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Blog

All things Kryptonics wheels. Classic Photos, stories, and interviews about the beginning of skateboarding and the future ahead of us. 

Filtering by Tag: wheels

Silverfish Longboarding top 10 products 2013

Dusters

Kryptonics Star Trac Wheels were the only wheels to make Silverfish's Top Ten Longboarding Products From 2013. Check it out at Silverfish Longboarding - Top Ten Longboarding Products From 2013 or read what they said below!

What is old is new again.  The "C-Series" Kryptonics are an old friend to many of us and these are the Kryptonics Star*Trac Wheels reissue.  Three duros and three sizes, in shapes that are spot-on to the OG 1970's world-changers.  The original red 78A's from the 1970's are why many of the wheels you ride are the shape and durometer they are.  Now, whether this is a legitimate continuation of the Krypto lineage or another cashing-in attempt by a long-gone brand is easy to determine: skate 'em.  We have, and with the help of a crew of grom shredders, gear-sluts and a few crusties familiar with the original stuff, we've nearly cored all three duros.  If you're not talking about these, or skating on them, we have two reasons you should be: 1)  Our skate crew loved them.  We've carved 'em, slid 'em, rolled the skate park with 'em and cruised 'em.  The reds are fast and smooth, the blues are fun and the green ones are all on-order from a shop local to the groms and gear-sluts that put down cash to get their own sets.  The Kryptos roll smooth, slide fast and are durable.  They're fun to skate on. 2)  They're the first wheels not poured in California that are this good, and they're damn good.  Look, we've skated wheels from Italy, China, Australia and "elsewhere", and we've skated crap from California.  The deal here is that the wizards of urethane formulas and the best 'thane houses in the skateboard world have all been right in SoCal for decades and attempts by others to make great stuff has always fallen short --sometimes a little, often by a lot-- of the best urethane wheels, all of which come from California.   The Kryptonics Star Tracs shatter the paradigm:  they're excellent wheels and these are the ones we see marking the next evolution of wheel manufacturing.  It's not without a tear or twinge of bruised nationalist pride that we tell you wheels are gonna blow-up in '14. 

What is old is new again.  The "C-Series" Kryptonics are an old friend to many of us and these are the Kryptonics Star*Trac Wheels reissue.  Three duros and three sizes, in shapes that are spot-on to the OG 1970's world-changers.  The original red 78A's from the 1970's are why many of the wheels you ride are the shape and durometer they are.  Now, whether this is a legitimate continuation of the Krypto lineage or another cashing-in attempt by a long-gone brand is easy to determine: skate 'em.  We have, and with the help of a crew of grom shredders, gear-sluts and a few crusties familiar with the original stuff, we've nearly cored all three duros.  If you're not talking about these, or skating on them, we have two reasons you should be:

1)  Our skate crew loved them.  We've carved 'em, slid 'em, rolled the skate park with 'em and cruised 'em.  The reds are fast and smooth, the blues are fun and the green ones are all on-order from a shop local to the groms and gear-sluts that put down cash to get their own sets.  The Kryptos roll smooth, slide fast and are durable.  They're fun to skate on.

2)  They're the first wheels not poured in California that are this good, and they're damn good.  Look, we've skated wheels from Italy, China, Australia and "elsewhere", and we've skated crap from California.  The deal here is that the wizards of urethane formulas and the best 'thane houses in the skateboard world have all been right in SoCal for decades and attempts by others to make great stuff has always fallen short --sometimes a little, often by a lot-- of the best urethane wheels, all of which come from California.   The Kryptonics Star Tracs shatter the paradigm:  they're excellent wheels and these are the ones we see marking the next evolution of wheel manufacturing.  It's not without a tear or twinge of bruised nationalist pride that we tell you wheels are gonna blow-up in '14. 

Kryptonics Interviews: Jerome Bevilacqua

Dusters

An Interview With Kryptonics Global Brand Activist Jerome Bevilacqua

When did you begin skateboarding? 
Back in 1976 I remember watching a documentary on TV showing a new trend in California: we could see people riding flat boards on wheels, picking up food at the grocery, then riding down the pavement. A few month later I saw my first skateboard and got it for my 10th birthday.

Where were you living then? 
I was born and raised in Lille, North of France, in the Flanders, close to the Belgium border and across the Channel, England. 

Did you play other sports as kid? 
Skateboard, Rollerskates, BMX (I rode a Raleigh Rampart in 1979). I started wind-surfing with my elder brothers in 1980. 

What type of skateboarding did you do when you began? Slalom? Freestyle? Vert? 
In the 70’s one had to try everything: hippie jump and barrel jumps over my friends ! I loved slalom too – I lived in a flat land. We had a steep quarter pipe to learn “3 wheels out” and “aerials”. I had two set ups at that time : a solid Logan on Mid-Tracks then Gull Wings, and a G&S Fibreflex on ACS 651. And two sets of Kryptonics : blues and reds 65. I used to change and mix them all the time.

When did you first ride Kryptonics? 
1977 - I had a stiff oak board (Logan) upgraded with Road Riders. I borrowed a board from a friend, a Sims Quicksilver set up with red Kryptonics. I felt like I was riding a magic flying carpet. I was hooked.

What color wheels/size did you ride? 
I switched from reds and blues, then ended mixing front blues and reds back. In those days 65mm was comfortable, 70mm was considered huge. Later I turned to 70mm reds - they are still my favourite wheel nowadays. I have it stuck in my mind now: red wheels are faster! 

How much better were they than the competition? 
Above all challengers: they gave you the edge. Faster, firmer, smarter. They determined how you would skate: grippy carve for reds or slash and slide for greens (and everything in between for blues). Moreover they gave you style!

What was your favorite Kryptonics ad from back in the day? 
So many! There was no internet then. Actually we’d wait for the next issue of the Skate Board Magazine to discover new adds, or sneak in USA imported mags shared as priceless relics! I think “We blue it” was among my favourites.

What is your favorite memory from skateboarding in the 70’s and early 80’s? 
There was a wide lane, good tarmac, ending in a sharp L turn. When I was riding down that road I always felt like a “california dream”. Reading both fright and pleasure in your partner’s eyes while doing catamarans is always a good memory. 

What is your favorite memory in skateboarding? 
Meeting buddies and trying to share that strange inner feeling you get when carving the perfect line.

When and why did you you become so passionate for Kryptonics wheels?
I had had good times on Kryptonics and felt crossed when they were underrated or looked down upon for wrong reasons. They were not the hype they were not supported by any kind of advertising and a whole generation still had to discover them!

Have you always ridden them?
Yes. And I still do! Actually I ride many wheels and consider Kryptonics as my milestone. Some may be more grippy bigger brighter driftier or else they stand the comparison. Their ‘buttery slide’ is incomparable.

Were you in touch with the original Kryptonics company back in the 1970s and 1980s?
Not during that era. One central figure at the end of the 90’s was Tom Peterson. He was an outstanding rollerskater and a visionnaire. He turned Kryptonics towards the in line market, abandoned development for the skateboarding market but helped develop new compounds with AEND and Neil Piper. Perhaps today’s best chemist for urethanes. 

Who are some of the the people you have known over the years from Kryptonics?
So many. Each rider has his own memories and I often started the exploration simply by evoking the name Kryptonics. 

How long has your website Sakaroule been around? What was the inspiration for starting it?
Around 2000 I started checking for wheels on the Internet and I was surprised to find few things about skateboarding. I met a famous french longboarder and blogger Pappy Boyington from Longboard in Paris and started writing to him, then blogging what I had not found elsewhere. Kryptonics raises so many fond memories and good times for several generations of skaters that I thought it was necessary to share some feedback to spread these goodies. 

You recently had a Kryptonics conceptual ad contest on Sakaroule, how was the response?
Brilliant. French riders instantly found good messages appealing to several generations. Those who had seen the original ads by Jim Ford as well as those who were about to discover its special savor. (Visit the Kryptonics FB page on Sunday to see the contest enteries)

What were some of your favorite entries?
I was surprised every day when I discovered the entries. So talented, so nice, so new. I have a sweet spot for “Houston?” as it makes me smile, “We’re back” is so simple and strong, and “Back from the Dead” is in the mood of horror movies or zombies series. "Hot core" is fantastic … and I love red Kryptonics! If I had only one thing to say to any rider, it would be "get a set of Kryptonics and ride !"

What are you doing these days?
Sharing memories of the last sessions on Sakaroulé, 
http://www.sakaroule.net/2013/11/go-green-in-guadeloupe.html 
Planning the next ride,
http://www.sakaroule.net/2012/11/la-ballade-du-mois-daout-2012.html
Getting fit to reach new goals ! 
http://www.sakaroule.net/2011/09/ldp-there-and-back-again.html

What type of work do you do? 
I am a financial auditor, a French “commissaire aux comptes” 

You’ve been riding the new Kryptos for a couple of months now; can you share your thoughts on the wheels? 
Great ! You know some people consider me as a fetishist of urethane … I love the consistent shape, and the comfort of the three colours : red is like velvet, blue is silk, green is like African wax. Each duro has its specific sensation. I love the 75mm : it is a great addition to the traditional sizes. 

How does it feel to be the first Kryptonics Wheels Global Brand Activist? 
Ask Dave! As for being an activist: I feel committed to share and suggest, and blame if need be. 

Tell us a bit about where you live.
In 1990 I moved to Guadeloupe, in the heart of the Caribbean. Imagine a group of tiny tropical islands around a volcano, green forests, waterfalls, black and white sand, surrounded by the sea. It’s been more than 20 years now, and guess what? I love it.

What’s 2014 look like for you? 
2013 was a transition year in many aspects. 2014 is already a great year, and we have almost 340 days left to celebrate it ! I‘d like to make friends, and get involved in new ventures in Long Distance Pumping. I will share my “coups de Coeur“ on Sakaroulé !

Kryptonics Interviews: Rob Ashby

Dusters

An interview with our International Brand Ambassador for the UK - Rob Ashby.

Tell us a bit about where you live.
I live in Cheam, Surrey, just 13 miles from the centre of London so I get the best of both Worlds – far enough out to be reasonably quiet and close to the countryside yet near enough to get into London in half an hour when needed. 

When did you start skateboarding?
I first stepped onto a board in 1976. It was a friends’ Roller Derby “Mustang 20” with clay wheels. I remember that on rougher road surfaces you couldn’t keep your feet on the board very long as the vibrations coming through the deck just shook you off! 

I then made my own from one of a pair of “Jacoskates” which I think I paid 25p for at a jumble sale? They were fitted with barrel shaped black rubber wheels with shielded loose bearings. I made the deck out of a piece of marine ply liberated from a rubbish skip and stuck some strips of emery cloth on it for grip. I learnt a lot on that first board in the subsequent months. 

Did you play other sports as kid?
My father loved his football and had been a formidable centre forward in his youth and during his army days but I definitely hadn’t inherited his skills. I enjoyed fencing at school for a while but general “run of the mill sports” left me cold! I know my dad would have preferred me to play football rather than skate. “You and that bloody skateboard, why don’t you play football instead?” He would often say.

Did you skate street or vert to begin with?
When I first started skating in the 70’s you would skate a bit of everything, freestyle, long jump, high jump a bit of slalom, banks and parks. Street skating back then just meant getting from A to B on your board. I mainly skated parks and vert with a bit of freestyle and slalom thrown in for good measure – all on the one board in the beginning. 

What attracted you to slalom?
A lot of that goes back to the days at Southbank which as well as bank riding, leant itself ideally to flatland slalom and freestyle. Slalom was always popular in the UK and appealed too many because, at first glance, it seemed easy and achievable on the street. You could practice slalom with empty tin cans, as there were no cones available at that time, and it was easy to pick up. Slalom also had a fair share of coverage in magazines too and racing is always easy to understand. 

When did you start racing?
To be honest I didn’t race competitively at all in the 70’s and 80’s. I went to a few Brands Hatch events and may have had a run or three but I never competed as such. In the early years when equipment was fairly expensive I never had my own slalom set up. A new deck or set of park wheels was normally where my spare change went. If I was at Southbank I would often borrow a board to take a few runs on. The courses were quite tight in those days, a lot of this was attributed to the photos of slalom in magazines showing racers like Bobby Piercy and John Hutson. The logic being “That course must be tight for them to generate speed and get themselves in that position” – well there was no You Tube to watch or website to go to. Another factor then was the limited covered dry area to set a course on at Southbank when it rained; 20 cone, 4 foot straight wasn’t uncommon. Southbank was good breeding ground for many of the UK’s first class slalom racers back then and four of them have gone on to win World Championship Slalom titles and they all still race today!

So it could be said I was more of an armchair racer - a park skater who dabbled in a bit of freestyle and slalom on the side. I only began skating slalom seriously again in 2006 and in 2008 I entered a few European races along with fellow Brits and European Race veterans Paul Price, Sam Gordon, Louis Selby, Mick Reiss and Ella Roggero and I loved every minute and never looked back. 

What do enjoy about racing?
There is a tremendous sense of family atmosphere amongst the slalom community. I know that in some circles it is often seen as the more geeky skateboarding discipline. I think that this in part because of the plethora of equipment and ways people set their boards up – different truck angles, wheel formula’s/duro’s etc. I guess it is, as Chris Linford put it, the skate equivalent of Formula 1 – you’re trying to tune your board to get the best possible performance out of it. But essentially anyone can try it – just slacken your trucks off and have a wiggle! At some of our races in the UK we have started seeing a few crossovers from longboarding to slalom as well as a few newbies which is always a good thing. Another bonus is seeing so many legendary skaters from the 70’ and 80’s racing slalom – even better that you can get to race them!

Back in the day what colour wheels/size did you ride?
The first Kryptonics I bought were the 1st generation 70mm Red’s which I purchased from Alpine Sports in Knightsbridge, they came with a free “Kryptonics Krazy” sweatshirt – was so stoked! Riding them for the first time was amazing – like nothing I had ever experienced, such a smooth silent ride. Later I went on to ride 60mm Green’s which I had on a Peralta Warptail with Mid Tracks, then came the 65mm Lime Green versions. I also rode Blue CX double conicals, I remember seeing that amazing photo of Steve Alba riding them – the classic frontside edger shot at Pipeline in Skateboarder - a few days after I had got them, I was really stoked on that!

How much better were they than the competition?
I guess that they were really out there on their own for a while as far as the choice of compounds and sizes went. There weren’t really any serious competitors around offering different durometer’s and sizes for a while. It’s not like now where you can pretty much go and get any duro and size wheels you wish. Back then Kryptonics were one of the few companies producing wheels that offered a resilient compound for different terrains and scenarios; and of course the adverts in the magazines were legendary.

What was your favourite Kryptonics ad from back in the day?
I think that would be “Tired of the Same Old Juice” closely followed by “The Name Game” - but to be honest they are all noteworthy in their own way.

What is your favourite memory in skateboarding from the 70’s and early 80’s?
Ooo that’s a tough one – So many come flooding back. I think it would have to be skating at Portland (Dorset, UK) Skate Escape in the summer ‘78/‘79in with locals James Davies, Steve Narraway, Piggy and Chris and the old Wareham crew Mark Farmer, Alan Bennett and Steve Grounds – some of the best times!

What is your favourite memory in skateboarding?
That would have to be the smell of a 70’s skate shop – failing that the awesome Wednesday night sessions at Southbank in the early 80’s with the best crew in the World – intense, wild, often rowdy but always the best fun ever and I am happy to say that we are all still in contact after all of these years and in most cases still skating! 

What type of work do you do?
I work as a Commercial Contracts Manager in the Civil Service. I am also Secretary of the UK Slalom Skateboarding Association and race organiser.

You’ve been riding the new Kryptos for a couple of months now; can you share your thoughts on the wheels?
I have been riding 65mm Green’s on my park board and have used them for a couple of sessions in a little bowl nearby. I have also ridden them on numerous visits to Southbank recently - throwing out Bert’s and 360 slides just like the old days! I have even used them on my slalom board at the European Indoor Slalom Championships in December.

I have been using 70mm Red’s for cruising around and today I rode them From Southbank to Lambeth Town Hall with the Long Live Southbank crew to deliver the planning objections and they just ate up the pavement. This years must have commuting wheel! 

How does it feel to be a Kryptonics Wheels International Ambassador?
When I first saw the e-mail from Steve I had to read it over again. I am just so unbelievably honoured and completely STOKED to be involved with one of the most iconic skate brands. SUPER STOKED!

We keep hearing about the efforts to save the Southbank skate spot. Can you tell us how it’s going?
The Southbank Centre have submitted an amended planning application for their ‘Festival Wing’ scheme, as well as a new, separate planning application for their proposed replacement “skateable space” under Hungerford Railway Bridge. Obviously this site is lacking any of the history, character or cultural value of the Undercroft. Not to mention that it has 20 trains an hour thundering overhead!

If these applications are accepted, it will mean the Undercroft is lost forever, to be replaced by commercial floor space. It is vital that we do our upmost to save this unique iconic London landmark and cultural space!

As I already mentioned yesterday I was one of the many that skated from Southbank to Lambeth Town Hall in Brixton to deliver over 26,000 individual planning objections. With this new UK-record-breaking number of planning objections, surely it is time for Lambeth Council to listen to the people, and to save the Undercroft?

How can people help?
Long Live Southbank now has over 100,000 members, with supporters from all over the world. If you wish to help and show your support please visit www.llsb.com where you can become a member, join the supporters, sign the petition and even buy a t-shirt (as worn by Dave Hackett!).

There is a Long Live Southbank Facebook page facebook.com/LongLiveSouthbank Twitter feed - @Long_Live_SB and Instagram feed @savesouthbank.

By becoming a member, you give official support to the campaign. There is no joining fee but by putting your name officially behind the campaign it will help us to show the importance of the Southbank Undercroft to its users. 

So please join now folks, fill in the official Southbank Centre Survey too - let them know that you disagree with the direction they’re taking! Your support is very much appreciated.

What’s 2014 look like for you?
Well I think it might have just got a whole lot busier, Ha ha! Hopefully skating more parks and practicing my freestyle! I will shortly be working on the UK slalom racing calendar for 2014 and this year I am hoping to put on another major event at one of the countries favourite motor racing circuits – Oops I have said too much already! 

In addition to that I look forward to working with everyone at Kryptonics and along with the other Ambassadors helping to spread “A New Wave of Stoke” through 2014 and beyond!

Kryptonics Wheels Names Rob Ashby as UK Brand Ambassador

Dusters

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Kryptonics Wheels Expands International Brand Ambassador Program – Rob Ashby Named UK Ambassador

Long time skateboarder, Rob Ashby, has been named as the Kryptonics Brand Ambassador for the United Kingdom. Ashby, 51, is a skateboarder, slalom racer, race organizer and Secretary of the UK Slalom Skateboarding Association. When not skateboarding he is a Commercial Contracts Manager in the Civil Service. 

Rob started skateboarding in late 1975, when a friend gave him an old Roller Derby Mustang skateboard. Back in the day he skated a bit of everything, freestyle, long jump, high jump a bit of slalom, eventually gravitating towards skate parks and vert with a bit of freestyle and slalom thrown in for good measure . As Rob says, “Street skating back then just meant getting from A to B on your board.” After dabbling is slalom throughout his skating career, Rob began skating slalom seriously again in 2006 and in 2008 and entered a few European races and has never looked back. 

Rob is involved in the Long Live Southbank movement and was one of the many that recently skated from Southbank to Lambeth Town Hall in Brixton to deliver over 26,000 individual planning objections.

Ashby has been riding 65mm Kryptonics Greens on his park board and has used them for bowl sessions and has have also ridden them on numerous visits to Southbank - throwing out Bert’s and 360 slides just like the old days. He also rode them on his slalom board at the European Indoor Slalom Championships in December 2013. He made use of his 70mm Reds riding them from Southbank to Lambeth Town Hall with the Long Live Southbank crew to deliver the planning objections. 

In addition to representing Kryptonics Star Trac Wheels at skateboarding events, Rob will also be promoting the brand through social media.

In announcing Ashby’s joining the ambassador program, Kryptonics Wheels Brand Director Steve Douglas commented, “We are stoked to have Rob on board as our UK ambassador, his involvement in the UK skate scene throughout the years, along with his efforts in the Long Live Southbank make him a valuable addition to our program”.

The new line of Kryptonics Star Trac Wheels are now available worldwide at skate shops and online retailers.


Slalom photo by: Marissa Zegel

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Kryptonics Wheels Chooses South African Kent Lingeveldt as First International Brand Ambassador

Dusters

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Highly respected South African skateboarder /longboarder , Kent Lingeveldt, has been named Kryptonics First International Brand Ambassador. Lingeveldt, 33, is a skateboarder, photographer and the owner of Cape Town skateboard company, Alpha Longboards. Kent started as a street skater, at the age of 14. In 1999, he entered the world of downhill longboard racing, taking part in the first Red Bull Downhill Extreme in Cape Town down the infamous “Glen Road”. From 2004 to 2006, he competed at races in Europe and South America and in 2009. He returned to racing in 2011, after a two-year break and still races locally and abroad when the time allows

Kent regularly does informal work with local kids in and around the poorer communities in Cape Town and together with an older generation of longboarders he works to nurture skateboarding as a life-skill for kids that opens up their minds to a world of an extended skate family worldwide.”

Kent started Alpha Longboards in 2001 and in the past 12 years, has handmade over 500 boards. His boards are ridden across the world in 13 countries on five continents. He has collaborated with artists Atang Tshikare, Toni Stuart, Khaya Witbooi, Nardstar, Rico Swanepoel, Motel7 and Mr. Fuzzy Slippers to create Alpha art boards. His Local Legends series honours South African greats such as Nelson Mandela and in April 2012, he met Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and presented him with his own Tutu Alpha art board. He regularly exhibits the Alpha Longboards art boards in his home of South Africa as well as in Germany.

Lingeveldt has been involved as a test rider for the new Kryptonics Star Trac wheels over the last few months, putting the wheels through their paces on the varied terrain of South Africa.

In addition to representing Kryptonics Star Trac Wheels at skateboarding events, Kent will also be promoting the brand through social media and self-produced skateboarding videos.

In announcing Lingeveldt’s joining the ambassador program, Kryptonics Wheels Brand Director Steve Douglas commented, “We are stoked to have a skater of Kent’s abilities, and just as importantly his involvement with South African youth, representing Kryptonics Wheels”.

The new line of Kryptonics Star Trac Wheels are now available worldwide at skate shops and online retailers.

For more information please visit: kryptonics.com

To learn more about Kent please visit:
http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/02/world/africa/skating-with-gandhi-tutu

Photo Credits: 
Race shot: Pierre Vander Spuy
Sliding: Zwelibanze Sitole
— with Kent Lingeveldt.
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