Thunder Trucks

Alright, I’ll break it down one more time for those of you that weren’t paying attention the last few hundred times: Ventures are light-weight but break a lot easier. Independent are heavy but strong*. Thunders are the middleweights which make them light enough for good pop and strong enough to take a drop. Anything else on the market is superfluous.

*Independent lost a few customers over the years because of defaults. Indys are now more prone to breaking than ever before, but the company promises to produce only the strongest trucks available. Two cracked baseplates in exactly the same place lost my confidence, so I’ve been riding these Thunders and have no complaints. Oh, except for the vividly coloured pro models- yuck!

Ralph Lloyd-Davis

88 Shoes

Justin Strubings

I’m not sure, but the only place you might find these babies are on E-Bay or in the bargain bin… The reason being that 88 Shoes no longer exists, replaced by Vox. Anyway, while 88 Shoes did fill up our shelves, Justin Strubing rode for them and anyone who has witnessed how this guy skates knows he’s in control no matter how fast, steep or awkward the terrain. The shoes themselves are functional and relatively simple. My pair were jet black which always works better than dazzling white because they are skate shoes not shoes for the disco. However, the materials used aren’t super resistant, so after a few skates, the sole is already wearing flat and the leather is starting to crack. Oh dear… Not my favouritest shoes ever, but good none the less. Have fun finding a pair!

Ralph Lloyd-Davis

Globe – Mark Appleyard

OK, let’s get straight to the point. These shoes are probably the best that Globe have brought out in years. When Appleyard decided to swich to them he obviously had more in mind than the monthly cheque because these shoes are ideal for skateboarding. How do we know that? Because we have skated in them and they rock.
They are fairly small on the foot which is great of control and the sole is built so you can feel every bit of grip on your tape with the combination of suede/nubuck upper. They have optional bottom and top lace protectors, they are triple stitched, have a double layered toe box and ollie patch, a breathable air mesh tongue, internal tongue stabilizers. It’s a winner, so go try them out on your feet. Oh and if you wanted to design your own pair of these, go here

Finnan Crispy

DVS – Dresden

Depending on what floats your boat when it comes to the design of skate shoes, you must remember that they were originally built for skateboarding but when i opened the box and these lay there, i must admit i thought, dammit, it’s a fashion shoe and not really my thing personally….until i got them on! Firstly, being a person that usually skates in a flat sole, they were high but they also make you walk like you are on the moon….bit by bit with a walk to the shops i realised that they were seriously comfortable. But when put to the test, they are the best street skating shoes i have worn to date. These were surely built to spill heel bruises as there is so much protection there at the back end that it’s surely gonna be on your side when it comes down to running out of stuff.

This shoe has a sure-fit tongue strap, perforated foam for heat reduction, a soft lined insole and built in leather. Fuck fashion, these are skateboard shoes!

Finnan Crispy

Savier – Freemont

Seeing as Savier pulled the plug on their shoe manifesto a while ago, you probably won’t be able find these shoes anywhere. That’s a shame because I think they are one of the best pairs I’ve ever owned. When I first slipped my size 10.5s into these they were tight. Not ‘tight’ in the slang way, ‘tight’ in the Cinderella silver slipper style. However, this loosened up and soon the Freemont was moulded to my foot shape. I took advantage of the hidden lace hoops, but applied a bit of Shoe-Goo to the side seams because new griptape and cotton don’t mix. Now, the best bit about these Savier kicks is the fact that I’ve been skating with them all through Summer, so that means a lot of skating has gone down, and all they have to show for wear is an insignificant hole on the side and a little bit of the underfoot that has worn away! In my books that is pretty amazing when you know that some shoe models on the market are dead in less than 3 weeks. Too bad Savier pulled the plug because they were definitely using some good materials…

Ralph Lloyd Davis

Consolidated Bearings

Since when did the whole Abec numbering matter? I thought it had been proven that the Abec rating was irrelevant to everyday skating. Oh well, for your information, Consolidated have re-released the Filter bearings in Abec 5 mode and regular bearings in Abec 7. Perhaps the 7’s are better for contests because you won’t have to push so much. I don’t think Alan Petersen pushes at all, he just charges! Anyway, a nice thing (if you can call it that) is that the Filter models release all their crappy oil after a few rolls around, so you can clean them easier and let the bearing breathe. Do bearings have to breathe? Apparently so, but with absent oil, a rattling noise can soon be heard…

Antiz – Team models

Antiz are smart fellas because they know skaters are skint. So, in order to supply goods to the masses prices need to be cut. Antiz have just released 3 team model decks (7.5, 7.75, 8) that will retail at around £30. My favourite graphic has to be either the black panther or the ‘Manara’ comic inspired graphic. However, the best shape probably belongs to the larger boards. In any case, if you are broke and tempted to buy a dodgy second hand deck, save yourself and support a real skate company by fishing out one of these offerings.


Antiz РBen Th̩ Series

Antiz are on the up, and in order to support a full team of rippers, the product has to e up to par. This is the latest series with graphics drawn by the Antiz amateur, Ben Thé. The shapes vary, but at the moment I am riding the 7.6 wide Love Enroth model. The board has a lovely shape for switchstance skating i.e. the nose and tail are virtually identical- big and round, and the concave is rather steep. Obviously the other decks have different concave and widths because Antiz know they have to cater for various demands. Support Euro skateboarding and order a deck (or two, or three…) now!


Anti Hero – Old Schooler

If anyone is all about skateboarding then it’s Anti-Hero, and if anyone has supporters that like to carve and slash around it’s Anti-Hero. This is a big axe for those who reminisce about boards from the past. Apart from being nice and wide, this deck also comes with a long square nose for you to get your grip to as you throw down a dog pisser.

Eothen – Ant tree deck

The second I received this deck, I knew I would like it. It might seem superficial, but those graphics make me smile- A tree made of ants. (Eothen have also got a dope logo of some dudes sleeping upright which can be found on other products c.f. Wheels).
Anyway, we all know graphics are only the tip of an iceberg when it comes to the quality of a deck, so let me describe this piece of carpentry the best I can. It measures up at 7.5 inches, but I know that there are also 7.75 and 8 inch models out there. The Ant Tree deck has a mellow concave with virtually straight rails, a slim round nose and tail. The wood isn’t pressed so flat that you’ll be sweating bullets trying to get some pop out of it, and the finish is clean. Eothen might still be a small operation, but what they offer is far from bland. Good decks mean good skating.