Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wheels and Deals

So, I love longboarding.

I got a longboard last year and I have had a ton of fun with it. This first board of mine is a Sector 9 Carbon Trilam Spoontail. The deck is comprised of 5 plies of maple sandwiched between layers of fiberglass with a carbon fiber 'X' running down the board. It came with Gullwing Charger trucks (black) and Race formula Nineball wheels with greaseball bearings.

My second board I started making a couple months later with a friend and we got 47" decks online and started coming up with ideas on how to paint them and what kinds of trucks and wheels to put on them. It was a lot of fun planning and getting everything. We both went with Randall II 180mm trucks, his were raw mine are black coated, and ABEC 11 Gumballs for the wheels with Bones Reds bearings. My friend got done painting and grip taping way before I did. He stained his deck a mahogany color and then put a double stripe down the length of the board in a green that matched the wheels. I liked the color and planned my own design. I wanted to leave the wood color the same and then made a single stripe that ran the length of the board flaring at both ends. I outlined the green stripe with a thin line of black on both sides and coated it all with a sealer. It looked way good and I was proud. I just needed to find a place I could get clear grip tape in long enough pieces so I wouldn't have a seam in the tape.

It took a while, a few months actually, for me to even paint the board, and a few more to find a shop with clear grip tape. I finally heard tell of a shop in the area that had a good supply of everything so I wanted to check it out. I was awestruck when I walked in, there was a ton of different types of boards and clothing and everything that makes a shop like that great. I asked about the tape and they showed me their supply. What I really wanted to know was could they tape it up right then? That way I could start riding it without fear of my feet slipping off. They said they could and I got my board from my car and brought it in. I had it put together so they took the trucks off and started getting the tape ready, but the guy didn't wipe off the deck like I asked him to. I had been doing a little cruising and there was dirt and stuff on the surface that I really didn't want embalmed under the tape for me to see forever. He went to get a cloth to wipe the deck and then got ready to put on the tape. The tape was applied and the excess cut off and then he offered to put it all back together. I was in a hurry to go shooting and everyone was waiting on me so I didn't need him to take any longer, I said no but he said he could do it really quick. I relented and said not to tighten anything as one truck needed to go on the front because it compensated for a flaw in the mounting holes. If he got it wrong I would have that much more work when I got home. You see, there was a 50% chance he would get it right, but according to that "one" theory: if there's a chance you can get it wrong it's most likely to come out that way. Of course that's what he did, and I again said to not tighten anything all the way down. He did. Actually he did more than tighten things, he sunk a screw halfway through the board. I did a little venting at that and he loosened the drill (I like to hand tighten everything so I know exactly how tight it is) and he sunk the next screw even deeper. I freaked a little and he very carefully finished up.

Well now, I am not a happy camper and I write a letter to the owner detailing my frustrations. The owner calls me and we meet, I show him the board and he offers to help fix it with some counter sunk washers. He also offered to get me a board in his shop for cost instead of retail. That's sweet. I got a Loaded Dervish for $60 off the board and then I got Paris 180mm trucks and Orangatang Durian wheels with Diamond bearings.

I'm pretty happy.