The Games took place Aug. 15 through 25, but faced unfavorable weather conditions, which tested everyone’s snowboard gear, and an injury to one of the top U.S. riders, Shaun White. The Games included a full festival atmosphere with films, live music and entertainment in Queenstown and Lake Wanaka.
The ladies’ slopestyle event placed Jamie Anderson from the U.S. at the number one spot. The next U.S. female rider, Karly Shorr, placed ninth. The ladies halfpipe event was better for the U.S.; Kelly Clark took the top spot while Gretchen Bleiler took third, and high school sophomore, Arielle Gold, took the number nine spot. The Japanese boarder, Ayumu Hirano, was another favorite, landing some of the biggest jumps ever seen in Cardrona’s halfpipe and taking home the number one spot in halfpipe. This was his first World Cup, and Hirano still needs to show what he’s made of to make the Japanese team, but there is little doubt that he will.
The New Zealand Winter Games were just one of the World Cup competitions that will allow riders to qualify for the Olympic Games. Olympic hopefuls will have to receive the appropriate FIS points to be eligible. Although all riders had their eyes on the prize, they took time off their boards as well. The boarders took to a grassier course after the competition to play a round of golf in Central Otago in the scenic New Zealand backdrop.
The skate world is highly populated by men, but that doesn’t mean that the girls can’t shred it with the best of them. The record for the youngest X Games medalist was just set by a girl and females have been rocking the competition circuit for years now. With an impressive crew of female skaters, more and more quality gear has been made to match the quality of the riders. Finding the right gear can still take some digging, but there are plenty of boards, shoes and helmets that have a touch of femininity now.
While girls don’t need special boards, the graphics on boards have typically been geared towards male riders. There’s nothing wrong with wanting something different, so thankfully many skate companies have begun changing up their designs to suit a variety of personality types and style preferences. Grab the best board and the best shoes to keep you comfortable during long days at the park.
Ride in style with some gear that will appeal to female riders.
- Etnies Perry Mid. The comfortable skate shoes have both color and class. With houndstooth fabric and bright accents, these shoes will never go out of style. They have plenty of support and ventilation to keep your feet comfortable on the course.
- Vans Womens Chukka Low. These classic Vans are cushioned and flexible, keeping your feet happy kick flip after kick flip.
· Globe Bodhi Longboard Complete. The colorful teal, orange and white waves of the Globe Bodhi are fun and trendy.
· Organika Native Leaves. If you love the cool weather and the earth tones of fall, this deck is perfect for you. The bright orange leaf pattern is an ideal background for the chic Organika logo.
· Element Night Owl. If you like a graphic over a pattern, go for something like the Nyjah Huston designed Element board. Owl graphics are showing up in fashion pieces around the world and this deck adds a pop of color to give it even more personality.
Ever find your smooth ride abruptly stopped, throwing you off your board? If it wasn’t a crack in the road, chances are you haven’t kept your bearings clean and they’ve locked up. Bearings provide you a smooth ride and prevent any excessive wear to your wheels and axels.
Bearings allow for the wheel to roll around the axel with reduced friction. Small metal balls take on the load of the friction, allowing for the wheel to spin smoothly without grinding. These little metal rings are placed on the axels and in the wheels and are generally made from steel or ceramic.
To maintain their proper function, bearings should be cleaned and lubricated. When bearings are dirty, they may become noisy or unable to spin freely when you slick the wheel. Not only will dirty bearings affect the quality of your ride, they can freeze up causing you to fall.
To keep your bearings in prime condition you can either clean them or replace them. Finding replacements are easy, and most boards are made for a standard bearing size. They are pretty inexpensive and many riders find it more convenient to just replace them. But if you choose to clean your board’s bearings, agitate them in a cleaning solution and dry completely. You can even use compressed air to ensure that there is no water left inside the bearings. You can also add a bearing lubricant, but only apply it to clean bearings, as adding lubricant will only allow dirt to spread deeper into the bearings.
Pick up some fresh new skateboard bearings at Eternal’s all new skate shop.
Longboarding is becoming increasingly popular. Kids are riding longboards to school and adults are cruising around town. The laid-back style of longboarding has reached outside the typical skateboarding demographic and more people are beginning to learn. As with any new skill, it is important to put safety precautions first. As you practice and become more skilled at longboarding you may feel confident enough to shed some safety gear, but start off with a high level of protection. After all, you’ll be forced to take a break from your new hobby if you break your wrist the first day you hop on a board.
Depending on your riding style, the amount of protective gear you wear can vary. If you’re just cruising around the neighborhood, you probably don’t need to be decked out from head to toe. But if you’re hitting the hills at high speed, you’ll want as much protection as possible. Here are a few things you may want to invest in to stay safe while longboarding:
- Helmet. No matter how experienced a rider you are, you should always wear a helmet. Just because you know how to control your board doesn’t mean you can always avoid a collision with another boarder or even a car.
- Wrist guards. When you’re learning to board you will likely fall a couple of times. Instinctively catching yourself may protect other areas of your body but it is tough on the wrists. Guards will help to protect and support them.
- Knee and elbow pads. When you don’t brace yourself with your wrists, chances are either your knees or elbows will take the first blow.
- Gloves. Once you start traveling at higher speeds, you may want to invest in a pair of gloves to protect your hands from road burn.
You’ll be able to ride with a little more confidence and learn more quickly if you know you won’t get injured when you take a spill. Wearing gear (especially a helmet) is vital but the best safety measure is to remain aware of your surroundings and check your speed until you’ve mastered complete control over the board. Find a good selection of longboards and safety gear at Eternal’s all new skate shop.
Looking to take a road trip this summer? Why not bring your board and a few buddies and make a pilgrimage to one – or all – of the best skate parks this summer. Test your skills with new courses that are widely recognized as some of the best in the states. You’ll be in good company riding these courses. Many pros have graced their presence and you’ll feel like you’re on top of the world once you have too.
- VANS Skatepark in Orange, Calif. This park, known as “The Block” has a 20,000-square-foot indoor wooden course with stair sets, rails, ledges and banks, as well as an outdoor concrete curse with moveable obstacles. If you don’t have room in your car for your board, you can even rent one for the day at The Block.
- Louisville Extreme Park in Louisville, Ky. With a full 24-foot concrete pipe, street, vert and transition style courses, no skater is left behind. The park boasts 40,000 square-feet of outdoor skating surface open 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week.
- Skatepark of Tampa in Tampa, Fla. The S.P.O.T frequently changes its setup so riders never get bored with the course. This indoor/outdoor park has been the host to yearly pro and amateur contests since it was built. With pyramids, handrails, banks and quarter pipes, this course has something for everyone.
- FDR Skatepark in Philadelphia, Penn. This partially covered park is one of the best in the North East. Right under the I-95 overpass, and decked out in graffiti, old-school skaters know and love this park. You too will enjoy the bowls, vert walls, quarterpipes and pyramids that a park needs without feeling pretentious.
- Denver Skatepark in Denver, Colo. With an impressive 60,000 square-feet of outdoor park, Denver welcomes boarders, rollerbladers and bikers of all levels. This park offers multiple sized bowls, ledges, handrails and a euro gap, and is open seven days a week from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Get set up with all of your skateboard needs at Eternal’s all new skate shop.
After heavy use, wheels can start to wear unevenly causing flat spots and bumps for a rough ride. Your board won’t be able to perform at its best ability and can throw off your balance. If your ride is being affected by old wheels, it may be time to replace them. It is an easy switch and can be done in a matter of minutes with the right tools. If you don’t have a skate key or bearing puller, stop by your local skate shop and pick one up. They’re inexpensive and are a handy tool to have.
Once you have everything you need to switch your wheels out, get down to business with five easy steps:
- Remove the old wheels by unscrewing the nut from each side of the axels with an adjustable wrench or a skate key. Set the nuts aside for when you put the new wheels on.
- Remove the bearings from your old wheels if you plan on reusing them. If your skate key has a removal nub, you can use that to remove the bearing; otherwise you’ll have to get a bearing puller. Be careful to only apply pressure on the edges, not the shield, to protect the bearings.
- Clean the axels and bearings when you’ve got them exposed.
- Insert the bearings into your new wheels the same way you removed them.
- Once the bearings are back in, place the new wheels on the axels and secure the nuts back on. Adjust the tightness until you have the right amount of play in the wheels and take your new wheels out for a test run.
Once you’ve replaced your board’s wheels a few times, the routine will become second nature and you’ll never be at a loss when your wheels start to hinder your ride. Find everything you need to change out wheels at Eternal’s new skateboard shop.
Want something a little mellower than skateboarding or a new way to cross-train for snowboarding? Give longboarding a shot. Longboards have more stability and traction than skateboards and most riders use them to cruise. But before you hop on any board, make sure to choose the one that will give you the best ride possible.
Don’t run out and invest in a new sidewalk surfer before you assess your riding style. There are a lot of great boards out there, but learning how to ride will be more difficult if you start on the wrong board. If you’re just getting into longboarding or plan on just cruising around with minimal hills, then you’ll want a cruiser or carving board. If you‘re more interested in nailing some tricks or boardwalking, you’ll need a flexible freestyle or dancing deck, but if you have a need for speed, put your money down on a stiff freeride or downhill longboard.
Once you’ve got your style figured out, focus on the board shape. The pintail is the most common longboard shape and is good for more casual cruising and some small hills. Cutouts or drop-throughs are the most versatile shape and are a good investment. They’re great for cruising and have no wheelbite when carving, but they are also stable at higher speeds.
Downhill decks are good for the speedsters. They hold your feet in during fast turns and some have cutouts to eliminate the wheelbite. Cruiser decks are typically shorter and are easier to maneuver and have a kicktail for the sharp turns necessary when skating through crowded sidewalks. If you need more control, go for a shorter board until you learn to maneuver seamlessly on longer boards.
Check out the selection of longboards from Eternal’s new skate shop.