Pushing setups

Well, really every skateboard is a "pushing set up". But some boards have decks that are dropped to theoretically make pushing easier.

Forum Link http://pavedwave.myfastforum.org/forum12.php

Sheldon caught smiling

The Subsonic Century

Review by Sheldon Lessard

"...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 the momentum.

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 low board.

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 the ground...

The ride:

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 top mounts.

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 would be.

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."

The G-Bomb Cambiar (with standard brackets)


rollsrolls "Cruiser" - carbon fiber / kevlar deck - long distance cruising board.

rollsrolls "Sportster" - carbon fiber / kevlar deck - long distance cruising and downhill carving board

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 conditions.

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 wheels

- Randal 150's + original (no longer made) Abec11 101 Flywheels

- Original 6" + new Abec11 97mm Flywheels (more urethane, less hub, more GRIP)

FAST, comfortable cruiser for the 10-30 mile runs.



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 more comfort.

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.

Landyachtz EVO

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 down.

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 here.

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.


Kebbek Smoothcut

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.