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
Fast wearing wheels do feel better to shred, but does that really make them a better wheel
The 3rd Degree review crew has begun at the Hopshop, we have organized for a new wheel to be filmed and reviewed by a different rider monthly, we hope to show what's new on the market and greater your knowledge of what's out there (and what is in the Hopshop).
The 3rd degree - With Liam Morgan breaking on to the scene a couple of years ago with his massive stand up slides and greasy attitude, he has set the grom world on fire. Now with his own Pro freeride wheel out and signature hair products, the loyal following that has accumulated around the world is sure to treble in size. Volante have released a high quality, fast wearing and predictable wheel. The core shape and lip design allow for amazing transition into and out of slides and ward off any unwanted flatspots by encouraging the wheel to keep spinning. The feeling of destroying thane under your feet and leaving it laid behind you is quintessential to today's freeride scene. The Volante Morgans achieve this and promote going bigger and better with each run through confidence in its release points. But with such high wearing properties will riders be buying a new set each weekend cause they core'd them already? I don't think so. Overall rating for Volante Morgans - 7.65 out of 10.
The search continues for the 10 outta 10 wheel with predictable, long lasting, fast freeride features. Next week - Josh Musumeci on the once go-to wheel Metro Motions and myself on the new These 60mm Centresets. -Rob McWhinnie
Crash Test Dummy: Rob McWhinnie Product reviewed: Seismic Landslide 83a After driving down from Byron, the first place we had to hit was the Hopshop to check out the new gear and shop fit out. After a quick catch up, Robbo pulled out some new wheels for Maga and set up her new board. Before she got a look at the new ride I had it out on the street and shredding. I was warned of the first slide so took a bit easy, the wheels chosen where the new Landslides from Seismic. They're blue, rescrubbed and centre set, 75mm 83a. The responsiveness and consistent slide blew me away, I don’t know if I’ve been out of the freeride loop or just been riding race wheels for too long, but I was so impressed with the freeride ability of these wheels straight off the shelf. The Landslide is a very similar sized wheel to the purple Durian, that I’ve always been a fan of but these have just a little wider contact patch. Hands down the wheels did seem to drift a little too much but I’m sure its just my technique. After a solid session behind the Hopshop, I started hitting the toe sides hard, feeling free to get it sideways knowing that it was always going to come back with no trouble. The result was my first pendy style standup toeside! Stoked on a new slide in the bag, I got Maga to start taking photos and the ripping continued. After I threw on some Durians for a straight up comparison, the result was shocking, the Durians needed more time to work in and definitely harder to break out and bring back.
Rob getting toey on Landslides behind the shop
Buttery, controlled, predicable and new to the market, Seismic’s first free ride wheel has completely impressed me with its "ready to thrash off the shelf" ride. The company that you brought you the fastest longboarder in the world, Mischo Erban, looks like they will be making their mark this year in freeriding. The new range extends to a smaller 70mm version called the Bootleg. The next morning back in the skateshop, we rocked up and were about to start work when Frenchy mentioned a new road close by. Fifteen minutes later Jacko and I were hitting it like the old days and I broke out the Landslides for a solid session. If you got some cash and looking for new a feeling on your freeride board, try these new Seismic freeride wheels and have a thrash. Oh yeah Maga got her board back with half shredded wheels ... after a whole lot of quality control! She was stoked that I was out ripping, so all's good. Peace. ROB Disclaimer: This is genuine review. Seismic did not provide free wheels, or solicit or pay for a review by the Hopkin Racing Team. This is what we do, test and ride anything new that comes into the Hopshop. How else do we know if it is any good?
Review by Ben Hay A few weeks ago I was in the Hopshop, hanging out and picking up some goodies when I noticed Robbo unpacking a box that included some wheels I hadn’t seen or heard of before. They were Krakatoa freeride wheels made by Tunnel. Anyone who knows anything about the history of skateboarding knows that Tunnel have been around for a long time. With that in mind and after a quick chat to Robbo about them I decided I had to try them. I chose the 81a and a few days later Tim Day, Steve (Finn) and myself met at a new found hill that was ridiculously gnarly and technical. After a few mobster runs on square lipped wheels I felt it was time to shred some centreset freeride styles and see how the Krakatoas stood up in some ideal terrain. Immediately I was amazed at how easy they slid fresh. I had ridden most pre ground, and a few centre set wheels before but these were insane. It wasn’t long and I was holding out long standup slides with ease. Since then I have ridden these wheels several times on more mellow terrain and have really taken a liking to them. The wear has been minimal in comparison and they have already outlasted my last set of freeride wheels. All the specs are what I look for when choosing a freeride wheel. At 70mm and a contact patch width of 40mm, a pre ground surface and your choice of 81a or 84a its no wonder they feel ridiculously good to throw around. They also are a bit cheaper than some of the other freeride wheels allowing you to shred more for less! Next time your in the shop, check them out and give them a go, you will be floating out steezy slides of sikness without doubt. Go shred. Benbro
Review by Patrick Hurel Whoever said great things come in small packages must have had these wheels in mind. http://orangatangwheels.com/wheels/fat-free-65mm The Fat Free's are a 65 mm wheel from Otang with the same finish as a Stimulus. From these little buggers you get the same smooth slides as the Stims just with more fun. The yellows (86a) are a great wheel to learn to slide on as they grip just enough to carve on but break loose faster than Kelly grom after a cup cake. The orange (80a) these are the fun ones by far, they let you carve some big hills without ever losing grip, but as soon as you give it a little more push they slide like butter. Don't think these are a small wheel, like a Stim, it really is a middle size wheel. The advantage of these wheels, for you groms out there, is they feel like a bigger wheel, and you'll get more speed from your smaller runs. There size means you get a faster take off than a Stimulus. A faster take off, less contact patch for easier sliding, and butter smooth thane ... Otang have produced a fine wheel for small streets and gorilla jungle city riding. Who is Patrick Hurel? When he's not playing surrender monkey all over Europe, Pat is usually found trying to remove the wheelbite from one of his 10 topmounts