Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Spitfire #2.

Everybody is probably wondering where the flame head logo is. Spitfire didn't start using it until May 1992. The circle vortex is the original logo for the company.

The first Spitfires were such a contrast to the full color wheels that Powell Peralta and Santa Cruz were putting out at the time. I think that's why they caught on. There were also a lot of issues at the time with wheel hardness versus what color the wheel was. Colored wheels often weren't as hard or as durable as white wheels. Sometimes this worked out for the better and sometimes it didn't. It depended on what you were riding. Generally the break down was 95A or softer for street, 97A for both street and ramps and 98A for ramps. I remember some Santa Cruz wheels at 98A being too hard for street, whereas some 95A green Powell wheels were awesome for street. You lost a lot of speed when you took the softer wheels to a ramp however.

Top: Thrasher - April 1989 Volume 9 Number 4

Note: This ad also ran in the May 1989 issue.

Bottom: Thrasher - June 1989 Volume 9 Number 6


Keith said...

Cool. The first vortex Spitfires and the Nude Eels were a real turning point for wheels in those days... at least in my town.

I think the hardness scale was actually much softer. It was 90/92a for street wheels, 95a combo for in between and 97-99a for ramp. For a while there at the peak of the Slimeball, G-bone, Bullet 66 era, I wanted a thinner and smaller wheel and ended up with Powell freestyle wheels! So sweet.

justin said...

92A seems right for just street. I think I'm going by the Powell wheel hardness scale, which was a little softer than Santa Cruz.

I don't think these wheels ever got to my town. That's how small and out of the way it was.

A friend of mine had some of the Schmitt Stix SS Radials with the metal cores. Those were like 99 or something and super hard.

I remember the Powell freestyle wheels. They were like 55mm or something whiched seem so small back then compared to a T- Bone or a Bullet 66.

Keith said...

good timing as well with this post. They are giving away Guy Spitfire Wheels this week.

freakbeatfuzz said...

Yeah, the Powell wheels at that time seemed really soft. Some of my friends started riding Bones freestyles in the street which I think were 57mm and 97A after seeing an ad with Tommy Guerrero riding them. Wasn't Mike Archimedes one of the first Spitfire riders? I see him a lot at Potrero.

Scott said...

Oh yeah Powell wheels where way softer than Santa Cruz. I had a set of 97A T-Bones and then switched to the greatest wheel of the late 80's early 90's 61 mm 95A OJ II Teamriders. They were so fast and they did perfect on everything. The 95A teamriders seemed harder than the 97a T-bones.

LEU said...

hi. i like your web site.
before my friend gave me rat-bones from 80's it was like 92a or something. that was so perfect for cruising the street. but it was stolen in Australia. now i'm looking for other one. what do you think if i chose bones untill how much XXa i can do powerslide. i don't want to lose the sound like kiiiii!!! when i'm doing powersilide. last time i bought wheel satori eco rider but i couldn't make that sound. so i don't use it now. now i'm using the bones DTF i think this is like 95a or something. i think this is still little bit hard for me.
i am japanese and my country is not like califolnia. the street is not smooth just same as NYC.