by Gabe Gywnne Well, home at last! What a trip it was, a big shout out to everyone in Vancouver and Cali for being incredibly rad, no matter where you are from or how bad your hair is [cough...leigh and bowditch..cough] there was always a warm bed, couch or floor to be slept on and plenty of shredders more than happy to show you around and take you to rad hills and parties. Thanks to Jacko, Yates, Leigh and Bowditch for being awesome team members and helping me out with food, drink, money and love when I lost my bank card. And a big thanks to Hop for helping me out with gear, entry fees and spending money. I couldn't have done it without the support! Hopefully next year there will be even more Aussies making the trip over with us, I'll be going back to skate those hills again for sure, hopefully I'll even be able to make it to the Euro tour too! With so many riders all over the world pushing the limits of what can be done on a skateboard the sport is only going uphill (or should I say downhill) from here. Start saving your dollars and booking your airfares Aussies, next year is going to be RAD!!! While travelling around I saw some pretty crazy new advancements in gear, here's a few things you might be seeing on the market in the near future! Longboard Trucks Mischo Erban and Fred from Knucklenuts are working on a new truck that looked pretty awesome, they are called Ronin Trucks. They are just like a regular CNC truck but with one little addition. The design is similar to that of the Fyre trucks, but not as overworked. There is a thick metal pin on a ball pivot running from the middle of the hangar (above the bushing seat on the board side) down to the baseplate which takes all the weight off the bushings. This eliminates any chance of 'slop' from the turn of the truck. I had a little ride around on Mischo's setup. He was running 96a bushings and still had all the stability that a harder bushing gives, but at the same time they had the lean that you would get from a 78a bushing. Cool stuff eh? While at the skatehouse in California I got to know one of the guys who works with Munkae Trucks in Arizona. Zeid was an awesome guy and lent me his setup to thrash on the whole time I was there. I got talking to him one night about what's happening behind the scenes at Munkae. They are working on some 174mm hangars at the moment (Hopshop will have them in stock in the next 10 days), apparently one of the team riders has been testing them out on some fast hairpin corners and the amount of grip from having your weight right on top of your wheels is incredible. He has been gripping through corners on that everyone else has to slide for, these sound tasty! Also look forward to two new baseplate angles, 49's and 35's should be out soon! I also managed to check out a set of CNC cut Randall 180's that James Kelly had been given to test out, these looked like sexy trucks. Not sure if they are going to be on the market for a while but keep your ears and eyes open! Longboard Decks While I was staying in Laguna Beach with Evren i had a chance to ride the new Sector 9 Race board that Evren designed. A sleek little topmount with a nice, simple concave (no W-cave), a wheelbase of about 27'-28' and a sick graphic to boot. He was stoked that I liked it and said he would try and send one out to me when they made a few more. These should be in production soon, YEW! Along with his new trucks, Mischo is also starting a board company called GMR. I only saw a couple of their designs while I was there, one of them Mischo's own board and the other a sick looking top mount cruiser. Mischo's board is a drop through design with a very short wheelbase (it looked around 27') he had built up a multitude of foam gas pedals on the front and back of the board which made for a pretty snug foot-lock. I didn't get a very good look at the cruiser but it looked like a fun cruising/carving/commuting board. Longboard Wheels Evren also showed me some sick prototype Sector9 square-lipped wheels. They were 74mm, 78a and at first glance looked like any other wheel, little did I know that they were a set from the first batch of wheels with a core made from urethane! Evren said they were grippy as hell and perfect for railing corners. He's going to be testing them out at Maryhill this week, I should have an update on how they went soon! Jacko came back from the crazy wonderland also known as the Loaded/Orangatang workshop with a set of 75mm Purple O'tangs which looked and felt like an ordinary O'tang. After looking at them for a good 10 minutes trying to figure out what was different I noticed that the core was made from METAL! He shredded them down Tuna Canyon the next day and said they felt goooood! Hopefully all of these new innovative designs will be out on the market soon, the technology behind longboarding is getting more and more advanced every day! Its great to be back in Aus, super keen for some Bomb Squad action this week! Look forward to a write-up and some pictures of my first bombsquad back with the crew! Thursday Night, 6.30PM, Railway Square near Central station, Sydney. COME AND SHRED SOME GNAR!!! Peace Gabe P.s. Sector 9 is also starting a Grom team in California, look out everyone, there's some more crazy grommets about to come into the scene!