Here at Skateboard-City HQ we've been lucky to have a pack of bearings sent through to us from our friends over in California, SkateAmerica.com.
Your board's going nowhere without a good set of bearings, and when looking at any hardware you're thinking of buying for your skateboard it's important to look at who's behind them - who has designed the product and should you trust them? Do they really know what they're talking about? In the case of Andale Bearings, it's safe to say all your rolling needs are in safe hands, with multiple Manny Mania winner and Cliché pro Joey Brezinski, and multiple Street League winning Paul "P-Rod" Rodriguez as the co-founders of the company.
What we're looking at here are the Andale Swiss, the most expensive of the bearings Andale have to offer from their range of ABEC 5, ABEC 7, and Swiss bearings. We have touched on the ABEC rating system for bearings in our Bones Reds article, and mentioned how it has fairly little relevance to skateboard bearings, but what about Swiss bearings? What is a Swiss bearing? Are they better than any other bearing...?
Hey Guys, we’ve been lucky enough to get hold of a Real Popslickle deck to take a look at thanks to our friends over at SkateAmerica.com. This deck is no longer new technology from Real, having been around a few years now, but I see very few of these decks around, which is puzzling as it's made using their super popular R1 board shape. Not only is this not a new series of decks from Real, the idea of a slick deck isn't a new concept to skateboarding at all and it unfortunately has something of a chequered past... Which may explain the rarity of these decks at your local spots and parks.
To see the concept in its infancy, we need to go back to when pool skating was in its golden age, skaters used to have "rails" on their boards, thin plastic strips screwed to the underside of the board. Some real OG's at your park, or hipster kids rocking the retro shaped boards (dtj16, I’m looking at you!) might still rock them on their decks, and they've certainly come back into fashion with companies like Welcome and Elephant putting out weird and wonderful deck shapes from yesteryear. The use of plastic rails (or bones) meant a much smaller contact area against the coping when performing slides, and on a material with much less friction than a comparatively soft wooden deck. The result, massive boardslides for days! Many pro skaters still use rails to this day, with names like Pig Rails and Powell Peralta Rib Bones still being the household names of choice for riders such as Steve Caballero and Jeff Grosso.
Here at SBC towers we have been lucky enough to partner with SkateAmerica.com to bring you some reviews on products they offer, new and old.
We're starting off with something old, a real staple in skateboarding. These bearings will be familiar to many of you already, seeing as they're officially the best selling skateboard bearings in the USA, but what many of you may not be aware is that Bones manufactures all Bones Reds in China.
There's a real stigma in skateboarding that product stamped with "Made in China" are in some way automatically inferior to all others - Bones Red's prove that this stigma is totally unfounded.
Red's have been around since the early 80's, back when specifically made skateboarding equipment was still in its infancy. Frustrated with the lack of performance bearings on the market specifically made for skateboarding, George Powell and Stacy Peralta of Bones Brigade fame set out to create a bearing that was fast, strong, and affordable to skaters. The result was the Bones Reds, and to the best of my knowledge they have hardly changed since their introduction.