Rainskates Tsunami Test Setup:
Restless Fishbowl 37
Caliber V2 50°
Rainskates Tsunamis look fantastic, they are a nice bright orange that's also somehow warm and earthy. The overall look is familiar enough without being the exact same shape and every other wheel on the market. Plus, the wave graphic is pretty clever and I like the imagery of them crashing over the core with every rotation of the wheel. Though I have to admit, I was worried it may be foreshadowing. Were the words "rain" and "tsunami" meant to warn of this hard freeride wheels icy slides? Was I going to feel like I was hydroplaning out of control? Was this seriously going to hurt? I guess there's only one way to know for sure...make Guy try them first.
Ok, so there are some really nice wheels out there that are available in harder options...but there's definitely something to be said for a urethane formula that's actually designed entirely around a harder duro. Not only are they not uncontrollable, tsunamis are surprisingly grippy before being broken in, and feel really nice in a bowl or skatepark. Once past the skin, the release becomes smoother, but still well defined. Slides are clean, controlled, and leave thick lines of pale thane. Which...is the coolest and most unique thing about the wheel: they slide like they thane, thick but light. A really controlled but definitively hard-wheeled slide that I can only describe as "halfway in the pavement". It's granular feeling...but also really smooth, like sidewalk chalk that was left out in the rain. Maybe that's where the name came from.
It's hard to complain about these wheels for freeride, so I won't. However, they do indirectly affect other aspects of your riding. First off, they aren't the smoothest rolling wheels. No need to limit yourself to concrete, since even most asphalt isn't really going to trip you up...but if you regularly skate really janky roads, expect a foot massage. Also, these wheels are a bit heavy for having such a tech oriented feel. Again, not a huge deal of weight, but enough that you might notice on smaller DKs (which is exactly what you'd want to put these wheels on).
With all the soft wheels out there trying to wear slower and feel like hard wheels...Rainskates might just be proof that we've been looking at it entirely the wrong way. Hard wheels already last forever and slide like ice...that's two out of three right there. All we needed was someone who cared enough to formulate just the right urethane to make them smooth and controlled. That's pretty much exactly what Rainskates did. These are great wheels and while I did my best to explain how they feel...they really are an indescribably unique product that everyone should try for themselves.
Written and tested by The Longboard Critic, Jonathan King.
Get a set of Rainskates Tsunamis here!