2013 Recap with Chief Keith

2013 Recap with Chief Keith

Our homie from central CT, Keith Burwood, put together a 2013 recap video and obviously made me an instant fan by calling it ‘Chief Keith’ (#300 #GloGang). Homie has a great mix of some good looking skating and did a great job chopping up the edit and making things look pretty. Check it out and leave a comment with what you thought below – it’s super easy we swear.

Don’t Shred On Me: Howard and ‘Mell Get Green

Ryan Howard and Jimelle Watford get down with a quarter pipe session at the Green St. Skatepark in Middletown, CT on a beautiful spring day last week. These two keep it fresh and fun constantly, with the perfect mix of stoke and chill. Skate every and anything, just Don’t Shred On Me.

Ryan Howard with the film and edit.

Video: Chris O’Brien Rider Profile

This week we introduce Chris O’Brien into the mix with his rider profile that he and his crew — TeamTangy — put together. It’s a nice mix between skating and interview, letting you get to know Chris a little bit in addition to seeing him shred. It’s another example of the high-quality videos we’ve seen coming out of the tri-state area lately. It doesn’t look like Chris is sponsored by anyone yet, although if his skills keep progressing at this pace I’m sure it won’t be too long before someone picks him up.

If you missed it, you can always catch the 2 for Tuesday post we did last week with two videos from CT native and Original team rider Billy Wilson.

Video: 2 for Tuesday in Connecticut

Alright folks, instead of just posting one video to brighten your days I figured we’ll have even more fun and make it a “2 for Tuesday” with two videos featuring the prototype Original Apex 40 (set to be released Friday?!). East Coasters and Original Team Riders Billy Wilson (of CT) and Michael Virgin (of OH) are two younger riders who have been tearing up the freestyle and free ride scene this past summer and fall and don’t look to be stopping anytime soon. While skating at a local spot the other day I ran into Billy for the first time who came tearing down the hill out of no where bustin out buttery toe and heelside standies as if they were absolutely nothing. As impressive as his free ride skills are, however, Billy’s even better when it comes to steezy freestyle tricks, showing how versatile his prototype Apex 40 really is (check out a picture at the bottom). Michael Virgin is another Original Team Rider and while we haven’t met he shows his free ride skills all throughout their edit from the Broadway Bomb Weekend.

Billy was also telling me that he nailed a 70-foot standup slide the other day, he posted the video last night and can’t say much other than daaaaaaaaaaaamn. Check it:

With only one full season under their belts I can’t wait to see how they progress with more practice and time spent on their boards. As always let us know what you think in the comments below (now powered by Facebook!), our Twitter account, or over on our Facebook Page.

Review: TR Custom Longboards “Panty Dropper”

The following review is written by guest contributor Bill Steinbacher of Nagatauck, CT. Check out our post on TR Custom Longboards here. Here’s a little bit about the rider/writer:

“I’m 29 years old and I have been skating since I was 13, however there were on and off periods over the years. Life happens, you get busy and wrapped up in bills….and money for skate equipment is nowhere to be found. I spent too much time looking at broken boards wishing I was skating. However skating has become a much more permanent fixture in my life over the past few years though, I picked up my first longboard about a year ago and have been hooked from the moment I laid down my first successful smooth slide. My favorite aspects of longboarding are simply going fast and getting sideways! Although I also do quite a bit of long distance pushing which I also love, but there is just no way to describe the feeling you get ripping down a nice smooth hill, and busting out few slides in the process. I recently attended the Central Park Race 2011 in NYC, this was my first skate event that I have attended/competed in and it was an amazing experience. I am looking forward to competing and being involved in as many events as possible, longboarding has become a true passion and I’m going to keep shredding until my legs no longer work! I recently picked up my first set of Surf-Rodz IndeeSZ, and I absolutely love these trucks. I could go on forever picking apart all the fantastic details of the truck itself, but for sake of time….just get some!”

Board stats:

  • TR Custom Longboard “Panty Dropper”
  • 39” long/ 31.5” wheelbase/ 10” at the widest 9” in the middle
  • 9 Ply/ No flex; stiff
  • Symmetrical
  • Aggressive concave
  • 1.25” drop
  • Slight kicks on nose and tail

Review:
If you are looking for a board that can do it all, TR Custom’s Panty Dropper will end that search. I have been riding this deck for a couple of months now and it really is a perfect all around board! I have used it mainly for free ride/sliding, however have done some light downhill with it as well. For free riding I set it up with Surf-Rodz INDeeSZ 177mm, Abec 11 Freerides, and Venom bushings 90a board side and 88a SHR roadside. Even with a hard bushing set up like this the INDeeSZ still turn super easy and make this set up perfect for free riding and light downhill. The combination of the aggressive concave and the 1.25” drop makes your feet feel glued to the board for slides. The board is a perfect size to whip around for all kinds of slides while still being able to keep the board under your feet and maintain control of your slides.

The symmetrical design also makes this board great for free riding. No matter which direction you come out of a slide you are set up for the rest of the hill or next slide, in other words you are never riding this board backwards. The slight upturned kicks on the nose and tail are another nice addition for free ride capabilities, however they also add to the stability of the board. The slight upturn helps deflect the force of curb shots which results in much less damage from a direct impact. Mine has taken quite a few heavy duty impacts and the nose has sustained very minimal damage, much less damage than any other board I have ridden previously. The Panty dropper also serves very well as a downhill deck; the 9 ply design makes the board super stiff and stable. The 1.25” drop also aids in the boards downhill capabilities, the drop brings you lower to the ground helping keep your center of gravity nice and solid. I really cannot say enough good things about this board, I have been more comfortable and progressed more using the TR Custom Panty Dropper than I have any other board to date.

The only somewhat negative feedback I have received from taller riders is that it felt too small for them, so if you are vertically blessed and looking into the Panty Dropper you may want to discuss a longer model option with TR Customs. I’m about 5’6” and the Panty Dropper fits me like a dream.

 

Wrap Up: Ham-Jam 2011

UPDATE: Added the results and also added another steezy video. 

This past Saturday marked the second annual Ham-Jam in Hamden, CT while also putting an end to the summer skate season here in New England. All is well, though, because the Ham-Jam ended up being a huge success despite a few bumps along the way. As soon as I drove up to the spot on Perry Lane in Hamden I could tell the Ham Jam was going to be a ton of fun. Cars lined both sides of the street on the back side of the hill and hoards of people were moving towards the competition hill. The competition group was diverse, from some very young skaters to some older, more experienced guys the energy all around was high and everyone stoked to be out on such a nice day. The competition got off to a great start right at 11, as planned, but quickly saw the addition of an unexpected competitior: the Hamden Police Department. While at first they were cool with the competition once they saw that everyone was being both polite and safe repeated phone calls from an upset street resident forced them to put an end to the use of the Perry Road location, while it was a bummer their hands were tied; plan “B” was forced into effect.

With only a little confusion almost everyone made their way to the backup competition site (somewhere else in Hamden, a caravan lead us to the new site) and the jam was back on just a little after 12:00. After a few minutes to warm up on the hill the rules were announced: single elimination, only the top 20 moved on to the semi finals and the top 10 (I’m fuzzy on this. Feel free to comment and correct.) moved onto the final round. Josh Wright from NYC ended up with the big W but many others walked away with prizes in hand. There was no official results  list and I unfortunately missed the prizes being handed out, so much beyond that isn’t clear to me. Lots of skaters showed up and wowed both other riders and the crowd including Steve Kong, Norman Plante, Laura Nocka, and Bruce Clark.  Good news, I got the results (shout outs to GnarCakesNSteezeSauce)! They are as follows:

  1. Josh “Wild” Wright (wearing the red t-shirt in our video below)
  2. Norman Plante (wearing a white t-shirt, green wheels)
  3. Steve Kong (wearing a navy blue EarthWing t-shirt skating some dope tech slides)

Familiar names if you were paying attention to the 2nd Annual Central MA Event. Wright made the biggest jump, having placed 4th at the Central MA Event and 1st here, while Norman Plante nudged Kong out of the runner-up spot which they shared at the beginning of August. Other notable skaters included Laura Nocka (who took 2nd for women’s freeride at the Central MA Event), Bruce Clark (3rd at the Central MA Event), Ben DeSnyder, and many more.

Cory Medlar and Bill Steinbacher, both NSA Connecticut State Reps, were on hand shredding hard and reppin’ their beautiful new TR Custom Longboards, the Buffalo Soldier and the Panty Dropper. I’m in the process of talking to both of the guys so we can get some reviews up in the near future. In case you’re wondering, the Buffalo Soldier is the deck featured at the beginning of our video below.

Shout outs to all the excellent riders that came out and showed their stuff. The day was a blast and a great way to cap of an amazing summer of East Coast skating! Another big shout out to Surf-Rodz who constantly show us love and support. Check out the video below for some of the sweet riding we saw.

Ham-Jam 2011 — Steptember 3rd in Hamden, CT

Southern New England get ready for the second annual Ham-Jam going down on Perry Road in Hamden, CT at 11:00AM on September 3rd. This event is going to be a great way to close the summer, the hill is rated at a 12% grade and is wide with buttery pavement making it perfect for sliding according to one of the event organizers, Will Strauss. He said last year the event was organized rather quickly and went better than expected with 20-25 skaters showing up and having a great time. This year they’re hoping to grow the event even more and have a whole slew of sponsors on board including some big names like Loaded, Seismic, Original Skateboards, Randall Trucks, Daddies Board Shop, our friends at Surf-Rodz and more, so some sweet prizes are sure to be had. The event should turn out to be a lot of fun and will probably feature a lot of the same skaters that will be out at the Central MA Competition a couple weekends before.

As always, helmet and gloves are required. Check out the Facebook Page for more information and updates.

Video: Tyler Gallagi Downhill

Another video for you guys today. Tyler Gallagi and an unknown friend bomb a killer hill on a lake or reservoir presumably somewhere in Connecticut. The title of the video is, fittingly, “Holy Sh*t I Forgot To Buckle My Helmet” which serves a good reminder to always double check your safety gear, especially your lid. No one plans for an accident and they can happen any time so be smart and wear a helmet and safety gear and wear it correctly.

” Holy SHIT! i forgot to buckle my helmet! “ from tyler gallagi on Vimeo.

Local Company Spotlight: Surf-Rodz

There’s beginning to be a lot of talk on the streets about a company by the name of Surf-Rodz who are beginning to make some big waves across the international longboarding community. In case you haven’t heard of them, Surf-Rodz produces the popular V2 deck, and revolutionary RKP (reverse king-pin) and INDeeSZ trucks. I got a chance to visit their Seymour, CT manufacturing facility and sat down with co-owner and founder Wayne Gallipoli to talk about Surf-Rodz, what they’re doing, what they hope to be doing, and what they want to bring to the sport.

Surf-Rodz is producing CNC (computer numerical control) trucks. Get the confused look off your face, I’ll explain what it means. Most trucks are produced using a method called casting, super-hot liquid metal is poured into a mold, allowed to harden, removed from the mold, and are polished and shipped. Surf-Rodz doesn’t do this, instead they take a solid block of aluminum and machine it down into the component they need. What does this mean? Precision, durability, and the ability to do some pretty revolutionary stuff with trucks.

Trucks might seem like the established, static technology on the skateboard, with most attention these days being focused at wheels and deck manufacturing but that’s not the case at all. As skaters push the limits of what they can do, they’re also pushing the limits of what their gear can do. Wayne said after seeing traditional cast trucks starting to fail earlier and cost skaters performance there was a clear need for change in the industry, and SZ was ready to step up and make it happen. Surf-Rodz’s trucks can get replacement parts as needed, saving you money in the long run. Grind down a hanger? You can buy a replacement for a fraction of the cost of replacing the entire truck. Bend an axle? Good news, Surf-Rodz’s axles can also be changed out too, saving you money once again by eliminating the need to replace the entire truck. Surf-Rodz also have adjustable hanger widths depending on how you assemble the axle/hanger, allowing you to have 3 different widths with one set of hardware. That’s a range of 127mm-197mm on the INDeeSZ and 150mm-170mm on the RKP — lots of options, one price, one set of hardware. Not only can you change the width of the hanger depending on how you’ll be riding that day, the way the trucks are designed take full advantage of the pivot pin axis, allowing the rider to utilize the full range of motion and control turns much easier.

Still need more? How about designs and colors on trucks? Surf-Rodz is leading the way in truck graphics, and let me tell you, they look cool. Really cool. Through an anodization process (this is pretty much the only part that isn’t done in-house) the trucks are colored pretty much anything you could think of. Nice, vibrant colors that are bound to the metal itself, meaning it won’t chip or crack like paint would. The possibilites are almost endless, when I was talking to Wayne at the shop they had just found out they could do up to three colors on one piece, meaning we could see some really cool combos in the near future. While I was there I also got a sneak peek at the new camo-themed trucks, these things are just too freakin’ sweet. Surf-Rodz can also do laser engraving now and has plans to do some limited edition runs (check out the picture of me holding the “Captain America”-esq trucks) and custom engravings in the future, although right now they’re still in the planning stages. Honestly, I’d never seen any trucks that look so beautiful.

If your mind isn’t blown yet it gets better. Surf-Rodz are not only better than every cast truck and other CNC trucks, they’re half the price. The INDeeSZ will set you back $199.99 and the RKPs go from $210.00-$250.00, not too steep when compared to the Bear Precision Trucks which retail at $400. Because Surf-Rodz is run out of the same shop they machine the hardware at they can make changes faster than competitors and offer better prices than other companies who have to outsource the work. What’s that mean? The more popular SZ gets the lower the price will get, making them more and more affordable. One of Wayne’s goals with SZ is to make affordable CNC trucks, allowing them to get into the hands of every skater possible.

So where does Surf-Rodz go next? Really, the sky is the limit it seems. While I couldn’t get all the juicy details, it sounds like SZ is on the verge of a couple new ventures that could prove pretty revolutionary for other aspects of the sport, too. It’s clear that Wayne is dedicated to driving the sport forward and a desire to stay one step ahead of what skaters want. I’d also expect to see Surf-Rodz starting to collaborate with some deck companies in the future to do completes thatfeature either the INDeeSZ or RKPs and possibly even more decks themselves (they currently offer the V2). In fact, just this morning Drang Longboards announced that they were designing a new line all around Surf-Rodz, an example of what will surely start becoming a trend as SZ grows more.

It was clear in my conversation with Wayne that he and his partners are excited about what they’re doing and are excited about their ability to drive the sport forward, helping skaters push the limits of what was previously thought possible. Wayne himself is a skater and is passionate about the sport and getting feedback about the trucks and input from the community on what they’d like to see. If you have any suggestions or questions about Surf-Rodz pop over to their Facebook Page and ask away. While you’re over there you may as well also like our Facebook Page too.

I’ll write a full review of the trucks themselves in the near future. For now take a look at some of the other pictures I took while visiting SZ.

 

 


NSA Do July 4th Right

Our friends over at the Northern Skate Alliance did what they do best on Monday, taking full advantage of the holiday and finding some epic new skate spots. Along the way they stopped and took some new video, embedded below. The quick edit shows you how quickly the guys are progressing, especially Ryan Howard who you can see throwing down at least one 360 and some very nice looking standup slides. Robert Briggs and Kyle Kay also throw down some impressive slides and 180s.

The Administration of the NSA are pushing onto the next level. I can’t wait to see what they have coming as the season progresses!

Freeriding The Fourth from some dude on Vimeo.