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.

Diameter

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.

Pam Diaz and Mujer Unica

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Pam Diaz and Mujer Unica

Im in the new @mujerunicard Magazine talking a little bit about my passion for longboarding and how does it feels to practice an extreme sport! Thanks for your support!

Mujer Unica is a big magazine from my country Dominican Republic, it has 19 years out there and is a real honor to be able to express my love for the sport and my favorite brands!

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!

Sliding and Carving Tips

Posted By: Pete Benda

While most people wouldn’t even think to ride a bicycle without brakes, those of us who love longboarding have no other option but to learn some more “creative” methods for slowing down. The most useful and basic of these methods are carving and sliding, both of which involve using natural physics and friction to reduce speed and the likelihood of a nasty wipeout. I recommend to all new riders to get a firm grasp on these techniques before attempting to bomb any serious hills and studying the local crowd or Internet videos to perfect the execution. Carving and sliding are both very similar to snowboard maneuvers, although they require a bit more finesse due to our less forgiving terrain.

Carve It Up!

Carving a longboard is when you pull snaking S-turns from side to side, effectively slowing down and also giving a stronger feeling of control over a longboard that might be starting to speed-wobble. Practice on an easy downhill by leaning on the heels until reaching the gutter and then shifting the weight to the toes and completing an arching turn until the opposite side of the street. Continue this balanced turning dozens of times while keeping the knees bent while the back is straight and arms at your sides. Shifting your feet forward, toward the nose, will allow you to make a sharper carve but may set you off balance – practice until you find your personal sweet spot. Keep in mind that even simple movements can cause your board to react dramatically when hitting high speeds.

Slip-Sliding Away

If you’ve ever watched professional longboarding races, you’ve probably noticed the insane amount of time they spend literally drifting on their wheels as they fire down the track. This technique is known as sliding and is essential for those who want to conquer serious hills and take the sport to its maximum potential. There are a few different techniques, but all include creating friction with the wheels in order to brake. The most common slide is known as the Coleman slide and can bring you to a full stop if necessary. This trick requires slide gloves because of the need to place a hand on the rough cement. Pushing the rear heel forward and opening up the shoulders perpendicular to the street can create this slide if situated in a deep squat position. Practice in a squat position until it becomes comfortable, and remember that the lower body follows the shoulders and that the front foot should hold much of your weight, remaining strong and static throughout the slide.

Again and Again

These sliding techniques will allow you to gain confidence and control when longboarding and allow you to conquer hills that may seem beyond your skill level. They might be daunting at first, but with enough practice, your body will gradually memorize the movements, build the right muscles, and do much of the work for you once you have an idea of the proper execution. Keep in mind that all longboards can carve and slide, although some might be more difficult than others. Wheel size and shape, bushing choices, and weight all have a dramatic effect on the physics of a longboard. Don’t be discouraged if you cannot complete a wicked pendulum-like Coleman slide in the first week on your old water-logged longboard – the satisfaction you’ll feel when you finally hit it right will be worth the hard work.

Sector 9 2014 Longboards

Posted By: Pete Benda

Everything in the Sector 9 2014 lineup is made by masterful hands for the best, in not only quality, but design as well. If you don’t know who Victor Earhart is, do a little bit of research and thank this masterful man for making your longboards. And this year with Sector 9’s lineup, no matter what, you get an amazing board that’s been made better than ever.

First up, the Classix Series from Sector 9. This includes all of the amazing pintail shapes you’ve known and loved. Perfectly paired up with a mild amount of flex and wide effective foot platform, these boards are just screaming to be cruised on at the board walk. Perfect for taking around campus as well, on those sunny days where it’s just too nice not to bring out your skateboard.

But don’t be fooled, Sector 9 has a wild side as well. They have a whole plethora of boards that are ready and willing to hit those top speeds. And a completely new board for 2014 is the Sector 9 Carbon Flight. An all new top mount directional speed board with all the features you will need and none of the features you won’t. Perfect for those looking to win your next local race.

For the speed demons out there, check out the all new Sector 9 Steam Rollers. They are fast, grippy, and destructive! They are a 73mm tall wheel with a 70mm contact patch. They ensure you to hold the inside line with the roll speed you’ve only ever dreamed of. Then there’s the new Sector 9 Marshmallows. These are an awesome mini cruiser wheel that’s soft and gushy to really soak up the road vibrations. But don’t think that’s all they are good for. The Marshmallows are also an amazing freeride wheel ready to thane.

One of our old favorites has also had a graphic update in the Sector 9 Mini Shaka.

So if you haven’t yet, make sure you give Sector 9 a look. You’re sure to find amazing new rides and old decks with revamped graphics.

Never Summer 2014 Longboards

Posted By: Pete Benda

Never Summer 2014 Longboards

Never Summer is made up of some awesome guys from Colorado that you need to get to know. Not only are they an amazing snowboard manufacturer but they’re taking what they know about the construction of a snowboard, and putting them into the longboarding world. There is honestly not a single other board on the market with a construction like a Never Summer. The Never Summer lineup features speed boards, cruiser boards, freestyle boards, freeride boards, and everything in between.

First you get the Never Summer Admiral. This is an awesome freeride / freestyle board that’s ready to take command. With its 3D channels that are only able to be done by Never Summer, this board has awesome rails to hold on to when predrifting as well as early grabbing. But it comes in a larger size as well, the Never Summer Commander. Truly construction we have never seen before.

Then there is the double drop boards, the Never Summer Hooligan and the Never Summer Deviant. Being so low to the ground, these boards are extremely stable and comfortable for pushing around town as well. The drop platform also locks you in for freeriding and is perfect for freestyling the day away.

And of course there is always downhilling. The Never Summer Reaper fits that exact need of a top mount directional speed board. Because of Never Summer’s awesome design, this board features rocker, recessed truck mounts, wheel wells, wheel flares, micro drop, and W concave. A ton of features all designed to lock you in. This was only possible with Never Summer’s amazing snowboard construction in the longboarding world. Overall, these snowboarders are here to show you that they are a force to be reckoned with in the longboarding world.

2014 BUSTIN BOARDS | Don’t Just Stand There, BUST A MOVE!

Posted By: Pete Benda

Bustin 2014 Longboards

Bustin Boards is an amazing board company from New York that’s really killing it this year. They’ve already perfected their shapes and their decks, so their main focus this year was their design and construction. They’re coming at you with a ton of boards you already know and love, but they’re doing it bigger and better than ever this year by adding a few tricks and tips you haven’t even seen yet. The first is the all new Bustin Mission, coming at you with a new bamboo design and layup. This is the perfect addition to the shape, giving it the flex and snap this board has been begging to have. It absolutely completes this board.

Second is the Bustin Sportster; not only an amazing carbon construction, but they pair it up with a little brother. Yes, the all new Sportster 33. It’s perfect as a downhill and freeriding machine for anyone who likes a tight and nimble ride, as well as a setup that is perfect for anyone with a smaller stance.

The biggest most badass Bustin release of them all, the Bustin Ratarang! A completely symmetrical Bustin Ratmobile. We cannot get over how gnarly this thing looks. It’s a death metal band’s favorite setup. Ready to not only charge large hills, but its main purpose and design has freeriding in mind. The Bustin Ratarang is one of the most anticipated boards on the market this year, so make sure you get yours before they’re all gone.

Arbor 2014 Longboards

Posted By: Pete Benda

Arbor 2014 Longboards

Arbor is doing something special this year and making sure you get the best of the best from not only their decks, but wheels as well.

This year Arbor started something called the Sucrose Initiative. The Sucrose Initiative is their whole new lineup in wheels that pair up perfectly with any style of deck you may be riding. First is the Arbor Bogart. It’s a 61mm tall wheel that pairs up perfectly with the new and improved Arbor Shakedowns. Being a small wheel they’re awesome for cruising around and getting from place to place. But because of the Sucrose urethane, they are perfect for freeriding as well. So not only can you cruise on the Shakedown, you can get gnarly on them as well.

Next in the lineup is the Arbor Mosh. We love this wheel on the Arbor Bug. Perfect for cruising around and getting better roll speeds while also a quick acceleration while pushing. This is an awesome wheel, especially for tight downtown city shredding.

Lastly we have the all new Arbor Vice and the Arbor Summit wheels. Both of these wheels we would slap onto the all new Arbor Backlash 37. When you want to get your freeriding on and get sideways like none other, the Arbor Vice is the perfect ride for such a thing. And when you’re looking to downhill and reach maximum speed, the Arbor Summit is perfect for you. It’ll help you take the inside line as well as give you maximum exit speed out of your predrifts. You are wondering why both of those wheels are good for one board? Because the Backlash 37 is that great of a setup! Ready to rip both styles!

Great Longboarding Tricks

Posted By: Pete Benda

Even living far from the thrill of a freshly paved hill, you can still get a rush from taking out the board and learning some new tricks. Though often evolved from the pantheon of skateboard flips, grabs, and maneuvers, longboard tricks have developed a style and culture all their own as they continue to be tweaked in extreme and beautiful ways. Because of the added size and weight a longboarder must deal with, riders have designed innovative ways of using gravity, friction, and monstrous willpower to create a diverse collection of longboard tricks. The limits of possibility are constantly pushed by those who dedicate themselves to practice and the creative spirit.

One of the best ways to improve your downhill skills while learning some graceful longboard ballet is drawn from surfing maneuvers. Sometimes referred to as “longboard dancing,” these kinds of tricks develop balance and coordination.

Walkin’ the Plank

This basic trick includes literally walking up and down your board while it glides gracefully along the pavement. Bending the knees low, balance with your arms and adjust your position, giving all of your muscles and mentality perfect practice for more difficult tricks. Try going up on one foot for a variation known as “chop the wood” or switching the orientation of your feet in a surfing technique known as “cross-stepping.” Once you’ve mastered that, pay homage to the Beach Boys by placing both feet parallel on the nose and “hanging ten,” preferably while wearing a Hawaiian shirt.

Manuals

Another foundational longboarding trick involves lifting your nose or tail off the ground and cruising on just two wheels; find a comfortable position and spread your arms out like an eagle to help find the sweet spot. Different board styles make these tricks vary in difficulty – try tightening your bushings if you find it impossible to keep good balance. Once you are able to pull a smooth manual for a good dozen or so feet, try what’s known as a “G-turn” by executing a sweeping turn while in the manual position. G-turns can be heavily modified to link tricks and create graceful lines to impress the neighbors with your longboarding skills. Try practicing without moving by walking your board in 180s until you can perform them on a slow roll, thus achieving the hearty “big spin.”

Off the Ground

While some smaller longboards may allow you to “Ollie,” most will require a little more ingenuity in order to catch some air. A simple precursor trick is the “shanker,” which is done by pushing like a “Nollie” on the nose and jumping – giving the impression of a slight pop. Deeply bending the knees and grabbing the board with one or two hands, longboarders can pull the board upwards as they jump to hit the famous “early grab.” Pros can often clear a foot or two just with practiced early grab technique and a bellowing grunt. Instead of pulling the board into your feet, jump first and then let the wood follow, and make sure to keep the board balanced, grabbing just forward of the center to avoid driving your nose into that hard, hard cement.

Another slightly more difficult way to catch some air is by hitting the “boneless.” This skateboard trick involves grabbing the edge of your board behind the front truck with one hand and using your front foot to actually kick off of the ground. While it’s tricky on a heavy board, planting your body for a quick moment on the pavement opens up a world of longboarder tricks like the “boneless kick-flip” or “boneless shove-it,” when you jump and toss the deck in a 180 and then land smoothly to cruise off into the sunset. Experiment with placing your hand at different angles or sides of the board to adjust the leverage and open up new possibilities.

Reaching Longboard Nirvana

One of the great things about longboarding is its relative freshness as a sport. New tricks and ideas get inscribed into the Holy Book of Longboarding each and every day, giving riders new foundations to build upon and be inspired by. Try making up your own tricks and sharing them with fellow riders and in turn learning from them to expand your vocabulary. Practicing is all about having fun and changing the way we ride, and nothing feels quite as good as finally landing that epic trick and realizing that you can achieve what you once thought impossible.

Lakai Camby Earl Shoes

Posted By: Pete Benda

Lakai Earl Camby Shoes

In a collab that’s been far too long coming, the Lakai x Earl Sweatshirt Camby Collab shoes are in here at Daddies. The one-and-only Earl Sweatshirt grew up skating with Lakai Team Rider Nakel Smith, so the Lakai x Earl Collab has been in the makings for a while. Earl insisted on creating at least one “made for skate” pair along with the canvas “stage-ready” pair, so that’s what they did. They created a pair of shoes with lightly padded collars and mesh lining. Lakai gave them cushioned footbeds with the Earl Sweatshirt face logo and vulcanized the outsole for improved flexibility. They also include 4 hole laces with metal eyelets, and exclusive OFWGKTA brand tag at the sides. Whether you get the “made for skate” (Suede uppers) or the “stage-ready” (Canvas), shoes you get a pair of Lakai’s ready to shred the streets or look cleaned up, depending on the occasion. We here at Daddies are proud to have both the suede colors created with skate uppers, and the more street style canvas models as well. Earl wants you to have a pair, and so do we, so pick a pair of the Lakai Camby Earl Collabkicks while supplies last.