Review: Landyachtz KM FSU Hawgs

The new Landyachtz wheels that have everyone talking are none other than the new KM FSU Hawgs designed from the ground up by Landy team member and Greener Pastures star Kyle Martin. The FSU’s feature a large core, deep urethane, and center set design to maximize the wheel’s life span, make it easy to break out into a slide and still allow you to shave off as much speed as you need.

Pretty early on into the testing process Henry, Thomas, and I all realized there was a learning curve to these wheels and a necessary requisite: speed. The KM FSU’s are rather unforgiving unless you’re really going fast, being a bit too grippy and bucking all of us more than once until we realized that speed really was the key. Once you’re going fast, however, these things feel great. Slides are incredibly predictable and easy to initiate and the wheels shave just enough speed to get you back into your comfort zone and allow you to set up for your next slide before you’ve picked up too much speed.

The super wide contact patch in addition to the center-set core help with a secure feeling during slides, meaning you spend less time working about your wheels coming out from under you and more time focused on what’s coming up next. The center-set core makes slides super easy to initiate still, though, meaning you get the best of both worlds.

Despite being white and 80a the KM FSU’s don’t leave the chalkiest of thane lines, although once they’re broken in they do thane a little. On the plus side, they’re super durable and should last you a while. If you’re going to be doing some fast free riding then the KM FSU’s are right up your alley and might be exactly what you’e been missing in your wheel quiver, if you’re thinking about keeping the speeds on the lower end, though, you might want to look elsewhere.

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John Kreutter Joins Team Yeehaw!

Friend of the site and renowned East Coast shredder John Kreutter hit me up today to let me know that he’s joined the likes of Ross Druckery, Max Myers, Jimmy Riha, Peter Eubank, and Dustin Hampton and become an official team rider on Yeehaw! Apparel & Decals. If you’re not familiar with Yeehaw then you should definitely give them a look as they’re making some rad gear and custom stickers while also supporting artists within the skate community. Yeehaw collaborates with artists within the community to come up with rad looking designs and graphics and then shares 20% of the profits from their design with the artist, not only getting them exposure but some always needed cash as well.

They make some great looking gear and seem like their out to spread the stoke and support artists within the community so be sure to give em a look and a big and heartfelt congrats to John Kreutter for rackin’ up another team to call home. Keep shredding homie, I can’t wait to see what you come up with soon.

Video: Team Tangy Gets Sick

Jake Wade and Chris O’Brien of Team Tangy are good friends of the site and consistently produce high quality videos with gnarly skating. Their newest release dubbed “Spring Fever”, which features Jake Wade skating the new Nelson Tempest, is another great edit featuring gnarly skating and great editing, as we’ve come to expect from the Team Tangy crew.

The boys also recently hit another milestone on YouTube, reaching the coveted 1,000 subscribers mark — congrats guys!

Review: Triple 8 Brainsaver Helmet

To continue with our “Spring Safety Series” this week we’re going to take a look at Triple 8′s classic half shell helmet, the Brainsaver. The Brainsaver helmet comes in two distinct flavors, EPS Hard Foam and Sweatsaver, which are designed to withstand different types of impact and have slightly different fits.

The EPS Hard Foam version of the Brainsaver is CPSC certified, the bicycle standard in safety, meaning your head will be safe even if you take a spill going very fast. While it’s safer when it comes to harder impacts, there are some drawbacks that you should consider, especially if you’re going to be mostly freeriding the helmet at speeds under 30/35. Because of the hard foam liner the helmet is designed as a single impact helmet, meaning if you take a spill and hit your head, chances are the helmet is toast. Why? Since the hard foam absorbs a lot of the impact it compresses and cracks, making it much less effective for subsequent impacts. Even if you can’t see the damage there’s a good chance that if you slammed your head, it’s time to replace the lid. The other drawback is the fact that unlike the Sweatsaver version of the Brainsaver, the thin pads that come in the EPS Hard Foam version get soaked easily and don’t wick the moisture nearly as well as the terrycloth found in the Sweatsaver.

For your every day freeride helmet the Sweatsaver version is awesome. It features a terrycloth liner that wicks sweat and keeps it from running down into your eyes very well, even after you’ve been skating in it for a while. It’s absorbant and comfortable and doesn’t hold any incredibly nasty odors, extremely helpful if you’re commuting and storing your helmet around other people. The Sweatsaver is also designed as a multi-impact helmet since there’s no hard foam to crack and deform, meaning you can take multiple spills and as long as the shell looks good, you should still be safe to ride. The Sweatsaver version also comes in almost any color you can imagine, meaning you can not only be safe but look great while you ride, too. I wear my Sweatsaver every time I ride and absolutely love it, it has a super comfortable fit and manages the moisture better than many of the other soft-foam helmets I’ve seen out there.

One thing to note, though, is that the sizing on the EPS Hard Foam version is definitely a bit smaller than the Sweatsaver. Maybe it’s just me, but I also had trouble fitting into the L/XL hard foam Brainsaver despite wearing a L/XL Sweatsaver lid as my primary helmet, so it’s something you’ll want to be aware of if your head tends to be a bit on the bigger size.

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Video: 2012 Earthwing Money Cup

There’s a good chance you missed hearing about the 2012 Earthwing Money Cup (I know I did) but the event was a huge success with a ton of great turnout from New York area riders as well as others, such as John Kruetter, traveling in from far out-of-state to get in on the action. As with any jam in the city it looked like the jam had a great vibe and showcased a lot of gnarly and techy hard-wheel sliding. Other than John keep an eye out for friend of the site Josh Wright as well as Earthwing’s own Steve Kong.

Review: Triple 8 T8-Racer Downhill Helmet

Welcome to the first edition of our 2012 “Spring Safety Series”! This is where we’ll take a look at various pieces of safety equipment and safety techniques to help make sure you have a long and fruitful season through minimizing unnecessary risks and reckless behavior that could result in serious injury for you or the skaters around you. To kick it off we’re taking a look at one of the newest and hottest full face helmets out there, the Triple 8 T8-Racer Downhill Helmet.

Ever since Triple8 announced the T8-Racer Downhill Helmet I had been dying to try it out. Unlike many other full face helmet options, many of which are bicycle or paragliding helmets repurposed for downhill skateboaring, the T8-Racer has been specifically designed for downhill skateboarding, allowing for a very wide field of vision even while in the deepest of tucks. The biggest drawback: the helmet is kinda small in my experience. The L/XL I wore either left the majority of my chin exposed and the helmet sitting dangerously high on my head (not really on) or I stuffed my chin in and was unable to talk, with my jaw stuffed in there without any room to move. I’ll say it right away: if you have a big head this helmet is most likely not going to work for you, plain and simple. If you don’t however, this thing is purdy sweet.

Available in white or black the T8-Racer comes with a tinted visor that opens and closes with ease (even while wearing gloves thanks to the tabs on the side) and seamlessly blocks wind at high speeds, giving you an oddly quiet zen-like atmosphere to skate in (like many other full-face helmets do). While I personally can’t attest to the helmet’s comfort, other friends that I allowed to wear it said it fit nicely and wasn’t awkwardly heavy to wear, even when casually freeriding. One drawback we heard from Henry our tester though, was that without a hole in the front near your mouth, the visor tended to fog up at times, forcing him to lift the visor a little to clear it, other than that he was quite stoked.

As I said earlier, because the helmet was designed with skating in mind it offers a very wide field of vision, making you feel comfortable holding your tuck nice and tight without feeling like you’re sacrificing eye contact with the road in front of you or peripheral details around you, allowing for added confidence at high speeds.The helmet is also cut a little higher in the back to allow for maximum comfort while you’re in a full tuck, without the helmet digging into the back of your neck at all. The helmet also drops a lof of the added weight of some full-faces by opting for a slimmer back, making it light enough to comfortably freeride with, our tester told us.

Overall the T8-Racer looks like it’s right at the front of the pack along with Predator’s DH-6, which has been on the market for much longer. For a first attempt Triple 8 did a damn good job, anyone in the market for a new full-face DH helmet, especially one that’ll be just as comfortable for freeride as intense downhill the Triple 8 T8-Racer might be the ticket. The average price we’ve seen for the Triple 8 T8-Racer is $299, making it slightly cheaper than some of its biggest competitors.

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Video: Nick Burkus Birthday Edit

We’ve posted about Nick Burkus a couple of times for his appearances in Mike Girard edits. The two are back at it again to celebrate  Nick’s 21st birthday (Happy belated birthday, by the way, Nick!) and put together a great edit showcasing Nick’s signature flowy freeride style. I gotta admit, I’m generally not a fan of longer videos unless they have a central theme or really impress, but this one managed to hold my attention the whole way through.

Check it out and leave a comment with what you think.

Wrap-Up: Washington D.C. Kickoff Slide Jam (3/24/12)

While this is long overdue I felt like I still had to get around to posting it. If you haven’t heard by now the Washington D.C./Metro Area Kickoff Slide Jam went down last Saturday in, surprise surprise, Washington D.C. Despite the sour weather the event didn’t disappoint at all and organizers Billy DaisyCutter Jackle and Liam Hayes did a great job keeping things flowing well, even as the morning got off to a slow start.

All in all over 100 skaters showed up to shred the hill, taking advantage of the wet pavement to bust out some long and technical slides that might not have otherwise been possible had the pavement been dry. Local area skater and Landyachtz team rider John Kreutter was at the event repping in full force as was Push Culture’s Travis Davenport, and our very own Henry Goguen. The rest of the Landyachtz team ended up showing up (albeit a few hours late thanks to traffic and whatnot on their trip in from PennState University), although it was after we had to leave the competition which I was pretty bummed about. Fortunately some good pictures are starting to surface and they’ll have some video from the event on their next episode of their East Coast University Tour.

As we mentioned in the original post there were sponsors galore and lots of winners, check out the results below:
Softwheel:

  1. Matt Rosborg
  2. John Kreutter
  3. Sam Abramson
  4. Spencer Flaherty
  5. David Kynett

Hardwheel:

  1. Brandon Harrison
  2. Mark Ojenko
  3. Justin Metcalf

Top Grom: William Chapman
Women: Jenica Davenport
Top Kicker: Sam Abramson
Kick of the Rain: Scott Herdleston

If you weren’t there to catch any of the action yourself check out our video below and some of the pictures taken by D.C. local Anthony Smallwood.