Hop's note: We gave Scotty Bain a set of wheels to test out, thinking we'd never see him again, but he has sent back a great review on the new Kebbek Takawan. The Kebbek Takawan 82a is a high speed freeride wheel with a slightly offset core and its available in two duros: 80a (a white wheel) and 82a (a blue wheel). Its 72mm tall and 53mm wide and comes with Kebbek's "hype free" bearings and spacers for free... which is awesome. They grip and slip right out of the pack as they have a stone ground contact patch. Best suited to high speed grip and a well controlled and predictable slides/speed checks. The name Takawan means "young salmon" in the mic ma'ac language, I don't know why they would name a wheel this intense after a young salmon and I have even less clue where the mic ma'ac language originated or how to speak it sorry! I found that they didn't leave thane lines however that may have to do with the weight of the rider and the duro you pick. My favourite feature about the Kebbek Takawan's is that it has a really super nice supportive core which makes the thane on the outside of the wheel feel really consistent, predictable and controlled. They slide and grip all the way to the core, it also gives the wheel an ability to have a really quick rotational speed if needed to rip those quick 180's just before a corner or for those extra style points. Another great feature of the Takawan is that the life of the wheel is awesome, it took weeks and weeks of solid every day shredding to get the wheel even close to the core, and all the way down it wore evenly and consistently. All in all the Kebbek Takawan is an awesome freeride wheel that I would recommend to anyone looking for a high speed freeride wheel that is fast and stable at any speed. It will grip or slide around any corner or just to slow you down with some style points. :) [table id=10 /] What Kebbek wheels are available to buy? Takawan 73mm 82a blue Takawan 73mm 80 white Libre 69mm 82a blue Libre 69mm 80a white
The Russian tour is coming to a close and the hangover is very strong. Louis and I have had such an amazing time and by now our blood is about 85% vodka. I still can't believe that skateboarding has taken me to such a different part of the world and allowed me to soak in so much culture and meet many awesome people.
After our stay in St Petersburg we headed back to Moscow to link up with more skate crew, visit some shops and party with the locals. Right off the train the first stop was Boardriders skate shop at Avia park to give the local skaters a brief history of Sector 9, show off some of the new boards and give some product knowledge to the retailers. The turn out was great, at least 50 people showed up to hang out with Louis and I and score some signed posters and some free Sector 9 swag. Still feeling crusty from the night before we decided to have an 'early' night (about 2am was a solid time to stop drinking) so we could rest up for a mondo day of skateboarding ahead.
We arose to another warm and beautiful day in Mother Russia, still frothing on being a tourist and ready to explore the city. Louis and I grabbed our boards and head out into the heart of Moscow. After dodging a few tanks and bears in the road we found a few cool little streets to have a slide session on, snap some shots and stack a few clips. We linked up with some local crew and headed to the weekly skate session which was located at another skiing training ground. This place also featured epic smooth pavement, a couple of nice bends but most importantly a T-bar to tow us back to the top! There were a lot of Rad Russians shredding the hill and frothing to skate with Sector9 so it was our pleasure to add to the stoke and kill some wheels with the crew.
The day was still not over as another session had been organized at Gorky park for a cool evening skate on a fun pathway that wound itself down the park. As normal Sector 9 was right on time, but unfortunately so was the rain. We showed up to meet at least 50 skaters there ready to shred but also met with buckets of rain plummeting from the sky soaking absolutely everything! In true skater fashion Louis immediately grabbed his board and said 'you slide better in the rain!' And one by one the crew braved the wet and got down with the skids. It was really awesome to see so many people frothing on Longboarding, but even more amazing to see people step out of their comfort zone and give the rain riding a go for the first time - and steeze it up too!
Of course a long day of skating is not complete without a long night of partying, our final hurrah with the Russians was an awesome one indeed. We gathered at an outdoor bar, signed a bunch of posters, gave out heaps of swag and drank many bottles of vodka. The vibe at the party was incredibly high, everyone was so stoked to have skated with us, and we were so stoked to be making so many awesome new friends. Although we were feeling the burn tired from the previous days the energy from the crowd kept us alive. We partied hard and for the 3rd time this trip we got to see the sunrise... Stoked.
Although the Russian trip has come to an end our adventures are still not over. Louis and I are flying to Europe to link up with James Kelly and Jimmy Riha to commence a 2 week journey through Germany, Switzerland and Austria for the #NoRaceJustSkate tour. We will be visiting a bunch more shops along the way to link up with the skater communities and also will be attending the Gioasteka Freeride in San Bernadino, Swizterland and the Bella Joyride in Bad Eisenkappel, Austria.
Thank you Mother Russia for showing Sector9 such an amazing time. The people we met were so friendly and hospitable we could not be any more stoked to have met them! Big thanks to Capital Distribution and Trajectory Boardshop for making this adventure happen. Mondo thanks to our tour guides Constantine and Alex, you guys are the raddest Russians ever, and we are looking forward to another visit.
Jacko is a world traveller. Since 2008 he has been circling the globe in search of stoke and adventure. Only a few weeks after landing in California he is now back touring the globe on skateboarding adventures - this time in Russia... Jacko: It was only a few weeks ago I landed back in California after spending nearly 6 months at home in Oz healing from bone graft surgery, it was time to get back into action and think about racing again. I called Louis to start organising my travel plans for the upcoming IDF races in the USA and asked if we could make plans for Pike's Peak. Lou said I should come into the office and have a 'talk'. I arrived at the S9 warehouse to Louis telling me unfortunately I'm not going to Pike's, instead we are going to Russia... Apparently longboard sales in Russia (and other parts of Europe) have been booming in the past few years with Russia having the fastest growing community in terms of board sales. Sector 9 decided it was time to pay Russia a little visit and check out the skate scene. Louis and I were lucky enough to be selected for such an epic trip which consists of community events, shop tours and product knowledge seminars for the retailers. As i write this we are a few days into the trip, not exactly sure how many as we had no time to rest and recover from the jet lag - It has been non stop since we got here! First on the agenda was a quick walk around the Red Square in Moscow and a few cold ones with the locals. Following that we found ourselves on an overnight train to St Petersburg where A few other Russian skaters joined us on the journey to make sure we weren't sober. Running on less than a couple hours sleep from the flight it was a little difficult to keep up with the locals on that leg of the journey, but as true professionals Louis and I held it down and partied our way to St Petersburg. Being so far north on the globe the sun stays out much longer than we are used to, and being a surfer my body decided to wake up with the sun - around 4:30am - thus adding to the mondo jet lag we were already experiencing but now also coupled with a mighty Russian hangover. Wiping the crust from our eyes we disembarked and started rallying through St Petersburg true skater tourist style, roller bag trailing behind skating and barging through the crowds, fully stoked on the adventures ahead. Cruising around Russian cities is pretty strange, all the signs are in a language so foreign it's impossible for someone like me to know what's what or where we are. Lucky for us the locals played tour guide and made sure we didn't end up in the wrong place, or end up with a strange Russian bride, or missing a kidney. After a bit of playing tourist we dropped our gear off and headed out to the hills, or should I say hill... Russia is a very large, yet extremely flat country. There are not many places to downhill skateboard in this country but the spot we were taken to was indeed quite awesome. It was a skiing biathlon training ground that consisted of several routes down, some stepper and some more windy and was paved with some amazing smooth black-top. There was a solid crew of about 10-15 Russians joining the shred session, some of which had traveled far and wide for a chance to skate with some 9-ballers. After the skate Lou and I decided to sneak in a little shut eye on the ride back into town, ready to hit the hotel and pass out. Unfortunately when we got there it was announced we had only 20 minutes to get ready for the first shop visit, which was followed by a late dinner (around 11pm) and a full night of ripping around St Petersburg bar hoppin' sampling some of Russia's finest vodka. Shot after shot the party rolled all the way through the night and as I saw the sun start to rise we figured that it was probably a good time to actually do the sleeping thing. As I'm writing this, we are on the train headed back to Moscow for more vodka sampling, shop visits and hopefully more shredding with the rad Russians! We will be spending two more days here soaking in the culture (and vodka) before heading to Europe for two weeks of more shop visits and amazing alpine free riding. So far we are ultimately stoked with our time in Russia, the locals are way friendlier than imagined and we have been looked after extremely well. Super stoked to have an amazing tour guide, Constantine from Capital Distribution translating and guiding us around this crazy place. If it weren't for him I'm sure we would have ended up somewhere we really don't want to be... Stay tuned for more stories from road!
Photos by Aldo Dezani. Words by Jacko
For the past couple years, Sydney shredder Rob McWhinnie has been putting on a rad little outlaw event tucked away down by the water at a place called Clifton Gardens. The hill is now well known by many Sydney skaters as a fun spot to jam out on, but due to the blind corners and plenty of expensive cars driving around its not (and shouldn't be!) one that is hit on the reg. With proper organisation this spot turns into a real gem of a race track. Several choices of decent all leading to the bottom, tight hairpins and stairs right back to the top the All Moss'd Out outlaw is always mondo fun had by all. This is time we saw young Blue Mountains shredder Lachie Rae take the win! The usual suspects turned up for a stab at beating their mates down the hill but it's always rad to see dudes sneaking past the more experienced riders and getting a taste of the top of the podium.
I had a quick chat with Lachie about his time at the race:
Jacko: First up who da F*** are 'ya and who da f*** do ya ride for?
Lachie: I'm Lachie Re, from Leura, blue mountains, I’ve been riding for Rayne since last MOTH when Cam offered me a spot on the flow team, which was about 5-6 months ago I think.
Jacko: First time racing this hill? What's it like?
Lachie: This was my second time racing the hill, pretty chill course in terms of speed which is great for beginners and super tight heats and it’s also technical enough to still be fun for the more experienced riders, plus the last corner can get a bit sketchy which is also fun.
Jacko: Many new riders show up or same crew for those small races?
Lachie: Some guys came up from Canberra which was sick because it doesn’t happen very often for local outlaws these days, other than those guys it was the usual Sydney mates racing which is always great fun in terms of racing and just hanging out with the crew.
Jacko: How would u say the racing scene is in Sydney right now?
Lachie: In the last couple of years the scene has died down a little, but it’s still competitive enough to make for challenging and fun racing, plus we’re all mates and skate a fair bit with each other.
Jacko: Was it hard beating Rob at his own race or u think u can do it all the time now? Lachie: Since I started skating Rob’s been someone I looked up to, heaps down to earth and always encouraging with a side of playful banter. In the last 8-12 months I’ve been out skating with him and the crew a bit which again is always an 'effin rad time. Racing with Rob has lately been pretty tight, and I don’t think I could beat him all the time hahaha, depends on the course really. He can absolutely smang me down some runs!
Jacko: Anything big coming up in the Sydney zone people should plan for?
Lachie: Wild Wild West is gonna be a blast, plus keep your eyes peeled for local outlaws, Rob dog and Maga are always holding frequent races round Sydney that are guaranteed to be blast.
Jacko: Who are the next dudes on your list of dudes to beat at races?
Lachie: Austin Jones, Jayden Howarth and Josh Hardwick (Plus the usual Mitch, Tyron, Zac and yeah those dudes are good) plus a few others!
Jacko: What do you want to see more of in the future? How can we make this sport better?
Lachie: I reckon a world cup event in Oz! It would do great things for the scene. More sanctioned events on top of the outlaws, but gotta love outlaws. Other than that more people. Shouts out to Rayne!!
Over the past weekend (18th/19th April) in the USA, North Carolina hosted its first ever sanctioned downhill race. Racing has been big in the states for some years now with major events in California and Colorado, but there are some skate scenes in the USA that are ready to burst at the seams. The North Carolina Down Hill event, presented by the Human Powered Transportation Club and the Ian Tilmann Foundation was held at Mt Jefferson state park, consisted of a fast race track with hairpin turns, speeds of up to 90km/h and attracted some big names from North America such as Kevin Reimer and Louis Pilloni (Sector 9). After a solid day of practicing in the dry the heavens opened up and tested every rider's skill on a soaked track for race day. Tactics and race setups would have to change to suit the conditions. In the end K-Rimes proved his Canadian wet-riding skills as superior by taking the win with a commanding lead. Louis managed to snag 3rd place after battling with East Coast young-gun Ed Kiefer who took 2nd followed by Josh Rolf (Munkae Trucks) in 4th. Jacko caught up with Louis this week to ask find out more about his time at the race and the set-up he uses.
Jacko: whats your setup for the dry and what do u change for the wet?
Jacko: What RADs did u use for rain wheels and how did u cut them?
Louis: I used the same wheels Josh Rolf used. He cut up a couple sets of 78a R.A.D. Releases with 3 sets of deep grooves. The deep grooves really came in handy considering how much water was on the road.
Jacko: How did you rate the race track?
Louis: It was a great race track that required a variety of skill. It has 3 hairpins, big sweepers, chicanes, and a fast straightaway (46mph-50mph) but also extremely friendly to ride in a pack. Of course I really like the corners, hairpins are always fun. Jacko: anything new and exciting coming from NC? more races?
Louis: Everything is new and exciting in NC. The State Park (who helped secured the event permits) are extremely excited on the event and want to bring it back. North Carolina defiantly has a lot of sick hills. Here is the footage of the finals filmed by Big Lou. Kevin Riemer takes 1st, Ed Kiefer 2nd, Louis 3rd and Josh Rolf 4th.