Jason Mitchell, Seismic Nationals 2007, Hybrid Slalom.  Photo by Greg Fadell Northern California Downhill Skateboarding Association
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Freecarving (256 Posts)
Topic Info
Speed and Length
On 11/15/2003 PSR wrote in from (24.52.nnn.nnn)

Joseph,my Turners are stock TS and Hybrid sizes.The Fullnoses are 28" or 29" long,the Hybrid just a tad more I guess.That dosen't really matter though,as in racing,the Hybrid has to hang on at 20+ mph cutting through cones.It freecarves fine at speeds from 10 to 30 mph,just gotta watch the truck tension.I've had(not "carving",just tucking) my old fullnose up past 50 mph,same set-up I raced at the first Da Farm [Mundos and those 72mm Kryptonics Projects are fast!],just with the trucks tightened a bit. The New-School decks have ranged from 30" up to 33" for a Powell I redrilled.Those do end up with long wheelbases,like in the upper 20's even with Randals,which push the axle inboard compared with conventional trucks. With the snowboard cut-downs the length will vary quite a bit with the flex of the board,but 33"-38" is a good size usually. Keep in mind that other decks I have(like my old Yardstick was)are just single-kick longboards,but they carve fine,once you match up a decent truck/wheel combo.One of my faves is a simple old Barfoot 36" 9-ply,another is my Comet 44" Downhill(with the front truck moved forwards a bit);Both those boards usually sport Flashbacks or Stingers,and Ranalli (think Tall Indy here) trucks from the 80's. I wedge the front,and go level at the rear,but tinker with it a bit.How fast you go is a matter of pitch,surface quality,roadway width and often just Traffic.I'd say my fun cruising speed is somewhere in the low 30's down to getting 'techie' at 10 mph on hills that get steep.

 
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psr's boards
On 11/13/2003 joseph wrote in from (211.29.nnn.nnn)

how long are these boards? my turner g/s hybrid is a real nice board but carving on it at high speeds? i was thinking that the ideal leingth would be 40 inches plus? how fast are you riding these boards?

 
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Freecarvers in da quiver
On 11/13/2003 PSR wrote in from (24.52.nnn.nnn)

Joseph,I've got some,um unique decks,and a few 'production' boards,and the shapes,flexes,lengths all vary.One of my faves was(it's now underfoot of one of my Snowboard Racing students)an old Burton Charger 164cm,with about 2" trimmed off the sides.It's overall length now is 46",width 'about' 10-1/2" up front,tapering to 6-5/8" by the tail.The genenral shape is pretty close to an ICK STICK Retro,just bigger,with a more defined notch in the swallowtail.I had to stiffen it with a beam of Walnut underneath between the trucks to support me,but for my student(who is 13),I made it removable so he could set the flex as he wants.It's currently set-up with Indy 159's and Avalons,though I'm gonna put Motobuilts on it next summer if this kids starts riding any faster(and he will!).Another very cool board I have was made by Eric Estlund (and Boy,I hope Gareth Roe gets to see this guy's board shapes!)in Portland Oregon. He came East to visit and partticipate in a snowboard carving freeform event,the E.C.E.S. 02,at my home hill,Stratton.He brought with him this board as a 'thank you';It's rockered,deeply,but the reverses the rocker to be flat at the rear truck.Kinda a flipped,stretched S-Camber,I guess.The shape profile from viewed above is pretty close to a G+S 'Funshape',length is 42",width is about 8-1/2". The center of the rocker is about 16" behind the nose,and it mellows in curvature as it goes aft and back up.This puts my feet in a very similar position to riding Hardshells with toe/heel lift front and rear,but the soles of my feet are maybe only 1" higher than my axles! Currently it sports Randal R-2's and Soft Flashbacks,but I've had Seismics and Trackers on it with great results,switching the wheels out get better slides,or to slow it down a hare.Other boards I run are my Turners,two Fullnoses,and a Hybrid.I just stiffen up the bushings if I'm reallly haulin',or maybe run bigger wheels like my Krytonic 72mm Projects,but they're not all that differently tuned for carving from what I'll bring on race day.I just turn slower,and hold my line longer.When it gets steep enough that one of these can't do turns across the fall line within a lane,that's steep enough,usually.My experiments with creating lowriders from twin-kicked boards has yeilded mixed results,but I haven't been really aggressive in making these since they've been offered by a Boston-area longboard shop;oh,and also in light of Landyatchz doing the concept so well in the Urban Assault and R-IV decks.I have found that mellow-steering trucks work best here,but risers are often still needed,even reversed wedging at times,and probably wheel cut-outs would be good,too.By then you've got a Carveboard,really,just with 'Thane instead of Rubber on the wheels. In the 'tween sizes,like the mid-30's,I like to use old Boardercross snowboards.Again,I stick to shapes closer to the 'classic' stuff like Ick or Lightning Bolt or Santa Cruz Slalom(Comet) style of deck,but upped in scale.A nice thing with old BX boards is that the flex is Stiff between the bindings,but starts to soften at about 3" past the inserts.This gives you a good,solid feel underfoot,but is still pumpable,and they take to tapering(ala like a Turner) for better wheel clearance with going to mush in flex.They're wider than "Alpine" snowboard too,so that allows for more foot-placement options and for wider trucks/wheels.If you use a snowboard,just beware of Foam Cores.Race-stock is O.K.(as witnessed by Shaggy's work on CMC's Rossi-turned-Slalom deck!),but freeriders tend to be too soft in foam construction once the sidewalls are sawed off. Allright,enough of the Homemade stuff; Lets hear from riders using decks like Loaded,Summit,Pumkin,Landyatchz,Deplo,G+S,Bozi,Et c!

 
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I LOVE SKATEBOARDING!
On 11/13/2003 Joshua Burt wrote in from (67.160.nnn.nnn)

Adam,I get your drift!I am riding a Curve Skateboards(Portland,OR)Swerve 38" deck with Original Skateboard Company Supercarve trucks and Abec11 Flashbacks.The deck has camber and concave with a shape that allows for HUGE carves without wheelbite(even with narrow trucks).The Swerve lineup includes several sizes as well as drop-through styles.The trucks are incredible!They feature a spring return design rather than a bushing.Easy to adjust(1/4 turn either way with an Allen Wrench),very smooth turns,and very stable at speed.A true surf/snow feeling on wheels.Speaking of the wheels,doesn't Chaput get enough press already?

 
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Freecarving????
On 11/13/2003 atxJim wrote in from (67.100.nnn.nnn)

what is freecarving??? noncompetitive whittling?

 
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psr's boards
On 11/11/2003 joseph wrote in from (203.108.nnn.nnn)

seeing as you do so much riding of thes type and i'm running out of boards to make i would like to know what boards/set ups you ride?

 
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Living room skate
On 11/11/2003 MissouriMatt wrote in from (128.206.nnn.nnn)

Snoball,
Glad to hear you thought it was a race, too. I kept looking back at the couch thinking it was gaining on me.

 
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my board
On 11/9/2003 joseph (e-mail below) wrote in from (211.29.nnn.nnn)

i am making mine dead stiff! i'm thinking 8 ply- 9 ply with carbon bottom and probably carbon top. nice concave on edges with no concave on the tail and probably mellowing towards the rear.

if i can in the coming months i'll post pics. its a school assignment (along with the hydraulic press and ten or so other boards.) so it will take a while as i have to do all the written work first.

 
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Joseph's board,cont..
On 11/9/2003 PSR wrote in from (24.52.nnn.nnn)

Hugh,thanks for the reminder on ABEC 11's bigger wheels being center-set.I am too light to slide them easily,and use them for standup DH or Luging mostly,so I like them for their speed,grip,softness,but go to harder(mid 80's)compounds to slide.It'd be cool if the 83mm was availble in both 81A and 84A as well! Invaders,yes,they'd work in a drop-thru.Change the bushings to Blue or Green Stimulators,and replace the pivot cups if they're the soft ones.Joseph,I do like Kyptonics wheels,was raised on the older ones(some of which,I still have)as a youngin'.My kvetch is that they do wear asymetrically(as do Flashbacks et al)due to the offset core.If you can live with that,cool.I mark my wheels,and rotate them corner-to-corner to keep the wear a bit more even.Seems to help,but coning still takes it's toll.I do try for using carving as much as possible to keep my speed in check,as slides are hard on my knees.It actually has been Slalom Racing that's pushed my style towards a looser upper-torso and made me work out standing slides recently.Previously,I'd focus on just angulation and pumping/absorbtion timing.You can do a lot with good flexing board and sticky wheels,if you're willing to run loose trucks,but once your speed gets 'out of hand',pop yourself into a Sunbeam,bucko,and make yourself Toast! When I switched up from a Fiberflex to my Turner,that's when I saw that I could really take on the local hills.I started looking for stuff that was previously 'luge territory',and seeing how well I could carve that type of hill.I went through I don't know how many Kryptonic Project II's and Stradas with that board.I even chewed up nice old set of Snakes doing the access to Killington's Bear Mt. side.Applying some snowboard racing technique made for very aggressive turns,and the wheels took the brunt of it.Now,with decks like Loaded and Summit high-camber boards,you can pump slides standing up.Kinda scary at first,and picking 'the wheel' for that road gets tricky.Low-riders like what you're putting together seem to be the ticket for carrying big speed,and then using drifting slides to burn off the excess momentum.Kebbek boards are using the drop-thru with Camber inclusive,but the flex still has to minimal to avoid bottoming out.How low can a board be and still offer flex? Um,well,my previous experiments (dropped thru) with snowboards has shown that a flex of 1" is cutting it really close,and getting hung up is a safety issue.So was delamination,btw.But you're building this from scratch,so you should be able to pick the wood,and shaping,to make any flex you choose(if any).I simply don't have the woodworking stuff anymore to experiment like I'd wish to.The good news for me is that companies are out there now,making stuff that is very close to what I want,often at good prices.It's a far cry from where we were but 5 years ago,let alone ten years back.

 
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my board
On 11/9/2003 joseph wrote in from (211.29.nnn.nnn)

i am more for sliding and stylish turns then hard carving to slow down but maybe i'll just make two identicle boards equipe one with randal 180's and cherry bombs/ flywheels and have one with more slideable wheels.

what i really want is a do it all board with the emphasis on sliding. i ride a lot of rough hills and a lot of smooth ones so i need wheels that do it all. also i slide quite hard (20 metre plus pendulums)on 88a flashbacks at the moment.

so you dont like the kryptos? i was thinking the blue 85mm or 80mm size. i've slidden these but not extensively. how do they wear? i can get these cheap and i already have all the other componentry. actually i've got a set of these too.

 
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carving trucks
On 11/9/2003 hugh r wrote in from (205.216.nnn.nnn)

You can improve the turning of the indys with a bushing change and some wedges... same with the invaders, which have a similar geometry.

If you wedge about a 1/4" or 3/8", that will help out a lot... I like the bones hard core bushings, because they have a pretty high rebound feel.

The big green stimulater bushings are real nice for lighter weight riders... but I found them to be way too soft for my weight. Though if your in the sub 175 lbs range, they just might be your ticket.

So I am of the opinion that wedges and bushings in some fashion are in order for those indy's if you want them to carve decently... HR

 
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Joseph's carver
On 11/9/2003 Adam wrote in from (66.121.nnn.nnn)

Joseph, For wheels, don't forget ABEC11's big hubbed wheels like the 83mm and 92mm. I believe they are symetrical inside to outside to allow them to be reversed to counter the effects of wheel coning. I have Indy 215s and they are the worst turning trucks that I own. Perhaps there's a better option out there between Randals and the 215s.

 
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Joseph's carver
On 11/9/2003 PSR wrote in from (24.52.nnn.nnn)

Sounds nice!Just one thing with Indy's I've noticed is that they don't like being set in a drop-thru.They get even squirrellier,although Tracker Stimulators may keep that in check.I haven't done a drop-through with Tracker Darts,but they may fare better?If you can source them,look for Tracker Sixtracks,the OLD ones,with metal bases.That's a nice,solid,decent turning and good bombing truck. Flashbacks in 84A and 81A do slide,but maybe aren't the best choice here.They're not reversible,so coning/flatspotting may occur.82A Kryptonics do slide well,but wear out unevely also.I guess it'd come down to how often/hard you're sliding,or rather how well you carve instead of sliding.Some hills,you gotta slide.Tar quality will affect your wheels(in my neck of the woods,Tempature does,do-It's bright,sunny,and 37*F out today;NICE for Snow)and you should be considering that in wheel choice,too.Madrid had Krypto make a 71mm version of the Hawaii a few years back,center-set hub and all.Now,I think it's Aluminators or Bombers in the 70mm class that have center-set bearings,or you go smaller(to 65mm) and get No-Skools in your durometer of choice.Larger,it'd be Exate's M-80 or CherryBomb,but I'm not found of how they feel underfoot-Could be the resilience in the urethanes,or the the core? Just weird,kinda dead feeling,and rough on iffy tar.If you've got smoother tar,well,hey,might be the wheel for ya. I like the drop-thru with kicktail idea.I had been using all sorts of toys to get drop-thru decks,including using twin-kick newschool decks with the trucks at the nose/tail.I found that using old snowboards(cut the edges off,then shape 'em like a surfboard) didn't quite work as a drop-thru,seems horizontal wood laminates tend to split once they have big holes in them.Oh,and getting a stiff enough deck nowadays is tough too,as most pipe+park decks just sag and bottom out.Foam+glass snowboards(unless it's a Rossi Race)tend to be just mush once they're trimmed down. So,what I've been doing is grabbing Freeride/Boardercross decks(gotta love Play-it-Again Sports!) and trimming them,but adding a 'spine' underneath of cabinet-quality 1/4" x 2" hardwood,usually maple,and t-nutting/gluing that on to stiffen the board up. Still,I end up lacking a decent kicktail.I don't notice the lack of a tail until I get into Suburban/village areas.Then curbs and cars do,um,get in one's line at times.My friend Nelson usually gets the last laugh with his Landy Urban Assualt about then,and I end up dodging peds or car fenders...

 
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my new board
On 11/9/2003 joseph wrote in from (211.29.nnn.nnn)

i am making a free riding board in the next month. i am thinking along the lines of kick tail slight kick nose wheel cutouts and a drop through slot so i have the option when hitting extremely big hills. sound good? anything over looked? any suggestions? leingth of about 42-44 inches...?

set up? this is where i really need help.

wheels:

i am thinking krypto 76mm wheels but what duro? greens? reds? blues? will i be able to carve on these? i am a heavy guy at about 210 pounds. i know white are too soft. sliding is more my focus than carving but i still want some grip. any other wheels mentionable? what about 84 a flashbacks or 82 a flashbacks?

trucks:

indy 215's i'm thinking. dont like sliding on randal geometry. also not bad for bombing but are there any other note-able conventional trucks?

obviously the rest is straight forward.

 
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matt's drunken skate in the living room contest
On 11/7/2003 snoball wrote in from (68.200.nnn.nnn)

wait a sec matt..i thought that was a race...???


either way, i'm in...but can't i just use
a 6-pack as an entry?..ok well..maybe a bottle
of good tequilia...i'd be willing to pay
that...

do i have to wear a helmet though?

 
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I tried to be free
On 11/7/2003 jim jones wrote in from (68.106.nnn.nnn)

I tried to be free as I was carving my way through the flashlights but the asymptote got in the way just as I was about the beefcake the orange can 'O' toilet bowl cleaner.

 
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Driving G Force into Flexing Deck
On 11/7/2003 MissouriMatt wrote in from (128.206.nnn.nnn)

Right on, Adam. All that and the flexing deck thing too. I've tried to describe that feeling to the shortboard crowd, when you spring from your frontside and drive down into the backside.

I love the Soulriding forum for everything there, even the new riders looking for advice on a new board that should have gone somewhere else, but came to the Soulriding forum for a friendly answer. I think Longboarding and Freecarving will join Sidewalk Surfing and Soulriding as places to share good stoke about the essance of all the longboard stuff. Looking forward to good exchanges on all. Now what about my Standing on the Board Drunk in the Living Room forum? Must be 21 to post.

 
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New forum
On 11/7/2003 Adam wrote in from (66.121.nnn.nnn)

The Soulcarving forum will soon be renamed to Soulriding. It will remain one of my favorite forums (thanks h0dad et al) but it never got that technical, which as it turns out, was a good thing. This new forum is intended to provide an area of discussion for alpine riders and anyone into this style of skateboarding.

To me, freecarving is slalom without cones; TS, GS, super-G, all of it. Or more artfully, slalom riding through imaginary cones -- cones that can be wherever the line and my whim best places them. It's about my quest for the ultimate high-performance carving board with zero torsional twist, sticky fast wheels, turny trucks, and above all, fantastic feel.

It's about railing a bottom turn and having the G-forces drive your body into your flexing deck and then being sprung back out into the next. It's about flying on a magic carpet just a couple of inches off the tarmac, and being able to will your direction with mere thoughts.

If this sounds like alpine snowboarding sans snow then you're getting my drift.

 
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delineation
On 11/7/2003 snoball wrote in from (68.200.nnn.nnn)

Hmm...i have no stake in any of this...Dr.Phil
makes a point i understand though...

do freecarving, soulcarving ( whatever that is ) and
longboarding...well..couldn't freecarving and soulcarving
be under longboarding? these words tend to be in the
lexicon of longboarders anyway.. or would this upset the natural order of things?

i mean, if you have the space and think the lines
are that clear between them and moderating the additional
forums is ok with you...

this isn't a complaint it's just curiousity fueled by
two cups of coffee :-)

 
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freecarving???
On 11/7/2003 irierider wrote in from (152.163.nnn.nnn)

what is this? another label to place on a person to further pigeonhole them.i think we as people are too caught up in labeling ourselves and others..just go out and skate...im not a freecarver, im a longboarder and i will laught my a** off at anyone who calls themself a freecarver...just my 2 cents

 
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The real deal...
On 11/7/2003 Miko wrote in from (66.81.nnn.nnn)

I keep saying that freecarving is what keeps me trained for slalom, downhill and everything else. How much can you talk about it though? ICE... we've gotta get something going on man. Sunnyvale this friday am?

 
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Freesurfing the concrete waves
On 11/7/2003 G. Mark wrote in from (199.46.nnn.nnn)

PSR,
Man, you've really nailed it right there. I'm completely on the same page. Well put, my brother.
Learn it, know it, live it.

-Mark Colden
Dallas, TX

 
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Why two forums?
On 11/7/2003 Dr.Phil wrote in from (152.163.nnn.nnn)

What's the difference between soulcarving and freecarving?
Do freecarvers have no soul?
Are soulcarvers not free?
Can you be a soulful freecarver?
On Thanksgiving can you be a free soulful turkeycarver?

 
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Freecarving
On 11/6/2003 PSR wrote in from (24.52.nnn.nnn)

This is what I've been kinda waiting for..for about 20-30 years! It's probably what best defines my skill set in skateboarding(not that I SUCK at Downhill,Slalom,Luging,or on Vert,Ramp,Ditch or in a pool,mind ya)and it's what my quiver has been geared for since,um,'77 or so. The kinda hills I'm privy to(at least until rich flatlanders started moving up into the countryside)have been rolling,long hills with sudden pitches that get Steep,Quick.Usually they do this just before an intersection or bridge,which livens up one's day considerably.So,you end up doing this flowing,soulful cruising thing for awhile,and then have to hit the 'panic' button as it gets steeper.Turns are how you deal with the speed and flow,slides let you survive the steeps. With all that going on,your riding technique cannot be something you slack up on.You're either ON IT,or bucked off.Many of the roads here still have Stone walls defining the edges of the gullies.Except where the highway guys decided to just blast + cut through the hills,then you've got ledges just off to the side to run into.It behooves you to stay in the road,even at scary-wobble-I'm dead-WAYTooFast speeds.Again,being ON IT is the key.I try for putting down turns that allow me to keep my speed at a comfortable pace,and I make my turns count.Direction,speed control,pump,and working the flow all are a part of freecarving; the sliding is for life-saving and/or style points. Don't drive,walk. Walking Up your intended line gives you perspective,and allows you to get those pesky pebbles outa the way. Dropping into a hill you've been driving up dosen't give you time to reflect,or respect.You should know what you're dealing with,intimately.Plan bail-out areas.Know where the dogs are loose.Have a feel for the tarmac's speed and traction.get a feel for where you've got to pump to keep the flow,and absolutely know where you're needing to slide/brake/bail or walk.Yes,I WALK down some parts of some hills,conquer them later,maybe,if I've picked the right board.If you understand gradients,you'll know I'm claiming when I say I've Skated a 12% grade, 1/2 mile,without sliding,or loosing control(thank you B.T.!!):That's freecarving with technique,not just balls. So,Get ON IT,nail every frippin' turn,and do it with STYLE!! Oh,and thanks to the crew at NCDSA for this forum! I hope to hear from others about how they feel about carving it up!

 
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Freecarving
On 11/6/2003 ICE wrote in from (165.121.nnn.nnn)

It's only free if you walk
I'm gonna bust a freecarve on my turkey!!!
YEA!!!
ICE

 
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