Skateboard vs Longboard

December 3, 2016

So you're looking to getting a longboard or a skateboard, but because your budget is tight I can only get one and don't have the luxury of trying both. You may be thinking that you should get a longboard first so you can get good at just riding and then later on buying a skateboard to learn tricks whenyou're more comfortable.

Does the idea sound good?

Well, skateboards will be cheaper in general and I was all trial by fire when I got started, but I ended up on a longboard semi-perminately.

Longboards are generally better for cruising if you just want to ride (especially if you've never done it before)

That being said, personally, I would just get a skateboard because of the lower budget and because you're ultimate goal is a skateboard and doing tricks.

I would do this because you could always get a cheaper complete skateboard that could be used to learn how to ride and balance. Then, once you have confidence you can go straight into learning tricks.

This would mean that you wouldn't have to go and buy another board and then take the time to relearn how it works because with the skateboard being smaller and more maneuverable it will feel different. (It shouldn't be really different but it would be different)

You can get the best of both world (sort of). Get a skateboard and buy softer wheels.

The softer wheels are more like long boards where the softer they are, the less bouncing you will encounter while learning to ride.

Once you felt comfortable and wanted to learn tricks, you can then just buy harder wheels and put those on. This would be again cheaper than buying a whole new board and would skip the whole "Getting used to a smaller board and how it feels to ride" stage of transitioning.

That's my personal opinion.

Tags  |  Decks  |   |  Katherine

Bounty Hunter Japan

November 29, 2016

Founded in 1995 by Hikaru Iwanaga, Bounty Hunter is a punk-inspired and vinyl toy brand.

Iwanaga grew up in the countryside town of Sasebo and in junior high he discovered his love of punk through a Sex Pistols record. Throughout junior high Iawanage would do nothing but attend punk shows and constantly draw. He aimed to attend Nagasaki Nichidai High School due to them being the only high school with a design course. It was then In high school Iwanaga decided that he wanted to attend Bunka Fashion Institute and open up his own store after experiencing and realizing how hard it was to get Punk clothing in his neighborhood. In 1997 Iwanaga released his first toy under the Bounty Hunter imprint, titled “Kid Hunter” and was designed by SK8THING/SKATETHING.

As the Bounty Hunter vinyl toys began to gain more popularity Iwanaga decided to expand and create clothing.

I feel like with most Japanese brands it's not so much about creating crazy avant garde pieces (with the exception of CDG) but more about going back and redefining classics. Finding and sourcing the best fabrics to use in pieces and assembling them right there in their home country.

Another important aspect is about these brands is that they like to be very much involved with not only the design aspect but the creation of their products.

There's a reason that quality has become synonymous with a lot of Japanese brands.

Speaking on core Japanese streetwear besides Bounty Hunter, WTaps, Undercover and MMJ should also be mentioned, however CDG, visvim and nanamica have no place here if you're talking about streetwear like Bounty Hunter.

Tags  |  Street  |   |  Katherine

Tricky

November 13, 2016

If you want to learn some tricks, go for a regular shape skateboard.

Nothing matches the feeling of working at a trick and landing it, it's a really rewarding feeling and it's addicting. Also, you can skate bowls and stuff too.

If you just need transportation, a longboard of a shorter variant with a kick-tail like in the about video would be a good choice.

You could also get a cruiser, which is kind of a mix between skateboard and street board. It's more designed for cruising but still has a kick-tail and you can learn tricks on them, carve at the park, etc.

It all comes down to your personal preference and needs. What do you want to do?

Think of it like this - once comfortable riding, do you want to try moving onto skating transition, and learning to ollie over stuff like gaps, or do you want to surf the street and hill bomb?

I switched over to a cruiser (landyachtz ripple ridge) and I love it.

You can ollie on most cruisers if you want, but put some nice wheels on it and you're off to surf the concrete jungle. Also, longboard wheels are so much quieter than skateboard wheels which makes for a more comfortable cruising experience as not as many people will look at you. The bigger softer wheels are easy on most cracks in the pavement, and the wider wheel base gives more stability, too.

I started skating in my late teens with a trick deck, and after discovering how smooth and easier longboards are to ride, never looked back.

Tags  |  Decks  |   |  Katherine

City Riding/Transportation

November 4, 2016

So what are some good decks for city riding/transportation? Really it comes down to more, you can use any board, and if you are comfortable with it then it is the right one.

If you have a skateboard you can always put soft small wheels on it. NoSkools, etc. or you could check out churchillmfg.com . They've got blank completes for ~130. There's also the Earthwing supermodel which everyone suggests for someone who's unsure of what they want. I think a double drop complete is ~180?

Bustin Maestro is realy easy to push and low weight. Also there is a mini version that should weight even less.

You can check that out at muirskate.com.

Say you want a longboard, I'd probably suggest decks like:

  • Earthwing Miniglider (~$75)
  • Landyachtz Pocketknife (~$75)

For trucks, any 150mm RKP - like Paris 150 or Randall's; or 160mm TKP - like Indy's 169.

And for wheels something soft and around 65mm I guess, maybe more if you don't mind using risers.

Tags  |  Decks  |   |  Katherine

The Streetwear Basics

October 20, 2016

Getting into street wear can be a little intimidating. This guide provides staring points for Casual menswear in general.

It'll focus more on entry level and well known brands. As you become more comfortable you can start to explore the plethora of street wear bands available. Good brands to start with include Stussy, Supreme, 10deep, Only and I love Ugly. Here is and album to start you off with some inspiration.

Now we can break down the outfit. Let's work from the bottom up.

Sneakers

Sneakers are usually the focal point of a street wear fit. This is wear you should feel free to play with a lot of different styles.

Sneakers can get expensive so start with a few versatile pairs and then you can move into collecting and expanding your rotation.

  • High Tops: High tops are a stylish sneaker synonymous with the street wear aesthetic. They look good with jeans and chinos. Avoid wearing high tops with shorts. Some people don't like them with joggers but you can make it work. White high tops are a good starting point but more colorful colorways are also popular, especially white black and red color pallets. Start with Vans Sk8 Hi, (General Release) Jordan 1, Nike Dunk SB, Nike Air Force One and Nike Blazers.
  • Trainers: Trainers are a very versatile sneaker. They are generally a chunkier low top sneaker. They look great with joggers especially. They are easier to wear with shots in the warmer months. Feel free to explore the plethora of color ways available in these styles. Check out Various New Balance Models (574, 501, 420), Saucony Jazz, Asisc Gel Lyte iii, Nike Air Max 90, Nike Roshe Run.
  • Luxury Sneakers: These are generally all white, minimalist, high quality sneakers. The big two here are Common Project Achilles Low and MM GATS
  • Other: Other popular low top style sneakers you should check out include Vans (Authentic, Old Skool) Adidas Stan Smiths, and Converse All Stars
  • Boots: In colder months wear some Black Docs or Wheat Timbs

Pants

Pant's tend to be more of a backdrop for the rest of your outfit.

Keep it simple here.

Fit wise you should look for something with a little more room in the seat and thighs with an aggressive taper. This will keep your pants from covering up your sneakers, which are generally the focal point of the outfit. longer inseam will allow for stacking if desired.

  • Denim: You need at least one pair of black and blue jeans each. Light wash denim is very popular in street wear but dark wash can work also. If you're in the US, Levi's is your best bet. Be sure to try them on in store because their quality control is trash. Once you're comfortable look into Raw Denim, Unbranded, Naked and Famous, APC, 3Sixteen. The fades can look sick over time.
  • Chino's: The most popular color of chino's is classic khaki. Chino shorts are your best bet for shorts, just make sure they rest above the knee. Start off with Levis, Dockers, and Uniqlo before moving into more established street wear brands, like I Love Ugly.
  • Jogger's: Joggers can be great for showing off your sneakers. denim and chino jogger's have been popular lately but they look the best in a sweat pant or techwear material. Start with either a black or grey Colorway. Joggers can be found at a lot of places. I'd recommend checking out Uniqlo, Stussy and Cotton On for starters.

Tops

This section covers base layer t shirts and mid layer tops.

The Fit you'll want to go with is fitted in the shoulders with a looser longer dit towards the bottom. example. Start with solid monochrome colors. You can work your way into more colorful tops or graphic tops. You have to be careful with graphic tops because design and brand play a big role in street wear. Start with Uniqlo, Asos and Reining Champ for unbranded things. Stussy and Supreme are great for graphics. Be careful with mall brands like Obey and Diamond Supply. They make ok clothing but the brands are looked down on by a lot of people for being basic mall-core streetwear.

Try not to care too much what people think of you but be aware that they carry a certain stigma.

  • T shirts: Short sleeve crew necks are the default. Look into scoop neck t's, long sleeve t's, and baseball t's. A popular style right now is the elongated t it looks best when layered.
  • Sweatshirts: Basic crew necks are great for layering and keeping warm. Start with grey and black colors. Hoodies in both zip-up and pullover styles look great.
  • Button Downs: Patterned buttons downs are also very popular. Short and long sleeve can work, but they have to be fitted. Plaid is the most accessible pattern. camo and floral are a little played out at this point but if you like it wear it.

Outerwear

Outerwear is a staple of winter streetwear. Definitely play around with length.

Cropped jackets and over-sized coats can look great.

  • Hard shells: Hard shells and windbreakers can look great during a rainy spring season. Get one in black and then look into more colorful jackets. Again Uniqlo is your best friend. Look at the Patagonia torrent shell. Bape is King. Keep an eye out for Supreme windbreakers also
  • Bombers/Varsity's: Cropped Jackets are great for layering and playing with silhouette. Get a bomber in black for a minimalist look and olive for a grungier look. Varsity jackets are trendier but they still look great. Blue/white or red/white are classic colors. Black/black and black/white are better for minimalism. Look at Asos, Stussy, Supreme, and TOJ (buy used on Grailed or Ebay)
  • Leather jackets. Buy black or brown in a moto, bomber or double rider. Don't skimp here! Nothing looks worse than cheap leather. Start with Schott or a used TOJ. Save up and one day you could cop a Saint Laurent Paris Jacket.
  • Parkas: Parka are essential in colder months. Fishtail and snorkel styles are both popular. Don't be afraid to go over-sized. Again black and olive are great starting colors. Uniqlo (no surprise) has some every season. Alpha industries makes great entry level coats. Normal street wear brands(Stussy, Supreme, Bape) usually carry parka's.

Hats

This is a great place to have fun. Buy from traditional street wear brands here. Stussy, Supreme, 10deep, The Hundreds, Only... ect. you get the idea here.

Start with solid colors and then get into patterns.

  • Baseball hats: Strap Backs are king right now. Fitted hats can work well. Snap-backs aren't in style but wear what you want.
  • Five Panels: Five panels are very stylish right now. Supreme is the most popular brands
  • Bucket Hats: These have been very popular over the past year but they are fading quickly. Be careful with bucket hats. If you can confidently pull it off go for it.
  • Beanies: Beanies are great in the winter. Start with Neutrals but feel free to experiment. Carhartt is a pretty affordable option.
Tags  |  Street  |   |  Katherine

Giving A Skater A Setup As A Gift

October 6, 2016

When it comes to setups there is a lot more to it than the picture on the deck.

"Oh, he will love this dragon..."

While the deck might appeal to the recipient, there is a lot more to it than that.

A LOT MORE!

I want to give you an idea of the basics.

  1. Deck: These come in loads of different varieties, but at the basic level, it's the shaped plank of wood you stand on.
  2. Trucks: These are what your wheels attach to. Trucks are the metal turning mechanism that attach the longboard wheels to the deck. In conjunction with Bushings (small rubber inserts) they allow you to turn by tilting your deck from side to side.
  3. Wheels
  4. Bearings
  5. Small rings that fit between your wheel & axle that allow smooth-spinning wheels. You need 8 of them; 2 for each wheel.
  6. Bearing Spacers: Tiny cylinders that fit between your two bearings. They're cheap & you can skate without them, but using them will make for a much quieter, smoother, safer ride.
  7. Hardware: The nuts, bolts & washers that hold everything together.

Now you know the parts of your longboard! Let's go through a basic checklist on some must have safety gear if you are buying this for somebody who doesn't have their own gear yet. If you are buying them a board and they have never learned to ride, well, you are putting that loved one at risk.

The bare minimum:

Helmet

Safety is a very important issue in longboarding, especially when you're a beginner. Don't be dumb, wear a helmet. It's cheaper than the hospital bills. Look for a CPSC Certified Half-Shell Helmet.

Safety Gear

You can never have too much safety gear. There are some extra items you want to consider:

  • Slide Gloves: These protect your hands & also allow you to do several important safety stops. These are your second-most important piece of safety gear, aside from your helmet. You might think that wrist guards could serve this purpose. They will not. Get yourself some slide gloves.
  • Wrist Guards: Does what the name suggests.
  • Knee Pads: Another important piece of equipment, these will prevent your knees from looking like the surface of the moon. Get yourself some hard-cap kneepads & you'll thank yourself later.
Tags  |  Equipment  |   |  Katherine