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Monday, December 2, 2013

Real Popslickles slick deck review

by Johnny

Width: 8 25″
Length: 32″
Wheelbase: 14.38″
Nose: 7.125″
Tail: 6.75″
Weight: 2.12 lbs. / 1.27 kg


Overview
Real Skateboards was one of the first skateboard companies to use slick skateboard deck technology in the early 1990s. They have now developed an all-new slick deck technology that's far superior to the slick decks of old. They are stronger, last longer, and are lighter than anything anyone has ever done with slick skateboard decks. The new Popslickle technology heat fuses a single layer of plastic to the bottom of the deck. They then coat this with a slippery layer of paint. So you could say it's a dual layer slick deck. It's nothing like before, these work! No peeling, no sogginess, and no sharp edges! The slick bottom layer is there to help you power through those unwaxed ledges, curbs, and long rails without sticking. Even pool coping! (This deck shines on pool coping!)

From their website - "Unlike the traditional ways slick decks have been made, by simply gluing a single layer of plastic or inlay material to the bottom of a deck, Popslickles take advantage of a new full deck slide manufacturing method. Using heat instead of glue to fuse 2 layers of long lasting slide-able polymers to proven R1 construction decks creates a true lasting bond that slides better, lasts longer and produces a stiffer, stronger deck without a bunch of added glue weight".  Trust me, if you need a better sliding, longer-lasting and stiffer deck, this decks for you!



Shape
Real makes the Popslickles slick decks in sizes 7.75", 8.06" and 8.25".
The deck size I reviewed measures 8.25" x 32" with a 14.38" wheelbase.

This deck skates and feels exactly like what any other standard Real R1 shape deck feels like. The nose is a perfect shape for a popsicle stick-shaped deck - not too square, and not too pointy, with a good bend angle. The tail is quite possibly my favorite tail I've ever had - perfect shape and the perfect angle. Real's standard R1 deck's concave is that perfect sweet spot between deep and just right. It's not mellow, but it's not so deep that you lose the "foot on board" feel. Real knows what's up in this dept. Weight-wise it feels quite light, yet tough and sturdy at the same time with the perfect balance between rigidness and flexibility. The old slick decks back in the early 90s were heavy and clunky, these are not. They weigh the same as any other deck. It's actually lighter than some decks I've skated lately.

The deck has good pop, and the pop stays longer because of the bottom layers added strength. It's another high quality Made In Mexico Bareback/Generator deck like one can expect from any DLX brand. Great price, only a few dollars more than any standard Real deck. DLX really knows how to put out a great shaped skateboard deck, that's for damn sure. Ever wonder why you see so many dudes only skating Real, Krooked and Anti Hero boards at the parks? Yeah, this is why.

The R1 shape has the perfect concave for skating everything.
Smooth pockets and great nose and tail rockers.
Full setup w/ 8.38 Mini Logo trucks and Spitfire Formula Four 52mm 99a wheels

Graphics and Paint
You'd really never notice anything was different about the deck from looking at it unless you were up close.
The deck  actually features 2 graphics. The Popslickles Iced Out graphic first, and the chilly Penguin graphic on the slick layer underneath it that's revealed when you slide off that first layer.

Most Real graphics are very standard and not too flashy. Their boards are meant to be be shredded anyway, and they skate so well that's just what you want to do with them - so screw flashy graphics! When I look down at this deck I think of Icee slush drinks. It's weird, but it's a good thing. I loved Icee drinks when I was a kid so it makes me smile, that's a nice feeling when you go out to skate.

The only negative thing I could possibly say about the deck as a whole, is that the first graphic paint layer easily flakes right off when you slide on it. Sure, that's what it's supposed to do, but the thing that was kind of a pain wasn't that. It was the fact that I left a trail of paint flakes near the ledge box the first day I skated the deck, and then it got on the soles of my shoes and the flakes ended up on my griptape. It wasn't a big deal, it came off after a while of skating anyways. I'm sure the kids skating the ledge weren't too pleased with me that day though. HA!

(click on pics for closeups)
After being skated a while the slick layer graphic peeks through.
Nose
Tail
You can see the slick layer and the texture of the polymers.
Close up of the nose.
Close up of the tail.

The top graphic/logo is cool - literally, it's an icy Real logo. The stained natural top plys on every DLX deck I've ever held are just delicious - bright and vivid. I just like stained wooden plys, especially blue, how can you not?



In the Streets and at the Park
The deck is a perfect all-around shape and size for everything. Street, flatground, parks, ramps and bowls. I'm more of a noseslide guy than a boardslide guy on ledges and curbs, and I love how this deck slides. I don't have to worry about going too slow to get a slide in. It just always slides. The deck even comes with a wax scraper. I've only used it once, and it was on metal ramp coping that some rollerbladers probably put on. The wax scraper is actually labeled as a "Rollerblader pooper scooper". And if you don't want to use it for that, it will make a great pan scraper for doing dishes.

Real "Rollerblader Pooper Scooper".

The biggest secret hidden thing about this slick deck is that it's a bowl and ramp rider's dream! The slick bottom slides amazingly well on concrete pool coping and on metal ramp coping too. No more sticking going for rock 'n' roll boardslides. It's like having rails on, but well . . . without having rails on. This is the reason slick decks came out back in the day in the first place, they replaced using deck rails. Back then, slicks were mostly used on curbs and rails because ramp and pool skating died. So slick decks really never got a fair shot at stuff like pool coping. But nowadays we have parks everywhere and pool coping is all over the place. Now is the time if any, that people should be skating slick decks! I see a lot of skaters going back to rocking slide rails on their boards like Powell Rib Bones or Pig rails. Hey look, I like rails, I just don't like their added weight, the fact you that have to drill or screw them in, and deal with all the stuff like cheap screws breaking halfway in the deck, or the rails not even mounting flush and always vibrating when you skate on the street. That stuff. So this Popslickle slick deck is the perfect thing for me. All the slide of a deck with rails but none of the setup issues or added weight, etc. Seriously, if you skate bowls, ramps or pools and you have been installing rails, try one of these decks. Even if you don't skate with rails on your board, still try one. In all honesty it's almost like cheating your way into getting railslides on coping, without having to go insanely fast to get a slide. And once you start getting into them you won't stick, you just keep going.

I've been told that Ishod Wair really loves skating these decks now. He likes how they never stick when skating rails. Real even just released an Ishod Wair Pro Model slick, so hey - if it's good enough for Ishod, it's good enough for everybody!

Super durable for coping boardslides and slides effortlessly.

Setups

In the time I've been skating these decks I've used 3 different wheel combos. The first and main setup has been with 8.38 Mini Logo trucks, Bones Reds bearings and Spitfire Formula Four 52mm 99a wheels. I've also used Spitfire Formula Four 53mm 101a wheels and Bones 52mm STF wheels.

Another added plus of these Popslickle decks is the wheelbite factor. I skate low loose trucks, so I deal with wheelbite all the time. I usually just throw some wax under where the wheels are and just push through it, but with the slick deck I didn't have to worry about waxing the wheel well area, and honestly I've noticed less wheel drag when they do bite. That means more landed tricks because the contact surface the wheels hit is now slick and slidable, more so than a paint-on-wood surface. I mention this because we all deal with wheelbite, the slick deck just helps it be a bit more manageable. It's just another one of those added hidden perks of the Real Popslickles decks.

Skated hard but still has plenty of life left.

Summary
The Popslickle slick decks are a highly useful added addition to the tech side of modern skateboard decks, without being that tech at all. The Popslickle slick decks are very slide-able, yet not slippery - it just works. I've been exclusively skating Real Popslickles the last few months to write this review and I've really enjoyed them. I hadn't skated a DLX deck in a long time, and I see no reason to stop anytime soon. I've tried hard to destroy them to really see what they could handle. Sliding on raw curbs, pointy square metal coping, broken concrete pool coping, everything! But it doesn't matter, the slick layer won't die. No fraying, no peeling and it still slides. Eventually you will just go through the slick layer to the bare wood and it will slide just like any other board, but it takes a lot of slides to get down there.

Personally, I hope they eventually offer their 8.5" x 32.18" shaped decks as a Popslickle too. I'd like to try one of those. I think it would be the absolute perfect park and bowl board for me.

The 90s nostalgia is back, and I'm sure handfuls of companies are going to be reissuing the old slick decks in no time. But none will be as durable and lasting as what Real is putting out here with the Popslickles decks. A few other companies right now are dabbling in slick decks, but none of them are making it work quite like the Real Popslickle decks.

Like their motto says: "NO RUFF TOO TUFF- REAL POPSLICKLES ROLL AND SLIDE FOREVER!"

Special thanks goes out to skateboarding's greatest natural asset Mr. Jim Thiebaud, and everyone at DLX.
http://realskateboards.com/popslickles/
http://realskateboards.com/popslickles/video.php

- Johnny

7 comments:

  1. Another solid review, thx! Definitely want to check one of these out, especially if the 8.5 happens. Been skating a Santa Cruz Everslick for awhile and it's better than the slicks of old. The inlay is a great idea since the pop still comes from the Powerply but it is prone to gashes when sliding the rougher, angular stuff. Still a ton better than decks of old but this Real tech appears to have found the right formula.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey man, glad you liked the review. The Real Popslickle decks are for sure worlds apart from the old slicks.
      Seriously an amazing bowl/ramp board. I was super surprised but super stoked at how good the slick bottom works on coping slides.
      Thanks again for checking it out. : )
      - Johnny

      Delete
  2. Thank you for your share, I would like to learn also about Skateboarding lessons. Do you have someone to recommend on me?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello, thanks for stoppign by. yes, go to Brailleskateboarding.com and check those video's out.
      Aaron Kyro has a few downloadable volumes as well of fully instructional videos on that site, all in steps!
      Good luck!

      Delete
  3. I am 51 and want to take up skateboarding after a 35 year break! I have seen a Real complete on eBay and also a nice Element set up. I may have the skateboard before 2 weeks time...I have a tarmaced area around the house to start off. I'm looking forward to it. I don't get todays terminology! Back in the seventies you had Skateboard Scene magazine, the Logan Earth Ski (which I drooled over), risers, wanting to get Swiss bearings and Stacey Peralta as your hero. By the way your review is very good and detailed so I may go for the Real. Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  4. According to Nathan Smith This type of construction keeps the deck light & poppy and sliding for days! Popslickles come in a variety of sizes & colors.

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  5. That was the really great campaign. 5 years ago I have got such opportunity and I win the2nd runner-up champion trophy. Then I have used a Sector 9 bamboo longboard. I really miss those days very much.

    ReplyDelete