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    Reviews

    Seismic Cry Baby (80a vs 88a) Wheel Review

    Seismic Cry Baby Review (80a vs 88a)



    Yellow 80a test setup:
    Omen Sugar Kick
    Newton Trucks
    Zealous Bearings

    Blue 88a test setup:
    Pantheon Gaia
    Buck Trucks
    Dirty Bearings

    First Impressions:

    With pastel colors and cartoon baby diaper graphics, Seismic doesn't seem to feel the need to force your respect for this wheel. I like that...let the performance speak for itself. Beyond that, the wheels were well formed...if there were a few bubbles they didn't seem to be in places that would cause problems. Plus, I like that I can tell other skaters the 88a version are my "Baby Blues" and then wink at them and do kissy face (it makes them skate faster). The one concern I had was that the mold release seemed slick and even a little sticky...gimmicky or not, I've grown accustomed to stone ground freeride wheels and wondered how this might affect the breaking in period.

    Riding Experiences:

    Ok so...first slide in, and I was already proved wrong. I'm ok with that, we're all the victim of good marketing from time to time. Though one could definitely argue that the mold release was pretty sticky, because after just one slide it had already stuck to the ground in thick lines of thane. Both duros broke in quickly, the 88a settled into the pavement a little later than the 80a...but still a one-run break in either way.

    Yellow Seismic Cry Baby 80a:



    The yellows are really smooth and slide like green olive hummus. Hmm...maybe that's a bad analogy, not everyone likes hummus. How about this: remember when you were little and you dropped Play-dough on the sidewalk, and when your mom told you to clean it up you just smeared it with your new shoes instead? Yea...That's a WAY better analogy. It's kind of exactly like that.


    Blue Seismic Cry Baby 88a:



    The blues are a little different; the hardness is more apparent than some other 88a wheels I've tried. They roll like skateboard wheels on rough surfaces but tend to go a little faster on smoother ground. Couple that with an icy slide that feels like sidewalk chalk and you have a wheel that's begging for some concrete. More advanced riders might embrace the techy feel this wheel gets on the hill...but when riders of all levels ask if there's a wheel that slides well in parking garages or ditches, I immediately tell them all about my baby blues.

    Wear?

    Like the slide characteristics, the wear also changed drastically with the durometer. The yellow wheels are like performance mids. They last a little longer than you'd expect and wear more consistently, but at the end of the day, they still dump thane. You can't have it both ways. On the other hand, the blue version lasts a bit longer but still leaves nice lines on the hill. In a parking garage, you'll feel them thane, but won't see lines...instead your trucks will be covered in dust at the end of a good session. Either way it has quite a bit more longevity compared to its softer brother/sister.

    Criticisms:

    It's hard to complain about these wheels without sounding silly, but I'm going to do it anyway...they aren't for speed. Neither version has a crazy good roll speed and your brand new wheels will break in the second you even try to grip a corner. The yellow version don't last long and while I don't mind saying that the blue version are probably the best wheels you can use in a parking garage...I can also admit how limited of a need that is. So unless you live in Florida or Albuquerque you might not even need to worry about a concrete-specific setup.

    You can get your Seismic Cry Babies here.

    Review by The Longboard Critic Jonathan King

    Volante Mini Checkers Review

    Volante Mini Checkers Test Setup:

     

    Loaded Tesseract

    Atlas Trucks

    Seismic 6-Ball

    Volante Mini Checkers

     

    First Impressions:

    Volante is not a brand that messes around with wacky looking wheels, their graphics are definitely all business. Even at a glance these are some seriously classy wheels: center set white urethane on an orange core with two blue stripes on the side, the larger of which contains text and a little checker graphic reminiscent of some kind of old school race track marquee. The text reads: VOLANTE CHECKER 64mm 82a. Overall it's a very "classics never die" look, leaving no doubt in my mind: if Sinatra longboarded, that pimp would roll on Mini Checkers.

     


    Riding Experience:

    Riding Mini Checkers for the first time really is a very unique experience. They start off surprisingly grippy but break in pretty quick. Just a few slides and they were releasing consistently and sliding really well. However, I’d like to note that I was cocky (see: forgetful) and didn’t bring my gloves to break them in...BIG mistake. Not a fun wheel to standie until you at least get past the mold release. Until then they’re totally swoosh: nothin’ but sketch. After you get past the mold release though they tend to be very glidey and "above the pavement" at first, not thaning all that much...and gradually sink in and feel really chalky. It's a strange transition from super grippy too kinda techy too consistent and smooth, but it's really fun once you realize you're getting all that out of one wheel.

     

    Wear?

    Once completely broken in they start to live up to their non-mini name with a nice controlled slide that lays just enough thane to know where you've been. They don't last forever, but hold together well enough that you won't regret getting a 64mm wheel. Plus, flat spots and ovals won't be in your near future unless you have really bad form or use a belt grinder to core your wheels.

     

    Criticisms:

    I understand that the size and shape of a wheel changes its slide characteristics quite a bit...but I was still very surprised how different the Mini version felt from the original Checkers. It's been a while, but I don't remember the OG checkers being as grippy, even once broken in. Volante doesn't hide the fact that they enjoy speed (the graphic makes it obvious that they're named after the racing flags of the same name) so it would make sense that they'd want to provide a 64mm wheel that wasn't just for putting on DKs...but it would have been nice if they warned us. Lucky for you, that's exactly what I'm doing: be warned, this wheel may look small...but it's still designed for fast freeride.

    Review by Jonathan King of The Longboard Critic.

    Remember Collective Farley Review

    Test Setup:
    Pantheon Longboards Embryo/DB Longboards Stalker
    2014 proto 165 Lite Reys/2013 Death Reys
    Zealous Bearings
    Remember Farleys
    First impression:

    The Remember Farleys have been great for me! On first impression they reminded me a lot of a RAD Advantage. Being that they have nearly the exact specs (both 78a and the Advantages standing only 2mm taller) the comparison was easy to make. with a contact patch of 68mm and a soft lip, I knew the Farleys would be good for going fast.

    Riding experience:

    After racing the Farleys in the Grand Rapids Urban Downhill and also in a practice run at Maryhils Festival of Speed, I must say I am impressed. The roll speed on the Farleys is fantastic! Even with their slightly shorter height, these wheels were still extremely comparable to the 78a RAD Advantages in speed! Since those 2 races, I have been using them more and more to practice drifts and pre drifts. Once completely scrubbed, Farleys are a great fast freeride wheel.

    Final thoughts:

    Remember Collective Farleys are a great escape from the boring world of downhill wheels. Break away from the stereotypical world of RADs, Abec11, Orangatang, Bustin and try something new! There is a reason that the Farley's little brother (Hoots) have gotten so much hype! Experience it for yourself with the Remember Collective Farleys.

    Get your set of Remember Collective Farleys for only $43.95 here!

    Written by Team Rider Ben Bos.

    Method Air Wheels Review


    Method Air Longboard Test Setup: 

    Madrid Nessie
    Aera K3 - 42o
    Zealous Bearings


    Background:

    I've been riding these wheels for around a year and a half now.  The Method Air wheel is the primary slide wheel offered by Method Skateboards, and they are delicious indeed.  With a 71mm diameter, 32mm contact and a centerset core, these wheels bring a new definition to the term "slide wheel".

     

     

     

     

    Here are the wheels on my setup and fellow Method team rider Alex Adams' setup, along with the favorite local hill in the background:

    Riding Experience:

    The first thing you might notice when riding these wheels is the extremely quick break-in period.  With a stone-ground finish, these wheels start painting thane to their fullest ability within one to two slides. 

    The second thing you will notice is the extent to which these wheels thane.  These wheels don't require you to skate like Mike Fitter to be painting thick lines; even simple 180 slides will leave a mark.  This makes these wheels great for beginners and experts alike - beginners can experience the thrill of leaving thane, while the experts can still throw big, controlled standies and leave thane like it was sidewalk chalk. 

    A closeup of some of the thane these wheels can dump:

    The third thing you will find with these wheels is the smoothness of the slide.  These wheels are called the "Air" for a reason - you feel like you are sliding on air.  No chatter, no howling, just a smooth and buttery glide across the pavement.  If I had to describe the thane/slide, it would definitely not be entirely sugary, but I don't know if I could describe it as completely buttery either.   It has the buttery smooth slide of Abec 11 classic thane, but yet somehow a bit of the "sugary" slide of These 717 thane.   Team rider Alex Adams compares them to Venom Sidewinders or Volante thane.

     

     

    Wear:

    As with any wheel that dumps thane, it comes at a cost.  These wheels do wear as with any wheel, however, for the amount of thane Airs dump, they are quite durable.    Here is a size comparison of new to about 5-6 hours of hard riding:



    As you can see, although the wheel did wear, it is nothing "extreme", in fact, it is quite good for a wheel that covers your trucks in thane.


     

    Another great thing about the wear on these wheels is that because they are centerset, they can be flipped to minimize coning without changing the feel of the trucks.  This is important feature to have in a slick freeride wheels, as it also helps the wheel grip more to maximize your thane-dumping capabilities.

    Final Thoughts:

    These wheels are an amazing freeride wheel that will have you grinning from ear to ear with every slide.  I found these wheels shine most in a slightly more grippy topmount setup, however, they are definitely enjoyable in any setup you throw at them.  Get a set and mark your territory!  
    By Brett Leonardo.

    Buy your Method Airs at the limited time price of $35.95 here today!