1031 Creepy Crawly, 8.75" x 33.5" with a 15.5" wheelbase
on ollies and such. Plus, with all the crete park work this deck saw, small wheels just weren't cutting it. At first I rode the 55mm Spitfire Big Heads, but they coned quickly and lost all rebound after only a week of crete work. Then I rode the 56mm Spitfire Repeaters; these were better but were once again wearing extremely quickly. I rode Darkstar 54mm softcore wheels; these were nice but a little unresponsive and didn't like to slide on crete or asphalt or anything, really. Finally, I mounted some Satori Movement 98a Linked Logo wheels. These were the winners: a true all-terrain wheel that handled asphalt, sidewalks, dusty masonite ramps, metal obstacles, skatepark concrete, and even brief forays across dirt and grass. (I've actually been hooked on Satori wheels ever since.) After 8 months of intense street skating mostly involving ledge work, this board lasted 4 months of park abuse, after which I was so used to the size I was actually landing flip tricks and other technical tricks. I finally retired it and passed it on to someone else.
1031 American Nightmare, 8.5" x 32.5" with a 14.5" wheelbase
1031 Let The Day Begin, 8.75" x 33", 14.5" wheelbase
1031 Autumn, 8.0" x 32", 14" wheelbase
Okay, last try for 1031 decks. We had a sudden cold snap in April 2011, so I went back to narrow boards. My old knees don't have as much range of motion in the cold weather, so I like smaller, lower boards when it's cold out. The 5.25 Theeves don't feel right to me, so I put some trusty 5.2 Ventures and some 50mm Satori Rice Crest wheels on this Autumn deck and went skating.
I liked it. Thank goodness. I skated mostly flatland with it - the cold weather shut down the skateparks. The intactness of the graphics make it look like I barely used it, but that wasn't at all the case. I skated it for 6 weeks solid, doing almost exclusively flatland with an occasional boardslide on my 8' long grind rail. Couple of noseslides and tailslides, too. The graphics on the 1031 decks are actually pretty tough. The Creepy Crawly back at the beginning of this post was well shredded, but that was after 4 months of mostly crete park skating. Most boards wouldn't have any graphics left on the tail, midsection, or nose after that much concrete abuse. This Autumn deck was the perfect shape for flatland and street skating. It had lots of pop and was very responsive. The nose was steeper and longer than the tail, but not by so much that it felt awkward after varials. The tail had a nice, mellow curve, a lot like the Creepy Crawly deck. The concave was pretty steep, as you can see in the picture, and that made the board stiff, responsive, and super grippy. I skated this board until all vestiges of pop were gone from the tail. The nose still had a little bit of pop left when I was done with it. 6 weeks of heavy landing from my 220 pound frame, flipping and flexing and turning and spinning. Through it all, the 1031 Autumn deck was an absolute champ.
|Autumn deck when I first assembled it.|
So, 4 total 1031 decks. Two duds, two champs. My advice about 1031 decks is to thoroughly inspect them at the skate shop prior to buying them. All mine were mail-order, and since I'm doing reviews with them I didn't think it fair to keep returning the decks until they sent me a flawless one. I skated what they sent. When I liked the deck, I really, really liked it. When I didn't like the deck, it was for very good reasons that have a lot to do with quality control.
All in all, I liked the 1031 decks enough to buy one more for myself. (Since this one was for my personal collection, I would have returned it if it was flawed in any way. It wasn't!) I got a Smash It Up deck, 9" x 33" with early 90's shape and modern concave. In this picture I'm rocking 9" Destructos, 53mm Satori 101a wheels, and some sweet Rockin Ron's bearings. Nowadays, though, I've mounted my Theeve 5.85 TiKINGs on this deck with some 56mm Kontrol wheels. Perfect bowl/vert board!