Skateboarding News, Reviews, Information, & Personal Profiles


Ride like a Nickel, but save buku bucks!

Author: Dustin Posted: 2015-12-06

Man, if I only knew that tiny plastic skateboards would have made a come-back, I woulda saved some of my old sticks when I started skating in the 80s. Its really rad to see so many more people skating these days, even if they're never going to hit a skatepark in their life, TONS of people are ripping up the city, suburb and campus sidewalks. Especially here in CA's central coast, my new stomping ground, people are riding all manner of cruiser boards from the super huge long boards to micro plastic sticks.... enter the Penny. Although I prefer hitting up your local skateshop instead of a mall or sporting goods store, it can't be ignored how the Penny boards (here I mean specifically Penny brand boards) seem to be EVERYWHERE nowadays, in anything from mall clothing stores to skateshops to online. But being someone who a) wants something a little off the beaten path, and b) wants to save a buck whenver I can, I immediately started looking for alternatives to the Penny. Lets face it, its way easier to go with the big name. They're easier to find and (maybe) have earned the big name by being a quality product. I won't argue with the quality of a Penny board... but dare I say that other companies can do the same quality for less green. I searched around and ended up deciding to go with an Eightbit board. Like Penny, Eightbit makes a 22" board and a 27" (equal size to the Penny Nickel). I love how easy a 22" board sticks into a backpack, into the car, carried onto public transport, and so on... buuuuut ultimately I'm just used to traditional skateboards so the 22" was just smaller than I prefer to ride on a regular basis. For this reason I went with the 27" board and man am I glad I did!

The product
First off, this board will only set you back $39.99. Yes, you read right, $39.99. That is nearly $100 less than I've seen Penny Nickel's go for! Even when you can score a Nickel for a deal, you'll probably still pay $90 or more... For that price, you could score TWO Eightbit 27" completes and STILL have some $$ left over (and I'll even give you an idea of how to spend that extra scratch in a minute).

The board even comes with some tools. For those who already have one or more skateboards, you'll most likely already have your trusty skate tool, but it is pretty cool that Eightbit includes these tools so anyone (including a first-time board owner) can have what they need right out of the box. One hitch, however, is that they do not include a wrench for the kingpin nut. The included tools fit the hardware (the allen wrench and a T-wrench to tighten/loosen the small bolts affixing the trucks to the board), and the truck hanger bolts (to remove the wheels when you want to... and you may want to).

The size You may prefer the micro 22" board, and I can't argue with how great it is to have a ultra-portable board you can ride and take just about anywhere! But, for me the extra 5" was well appreciated when I was hauling over less-than-great sidewalks and streets. I like not having my stance so cramped and also the way the board rode a little more like a pseudo-longboard. That's not to say the 22" isn't a good cruiser, but I just personally prefer the extra 5" and still find it is pretty easy to chuck in the car, carry into stores, and so on.
Here is is next to my regular board (which, before the Eightbit, did double duty as my cruiser and regular board by just swapping between fat and regular wheels).

The ride
Ok, so these boards will never be the total sidewalk surfers that those mammoth longboards are... but who wants to carry around a 4+ foot board? Not this guy! With that said, this board really cruises nicely. I took it over some fairly chunky sidewalks, bricks patches and cracked streets and it only got caught up a couple times. And when it did get caught, it could have been avoided if I was leaning back more instead of having most of my weight up front.
And that's where wheels andbearings come into the mix.

The board comes with some nice wheels that look and perform well. And it comes with ABEC 7 bearings, but the bearings left a bit to be desired. As you may already know, ABEC shouldn't be the real standard for skateboard wheels because it is based more on non-skateboarding specifications instead of skateboard-specific performance. But I won't get into the ABEC vs. SKATE rating systems here (but google that if you're interested). So, the bearings are legit ABEC 7s, but after a couple days I removed them and swapped in some old dirty ABEC 5s that spun like a top! I couldn't believe how the Eightbit ABEC 7s barely even moved when I spun them in-hand (out of the wheel). I swapped in some NHS (parent company of Santa Cruz) ABEC 5s that were beaten down and dirty from some old wheels I had kicking around. I did a simple comparison by spinning the Eightbit wheel with the new Eightbit ABEC7s vs. the same wheels with the old ABEC5s swapped in. The ABEC 5s won... by a LOT! The Eightbit setup spun for 5 seconds when I gave it a good spin by hand. Take that compared to the NHS ABEC 5s which spun for 45 seconds!! The bottom line So, while I do recommend this board overall, I also suggest you swap out the bearings ASAP. Best case, you have some other bearings kicking around, like I did, and you'll be good to go by just swapping those in. Worst case, run down to your local skateshop and drop less than $20 for a new set of bearings (no need to get spacers, since Eightbit supplies them already). Even after that, you've only spent a grand total of $60 for a board that'll go head-to-head with a Nickel (which were going for $120 the last time I saw them at regular price in a store)! If you've got an Eightbit, a Penny or another equivalent, share your thoughts in the comments!

Eightbit 27
Eightbit 27" Plastic Board

Link to reference: Web Site

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Krown Skateshop, Salinas CA

Author: Dustin Posted: 2015-07-13
If you love year-round skate-friendly weather, CA is the place for you.. and if you're in the Salinas area, check out Krown Skateshop.  I went to the shop today and checked out a ton of different boards and other skate gear.  I'm psyched to see how many of the old style board shapes are back in fashion again, and Krown has a ton of them!  I remember all of the crazy shaped decks from Vision, Powell Peralta, and so on when I was just a grom... and Krown had 'em!  But don't fear all you new-world skaters, they've got a huge wall of decks for you too.

I've been really impressed with Salinas as a city and especially like how the independent, creative/arts and local businesses are happening here.  Krown is among that group, and is owned by a real skater who knows and appreciates the roots of skating and is really supporting the skate industry and helping the next generation of skaters get started out too!

Check out the photos and if you're in the area, check out the shop! You won't be disappointed.

Krown Skateshop, Salinas CA
Krown Skateshop, Salinas CA

Link to reference: Krown Skateshop's facebook page

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The Bucket Board

Author: Mark Page-Botelho Posted: 2015-04-03

THE BUCKET BOARD from mac premo on Vimeo.

Shot and directed by Mac Premo ( / @macpremo) Edited by Ann Lupo ( Production team: Pete Treiber, Adrianna Dufay and Divya Gadangi Sound design by Mac Premo and Ann Lupo Sound mixed, mastered and greatly enhanced by Luciano Vignola Shot in Leucadia, Encinitas and Carlsbad, California on location at Sanford Shapes ( / @sanfordshapes) VISIT THE SITE:

Link to reference: Web Site

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Surfing and Skateboarding in Cox's Bazar

Author: Mark Page-Botelho Posted: 2015-03-26

Over Spring Break Kristin and my daughter decided to stay in Bangladesh to see more of the country. We learned through a friend that there was a new hotel located on the beach that catered to people wanting to surf called The Surf Club. Upon arrival from Dhaka which turned out to be a quick 35 minute plane ride, we were greeted by James the manager of the hotel. He’s a very friendly young man. Once there we learned a little bit about what has been transpiring at Cox’s Bazar in regards to the local children and surf scene. We were introduced to Vanessa, who is From Santa Cruz, California. She’s running a non-profit Surfing Club along with Allison Joyce, non-religious based club for the young girls at Cox’s Bazar with her husband Rashed. They both have roots in the community and truly are altruistic in every sense of the word. Unfortunately we learned of two other elements in the community that are not, such as Jafar, the first recognized surfer in Bangladesh and the Surfing the Nations (STN) group, a religious based organization. Jafar has essentially been ostracized from the local surfing community due to his lack of helping others. The STN group is directly interfering with Vanessa’s effort to give a free education to the young girls by offering the children free food during her classes to steal them away.

What Vanessa and Rashed have done with the support of the Surf Club, is create a safe environment where the young girls, and boys of the community can learn how to be life guards. In addition Vanessa educates the girls by giving them English language lessons. She also teaches them how to skateboard and Rashed teachers them how to surf. They work with the girls throughout the year, and live among them. They participate in their community events, and don’t push their religion on them, nor us them for to promote themselves like Jafar or STN. They even have a fund raising effort to help feed the girls and their families. What really impressed me was the fact that they are doing this with no personal return of any kind. They’re not proselytizing a religion, nor are they trying to earn an income from the children like the other groups in the community. 

With the week we spent in the community, we learned a lot about the girls and boys who live in Cox’s Bazar, and the difficulties they face. With the concerted efforts of the Surf Club, Vanessa, and Rashed, these children will have a bright future ahead of them. If you’re interested in learning more, please visit

Link to reference: Surfing Club FaceBook Page

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Bangladesh Girls Surf Club

Author: Mark Page-Botelho Posted: 2015-03-23
During Spring Break most people tend to head off to exotic places to kick back, and usually we do the same. This break however, Kristin, Zea and I decided to stay closer to home. Our decision was problematic as Bangladesh is in the midst of quite a bit of political turmoil making travel in the country difficult. We searched around for a place that might work for us and found Cox’s Bazar. It’s a very long beach (longest continuous beach in the world) and isn’t very developed yet.  Due to the constant hartals, otherwise known as country wide strikes, the beaches are currently essentially empty. This makes it difficult for locals to earn a living off of tourism. So our trip is also helping others as well as offering us a peaceful trip away from any crowds.

While doing research on whether we could surf there, I stumbled across the Surf Girls web site This is an organization that is trying to give young girls a childhood of fun while also educating them before they are married off at a young age. With limited funds they teach the girls English language, basic math, skateboarding, surfing, and how to be a life guard.
When we arrived at the Cox’s Bazar Surf Club Hotel, we quickly ran into Vanessa who is running the Girls Surf Club. We arrange to meet up with them at a dilapidated tennis court out back of another hotel on the main strip of town. I wasn’t sure what I would find but was pleasantly surprised to find a small group of young girls and boys racing around the court on some Penny boards and some traditional street decks. None of them had shoes! The girls were skating in their traditional dress (salwar kameez), which is long pants and a long sleeved tunic style shirt, they must have been hot. The boys looked to be in rougher shape but were just as enthusiastic as the girls in skating.

Vanessa, the teacher, was excited to have Kristin and Zea skate with the girls as they have never seen another female skater. We all taught them some tricks and ate lunch with the girls and learned about the program that Vanessa had created. She has a lot of hurdles to overcome but has managed to make some ground in giving the girls a greater experience, and an education that they would not have otherwise have gotten. After the session they invited us to go surfing with them for a dawn patrol session. I can’t wait!

Link to reference: Web Site

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