Thursday, July 21, 2011

Dave Carnie & Rodney Mullen.

Dave and Rodney break down the anatomy of a freestyle board.

Freestyle boards were usually 7 to 7.5 inches wide and about 28 inches long, if memory serves me correctly. They were very flat with minimal kick in the tail and none in the nose. Nose and tail were roughly equal in length.

One thing they didn't mention was wheel size. Freestyle wheels were usually about 55 mm. This was considered smaller than what was normally thought of as a street wheel at the time, which would have been in the 58 to 62 mm range. A few forward thinking street skaters started riding freestyle wheels in the early 1990s to facilitate more technical tricks.

I've just been picking random things out from Big Brother that were skateboard related for the week. I maybe should have done a week of product reviews, where Carnie's creative writing really shined.

I'm taking tomorrow off from work so there might not be a Friday post. Or there might be. Either way Monday or Friday will be epic.

Rick Kosick took the photo.

Big Brother - November 1999 Issue 54


Keith said...

nice. I had bones freestyle wheels on my set up in 88. Hard to remember how big they were. It's funny how wheel trends went back then. 60-62mm seemed like the norm and then the companies kept getting bigger and bigger (g-bones at 64mm and then t-bones at 66mm). Then a few years later, we were down to companies chasing the smallest wheel, Toxic had a 36mm wheel iirc.

-A said...

This is all from memory,so correct me if I'm wrong. The Speed Freaks video lists what wheels the riders rode and is a good resource for wheel size in 88/89.

I'm relatively sure that all freestyle wheels were sized at 57mm. There were the OJ Freestyles (later FreezStreets), the Bones Freestyles and some Vision variant that were all that size. Other than Vision/Powell/Santa Cruz, the only company that I can remember that made freestyle boards was Walker and their riders (Reggie Barnes) rode Bones wheels.

In the late 80's typical street wheels where around 58-60mm and vert wheels were slightly larger up until the big wheel craze came in. This is where you had the T-bones, Bullet 66's and some undesirable version by Vision/Schmitt. Street wheels were also usually a 92a durometer or softer and freestyle wheels where a harder 97a which was more common for vert wheels.

The first wheels I remember smaller than 57mm where the Speed Wheels Hard Balls (Slimeballs variant) at 55mm. Then everything went crazy small and vert guys were riding 42mm's.

Anonymous said...

Bones V-IV (54mm) Freestyles! I still have a set and will ride them every once in a while. Soft by today's standards but I swear Bones wheels were mad of Fairy Dust and Unicorn Horns back then. Loved them!

justin said...

-A - That all sounds correct. I seem to remember that 58mm was thought of as small as you'd want to go for street skating. That opinion changed quickly. I think Powell might have broken the size barrier with some 55mm freestyle wheels at what would have been about the end of the era, when Cameron Martin turned pro.

This is what I was thinking of, but they are 57mm:

Keith said...

These are the ones I had but in black on my Johnny Kopp street board lol... older PP ones with the plain font.

It was surprising that wheels weren't reversible/symmetrical for the first few years I skated. I can't even remember which company first came out with a symmetrical wheel. Maybe OJ2 street razors or something.

-A said...

Never actually realized what V-IV stood for. I assumed they were 57mm since all other freestyle wheels were.

Were Cross Bones the first reversible wheels? I had a set of those that were 61mm and florescent green.

justin said...

The old Powell urethane was so smooth on the streets.

I'm not sure what the first reversible wheels were. It might have been the Schmitt SS Radials since they were the same on both sides, I think. OJ II Street Razors were symmetrical for sure. Cross Bones might have been. A-1 Meats Sex Cells had graphics on both sides and I remember riding them backward, but I don't think they were symmetrical.

Keith said...

ss radials might have been the first reversibles. I remember this kid in my neighbourhood had them and I tried a powerslide and the dang wheel popped off lol.

For the time, those Powell freestyle wheels were light! I had tracker ultralites as well and that Johnee Kop set up was super light.

Anonymous said...

A-1 Meats Kings 55mm in 90/91 were the smallest street wheel. then real dropped the Realsmall weheels where thy gave you 2 extra wheels to mkae for the small size?!?