Today my friend Chris and I went out to skate a ditch. Unfortunately the ditch was full of water, a result of the constant rains of the last few weeks. So we went to a hill at a local condo development that we’ve been skating on and off for the last year. Luckily the condos don’t seem to be selling very fast, so traffic is still really minimal. Chris didn’t have a longboard with him so I let him ride my Loaded Vanguard. I used my trusty 1999 40″ Comet Proflex Park deck, with the usual Randal-II trucks and 81a ABEC11 Striker wheels (66mm).
We took a couple of runs without the camera. The hill is pretty mild, but it is constant. You pretty much get a nice 15mph ride without really trying. Pushing hard at the top and bombing it you might add 5 or 10 mph. So it’s not scarey. Then I took out the camera and shot this pics. I’m pretty happy with the way they turned out. I was rolling beside Chris. The camera really got a good focus on him, snapped the shot fast, resulting a clear image of him but you can really see the motion if you look at the full-size images and look at the concrete. Cool. The camera is a Canon Powershot SD550. Digital photography is really killer.
Chris had an interesting reaction to the Loaded Vanguard board. He said it initially felt pretty sketchy when he was pushing, probably due to the flex. After riding it on the hill he seemed to like it, noting that the mild concave really helped you feel dialed-in on the flexy longboard. Of course, the ABEC11 Gumball wheels roll so smoothly — the whole thing just combines for a great downhill ride. Chris carved, bombed, and pumped down the hill.
The session just wasn’t long enough. After about 20 minutes it started to rain again. Not just a sprinkle — enough to really get the street wet. About that time the guy from the development showed up and said “very sorry to ruin your Saturday, but I’ve gotta ask you guys to leave” – citing their “liability”. No problem — it was raining anyway. Kinda funny though — we were on a public street, not private property. Still, even had it not been raining, it would have been smarter just to split and come back later when he was gone. No reason to piss him off.
And go back I will. I had a good time carving the hill. When the weather improves and days are longer, I’ll have to start hitting that hill in the evenings. I’d like to practice my surf-style board walking and spinners while enjoying a nice downhill carve. Maybe I’ll even get out my slider gloves and practice some slides. Next time I’ll take my Comet Downhill board and try it out.
As I reviewed the pictures, I couldn’t help but laugh at that hideous backgrounds. When Adam Colton shoots pics and does video, it always seems like he’s in a very picturesque place. Oh well — you skate wherever you can. At any rate, I can’t say enough good things about the Loaded Vanguard and ABEC11 wheels. They really make the downhill skating experience enjoyable.
That sounds like it was pretty enjoyable
I am a longboarder myself
only girl in my town that does
im thinking of buying a loaded vanduard. Is it a great board and a lot of fun?
I like to skate about 4 times a week so i go a far bit.
how fast were u going?
i like to go 40km.
I would not recommend the Vanguard for going that fast. We were probably only going about 15mph. It is a really fun board, but is not a good board for high speeds.
I have a loaded vanguard with flex 3 and it’s a great fun, cruising board, but personally, I think it’s a BAD idea for bombing or even hills if you’re a beginner as I’ll find the bamboo and flex makes it prone to speed wobbles. If you’re going far and it’s mostly flat with slopes, it’s fine. Like I said, super fun and carve-y. 🙂
I’d recommend a dropped board for long-distance commutes though; it’ll be easier to push and you won’t feel like you’ve just come out of an aerobic step up class. Personally, I like super gummy ( low durometer… 75A or 78) wheels for commuting because I don’t need the hardness for sliding, and the softness absorbs the uneveness of patchy roads and sidewalks better, but you’ll compromise a bit a speed. Watch for wheelbite with bigger wheels though.