Coffee and Carves with Roots Longboards
Specialising in unique, custom, handcrafted longboards, their fresh designs are created from a selection of beautiful woods including solid Oak, Baltic Birch and Canadian Maple. The "running gear" for each complete has been carefully selected to deliver the essence of longboarding to their customers. 'Ride and Glide'.
It was the first day of brilliant blue sky that we had seen since before Christmas, so the guys from Roots had arranged to head down South, to Boscombe and I would meet them there. I'd spoken to the guys a few times through Facebook, but I had not yet met them in person so was feeling a little apprehensive about meeting up with them. Don't know why, because as soon as I saw them I felt completely comfortable and at home. I'm generally pretty laid back and easy going, so meeting new people isn't really a problem once I pass the initial greeting. Just be confident and smile. Hyped to get riding!
On the drive over to Boscombe, I wasn't sure whether the roads would have dried up from the night before. The only hope was that the rising sun would dry out all the south-east facing roads and hills that weren't covered by trees and building's.
Dean Bullion, shaper and designer from Roots arrived early and got himself acquainted with the local coffee from Urban Reef that is situated right on the promenade with incredible views of the beach and the sea, while waiting for myself and Martin Dix to arrive.
As I arrived and walked down to the sea front, I was greeted by Martin Dix ( Co-Owner and shaper), Dean Bullion (shaper and designer), and their good friend and rider James Eveleigh.
The plan for the day was to try out two new Pin-Tail Longboards that Martin and Dean had been building the night before and the result was astonishing, Martin was up until the early hours of the morning tweaking and testing the boards on his local hill outside his house.
We headed for the famous Boscombe pier, lit up by the sunshine and made our way to the end of the walkway and set up base for a couple of hours. We made the most use of the empty pier to test out the new boards to their maximum potential, carving in and out of the seated areas that were totally empty. I don't personally ride flexible, loose, pintail boards as I'm more of into my stiff freeride and downhill boards, but much to my amazement the pin tail felt fantastic underfoot.
We were also met by local guy Andy White, Andy has grown up surfing and skateboarding around these areas too, owning YDNA skate shop in Southbourne, then recently creating Chariots of the Sun, bespoke vintage looking wetsuits which are really incredible. Check them out: at http://chariotsofthesun.bigcartel.com/homepage
There was a father and his little boy at the end of the pier, the little boy kept looking at the skateboards, so I jumped off and started to show it off to the little guy and then Pops put the little guy on it and instantly, a smile beamed across his face as we pushed him around. Afterwards, Dad thanked us for letting him push his son on the longboard. It feels so good when you can help someone to get on a longboard and to experience it for the first time - potentially that could be one more longboarder when he gets older.
The two new pintail boards were set up with Revenge 180's and Randall 150's. They'll be sold with Paris 180's, Randall or Paris 150's with an option to reduce the price with Vault 150's or 180's.
Wheels were 68mm Road Riders and on the other 75mm 'Buttery' Avillas. They suspect they will be releasing them 3dm's I guess for that absolutely buttery flow! It had a beautiful dark wood finish to it, this wasn't intentional but didn't want to leave the boards plain looking, so applied this beautiful dark colour tint to the wood to finish it off for the demo and it looked gorgeous.
The ride was smooth, buttery and a joy to be on, straight away I felt comfortable. Finding the best foot placement didn't take long and was quickly carving and pumping around the pier. The Revenge trucks gave an awesome response kick back to the carve, however it wasn't so fierce that it would throw you off. The flex of the board was spot on, even for myself who is touching (ahem) 14 stone. The board had enough flex without bottoming out; they have built in 1/2 inch concave into the board which was perfect to lock your feet into place.
They also brought some other boards with them that were truly awesome. The 34 inch Roots cruiser (Penny Killer), The Knot (with twin kicks), you find more about these boards by visiting their website.
After the pier session, we headed up to Urban beach for some lunch. As it's out of season down here the local cafe/bars were shut to our annoyance, so we rocked up to Urban Beach to grab a light bite and a drink. Proper man chips, chunky as hell!!
The plan for the afternoon was to take the cars and boards and head over to Slade's farm skate park. If you don't know it, then Slade's is an old park, built back in the 70's, has a good snake run concrete bowl, various rails, and added fun boxes, very old school, its a bit rough around the edges but hey, thats why we love it.
However, when we arrived there it was still pretty moist with a couple of large puddles still in the snake run, so we headed over to another area. The Velodrome. It is what it is, a cycle velodrome for racing, but we got ourselves on there in the hope that the sun had dried it out, disappointingly, we only had corner to play on and have a pump about on. So we headed back to the pier to catch the sunset on the pier.
Arriving back to the pier, after parking the cars up, the pier was shut! this was so annoying as the pier offers excellent lighting running the length of the pier and with the added sunset it would of been insanely good to capture the boards in action. So we made the most of what we had and skated along the promenade, cruising, pumping and carving our way along, the sun started to set in front of us so we stopped for another coffee at Urban Reef where it gave us time to reflect on the day and talk about events and the boards that we had just spent the whole day with, whilst capturing some awesome sunset pictures as it disappeared behind the pier and the Purbecks.
To end the day we headed back up to the cars, where we had ignored a perfectly smooth, low gradient road which we could carve and pump about on which gave us a sweet view over-looking the pier and along the coastline. Here, we shared around the boards, getting low, performing some low manoeuvre turns and cornering in and out of the car park. As it got dark, the chill of the night reminded us that it was only January, compared to earlier in the day where we had been riding around in just T-shirts, you could of thought it was Spring and been anywhere in the world.
Overall, if you''re looking for a quality deck which is great value for money and better than a Penny board which you want to use for commuting, carving, cruising, playing in the bowls then check out these boards. They have some big plans for this year and will be all over at events and running some of their own, creating some new shapes and you may even see a drop through and a top mount downhill deck. Keep an eye out, these guys are here to stay for the long run and being British, show them your support.
Ride n Gide.