Hailing from the stifling heat of Phoenix, Arizona, Aaron 'Jaws' Homoki is basically the modern incarnation of a genre of skateboarding first established by late 80's knee-crushing pioneer Frankie Hill. Whilst much of Jaws' fame is down to his seeming inability to feel pain whilst casually flinging himself down the biggest stuff there is, what sets him apart from many of his carcass-tossing contemporaries are his all-terrain abilities.
Whilst decidedly not the first choice of role model for the 'bouncing off things in pyjama bottoms' contingent of 2018 skateboard culture, Jaws is still one of the most instantly recognisable of all current pro's and a favourite of kids the world over.
If it so happens that you're unaware of some of his previous work, we'd suggest a quick look at the infamous Lyon 25 video, his parts from the Happy Medium videos (one of which you can see below) and, of course, his most recent Birdhouse 'Saturdays' section for evidence of what this nutter is famous for.
With a few select members of the Birdhouse team over on these shores recently for the UK leg of the Birdhouse Skateboards 2018 Euro tour, we figured it was a good opportunity to find out what kind of product fueled the suicidal antics of the aforementioned Phoenician. If you're looking for ideas of the best rig to run whilst leaping down stuntman sized sets of stairs, or slinging padless 540's, then look no further - welcome to Product Toss with Jaws.
All photos by James Griffiths.
First up - wood
Whilst delighting the kids of Europe and dancing with wookies at The Level, Jaws' chosen steed came in the form of the 8.38" wide x 32.5" long Shawn Hale Birdhouse deck that you can see above. With a 14.38" wheelbase this piece sports a slightly pointed steep nose and a shorter but equally steep tail. As with all Birdhouse decks, the concave is generally classed as 'medium' which contrasts with the steepness of the nose/tail.
The reduced weight afforded by the hollow axle and broad but thinner than average baseplate means that you can get all the strength and performance of a standard Indy Stage II 149, but with a 10% weight reduction. Additionally, the Indy 149 Forged Hollows boast a lower height profile than the standard Stage II 149 coming in at 51.5mm, as opposed to the standard 53mm: this makes them perfect for somebody who prefers wheels in the smaller diameter range for a lower rig to assist with flip tricks.
If you want an even lighter and stronger truck and are prepared to shell out for it, Independent also manufacture the same truck in Titanium reducing weight even further but, be warned, these come at a premium price.
To be honest though, if the standard Indy 149 Hollows are strong enough for Jaws, they're probably strong enough for you too.
As a Bones Wheels pro rider with his own signature range, unsurprisingly Jaws' wheel choice is the Bones STF Homoki Forbidden wheel. Able to comfortably run his preferred 52mm diameter due to the lower height profile of his trucks, these Bones STF wheels utilize Bones' patented Street Tech Formula (hence 'STF') for higher rebound, speed and enhanced slide. These Homoki wheels come in at 83B on Bones' own durometer reading system, roughly the equivalent of 103A on the standard scale.
Bizarrely for a skater as prominent as Jaws is, he currently doesn't have a skate shoe sponsor so the Vans Kyle Walker Pro skate shoes he's sporting above are evidently a personal choice, rather than a contractual agreement. With uppers made from a mix of suede and canvas, UltraCush HD Sockliners for added impact support, and the all-new wafflecup construction offering the board feel of a vulcanised shoe with the support of a cupsole - these clearly work well for someone who enjoys falling out of the sky on regular basis.
The one additional upgrade that Jaws makes to the footwear above is the addition of an extra layer of impact protection courtesy of his own 'Jaws Kingfoam' Footprint Insole.
This high profile insole sits at 7mm thick with an extra 3mm of cushioning on the all so important heel area, and is mooted to absorb up to 90% of the impact energy creating by Jaws own brand of lemming like skateboarding. This particular insole incorporates Footprint’s signature military grade nanotechnology foam, meaning that you’re not sacrificing board feel or control whilst fully protecting not only your feet, but your legs, knees and spine as well. Basically, if this dude is endorsing these, then you know they're legit.
And there you have it - now go kickflip melon down a 20 stair.