Please take a moment to follow this link to complete a survey about skateboard sizes.

Alternatively, you can navigate to the survey by copying and pasting the following URL to your browser's address bar:

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Johnny Ronci reviews Elephant Brand Rogue Pool/Street Deck


In this blog post, new contributor Johnny Ronci reviews Elephant Brand's Rogue skateboard deck. Enjoy!



Elephant Brand Skateboards "Rogue" Street/Pool skateboard deck review
by Johnny Ronci

http://elephantbrandskateboards.com/home/product/the-rogue-pool/
http://elephantbrandskateboards.com/home/the-rogue-explained/
http://youtu.be/AHI0dOvvC0M

Pool / Street Shape:
Width: 8 1/2″
Length: 32″
Wheelbase: 14 1/2″
Nose: 6 3/4″
Tail: 6 1/2″



Overview

When I first heard that Mike Vallely, one of my favorite skaters of all time, was leaving Powell Peralta in Dec. 2011, I was very sad. But, I was also excited that he was starting his own brand, "Elephant," that would be making uniquely shaped decks.It was even cooler to know that PS Stix would be making the decks for them. When I first saw Elephant's Rogue Pool deck, I knew it was something special. It had that vibe of "old but new again," that I connected to right away.

Back in September, I was lucky enough to win this exact deck from a contest the RIDE Channel was doing on YouTube  Talk about luck! It took over a month to get it from them, and I was at the door first thing everyday looking for the box for weeks. Since I started skating again, I found that there is no greater feeling and no better person to see, than the good ol' UPS man driving down your road. It makes you feel like a little kid again!

When the Elephant Rogue finally came I couldn't wait to get it to the park. But. . . then I quickly found out that maybe it wasn't quite the deck I was looking for, but it was actually something else for me, and that was a good thing. These days I don't skate this board all that much, as I've developed a Love/Hate relationship with it. But I love it more than I hate it - so take that into consideration, and keep reading. . . .

Measurements

The deck measures 8.5" x 32" with a 14.5" wheelbase.
The deck actually feels smaller than it is, but it's just the proportions of the shape. It's 8.5" at it's widest part up near the front foot spot, 8.25" at the front truck bolts, and 8" at the back truck bolts. The 6.75" nose at first felt long and narrow, but again it's not, it's just adjusting to the the shape. After a little while it was comfy to mess around with on nose manuals, ollies etc. The 6.5" tail at first felt narrow too, but that's because I'm used to wide popsicle decks and their rounder, robust shape. Weight-wise  it feels quite light and thin, yet tough and sturdy at the same time. It has good pop; another high quality, PS Stix Made In Mexico deck.
Professor Schmitt knows how to make great shaped skateboard decks. Who do you think is making the Hosoi Hammerhead decks now? Yup, PS Stix. Case closed.
Interesting shape on the Elephant Brand Rogue skateboard deck.

Shape on the Elephant Brand Rogue skateboard deck compared to a Stereo 8.25" Jason Lee.

The Elephant Rogue deck has what I call the "modern shape" design. I see this shape all over the place now.
Of course there's the Anti Hero Grosso decks which this shape came from, but Welcome has a version too, and Assault, Black Label, and Krooked do as well. They're all trying to cash in on us old birds. I guess it's working - they're popping up everywhere.

Graphics and Paint

In my opinion, it has the best graphic of the current Elephant Brand lineup. The transfer and paint are remarkable - the best I've seen since I started skating again. It's not pixelated at all and is very bright and vivid. Well-detailed; a high quality paint job. I usually don't care about deck graphics, but this deck is different to me. I love the graphic and didn't want to scratch it up at first. I almost put on rails! True story.

The top graphic / Elephant Brand Skateboards logo was too cool to cover up. Mike V said it was an homage to the past and was inspired by the old Powell Peralta-ish vibe. I traced the graphic on a clear piece of plastic, cut it out, and then traced that backwards onto the underside of the grip. I then carefully Exacto-bladed my way to insanity. It took a lot of trying again and again before it was perfect enough to be stuck down onto the top of the deck. Finally when it came time to stick it down, I accidentally moved so the sheet of grip fell on the graphic, pulling little bits of the paint off the top where it says "Elephant". I was pissed, but it looked fitting, and I like it now.

The deck is fully dipped in royal blue (they originally were powder blue for the first run but were later changed to this deeper royal blue - I have no idea why).

Dipped decks look worn faster, and this one is no different. I don't ride this deck a lot, but it sure looks like I do! It doesn't help that there's white paint under the blue. But luckily, they both wear off at the same time. Not a big deal.

In the Streets and at the Park

This deck makes for a really good board to have when you're in a rut and need a change. It wants you to get creative with it. I haven't had much time riding flat ground on it as I used it mostly at parks with bowls and ramps, banks, etc.  So today, I decided to take it out and try to refresh myself with it before writing this review. I thought I'd take it for a ride, flick some tricks, then come back home and write. . . . Wrong! Like I said, it wants you to be creative. I got trapped in its charm and found myself just having a blast doing all sorts of weird no-comply and boneless tricks. I rekindled my love of this deck today. I'm still not sold with it being called a "Pool" shape - not for me anyways. I enjoy it more on the street. It feels like a cruiser that you want to get freaky with, but still have fun just riding it around.  In a bowl, to be honest, at first it felt a little short, small and weird.  I got comfortable enough with it to ride it in the bowls regularly for a little while, but not quite comfortable enough to give up on my love affair with my favorite Stereo deck.

Setups

In the time I've had this deck I've set it up with 3 different sets of trucks and 5 different sizes and types of wheels. I've tried Independent 149 Stage X's w/ Bones Bushings and Bones 58mm SPF wheels, 58mm Mini Logo 97a wheels and 52mm STF V1 wheels. Theeve TiAx 5.5 trucks and then 8.38" Mini Logo trucks w/ Powell Peralta 54mm 97a Rippers, and lastly, today I went back to Indy Stage X 149's w/ STF 53mm V2 wheels. I removed all the top and bottom washers on the Indy's Stage X's - I like them really loose and turny.  These trucks, with the Bones STF 53mm V2 wheels, have been my favorite setup with it thus far. Good times, kids.

I think when you're using bigger wheels with this board, the deck feels smaller, and obviously the wheelbase feels shorter too. Somewhere in the middle - say around a 52-55mm - and you're good to go. I like small wheels and low setups, so that's what I feel works best anyway. You can also definitely go with smaller trucks. 8" trucks would fit this deck just fine. No bigger than 8.5" trucks on this deck or you'll be in Mega setup territory. Remember, it's 8.25" at the nose bolts and 8" at the tail bolts, so judge with that - not the 8.5" middle part.

Summary

The Elephant Brand Skateboards Rogue deck is the perfect choice to ease the transition from popsicle stick decks to a more shapely board.  It's actually quite refreshing, and will surely make you want to open your eyes to experimenting with trying other non-standard shapes. If you are a big guy - 6ft and over - I'd say this board might feel small to you because of the proportions of the shape, but maybe you'd like that, I dunno.  Do yourself a favor and go try this deck! Help support a great company that is promoting a great message - one of no rules - just skate, create and have fun!

Elephant Brand Skateboards - Weapons of Mass Creation!

Enjoy the rest of the photos!















10 comments:

  1. I've been skating this deck more and more since I wrote the review. Skating it on street it's a really fun deck. It feels familiar, but yet new and different all at the same time.
    A nice break in my long obsession with finding "the perfect popsicle".
    I like it alot more now than I did this past winter.
    Maybe I'll try the Elephant Jersey Devil next.
    that one seems really fun too. As do a few of those Welcome decks as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Solid Johnny! I like Mike's quote describing this deck... "The second shape is a straight up rip-off of a modern day Black Label Grosso shape. It’s another one of those shapes that I consider a hybrid — A popsicle-esque board with some defined “shape” to it." Right on! A friend I skate with (the ONLY friend I skate with) is riding a Black Label Lucero with the Lance Mountain Dough Boy art but I've got him eyeballing the Vallely.

      Delete
    2. Haha, yeah man I like that quote too, what's not to love about any sentence with the word "Grosso" in it. Honestly though, it's not really too close size or dimensions wise to a Grosso BL, just shape, and it's shrunk down to be more nimble and well flingable.
      It flips surprisingly really well! The nose gets a great flick! Something about that shape. Maybe we're onto suttin here??? =)
      As far as skating like a popsicle otherwise though it really doesn't feel it under your feet, too me anyways. Under your toes it feels like something that is new and different but yet familiar and like something you've ridden before back along time ago. I really like the shorter 14.5" wb too. I like smaller wheelbases all around. I've really re-fallen in love with this deck since I took it out to reacquaint myself with it's charm when I wrote the review. Very glad I did. I love it! Will def either get another one someday or try another shape Elephant. Not only because of the company being something I fully back, but the shorter WB and shorter 32" length is really why. I don't really like stuff longer than 32", and wheelbases over 14.5". I dunno if I'd try anyone elses "shaped" decks with a similar shape because from what I've seen they all have longer lengths and wheelbases. It's too bad because I like some of those Welcome and Shipyard decks. Who knows maybe someday. If it's free I'll take anything, liek this deck, I won it, but as far as buying another one, yeah I would, for sure.
      I'm not that big a fella, so 32" is is long enough and what I grew up on as being the longest anyways. Much longer than 32" and I feel like I'm on a Cadillac. =P

      Delete
  2. If you want a nice mix of new and old school shapes pressed on quality wood right here in the US, then you need to check out Old Lew's Fickle boards at http://www.fickleboards.com/

    I don't work or ride for them. I pay full price for everyone I ride but I won't go back to anything else(until I start pressing my own that is.) They are seriously the best decks I've ever rode in my 24 years of skating.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the tip Kris. Yes, I do know of Fickle.
      They make nice decks. Cool stuff for sure!

      If you do start pressing your own decks do let us know bro. :)

      Delete
  3. Hey guys- sorry to go off topic but I was reading some of the early 90s discussion over on the facebook page. I'm not on facebook so I can read but can't post, hopefully nobody minds if I post here.
    I started skating in that era and on several occasions pushed over 10 miles on a hand me down slick bottom Alien Workshop deck with 7" trucks and 40mm wheels on rough NH asphalt to hang out at a coffee house (how early 90's is that?).
    A lot of the kids at my local park (Hingham) rip in the bowl with 50mm wheels. It's a new park with gorgeous smooth crete. I've gone down to 54mm but I still think bigger wheels are faster, at the expense of making ollies more difficult. The 54's are faster than I expected but now I'm wishing I had gotten 56's. I think that might be ideal for small bowls and parks. I've got some spf 58s, and if I skate them a lot I can wear them down to 56.
    -Slick
    Quincy MA

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. Hey Slick,
      Actually we prefer you post here rather than Facebook anyways bro, so it's all good.

      Little wheels, low trucks and bowls, that's my thing. I like low riding.
      Never have a problem with 52-54's and even smaller. Get over coping fine and the speed is super fast. I tend to feel that smaller wheels roll over coping a little easier for me actually. Used 50's a few times in a bowl and was really surprised how effortlessly they popped over. I used worn down STF 52's right now, on wood and concrete.

      The wheel shape I feel makes more a difference than the size of diameter when grinding and slashing coping. A flatter edge will kinda bump and be a little trickier to get OVER the roundness of the copings edge, but will lock into stalls, on-top grinds or ledge grinds better.
      A more rounder edge wheel (standard shape wheels like Bones V1 and V4 shapes, Spitfire Bigheads & Classic type shapes) seem to roll up over the edge of coping alot easier and roll off easier too, but are a little less stable on top with grinds and ledge box flat coping grinds. It's a trade off. But, size makes no difference to me personally.
      The smaller the easier to control, the easier to get speed faster, the lower to the ground for better leverage and balance, less wheelbite and the lighter and less bulky my setup feels as a whole.
      Spitfire Lock In's look like they have the best shape out there for a best of both worlds as you have 2 different sides to choose from to be the out or inside of the wheel, it's just to bad their urethane isn't up to par - YET, we're waiting patiently for the Spitfire Formula 4 to come out. Stay tuned for that.

      Taking a 58mm SPF wheel down to 56mmm will probably happen faster skating them on asphalt than in a park. SPF's are super hard, the hardest wheel on the market, although they don't feel it sometimes they are. On rough surfaces they are a coarse ride for sure, but, you can burn a few mm's off them fastest riding around on them on the streets. The park will do it too, but it'll take quite a while to shrink them that way, they are damn tough wheels! So, shred or cruise a little bit each day out on the street for about a week or so and you'll see them shrink a little bit. 20-40 minutes a day rolling around on street asphalt and you'll probably take off about a millimeter or so in 2 weeks. In doing this you will also be widening your wheels contact patch, which inturn also makes them a little bit grippier on smooth, slick surfaces.

      Best of luck Slick! =)

      Delete
    3. I'm impatient. Splurged on some 56.5mm Pi wheels. I'll let you guys know how they compare to the SPF's, spitfire classics, and Type-S wheels once I've skated them for a while.
      So far I've found that the narrower wheels are faster, even if they're a softer compound.

      Delete
  4. Hi! I want to share this kind of skateboard for kids. Mini Skateboard Kids Motive

    - Kids Motive
    - length 44.5cm
    - Full print
    - wheels 50x30

    See also our other models - Alien, Shark, Eagle http://lemikdk.com/skaters/

    ReplyDelete