addiction to carving
hard to pin down what it is about carving lines that's incredibly addictive,
but I lose sleep many nights just thinking of the best carves of the day,
or anticipating the next excursion. That gradual grinding shred of urethane
wheels over pavement is like listening to your favorite deep driving groove,
whether you're on the board or hearing a bro go zooming past. The lift
off each grinding turn gearing into the next is a moment of weightlessness,
that you'll crave again and again. It's the addiction that makes hiking
or even running back up the hill for the next run seem effortless.
The last 15 years I've obsessed on finding the perfect carve, and found that the 'perfect' carving machine depends heavily on its terrain, while at the same time there are usually one or two decks in everyone's quiver that they find to be the proverbial "one size fits all."
Its no wonder that your skate deck collection expands and contracts. (Wives and girlfriends, take note here....) Golfers never catch flack for buying a whole set of clubs, so it shouldn't be so odd to build up a room full of skate decks, right? After all, terrain can be double diamond bail-off-the-board steeps, just plain old steep, moderately sloped suburban asphalt runs that go on forever, long mellow butter smooth runs, FLATS, inclines, pools, cone runs, rain, snow, ice... so if I had to narrow down the quiver to the essentials, this is what would happen:
On steep and moderate hills, CARVEBOARD's got my addiction cured. Carves are sticky with those big pneumatic tires, the springy trucks, and the big fat deck -- carve as tight or wide as you want to, with not too much speed. When I look for pure carving stoke and not death defying velocity, this setup is the ticket.
And ORIGINAL trucks on just about any flexy longboard gives you almost the same feel with the ability to pick up more speed.
As well, the original FLEXDEX formula makes one of the best all-out carving machines, even with crappy trucks that won't turn. These decks are unique in their ability to flex deep and never break down structurally. As long as you don't slam them into curbs, they'll literally outlive you!
I took a LOADED to Japan with 81a Grippins because I knew it could carve up any terrain. Other decks that respond similarly quick like this one are Flexdex, Bozi and Fibreflex.
PERFORMANCE / PUMPING / SLALOM
When there's fast turning speeds involved, its time for the ROE. I'd choose 86a-88a durometers for smooth asphalt, and 72a-84a for rockier crap -- SplitFires, Randal 150s, Gullwing Cruiser 60s, and Seismics (in the back) all work great.
There are so many other great deck makers in this arena where hi-perf slalom / longboarding design has taken off over the last decade. Subsonic, Comet, Landyachtz, Gecko, Motion, even Sector9 has created some nice combination laminates. I've tested and still own many of these, but still the Roe is what I grab for when it comes to the race course.
But for my favorite terrain -- LDP on FLATS -- the ride of choice are now the 38" RoeRacing Carbon-Fiber LDP decks. Constructed of SUPA-light materials, it has deep groovin' flex, a touch of camber for POP when needed, a nice broad nose to ride, and a long wheelbase that gives you a longer stride for the 15-30 mile rides.
The greatest thing about flatland trail rides is that I've found a way to cure the carve addiction by simply overdosing every time I get out. There's no longer a hill to climb on foot because you never have to leave the board. Long, horizontal carving lines replace the high-performance pumping pop off a heavily cambered deck. It's the greatest stoke because you can carve as long as your body and your feet can hold out.
Funny, I still get all kinds of comments from people about my 12.5-mile commute to work on a longboard, but they've changed from skepticism to genuine interest.
Now it looks as though I'll be dealing and pushing some carve addiction to my bro's by sharing the commute into 2006 -- ahhh, the benefits of being a Carve Junkie!!
©Updated May.2006, jpeters