5 Things You NEED On A Skate Trip

In the past three years I have been on many amazing skate trips with awesome people. From my experiences here is a list of five things you do NOT want to forget on a skate trip. As summer approaches I hope everyone gets to go out and skate a new location outside of town! I also hope this little list can help some of you on your travels!

1) Extra Headphones

brokenheadphoneIf you are like me, you usually listen to music when you skate. I’ve always got headphones in when I skate… This probably stems from my roots of always skating alone. Now I totally prefer to skate with music as the tunes I’m listening to translates into the way I skate whether it be my speed, style, line etc.. Music is pretty important to me and once you get on a skate trip is always the perfect time for your headphones to break for the most random reasons… It sucks to not have headphones a couple of days so I always am sure to pack an extra set.

2)  Extra Wheels

extrawheels_metroSeems like a super obvious thing… But I’ve definitely been on trips where some kids wears down his only set of wheels and is then complaining the whole trip about not having wheels or having to have bought some new ones etc. Its always good not to be that kid… Or you can be like me (I guess this may be a bit OCD) But I love to break in my wheels before the trip. While I’m breaking in the wheels I dream about the trip and then when I’m on the trip I feel like gold when I’ve got three sets of just broken in wheels to skate on whatever gnarly hills I’m skating with my friend, or trying to film or whatever.

3) Extra Clothes

clothesI’m not suggesting that you are a diva but instead I’m suggesting you shred and will probably be skating many hours a day… to then sit in a car full of other people who have been skating for hours… this creates some awful smell. And sometimes there just isn’t enough time for showers like there should be. ALWAYS bring some extra clothes.. It sucks to feel like your packing too much but after a skate session you will most likely want a pair of fresh clothes to change into and on so many trips I’ve been on theres someone who doesn’t have enough clothes and smells really bad… Never expect laundry to be an option on a skate trip… It would be nice but it hardly ever happens to be able to do laundry on a skate trip.. So just bring extra clean clothes.

4) First Aid

First Aid KitSounds simple and obvious and maybe even a bit lame of me to put in this article. But seriously safety becomes more important on trips. If you get hurt on a skate trip your going to be waaay more upset than you would be if it happened on home where you can then recovery and watch netflix for a few days. I’ve gotten hurt during three or four skate trips and only one of them I was hurt badly enough to not be able to skate the rest of the trip. So be sure to have a little first aid kit of bandages or whatever. But more importantly make sure if you have ever hurt an ankle or knee or anything to have an extra brace with you. My ankles have been hurt before but Im able to skate without my ankle brace most the time.. But a lot of time when I get on trips skating a new hill is when I will tweak my ankle again and sprain it.. If I have a brace usually I can throw that on and skate again… And if I were even smarter I would wear my ankle brace before I am hurt as prevention (Which is what I will totally do on my next trip! Because on my last trip I re injured my ankle badly enough to not be able to skate the rest of the trip! I wasn’t wearing my ankle brace and hurt my ankle at the beginning of the trip… I was bummed.)

5) Melatonin

melatoninThis may also sound a bit lame and maybe not manly enough or whatever but this stuff is awesome. Melatonin is an all natural sleep aid which doesn’t make you fall asleep like nyquill or benadryl.. It actually just helps your brain get right to deep sleep when you fall asleep. This means whatever your sleep will be you will make the most of it whether it be a full 8 hour sleep or a 2 hour sleep.. I don’t think I’ve ever been on a skate trip when I’ve had even a semi normal sleeping pattern so bringing some melatonin definitely helps me alot. I’m not a big vitamin person and I hate pills but melatonin works really well and as a person who loves to sleep I recommend it because chances are whether your just going on a skate trip with your friends two hours away or flying across the country to race or film you probably won’t be getting much rest. A good sleep will help you feel better… This will also make the people around you feel better and not to mention besides being able to enjoy yourself better you will also be able to skate better.

Do you agree? Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments section below!

Video: Josh Wright Raw Run in Upstate NY

Josh “Wild” Wright is one of the most fun people I know in addition to being one of the most fearless and gnarly skaters the east has to offer. While in Upstate New York for the I Love Downhill weekend, Josh took a quick detour to another gnarly hill for a fast as f00k freeride session, throwing huuuuuuge standies where most people would have a hand down. Fortunately for us someone had the car mount on hand and was able to get it all on film. Josh does a fine job making it look too easy and makes me fiend for a fast freeride session sometime in the near future.

We’ve written about the Long Island native and Landyachtz rider in the past, so make sure you’re familiar with his back catalogue, too. Leave your thoughts with us here in the comment section below!

Everything You Need to Know About Trucks: Part 1

Basic Overview:

Paris V2 43*'s on a Loaded Boards Tesseract

Paris V2 43* Trucks on a Loaded Boards Tesseract

Trucks are extremely important when it comes to downhill skateboarding. No one can tell you what trucks are the best or which are better for you. It happens to be one of those things, like many in this world, that is simply too subjective to be compared in a manner of one being better than the other. With that said, there is a lot that goes into a reverse kingpin truck, and although the topic of what truck is best may be subjective, there are obvious physical differences that cause trucks to respond in certain ways that may affect ones riding.

How They Work:

On a reverse kingpin truck there are four components: a baseplate, a hanger, a pivot point, and two bushings. The baseplate of the truck is attached to the board and leans in sync with the board as you change your weight distribution, causing the hanger to pivot over the bushings at the angle of the baseplates pivot point, which then allows the truck to turn. The factors that go into the turn of the truck are based on various factors.

Truck Tightness:

TRUCKS SHOULD ONLY BE RUN AT ONE TIGHTNESS. Tons of people out there try to change the turning of their trucks by tightening or loosening them.paris-43s Although this works, this is not the way they’re designed to change the turn of the truck. Trucks are designed to be tightened down to the point at which the hanger comes out of the pivot point of the baseplate at the angle of the baseplate. Having trucks too lose causes slop, which can be fun to mess with, but can also be extremely sketchy and increase your chance of speed wobbles heavily. Running trucks too tight causes bushings to deform, and eventually break down or blow out, trust me it sucks when your bushing breaks while you are riding, especially the bottom one. This also causes the hanger to run at a lower degree than the baseplate is designed for, destroying your pivot cup and giving a bad pivot point. Usually the ideal tightness is at the point just after loose slop has been removed, and no tighter. Stand next to your board and put weight on one of the rails, forcing the trucks to turn one direction. If your board returns to the center perfectly when you take your foot off the rail, then you know it’s tightened correctly.


The bushings of a truck are one of the key things that go into a truck’s turning ability. Changing bushing setups can make the same truck feel completely different and finding the right one is key. IMG_0187The characteristics that go into how a bushing responds are its durometer (hardness), shape, urethane type, kingpin tightness, washer setup, and placement as the top or bottom bushing.


Bushings are made out of urathane and run on a durometer hardness scale typically between around 78a-96a. Basically it works like this: The lower the durometer, the softer the bushing, and there for the easier it is to make the truck turn. Some argue that there are ideal durometers for individual rider weight categories, and although these may be used as a decent guideline for what bushing hardness to get, these charts in no way represent what you should ride, for that is up to you.



There are a few various bushing shapes and even more have been coming out recently. In this article the three most widely used bushing shapes will be discussed, and these are: Eliminators, Barrels, and Cones. Barrels are the most common bushing shape, and for good reason. Barrel bushings allow for a distinct type of turning in which the trucks turn/lean ratio stays fairly consistent throughout the entire turn. This basically means that with barrel bushings if you lean on the board, it’ll turn proportionally to the amount of lean the rider gives in a fairly consistent manner. Barrels also provide a decent amount of rebound when diving into turns, or pumping. Coned bushings on the other hand have the most dive and do not allow for much rebound.IMG_0194[1] Cones are not common in fast riding and are more common in freestyle, dancing, commuting setups, as they lend themselves well to quick turns and agile movements. Eliminators are the widest of the bushings and therefore restrict turning the most out of the three shapes. With that being said, the turning is only restricted more than another bushing of the same duro. For instance, a 90a eliminator will be more restrictive than a 90a barrel, but may not be more restrictive than a 95a barrel. It is important to understand that eliminators are not designed to decrease turn, but to make the turning more progressive. Since there is more surface area contact between the hanger and the bushing in an eliminator setup, the turning becomes more progressive, rather than divey. In my opinion, eliminators feel comfortable when they are run at a durometer that is about 3a-5a less than your usual barrel setup. At low speeds eliminators do not turn much unless run extremely soft, but at speed they begin to become alive, feeling more like a barrel would at a lower speed.


The urethane formula has an effect on the turning of the bushing. Just like with wheels different urethane formulas of the same hardness may feel different. For example, an 87a Blood Orange bushing may feel softer than an 87a Venom bushing. Different companies have different urethane formulas and each formula has a unique feeling. One of the key components to the feeling of the urethane used is the rebound that is given from the bushing. Lots of rebound makes the truck want to turn back and pump, giving a lively feel. Low rebound gives a damper feeling turn. Rebound is not a good or bad thing and is once again something that is up for the individual rider to decide for themselves whether they like or not.


The washers used in trucks are also a component that goes into how they respond. The two shapes for washers are flat and cupped. Washers are pretty simple, flat washers give less restrictive turn and less rebound and cupped washers give more restrictive turning and more rebound. Washers also come in various sizes, smaller washers being less restrictive. washersCupped washers are also an easy way to get rid of wheelbite if you don’t want to run risers and don’t mind sacrificing the turn.

Roadside vs Boardside:

Boardside and roadside bushings both have different roles in the trucks performance, and it is important to understand the difference. The bottom bushing (boardside) has more impact on the turning of the truck and its direct pivot, where as the top bushing (roadside) acts as a force to push back on the bottom bushing, and controls how easily the truck gives in or rebounds back. People typically run either the same durometer bushings all around, or a top bushing that is slightly softer than the bottom. It is also common to see people run an eliminator bushing on the bottom with a barrel bushing on the top, or a barrel bushing on the bottom with a cone bushing on the top.


Mini-Bomb — 7/20/13 in NYC

The 4th Annual Mini-Bomb is set to go off on July 20th at 12:00 noon on 116th and Broadway, in front of Columbia University and end in Union Square East at 15th St. Organized by the Concrete Kings and GhostSkate NYC, the traditional mid-summer race should be a blast and will only get better later on with a BBQ and Hippie Jump Contest afterward.

broadway minibomb

The race is always a good preview of what’s to come at the Broadway Bomb in October and usually has NYC’s fastest pushers going head to head in the summer heat to take the number 1 spot, so if you’re looking for some good push race action you’ll want to be near the finish line for sure. The race typically draws much smaller numbers and is shorter than the Broadway Bomb, at 5.8 miles. This helps to create a much more competitive atmosphere, making sure you remember that it’s a race first and foremost. If you’re not a local you’ll want to make sure you take a good hard look at the route, as it’s easy to get lost and lose the pack if you’re not expecting the turn.

For those of you who can’t figure out the map, we’ll describe the course here for you in plain English. The route starts at 116th and Broadway then turns onto 72nd St and continues until you turn into Central Park and continue on West Central Park Drive to 7th Ave & 59th St. You’ll take 59th St to 5th Ave and then bolt down until you intersect with Broadway, then continue on Broadway to the finish in Union Square East at 15th St.

As of this writing Bustin’ is the only sponsor officially on board, but there are more surely to come as the date draws nearer. We skated the Mini-Bomb last year and had an absolute blast so you can bet we’ll be there again this year. Stay tuned for any updates or details as the event comes closer. For official updates and more information check out the Facebook Event page.

5 Photos with Khaleeq Alfred

The following is a guest post by Khaleeq Alfred, a New York City native, skater, and photographer. We linked up with Khaleeq and asked him to share 5 of his favorite photos along with a quick description. Learn a bit more about Khaleeq and check out his unreal photos below, then share ’em with a friend.  

Name’s Khaleeq, born and raised in Harlem NYC. Been doing photography for about 4 years now, but been shooting skate stuff for about a year and a half. Been skating for around 5 years, and loving every minute of it. Can’t get enough of the skate community and enjoy photographing it. Weapon of choice: 5D Mark II (my baby). Stoked on what’s in store for 2013!!!!!

Photo: Khaleeq Alfred | Rider: Cami Best

Photo: Khaleeq Alfred | Rider: Cami Best

What can I say, Cami throws down. It’s not often I see her skate, got lucky recently and did a little shooting. Blunt slides for days!

Photo: Khaleeq Alfred | Rider: Leon Vincent-Vialva

Photo: Khaleeq Alfred | Rider: Leon Vincent-Vialva

Got a 24-105mm Lseries and a 50mm in my arsenal. That 50 is my love, photos come out flawless, I’m always amazed. This photo is part of my “One of Many” collection. Leon of Blue Sky Longboards killing it.

Photo: Khaleeq Alfred | Rider: Ross Druckery

Photo: Khaleeq Alfred | Rider: Ross Druckery

Took a trip down to Puerto Rico to shoot Guajataca 2013 for Ghostskate and snapped this. Ross Druckrey shredding at the jam, so much Steez and a gnarly hill.

Photo: Khaleeq Alfred | Rider: Steven Sanchez

Photo: Khaleeq Alfred | Rider: Steven Sanchez

Sanchez ALWAYS puts me to work. By far one of my favorite people to shoot with. Took a whole day to shoot out in queens NY with the Bustin crew. Sick shots, steezy skating, perfect scenery and worth the tons of skating.

Photo: Khaleeq Alfred | Rider: Noish

Photo: Khaleeq Alfred | Rider: Noish

When you finish editing all your photos from a good day of shooting, you come across a couple photos that stand out. To me, this one is just stunning. Great scenery + stoked skater = Dope photos. Big thanks to Noish always bringing his A game. So sick, many more like it!

Video: Yoke Crew and Creamer

Garrett Creamer traveled to the Mid-Atlantic to hook up with the Yoke Crew homies and go fast in Maryland. Fortunately for us they kept their cameras nearby and decided to pump out a little edit of their downhill adventures, dubbing it Yoke Crew: Downhill Division, you’ll quickly understand why.

Take a look and watch these fools shred some tasty mountain runs.

Brake Test: Bike vs. Downhill Skateboard

It’s a common misconception in this sport that longboards are unable to stop or unable to stop in a reasonable amount of time. Often times no matter how hard you try, it’s almost impossible to convince non-skaters that we’re as in control, if not more so, than most bicyclists that ride the same roads and hills we do. Some of the guys from South Africa decided to put an end to the long-standing debate and put a bike and downhill skateboard against  each other to see who could stop in a shorter amount of time. This was a very interesting video done by fellow skaters comparing the two breaking mechanisms and giving some solid evidence to fall back on next time you find yourself in a debate about how in-control we are.

Video: Billy Wilson on Cream Kings Raw Run

Billy Wilson and I decided to film a quick follow run the other day before he completely destroys the set of Cream Kings the dudes over at Fresh Wheel Co. sent him to try. We originally planned to only film the first couple tricks Billy throws, but decided to just keep going as he landed the next thing he tried, again, and again, and again. As usual, Billy makes it look effortless and is always a ton of fun to watch.

We just finished a give-away with them for their other debut wheel, the Danger, but the Cream Kings are where it’s at for a chalky slide wheel. Check their web store out for some more info.

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Video: Chad Marshall and Surfing’s New Genre

ChadMarshallHeelsideCheckSmallerVice Magazine follows Chad Marshall out to sea as he gives them a peek at what he and Scott Anderson have been working on lately. Together they’ve been developing some experimental surfboards that are allowing them to shred in new ways and bust some longboarding-esq tricks, such as shuv-its and heeside checks.

The boards are short and semi-finless, making them very agile and allowing them to break out sideways while the rider retains control. In the words of Chad Marshall, “…it’s a new genre of surfing that hasn’t been explored yet, or you know, people haven’t pushed it to the limits, and it’s pretty bitchin’.” Bitchin’ it is indeed. Even cooler is seeing how longboarding style movements and tricks are influencing surfing, the very sport it was born out of.

I hadn’t seen anything like this before and was stoked when I watched this time and time again, so I figured I’d pass it along to y’all. Check it out and let us know what you think in our comments section below.

Video: Swervin The Left

That East Coast Yoke Crew Throwing Down.  If you don’t know about the YokeCrew, than you gotta get familiar cause they kill it.  This latest edit combines the skills of Eric Roth on the edit and Harison Hardig on the camera with Ed Garner’s gnarly as all hell skating. Check it out at least once, maybe twice then share it with your friends cause they’ll need to be on the loop with this one, as well.