Friday, July 18, 2008


Summer 2008 Deck Review.

Plan B Skateboards
Plan B Danny Way Type A DeckBefore setting up this Plan B Danny Way Type A Deck, I hadn't ridden a Plan B board since the companies golden days of existing under the World Industries umbrella. So when I received this board in the mail, I was psyched to relive the old days. Or at least pretend to. I should probably mention that I'm a big fan of the wider board. I usually skate 8.0's and on very special occasions move up to an 8.125. And if I'm feeling real frisky and want to flip my board more than usual, I'll step to a 7.75. This Plan B Way Deck is 8 X 31.5 and features a snubby, rounded nose and tail that I like a lot. The shape is simple and solid and in more ways than one, is reminiscent of the old shapes that characterized the OG Plan B days. And that's a good thing. This board features really thin plys and low kicks, making it perfect for the person who likes to flip their board, yet maintain the stability of a wider deck. After multiple noseslides atop the chrome foil graphics, your fingers will look to have little pieces of shrapnel implanted in them. That's a good thing. We're warriors people...goddamn skateboard warriors. Good board, sick team. I'm backing the Plan B revival.

Toy Machine
Toy Machine Austin Stephens Banjo DeckThis Toy Machine Austin Stephens board clocks in at 8 X 32 and features graphics drawn by Austin's boss and art mastermind, Ed Templeton. This board has a super clean shape with a thinner tail and a more squared off nose, and contains the perfect amount of concave and kick. Not too much. Not too little. Both the nose and tail are just right. And since Toy Machine is part of the Tum Yeto family, their boards last a long-ass time. Made by Watson Laminates, Tum Yeto's boards were rated the highest a few years back according to some website. I'm not a fan of Consumer Reports and tend to sh*t on the first hand ratings of others until I get to try something myself. I truly had a hard time wearing out this board. It just kept going, maintaining it's pop despite a tail and nose that was quickly thinning to a ginsu-like edge. If you're looking to get your money's worth in a time when we're all struggling to make that dollar go just a little bit further, Toy Machine boards have my thumbs ups.

Foundation Skateboards
Foundation Corel Duffel "Duffman" DeckAnother member of the Tum Yeto umbrella is Foundation Skateboards. Again, featuring construction by Watson Laminates, this Foundation Corey Duffel "Duffman" board is also tits. Measuring in at 7.625 X 31.25, this board was slightly thinner than what I like to ride but looking down at it, I couldn't tell the difference between it's width compared to my go-to 8 inchers. Maybe it's because this shape has a wide tail and nose that followed the boards width. Whatever the case may be, it skated like a champ and lasted equally as well as the other Austin Stephens I rode before it. I can't stress it enough. These boards last. Despite skating the hell out of the thing, it maintained it's good pop and it's tight shape til' I decided I needed to put it to rest, aka giving it to the kid downstairs. This is a solid board from a veteran brand that knows how to make a buttery g'damned skateboard.

Listen Skateboards
Listen Refresh Series Danny Montoya DeckI've never skated a Listen board before this one but have been a huge fan of the team since they began. Danny Montoya, Rog G., Brian Brown and Rodrigo Peterson are the main dudes and have been laying it down for this company that lives and breathes skateboarding. Needless to say, when I got my hands on this Listen Danny Montoya deck, I was psyched as hell. It's part of the Listen "Refresh" Series and comes in two sizes. One's in 7.875 X 31.75 and the other comes in an 8 X 32. I rode the preferable 8 inch one and when I did, I rode that sonofabitch like a choo choo. This board has a real nice shape, with a noticeably shorter tail and longer nose. A nice concave and a slightly steeper nose than tail made this thing super fun to ride. A nice solid pop lasted longer than most decks and a thicker 7 ply construction made it immune to snapping in half before the weight of my giant, Baskin Robbins fed man boobs.

Listen Skateboards
Rob Gonzalez Puzzler Series DeckThe other joint I got to sample was this Listen Rob Gonzalez model from the "Puzzler" Series. This one also comes in two sizes, a 7.5 X 31.625 and my go-to, 8 X 32. Riding the 8 X 32 of course, this board was similar in construction and kick but featured a slightly thinner nose and tail than the Toya. Same good snap and sturdy wood made for a pleasurable skating experience all around. After skating their sh*t firsthand, I'm even more psyched on a the Listen camp than I was before. Go pick up one of these quality decks today. And don't forget to peep Viajeros Locos, featuring the entire Listen Family. Sh*t is crazy-tight.