"...To begin with, I thought that the Century
was going so be another bust. Kind of a so-so dropped LDP experiment
like lots of the other dropped boards I've attempted pumping on.
And I thought it would feel weak. Most drop boards were always
way too stiff, but every now and then I'd hear the little cracks
developing in the angles even though they seemed solid.
Pumping a dropped board definitely has a swinging
feel to the pump, which is always the case in dropped vs. top.
The Century that I was riding actually had too much 'natural'
wedging in the front and Scott had dewedged the trucks instead.
I believe at the time the natural angle was about a 19 degrees
in the front, wedged back to about a 15 +/- 1. Bennett in the
front and Seismic in the back. The wide collar on the angles gives
it the strength, while still having flex as well. In the time
I was able to ride, there developed no hints of stress cracks
in the angles, even with really digging into the flex, and throwing
in some slashes and standys.
It was fortunate that I got to ride this board
during James' 24-hour attempt because in retrospect it means that
the board was easily capable of 10-12 mph since I was often trailing
James, and at times passing or catching him. You could still get
a low body movement ankle type pump with the board, and maintain
Lowering the platform, makes it a lot easier
to push with both legs, since when pushing with your weaker leg
it can almost be a lot closer to walking since you don't have
to support your weight and balance in the opposite leg for as
long and with as much bend. Especially on the 2.5 drop switching
pushing legs regular/goofy or mongo is 10x easier with any extremely
My favorite of the two for the day was the 2.5
drop, although everyone else seemed to prefer the 1.5 for the
extra leverage. There is a certain part of me that feels if you
are looking for some thing lower to ease the push you automatically
have to accept some loss of leverage. And so to me I'd rather
go with the lower, to benefit that pushing the most since the
2.5 is still a great drop pump. There is a different feel between
the two depths.
I thought I should mention also that lowered
platform doesn't really guarantee stability. I also have yet to
take the board into any considerable high speed antics, but for
me in downhill I've often found myself less comfortable and much
more unstable on a dropped board than a top mount. But that's
only due to the fact that the way I am used to riding isn't the
way you ride a dropped board. Your center of gravity is lowered,
but personal comfort and understanding of how the board maneuvers
is always going to be what creates stability. So at first it may
feel less stable, but adaption should be easy enough ..."
Lot more details and additional review by "Bullwings"
on the pavedwave forum here
The Subsonic Century
Another Review: Jeff from Indiana
"I just got my new Subsonic Century in the
mail from flatlander, got her all set up, and went out for a short,
very nipply and windy ride. I put two of the 5 (or is it 7?) degree
khiro wedged risers on the rear, dewedged. Then I put a half inch
flat riser on the front, dewedged 5 degrees. Running BigZigs on
it as of tonight but will likely change to Superballs. Right now
I've got two white Khiro Barrels and an orange short cone in my
Bennett 5.0 and dark green springs in my Seismic. This is a 2.5
inch dropped board, and the way it's set up, wheelbite is just
barely possible, and the thought is sorta intimidating, but I
just don't want to raise it up! It is so cool being so close to
1. Compared to my top mount, I can no longer do the short wiggles
with my ankles and get significant pump leverage. Really the only
way to get going fast is to put some power into it...or push.
It seems best to get going with a decent push and then throw some
powerful pumps in and off you go.
2. The turn initiation is the only thing that feels kinda funny
to get used to, because the board swings you out just a touch
before you're really locked into the turn. Once you get pumping
back and forth it's hardly noticeable but when you initiate that
first pump it feels a little awkward since I'm used to regular
3. I immediately went out and could do stand up slides on this
board. There is definitely more leverage going to the sides on
this thing and slides are no longer intimidating. This is mostly
a good thing because I'd like to be able to slow down by some
other means than just foot breaking. I have never slid on a regular
top mount dedicated pumper so this was a pleasant surprise.
4. The wheelbase is fairly short on this. I have it on the furthest
apart holes and it's still noticeably shorter than my LBL proto
or the modified Pulse I was riding for a week (before it got ran
over by a car). This is especially noticeable with foot placement,
since you have to place your feet in the middle of the deck because
of the curves. Still, there is plenty of room for your feet. Putting
my foot all the way forward and all the way back and "locking
in" to the curves is a little wider than my normal stance
5. Still quite flexy. I'm about 165 last I checked and I'm on
a medium flex. Feels nice and bouncy. When I first stepped on
and didn't know exactly where to put my feet, my toes were hanging
over the edge and in the middle of turns I was rubbing my toes
on the ground.
Overall, and I still have plenty of room to experiment
here, this board feels sorta like a Porsche, whereas my LBL topmount
feels like a Cadillac. It's significantly lower to the ground,
faster to accelerate (because of pushing leverage and its lighter
weight), and you really feel the leverage going to the sides a
bit more in the middle of turns. I have a feeling any street races
I enter this year, it will be on this thing.
Great job to Scott over at Subsonic on another
great design. I'm glad to be back on one of his boards. I'll update
as I begin dialing this in."
- carbon fiber / kevlar deck - long distance cruising and downhill
These were the boards of choice for Jack Smith's
team that rode across the U.S.A. a couple years back. Ultra lightweight.
Unique German-made design, with all wheel fenders,
making it usable as a RAIN board which is great for Seattle.
Neither of the rolls decks are particularly good
for pumping -- but they're ULTRA-light and the best alternative
for distance when there is more pushing and less pumping involved.
I commute on these when the surface is still damp, or even in
the pouring rain if I'm jonesin' for a ride no matter what the
There is very little return on such a stiff deck
although I've tried some significant modifications to mount a
turnier truck, to work around the drop-deck architecture. But
with the carbon/foam composite, making new drill holes is not
a good idea!
These decks are set up with:
- Seismic 180s + original RollsRolls 145mm black
- Randal 150's + original (no longer made) Abec11
- Original 6" + new Abec11 97mm Flywheels
(more urethane, less hub, more GRIP)
FAST, comfortable cruiser for the 10-30 mile
This is the board that took me 208 miles in 24-hours
-- the majority of the time through driving, pouring rain. As
you can see the grip tape was hammered in the end, as were my
feet and ankles. I bought this board from Kenny Mollica, he rode
part of Jack's Skate Across America on it.
This is the rollsrolls woody, which was released
I'm sure as a response to riders wanting something with a little
The Subsonic Raven
Sheldon Lessard's board of choice tackling the
Skate Across New Zealand.
The Subsonic Cobra
One of the few commercially produced push decks
with fenders, this design actually came out before the RollsRolls
Woody. These premiered in Portland Pusher race series and also
showed up at our Ultraskates in Seattle.
For distance skating, the Evo is sometimes considered
a bit on the heavy side, but I still consider it a great pusher.
The one I still own was from G-Bomb Mark and has a handle cutout
which makes it double awesome for hiking up hills and carving
I ride it mostly with Randals and 76mm SpeedVents.
In my opinion, the Evo is totally undercelebrated
in design. The genius is this is the first deck I'm aware of that
"wedged the front, dewedged the back" -- it's all built
right into the angles of the board. Other board designers started
mimicking this, but I'm surprised it actually took a couple years
for this to happen.
Landyachtz DH Race Drop Deck - one of
the most stable decks in the quiver, although at one point I moved
the Randal DH trucks to another deck and put Exkates with black
bushings on this one, with Gumballs -- turned it into a faster
version of the CarveBoard. Great for shooting vids of slalom races,
riding straight and fast down the middle of the cone lanes.
I'm no hardcore downhiller but I dug the way
this deck "pockets" your feet and gives you more power
with each carve.
Then one day, it was mounted with 101's and some
crazy dude pumped it until it snapped!
Well, boards are made to ride, and this one lived
a good long life.
Venturi Black Feather
Blending sports car and skateboard design, this
lightweight drop deck feels practically like a hoverboard. Foam
core wrapped with carbon fiber weave all around. Low to the ground
so a total breeze to push. Before the trucks and wheels are mounted,
this thing really does feel like a feather.
If I were to ride this for city commuting, I'd
probably glue on a strip of poly coating for inevitable high centering
over speedbumps and other obstacles -- the ollie isn't an option
At speed, a real DH-oriented rider would likely
want more deck underfoot, particularly in the back where the plank
is most narrow. Its skinny, smooth surface is a bit on the slippery
side. First thing I did was put another couple strips of red grip
tape on the glistening black carbon fiber surface. The single
red pinstripe of tape looks very sleek, but I'm practical enough
that I want my feet to grip the deck.
My "test commute" is normally about
12 miles of smooth bike trail asphalt, and a half mile of actual
street, so in this environment the board is amazing in how it
just floats with a single kick. This is really where it shines.
I've also briefly tested it down the Salem soap
box derby hill, though my trucks were not optimal for downhill,
it felt stable around 25-30mph.
This is model 44 of 200 made in total, so its
definately oriented toward collectors with spare $$$$. It's not
going to appeal much to the traditional skateboard crowd.
For my commutes, the reason I really like the
rollsrolls (above) are the fenders, and the fact I live in the
Northwest where it rains constantly, I can plow through the nastiest
mud and puddles and just have to face the consequence of cleaning
out the bearings a lot. But at least my pants and shoes don't
get completely hosed with cold winter rain. For this reason, and
the fact I far prefer a pumping setup over a pusher, the Venturi
didn't get a whole lot of mileage in the pavedwave test facility.
If I took a second crack at this, I'd go with
a wider deck, angled ends (similar to the carbon EVO) and try
to incorporate some kind of rain fenders.
Fun stuff if you've got the coin.
A board I owned ever too briefly, and traded
it off to my good bro Brad Jackman. Not even sure I have any pictures
of it, but I miss that board! Totally low and mostly flat, just
turned up at the edges.
Kebbek's have since practically taken over the
DH world in popularity.
Subsonic Drop Cruise - built here in the
Northwest by Scott from subsonicskateboards.com, (back when he
was still "Curveskateboards") this was one of my first
long distance cruising boards. Currently has rollsrolls 97mm soft
and fast cruising wheels, originally had mounted 101 Abec11 Flywheels
with the bigger hub and less urethane.
Randal 180's for stability, though I've had Originals
and Seismics mounted on this deck before. It's real low to the
ground and FAT in the middle -- great for a mellow downhill carving
board as well.