7 Ways to Get Out of a Skate Funk

It can sometimes be hard falling asleep at night knowing you have a full day of skating waiting for you in the morning. You are super stoked on the day ahead of you.  When you wake up, you rush to the window to see if the roads are dry. 7 Ways to Get Out of a Skate FunkThe weather is perfect, the day is full of friends, everyone’s shredding, and good times are had. You get back home after a long sweaty day, grab a snack, chug some water, and hit up Facebook to see if your friend uploaded that gnarly raw run yet.  Satisfied mentally and physically, you fall right to sleep that night.

But have you ever woken up and your head just isn’t in it? Have you ever been skating a session where your just not feeling it that day? Everything feels repetitive and you’re not having as much fun with it as you usually do. You aren’t experiencing the normal rush of enjoyment you have come to know and love. Well then, maybe you lost your stoke and skating isn’t doing it for you.  If you have ever experienced these symptoms, you are not alone; you are in a skate funk.

Being in a funk is a crappy feeling but don’t worry because it has happened to all of us at some point or another. There are many things you can do to get out of your funk and get back to being high as f*ck on that stoked sensation you are more than familiar with.

7 Tips to Get Out of a Skate Funk

1. Watch skate edits

Go watch those classic edits that get you itching to play outside. Check out a variety of skaters from all over the world, each with their own unique and steezy riding styles could be all it takes to get you stoked again.

2. Skate with friends

Everyone has their own styles and different moves on lock. Mixing up whom you skate with can push your limits and make you try new things. You’re not asking for a skate lesson, but just watching your skilled friends around you throw huge slides shuvs might just be enough to help you figure it out for yourself.

3. Change Locations

Are you skating the same street every time? Maybe you’re getting bored of the same spot. Skating somewhere new can be exciting. Having a handful of spots to pick and choose from will keep things fresh. Take a drive around town and keep your eyes peeled. Other spots exist; you just haven’t found them yet. Try using FindHills to look for some fresh spots in your area and then use a wet and rainy day to go out and actually scope out the pavement, location, etc.

4. Change your set up

Maybe it’s time to get a new deck. You’ve had the same one for a while now and you want to try a double kick. Check out the BST’s on Facebook and you’ll find what you’re looking for. People are always buying, selling, and trading. Otherwise support your local skate shop before you go searching at an online store.

5. Mix up your riding style

If you normally stick to freeriding, take a day to switch it up and mess around with some flatland or downhill. Just like changing locations or trying a new set up, experimenting with different riding styles is a sure way to keep things fun and refreshing.

6. Attend an event

What better way to meet up with other skaters and session a brand new hill? Hitting up an event is a great experience, a lot of fun, and a great way to raise money for a cause. Don’t miss out!

7. Watch a tutorial

Learning something new is an awesome way to get you excited again. Check out YouTube videos explaining how to do all types of skateboarding moves; manuals, kickflips, early grabs, powerslides, and more. All that skate knowledge is just a few clicks away and can help give you a better understanding on how to learn something you’ve been trying to figure out on your own.

10 Ways to Stay Sane Over Winter

staying_sane_over_winter

Note from the editor: This is post from new author Steve Lamando. Steve’s a Connecticut native currently going to school in Rhode Island and rides for both Original Skateboards and Wheelerz.

New England gets cold dude! We are quickly approaching that time of year again when the roads become covered in snow and salt, and skating regularly becomes a fond summer memory.

The snowflakes look great for about 10 minutes, until you remember that the roads are a mess and you’re out of luck with skating for a bit. For a lot of us, skating clears our minds, keeps us sane, and is our favorite escape from reality. Aside from that one random 60-degree global warming day in December, the weather for skating will pretty much blow for the next couple months if you’re in the Northeast.

For the people like myself who live for the thrill that skateboarding provides, shit can get tough when that’s put on hiatus. What are we supposed to do when the weather really sucks and we literally don’t have the option to go outside and fiend some freeride?  It’s important to find something else that you can cheat on skating with to keep your sanity.  Here is a list of my 10 alternatives to help keep you sane during the brutal New England winter.

1. Embrace the snow

Snowballs, sledding, snowskating and snow days aren’t all that bad. Once you get over the fact that the roads are going to be a mess for a while, you can learn to have a little fun with the snow (see #3, too).

2. Make/Use a Balance Board

Use a balance board while watching TV. Not only is it pretty fun but it also will help improve your already super amazing balance. Nothing beats actually skating, but this will definitely help a lot. Indo Boards are one sweet, well-known option that come with both the roller and stationary disc.

3. Hit the Slopes

If you haven’t already taken up snowboarding, get on that shit. It’s super fun, super chill, it’s downhill, and it’s the closest thing you got right now.

4. Finally Play Catch Up

Watch that movie you’ve been meaning to see, read that book you were supposed to read for class, and show your family some love.  Also take the time to go through our video section and make sure you haven’t missed the progression of gnar we’ve had out east over the last couple of years.

5. Go to the gym

Get in shape for your best season yet, stronger legs means stronger skating 😉 Try doing hitting the StairMaster, do some squats, and calf muscle exercises. Once springtime rolls around it’ll be like you never stopped skating.

6. Chill With Your Skate Homies

Get together with your skate buddies you normally only see on the hill; invite them over for some quality bro time festivities. Tony Hawk on N64 anyone?

7. Try something new

Pick up a guitar, mess around with some paint, find your new favorite band, or take up meditation.  Use these snowy days to expand your horizons beyond your every day activities.

education_meme_mylittlebrony

8. Plan a skate trip

Decide who, what, where, and when you want to take a future skate adventure in some place you’ve never traveled. Like my Dad says “Proper prior planning prevents piss poor performance”.  These are the perfect days to spend scouring FindHills and locate that hidden spot you’ve always dreamed about, so make good use of the time! Don’t forget to take another look at Molly Lewis’ 5 things you’ll want to remember to pack.

9. Play some video games

Call of duty, GTA 5, Bio Shock, Skate 3? Take a seat and stay a while. Get your game on! Especially Skate, it will get you stoked and is something to help you pass the time. If you’re on the go break out the old Game Boy and Pokémon for a trip down memory lane at the same time.

10. ‘Skate’

Skate in your kitchen, skate in your basement, hit up an indoor park or cruise through the 4 inches of snow blanketing your driveway. Take the trucks off your board and carpet board while watching some TV. Whatever it takes, skate somewhere that you can still get your fix and still keeps you happy. Since there isn’t a good carpet boarding gif, we’ll leave you with Kyle Chin.

Got any other tips? Want to let us know what you thought? Leave us a comment below.

Everything You Need To Know About Trucks: Part 2

This is a continuation of the first part of Everything You Need to Know About Trucks. If you haven’t read Part 1 we highly recommend starting there and then continuing on to part 2. We’re currently planning a part 3 to come soon.

Baseplate Degrees:

46* and 50* Baseplates

46* Area vs 50* Paris Baseplates

The degree of the truck’s baseplate decides how much lean a rider has to give in order to make the truck turn.  The lower the baseplate degree, the less the truck is physically able to turn and the more lean it takes to turn the truck.  Baseplates usually run between 40-50 degrees with 50 degree being the most common angle. 45 degree trucks are considered low degree, and anything lower than that is for people who just love to lean.  Baseplate angle can also effect slides, in the sense that low degree baseplates typically create lower degree slides.  This is because the hanger will turn less at the point that you are used to leaning on higher degree trucks.  Typically, a low degree truck is better for a rider who likes their body weight farther off of their board and likes to take wide lines.  Higher degree trucks are for people who want to fiend, and are good for quick and agile turns, throwing around lots of lines and thrashing.  Speed plays a role in baseplate as well, typically lower degree trucks feel more stable at speed but be harder to turn and feel much more dead at low speeds.  Low degree trucks tend to feel a bit more lively once they are pushed up to speed, though.

Hangers:

Bushing Seat

All trucks on the market have unique bushing seats that effect how the hanger interacts with the bushing, affecting the turn of the truck. The restrictiveness of the bushing seat effects how the truck compresses the bushing when turning.  An open bushing seat compresses the bushing as little as possible, creating the least amount of restriction on your turn.  Examples of open, unrestrictive bushing seats include Aeras, Randals, and PNL.  When there’s a bit of metal coming outward surrounding the bushing, it causes the bushing to compress against the metal wall when turning, causing the truck to be more restrictive.  Examples of trucks that are somewhat restrictive include Munkaes, Calibers, Surf-Rodz, and Ronin’s.  The long and short: the more restrictive the bushing seat, the less lean and turn you’ll get (and the “tighter” the truck will feel).

restrictive_vs_open_bushing_seats

Hanger Size

The width of the hanger affects the tracking of the wheels.  While the turning radius is defined by the baseplate, the hanger size will define where the wheels track. That means you’ll be able to rail the same turn on 150mm hangers and 190mm hangers, but your wheels will be in different places.

Hanger sizes affect the leverage over your bushings more than anything else. A narrower hanger size will grip the pavement more, whil a wider one will allow you to break traction and slide much easier. This is why you frequently see super small hanger widths on slalom decks.

Example of different sized hangers

Paris 180mm vs Paris 150mm

 Larger hangers feel less responsive when turning and track much wider.  Larger hangers also create lower degree slides, less traction, and slides that maintain speed for longer.  Reverse kingpin trucks come in various hanger widths but the most popular size is around 180mm.  For commuting and cruising setups people will run 150mm hangers, but it isn’t common in most downhill and freeride.  Most downhill and freeride setups run between around 170mm-190mm.

Hanger Style

Truck hangers have different characteristics in terms of how the truck pivot feels relative to the baseplate degree.  Hangers may either turn at the same angle as the baseplate or feel like they turn at different angles. Positive rake will add more height to your truck setup, giving you more traction with the road and leverage on the bushing, while negative rake will make the board easier to break out and lower the ride height.

Bear Smokies, which aren't flippable trucks.

Bear Smokies, which aren’t flippable trucks.

This difference when you flip the hanger is called “rake.” For instance, if you have a truck that’s 45 degrees and the hanger is flipable with +/-2 degree rake, then the truck feels like it runs runs at either 43, or 47 degrees.

Calibers are an example of trucks that don’t have rake, when flipped they are the same, while Randals and Surf-Rodz are examples of trucks with rake.

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.

Bushings:

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.

Duro:

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.

Shapes:

bushings

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.

Rebound:

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.

Washers:

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.

boardside_roadside