First, a short bit of history on this smaller company. Among those who have tried Bombsquad board, there is a bit of a cult following. Yes, they are lesser known, but they have become quite popular among riders who are looking for performance decks developed for and by riders. Wes Coleman and Tanner Leaser are the founders and have been in many disciplines of the longboard scene for many years now. Now, Bombsquad has been making bombproof products since day one (several years ago) when they noticed a demand for a beefier noseguard and began to deliver that very product to the public. It only makes sense then that their decks be just as beefy as their first products.
The Saltflat was one of Bombsquads first and most popular boards. It has gone through a few different iterations (aluminum and wooden), but their most recent is my favorite. Ladies and gentleman, please join me as we enter the Bombsquad Saltflat Throwback. Now, I did do a quick photo post when I first got this board with the specs and all, but I figure I’ll just post em again. The board is made of a solid 9 plies of tasty golden maple and is 37 inches long. At its widest point (right where your front foot sits) the board is 10.25” and tapers down to 9.5” right before the rear wheel wheels. So, it has a fairly symmetrical shape with a taper from the nose to tail and has an asymmetric concave (which I will talk about later. It is drilled for three different wheelbases, 28.5, 29.5, and 30”, so you have some options.
I used this board with two different setups. One was more slide oriented which involved 10” Fifty Caliber trucks and Sector9 Centerset Raceform 70mm 78a. The other setup was for a bit more speed and had paris 195mm (soon to try out Prandals w/ 42 baseplates) and some lime BigZigs. Both setups were mounted on the longer wheelbase.
Now this deck, as you might have guessed, rides like a responsive and agile bulletproof tank. The weight is considerable, but it is a wooden topmount speedboard so that is to be expected. The 9 plies of maple feel extremely solid under my feet and it is stiff as a rail under my 175 lbs—literally zero flex. Due to its size, however, it is still very easy to whip around for freeride and sliding and whatnot. Also, it feels great for early grabs and I actually am able to whip around 180 early grabs off flat ground—something that I was not able to easily do on my Bhangra.
I wanted to make a special note on the concave since the version that I picked up was one of a limited run with a unique concave. The concave throughout the board is pretty mellow: the front is about ½” radial and the rear is a VERY mellow W. Personally, this is a great setup for me because I like my boards to not torture my feet; I prefer mellow cave with gnarly grip (Gator is your friend!) rather than vice versa. The ½” up front keeps your foot where it should be and if there is any time you think you may slip off for some reason, the edges are wicked sharp and work great for digging in and throwing your board around.
I’m a big fan of the W in the rear mainly for when I use the board for garages or hills (every once in a blue moon). It is in just the right spot so that when I’m going around turns, I don’t have to worry about moving my foot to dig in on the edge or something. Instead, I can just keep my foot right where it would normally be while I’m a tuck and push my toes into the little pocket where the W is. I had never been a fan of W before mainly because I found it uncomfortable to stand on for long periods of time, but I couldn’t be happier with this mellow concave. That being said, this version of the board may not be for everyone. This model is great for those who love a directional board, something a little more race oriented. But to all those searching for a beastly topmount with symmetrical concave, there is nothing to fear! That’s because this concave was only for a limited run and they will soon (or may have even started now) be running the Saltflat throwback with a deep tub or radial concave throughout. Should be dope!
Another feature I wanted to point out on this updated 2011 Saltflat is the wheel wells. Bombsquad went and cut out some nice deep double wheel wells to accommodate tons of crazy setups on any of the wheelbases. Now, I am a fan of loose trucks so I was stoked to see the wheels wells in person—the placement is spot on. I can run my 70mm centerset raceforms on 10” Calibers with no riser on the outer wheelbase and I can run my 75mm Bigzigs on paris 195 with only 1/8” of riser. One of the huge advantages of topmount riding is that you have such great board control with all the weight you can put over the front truck. Often, however, you have to sacrifice a bit in terms of ride height, often putting at least ¼” of riser to get a desired setup. Bombsquad did an awesome job with these wells so that you can still run your favorite setup while keeping it reasonably low.
And a little on aesthetics: there is something to be said about the style of this board. I suppose it can be said for most topmount speedboards, but the simplicity of this deck really just stands out. Classic shape with no extra frills or fads going on; this board was designed for a purpose and it wants to go fast. The simple shape coupled with the vintage black and white roadster graphic makes for a hell of an attractive board, but why do I have to tell you that? Just look at the photos yourself! Though I must warn you, it is much sexier in person.