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
Pool / Street Shape:
Width: 8 1/2″
Wheelbase: 14 1/2″
Nose: 6 3/4″
Tail: 6 1/2″
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. . . .
MeasurementsThe 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 PaintIn 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 ParkThis 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.
SetupsIn 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.
SummaryThe 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!