THE FISH REPORT: The Best and Worst of ASR

Here it is: we've gone through our photos, compared our notes and come up with our list of our favorite things from the Winter '06 ASR. Our criteria is purely subjective...take it with a grain of salt and a grin.

Our Picks for the "Best from ASR".

SoCal Longboards

Once again making it into our list of the Best in Show at ASR, SoCal Longboards continues to bring awesome works of board art to the ASR masses. Now gripping his decks with a finer grain of silica, these decks are made out of exotic woods, hand-crafted and finished with a craftsman's touch. These decks are a good example of top-end quality for the more discerning longboard addict. The company has a great selection of decks to select from and their tiki boards are still just awe-inspiring works of art. You can find out more about them at SoCalLongboards

TSG: Prototype Commuter Slide Gloves?

Really though, this is some black-ops type ninja mission-style shizzle! We were sitting there talking with Darryl from Skate One and I spotted these sitting on a bench nearby. I snagged them and asked if I could take a pic. They said sure, but didn't have anymore information on them for me other than maybe they are some type of hybrid wrist brace/slide glove. They may be intended for mini-ramp riders. Half glove construction leather with a real burly wrist strap. Good fitting gloves, that seemed on inspection to have real tight seams. A very small, I mean "not for sliding", -sized puck, but PERFECT for a commuter or urban skating slide glove. Full finger manipulation is possible even a fist can be made. The puck is still big enough to use in an emergency if needed. I honestly searched for a while and couldn't find any TSG product that fit this description. Let me know if you find anything.

OP "Fish Out of Water"

This one was also a hit at the Orlando show and we knew it was gonna be on this list within seconds of getting our hands on it. It's a 'glass over foam, surfboard construction with a wooden stringer and reinforced plates tapped for truck-mounting bolts. Light as a feather, with a slight rocker and rolled edges, it's a surfboard on wheels! It supports RobbieO and I (much to Malakai's surprise), so it passed the strength test... One more thing...did you notice the hanger on the front truck? Can you say "175mm Revenge"? didn't hear it from us. Check out OP.

GFHurley Recluse

What really, I mean honestly, makes GFHurley a good company is that they listen to their riders. The result of that is they keep bringing out shapes that appeal to riders. The current model of the Recluse is 36" 7 ply maple, Wengi and Silverwood stringer, good flex and the clear grit with a killer graphic on the belly come together for a great product well worth checking out. It caught EBasil's eye right off the bat and I actually got to ride it after ASR when Ronnie (Thanks Bro!) let me try his out in a sweet parking garage he turned us onto. Moderate flex and concave with a foot-holding kick made it fun to whip around the garage. To check it out yourself check out GFHurley

Soft Tunnel Rocks.

We've been riding the new, blue Tunnel Rocks for almost two months, and will have a review coming out, soon. As soon as we got our hands on the 95a wheels, we began campaigning for a soft version. Here, only hours out of the mold in the first run, are 78a, translucent red Tunnel Rocks. This is one trend we'll gladly adopt! They feel great, and the boys are sending us a couple of sets to add onto the review. Check out the current line at Tunnel Rocks.

Amphibian Decks

With two new products, this booth kept us busy for a while. The "Thruster" decks are bamboo-veneered pumping decks that use a Revenge rear truck and a Tracker RT-x mounted onto a Thruster truck plate for the front. We actually saw this Thruster plate in September, but now they're really on a functional setup that turns insanely up front. Michael Brooke and Chris Chaput were able to pump with real speed, even on soft carpet. They'll send us one to review, shortly. They're not done, though: Amphibian is producting all-bamboo spears, off the same outline the shaper used on his boards in the early 1970's. They're CNC embossed, firm but not rigid and we're gonna try to get one of these to the Consortium, too. Amphibian also hosted an incredible artist...more on him later.

Radikal Trucks.

Sure, they've been out already, but it was our first hands-on the elusive longboard trucks and it got better: the photo here shows the newly-machined profile of Radikal trucks intended to accomodate their oversized bushings without contact when turning. Check out the enlarged clearance and start wondering what McCree has in store for us next.

The People

In our opinion, what really made this ASR different was the people we spent time with. Sure, we talked to alot of people at the last ASR but something was different this time. Maybe it was the fact that the show was smaller and yet many people sought US out, or maybe it was some events that validated what we do either way. Clowning with Chaput, Rolling BB with Rich from Lush, RobbieO, Tim, WillJ, Brandon, Dave and Judith Rogers and the two of us. Meeting the super, super Carrasco's, chatting with Richy after his runs on the racecourse, sharing meals and stories. The guys at Amphibian were stoked. Mashing brains with Brooke was fun. Getting to see a new garage with Ronnie, the ridiculousity of it all and laughing all the way with Garrett, wandering and shivering with Jennifer from Sunrisers. Chatting with Socal Longboards and Kahuna was just refreshing. Meeting with Powell. Chilling with the Rogers. Walking out and meeting Khiro Bob. Watching Ham sneak in. Just good people man. There were many others and the element, the human aspect of it is really what made this ASR awesome for both of us. Can you pick everyone out of the collage Malakai made?

NOT going to ASR on Saturday so we could hit the La Costa Boys' Outlaw Slalom Session

Do we reaaaaly need to explain that one? I mean if you have to eat two slugs wouldn't you want a nice glass of lemonade in between the slimy, smarm, mouth-slathering wretchedness that is the profane display of snake oil peddlers and soft goods slavery? (Whew!) Yes, yes, you would. We needed it man, and with a great turnout the La Costa boys showed us a great time, but thats another story we'll write soon. Let's just say that it was a GREAT day.

The Retro ZigZags.

Yes, we know these have had a lot of coverage on the 'Fish, but for all but a very few, their appearance at ASR was the first time these wheels were seen and fondled. The reactions from industry wonks and skaters were pretty much what you've seen in the Forums, and people came out to Pump Station just to buy a set. It's no fluff: these things are hot.

The Weird, the Crazy, the Stupid, the Boring. Our picks for "Worst/Lamest" from the show:

Security Dogs Of War

Let's see if you can guess whose pick this is... "What foul tempteous monsters! I was at ASR no more than 5 minutes before I had a security goon team harassing me about my camera. I showed them my media badge and it still didn't satisfy them, they kept grabbing for it and I kept evading. Eventually my bro came to my aid and explained to them in plain english (apparently a dialect I don't speak at 9:30am) and they let me be. This wouldn't be enough to really make it into the worst if this was an isolated event but it wasn't: I was attacked by no less than 3 groups of security guards and got accosted by a vender when I was trying to get an "autograph signing" picture. I felt so paparazzi with a palm in my camera but really, read my badge before you attack me. Seriously whats up?"

Soft Goods

There's just a point where another set of knock-off Vans, or the twentieth bikini brand (okay, we're not complaining about the mini runway shows), or the huuuge displays of "lifestyle" clothing are just too much to handle. Sure, it's bread-n-butter for retailers and the profit margins are huge, but we can do without 'em.

Not enough "Hot Chicks"!

Come on, even GFH (whose standards are about as low as they get at ASR) commented on it. He said, "The chicks at surf expo were way hotter than here and last time it was the other way around." Maybe it's 'cause ASR hiked their prices and less money went to the hot chick budget, or maybe it was 'cause it was winter (as more than a few people pointed out). Winter? Looks sunny and warm to me. Either way, the female attractions were a little less than plentiful and it didn't help that I constantly had my camera getting slapped out of my hands by security. (Okay, we're a little facetious here. There may have been tons of "hot babes", but the lines of pimply-faced dorks ogling them usually caused us to bolt for another aisle.)

Company Called "Emo"

Do we need to say anthing more? What were they thinking? Capri pants, anyone? And what the heck is Jeremy McGrath's motorcycle doing there?!

There you have it. What do you think? Like what you see? Can you laugh about what you don't? Look for threads in the General Forum or make your own!

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