Donny Williams performs early grab varial finger flips and other uncommon longboard tricks while riding in Georgia and Florida.
Kebbek Skateboards, founded in 1992, is one of the few remaining longboard companies that went against the trend of microdrops and short wheelbases to produce large, durable downhill and freeride boards. Returning from hiatus in 2011, Kebbek re-entered the longboard scene with their Stain Series of boards, many of which were 30”+ wheelbase drop decks and drop throughs. Here we take a look at a favorite in the lineup the Kebbek Max Erwin.
The Kebbek Max Erwin is a tank, plain and simple. Pressed out of 10 plies of laminated Canadian maple, the Max Erwin is an extremely solid board. After slamming the nose and tail into more curbs, walls, etc. more times than we can count, the Max Erwin has yet to sustain any real damage other than a small chip on the nose. Like the construction, everything about the Max Erwin is big. At 32-33.5” the wheelbase alone is bigger than some popular boards on the market today.
The Max Erwin should ideally be set up with a 170mm+ truck and at the very least 70mm wheels.
Old School Mounting
45/45° 194mm billet Ronins
Abec 11 83mm 78a Flywheels, Cult Converters, 80a Rad Releases and 75mm Lime Bigzigs
Zealous bearings and
47° 180mm PNL Strummers
Metro Links, Sector 9 80a Raceforms, and 84a Abec 11 Grippins
Magic bearings + Logic Spacers
The concave of the Max Erwin is one of its best features. Kebbek utilizes a “cereal bowl” tub concave. This means that the tub concave carries into the drop, unlike many drop decks that have the concave die out as they enter the drop. Although the concave itself is relatively mellow, it locks you in extremely well when paired the large drop. Kebbek also utilizes a form of their “flatcave” on the Max Erwin. This means that the center of the board is completely flat. Not only is this extremely comfortable, but it makes the Max Erwin viable for long distance pushing.
Right off the bat, the first thing we noticed was the weight. The Max Erwin is a heavy board, but that’s unavoidable when you have a large 10ply maple drop deck, isn’t it? After stepping on the board, we realized how low this board really is. Taking it down a hill on Ronins felt like cheating. The low height combined with the large wheelbase makes downhill on the Max Erwin effortless. When paired with Lime Bigzigs, it felt like this board could handle anything we threw at it in terms of speed.
The Max Erwin is also a very fun freeride board. If you’re looking for a change of pace – something different from a 26” wheelbase topmount, the Max Erwin is perfect. The large drop and wheelbase made easing into slides effortless. You can just lean back and gently ease the board into a slide, a feel reminiscent to snowboarding. Faster standup slides on the Max Erwin are a breeze, too. It’s as simple as throwing the board sideways and hanging on. Due to the large wheelbase and drop, the board stays sideways with minimal resistance.
We were pleasantly surprised to find that the Max Erwin does not feel overly hammock-y like some drop decks tend to feel, most likely due to the additional leverage gained from the Erwin’s concave carrying into the drop. The concave and drop locked us in well enough that we really did not need to hang our feet off of the standing platform for additional leverage.
For most riders, the extremely stiff nature of the Max Erwin will equate to a rougher ride, but for heavier riders who can get a bit of flex from the board due to its narrow waist, the ride is not overly rough. The low ride height makes the Max Erwin a potential board for long distance pushing, although the weight may be a turn off for dedicated long distance pusher.
Our primary criticism for the Max Erwin is its size. The Max Erwin is a big board. A really big board. The size of the Max Erwin created several problems for us. First, this is not a board for smaller riders. Even at 6’+, some of us found the Max Erwin’s effective foot platform to be excessive. A smaller rider can easily be forced to have an uncomfortably large stance just to stand in the pockets of the Max Erwin. Second, this board is not nimble by any definition of the word. That’s not to say you can’t dodge obstacles in the road, but it’s not going to be ideal if you’re looking for something lively. Third, the large wheelbase and drop can make freeride awkward for some. While the board is easy to throw sideways, actually bringing the board back is more difficult. It was not uncommon for us to encounter problems getting the Erwin to hook back up into a checkslide. Once we put the Max Erwin sideways, it wanted to stay sideways.
Though the Max Erwin itself is durable, its rails are not. Flipping the board several times caused the tops of the rails to chip and splinter. This does not seem to impact the concave in any way, but it is something to be noted. The low ride height of the Max Erwin also makes it prone to scrape when riding over curbs or speed bumps
If you’re a big rider and you’re in the market for a large drop deck to relive the glory days of 2003, the KebbeK Max Erwin is the board for you. It’s big, it’s low, it’s heavy, and the massive cutouts make it next to impossible to get wheelbite on, so you can finally run those 85mm Seismics that have been collecting dust in your closet. Although the Max Erwin is an extremely fun skateboard, it’s definitely not for everyone. If you’re a smaller rider, or if you just want a smaller board, check out the Kebbek Kalator (aka the Max Erwin’s younger brother). The Kalator is essentially a smaller Max Erwin.