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Daily Ride

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My daily ride is a Sector 9 Fractal longboard with Gullwing Sidewinder II trucks. I bought it complete from Board Life, a local skate shop in South Austin. The only upgrade I added is a set of Bones Swiss Ceramic bearings.

The trucks are responsive to the extreme. The deck is springy and low to the ground. The bearings are smooth and quiet. It’s a great setup for pushing, pumping, and carving while I take Bean (the dog) out for her daily runs. Our usual route is just under a mile with a couple of uphill intervals to make it a workout. We do it 2-5 times almost every day. That comes to over 500 miles a year, not even counting the miles I ride without Bean.

Last week I cleaned the front bearings to deal with the noise and drag they had developed. Apart from adjusting bolts to tune the ride, that’s all the maintenance I’ve done.

It amazes me how well this board has survived. It cost less than what I’ve spent on replacing pair after pair of worn-out Vans. The shoes can go maybe 200 miles before the tread is gone. (Yes, I sometimes brake with my shoes when I’m with Bean and I don’t have enough room to carve and slide.)

Speaking of miles: this board is perfect for airline travel. The deck is mostly flat and the wheelbase is just the right length to fit on top of two suitcases in the overhead compartment. You can be the last person to board the airplane and have no trouble finding a place for your longboard. Airport personnel have gotten more used to longboarders cruising inside the terminals, too.

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