Between so many of the newborn “instagram generation” brands, sometimes I get the impression that it´s more about which ones actually suit you better or less.
For example, I followed for some time the hype around bawse and eventually I chose to stop following them… well… I would risk saying because I just lost interest over time and also due to a small dispute online with them over which I will not talk about here. Don´t get me wrong – not that they are not good people, nor that they are not making quality fingerboards (I don´t have an opinion on any of these subjects anyway) so I just… stopped seeing them. Unfollow or unsubscribe and “bling” – that company virtually disappears from your life. That is one thing with Instagram brands… they kind of come and go. And even if they don´t actually come and go (physically), they may come and go from your feed – you may or may not stop seeing their posts or those people you follow may eventually also quit posting their “products”. The solid brands of the culture like Berlinwood for instance never have this problem since their roots extend well beyond ephemeral consume-and-throw-away accelerated culture.
Not meaning to dwell too long over this subject which I consider to be profoundly worthy of a deeper discussion I am hoping to soon write about on a more suitable opinion article, I must say that recently I stumbled upon a company I thought had an interesting “look” to their graphics – that company is called “Greasy fingerboards”.
I first saw them (him?) on FFI (through facebook obviously, since the “original real deal forum” went dead along with the rest of the Freethinking Fingerboarding Culture nostalgia – a time when people’s opinions and knowledge actually stayed online for quite some time – also more interesting stuff I will be happy to write about in a nearby future) on a post showing a collection of some graphics. I even wrote how some of these graphics were – in my humble opinion – “instant classics”!
Ok guys, so… on the review itself:
After eagerly waiting to see this deck “live” I have to thank Nelson from FBMAG and the owner of Greasy fingerboards – Vincent Lortie from Canada - for the chance to see, touch and review this beautiful deck. Or should I say… beautiful graphic!?
So, basically what we have here is pretty much a standard 5 ply wooden fingerskateboard deck. According to the owner, the deck itself is built with polyurethane glue, lacquered with acrylic gloss varnish, and the graphic is a paper graphic. A whalish giant sizing 34mm width by 96mm length very “in tune” with contemporary trends I do not really like since decks stop looking like mini skateboards and start looking… well… kind of fat. But since this is a taste issue, it is really not important.
I am not absolutely sure if the wood is 100% maple since I do not recognize the texture to be like most Maple I am used to work with we will consider for the time being that it is since Canada is like the Maple capital of the world! The paper graphic itself looks very well printed. According to the owner he´s currently working on a “wearable” graphic method which we are curious to see sometime soon.
The wheelbase (distance between trucks) is slightly shorter than the standard BW / TD size according to one of the contemporary trends, following the footsteps of mighty brands such as WOOB, REDWOLF, KINKALLA and many others. Personally I am not a big fan of shorter wheelbases however I must admit that they do perform well – in the end of the day it´s always a relationship between stiffness, kick angle and wheel height that will give you “the ultimate pop” and it doesn´t really matter – even though some decks feel easier to pop high I do believe that anything goes – with any deck or anything that has a shape closely resembling a kick, if you´re skilled enough you can do any trick you want (I mean, look at Youssef Radouane doing nollieheels on a pennystyled board with no nose!). This deck does feel like it has a solid and responsive pop so I wouldn´t worry about that either.
On the clear downside – craftsmanship overall seems like the Olympic minimum. Honestly… The kicks are shaped parallel to the sides of the deck which means no rounding has been made after the template has been used to copy the shape of nose and tail. Seen from the top, both kicks look exactly the same length and rounding which – again, in my opinion – I do not like since I never rode a skateboard with that “symmetrical” look. The deck itself is warped probably due to the fact that the middle plie does not cross all the way through on one of the sides – this clearly stresses the wood in different ways so there is some betterment to do on that department. I will assume this deck is a Blem sent for review as obviously no one should be getting by now any kind of warped decks.
The countersinks are another sad chapter as obviously they are not all equally deep nor wide, meaning again some evolution will be required in that domain for the next batch.
Obviously positive aspects are the deep dyed veneer, the solid deck construction and the gorgeous graphic and stamped top plie with the neat logo – there were also no flaws visible on the lacquer. I think there is clearly room for improvement and I am sure the next batch will be way more evolved – hopefully with these problems solved and asymmetrical shapes however I will leave that to who knows best – the owner himself.
Again, thanks for letting me review this deck and all the best for the company with “instant classic graphics”. Criticism is much needed in our culture right now – no one may have noticed but there is a hidden battle going on in the backstage of the scene. Mould is preying on the roots of the big tree of Fingerboarding. And most importantly we should support the culture itself – all those people or brands that sincerely help the scene by creating and adding culture, spreading the word of the good vibe of fingerboarding and organizing events where people can actually meet and exchange knowledge to help the continuous evolution of what we all call our “scene”. Take care guys and if you reached this point of reading – congrats – you are most likely a fingerboard (proudly!) nerd like me.
Review by Gil Dias