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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Downtime from Injuries, Public Parks

Over on the Skateboarding Is My Lifetime Sport Google+ page (which, by the way, is becoming a far easier method to post photos and updates), I've been uploading photos from morning sessions at my local concrete skatepark. It has been fun and healthy. I skate the park every morning from 6:00 AM to about 7:30 AM. I am the only one there, so I get a good rhythm and pace to have a relaxing workout and fun times skating. Here's a picture of the board I've been skating:
Earthwing Hightailer 10" x 43", 23" wheelbase (actual wheelbase 22.3" with the trucks on the alternate mounting holes). Bear Trucks Polar Bear 180 trucks: 9.7" width x 49.5 mm height. Divine Trailblazer 60mm 92a wheels with Rush ceramic bearings. 
Here's how well the board fits my body: very nice fit! I'm a big dude: 6'2", 34" inseam, size 14 shoes, size 46 torso. This board is a very comfortable board for me. Earthwing Hightailer 10" x 43", 23" wheelbase (actual wheelbase 22.3" with the trucks on the alternate mounting holes). 

The county decided - finally - to allow the skatepark to be open all the time and have instituted a "skate at your own risk" policy. This is the best way to run a public skatepark. Pad nannies, membership management, even people to unlock the gates - these all cost money. Once the skatepark is built, the less personnel the government uses to run the park, the cheaper it will be. In fact, the only major costs the government will incur at an always-open skatepark are quarterly maintenance costs or, for concrete skateparks, annual maintenance costs. Additionally, skaters and skater supporters will volunteer to help with the periodic maintenance of the park. The government will incur minor costs for sanitary services (garbage, portable toilets), but with a skatepark collocated with other government recreation facilities, these and other indirect costs allocated to the skatepark will be minimal, and in any event far less than the direct costs associated with staffing the skatepark during opening hours.

So now I'm skating a big pops deck every day it isn't raining. I'm feeling fantastic, with no stress and also no pain. This is nice, especially considering that I spent the entire winter trying to heal up turf toe on my right foot, which is my primary push foot. The best things I've done for my foot are stretching and strengthening. The next best things are not wearing socks in my athletic shoes as well as getting skate shoes that give my toes lots of room and that don't let my feet slide forward in the shoe and cram into the front. My favorite skate shoes remain Lakai shoes, and I'm skating the MJ (Marc Johnson) shoes in size 14. Lakai generally has sizes consistent with normal sizing; most skate shoes are sized small, meaning I have to buy a size 15 to have the specifications for a size 14.

24 comments:

  1. Hey Betrand. Thanks for the update. I'm riding the 8.375" Grinders now on a 8.75" Lib-Tech deck with a 15" wheelbase. I could go a bit smaller on the deck but I bought it before I decided to go for smaller trucks. Anyhow, it all works with the 95A Rainskates you sent me. I like the feel of the Lib-Tech -- very stiff and a mellow concave. I like having plenty of room on the kingpin on the grinders for a full bushing setup -- I've got a blue Khiro barrel in a cupped precision washer in the bottom and a Bones top with a flat washer on top. It seems like the key to understanding those trucks is how close the pivot angle is to the kingpin angle? Anyhow, I like 'em.

    I've weaned myself off Carvers in bowls for now as I'm trying to get a few more tricks -- just learned backside rock'n'rolls, which is new ground for me -- but I've got a crazy mini-CX setup for street and our small flow park. Basically an old 7.5" popsicle the 5" hanger Carver mini-CX's and some 53mm Bones STF prototypes Johnny sold me. It is the most crazily maneuverable little thing, with an effective wheelbase under 14". Lots of fun in the schoolyard just doing weird surfy carve/360 variations.

    Glad to hear your MJ's are working out. They didn't look like a very durable design for skating. My current Lakais probably will last me through the fall, but the Carlos are discontinued now, so I guess I'll need to find a new model that works.

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  2. Supp bro, I'm currently riding the hightailer and using calibers 50.
    You think changing trucks to ckp would be a good idea for easier ollies? Should I go 169 or 180mm?
    Would you recommend indy 215 or polar 180? Is there huge differ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. CKP (or TKP, traditional kingpin) trucks place the wheels closer to the nose and tail, but are generally lower in height than RKP (reverse kingpin, "longboard") trucks. This changes the leverage points, which may be better or worse for you, depending on what you mean by "easier". I like the TKP trucks on my Hightailer 43 because with the Polar Bears, the board feels more comfortable and familiar to me. My ollies have the right feel to the tail leverage: enough resistance to feel what's happening plus a quick, low tap. Some people like the front of their boards to rise up a lot when doing an ollie, that is, they like a high angle. Some people like the front of their boards to be lower, with a low angle to the board, and the tail is tapping the ground earlier. It all depends on how you like your pop.
      I highly recommend using 180 trucks on the Hightailer. The board is wide and has deep wheel wells. Trucks narrower than 9.5" will be too small for this board, and it wouldn't be the best use of the deep wheel wells. On 180 trucks, centerset wheels are even with the rail on the back and slightly tucked in the front.
      Indy 215s are 54 mm in height. Polar Bears are 49 mm in height. Many longboard skaters use Indy 215s, often with wedged risers to get the turning right. I've ridden Indy 215s, but never on my Hightailer, only on a 20" wheelbase Yoni 41 deck, on which I found that, without risers, I had to lift the nose a lot to keep by board going on the course that I needed. I found the same kind of tic-tac motions necessary with the Paris Street trucks on the Yoni. With the Polar Bears, I just carve instead of tic-tac, and it feels like a regular skateboard. I like that my Polar Bears are so low, and I also like how the Polar Bears turn so tightly with such a long wheelbase while also providing high levels of stability.
      In any event, go for the 180 width.

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  3. Hi Bertrand,

    Thanks for the post. How about the Earthwing deck? Is it solid for park riding? I love big popsicle decks and I really enjoy park riding with boards that are nearly 40"long. I`m current using a riviera cosmic wizard deck but I was thinking in try something with around 9" width. Would you recommend any board? I was thinking about Landyachtz Loco 35. Have you ever ride this deck?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Landyachtz boards are good wood. I haven't ridden the Loco 35 but have ridden the 37. The tail and nose felt a little short, but ollied well. Plus, I've been pretty spoiled on the long nose and tail on my Earthwing decks, therefore most other decks feel like the nose and tail are too short in comparison. The Loco board felt well-proportioned and the Bear Polar Bear 155 trucks were a perfect fit.

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  4. Hi guys, excellent blog. Im about to buy a new skateboard for concrete vert and bowl. Im 28 and in good shape, average height 5'11 skateboarder. If you need pics of the park, give me your email.

    Its kind of a hybrid park, with a 6' half pipe and then a big 12' pool/vert with 10' to 20' of flat. I just want to backside/frontside carve that shit to death and learn to grind and fly. Should I get a 10ish deck with concave or without ? I want slide and still have some grip. I dont have 80's nostalgia.

    I will greatly appreciate your help.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lorenzo,

      For me, the most important factor on the choice is the wheelbase (much more than width). For park / pool ride I would recommend a board with, at least, 16.5 inches wheelbase with nose and kicktails. Concave is very important cause it makes the deck stiffer and you skate better on decks with a nice concave. The board width can be choose comparing with your shoes size. Your front shoes should be almost entirely on the board when skating. But it`s all about personal preferences. You have to try different setups and see what is the best for you. I`m 5'11 and I like boards with 18 inches wheelbase and 9.8 inches wide for skateparks. Many people say it`s to big for me but it`s what I like and what makes me feel comfortable.

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    2. Hi Lorenzo,

      Don't overthink it, just get a more or less standard 8.5" deck, preferably at a local shop, with trucks that turn (see Bertrand's reviews). You definitely DON'T need to go very wide (10"). You might eventually favor something more exotic, but start with the tried and true.

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  5. Can you do a little comparison between Yoni and Hightailer? I am affraid that the wheel flares on the HT (like in the Bustin Yoface series) might be a nuisance. Thanx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did a little comparison the other day. The Hightailer 43 feels substantially larger than the Yoni 41. The Yoni feels quicker to do ollies and shuvits, but slower to do carving, grinding, and boardsliding. The Yoni concave feels flat and mild - good for flatland and slow speed tricks. The Hightailer concave is shapely-but-not-"deep" - good for high speed tricks and all the ledge/curb/lip tricks. The wheel wells do not interfere with foot placement, in fact they are nice reference points for keeping a good awareness of where your feet are and what kinds of forces you're putting on the board as you turn or stabilize the skateboard or set up your foot placement for tricks. I found that I had to look at the Yoni more to see where my feet were before a trick, whereas with the Hightailer I could check/adjust foot placement almost entirely by feel. I like both decks very much, but I find that the Hightailer is the better choice in most situations except flatland tricks. I redrilled the rear truck mounting holes on one of my Hightailer 43 to give me more tail length. The redrill effectively moves the trucks 3/8" further in on the wheelbase, giving me more tail and a lower, quicker ollie pop. It feels pretty good to me, and really makes the Hightailer a good flatland board, too.

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    2. Thank you very much for the comparison! Gonna get me a HT then (with polar bears, of course!). Will test and think about the redrilling.

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  6. Im buying some minilogo trucks. If I have a 8.5 deck more or less, should I go for the 8.38 trucks or the 8.75 ? Help appreciated.

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    Replies
    1. I would go 8.75", assuming you're using normal center-set wheels. There's a pretty wide range of sizes that "fit." It isn't an exact science.

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    2. Normal center set wheels ? What are those ? I was thinking in getting some bones 54-56m 84b more or less. What do you think ?

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    3. Yep, those are center set wheels. You'll be just fine with the Bones wheels you mentioned. Lots of people like the Bones SPF for concrete parks

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  7. Hey Bertrand, glad your back! Since your recent recovery, do you have any thoughts on staying healthy and limiting injuries as we get older?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. I've been skating every non-rainy day and it has been an awesome summer.
      I have been thinking about your question and writing notes down on what causes hazards to our safety and how to mitigate these hazards. This Saturday, I'll post a blog entry with my observations as well as links to other people's thoughts about the issue.

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  8. Man I just bought some new indys. One truck is definitely looser than the other no matter how I tighten it. Is it defective ?

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    Replies
    1. Independent bushings take a few days of riding to break in. Just like wheels, bushings benefit from heat cycling: skate them, let them rest, skate them, let them rest, keep repeating until the bushings have firmed up and are offering more resistance. Independent advises that the process goes quicker if you ride the trucks very loose for the first few days.
      The new bushing break-in isn't necessary if you replace the stock bushings with Bones bushings. Alternatively, you can get the seperately sold Independent bushings that only take about 2-3 hours of skating to break in.
      If none of that works, Independent is very good about honoring their warranty.

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  9. Thanks Bert. Thing is I installed new bones bushings but the problem persists. I will contact nhs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, Lorenzo, how did it turn out for you? NHS and Independent have always had the best customer service.

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  10. Great blog ! thanks the admin for providing such kinds of helpful article.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Drop-through board are useful for slope riding furthermore for free-form riding. I have been utilizing my Sector 9 Bamboo Longboard for over 2 years and this drop-through board is useful for slope riding.

    ReplyDelete