I finally bought a G|Bomb Push|Pump setup after years of teasing myself about buying a proper hybrid distance deck. I selected it over the only other obvious contender, the Subsonic Century, mostly because as an engineer the G|Bomb design tickles me. Yes, it’s a $300 deck with another ~$100 of parts on it, but based on my first few rides, it’s totally worth it.
I ordered a deck and bracket set from G|Bomb, which consists of a Superfork front, Freewill platform, and a 35mm deep-drop bracket in back.
The packaging job from G|Bomb is amazing. Lovely reflectix pouch for the deck, little branded stamps and stickers various places, foam sleeves for the brackets, cardboard dividers, etc. In one of those nice boutique business touches, they sent a picture of the package contents with the shipping notification. I’m so acclimated to getting things wrapped haphazardly in closed cell foam and that ubiquitous yellow Chinese shipping tape, arriving via banggood free shipping it’s nice to see care and craft.
They even include one of their little Key of G tapered reuleaux triangle shaped 3/8″ wrenches in the box – which as an engineer makes me really happy because the tool is clearly designed to limit torque on the infinity bolts by limiting how hard you can grip it.
I have it set up with a Bennett Vector 5.0 and Tracker RTS 129 I already owned from my previous crappy pumping setup that was too unpleasant to use because of the 5″ ride height after wedges and wheel clearance – this thing comes in at a lovely 3″. I kept the delrin insert I made for the pivot in the Benett so it won’t eat bushings as quickly (“Hobo spherical”), and ground down the wings and polished the pivot on the RTS to slightly improve the range of movement and protect the pivot cup – all documented in the linked post. Wheels are good old 75mm/80A lime BigZigs, and I have Green and Yellow Reflex barrels in the Bennet, and some translucent barrels that I don’t honestly remember where I got on the RTS.
I had the rts at about -7° (with a little slip toward center because it wasn’t quite tight enough) for the first ride and -10° since, which improved the energy return on pumps, but makes the steering a bit twitchy/divy.
With the -10° dewedge it gets sketchy about 10mph earlier than other decks I’ve ridden; I get nervous around 30mph on my beloved old Jasmine, and it’s starting to be scary at 20 on this thing. There’s an odd converse effect that the deep turning and large square-edged wheels make it not just easy but natural to moderate speed on it.
I’m still not getting entirely effective pumps out of it, but I’ve never mastered pumping on any deck – I can accelerate under good conditions, but there isn’t much power. I’m always sure the primary problem is that my technique is wrong, but I’m also always suspicious there are other variables I should play with, I’ve been eyeing the rear truck bushings as a next thing to tweak.
In terms of sheer ridability, it’s amazing. The low ride height makes for a comfortable and efficient push. The big wheels and heavy deck (that is a slightly weird thing compared to other longboards; my setup weights a full 10lbs) give great rolling efficiency. It has a wonderful bouncy flex from the interaction of the spars, platform, and bushings. Between the flex, the large reasonably soft wheels, and the shockpads everywhere it smooths out road noise like nothing I’ve ever felt, and keeps your lift foot from going dead. That bounce also turns every little deweight into a near hippie-jump, so my 29yo, 6’2″ ass periodically cannot resist bouncing up and down on it and grinning like an idiot while rolling down some side street. Since I mostly skate as a rare means for joyful exercise, being delightful to ride is the primary goal, and it achieves it in spades.
EDIT: Commenter Matt below noticed that I put it together wrong. I have since remounted the front truck in a drop-through configuration.
This makes the platform level and slightly alters the geometry. I haven’t spent enough time on it after setting that as intended to know how much it changes the dynamics.