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    New Zealand Tour: hung over and sideways

    Jackson and Gabe have packed their bags and heading over the ditch to Bro Town to represent Sector 9 and Hopkin Racing. It is the March 2011 New Zealand Tour. The boys will be emailing in what they are up to and the first installment is from Jacko. Crawling out of bed to report in... When I travel, I like to pimp it out and go full style. Having a membership to the Qantas Club has its perks - flight lounge, bar, food, somewhere to chill. Gabe and I made sure we got to the airport at least 2 hours early to make good use of these facilities, and boy did we make good use of them. The next best thing was the free booze we got on the plane. We're on holidays, time to get messy. After a few hours of drinking on a plane we landed in Wellington and were picked up by Max and Api and taken to the skate house where we cracked the bottles of Galliano, we got hell cheap in Duty free, and got settled right in with the New Zealand skate crew. The next morning we rubbed the crust from our hours and awoke to a beautiful sunny day, perfect conditions to go skateboarding. Wellington is just a town of hills. Super steep suburban runs that just don't stop going up and up. Max, Api and Ash took us out for a quick tour of their local hood and some of the epic hills that this city has to offer. We shredded some fast wide and open streets with nice big sweeping corners and also skated some hectic narrow, steep and busy as hell slide runs that kept going for at least 3 or 4 kms. There is so much fun stuff to skate here, looking forward to the next few days shredding in Bro-Town with rad crew. For now its safety meeting time, adjust to a new time zone and shake off the jet-lag (or hangover). Jacko

    Downhill Division Lacey review

    Sector Nine Lacey review by Gabe Gywnne Lacey, She’s got beautiful curves to lock you in, amazing rails to lean on when your gripping through corners and a big, fat, rounded booty for throwing out big standup slides going quick. The brainchild of Evran Ozan [LBDR!] who is one of the riders on the Sector 9 Downhill Division. Lacey is designed for going fast and getting sideways, FAST. The tight, pointy nose is the perfect shape for your front foot when your in tuck, hauling down a mountain road. Then, as soon as you need to throw down a slide for the hairpin coming up you have a fat, solid foot platform at the back of the board. Meaning you can get your right foot right over your rear truck for the control you need throwing down standup slides when your hauling ass. The smooth, mellow [but surprisingly locked-in] concave also means that dancing on your downhill board is a dream, steeze out some cross-steps on your speedboard! The rounded rails are perfect for locking your back foot on toeside slides. The lack of a w-cave means you use the rails more than the concave for your rear foot. I wrap my griptape all the way around the rails for a bit more grip. You can also sand down the rails slightly, making similar to the rails of the Landyachtz 925. You might have some wheelbite issues running 42 degree trucks with 70mm and bigger wheels. You can use some riser pads to solve this issue or sand/hack away a bit of the wheel well to make it deeper. I run 50s on my Lacey with a venom eliminator boardside and a venom barrel roadside and only get a tiny bit of wheelbite when turning extremely hard with wheels over 74mm. Lacey, from the Sector 9 Downhill Division, you know you want to ride her. Jackson Shapeira's no footbrake, no sliding, ballsy, hawl arse run down Mount Panorama on the Lacey. Jacko in Newtons

    Articles I forgot to do in 2010 part 1

    Looking back on 2010, there was a lot of stuff I did not get around to do. There are even more articles I started but never posted. Some get deleted because I have second thoughts or it is old news that everyone knows. There is a bunch of articles that in draft form, never completed but ready to go. Looking at them, they are really good, and I'm going publish them over the next week. So here are the misfits, the forgotten stories of 2010. This article dates back to October 2009!!! Api Ihaia and I did a deal on some Orangatang wheels. I'd give him some wheels for an article on the Hopkin Skate Blog. The idea was we were about to start shipping to New Zealand, so I wanted a local story or article to launch the service. In typical Hopshop fashion, we got busy and forgot to publish the article but we did launch the NZ service. Api Ihaia (remember this is 18 months old) and Dunedin downhill 2009 kia ora! Hi, I'm Api Ihaia, I'm 18 years of age and I have been longboarding for about a year and a half. I started longboarding as a way to get to the beach when I did not have a car. my mate gave me his Loaded Pintail to use and that board is the reason I love downhill and sliding. I live on a wee hill with a couple of good corners and a straight so every day on the way to the beach I would try and start higher and higher up the hill until I could go from my house. Skating this hill most days opened up my eyes to other hills around Dunedin. I started taking this board every where and hitting bigger hills and going faster so I was clearly hooked at this point. Another mate from a local skate shop saw I was bombing hills so he gave me a dvd of people doing downhill and sliding around corners. I had to learn this but I thought sliding was impossible, it wasnt until one day I was out skating and the road was wet, I tried a 180 in the rain and my board did it then it pulled back to normal and there was my first pendulum. Once I got that down I learnt a bunch of slides and variations, like colemans, 360s, stand up 180s and some switch slides. with the addition of my new deck I got from Hopkin Racing, my Rayne Killswitch, and Aera Trucks I got from K-Rimes (yeah I know my set up is the same a k rimes, its perfect if you wanted to know) the hills I can attempt now, well the sky is the limit. I just need to improve my riding to keep up with my board. I'm from Dunedin. Dunedin is a city with a population of 125,000, of which 20,000 are students. a big number of these students have longboards to ride around campus and are usually looked upon as kooks by the local skateboarders and people in the city. You can skate around uni on any given day and see these students with boards such as evo's just getting used to commute around uni.... these boards are never getting to see any hill action in there life! The longboarders at uni are not all kooks though, I have meet a few that I ride with regularly and I have introduced them to sliding and we go out for sessions so they can develop their skills and eventually shred the gnar. Most of Dunedin's hill roads are chipseal so crashing is not nice but I figure the more I ride these types of roads, the more it will force me to not crash and my riding should become better on smooth roads. The best roads in Dunedin are chipseal and are steep with windy corners so they can get quite technical, the chipseal can get greasy occasionally and the corners usually have gravel on the edges so they are a good challenge. It is my goal to skate all of them, as long as I can, always improving my riding so I can dominate these roads. In Dunedin, we have a crew of riders, we are yet to come up with a name but it will be an epic one haha. There is about 30 of us in Dunedin that longboard. we cover all disciplines, most of us slide, a few of us dance and I'm am trying to persuade everybody into taking up downhill but that is easier said than done. We all try and promote longboarding so that the community have a positive view on what we do and also make sure we all have fun so when people (other longboarders) see what we do they'll want to join. The police don't hassle us very often and when they do they just warn us about being safe, I have had some good and bad run ins with the police, my favourite one was when I first started they asked if we could stop skating this hill because traffic was at its peak, my mate said why should we and the policeman said "I'll make a deal, if i clock your speed you can't skate here for the rest of the day" we said yes and we all got around 55kph so all parties were happy. The policeman seemed stoked and said I didn't realise you could go that fast. That was when we first started so our speeds are faster now. There is four of us coming to Newtons (2009 World Championships) to represent for the Land of the Long White Cloud, so hopefully we can beat a bunch of you guys. I cant wait until Newtons, where I can develop my riding further, my goal is to do well, but even if I don't I know my riding will get better and I will get to meet riders from everywhere around the world that share my enthusiasm for the sport I love. Hop's note: Api competed at Newtons 2009. He placed 60th overall. He drew K-rimes in his first qualifying race, K-rimes won that heat, Api came 4th, I can not remember how the race went down, I think Api crashed in the Esses. K-rimes when on to win Newtons and claim his first World Championship crown. Api update: He now lives in Wellington, in a skatehouse. We'll get an update later this week.

    Munkae Truck review

    Review by Gabe
    I first rode the Munkae 190mm trucks set up on a Rayne Isis (the older, bigger model) down the gnarly hills of Malibu, CA. They were perfect for the high speed bombing and freeriding that I was doing. With the 42.5 baseplates I had an insanely rad lean/turn ratio for throwing down fast 180’s and standup checks into corners. Running them with 87a Venom Barrels nice and loose they didn’t get a single twitch down the 70-80km/h straights into corners. This was awesome because I could run them nice and loose for throwing standup slides and not have to worry about getting sketchy when hauling ass down the faster sections. I was in love…. The next day I took the same setup to the infamous GMR, this run is 19km’s of winding, banked, fast corners. The banking on these corners is so intense that you can rail through a hairpin at 60-70km/h without sliding or footbraking and stay in your lane. First run down I knew these trucks had been designed for roads like GMR. Railing fast from left to right through these amazing chicanes and hairpins the trucks felt alive under my feet. After getting back to Sydney I set my board up with some of these and took them out for the ultimate test of durability, the Sydney City Bomb Squad… I had my doubts about the Munkaes as a carpark and city shredding truck. They seemed as though they were a bit dead below 15-20 km/h with the bushings I had in them. I changed out the top bushings for some nice and loose Venom 85a barrels and suddenly they were begging to be slashed. Smashing down tight, grippy carparks with dudes all around, they were turny and responsive, but still took a bit of getting used to. Throwing slides going slow they were a little bit stiff but the nice low profile kept the slide nice and smooth even with lipped 70mm S9 wheels on grippy concrete surface. Another awesome feature of the Munkaes is the removable axle, I had no fears of bending the axles when early grabbing 5 stairs and ledges. Even if they had bent I wouldn’t have to dish out a heap of cash for a new hangar. They also have 35 and 49 degree baseplates and have just brought out some 174mm hangars for those who like narrower hangars. Overall the Munkae trucks were exactly what I was looking for. A perfect allround truck that can handle pretty much anything you ride, jump or slide them down. Pros: -Stable -Rad turn/lean ratio -Built like a brick shithouse -Lightweight -Different baseplate/hangar sizes -Replaceable axles [also come in 10mm] -Awesome colour variations - Nice and low Cons: -A bit dead at lower speeds -Could be a bit too low on a dropped/dropthrough board Downhill: 10/10 The Hopshop disclaimer Gabe is on the Hopkin Racing Team, he gets flowed gear from the Hopkin skateshop. The manufacturers of Munkae Trucks did not flow him any trucks nor did they pay him for this review. And the photo of Gabe sliding, he is not using munkae trucks...I just added it because it is a sick photo.

    Gabe's travel wrap up, with lots of tasty new longboard gear

    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!