Zach Viele: The Pucks

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Zach Viele, Team rider for Faceplant Boardriders and Wheelrz is 21 years old from Lake George, NY. He has been actively manufacturing his own slide pucks for almost 2 years now and has gained a tremendous following. “The Pucks” are created from UHMW polyurethane and are backed by some of the gnarliest team riders around including Mike Fitter, Dejaune Jones, Rob Wheeler, Justin Ellsworth, Cody Baker, as well as many others.

Rider: Zach Viele Photo: Ross Earheart

Rider: Zach Viele
Photo: Ross Earheart

When did you decide you wanted to start your own puck company?

“I started The Pucks about a year and a half after I started skating, and it just took off from there. I had ordered a set of pucks online, and in the time it took for them to ship to my house I decided just to go ahead and try and create my own. I never ended up using those pucks I ordered, and have been using my products ever since. We are having problems in sales right now because our pucks last so long that people don’t often need a second set. They’re extremely durable and wear down really slowly.”

Rider: Dejaune Jones Photo: Marion J Ross

Rider: Dejaune Jones Photo: Marion J Ross

What’s it like to have pro riders using your products?

“It’s a surreal feeling to have someone who I look up to like Mike Fitter of Abec 11 and Rayne Longboards become a team rider for my company. He is like the tony hawk of downhill skateboarding for me and I feel honored that he chooses to use my products. It shows that even the big people in the industry care about the small people. Even though you’re a small company they don’t sell you short, they give your product a chance.”

Rider: Mike Fitter  Photo: Spencer Adams

Rider: Mike Fitter
Photo: Spencer Adams

How did you start the production?

“The plastic we use for our pucks has actually been apart of my life for the last 10 years. My dad uses the plastic for his work and we have used it for a number of different things. It never occurred to me that same plastic could be utilized for the longboard industry. I wanted to create a thicker puck to help prevent people from ripping up their gloves and was going to last longer than the other pucks in the market.”

Rider: Justin Ellsworth Photo: Quentin LaChance

Rider: Justin Ellsworth Photo: Quentin LaChance

What was the original purpose of the plastic and why is it so durable?

“This plastic was originally designed to be wear resistant and hold off heat for the machines that manufacture paper. We are using that same plastic as pucks for when you’re steaming down a hill. The amount of heat and friction that is created when used for longboarding is absolutely nothing compared to what it is usually meant to withstand at a mill.”

Rider: Cody Baker Photo: Randy Flewelling

Rider: Cody Baker
Photo: Randy Flewelling

Help support Zach and the East Coast by picking up a set of his slide pucks. The Pucks will last you a very long time and are trusted by some of the best riders in the industry. Plans for gloves are in the works too so keep an eye out for those as well.

Click here for more information and to buy your set of The Pucks

And here to follow their Facebook page

Rider: Rob Wheeler  Photo: Andrew Collins

Rider: Rob Wheeler
Photo: Andrew Collins

 

Video: UMass Downhill

Check out the UMass Longboard Club homies killin’ it with some DH runs just over the state line somewhere deep in New England.  Some serious packrunage goin’ down in this one. These guys are holding down our home scene in Western MA scene pretty hard right now; they’re going fast, having fun, and doing it right.

- Henry

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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: Attack Of The Groms….Noah Wintman Shreds

There has recently been a large increase in grom population around the Western Mass region as well as entire east coast. Personally, I love the groms, as long as they got some good vibes, aren’t focusing on the wrong things and aren’t blowing the spots. Groms got good energy and they push the limits. Noah Wintman is one of Western Mass’s gnarliest groms and this video defiantly deserves some attention.

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.