Monday, July 18, 2011

Unboxing and First Impressions of the LandYachtz Switch

       Boy, I'm lucky that UPS shares a pile of the workload of delivering packages around Kamloops with Purolator. If they didn't, I'd surely be waiting until Wednesday to go and grab my board from their warehouse since they make 3 attempts before letting you pick stuff up in person, that means I'm usually forced to wait 3 extra business days to receive things from them. Today, shortly before noon, a familiar Purolator delivery guy showed up with the box in the post below in hand and I was quite giddy. I did try to make an unboxing video to show all of you what to expect when you open the box the board is delivered in but the angle I had my camera set to was lower than where my hands were holding things up to show.
       When a LandYachtz board is delivered, it comes in a pretty plain-jane sort of box; there is no special logoing on it, it's your typical, unremarkable shipping box, likely provided by UPS themselves. Once the cardboard box is opened, there is no additional LandYachts product box containing the board, instead your board lies very nicely packed right inside. Mine came with some very heavy duty paper crumpled up at either end to prevent the board from sliding around the box. The board is wrapped in a thin sheet of styrofoam material to keep it from getting dinged or scratched in transit, it has cardboard wrapped around the tips of the board to keep those from getting beat up, and to hold all this packing in place, there is some shrink wrap tightly wound around the tips holding the cardboard and styrofoam sheet in place. It all was very tightly and professionally done in my opinion, good presentation in the packing department over all. The board itself (I ordered a complete) came fully assembled. Also included in the box was an issue of "Skate[Slate] Longboarding Magazine" as well as some stickers for the discerning gentleman who can't get enough of putting decals on everything he owns.
       On to the board itself: I whipped out a measuring tape last night just to get an idea of what to expect from 41.25 inches. To me, it seemed pretty big, to some of my friends not so much. The board arrived and indeed looked a lot smaller than anticipated so I busted out the measuring tape again and it was indeed the length advertised. Spot on to boot! That's not even taking into account the curvature of the board, if it were a perfectly flat piece of wood with no concaving to it, the board would be even longer. Width-wise it was as wide as I'd anticipated, not quite wide enough for my feet to be 100% on when standing on it but I have big feet (12) and was prepared to work with this. The weight was good, not quite as heavy as anticipated but ample all the same. The grip tape on top had a red and white LandYachtz logo designed into it which I thought was a stylish final touch on the board. The design on the bottom of the deck.... seems a little kiddish, a little cartoony, I knew what I was getting when I ordered the board but still not a giant fan. I have a tablet and stylus though, and so might design my own graphic to turn into a decal and apply there. The wheels are way bigger than I imagined they'd be and I'm happy about that, LandYachts isn't lieing when they call them "Monster Hawgs". As far as I'm concerned I think a larger area of contact with the ground will help keep the ride smooth and stable so I'm all for it.
       On to feel: I placed the board on my kitchen floor and stepped on to it and... WOW those are some smooth bearings, barely any movement placed on the board and it wants to start rolling. I immediately get nervous, steady myself with the assistance of the counter and get on with both feet. I stand up straight. The ride height is exactly what I'd hoped for. Since I slouch a bit (something I need to work on) standing on the board feels exactly like standing up straight and I feel quite at home height wise. The concaving at either end of the standing platform is not as aggressive as I thought it would be which I'm very happy about. It's noticeable, will definitely serve a purpose for me later, but isn't so much that the deck feels wrong if you don't use the foot holds or if your foot is half in and half out of them. The deck has some concave to it running the length of it as well which feels alright to stand on and I can already see it helping to keep a flat standing platform when I shift me weight left or right standing on it while stationary. When I quickly shift my weight up and down there is just the smallest bit of flex to the board (I'm 220-ish, keep in mind) and it feels quite ok. As for rebound provided by the bushings when shifting my weight from side to side, something a little stiffer might be a little more appropriate for my weight. I find I have to wait a little when I'm leaning in one direction to feel balanced enough to shift my weight to another side, they are stiff enough to hold me upright when standing straight on the board, no wobble to notice.
        Now I must admit, the only testing I've subjected the board to has been on my kitchen floor, pushing from wall to wall and trying to weave between some arbitrary points in the smooth tiling it provides but I've had a blast doing it so far. I'm tense though, for sure, and I remind myself of what I've learned through doing research: bend just a little at the knees and what a difference that makes. I'm already getting the sense that this will feel better outside where I can get just a little bit more speed and have more wiggle room than the shelving units along the walls of the kitchen can provide. It feels like it's going to be a lot like riding a bike, having some speed behind you helps you stay upright, where as very slow speed movement feels wobbly and unnatural.

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