Today’s distance / ???????: 22 miles / 36km
Average speed / ????: 12.8mph / 20.7km/h
Time on skateboard / ????: 1h 43m
Total skateboarding distance to date / ????????????: 4161mi plus 280mi (?) / 6697km plus 450km (?)
Ascent / ??: n/a
Descent / ??: n/a
End-of-day GPS coordinates: n/a
Hold me back. The world of solo long distance skateboarding (albeit a small world at present) is going to change forever. Behold the longboard touring trailer.
The thing works a charm. Uphill, downhill, on the flat, rough pavement, urban skating, the whole lot. All my concerns regarding hauling a loaded trailer behind my longboard have been thoroughly blown into pieces after a 20 mile skate from Redondo Beach to Los Angeles Airport and back.
My average speed on the short skate was 20.7km/h (12.8mph). For this test ride, I was pulling about 30 pounds (16kg). That’s faster than I’ve ever gone loaded down with gear. This is very, very exciting. In fact, when I was on my loaded touring bicycle, I never recorded a full day of cycling where I averaged more than 20km/h. Granted, today’s ride was more than 50% on super smooth boardwalk, but I was dodging pedestrians and slow bicycles, and it was a headwind on the way home.
The only drawback for my setup is that essentially I am pulling a US$570 trailer. The Rollsrolls deck works a treat (low to the ground, lightweight), but to buy one just for the purpose of a trailer would be a little extravagant, I feel.
So…if you read yesterday’s blog post, you’ll know that I had some serious issues with load stability on the trailer. The trailer wheels at the back were spaced too close together, making the whole setup too unstable. On corners and with sharp carving on the board, the trailer would fall over. Superstar Kirk drove me all over town this afternoon on a quest to find the perfect super-wide truck to aleviate the problem.
We visited many speciality skateboard shops on the quest. Shop after shop, we got the same answer. The widest available is 215mm wide. That’s only 30mm wider than the one I had. We were not giving up however, and at last, the last local skateboard shop in Redondo Beach, Surf Skate Smoke, we found what we were looking for. From the first step in the door, it was evident that this was the most unlikely place for us to find what we were looking for.
Various drug paraphenalia lined the glass cabinets and shelves. The air smelt of incense. A couple of blurry eyed guys were in the store dusting the livid couloured glass bongs. Or are they called dongs…I don’t know. Anyway, the closest guy, dark shadows under his eyes, asked what we were after. “A really wide skateboard truck,” I answered.
He showed us a couple of Carve Boards that certainly had wide trucks on them, but the mounting pattern didn’t fit wth my longboard. Then I saw what I was after. A simple, cheap kids’ mountain board. The trucks would fit my board. Massive, wide, thumping great big trucks.
The owner of the store was nearby. I asked if he had any spare trucks hanging about.
“Nope, but you can have the board for $100. That’s cost. The price I paid for it. No one is going to buy the thing anyway.” he replied.
“But all I need is one truck,” I said.
“What would I do with a board with only one truck?” was his reply.
Fair enough, I figured. But I wasn’t going to pay $100 for one skateboard truck that online would have only cost $20. But I was in a dilema. Walk away, and I would still have an unstable trailer. Plans for skateboarding across China with a trailer would be ruined.
“OK, I’ll give you $80 for it.” I offered. $80 for a skateboard truck was not even in the realm of reasonable, but I really needed it.
“I usually sell the board for $190, and I’m giving it to you at cost at $100. So $100 it is, take it or leave it.” he replied.
Time to pull out the big guns, I thought. I gave him the low-down. Give me the trucks for a lower price, and get some exposure on my website, I offered. Guinness World Record, blah blah.
“You see what this shop is? You understand what we sell here, right? Are you sure you want to link to our website?” he warned.
To be honest, I wasn’t keen at all for any association with his website or store. But I really needed the trucks. “Yeah, no problem,” I lied. I wasn’t feeling good about it, but we had exhausted all of our other options for finding what we needed to make the trailer work.
In the end, he gave me both trucks on the board for $60. Thank you to Surf Skate Smoke for your wonderful assistance in making my dream a reality.
We got back to Kirk’s place and fitted the superwide trucks. They worked a treat. Even with hard sharp carving, the loaded touring trailer stays upright.
(Thanks to Kirk Crawford for the pic)