OK, um…uh oh…what have I gotten myself into…?! Will this really work?!
So, after a long day of chasing visas, buying travel gear, and around-city driving (thanks Donna!), the new board and trailer coupling from Longboard Larry arrived today. It arrived nicely protected in bubble wrap and a tough cardboard box.
A wonderfully made board despite the very short time span that Larry had to put it together. This custom project included some very experimental additions. The drop-through truck attachments, and some carbon fibre mudguards essential to long distance skateboard travel; you never know when you’re going to be caught out in the rain.
“The trailer coupling looks pretty good,” Kirk said as I eyed it up.
We both worked slowly, contemplating the potential and possible issues with the whole situation. I mean, a skateboard with a trailer? Who has ever heard of anyone doing that before on a long trip?
“You look concerned,” Donna observed as she came into the room and looked at my face.
“Yeah. I am. There are so, so, so many unknowns here,” was all I could reply. “So many questions.”
One thing was for sure. The coupling setup, a brainchild of Cory Poole and refined by Larry, is a wonderfully solid unit. It has definite potential. Using an industrial nylon ball joint, it can pivot side to side and up and down up to about 30 degrees in angle. It can also rotate, of course. Will it be able to hold up to up to four months of constant vibration, up to 40lbs of weight, all manner of weather conditions etc etc? Only time will tell.
Longboard Larry’s board is phenomenal. An amazingly smooth, comfortable ride. A wonderfully maneuverable board, it was a massive breath of fresh air after being on the very stiff Rollsrolls board for the last four months. It turns tight, has some very nice flex (much more than I’m used to). I noticed the slightly extra weight compared to the RollsRolls, but what the board may lack in its weight, it more than makes up for in being just so much more of a joy to ride. I noticed no difference in ride height, which was a relief, as I had really appreciated the low-to-the ground ride of the RollsRolls. This is going to be a great board.
With the trailer (the old RollsRolls board with the skateboard trailer coupling attached), I noticed the extra weight when accelerating. Once up to speed, the whole setup rolled smoothly. The trailer coupling is ingeniously designed to be quick-release by way of a retaining clip. The clevis pin and retaining clip rattle noisily, so Kirk suggested a couple of rubber washers on either side of the coupling to stop the rattling. We’ll sort that out tomorrow.
The setup was a head-turner. As I rode the setup up and down the street in front of Kirk and Donna’s apartment, people around stopped and stared. A particularly interested neighbor added his two cents to the situation.
I’m excited. Very excited. This just might work. Thank you over and over again to Longboard Larry for taking on this ambitious project. Larry’s commitment to exploring solutions and potential for longboards is impressive.
Kirk and I will work on luggage attachment solutions for the trailer tomorrow.