Video: Billy Raw Runs

We take two quick runs with Billy “The Putt King” Wilson to remind us why he’s still the king of freestyle tricks and chefs up a fire freeride run to keep your palms sweatin’ and eyes watery. Billy never lets things get dull when he’s in front of the camera so make sure you take a minute and a half to get familiar and see what he had in store this time.

Video: Billy Goes Big

This is one I totally forgot to share the other night when it dropped but am so stoked to finally post. We’ve posted about Billy Wilson a bunch, he’s a local shredder who rides for Original and Boards on Nord and, quite frankly, is the Putt King. He consistently lands fat flip tricks, big, greasy shuv-its and all sorts of of fun, technical board tricks smoother than most short board skaters.

His most recent edit has been in the work for months, with some of these clips being shot back in the spring and summer of last year, but worth the wait. It’s a dope mix that showcases Billy’s freestyle and freeride skills really well and is Billy’s best looking edit to date, in my opinion. Check it out and let us know what you think in the comments!

Skate The East Welcomes Molly Lewis!

Once again the title doesn’t leave much to the imagination on this one so we’ll cut to the chase: we’re super stoked to welcome Molly Lewis as our newest author here at Skate The East! For those of you who don’t know Molly you’ll soon be very familiar, not only because you’ll be hearing more from her here, but also because she’s easily one of the most talented ladies in the sport right now.

Hailing from North Carolina, Molly rides for Original Skateboards, Holesom Pucks, Socco Socks, Aussie Island Skate Shop and reps the east coast wherever she goes. We’re looking forward to hearing more about her numerous skate trips and thoughts in general and think she’ll be a perfect addition to the crew here! She’ll tell you a little more about herself in an intro post soon; until then join us in giving a big warm welcome to Molly!

Check out Molly taking the podium after winning the Ladies’ Freeride competition at the 3rd Annual Central Mass event.

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Videos: Billy Wilson Proves That Long Isn’t Wrong

I’ve called Billy Wilson the Putt King because of his ability to do freestyle tricks with longboards that make almost everyone’s jaws drop. This weekend we decided to get gnarly in a couple of area skate parks and show people that just because it’s a longboard, it’s not a wrongboard. On his prototype Original Apex 37 Billy SHREDS and had everyone watching whenever he was taking lines. These were a ton of fun to film and we’ll have plenty more in the near future, just you wait.

-Mike

New Jersey Slide Jam 7 — 3/31

New Jersey Slide Jam 7 is going down on March 31st and is looking like it’ll be a stellar time just like NJ Slide Jam 6 was. The New Jersey Slide Jam series consistently attract a ton of people from all over the Tri-State area and prove to be a ton of fun from what I’ve heard. From the amount of thane that was left on the hill in all of the pictures I saw, this is an event that can’t not be fun (notice the double negative, you like that haha?). In the spirit of March a green shirt is highly required but not necessary.

The Bustin’ Crew will no doubt be in full attendance since they rep pretty hard as should a lot of the Original guys as well as some of the Earthwing Legends like Steve Kong (pictured in the flyer).

The event has some dope sponsors as always with prizes going to the usual categories if they keep the same setup as last time (info is scarce on Facebook). If you were at any of the other NJ Slide Jams then the location hasn’t changed but in the interest of not blowing the spot it’s not being publicly posted. Head on over to the Facebook Event and message the host, Tyler Hill to get more info on WHERE it’s all going down.

The event is starting at 11:30 and is expected to last until around 2:30 with lots of sessions going down all over the place afterward I’m sure. Get there a bit early to make sure you’re all set and ready to rock when things get going. Consult the Facebook Event and Tyler Hill with any specific questions.

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.

Setups:
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: Freezing Flannel Freeriding in CT

I won’t lie, I’m very excited to be posting this video as it’s one of the first videos that I’ve had a major hand in helping produce. Credit really goes to Original rider and friend Billy Wilson, though, who had the vision for most of the shots and did all the editing to make this video come out as well as it did. I learned a ton about filming through this process and can’t wait to keep working on videos in the future. Most of the riding is done by me (Mike DiPietro) and Billy with Jake Uterstaedt making a couple brief appearances as well.

I’m so stoked this edit came out so well and think it showcases how gnarly Billy is at mixing freeriding and freestyle  to make for some steezy tricks and all around amazing riding. Also a quick side note: Billy doesn’t wear slide gloves. Just something to keep in mind as you see him bombing fast and doing huge standies… For him, failure is not an option.

Setups and such:

Billy: Original Apex 40DC w/ Randall 45* trucks and Abec 11 Flashbacks
Mike: TR Custom Blitz w/ Surf-Rodz 45* RKP trucks and Orangatang 80a & 83a Stimulus wheels
Jake: Earthwing Hightailer w/ Caliber 50* trucks and Cult Classics (I think…)

Big shout outs go to our supporters at Original, Surf-Rodz, and Orangatang.

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.