Tech Articles

Snowboarding for the Longboarder


Snowboarding for Longboarders
It seems that many snowboarders pick up longboarding as something to do in the summertime. For me, it was the opposite. This winter was the first time I've had a chance to snowboard...

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How To Cut Your Own Deck From A Pressed Blank

One of the rubicons for a true skater is to have made your own skateboard.  Any kid can buy the latest and greatest, but the connection and stoke you get from riding a longboard you made is incomparable.  In this article, Troy Churchill takes you through step-by-step, right out of our Board Builders' forums, to make your deck from a prepared blank...

 

How To Cut Your Own Deck From A Pressed Blank

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Sometimes you just can't find the perfect board to fit your style or maybe you have a better idea for a more functional design. Either way, there are a couple of options out there for the "DIY" longboard community. You could go the extreme route and source some veneers, glue and a vacuum press or, you can take a head start and snap up a pre-pressed. It's not easy to find a builder that wants to sell off uncut pressings but if you look hard, you may find a few out there. Start with something as simple as an 8ply elliptical concave uncut or maybe go more extreme  with a 1 " drop down double kick.

 

Today, we'll take you through the process of building your own longboard, from a pre-pressed blank.  Whether you buy one from Churchill, or any of the other companies that will prepare you a blank, the steps are essentially the same and you will wind up with a longboard that represents you and your style.  Do you have the "perfect shape" in mind, and the coolest idea for a graphic and grip-job, ever?  Well, you're about to enter the zone where you can make these things happen and you will reap the rewards of your own labors...

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Spot Etiquette 101

Spot Etiquette 101

 Slides Spots

Why have a Spot Etiquette?


Preserving the sanctity of a wonderful skate spot should be a natural feeling to any seasoned skater. Newcomers may do something careless, like get or cause injuries, damage property, litter, hit cars, and etc., which can cause a spot to serve consequences to attendees of a future session. 

What does it mean when a Spot gets Blown Out?


When a Spot gets Blown Out, local officials and residence don't enjoy our company. The tolerance toward skaters by the local community is subject to rejection upon visible or audible disturbance. In other words, someone will have a problem with skaters skating that spot, ask you to leave or simply call the local police station. Refusing to leave is a sure way to end a friendly situation. 

How do I prevent spots from getting blown out? 


Keep spots to yourself. The more people that know about it, the faster it will be blown out. Don't mention road names or have them visible in videos. Spot etiquette should be followed regardless of whatever location you skate. Remember to smile and wave at all passersby. Be friendly and courteous of the community you skate in. Pick up all your trash, be conscious of your language (don't curse, especially around children) and be mindful of others using the road. Wear your safety gear, accidents happen. Calling 911 is the last thing you want. Always wearing your helmet can help prevent a bad situation. Cars should be avoided at all costs! If a car is coming the other way, stay in your lane or get off the road altogether.

Who Blew Out the Spot?


The skater(s) that attract unwanted attention. Large groups or gathers of skaters, which is why it's not the best idea to idle around at the bottom and waste time talking. Skaters that skate outside of their ability and crash. Skaters that fail to be aware of their surroundings, skating right out in front of cars or police. Cars own the streets, not skaters. Skateboards are easily crushed by cars. Severe injury, which may consists of an emergency rescue, can persuade local law the installment of a rule/sign that is intended to reduce future injury or other liability issues. Sharing skate spots with the masses (internet) allow a spot to be subject to overuse. The more skaters, greater the chance of causing an issue with the locals. In every case, the skater(s) are not aware that they are blowing out the spot(s).

Did I Step On Anyone Toes?


It is very likely that someone was offended that you skated their spot. Some spots are held so sacred by the native skaters, an outside-skater must understand the power of such a bond with ideal terrain. If you have seen the spot in a video, it is likely not yours to skate unless you are invited. This is not always true for many skate spots are not filmed. There is no way of a outsider knowing. It is best to contact people you know that do skate these spots to escort you on that particular skate sesh. Don't bring friends to gnarly skate spots, especially if the terrain is far above their skill level.

Where Do I Skate?


Every skater has his or her favorite spot. Find a spot. Drive around until you find one in your neck of the woods. Get with your friends and localize your spots. There are spots hidden in the most desolate areas. Always assume you aren't the only one skating that spot. 

What Are Spotters?


Spotters are people that stay at the bottom intersection or blind corner that keep a lookout for traffic, pedestrians, or other hazards. Signs should be used in order to signal skaters on their journey down in case they need to stop exists. It is very dangerous skating through an intersection blindly. Spotters are your remote eyes. If people are sitting around watching, tell one of them to save your life and keep an eye out.

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Who Uses Hand Gestures and Sign Language?


There are many gestures someone can use. Both spotter and fellow skaters are advised to use signals. This will allow a skater so signal the skaters directly in rear. It is wise to be courtesy to the individuals traveling behind you.

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This guy isn't the best spotter; he should be in the middle of the road making sure you see him. Make sure your spotter is focused on saving YOUR life. 

What If I Don't Know How To Slide?
A good rule of thumb is "do not skate faster than you can stop". Stopping is important. If you are going faster than you can skate, you are skating outside of your limit. You are a danger yourself and to those skating downhill with you. If so, you should probably learn to Coleman slide. RipTide How To: Coleman Slide (180 and Pendy) - YouTube

Lessons Learned.
1. Know your limits.
2. Wear proper gear.
3. Progress in a controlled environment. 
4. Respect the roads and respect the residents. Always be courteous and friendly. We are not entitled to anything, At best, we are uninvited guests. It is YOUR job to ensure that we have hills to skate for years to come.
5. Don't blow out spots.

Check out this awesome thread!
Downhill Etiquette by Kevin Reimer

Share this with your friends. Spread spot preservation awareness.

Credits to Sheldon Jacobson for the ideas and Mike Watts for being him. Jared Tyler too.
 

Long Distance and Sprint Wheels: Top 3 Wheels to Consider

Silverfish'es Serge Berig takes a look at three wheels you might find to be just your ticket for long distance skateboarding this summer...

 

Long Distance and Sprint Wheels:

Top 3 Wheels to Consider

 

Well over a decade ago, the owner of Seismic Skate, Dan Gesmer, claimed that gliding and turning was the essence of skateboarding.  Gesmer then proceeded to take flak from a multitude of directions, with magazines such as Transworld responding with some especially unflattering commentary.    

My take on the whole thing is this: short of standing on your board and staring at the ground, the most basic function of a skateboard is NOT to allow you to attempt a kickflip; it’s to roll from point A to B, which can be more eloquently described as gliding.  So yes, Gesmer was right, and he took a lot of unnecessary flak for it.

"Gliding" has become increasingly easier thanks to several factors: 

  • Larger boards: Increased standing platform for comfort, more stability, better vibration dampening
  • Lower standing platforms: Less energy wasted on pushing, easier to footbreak, lowered center of gravity
  • Ultralight materials: Allow boards to accelerate quicker, riders waste less energy due to less weight, easier to footbreak
  • Larger wheels: Improved vibration dampening, better roll distance
  • Higher Quality Urethanes: Urethane is less likely to chunk, better resistance to wear and tear
  • “Smart” Cores:  Usually achieved via hub ventilation, the space directly surroung the bearing is “empty”.  This allows wheels to weigh less, making them easier to accelerate while retaining other optimal properties

Read more: Long Distance and Sprint Wheels: Top 3 Wheels to Consider

Hunting Speed Wobbles

Everyone gets the wobs. Whether it's the mild shimmy you just rode through or the sudden feeling of disaster just before a gremlin wrenches the deck out from under you, we've all dealt with it.  Of course, the first thing for us all to learn is to keep weight on that front truck, but for those looking to know and understand more about how that gremlin does his dirty work, and how you can dial your board in to castrate the bastard, we have skateboard truck engineer and longboarder Neil Stratton's detailed article from Concrete Wave Magazine...

 

Speed Wobble Hunting

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When I was asked to write about speed wobbles for the magazine, it made me realize that while I had spent the better part of my life on a skateboard, I didn’t really know that much about the wobs. Sure, we all have our stories, complete with tales of how we survived them. And from these we’ve created all kinds of homespun theories,many of which seem to contradict each other. One skater I asked said he crouches down and touches the nose of his board to gain control during wobble onset; another said not to crouch or make any drastic body movements. So how do we know what is good advice and what is fiction?

 

I decided to explore the wobble phenomenon from two perspectives, alternating between the scientific and the experiential, in hopes that between the two a better understanding of wobbles would emerge.  I start my inquiry into the science behind wobbles by looking at the laws that govern the phenomena we’re experiencing. But the more I look into the physics of wobbles, the broader and more complicated the story gets. There’s the kinematic analysis of the geometry of motion, the harmonic motion of sine waves and the properties of self-exciting oscillation. Then on the mechanical side there are steering systems, dissected into the basic geometries and their performance characteristics. At first I wonder how much of this will actually relate back to my skateboarding speed wobbles, but the more I read, the more I’m amazed at how wobbles occur in everything, from vehicles and wings to electrical systems and the stock market. They’re the gremlin in the works of everything.

 

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News Flash

  • Amazing!

    The 2013 Silverfish Longboarding Board Bag

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    The hardest-working longboard bag ever is back and even better than ever!  Padded, waterproofed, able to carry 48" decks, up to three boards with gear and way more.  Click the pic for more information.

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