What We’re Riding:
The Skaterbuilt OG Pig
by Bud Stratford
I’ve wanted one of these for so, so long. This is, quite literally, a dream setup for me. Intended for big, big boys that skate big, big terrain, this is one of the biggest (and best) skateboards on the market today for the purpose. It’s historical inspiration was the Santa Cruz Steve Alba Bevel; coincidentally, the Bevel was also this pig’s immediate precursor in my personal quiver.
The Bevel is the ultimate in classic ques, the definition of the “performance pig” in its era. The Skaterbuilt OG is, in many ways, the fully updated version made for modern-day skateboarding.
Out with the old, in with the new. While the Bevel may have been the last word in big bowl boards in the early ’80s, the lack of a kicknose really hurts in 2018. The Skaterbuilt OG also makes the Bevel look really tiny in comparison. Imagine that shit! Mind-blowing…!
Most people my age are spouting out humanity and burdening their financial futures with car payments, mortgages, and saving for their offspring’s college funds. I’m not that f’n stupid. I’ve decided to invest all of my money into fun. That’s smarter.
All middle-aged men that find nothing but never-ending sadness in your personal status quos: here you go. This is your ticket to freedom, good sirs. Buy one, set it up, and start ripping at life again. Planting your feet in the deep curves of this plush puppy is where your “personal happy” will probably be found.
Quality components = a quality build.
Dimensions: 12″ x 34″, 17″ wheelbase, 11″ over rear truck, 10″ over front truck, 6″ nose, 6 3/4″ tail
Set Up With:
– Tracker 219’s (Independent 215’s were just a wee too small for this setup)
– 65mm Abec 11 No Skools (in two different duros: 96a and 81a)
– Biltin bearings (Abec 7)
– 1/2″ hard riser pads, and
– 1 1/2″ Shorty’s mounting hardware.
The bottom shot.
This fucker is fun as hell. Oh, God, if you only knew. You probably don’t know, because Skaterbuilt only builds these in limited numbers. But you most certainly should know, because if you don’t know, then you’re just dumb. Smarten up, call Davo right now, and order one. Or be the rocket scientist that orders two, just like I did. There ya go. You’re welcome.
The downsides? Well, it’s big. And heavy. Not quite as heavy as you might imagine, but it’s still quite a mass. You probably won’t be kickflipping this anytime soon… but if you can, then you’re quite a stud. If you can tre flip it, then you’re practically a God.
If you really care about such things, maybe the other “downside” might be the graphics. Personally, I’m pretty indifferent about the graphics on my riders. They are, after all, meant to be ridden, not admired for their aesthetics… but, hey, some people really get their undies in a wad about that sort of sheep shit. Yes, these graphics are legitimately screen-printed (a nice, quality touch). But, hey: they’re still an outline of a pig. This board isn’t built to look pretty, guys. It’s meant to wreck shit.
The obvious upside of all that available real estate might be the sticker-slapping potential. And the formica is always a welcome surface finish. Creadon once told me that “Formica is God’s gift to skateboarding”, and he just might be right about that. In any rate, slick black works, and works beautifully for me. The bonus is that it’s tough as nails, slides like greased lightning, and makes “wrecking shit” a bit easier, and far more enjoyable.
The top shot. The bend lines are pretty visible in this one. Note the steep hips, and the proportionately small amount of flatbottom.
The upsides? Here comes the fun stuff, fellas. This is a big, meaty mass that moves, and moves quick. It’s a roller, not a baller. It will get you into and out of trouble very, very quickly. Set up sensibly, it will also provide long, loud, barking grinds and swift, silent, and deadly speed shenanigans. The scooter kids at the skatepark won’t hear you coming, but they will definitely feel it. Especially when you run them over. Not, “if”. “When”.
The wheel/truck/bearing combo was a series of really wise decisions on my part. The only thing I had to get a little used to, was the horrendous wheelbite potential. Big, soft wheels on super wide trucks will do that… and when it happens at speed, it can be a really scary situation. The solution? 100a Doh-Dohs, tightened down pretty hard over the back truck (looser in the front). Yes, it still turns; the sort of leverage that you can crank out of a 12″ plank will force any bushing to turn eventually, regardless of how hard it may be. And the Trackers turned far better than I imagined they would, given their widespread reputation as “trucks that don’t turn”. Yes, they turn. But the inherent high-speed stability that is the Tracker trademark was another asset that I came to appreciate, really quickly.
The concave is 7/8″ deep at the deepest. I’m trying to find a way to show the overall depth, but it’s hard to do. The only way to really experience it (and appreciate it) is to step in one for yourself.
The concave is just completely ridiculous. It clocks in at about 7/8″ at its deepest, which is pretty ludicrous. Probably the deepest dish on the market, just like it’s inspiration. Once you’re in, there’s no getting out… and that’s the whole point. My confidence level went straight to the moon riding this beasty around; I literally felt like I was sixteen again, a lot. More obvious love for obvious reasons, right there.
Testing at a local ditch. Note how deeply scored the concrete is. 65mm 81a No Skoolz blew right over it as if the scoring didn’t even exist.
So where, when, and how have I been “testing” this one? Oh, man- all over the place, constantly, for the last two weeks. It started at the local supermarket, grinding down curbs to break in those 219’s. It’s seen about fifteen skateparks already (I’ve been traveling a lot lately; see my recent “And The Road Goes On” articles for elaboration), and probably an easy twenty ditches. I’ve done a few wallrides on it; those were fun, and the concave and kicknose really helped there. It clearly excels in big, harsh skate terrain. The bigger, the better.
Setting this up, and setting it up proper, will probably set you back something in the $225 range, after you get all the pieces-parts ordered up and shipped to your bachelor pad; they’ll be awfully hard to find at your local brick and mortar (unless your local brick and mortar happens to be SoCal Skate Shop, then you’re cool beans). Is it pricey? Maybe. Will it last you a ridiculously long time? Yup. Will you love every second of owning it, and owning every skatepark, bowl, pool, and ditch you take it to in the process? Oh, yeah, you will. You can take that from me, and take it straight to the f’n bank.