Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Risers & Copers.
"I've been riding riser pads for a while now. I couldn't make tricks and then just started putting them on. Like that one Thrasher cover, the front 180, I couldn't roll away, so I put on riser pads and rolled away. I got used to them and can't take them off." - Collin Provost
Risers have come in a variety of shapes and sizes over the years. The idea is to give your trucks a little extra height so that you don't get wheel bite. This was more of a problem in the 1980s when wheels were larger. Skateboarding went through a phase in the early 1990s where everybody ditched risers and rode their trucks directly in contact with the board. With wheel sizes dropping as low as 38 mm, wheel bite was not much of an issue. I'm thinking most people today don't use risers. When wheel sizes started to get larger again in the mid 1990s, risers came back into play.
The top riser is a Santa Cruz Cellblock. It was designed to redistribute the force of landings so that there was less stress on your board by the back truck, where a board was likely to break. A few adventurous types even used two Cellblocks.
The second photo is a selection of different riser pads. I don't really like the hard plastic kind and I don't think I ever used any of these, they just wound up in the junk drawer. The black riser on the right is more of a flexible plastic. It and the blue Cellblock were on the majority of my boards from the late 1980s to early 1990s.
I'm a fan of risers. I've been using the same pair of Lucky 1/8" risers since 1997 or 1998. I ride 56 mm wheels and at this point it would look weird not have risers on my board. It might help reduce the shock of landings a little, not that I'm jumping off of anything. Plus I like how they look.
I got the copers with my first board. I had Gullwing trucks, but I'm not sure if they are Gullwing copers. My guess is probably not. They took some abuse from curbs and PVC coping from my first year or two of skateboarding. Copers were created to allow for a smoother grind on rough surfaces, not that riding with a piece plastic on your truck counts as grinding. Of note is that select ramp and pools owners required copers to protect the coping on their investment.
Note: Collin's Thrasher cover was from September 2013. He frontside 180 ollied this tall wheelchair ramp that Heath Kirchart had tried to ollie in Alien Workshop's Mindfield.
Collin's quote: Transworld - March 2014 Volume 32 Number 3