Well, since ‘Black Friday’ has come and gone it seems about the right time to post some gear reviews. When Fuel TV asked me to pull together a series of reviews surrounding products I was stoked on the list was short at first. Then after some research and using the unique qualifier of “if I had to pay full retail what would I buy?” the list gradually expanded.
In full disclosure:
– I don’t work for any of these companies.
– I have either used or tested the product that is written about.
– Burton did not send me a T6. I bought and tested it with my own money. Hopefully, I can deduct that from my taxes. OK, on with the reviews or read them as the roll out on Fuel TV.
Nike, Nike SB Zoom Team($62.99, Nike.com)
The first time you get a legit pair of skate shoes it gives you this quirky confidence like you have been handed body armor for your feet. This is because skate shoes typically come stock with padding in all the right places. Combining that cushioning while maintaining board feel underneath your feet is something to ponder every time you’re in mid ollie. That and hoping you don’t roll an ankle. But I digress, what makes a skate shoe good? Well you might as well ask 100 different people what skateboarding “means” to them. I guarantee you’ll get a different answer each time. However, if I had one crate full of shoes to hand out to friends it would be the Nike SB Zoom Team and here is the big reason why. Erase the sneakerhead, limited edition, and collaboration hype. Nike has re-developed the basic skate shoe: a good fitting, workhorse set of kicks with clean lines and durability. The soles have a real fine touch, but they last. You also get more padding than you bargain for with Nike Zoom Air in the heel. Bigger guys and those who enjoy what finer gaps, parking lots, and 10 sets have to offer will dig this item the most. Out of the box and onto your foot the break in time is fairly limited to a few kickpush’s down the street. Nike packs lots of tech into this simple shoe and the key thing about the SB is this: it works.
Burton, T6($799.95, Burton.com)
Terje. That’s really all I have to say. Terje. OK, I’ll say something else: Haakonsen. Put them together and you have a name that will bring a smile to the face of almost every die hard snowboarder worldwide. I smile for several reasons: The classic film Subject Haakonsen, watching Terje progress as he ages, and of course the Burton T6.Yes, the Burton T6 is the evolutionary brainchild of the spoken cat himself. While the Burton Vapor might be the stealth fighter being so lightweight and nimble, and the custom is the muscle in the freestyle/freeride line up, the T6 takes things to a jet fighter level. A super snap Alumafly core has the board’s essence on lock down while the newly integrated Smooth Ride technology removes the chatter and chop of high-speed assaults. Pipe, kickers, steeps …I am pretty sure there isn’t a single thing the T6 can’t handle. When the time comes where your skills have maxed out and you need to rely on your gear to get you though it all, the T6 is your “next level” deck. So ask yourself this question. If one of the greatest riders of all time designed a snowboard would you ride it? Maybe, Maybe not.The choice is purely personal. But, to have the opportunity to ride like him for just one day (when all your stars align and you are granted three wishes) you’ll need the right board. That is worth the price of admission for those who really understand it.
Dakine, Skate Duffle($49.94, Dakine.com)
Lets be honest, flying with your gear is a hassle. Especially flying with skateboards. I love it when the gate attendants inform us that we have to gate check our boards. No matter how much we argue it’s always the same result. Joe Businessman can bring on a roller bag that exceeds the standard check on but the decks are kicked to the curb. Not so good times if you must know.Dakine has a nice little solution. It’s an old concept with a new update: the skate duffel. Simply put it’s a carry on bag to hold your deck and it’s a godsend. No longer will my board accidentally end up in Oslo, Norway when I am on my way to Oregon. Ah, relaxing indeed. What’s even better is Dakine freshened the idea by putting an insulated cooler section in the bag. Good fro sodas, energy drinks or your adult beverage of choice. See, that’s all you need … your gear and a place to store your bevies (soda, Red Bull…you get the picture). Now that is an excellent dose of good times for you and your crew.