If you were to walk into a skate shop in 1998
and buy a complete, it might look almost exactly the same as something from today, just with
different brand names. Skateboards really haven’t had any major technological breakthroughs
lately. While it isn’t uncommon to see new and experimental
trucks and exotic materials on longboards and cruisers, street skaters are too picky
for those things to take off. Street skating uses every part of the board and trucks from
every conceivable angle, so anything new has to react just like the current stuff. Nobody
is willing to relearn or even abandon certain tricks to gain more durability or control. Think about P2 decks or Almost Impact decks.
They have inserts, but everything else is still standard maple. If they didn’t feel
exactly like every other board, nobody would want to ride them. One company that isn’t afraid of changing
things is Lithe. Lithe just hit indiegogo. Basically, they’re
using snowboard-style technology to layer carbon fiber and a hybrid polymer with maple.
It looks very complicated. But the idea is that the polymer tip will prevent razor tail.
And with the added strength of the carbon fiber, these decks might last a lot longer
than a regular one. Looks like they will retail for $200 each. I have a couple of concerns about this. First,
the shapes. If you buy a board that’s going to last you a whole year, you better really
like it. They are offering a few different shapes right now, but without being able to
actually see one in person before buying it, it will be a bit of a gamble. Second, just how durable are they, exactly?
On Facebook, they claim that it last 6 times longer. So considering the price of 6 $50
decks, that definitely sounds worth it. But having full color graphics is a stretch goal.
So, in theory, a better comparison might be a blank deck. Does it last 10 times longer
than a $20 blank? Time will tell. I hope so, because it looks really cool. Another company fighting razor tail is One
Skateboards. Right now, they have decks with replaceable tips. They cut channels into the
nose and tail that have tips on them that are removable and replaceable. And on top of that, these are cheaper than
an average board. I’ve never ridden one but they seem pretty cool. There’s a similar company in Sweden called
ProSk8 that’s doing the exact same thing. One company that’s always pushed the limits
of deck manufacturing is Lib-Tech. Their current boards have epoxy pickled maple,
birch sidewalls, anti-razor birch end grain, a vertically laminated core, and fiberglass.
Lib Techs are about 75 bucks. But if that sounds too cheap for you, check
out IXO Carbon. They’re a carbon fiber company, not a skateboard company. They make a 100%
carbon fiber deck, which they sell through their website. There are a couple issues though…
First, they don’t say what size it is, and second, it’s 1,100 Euros, which is a little
over 1200 dollars. But for that price, they throw in titanium hardware. So… That saves
you a few bucks, right? Of course, any discussion about skateboard
technology has to include Avenue. Recently, Avenue Trucks were successfully
funded on Kickstarter and they have started selling their suspension trucks retail. The idea is that the truck sits on this heavy
spring. It absorbs landing impact and spring loads your pop. And theoretically, they absorb
rolling vibration, making your bearings roll smoother too. They look really cool and I might buy some
next time I need new trucks. I’ve seen glowing reviews. It looks like these guys actually
did the work of testing and refining the trucks for years before release. But what about wheels? No, I’m not talking about Shark Wheels. Those
are the weird square wheels that roll smooth even though the treads wobble. I bet they’re
pretty cool on cruisers and longboards, but I can’t see how they would work locking into
grinds on a street board. So what else is going on? Well air core wheels
have come and mostly gone already. But right now, there’s Wreck wheels. This
is Chet Thomas’s new wheel company. Rather than being a whole new concept, Wreck is just
about perfecting the current wheel. They obsessively tested things like the rebound rate, flatspot
resistance and grip. They’re only a couple bucks more than regular wheels. Another new thing is the Ricta Slix. These
have a slippery inner edge, which would help with crooked grinds, smiths, feebles and that
kind of stuff. They’re kind of like the Tensor slip plates. There are a few more random accessories up
on indiegogo too. Namely the STAT – Smart Truck Assembly Tool, meant to make it really
easy to put your trucks on and tighten them. Personally, I don’t mind spending a few minutes
setting up my board. And I’d worry that there are more parts to break, potentially making
it less reliable than a regular tool. But the target retail price is $25, so it isn’t
much of an investment. Last is the Houkie – which is a sock that
goes over your shoe to protect it. They will retail for about $30 – $35. I don’t know about
you, but I buy my skate shoes based on what’s on clearance. It’s not uncommon for me to
spend $35 on the shoes themselves, let alone an accessory for them. Well that’s all the new stuff that I found.
What about you? Do you know of any new skate tech that deserves any more attention? Let
me know in the comments. Thanks for watching.