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Words from Ben Hay: Elements

Learning all the skills and how to be a good rider while having loads of fun is basically what most skaters aspire to do. Although some things cant be practiced and learnt in short time, time on the board and being witness to hundreds of different incidents teaches you a lot more. Experience is something that never stops - every rider no matter how long they have been doing it constantly learns new things and governing factors that further add to our knowledge and therefore help us to become better riders. Adapting to the prevailing conditions is vital to perform well at a race or even getting down a hill safely. Knowing what effects that the surrounding conditions may have on the way you need to ride the hill is something that is hard to be taught. Personal experience is improved by having an open mind and learning from your mistakes and the mistakes of others. After a certain time your brain begins to take these inputs of information and turns it into whats known as 'second nature' or 'instinct' - doing it without thinking about it. It is at this stage that your riding really starts to improve. With your skating being lead by instinct and second nature it becomes easier to put your mind on other things that become beneficial to your added personal progression. Being aware of the prevailing wind while high speed racing or riding has huge benefits - Knowing the parts of the hill where its a head wind is beneficial when planning tactics for racing or passing. Also knowing how a tail wind will affect your braking is important. Skating a hill one day with a slight headwind can trick your mind and set a standard for how you perceive the hill can be ridden. Returning to the same hill with a solid tailwind can turn what was a seemingly  fun and basic hill into a crazy fast beast swallowing up skaters and spitting them out. Newtons nation 2012 was a classic example of favourable conditions, with riders being able to catch plenty of air - The elbow had never seemed so friendly. The constant progression in riders abilitys was also a big factor but im calling a return to heavy braking the next year if we have conditions similar to 2009 when it was a 30kt tailwind hurling riders down the top part of the course. Tailwinds also affect a riders ability to slow down behind other riders - pulling out of the draft and standing up to catch some air has way less of an effect if its a tailwind. Slight speed checks or a tap of the foot are more commonly needed to slow down and keep you and your buddy's safe. Another disadvantage with skateboarding down fast and open mountain passes in strong winds is a riders ability to stay in control and on the road. Roads in mountainous areas tend to follow gullys wich can create wind tunnels were wind can funnel through, gusts bounce of protruding bluffs on the hill and can hit the rider side on forcing them off their line. As the rider attempts to fight against the sidegust to stay on the road, the gust eases initiating a high speed twitch and the skater goes down. In other situations you can also struggle to hold the line you need to make a turn. The forces of gravity coupled with a 40kt wind can be to much for a human body to control. Once the wind suddenly lets go and is no longer forcing a skater in a certain way, its easy to lose your balance as you no longer have to fight against that force and all of a sudden you fall. Alpine areas and higher altitudes or places with extreme and quickly changing climates seem to host some crazy out of control winds. Checking a new hill first before riding is always good idea. Check for damp or wet spots before mobbin' in at ridiculous speeds. Being aware of the dangers and all the aspects that govern your ride down the hill makes it safer and easier - good riders are smart riders and have more on their minds than just doing a sick skid.

Banshee Bungee review

Banshee Bungee Urban Assault review

By Robbo Trav and myself met at the Hopshop this morning. The day before I told young Kelly Carter if he wanted a skate tomorrow up the Blue Mountains he had to be at the shop by 8:30am. With an expected max temp of 8 degrees in the mountains Kelly shows up with just a T-shirt. When questioned about the expected temp he explains this to me in a way that only a 14yr old grom can. Kelly says if he brings a hoodie he has to bring a backpack and if he has a back pack it will slow down his tuck and ruin his aero on the bomb down Bondi Rd on his way home. Knowing the run down Bondi rd will take about 2mins and we will be in the mountains for the next 8hrs Trav and myself just stare at each other in general amusement. I ask Kelly if he has any pads and he pulls out a ripped up piece of polyester, foam and plastic that looks like his dog had chewed on. Knowing what was ahead I grab a new set of 187 Fly knees and elbows off the shelf and tell him he'll have to work a day in the shop next week for them. Stocked with his new 187 pads we finally got gromtang Kelly in the car with the promise of a mountain skate and a cheeseburger. Little did Kelly know we were headed off to the SpaceStation to meet the BMB for a test session of the new 20ft Urban Assault Banshee. We needed a heavy weight to anchor the beast, so we headed over to BMB strongman Scott 'the Guff' Guthrie's place. When Kelly heard this he new he was in trouble. Like most groms, Kelly had heard all the stories of the legendary Guff the 'grom punisher' and told us he was a little scared of the big man. Kelly knows when you enter BMB territory you do it with the approval of Guff or you don't do it. We turn up at the BMB forward outpost in Bankstown and the Guff rolled out with his 10 ton anchor rope just for the occasion. Kelly sat quietly in the back when Guff jumped in the car next to him, there was a short uncomfortable moment when Guff looked at Kelly then gave us the nod and we headed up the highway to the BMB headquarters. When we show up at the SpaceStation, legendary Springwood rider and president of the BMB Mountain Mic Codner has already got the hill warmed up. We head over to the top corner and unravel the Urban Assault, the crew stands back in awe as the triple braided latex banshee bungee shudders with molecular violence. Let me tell you when you unravel one of these babies you know your lifting the game to a whole new level. We waste no time in hooking this puppy to the pole at the top of the hill and tell crash test grom Kelly to pad up and get ready. On the first test myself and Guff crank the bungee back with Mountain Mic on the video to capture any possible carnage. Having never tried it before Trav decides that holding the bungee with one hand is the go, we count him in and let it rip. Its hard to fully explain the amount of acceleration you get from one of these things, when we let it go Trav's arm is nearly ripped from his shoulder as he takes off like a missile, hits the first corner and nearly drifts off the track. He walks back up the hill with a grin on his face and says 'this is the best money I've spent since I bought my first skateboard. Crash Test Grom now heads up to the line with a half concerned half excited look on his face and tells us to take it easy. In true BMB style we take him back to the members tees and put him on the line. Weighing only 50kgs on take off, launching Kelly was like releasing the second stage of a rocket. He accelerates at the full 0-60 in 2 seconds and ends up with the fastest run down the PumpStaion he has ever had. I must say the sight of the grom launching down the track faster than a Porsche with his tongue flapping across his cheek was awesome. Next was big Guff on the classic luge, we use 3 guys to get the bungee back a good 8m further than anybody else and fire him down the road. Guff hammers down the straight and hauls through the first 2 corners, he approaches the S-bend at a higher speed than he has ever before and buries his rail, drifts across the line and before he knows it careers through the rubble and grass and straight into the deep bush. The sight of Guff approaching the guys covered in dirt with grass stuck in his trucks was just hilarious. Its hard to fully explain the feeling of acceleration you get from one of these banshees, due to using gravity when you skate you feel a great sense of speed but you tend not to feel the force of acceleration very much. I can tell you this all changes when you launch off the bungee, you do something you have never been able to do on a skateboard before, feel about 50m of extreme acceleration. This thing suddenly puts into play a whole bunch of mid range hills and corners that you never considered before. On a short Downhill run instead of taking 300m to get up to speed you do it in about 2 seconds and you get to drift or slide that first corner you usually high tucked around. A Banshee Bungee takes about 20 seconds to setup. You can use it anywhere, on a downhill track, in a ditch, carpark, back lane or out the front of your house. Well worth the price of admission, to see the terror in your parents face, the green envy in your mates eyes, and the thrill of car acceleration on your longboard. This is an extreme sport product, you MUST wear protective clothing, a helmet essential. You would not jump out of a car going 60kmph, dont skate a longboard that fast without safety gear.

How to apply a footbrake sole to a shoe

Hopkin Racing now sells Atopic footbrake soles in both freeride and race version. Everyone is asking for tips on how to apply it to a shoe. For young and old, here are our instructions plus the Hop's pro tips. It takes a few times to get it right, but once you got this skill down you'll be putting it on your resume (CV)...it is a skill every employer is looking for!! What you'll need Atopic race footbrake sole or the freeride version Shoe (preferably an old one to start and make sure you choose the shoe you footbrake on) QuickGrip glue (in Australia made by Selleys) Something heavy, preferably clamps and wood or a big table and weights Stanley Knife with a new blade Preparation Make sure both your sole of your shoe and the footbrake sole is clean. You are cleaning the shoe's original sole not removing it. If you are replacing a footbrake sole, rip the old one off. Use a belt sander or a sander to remove any old footbrake pieces still stuck on. Do not grind a hole in your shoe, that would defeat the purpose of this whole exercise. Glue the shoe It is important to apply the glue in the right way. Glue gets put on the sole and also on the shoe. It is best to leave the glue for 30 minutes before putting the two together. During this time the glue will start to dry and will shrink. So when applying the glue make sure you go a bit heavy, and over, where the edge of the sole will be because the glue when it starts to dry will shrink into the centre. The best glue job, glues the edges tight, this will help the sole wear longer and avoid dangerous sole flap. After you left it for thirty minutes, the glue has a skin on top, so you can touch it without getting it on your fingers. Weighting Press the rubber onto the shoe. Focus on the nose and heel, these are the areas that will peel off first if it is not glued properly. So the best home DIY method is a heavy table leg inside the shoe on the heel. Then put heavy items on the toe. Try not to use books, go heavy like bricks or weights. Hop's tip is to use a wedge for the nose and heel. Best type of wedge is a door stop. The pointy edge goes under the nose. Other good DIY wedge is one made out of magazine covers (not Concrete Wave, use your Dad's business magazines), newspaper can work but not ideal. Why a wedge?  The nose and heel are the places worn the most, which means they curve up. You want even pressure on the whole worn curve, so the heel and toe sticks to the footbrake sole. That is what the wedge does. It helps apply pressure over the whole sole. The weighting objective is to apply even pressure across the whole sole. Concentrating on the toe and heel, the centre will always stick, if there is a problem it will be on the toe and heel. Best DIY shed job will be two bits of wood, top and bottom, clamped down. You can get away with two clamps, one for heel, one for toe. The pro solution is to use a 1cm (half inch) thick piece of ply or wood in the shape of your inner sole. This can be slid into the shoe creating a top pressure for clamping. Then get a rectangular piece of wood for the bottom. Using clamps, create pressure on the heel and toe. Again, two clamps will work, however if you have a man size shed with plenty of clamps, the more pressure the better. How many clamps can you get on that shoe? (post up your photos for a prize) The waiting How long do you have to wait? This is an important question if you have used your Mum's dining room table leg, and bricks from the garden. You can ride on a 7 hour soak. So set up the weights at 9pm, and be good to go on your first downhill run at 7am. A 24 hour soak is best. Leave for three days and it is a rock. Cutting the sole Method for cutting is a sharp Stanley knife. Must be a fresh blade or it will hack the rubber. Best to put the shoe on a chopping board (you'll find one in your mum's kitchen, if you haven't already cut it up for slide pucks) and trace around the edge. Why not pre cut the Footbrake Sole? The reason we do not recommend precut, is the sole can move during the gluing method. While you are clamping or weighing it down, it does not matter if it moves a bit because you'll be cutting it to an exact shape. Also you can apply the glue liberally over where the edge of the sole will be, as any excess will be cut off. Why Atopic Footbrake Soles? Hopkin had it's own brand of footbrake sole when this blog post was created. However we can no longer get that product. We have search and tested many products, and like you we have been cutting up tyres or buying rubber at the local hardware store. That was before we found Atopic Slick product. This is a high density product, low wearing at high speed with a high heat dissipation which will save your griptape. Once you try it you'll never be ripping a tyre apart again! Can you glue and cut my soles for me? We no longer provide this service. Your local cobbler can do it for you.  

How to get more turn on Bear Grizzly trucks

This tutorial is only for the new trucks - If the nut is located against the baseplate of the truck, then you have the older version and you can skip this tutorial. Some people have been wanting to get more turn out of their Bear Grizzlies and are not sure how to go about it. The first step is to flip the front bushing washer. If this is not enough, a second step is to remove the back bearing washer. Here are the detailed instructions but first these are all the components that make up a Bear Grizzly truck Bear grizzley truck components 1. Flip the front bushing washer: The first thing you want to do to increase turning is to flip the front bushing washer. First, remove the nut. Second, simply take the washer and flip it so that the edges now face outwards. Secure the nut back onto the truck and give it a test run. 2. Remove the back bushing washer: Only do this if the first step did not allow for enough turning. First, remove the nut. Secondly, remove the bushings, hanger, everything off of the truck so that you can get to the back bushing washer. While doing this, try and keep track of what order things went in so nothing goes in the wrong order or goes on backwards. Remove the back bushing washer and put everything else back on. Secure the nut back onto the truck. The photo above is a truck with both modifications. Make sure that the nut is covered by the entire thread of the kingpin (the screw looking thing attached to the truck). If it is on too loose, then vibrations while riding may knock it off altogether, which you really don't want to happen. NOW GET OFF THE COMPUTER AND GO LONGBOARD!!!