We ask the questions you want answered The 2010 Landyachtz range is speeding it way to Australia, available in the next month at all good skateshops. What started out with Hop asking questions about the new range has turned into an interview with Ryan Theobald and Mike McGoldrick...and a cast of thousands. Sit back, grab a cold drink, and enjoy.
Ryan Theobald Interview
Hop: The Drop Speed disappeared at the end of 2009 fairly quick. There was a lot of talk it was getting redesigned. Has anything changed on the shape? Different concave? Improvements on the shape? Or just cosmetic with a new graphic?
Landyachtz: Our original intention was to replace the Drop Speed with the Nine Two Five. Once we finalised the 9-two-5 shape we decided that they are pretty different boards and having both in the line was a good idea. No changes to it, just the new graphic.
Hop: There has always been a bit of talk around about the flex on the Drop Carve I have heard skaters say they have seen super flexy versions with LY crew and riders. Has the flex been modified in 2010?
Landyachtz: We started with the ultra super flexy version. We tested a ton of different stiffness prototypes, and everyone here loved the super soft feel. Bouncing the board off the ground while carving hard and ripping around was a blast. We had never done a board that soft before, so we went for it. People weren't as stoked as we were about bouncing off the ground, and it didn't work for guys over 200 pounds (90kg) at all. So we stiffened it up. Most of the guys at the shop with a drop carve still ride the nice gooey ones.
Hop: Dually has disappeared from Landyachtz website, is this deck gone or in re-design or in graphic update?
Landyachtz: The dually proved to be too big. There just wasn't the demand to warrant pressing another batch, so it's been axed, for now. We're keeping track of how many people are still interested, we'll see what happens. (Hop's note: It never came back)
Hop: Does Landyachtz have a list of credits for the artists or contributors to your graphics?
Landyachtz: We do, we'll publish it on our website soon. We're really stoked on the graphics this year, some of the major contributors are Jeral Tidwell, Gord Bruce, Ewok, Nathan Wilson and in house here, Tom Edstrand (Meatball) and Greg Nicholls have done a lot themselves. We will likely be seeing some work from Chili Thom as well, who has done several graphics for us in the past. All of these guys are great, we couldn't be more stoked to have them all be a part of the 2010 line.
Hop: There definitely seems to be a ocean/aqua/fish theme on the new graphics. Has this been done on purpose? Is there a single artist influencing the whole range? If you have the whole range in your quiver can it be called a landyachtz aquarium?
Landyachtz: You know, I just noticed that. We've been talking about putting a Chinook Salmon on the Chinook for years, Nathan Wilson came through huge there. The Drop Speed killer whales came from Greg Nicholls in the shop here, his design took influence from traditional Pacific North West art. Once we get a few major graphic concepts or ideas, Tom and Greg will show them around and tweak them until most of us are stoked. You can never please everyone. I think the fish and birds are another extension of being from Vancouver. Most of us are closely tied to an outdoor active life style, that creates a big bond with nature, without really thinking about it.
Hop: Is the Evo getting a graphic change in 2010?
Landyachtz: Yes, it's a bad ass sugar skull style design by Jeral Tidwell. His work is some of my favorite, check him out at Human Tree
Hop: Any race team decks in prototype? A Scoot model? Team Green model?
Landyachtz: Besides the foam core, Carbon Fiber 9-two-5 and Switch Blade, nothing.
Hop: Any news on the Switch Blade?
Landyachtz: We were aiming to release the Switchblade or the beginning of the 2010 season, but we've gone through more prototype stages than we anticipated. Rather than rush the product out in its current state we figured we'd take the time to refine the shape and make the board the best it can be. Its nearly there, and everyone here is very stoked on the current prototype. The Carbon foam core version should be available in a few weeks. Once that's nailed, we'll get the bamboo version rolling.
Mike McGoldrick Interview
Hop: How long was the prototype period for the Nine Two Five and how many different versions did you do?
Mike: I can not remember exactly how many but there were about 6 different versions made. The last proto had a large cut out with multiple holes for the base plate so we could play with the wheel base and get it perfect. During the prototype process we experimented with different concave, rocker, widths and lengths. Tweaking the nose and tail areas was a huge focus for us. We wanted to give maximum foot room while still keeping the wheelbase as short as possible. I feel like this is an overlooked part of most drop through boards and is the real design flaw in a lot of boards. Working with the designers and board builders at Landyachtz we came up with something that really is the best of both worlds, they managed to slam the trucks back into the riding platform while adding more material around the truck to give strength. At the end of it all we came out with something that we are all super happy with.
Hop: Did you have a big influence on the graphic? Does it have a meaning,can skaters read anything into it?
Mike: To be totally honest with everyone I had very little to do with the design process of the graphic. I had been working on something else for the board when Greg Nicholls showed me some stuff he was working on. I basically lost my shit when I saw his work. It took me all of 1 second to decide on the graphic. It's super quirky, random and really played into my sense of humour. I am into cut and paste style graphics with multiple layers right now so he pretty much nailed it for me. Can skaters read anything in to it? I guess that depends how deep you want to get and what meaning you want to take out of it. To be super literal I enjoy that style of design right now and when no one is watching I have a secret fetish for very dry books on economics, business and global politics. I have also download lectures and debates on the same topics. I am a nerd, so the business theme kinda works on that level also. All that aside, I just thought it was awesome, so me and Greg hi fived on it, and it was decided.
Hop: There is rocker in your new board, I'm a huge fan of rocker, it featured in a lot of old school boards I use to skate, is that where you got your influence to put rocker in your board?
Mike: I don't come from an old school skate back round, about 12 years ago I got an element Vert deck and put soft wheels on it and started bombing hills in West Vancouver. I skated bowls and banks but that is the extent of my "old school" influence. The rocker is something I have wanted in a board for a long time. The rocker has a two part job; Locking you in to the board, And aligning your legs and knees for better power transfer and stability. I have been on the production version for a few months now and the rocker feels so natural to me now, I am not sure I will ever go back.
Hop: This deck has a new type of concave, gas pedal/wedge down the side. How does that come into play when a skater is freeriding?
Mike: The gas pedals are something I have been rambling on about for years. I use to make them out of hot glue and shape the glue with ice cubes. I will go out on a limb and say that 90% of people hang their heel or toe off the side of their board when free-riding so I wanted something to stand on when we did. The gas pedal is new and its cool to be the first to implement it in to our board design, I think that in the future we will see it on a lot of boards.
Hop: A lot of new longboarders will be looking at this deck carefully. Maybe it will be their first deck, getting into downhill and freeride. Most want to know if this deck is a good beginners deck or is it more for an experienced longboarder? Will the design help them master different types of sliding and cornering?
Mike: I hope they look at the deck carefully as there is a lot to look at. The builders and myself picked apart every element of the board and tweaked it until we were happy. Once the board is pressed with symmetrical W concave, it gets CNC cut, 3 router passes to get the shape we want on the nose, tail, wheel wells and the wedges. Then they get seamlessly blended by hand. Making the board is a very complicated process, but we all feel that it is worth the trouble, the product that comes out, is something to be very proud of. I don't think that this board is something for experts or beginners only, good design just works. Any rider who rides the board will benefit from all the features. The Free-ride movement is a pretty new thing to to the longboard and is constantly evolving. Right now there are two big trends in free-riding. The first being slower speed tech stuff like shove-its, stand up pendys and slashing. The extended foot platform and wedges help pop and stomp the tech stuff. The second trend is the amplitude, over the last year the speed of free-riding has gone through the roof. The added length (.75") of the wheel base gives a little extra stability at higher speeds and helps lock in big, fast and scary speed checks and lets the rider have more control to drift through corners, as apposed to doing a revert before it. I feel that anyone who rides the board will get some use out of all the features. I really wanted one board for DH and free-ride. As long as the rider wants to get in to the downhill side of longboarding then this deck will meet their needs whether they are a beginner, expert or racer.
Hop: What is your favourite set up for your new board (ie trucks wheels bushings)
Mike: Well going back to the one board idea, the Bear trucks have been re designed and I am currently on the prototypes. The hanger has a "step-up " design giving the truck a constant turn and eliminated any dead spot when the truck is at center. The hangers can still be flipped to give positive of negative leverage on the bushings giving greater or less torque depending on how they are set up. The bushing seats have zero play with the bushing and has an ovalised lip to let the bushing perform as it was designed. I have mine set up with stock Pumpkin bushings on the bottom and yellow Venoms on the top. As for wheels, I am really stoked on the new Zombies right now. They rule. The thane in them is butter smooth at speeds. When doing some faster slides on other wheels, you can heat up the wheel and it starts to melt and get slipy. The zombies don't gloss over during big slides. I am also really feeling the stone ground finish as the wheel performs right away and is constant through the wear.
Hop: Anything else we forgot?
Mike: Yea I just want a chance to give some credit where it is due. Everyone asks me all these questions about the board and I don't want to take all the credit. Landyachtz has an extremely talented group of board builders and designers, and an equally talented skate team. Larry, Sean M and Mike P were a huge help to get my ideas built into deck. Once we had the prototypes made they were put to the test under the feet of some thrashers like Wolf Coleman and Dylan. Long story short it may be my design but it was a huge process involving a lot of talented people. Without the recourses and talent that we have access to at landyachtz this board would still be just an idea. Thank you.
Huge big thank you to Ryan and Mike for taking the time to answer all my questions
This interview was originally published in the Hopshop newsletter, send out to subscribers. It was also put on teh original Hopkin Skate Blog. We have kept it online for historical purposes, and the Nine Two Five deck is still made, so it is still relevant.