warm winter video celebrating the release of these puppies we felt we had to pass it along. Enjoy.

P.S. Don’t forget to enter for a chance to win one of our unreleased stickers!

Quick! Skate The East vinyl sticker Give Away!

As I wait for the “I REP THE EAST” stickers to come in (hopefully tomorrow) I’ve been experimenting a bit with some sweet vinyl stickers that I’ve absolutely fallen in love with. Unlike most stickers which are a continuous rectangle of vinyl, each letter on these stickers has been individually cut out, meaning that if you’re applying them to a curved surface (say a helmet or bottom of a board) they tend to stick a bit better and come out wrinkle-free. Pretty sweet right? Not only that, but they tend to look like they’re actually part of whatever you apply them to. Check out the sticker I put on my Apex 40 for an example.

There was a lot of feedback when I posted the first picture, mostly being “I WANT ONE!” so I’ve taken some steps to offer them on sale soon (along with the “I REP THE EAST” stickers) but in the mean time wanted to get a few out there to you guys.

I’m giving away 5 stickers (2 green “Skate The East.net” block stickers, 1 white “Skate The East.net” block sticker, 2 “Skate The East.net” strip stickers) for this round, each person has the chance to win one. We’ll let entries stay open through tomorrow at midnight (Friday 12:00AM EST).

To enter you must comment on THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST (which requires you to be logged into Facebook) and must also like the contest picture on our Facebook page. Make sure you do both so you’re entered. If you miss out on this one don’t worry, once these stickers are in stock we’ll not only have them for sale but do a few more give aways as well!