Welcome to the first installment of 'Product Toss' - a new feature looking into the whizz rigs and footwear choice of heads throughout the country.
For episode 1 we caught up with Ravenous Skateboards, Division 24 skate store and UK Vans rider Paul ‘Wapo’ Watson to take a peek under his proverbial bonnet to see what's fueling his skateboarding - (a short peek of which you can see in the clip below).
Long-term representative of Yorkshire’s oldest skateboarding store, Division Twenty Four, the artist colloquially known as 'Wapo' has picked up a few well deserved sponsors recently, including a spot on the Vans UK team and Ravenous Skateboards, (after a stint with the unfortunately now defunct Leeds board outfit, Sore Skateboards).
As you’d expect from someone born on transition, Paul skates a sizeable set-up and his plank of choice is a standard popsicle shaped 8.5" Ravenous deck with medium concave and an equally round nose and tail. The natural woodstain bottom ply features Ravenous Skateboards’ trademark angry canine reflecting the ‘Beneath The Underdog’ status of Martin Kennelley’s Sheffield-based board brand.
Moving onto the undercarriage hardware, Paul’s set-up features a set of Raw ACE 44 Hi trucks, which are based on truck shapes popularized throughout the 1980s and ideal for those unafraid to embrace a bit of wobble. The narrow gradient from pivot cup to hanger allows sharp responsiveness from the ACE 44 Hi skate truck as weight is easily distributed from the toe and heel edges of the board.
Loose trucks save lives after all, but rather than run the risk of losing a kingpin nut - swapping out the standard rubbers for a pack of Bones Hardcore Bushings, (as seen here), is a good choice. The bushings are available in soft (blue), medium (yellow) and hard (black) densities and a firm favourite of Paul’s thanks to the minimal break in period and ability tighten/loosen a set of trucks more precisely by removing the need for conventional truck washers.
Sizing for all skateboard truck brands differs, but the ACE 44 Hi hanger measures up at 8.5" which is ideal for a board of equal width but also works nicely alongside any deck ranging from 8.25" to 8.75".
101a 56mm Spitfire Formula Four Wheels complement the truck’s slim hanger allowing for a secure lock in to any surface you might wish to grind. These 101 Durometer Formula Four are the harder option of Spitfire Wheels premium wheel range. Although retailing at a slightly higher price point than a standard set of Spitfires, the wheel’s lifespan attests to the price difference, and chucking in a set of Spitfire Cheapshot bearings allows for a quality wheel configuration without breaking the bank.
Paul’s nimble feet are nestled in a pair of the Vans Era Pro, the first shoe designed specifically for skateboarding. This skate-specific update features a padded out collar and references the silhouette of the most OG of skateboarding shoes – the Vans Authentic.
Like all the Vans Classics models which have been upgraded for the Pro Skate line, the Era Pro features an Ultracush HD sockliner and Pro Skate outsole, constructed from a more durable rubber compound than standard Vans, and also features a deeper tread for cushioning, support and the unmatched board feel only the waffle can provide.
The suede upper is also backed a Duracap under layer, another hallmark of the Vans Pro Skate range, upholding the Era’s durability to a standard befitting Vans esteemed team and therefore ensuring you get every session and penny’s worth out of the Era Pro.
So, there you have it. Keep an eye out for more of these features in the near future and if you’re curious as to what constitutes the plank pushed by one of your favourite UK heads, then reach out to us over from your preferred form social media tentacle and we’ll investigate.