Original Skateboards makes complete longboards - decks, trucks, the works. Two brothers started the company in 2002, using their college money, and created a seriously impressive longboard brand! These aren't just recycled board designs with Randal trucks slapped on the bottoms - the boards are high quality and their trucks are unique. If you are looking for something fresh to cruise around on, read the rest of this review of Original Skateboards.
Original Skateboards - Torpedo Impressions
For this review, the Original Skateboards guys sent me a Torpedo 40 Complete Longboard. The Torpedo is a solid longboard - plenty of flex, with a pin kick and even a little bit of a kick in the snub nose, which I liked. Most pin-style longboards don't like to give your front foot any support, and I liked the Torpedo's style. The deck had just about the right amount of give for me, and I would class myself as an intermediate longboarder. I think it would work well for beginners, too.
Original Skateboards Trucks
Original Skateboards Longboard TrucksOriginal Skateboards
The trucks, though - these are where Original longboards really blew me away. These trucks are crazy. They've built them using a special spring system that they developed - it means that the trucks will actually react to your turns, and power you out of them, with greater control that most other trucks.
If you get an Original skateboard, you might think you should tighten the trucks right away - but give it a few rides first. These trucks are smooth, and very responsive.
Trent, one of my testers, felt that the trucks were a little too sensitive for bombing hills, unless you are really experienced with riding loose trucks. The trucks can cut tight very fast, so it can be easy to wipe out at higher speeds. Of course, this means that these trucks are perfect for cruising. Sensitive and smooth.
Original Skateboards - Made in USA
All of the parts that go into Original Skateboards are made in the USA.
The bearings were nothing shocking, but good for the board. For the Torpedo this worked out great, since the board is good for an intermediate or beginner longboarder. If you want something faster, you can always upgrade.
The wheels on the Torpedo are Original Bubble 65mms, nice and soft (82a). Original offers 4 different wheel options, from 60mm to 70mm, and hardnesses from 78a to 85a. I could imagine wanting to try larger wheels on the Torpedo, but without wheel cutouts, that might not be the best plan! Of course, any standard wheels and bearings can be used on these longboards.
Original Skateboards - Longboarding Zen
All of these parts combine to make a very fine longboard. I only tried out the Torpedo, but I liked it a lot, and so did my testing crew. I made sure to give it to a seasoned longboarder, and a guy who's only been longboarding a little while, and they both had only good stuff to say about it. The seasoned boarder took a little while to get used to the trucks - he wasn't used to anything like these spring-loaded trucks at all. But, he still loved them. The beginner longboarder fell in love with the board immediately. If the rest of the longboards Original makes are anything like the Torpedo, I'd recommend any one of them.
Original is still a young company, but they've managed to build a strong foundation and a pretty huge selection of decks, with several truck and wheel options. Finding a shop near you to check out an Original Longboard in person at might be tough - they do have an interactive map of the USA on their site, so you can locate a shop near you. You can also contact them by phone - all of this info is on the Original Skateboards website. Take a look. I easily recommend them.