Lakai – Sky High

The ‘Sky High’ is a dope mid-top shoe that is ready to skate from the get go. It’s my second attempt at riding Lakai skate shoes and so far I’m pretty pleased. No funky bubbles, lace savers or bottle openers- Just comfortable and functional skate shoes. Ok, the laces snapped and the sole wore through a bit quicker than usual, but the ollie areas are solid and the shoe doesn’t go all soft on you after a couple of hours. I liked them and I think you will too!

8/10

Es – Koston 1

Before there were professionals in skateboarding, there were amateurs. Before there were shots of 20 stair ollies, there were shots of little 3 stairs. And, before we rushed to the shop for the latest Koston 7’s (yup! They’re coming…), there were the Koston 1’s. A direct hit amongst skaters all around the world, the premiere professional skate shoe form Es reflects it’s owners flawless style. The Es Koston 1 is the shit, so if you ever get the chance to ride or own a pair, don’t hesitate. They’re comfy, durable and nice to look at, so I don’t really think much else need be said.

9/10 (because nothing is perfect)

Karma Wheels 53mm

You can review videos, decks, clothes, shoes, trucks and bearings, but wheels just elude me… I seriously don’t know what needs to be said about those blobs of urethane that support our weight and wobbling. Alright, so Karma put out these 53mm wheels. They are basic white, round and feel a little soft to the touch. If that sort of description rocks your boat then support British skating and spend some money on these. I heard that if you pay for these in cash, take them home and plant one in your garden, a huge Karma tree will grow in that spot and sprout loads of Karma goodies for you and your friends to share. Wowee!

FKD Bearings

Here are the newest bearings from American FKD. The blues are Abec 3, the reds are Abec 5 and the golds spin fast at Abec 7. Each set come in an aesthetic saw disk box with a little bottle of lube to keep the speed at high. Stefan Janoski rides for FKD Bearings now, so they must be good for something…

Finest – Le Spot Montreur

An illustrated guide to France’s skatespots

Full of British pride, I will proclaim that this book is a rip off of Harry Bastard’s Spot Guide book. But, I won’t. What these 4 Frenchmen have come up with is a skateboarders A-Z or Lonely Planet guide to all the skatespots within the Hexagone. Ever wondered where that obscure full pipe is in Cliché’s ‘Bon Appetit!’? Or, where Bastien grew up skating? Get Finest and find out. The book covers various regions and goes into great detail with the street address of each spot, its difficulty rating, what it’s made of, etc… Oh and all the pictures are in colour. Even if I found a few of the spots featured were pure shite i.e. very poorly made skateparks that even Dan Cates would have difficulty with, I can’t blame them because at the end of the day the locals from some oblique little village either skate that mouldy bank or don’t skate at all! Plus there are a few gems in this book that will definitely have you scratching your head as to why you’ve never seen them before. So, hats off to the team for getting off their arses and travelling over 40000km in a year for our future pleasure.

Eothen Dream Wheels

53mm

How do you review a wheel? They’re round. They’re hard or soft, fat or thin, big or small… Well, these Dream Wheels from Eothen are round, hard (101A), and 53mm wide. Oh, and they’re black. I could tell you that the logo is pretty cool- a dude sleeping peacefully- but I doubt that’ll help your tricks improve. Anyway, these wheels are rad and I very nearly landed a half cab manual, backside 180 switch around to half cab out, and they didn’t flatspot so I guess they’re worth it. Eothen needs your support so try and hook yourself up with some goodies A.S.A.P.

4/5 (They would have got full marks but I sort of prefer white wheels…)

Royal Trucks

I have always chosen the tougher and subsequently stronger variety of truck throughout my skateboarding years. Your ‘lightest ever’ truck just wasn’t an option during my youth because every session involved many gaps, stairs and rough ledges. However, as I have grown old and rusty, the 10+ stairs over yesteryear are long gone and I now enjoy brushing up on my flatground tricks and manual prowess. It was time for a change in truck, so along came Royal.

First of all, colour schemes and ‘signature’ models do not interest me because if anything it’s a gimmick for the kids and a little more money for the pro with holes in his pockets. I need functionality and easy bushings. Royal came through with both. I was really pleased to see that I could skate these grind twins straight away without using old rubbers. It only took a quick turn of a tool to get the tightness right and I was off. I do ride fairly loose trucks, but even if I didn’t I doubt the trucks would have caused any trouble. The grind was fair, not as smooth as I have previously experienced, but good none the less.

I strongly advise trying out a pair of Royal trucks for anyone who wants some thing light and stable but strong enough to withstand the odd gap session. I don’t advise these to serious transition or downhill skaters because they aren’t very wide and might risk wobbling a bit at high speed (Ed. I did bomb a few steep hills with these and I was alright…).

Verdict: 7.5/10