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April 11th, 2008 | categorizilation: all categories,highlights,USA (California)

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Longboard Larry

Testing the new skateboard and trailer setup in Redondo Beach, California, USA

OK, um…uh oh…what have I gotten myself into…?! Will this really work?!

So, after a long day of chasing visas, buying travel gear, and around-city driving (thanks Donna!), the new board and trailer coupling from Longboard Larry arrived today. It arrived nicely protected in bubble wrap and a tough cardboard box.

New Longboard Larry deck unveiled in Redondo Beach, California, USA New Longboard Larry deck unveiled in Redondo Beach, California, USA

New Longboard Larry deck unveiled in Redondo Beach, California, USA New Longboard Larry deck unveiled in Redondo Beach, California, USA

A wonderfully made board despite the very short time span that Larry had to put it together. This custom project included some very experimental additions. The drop-through truck attachments, and some carbon fibre mudguards essential to long distance skateboard travel; you never know when you’re going to be caught out in the rain.

New Longboard Larry deck unveiled in Redondo Beach, California, USA

“The trailer coupling looks pretty good,” Kirk said as I eyed it up.

Skateboard trailer coupling (Redondo Beach, California, USA)

We both worked slowly, contemplating the potential and possible issues with the whole situation. I mean, a skateboard with a trailer? Who has ever heard of anyone doing that before on a long trip?

Kirk helping with assembly of the new Longboard Larry deck in Redondo Beach, California, USA

“You look concerned,” Donna observed as she came into the room and looked at my face.

“Yeah. I am. There are so, so, so many unknowns here,” was all I could reply. “So many questions.”

One thing was for sure. The coupling setup, a brainchild of Cory Poole and refined by Larry, is a wonderfully solid unit. It has definite potential. Using an industrial nylon ball joint, it can pivot side to side and up and down up to about 30 degrees in angle. It can also rotate, of course. Will it be able to hold up to up to four months of constant vibration, up to 40lbs of weight, all manner of weather conditions etc etc? Only time will tell.

Trailer coupling setup (Redondo Beach, California, USA)

Longboard Larry’s board is phenomenal. An amazingly smooth, comfortable ride. A wonderfully maneuverable board, it was a massive breath of fresh air after being on the very stiff Rollsrolls board for the last four months. It turns tight, has some very nice flex (much more than I’m used to). I noticed the slightly extra weight compared to the RollsRolls, but what the board may lack in its weight, it more than makes up for in being just so much more of a joy to ride. I noticed no difference in ride height, which was a relief, as I had really appreciated the low-to-the ground ride of the RollsRolls. This is going to be a great board.

Testing the new skateboard and trailer setup in Redondo Beach, California, USA

With the trailer (the old RollsRolls board with the skateboard trailer coupling attached), I noticed the extra weight when accelerating. Once up to speed, the whole setup rolled smoothly. The trailer coupling is ingeniously designed to be quick-release by way of a retaining clip. The clevis pin and retaining clip rattle noisily, so Kirk suggested a couple of rubber washers on either side of the coupling to stop the rattling. We’ll sort that out tomorrow.

Testing the new skateboard and trailer setup in Redondo Beach, California, USA

The setup was a head-turner. As I rode the setup up and down the street in front of Kirk and Donna’s apartment, people around stopped and stared. A particularly interested neighbor added his two cents to the situation.

Testing the new skateboard and trailer setup in Redondo Beach, California, USA

I’m excited. Very excited. This just might work. Thank you over and over again to Longboard Larry for taking on this ambitious project. Larry’s commitment to exploring solutions and potential for longboards is impressive.

Kirk and I will work on luggage attachment solutions for the trailer tomorrow.

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    Permanent Link     Comments (14)

Comment by Chris J — April 13, 2008 @ 2:17 am | post a comment

Hi Rob,

Hmmm, so the board that you rode across the length of the US, the board that has been your constant companion for months, the board that you used to break the Guiness World Record, is now a…trailer.

Let no one say that you are sentimental!:)

Comment by Scott — April 13, 2008 @ 9:03 am | post a comment

Wow, looks cool, Rob. One thing to consider for the load will be protection of some sort. Down there in the dust, grit, water, etc., you're pack is going to be a mess! Think about some sort of dry bag arrangement that kayakers use.

Best of luck!


Comment by Rob Thomson — April 13, 2008 @ 9:32 am | post a comment

Way ahead of you there, Scott. A drybag has been purchased, along with some nice clip fasteners and nylon strapping. It's gonna be slick!

Comment by Cory — April 13, 2008 @ 11:53 am | post a comment

That board looks so good!

It's great seeing you riding it!

I was thinking about it, if you can handle carrying an extra truck and 2 light wheels you will have a completely redundant setup just in case your board gets run over by a car. (it's happened here a few times) Perhaps a ball on a fiberglass rod or small flag on the back for visibility would also be a good plan.

Comment by Scott — April 13, 2008 @ 10:30 pm | post a comment

Heh, cool. Can't wait to see a vid of the test runs! Looking at that new board makes we want to try boarding, too! Though I'm not so sure about the trans-continental variety.

Ride on.


Comment by rob — April 14, 2008 @ 1:39 am | post a comment

nice,, very nice.!

Comment by Mum — April 14, 2008 @ 1:57 am | post a comment

Looks a great setup. I will be interested to see what you come up with for keeping your pack on the 'trailer'. Now you are really going to turn heads!

Comment by Aunty Les — April 14, 2008 @ 4:06 am | post a comment

I'm not surprised so many people stopped to stare at the very way out skateboard towing another skateboard. I trust that it really works out great for you.

Comment by kathy o — April 14, 2008 @ 9:13 am | post a comment

Have a safe and un-eventful flight; so many of us will continue to watch all of your adventures.

Comment by Mike C — April 16, 2008 @ 3:17 am | post a comment

Stoked. :-) ;-) :)

Mike and Stephanie and Joel

Comment by Rick "Stubbs&qu — April 17, 2008 @ 3:34 pm | post a comment

Slick set-up Rob. That longboard Larry is one cool cat. I went back to Salem (Or.) from Denver during Thanksgiving and gave Larry a call so I could check out some of his decks. We met the next day at Bush park and he showed up with maybe 7 or 8 different longboards. It was really surreal bombing the derby track and hills some 25 years later with the creator of such an awesome line of boards. He has created an incredibly diverse line of decks. Not only is there something for everyone…..they look cool too. That might deter some hardcore riders from LBL's decks. Trust me….they shred.

Good luck with the rest of your journey! If you were passing through Denver I'd hop on my longboard and join you for a spell. Maybe make you a Denver omelette or something. Have fun!!!! Rick Stubbs

Comment by Leon — April 18, 2008 @ 5:10 am | post a comment

Where's the brakes? Where's the gears?!?!

hehe, this is awesome, if you're passing through Brighton, UK, give us a yell.

All the best…!



Comment by Patrick — April 18, 2008 @ 7:50 am | post a comment

Hey Rob,

Wow, cool gear you have there. Can't wait to see how the whole thing looks with the pack on your old board. Congratulations on your record breaking journey. We look forward to your return to the States someday and the publication of your biographical tales of your time on the road. Best of Luck in China, you will be in our thoughts and prayers.


Patrick, Colleen, Nick, Hannah, Connor & Hailey

Comment by Lee — April 24, 2008 @ 2:34 pm | post a comment

Chris J – true, 'tis a bit odd for the constant companion board is now demoted to a trailer. But better that than turfing it in a junk heap somewhere to elope with the smoother model? Like taking a second wife, really, without divorcing the first. Except not like that at all. Hmmm.

Rob, amazing video, amazing setup… will keep catching up with the rest of the journey.

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