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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Welcome Skateboards: Swarm 8.6" x 32.5" deck

I really like punk point skateboards. There is a nice sense of forward motion and directional inclinations that appeal to me, who grew up skating in the 80s where there was never a question about which end was the nose and which the tail. Being a street skater, I have always liked big noses on my boards, but I never asked for symmetry.

For the 149 comparison, I've been riding my favorite modern punk point, the Creature Vampire Stake shape. It is a great shape that I'm very accustomed to.

Jared Stein over on Skate Reanimate informed me some time ago about Welcome Skateboards. Jared skated Welcome's squid beak shape for a while and touted its virtues. So, I picked up a squid beak of my own from SOCAL Skateshop with the Swarm graphics.

Welcome's decks are manufactured by PS Stix. Paul Schmitt has 3 reported manufacturing locations, 1 in California, 1 in Mexico, and 1 in China. I don't care where my decks come from, just so long as they're good. I was curious about which factory my Swarm deck would come from.
Hecho en Mexico
Mine was made in Mexico, sweet! I've always loved the decks pressed in Mexico. I had an Alien Workshop deck that was pressed in Mexico that was one of the best decks I ever skated: the Alien Workshop price point Snakebird bird. The US-pressed Alien Workshop deck was crap, but the Mexico-pressed AWS deck was awesome. I've since had 3 other boards pressed in Mexico: 2 Krooked decks, 1 Mystery deck. All of these decks were really, really strong, poppy, and long-lasting. The 1st Krooked deck lasted through me learning to skate again plus 3 winters of flatland abuse without chipping, cracking, or breaking. That deck was really flexy and hard to control sometimes, but it was still strong and I learned to like it a lot. The other Krooked and the Mystery deck are still really great boards to ride.

Anyways, on to the specifications and the pictures of this Welcome Skateboards "Swarm" 8.6 x 32.5 deck.

The deck weighs 2 pounds, 13.2 ounces (1,280 grams). That is pretty light, actually. I'll have to weigh it again after I grip it later tonight. The other specifications are:

  • Length: 32.75"
  • Wheelbase: 14.4"
  • Width: 8.6875"
  • Width at rear trucks: 8.25"
  • Width at front trucks: 8.3125"
  • Tail Length: 6.5"
  • Nose Length: 7.375"
The concave is deep, like Deluxe boards and the AWS price point boards. Mercifully, there is a little bit of flat before the tail and nose curve up. If you've never skated a board with this concave feature, you're missing out. It is a different experience. Everything is more sure, more controllable. I don't know why - I'll have to study the forces involved - but that little flat area makes the board feel really controllable.

Two more pictures:
Top view, Welcome Skateboard Swarm 8.6 x 32.5 deck. I was really happy to have the grey stained top instead of the green pictured. I like grey or black stained top and bottom plies.

Bottom view of Swarm deck. Graphics have been applied by heat transfer. Underneath the graphics, the bottom ply is grey. Nice! 
More to come on this deck!

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