This was a crazy weekend, last weekend to be exact. I was invited to a strange occurrence which may soon be turned into some sort of ritual. My friend, the one you see in the photo, had the idea to do a backflip into the freezing cold waters of Winters in the season of Winter. And yes, we were successful. Our motley crew of four all ended up taking the paralyzing plunge into the waters from the rope swing. I did it twice, and it was just as cold the second time. Definitely going to go back in the Summer.
Monday, January 31, 2011
Sunday, January 30, 2011
I was really hungry yesterday while on a distance run and I decided to get some inspiration from these guys. Note to self: humans were not made to digest wood and bark. We live and we learn.
On another note, I almost did a full unofficial marathon yesterday. 25.2 miles to be exact. I'm going to keep pushing though and see just how far I can carry myself on my own two legs. Cheers!
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Went down last night at the Delta of Venus in Davis. So bummed I didn't bring my camera for it! augh, I always forget it for events. Anyways, it was an awesome time. Glad to see so many familiar and friendly faces over there. Here is a picture of the much loved Yurt on the domes property, where much of the communal time is spent for dinners, meetings, dance parties, and massage trains.
Forever keep the domes spirit alive. Yeeha!
Friday, January 28, 2011
Looks a bit like a poltergeist, if I do say so myself. But yea, bandannas are the shit. I still think it is on of the most functional "accessories" you can own. I've had this red paisley one for a few years now and have since added to my collection. I think I have something ridiculous like 10 now haha.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Here is my old school 35mm Pentax MX. I did some tinkering with it over the summer to get it to working order again (I think). I botched the first roll that I shot with it though, turns out the film didnt catch. Oh well. The second roll (400ASA Ilford b&w) I think came out pretty well, but I don't really know yet since I didn't process it myself. Regardless, I started my first roll of color film ever yesterday while I was out harvesting broccoli in the mist with some friends. I can't wait to see how it all turns out!
In my opinion, every photographer should have at least one old 35mm film camera. It is just such a different experience from shooting dslr. So much more rewarding.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Monday, January 24, 2011
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Saw the Davis Shakespeare Ensemble's production of The Twelfth Night Yesterday by complete chance. Went for a stroll with a friend, which turned into a wandering event, which turned into us following the sound of amplified music, which turning into us getting tickets to sit in the cold and watch some Shakespearean comeday. TOTALLY worth it. It was hilarious. I actually kind of want to read it now, just so I can use some of his lines in every day situations.
Oh, the picture is unrelated, by the way.
Friday, January 21, 2011
Thursday, January 20, 2011
above: finding balance with the bhangra and testing out its durability with a nice fat boneless. Both timed self portraits.
So, I received a Loaded Bhangra a little bit ago (check out the first impression here) and have been rocking it as my primary board for about a month now. Here are a few follow up comments I have.
What is the Bhangra?
I had some trouble classifying what type of board it was at first; dancer, freeride, cruiser, etc. But the more and more that I rode it, the less sure I was. Many people pushed for the idea that the Bhangra was the second version of the late Dancer, but that only makes sense as far as using the Dancer as a jumping off point. Thats right. Loaded created a whole new monster with this deck (no pun intended).
The Dancer was exactly what it said it was. It was the perfect platform to bust a move while speeding along and feel confident while doing so (check my review here). However, it was limited in that it really was a board specified for dancing. And while you could technically do all other types of riding on it, it just didn't feel as good as cross stepping and pirouetting your way down your favorite chillar run.
The Bhangra on the other hand is an all arounder. You can feel confident sliding and freeriding on it (thanks to the improved grip and the concave to hold your feet in), you can feel confident hucking it off some major drops (thanks to the shorter wheelbase and stiffer flex), you can use it as a carver if you like (with the proper truck/bushing setup), and if you are so inclined, you can use it to bomb hills to some extent.
The Bhangra is capable of accomplishing all of these tasks, as well as others, but there is a CATCH. Because it is such an all arounder, it is not really specified for one task. You can definitely find a better freeride deck, or a better downhill or carver deck. But that deck most likely won't be as versatile as the Bhangra is. It is essentially your one board quiver.
Now, We Can't Always Be Positive
While there were few negative things to bring up with the board, I wish to address two that I found.
1) The griptape. Yes, yes, it was a HUGE improvement on the Dancer's griptape, which would rub off within the first month. The problem was, it seemed to stick more to my shoes than the board itself. Maybe I just got a lemon? But my grip went over the boards edge and was actually peeling off at one point. Some bits chipped off on the nose and tail. Eventually I just went around with a razor blade and cut off the excess and sanded everything down a bit. So yea, little griptape problem, but quick fix.
2) COST. My god this board is one of the priciest on the market (next to carbon fiber boards and things like that). And while you are getting a hell of a lot of bang for your buck when you invest in a Bhangra, the price alone is going to be a huge limiting factor in who can actually ride one of these decks. That being said, if I spy people eyeing my board, I try and get the to try it out. That way, they will at least know if its worth dropping $350 for a single complete.
thanks for sticking around and reading, guys. Hope this was helpful. And as always, remember to spread the stoke. Now go out and skate!
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Monday, January 17, 2011
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Saturday, January 15, 2011
My friend (who shall go unnamed) REALLY wants to buy a boat. His desperation for one is kind of sad. I suppose it reminds me of a small child who never actually gets that one really awesome toy for christmas, but instead gets some socks. Yea, it's sad. Here's a photo of some boats out by San Pedro rd in San Rafael.
Friday, January 14, 2011
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Of the mushroom's I have yet to identify, this one has been bugging me the most. It seems like it should be so simple due to its strange color, and yet, I haven't found a description to truly match it. The hunt continues...
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
So I just started a new roll of film, and I'm really hoping this one will go better than the previous one. I guess we'll just have to wait and see. OH, and this picture was obviously not taken with film, but I did originally take a version of it on film for a photography assignment way back when.
Also, reminded me of this shot. Why? They were taken on the same table, silly.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Monday, January 10, 2011
Ah yes, here is my 1988 Fisher Montare SC that I converted to an SS commuter bike. This guy has seen a lot of miles and is finally working at near 100% since I rebuilt the rear u-brake (those things really are terrible). It's outfitted with a mish mash of xt, xtr, ritchey, race face, and just about everything else ha. But it rides B-E-A-utifully. I even took it on a few XC rides in china camp over the break. Its too bad I left it at home in Marin for the time being. I do miss it.
Meanwhile, I've been riding the crap out of the old Cannondale R600 i picked up over summer. I've been riding it just as it was given to me up until now. I'm finally doing a bit of maintenance to it, swapping out the junker Dia-compe brakes with some old 105s that I have the match the rest of the gruppo on it. Currently trying to overhaul the rear hub, but my first attempt failed because I overtightened the spindle and mashed the bearings a little bit. Oops. Oh well, we live and we learn.
Another project I'm finally getting around to is a franken-tall-bike. It will maybe be made out of my cousin's old bmx bike, my roomates crashed (slightly bent) road frame, and spare parts from just about everywhere. Oh, did I mention that I will be trying to do this without any welding? Should be interesting and probably a bit frightening to ride the first time. That is IF it even gets built. We shall see what happens and I'll be sure to post photos as update. YAY
Sunday, January 9, 2011
Saturday, January 8, 2011
Friday, January 7, 2011
Thursday, January 6, 2011
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Crane your neck skywards to behold these lovely monuments of our triumph over the natural world. Bask in the rare romanticism, now lost to these cold pillars holding up the capitalists never-fading grasp on your minds. A bit depressing, huh?
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Monday, January 3, 2011
Sunday, January 2, 2011
That's right ladies and gentleman, the Loaded Bhangra has landed. I had to fight off a few wolves in order to get my hands on it, but it is here at last. This is just a quick write up after having the board for a few days. I'll write something more in depth after a couple weeks. So, after a day hike in Napa, I came home to an oversized box on my porch. Quickly, I grabbed a few spoonfulls of cold black beans for lunch, ripped open the package, and hopped on to go for a test ride in my dancing training ground: an abandoned tennis court in the middle of the marsh by my house.
First things first, lets look at tech specs. The boards platform is 48.5" and 9.5" at its widest part with a wheelbase of 32.75". The complete setup weighs in a little above 10 lbs with the flex 1 deck. I'm running paris 180mm trucks (stock bushings for now) with 86a Orangatang Stimulus (70mm) wheels. Construction of the deck involves vertically laminated bamboo cores, a layer of cork, epoxy bio-resin and a special little invisible layer of monster magic to make the board that much more amazing.
Now, a lot has changed in the design of this board since the Loaded Dancer. I've got to say, the rocker is a great addition to the deck. The board feels so much easier to spin around and it makes nose and tail manuals that much easier. Of course, the wider nose an tail kicks also help with this. Apparently, this board is able to be ollied, but I have yet to successfully pull of this feat of skating prowess. The concave is an amazing addition as well, and all these feature really allow your feet to lock into the platform when you need it most. A lot of thought was put into this boards construction, and all of it has a purpose.
The flex of the deck is a bit stiffer than I thought it would be. I'm around 175 lbs and I'm riding the flex 1 (150-250+)and it only gives a little. For me, I was right in between for flexes since flex 2 is for 90-190+ lbs. The flex you get will completely change the way the board feels, and if you're weight falls in the middle of both flexes like mine, then you really do have an option. I went for the stiffer deck since I plan on doing some bigger drops/boneless on this deck and I also like a less flexible platform when I'm groovin/cruisin/dancin. If you want to carve a bit more and like a little bit of bounce in your deck, maybe you should go for the flex 2.
Visually, this board is a bit strange, it kinda looks like an oversized banana at first glimpse to me. But once you start to realize that everything is put in its place for a reason, you really can appreciate it. The different grip tape is definitely innovate; the board has two different types of griptape seperated into 4 sections. The nose and tail kicks are both rougher than the two center pieces. This way, you shoes really stick when your throwing and catching shuvits and you can dance without wearing away your shoes on the center of the deck. The bottom graphics are phenomenal and are wood burnt into the board for that oh so natural look. The little monsters scare away any bad vibes that may be haunting you while skating. The top graphic is an evil looking eye, and it is said that you get more speed by spinning on it. However, thats only if you spin in the same direction of the swirls. If you spin in the opposite direction of the swirls, the board opens up a portal and takes you to a stellar alien skate facility. Don't say you weren't warned if you end up getting stuck there.
Again, this is just a quick write up after having the deck for a few days. I'll write more in a little bit. Stoked to be rocking the latest creation from Loaded, hope this write up was helpful to anyone thinking of getting the board. Now get out and SKATE!