Posted In Uncategorized by Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Rain Wheels

Surprise! It's raining in Vancouver!
For those of you that are following the downhill skateboard circuit, you would have seen that a couple weeks ago it rained buckets in Australia during Newtons Nation. Maybe you saw the video of me skating some runs in the wet, maybe you didn't... maybe you should (Katie skating Newtons in the Wet). Get to the point, you say? okay. Rain wheels. Life's a bitch when the road is wet...but not when you got a bunch of extra edges! In fact, if you go skating on somewhat sticky pavement in the wet with rain can almost trick yourself that its dry!
How do you go about making rain wheels you ask?! Patience my friend, Im just about to tell you...
Step 1. Pick a wheel.
My favorite is the 78a Centre Set for grip and comfort while sliding. The nice thing about centre set is that because they are rotatable, you can wear them out all you want, almost to the core as long as you move them around your board like your supposed to...cut for rain or not. But beware, if your sliding lots...the edges your about to cut are going to wear down so you gotta keep sharpening them!
Step 2. Find someone with a lathe, preferably someone that actually knows how to use it and get all 4 wheels stacked together and mounted to the machine.
My dad cuts my wheels for me, and he does it by getting a rod thats long enough to go through all four wheels running through a solid, round base on both sides. The end of the rod thats not in the machine should be threaded so you can pop a nut on it and clamp the wheels tight. with the end of the rod threaded so that you can clamp the wheels with a nut. Making sure that they are pinched tight is important cause you're dealing with heavy machinery and nobody likes hospitals.
Step 3. Get a sharpie...get the lathe spinning...Mark your path...
Experiment a little on what you think would work. If your dealing with heavy rain and deep puddles you want deeper and wider grooves so that you can displace more water. This works best for freeriding in heavy rain areas and places where maximum speed is not your priority. However, if your dealing with just a wet surface, having minimal depth and maximum sharp edges is probably your best bet to get all the grip you can while maintaining speed. Remember that the more surface space you loose, the slower your wheel will roll.
Step 4. Using SHARP TOOLS, hack away at that wheel till your satisfied! Less is more don't want to over do it and destroy a hard earned set of wheels! (Best to experiment with worn out wheels first)
Don't have a lathe or access to one?! Thats cool and totally understandable...easy solution too.
Step 1: Find a good serrated knife (any will do but serrated cuts hardcore!)
Step 2: Find a good, strong friend that can run
Step 3: Sit on your board cross-legged and get that knife into the surface of the wheel
Step 4: Find a mellow downhill slope to make it easy on your buddy, get him (or her) to grab on to your shoulders and push your forward with their life...not stopping until you have a new edge.
Step 5: Repeat this process until your satisfied with your hack job...