Given that our mate Helena Long was the first woman to appear in a First Light feature back in the days of us doing a paper magazine, it seems rather fitting to have her also be the first woman to appear in one of these Product Toss features. Helena Long really oughtn't need much introduction - if you're still not aware of her, her skateboarding, or the footprint she's left on the UK skateboard scene then you need to catch up on your homework.
In an act of supreme charity - I'll make that homework a little easier for you.
Why not watch the recent mini documentary that we made on Helena's twin passions, (that's skateboarding and drumming) that you can see below for a heads up on Greenwich's most gnarly.
If you still need more back story (and to be honest you'll probably benefit from the insight) - jump on the Helena Long tag here, for a bunch more footage, info and general positive vibrations.
Now that you've brought yourselves up to speed as regards one of the UK's pioneering street skaters, let's have a little gander at Helena's current set up as is customary in Product Toss.
Helena is currently riding the Santa Cruz skateboards ‘Water Beast’ Everslick in the 8.375" width.
The Santa Cruz skateboard brand pioneered Everslick technology, originally dropping ranges of slick-coated boards back in the late 80's/early 90's much to the delight of kerb disciples the world over.
The new and improved Santa Cruz Everslick construction reappeared recently with an updated construction promising 5 times the torsional strength of a standard deck, plus the obvious advantages of wax-free sliding and keeping your graphic intact for longer.
This Santa Cruz ‘Water Beast’ Everslick comes in 8.375" in width, 32" in length and sports a 14.25" wheelbase making it well suited for both tranny and street and runs Santa Cruz's own medium concave.
(Shed not included).
Skate truck-wise, Helena opts for 149 Independent trucks Stage II Hollows. Mixing up the classic geometry and turning circle of the much loved Stage II with hollow axles, these particular trucks give all the performance of the standard Indy Stage II with reduced weight. Coming in at 5.86" (149mm) in hanger width and with an 8.5" axle, these are designed for a larger deck, somewhere around the 8.25" to 8.75" range, so perfect for the 8.375" Santa Cruz deck as seen above.
"I'm fairly sure these were Bones STF 52mm but they're pretty haggard now."
What better advert for the durability of the patented Bones Wheels Street Tech Formula than that?
Graphics long gone but rebound, grip, speed and enhanced slide still in the house. These Bones STF 52mm wheels come in at 83B on Bones’ own durometer reading system, roughly the equivalent of 103A on the standard scale.
"These were definitely Bones Reds but I've switched a couple out over the last few months and they don't really look that red any more do they? Still fast though."
Helena has ridden for Vans for a long, long time and currently favours the Vans Slip On Pro for board feel and overall straight-out-the-box skateability. This particular model features textile uppers, UltraCush™ HD sockliners for the highest level of impact cushioning, DURACAP™ upper reinforcement, and classic waffle rubber outsoles for a firmer grip. Looks to be some influence from the OG Vans Salman Agah shoe on the toecap too, but that might just be me.
Finally, any good skateboard needs a decent sticker job so why not follow Helena's lead and lazz some Brixton's Baddest Skatestore stickers under your grip for extra homie points down at Stockwell?
Shout them at brixtonsbaddest.co.uk for stickers, life advice and general righteousness.