Welcome to one of my new weekly pieces, Retrospective Skateboarding! As some of you may have noticed I have been skating a lot lately so I thought adding a regular series of articles to the site would be a good idea. Every Monday I will be writing about everything skate related that happened to me in the previous week. I think skateboarding is a hugely personal experience in a lot of ways, so being able to look back and talk about what I’ve done is going to be pretty cool. Whether it’s product reviews, skate spots, DIY projects, learning new tricks, photos or whatever else I may find myself getting up to, I will be taking a retrospective look at my skateboarding in the form of photos and writing. You will always be able to skip to the ‘In Retrospect‘ summary at the bottom if you don’t feel like reading the whole thing.
Starting with this week, I managed to get my hands on a Landyachtz Loco 33 and some 57mm 90a Street Hawgs which are also made by Landyachtz. I’ve been wanting one of these boards for a very, very long time. I have a weird thing with skulls (long story) so I decided to slap a Wheelbase sticker right over it. I didn’t realize there was another skull on the tail at first but luckily I had another Wheelbase sticker which fit perfectly. I cruised around on it for a little while and I have to say I am really liking it for certain things so far. It’s definitely not a ‘do everything’ board, or at least it isn’t for me. It’s a little too narrow for me to feel 100% comfortable on just yet but I’ll give it a little while longer before publishing a review. I will say that I am loving the Street Hawgs though. 57mm is the sweet spot for me. Not so big that they’re off-putting and not so small that you have to push every three seconds. The 90a duro is also perfect for me. Hard enough to slide, soft enough not to sound like coins going through a blender when rolling down the street. They slide really well too and have not even started to show signs of wear except for the graphic scratching off which is to be expected.
I had heard that there was a freshly paved bike track just down the road from my place so I thought it would be a good idea to check it out. Turns out it’s a small closed circuit surrounded by wetlands and leeches. The ground was nice though. After a few snaps it started raining so we ran back to the car. While heading back I noticed that I’m getting a lot more comfortable with ollies and particularly doing them without thinking so much. As I was heading back I popped a quick ollie over a crack in the ground and before I knew what I had done I was already gone. It was great finally feeling progression again even if it was just a slight progression.
I put the Street Hawgs on my normal board and decided to head to a little underground car park due to the rain. I spent a little while practicing manuals and getting greasy looks from a guy working there. I still to this day don’t know why people do that but hey, whatever. I’m weirdly good at manuals so there wasn’t anything progressive there. After a little while I felt I had met my quota for the day so headed home.
As part of my ongoing skate shoe mission I feel I should mention that I’m not loving the Ray Barbee Vans. I have always loved Vans and Ray Barbee, but these shoes are not the best work from either. When I picked these up I thought they would be similar to the Era Pro, luckily I only paid $50 for them because they are nothing like the Era Pro. First off, they stretched a lot. After only three sessions they were almost a size bigger in width than when I got them. The shoe laces that came with them look cool but they are just as stretchy as the rest of the shoe. They are also quite slippery so unless you double knot them, they come undone very easily, but even if you double knot they stretch out anyway so basically every time I have done any sort of flicking motion, I’ve lost a shoe. The toe is already starting to wear through after only a week and a half. The heels aren’t very padded either for some reason. I don’t know if this is my fault or not but I have never gotten a heel bruise before wearing these shoes. Pretty lame. I’m super disappointed with these shoes to the point where I’ve just been deliberately foot braking to try and wear them down but of course the one part of them that seems to be better than the Era Pro is the sole. It’s much more durable in my opinion. Usually when I pick up a pair of Vans the ball of my foot is a little worn after a week but these shoes are barely showing any signs of wear. I have a feeling when they start to go they will go fast though. In short, Ray, Vans, please step up your shoe game.
Earlier in the week I decided to chop the nose off of my Landyachtz Peacemaker and do some hands-down stuff. It’s been over a year since I did downhill skateboarding so I was a bit rusty but I managed to pull some decent slides and leave a few slide marks on the road. Awesome.
When I got home there was a nice little surprise waiting for me in room in the shape of new bolts and bearings. My old bearings are about 2 years old and are less than great. I also lost a bolt the other day so I’ve been ridin’ three bolt yo, the rawest form of skating there is ha ha! I dig the ‘Little Buddies’ just because it’s nice having a splash of colour on top that also helps tell you which way the board is facing if you have OCD like me. IN RETROSPECT: This was a good week for me and my skateboard. We bonded, felt a little closer and I’m feeling more comfortable with ollies than I ever have. I got a new deck and wheels which I’ll be dropping a review on soon and also finally got some new bearings. I went into a swamp and skated around leeches and I also found out that not all of Vans’ Pro line are great. I’ve started sliding down hills again and also enjoyed re-shaping the Peacemaker. Keep an eye out for next week’s article and keep skating! – L