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This is a sweet little board! I bought it for my girl who has expressed interest in learning to ride. When it arrived, I took it for a spin around the block, and came back with a grin on my face and didn't want to part with it! I normally ride a long, soft cruiser board, so it was really fun to have an agile, responsive, versatile board like this under my feet. It looks like a perfect combo of a skateboard and a longboard, it's very light, and as always with Arbor, looks great. I'm not too stoked on the cheaper bearings (but hey, they'll get replaced eventually anyway), and in my opinion 65mm wheels don't belong on a longboard unless you live in a nicely paved area - I had to be pretty careful on these small wheels with all the cracks and bad pavement in the city, and there was chatter on the more gravely areas. On the plus side, the smaller wheels don't accelerate as much on the downhills, so not every hill has to be bombed at top speed. The trucks are nicely matched - they're fairly narrow and allow the board to be quite turny and agile. It's got a nice nose and kicktail, very responsive, so I can see this being a great all-around board, darting around and hopping curbs. The short shape and snappy response made me want to try a few slides. Unfortunately, the soft wheels will need a lot more breaking in before this board can slide consistently, but I still think it would make for a good slider board. It's not really long or wide enough to do much dancing, at least with my feet. If it comes up for sale again, I might get another one! This was my first impression, and I'll update this review if I have anything to add.
This is my second season in this jacket, and I absolutely love it. It pretty much has every essential feature covered, while adding plenty of bells and whistles to keep you happy. It's really light and you don't feel like you're hauling around a suit of armor. At the same time, it's fully water and windproof, and I haven't noticed any scuffs of tears after a season of shredding. The liner hoodie is nothing to write home about fashion-wise, but for layering, it works perfectly. Zip it into the shell, and it just became a parka. Velcro on the chest pockets lets you get to stuff easily in gloves, there's a snowskirt for the deep days, pit zips for cooling off, and it comes down nice and low in the back, keeping your assets covered. The pass holder built into the cuff makes me feel like a secret agent. Oh, and did I mention it looks sick? I'll often wear it around town when it's rainy - who needs an umbrella!
I don't like returning used gear, but I've been contemplating it in the case of this jacket. When I first got it, I was pretty stoked. It's full of neat features - a whole ton of pockets, a lift pass window, mp3 pocket with an alligator clip holding a wipe built in (!?), a powderskirt, and a slick, unique print. I also figured that with 25K, I'd never need to worry about getting wet. Wrong! After less than one season, the waterproofing seems to be wearing off. The first thing to go was the sleeves, and now after just one run I can see them soaking up the moisture. By the end of the day, it's noticeably heavier due to all the water soaking in. I was only damp - not soaking wet - on the inside, but I can tell that things are getting worse. I wear 10K pants, and the rate of saturation appears to be pretty much the same. I'll probably try wash-in waterproofing to see if that helps, but overall I was pretty disappointed with the water resistance that is supposed to be top of the line.
This hoodie is awesome. People are always commenting on it and asking me to zip it up. All my friends want one too. I found that going a size up (to L for a 6' 185lb male) is a good relaxed fit. Those who wear tight pants might prefer a "true" fit, but I never understood fitted hoodies - aren't hoodies meant to be comfy? One thing not mentioned in the description is a sweet internal pocket, which is very low-profile and super convenient for smaller items like a lighter, credit card, rolling papers, or whatever. Now if only I didn't have to unzip the face to drink...
For me these were an upgrade from a set of Drakes that came with a $200 board+bindings beginner package. Learning to ride on those, I imagined that all bindings were the same, and so I focused on improving my technique rather than upgrading my gear. When my friends would brag about their new stuff, I would turn my nose up - pfft, I ride on cheapo gear, and I'm as good as you!
But then I gave my Drakes to a friend and got these Rides. I mounted them on that same old board and went up to Steven's Pass in Washington. After the first run I was ready to call my friends and apologize. The difference was phenomenal!
These bindings let me have way more control of the board. Turns were smooth, predictable, and thanks to all the padding - nice and soft, even on fairly icy terrain. One thing that really made the improvement obvious was riding the board flat. Before, I would be stressing about the board squirreling this way or that when flat, having to make quick adjustments and being super careful not to overcompensate. With these bindings, riding flat became much easier. I felt like I had way more control - there was no way the board would skim out now. A similar benefit was observed when riding switch. Switch for me is still an awkward ordeal, but these made it much more controlled and predictable. Also, skating with one foot unstrapped, getting off the lift, etc, I felt like I had more control and could finally relax and enjoy the ride.
I also love the adjustability on these. The highback can be rotated so that it stays parallel to the board as you rotate your bindings. The toepad can be extended or retracted to fit your boot better. Of course the straps can be adjusted, and the overall length of the binding. Once you get the adjustments dialed, it feels like the binding was custom made just for you.
I haven't tried other high-quality bindings, so I can't compare, but I'm freakin' loving these. I can't wait to mount them on my new Jussi board (thanks again!).