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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Deck Reviews: Zoo York

After skating for about 4 months, I started honing in on what I liked about decks. I was preferring wider boards but was still having trouble dialing in the shape I liked. For this review, I'll cover a Zoo York board from Chapman.

4. Zoo York Grimy 8.5". At first, I thought this deck was awful. The construction was poor and the wood was cheap. The bolt holes were 1/4 inch off-center to the right of the board, making my toeside (I'm regular) wheels flush with the deck and the heelside wheels tucked under. Since the trucks kind of sat on the concave a bit, the board turned very strangely: sharp turns in one direction but stiff in the other. The off-center bolt holes also exposed a flaw in the gunmetal gray Independent 149s: the pivot hole was off-center and canted to one side. (See Photos, below).

I sent the Indys back to California and they honored their warranty and sent me new ones. After a month of waiting (don't worry, I got new 149s in the meantime, albeit in the awful Danny Way colorway), I finally received my replacement trucks. Only problem was they were 169s - more on that in a later post. Anyway, back to the Zoo York. With properly manufactured trucks mounted, the board was still a little unstable on the halfpipe, but it was usable enough on the street course. Now, I could begin to appreciate the board.

It looked awesome, with a photo of the Brooklyn Banks bricks screened onto it. The shape was also decent, with deep concave and wide nose with a nicely rounded tail with perfect angles. I relearned boardslides (Thanks a lot, Mini Logo SST!) on the metal rails with this board. I even learned noseslides on the metal rails. It was a flexy board but did not develop a lot of stress cracks. With this board, I was actually starting to get height and control on my ollies, yet in hindsight this board had practically no pop. It felt heavy and cumbersome all the time, but was nice to learn stuff on. One day I was pumping in the halfpipe and the board shot out and smashed its nose, delaminating and bending up the first few inches of the board. Nollies, which I was learning at the time, never felt the same again, all soggy.

In the end, I learned to like the board and I did trust it a lot - I never got seriously injured using this deck. One day I got tired of the one-sided sluggishness from the off-center bolt holes and took it apart. I later gave it away at a garage sale.

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