About Pete.Benda

Pete has been living and breathing skate culture since he was a damn baby. In the last 3 years Pete Benda has worn many a hat at Daddies Board Shop, the world’s largest longboard shop. From warehouse manager to social media guru to longboard hard-goods buyer, Pete has an instrumental role in helping Daddies dominate the skateboarding world and crush everything in its wake (cue evil laugh). Posted By: Pete Benda

Switchbacks Race – 2014

Posted By: Pete Benda

Switchbacks Race - 2014

Switchbacks is a 60+ rider event, that’s free for anyone race. It’s located at Washington Park in good ol’ Portland Oregon. Anyone from advanced riders, to beginners are free to come to this wonderful event. But if you’re nervous about the race, don’t worry, we’re here to help you win. Switchbacks is a tricky course. It has three hairpins in total, two lefts and one right. It’s not a very steep course, so what makes the course so tricky is the extremely tight pack runs and technical riding needed. Every little thing makes the difference, so we’re here to help you decide one of the most important factors in this race: Wheels. There are a few things to consider when choosing the perfect wheel – your push, weight, drift, and your hookup.

Your Push

To decide on what size wheel you’ll want, you need to think about your push. If you are extremely fast off of the starting line, you can run a slightly larger wheel. The larger wheel will be great to give you a much higher speed on this slower course because of the larger size and higher velocity. But that doesn’t mean that a larger wheel is fit for everyone. If you don’t have the fastest push in the game, you may want to consider a smaller wheel. The smaller wheel will have a faster acceleration compared to the larger wheel, so you may not be able to push as fast, but you’ll be able to accelerate faster with the smaller wheels. So if you’re a pusher, go with a bigger wheel, if you’re slow off of the start, go with something that is a little bit smaller.

Your Weight

This is something that really needs to be put into consideration. If you’re a lighter weight rider, or a grom, you have a little bit of an advantage here at Switchbacks. You’re gonna have more grip and traction around corners. This means that you won’t need something as grippy on this course. So you could go with something that is a little bit harder of a wheel, which means something that is a little bit faster. If you’re a heavier set rider, gravity is going to be your friends. Because of your natural weight, you’ll be going a lot faster than some of the small guys out there, but you’ll in turn, have less traction. So we’d suggest going with something a little softer to really grip up well after your drifts.

Your Drift

This is absolutely key for winning switchbacks. You need absolute control in your drifts if you’re looking to win. If you’re known to highside a lot in your slides, you might want something that’s a little bit extra slippery. This way, you’ll slide for longer, rather than grip up as much. If you are washing out in your slides, you’re gonna be looking for something with a little bit of extra grip to it. We suggest something that is a square lipped wheel. This will give you a little extra traction for you when you’re wanting have more control over your drift.

Your Hookup

And finally, the hookup. This is a really key factor in racing Switchbacks. If you slide for too long and don’t hook up fast enough, you won’t come around the corner with enough exit speeds. This means you’ll surely be passed around the straightaways. But if you slide too short and you hookup too early, you’ll wash out later in the corner and slide into the dirt, swinging you off of your board. A good way to get very predictable hookup is a square lipped wheel in a durometer that accommodates your weight.

When you put all of these things into consideration, you’ll be sure to be on your way to winning Bitchswacks, we mean, Switchbacks!

The Landyachtz Prophecy

Posted By: Pete Benda

You are the chosen one… Fulfill the prophecy. Or maybe just go out skating instead. In any case, make sure you grab the all new Landyachtz Prophecy. It’s the ultimate in downhilling and freeriding. Oh, you already have a downhill / freeride board, you say? Well this one is better!

The Landyachtz Prophecy is a speed stiff symmetrical top mount board that gives you the maximum amount of stability going downhill, and gives you the most freedom of ride when freeriding. This board features wheel well flares that give you a ton of wheel clearance. So if you like riding your setup extra-loose for freeriding, this setup is perfect for you. And if you want to tighten your ride, this is still an amazing downhill board. The wheel well flares make it so that when you’re in a speed tuck you have a point of reference as well as ample leverage over your trucks. In a stand up slide, they are amazing for keeping you locked in.

Oh, you’re already riding a Top Speed 36? And they’re very similar? Well this is even better still! The Prophecy features the all new Hollowtech core. Landyachtz removes parts of the 7 ply maple core from this deck, reducing the weight of this board by 20%. Helping you be 20% faster, 20% quicker off the start line, and 100% more rad. This board is also great when cornering. Because of how light it is, the Prophecy is very responsive to sharp turns, rather than lugging around around a turn.

Don’t forget about its freeriding aspects. Because this board is completely symmetrical, you can ride it any which way you’d like and it will ride the same. And when you have to walk up your freeride hill, you’re gonna be extremely happy you chose the Prophecy. Watch and laugh as your friends work to carry their heavy boards around while you barely have to lift a finger to carry your setup.

It’s a bird, it’s a plane… it’s a Jet!

Posted By: Pete Benda

Jet Skateboards

It’s a bird, it’s a plane… it’s a Jet! Jet boards that is. We got a whole new line of Jet boards at the shop! We’re gonna keep this short and sweet and to the point because we gotta get out of this office and go shred them.

We have five brand new Jet boards this year: The Jet Kool Kick, Jet Baked Potato, Jet Tomahawk, Jet Vulcan Rocker, and Jet Tomahawk Rocker. These boards are designed for going FAST! They all feature torsional stiffness and that, ladies and gentleman, helps prevent speed wobbles. Because they’re Jet boards, you know you have something that is extremely durable to last a very long time.

The question is, what should we ride? Maybe we want a little bit of extra concave and that locked-in feeling for freeriding, which means we’ll want some dropped platforms. That’ll mean we want the Baked Potato. What about single kicks? Then we’ll grab the Kool Kick! Yeah that’s the one! Oh but wait… What if we want to go fast and race today? Maybe the Tomahawk? Yeah the Jet Tomahawk and its top mounted goodness are so stable and so responsive and grippy. But maybe we want a little cradling because we miss our mom… That means we want Vulcan Rocker or the Tomahawk Rocker! That ‘oh so sweet’ foot cradling. Jet has so many options it makes our lives so hard… There’s only one option. We’re gonna ride them all!

The Loaded Overland is Almost Here

Posted By: Pete Benda

Loaded Overland

A double kick that’s double sick: the new Loaded Overland closes the gap between the Loaded Kanthaka and the Loaded Tesseract, giving you the perfect size board that’s designed for all kinds of riding. How can you decide if this board is the one for you? Well, you don’t! Loaded has already made it perfect for you, and me, and everyone else out there on planet earth.

This board comes in at 37 inches long, and 9.5 inches wide, with wheelbase options between perfect and perfect. 20-22 inches in wheelbase options gives you the ability to ride anything and everything in your path. Slap it on the shortest wheelbase with some TKP trucks and you’re ready to shred the park, street, and straight up city slash. Put on some RKP trucks at a 22 inch wheelbase and you have a freeriding machine, perfect for laying thane and taking names.

But if you feel up to it, you could even do a little bit of downhilling on this setup. This micro downhiller is nimble and maneuverable, too. This board features extra course grip tape on the sides of the board to lock you in, and mild griptape in the center to never inhibit your flip tricks. This board is designed by the evil masterminds down in California at the secret Loaded Facilities, so you know it’s a high-quality shred stick.

“One board to rule them all, one board to find them. One board to bring them all and in the darkness blind them.” The Loaded Overland: an absolute do-it-all setup.

Arbor GT Longboards

Posted By: Pete Benda

Arbor GT Longboards

The Arbor GT Series is the perfect series for anyone out there looking for the perfect cruiser. The board comes in 3 different models perfect for any kind of riding situation.

The Arbor Axis GT is the first in the lineup. The Axis is a drop-through cruiser, designed to give you the feeling of riding a snowboard. This board is low to the ground giving you a really stable push, while the camber of this board makes it so that you have a really snappy and flexy ride. The Axis GT is also perfect to throw around dance moves since it’s completely symmetrical. Dancing, cruising, and carving: it’s all easy and comfortable on the Axis GT.

Next up is the Arbor Fish GT and the Arbor Timeless GT. The little and big brother of the series, the Fish GT and the Timeless GT are classic pintail shapes that are perfect for beachside cruises and scenic city runs. Because they’re top mounted, you’ll get a lot more leverage over your trucks so that you can get some really hard carves out of your setup. They’ll be perfect for sharp corners, and really deep carves. The Fish is the shorter of the two, making it more nimble and agile for riding around town. The Timeless, being the larger of the two, will be better for long sweeping turns and wide carves. No matter the type of cruiser you’re looking for, the Arbor GT series is sure to have something to fit your style perfectly.

It’s Rayning New Boards

Posted By: Pete Benda

Rayne Summer 2014 Longboards

It’s 2014 and you’re still riding that water-logged, warped, and delaminated deck you got for your birthday 3 years ago. What’s the point? It’s about time you upgraded to the best of the best, and there’s absolutely no better time than now. That’s because Rayne just released 5 new boards for the Summer 2014 season! They’re ready for any kind of riding so you really don’t have an excuse not to ride a Rayne board.

First is the all new Rayne Misfortune, pairing up perfectly with the Rayne Fortune V2. They both feature fat bottom construction, making your ride both light and speed stiff, and they both feature 4D wheel well cups to let you run larger wheels while having looser trucks. Being designed by world champion racer Patrick Switzer, you know this board is sure to handle any speeds you may throw at it. And it comes in ‘his and hers’ sizes so you and your lady friend can each get a longboard of your own. A girl who skates, that’s the dream!

Next up, we have the new Rayne Otherside and the Rayne Brightside. These boards are the big and little brother of the extremely popular Rayne Darkside. These single kick downhill freeride boards feature radial dropped platforms and 3 stage rocker, giving you the perfect stance for freeriding. Taking your freeriding to the next level is extremely easy when fitting your feet into the pockets of this concave. With 3 sizes, you’re sure to find the one that’s perfect for you – the perfect board for the whole family.

And lastly, we have the all new Rayne G-Mack Pro Model, designed by pro rider George Mackenzie. He is a master of riding switch, so this board fits his style for just that. Riding regular or goofy, this board has no front or back, no nose or tail. It’s all the same, all the way around. So it’s perfect for freeriding. George has even won a few slide comps switch! How crazy is that? But if you’re feelin’ extra ballsy, you can take it to George’s level and downhill switch. That’s right, hitting maximum speed and pre drifting, all in switch. It’s time you upgraded your ride to one of the new Rayne boards for 2014. And if you think it doesn’t fit your style of riding, then your style of riding is wrong. Get the need for speed and ride one of the best boards out there.

It’s All About These Wheels

Posted By: Pete Benda

These Wheels

What wheels are you riding? Are you riding These Wheels? If not, you might need to look at your life; because for some reason, you’ve decided not to ride the best of the best. These Wheels is the newest wheel company to reach the downhill longboarding scene and has already made a name for itself. These Wheels are poured in-house at the SkateOne Factory in Santa Barbara, California which means you’re getting the highest quality American made urethane out there. These started with the initial release of the 717 Freeride Formula in a 70 and 75mm freeride wheel. This wheel dominated the freeride game immediately. The extreme ease of sliding made this wheel perfect for any rider out there. Whether you’re trying to learn your first stand up slide, or if you’re looking to take your stand ups to the 3rd digit, the release point and hook up of this wheel made it super easy to do so. With the release of the 717, we knew that These Wheels was going to be something completely different. After the initial boom of the 717 wheels, These released the all-new 727. They are a grippier version of the 717 formula, for even faster freeriding. These wheels were designed to take the fastest lines, while taking your downhill runs with standup slides. They offered and extremely smooth and predictable ride, but then again, which These Wheels don’t offer that? Of course, These recognized that not everyone could afford the extremely high quality 717 and 727 formula wheels. So they offered a price point wheels in the ATF 317 and ATF 327 formulas. But don’t think for one second that just because these wheels are cheaper, that they don’t offer the same high quality slide and control of their more expensive counterpart. They ATF’s are just designed for more every day riding; still smooth, predictable, and fast. But then we started getting anxious, and These Wheels started tempting us, watching their team riders race around the world on what could only be a square-lipped These Wheels… They teased the market for over a year. With no leaks or hints on what the wheel could be… Was it the 727 formula? What was this new wheel? There were no answers in sight. Finally though, for total domination of the wheel market, These Wheels released their first square lipped downhill wheel, the These Pro K Rimes Stage 1. They feature a 72mm 78a design in the KRF formula. What this means is a perfectly sized wheel to fit on any ride without wheelbite, in a formula that is the grippiest formula out there, but when kicked out into a slide, offer the smoothest slide out there. Could we say that the perfect wheel has been achieved? A wheel that is both grippy and slippery? How can this be? That’s the magic of the KRF formula and the design of the Stage 1’s are perfect. When you shred the wheels past their square lips, they become a centerset freeride wheel. So you get both a downhill and a freeride wheel all in. So if you’re tired of riding the rest, ride the best, with These Wheels.

The 2014 Sector 9 Mini Shaka

Posted By: Pete Benda

Sector 9 Mini Shaka

The 2014 Sector 9 Mini Shaka is a rad do it all board for any level of riding. From the beginner to the advanced, the Sector 9 Mini Shaka is designed to do it all. This board features a micro drop symmetrical standing foot platform, making this a freeriding dream. The micro drops creates a perfect pocket to lock your feet into. When looking to shove out 30 foot toeside checks, you’re sure to stay locked and loaded into this ride. The drops also fit a speed tuck perfectly. So if you’re ready to get in gear and charge your local runs with nothing but speed in mind, the Mini Shaka will be perfect for you. The dropped platform not only lowers you to the ground, making you more stable, but also makes pushing around town much easier. It’s designed for all skill levels out there. Equipped with asymmetrical nose and tail, this board is freeride and freestyle capable while also keeping you locked for going downhill, taking the fastest lines possible. Equipped for all styles of riding is the all new 2014 Sector 9 Mini Shaka.

How to Choose Longboard Wheels

Posted By: Pete Benda

Being the only part of your longboard setup to actually touch the street, your wheels are perhaps the most important, diverse and improvable item on your deck. New wheels whose specifications meet your riding style can drastically change your ability to perform downhill slides, tight turns, and even flatland tricks. The scientists, technicians and riders behind the scenes have developed many different styles of wheels to function perfectly for specific types of longboarders – the trick is to find that perfect set of wheels that works just right for you.

Most major manufacturers will produce quality and dependable wheels, almost always made of polyurethane. The real factors to pay attention to are dedicated to the size, density and shape of the wheel – although finding a color you like can also be important. Also, keep in mind that wheels are very much fit to a specific deck and truck setup. They need to be paired well with the other items in your setup and might not perform as well as before when you update your trucks, deck or risers.


The size of your wheel makes a huge difference in your speed and safety. Always marked in metric, longboard wheels are generally 60+ millimeters and will provide you with a high potential top speed as the size increases. Bigger wheels also conquer pebbles, bumps and other obstacles with greater ease. Although commonly between 65mm and 75mm, they can get as big as 85+ mm. Keep in mind that, although your potential top speed will continue to increase with the diameter of your longboard wheel, it has an inverse relationship to your rate of acceleration. Simply, a bigger wheel will go faster, but accelerate slower.

Don’t forget, the perfect wheel/deck combination will never result in “wheel bite”. A wheel too large can be dangerous at high speeds if it brakes on your wood when you attempt tight turns. Sometimes a thicker riser or similar adjustment can fix the problem, but always remember that riding closer to the ground is often more comfortable.

Durometer (Density)

Us longboarders have a nifty system of classifying longboard wheel density. This system is a 75a-100a scale, increasing with a longboard wheel’s “toughness” or durability. Most fall between a soft wheel at 70a and a hard wheel at about 100a. A softer wheel will roll over bumps and rough surfaces much easier, retaining speed, and also grips well to the street. A softer wheel creates much more traction and can give a feeling of greater control, although also makes performing downhill slides more difficult. In general, riders prefer a wheel in the mid 80a’s for best all-around performance.

Shape and Style

The final factor to observe when looking for your perfect longboard wheel is its shape, or more specifically, its “lip”. The two basic styles are defined as a “square-lip” and a “round-lip”, based on the outside edge. If looking at your complete deck directly at the nose, a “square-lip” wheel will appear to have sharp edges and a “round-lip” wheel will have softer angles.
The sharper your longboard wheel’s lip, the more traction you will feel when performing turns. These lips actually hug the street as your weight shifts to give you more street contact.
A rounder lip is sometimes preferred because it actually breaks traction with greater ease, and enables a rider to perform those important, and fun, slides that are so vital to downhill longboarding. While most riders are content with a sharp lipped and squared wheel, having a rounded edge will help you gain control of these sliding techniques.

Hit the Streets!

Now that you know what to look for, go ahead and explore the wild world of brightly colored urethane. I encourage all riders to stick with well-known brands, as I always do when speaking of any longboard component, as poor reliability can often ruin a good day. Get out there – ‘aint nothing like a nice session on some brand new wheels.

8 Killer Longboarding Videos

Posted By: Pete Benda

When learning any new longboard skill or technique, I strongly recommend taking some time to study how other longboarders flex their decks. Even a less-experienced rider can teach us a great deal about how to control a board or land a creative new trick. Unfortunately, longboarding isn’t quite as popular as baseball and finding other local riders isn’t always easy, but thanks to the wondrous high-definition magic of the Internet, you can easily study longboarders of all kinds in order to perfect your shred or just vicariously enjoy a smooth cruise down a freshly paved road.

Here are a few killer videos I have personally collected for your home viewing entertainment:

  • 10 Beginner Longboard Tricks: Aside from the wicked shades worn by this neighborhood cruiser, I like the simplicity of this video and the great angles he has collected to display his tricks. It’s a great instructional video with few words and a sweet soundtrack.

  • Epic Longboard Trick Montage: This video is a great inspirational montage that does a great job exposing the many types of longboard techniques. From a great segment on carving and sliding to some pretty creative flatland tricks, this short clip will get you pumped for a good day on the board.

  • Best of Longboarding and GoPro Longboarding Tricks: Both of these videos really show off the potential of modern filming equipment with some beautiful and truly cinematic footage of great sliding and flip tricks. Filming your own sessions is a great way to improve your chops and notice exactly why you might be having trouble perfecting a dramatic Coleman slide or tiger claw. The GoPro has really revolutionized the sport and is a great tool for getting the most out of the extreme sport you love.

  • Longboard Girls’ Crew: I was stoked to come across this awesome video of a longboarding girls’ crew hitting some scenic slopes surrounded by thick forests. Skateboarding and longboarding can often seemed overwhelmingly male-dominated, and I truly appreciate when the gals get together to blow us away. I tip my hat to these young ladies having a great time.

  • Longboarding: Bruno & Camilo in Bogota Part 1: Shot in the lovely capital of Colombia, this video not only highlights the skills of some really incredible riders but also pays homage to our brothers in Latin America. One of my favorite aspects of longboarding and extreme sports in general is their ability to cross borders – these guys do an awesome job of repping some Latin flavor in a truly lovely city.

  • Sergio Yuppie – King of Downhill Slide: Huge props to this short documentary that is sure to blow you away. Once again, it highlights international talent while expressing some truly spiritual longboarding and skating philosophy. This guy is a true inspiration.

  • Night Ride #1: I really like this last video for its original artistry – it is a perfect example of some of the places you can take longboarding. These guys are certainly getting creative in a beautiful setting and reminding us of the joy of skating with friends. Watching it reminds me of why I love this sport and how much fun I can have in truly any place and at any time.

Get Out There!

While watching longboard videos might be a great way to spend an afternoon, I tend to save it for a rainy day. If the sun is shining, I encourage all of you to grab your deck and hit the streets – nothing can replace the awesome feeling of soaking up nature’s positive energy while enjoying the sport we love!