Vault Moonquakes Longboard Test Setup:
Original Arbiter KT
44° Caliber II
Straight out of the package Moonquakes were impressive. With a pretty small contact relative to their 70mm size they seem much taller than you would expect. Plus, the sky blue color and silky smooth mold release makes me think auto-correct might have been right before when it tried to change “Moonquake” to “Milkshake”. I expect the slide will be smooth and lean more towards a resistant chalky feeling.
Considering this formula was initially designed for downhill wheels like the Avalanches, they break in really easily. Even with the glossy finish, it will only take around five slides to get the chatter out. Until then, the release is going to be abrupt, but they mellow out as they break in. They’re really resilient to wear and show very minimum coning for a side set wheel. The outer edge is such a gradual curve that the lip stays round even after wearing the wheel down several millimeters. This keeps slide initiation smooth even as the contact patch gets bigger, making for better resistance and more control as you get farther into the urethane. They’re also pretty consistent over different surfaces and even seem to slide the same on both cold and hot pavement, so it’s great if you skate in the winter and need a wheel for faster freeride.
One thing I did notice was that the consistency faded as you reached the core. hook-up and release became sporadic, and at times a bit hard to control. Also, for the thane line lovers out there, sorry no luck with these wheels. They have a very “above the pavement” kind of feel. So while that may contribute to them sliding the same in the cold, it also makes for a wheel that can chatter a bit if your weight placement isn’t on point. Definitely designed to work well with more speed oriented boards with bigger wheel bases. Not the best wheels for short wheelbases and tech oriented tom-puttery.
The overall package of a tall slow-wearing wheel is definitely worth it, especially considering their so reasonably priced. If you’re looking for something thats going to slide for days but still hold up to a few good sessions, look no farther. The Vault Moonquake is a great wheel for fast freeride and a stellar option for the winter months.
Get your Vault Moonquakes here!
Written by Guy Panno.