I was futzing with the bushings on my longboards last night, and made an observation that should probably be visible on the Internets: Orangatang Nipples are slightly too tall for the stock 2.75″ kingpin in Churchill RKPs. One could swap … Continue reading
One more longboarding post before I return to my usual content. We’re all used to being regularly mistreated by vendors, and I don’t want to sound like an SEO bot, but these guys deserve recognition for being awesome.
Free Churchill Deck
When I ordered my Jasmine from Churchill Mfg., I sent in my reddit user name for their “free skate tool with order for redditors” promotion a couple hours after I ordered. It didn’t show up in the order, and I didn’t worry about it, because worrying about free pack-ins is silly. Then I got an email from Troy Churchill apologizing for not sending me free stuff because they shipped my order before they saw I had sent in for the promotion.
I replied that it wasn’t a problem and threw in a link to my post about setting up the board. They 1. Looked at it, 2. Politely offered a slight correction and, 3. Offered me a free deck under the “give us a shout-out in a video of decorating your Churchill deck and get one free” promotion they are running, even though it wasn’t a video.
So now I have a free Marina (pintail) coming that I’m passing to a friend who rode my boards and decided she liked it, to spread the stoke.
Khiro Makes it Right
I orderd a Khiro Angle Wedge Riser Rail Kit from Daddies to play with the ride of my decks, and this happened:
(There was a slight packing error among the 16 similar looking plastic bits in the set, so I had three 7° risers and only one 10°.)
I emailed a description of the problem the service contact at Daddies’, asking how they wanted to handle it… and in less than 12 hours, I was CC-ed on an email from a Daddies employee to Khiro, had an apologetic email from Khiro promising me that a replacment 10° riser was going in the mail with “some goodies,” and a voicemail from Khiro Bob apologizing for the problem. A few days later this showed up:
Why can’t all the compaines I interact with be this full of win?
I’ve been fairly in to Longboarding this spring, and decided to pick up another board, set up to contrast with my current big surfy cruise/carve deck. I wanted something lower, with a bit of flex, easier to break out wheels, and a less popsicle-stick shape. The intention is for variety, for easier to pushing, and to improve my technical riding. It will also be nice to have a deck to lend out to get friends hooked.
Details of the board are attached to the images of the gallery after the fold. Fair warning: they are rather high resolution. I’m sure my advisor would complain about the superimposed images with ill-matched white balance and squirrely focus, but I’m shooting with my phone and making automated fixes only in the gimp, so they will do. The WordPress gallery software also seems to be a bit confused by the non-4:3 shapes.
I’m in the process of putting together a second longboard – there will be more posts about that in the next couple days, but I wanted to put up some detailed pictures of the Churchill Mfg. 180mm 50° Reverse Kingpin trucks, since there were none to be had when I went looking. The ineterwebs are all abuzz about how inexpensive and decent they are, but I couldn’t find any side-by-side comparisons with an established brand when shopping. To that end, there are some comparison shots with classic Paris 180mm 50° Reverse Kingpin trucks in the gallery. I’ll also note that they look an awful lot like Stealth Trucks without the raised sections on the triangle portion of the hanger.
Some notes from the pictures:
- They ship with speed rings, which is both a nice touch and possibly important because the end of the hanger at the axle isn’t faced.
- In fact, there is no sign of any post-casting machining whatsoever. The finish is pretty good for a casting, though – they may be sandblasted or tumbled or somesuch.
- The Churchills are about 1/8″ higher than Paris’, but that may just be a difference of bushings. They look the same height in the pictures because the Paris’ are mounted on 1/8″ shock pads. The Churchills have the stock bushings in, and the Paris’ have 81a Venom standard barrels board-side and 85a Khiro barrels street-side (which should probably be the other way around).
- The bushings they ship with are cherry red translucent 92a double-cones of unknown origin. They kind of remind me of the ones Paris’ come with, which likely means they will be replaced soon, but I’ll give them a ride before passing judgement.
- The bushing seats are shallower but tighter than the Paris’, I’m not sure how that will translate when riding.
- The kingpin is an absolutely standard carriage bolt, 3/8″ – 24tpi, 1/2″ hex head, 1″ threaded length, 2.75″ total length. I suspect it could be replaced from stock at a home improvement store.
Conclusion: These trucks are $20+S&H per pair, and appear to be functionally equivalent to the classic ~$50 sets from Paris and Randall. I haven’t taken them out riding yet, but inspection says they are extremely comparable. I’ll have a more informed opinion after some riding, and only time will tell if the axle/kingpin steel is as good.
Edited to add disassembled picture and note from disassembly.