PRODUCT REVIEW BAMBOO SK8 _ OCEANSIDE CALIFORNIA
I was surfing the net a couple of months ago and was struck by the company Bamboo SK8. I had heard about maple board alternatives but I had never actually held or ridden a bamboo board.
I decided to email Bamboo SK8 and had an immediate response. I began communicating with, Mark Olson in the sales and marketing department. I chatted about being based in the Kootenay’s and heavily involved in the promoting the lifelong benefits of skateboarding through events and coaching skateboarding.
I purchased online an 8.5” blank. Within two weeks I had the deck delivered to my front door here in Castlegar, BC. It was there 4th generation hybrid bamboo with 70% bamboo 30% maple ply. These boards are made close to their fibre source in Asia the exact location is unspecified.
My first impression was of the dense bamboo fibers in the layers. I also really noticed the weight when handling the board for the first time. I setup the board with 149 Indies, 54 Spitfire wheels, cheap shot bearing, hardware and grip tape. The complete board still felt light. Everyone I showed the board too also made comments about the weight.
Those that did ride the board thought the “pop” was good. If time permitted I would like to conduct a controlled experiment to really determine if the “pop” was better than similar 8.5″ maple constructed board as there are many variables associated with the Ollie.
As the coordinator at the Castlegar Rotary Skatepark for the 2012 Summer at the Skatepark program the bamboo board has been ridden and thrashed a great deal in the last two months. Besides the wearing of the back tail the board is still in great condition.
Check out this YouTube video of 14 year old Slocan City skater Phalen Miller riding the bamboo board at Castlegar Rotary Skatepark.
There is much talk around the use of alternate/hybrids for skateboard construction. I investigated some of the most common comparisons around the use of Bamboo vs Maple;
Bamboo: is quicker to mature (5 years for some species) but can be used in 6 months, it often 4 to 5 new shoots will grow once harvested from its extensive root system, processes C02 and gives back 02 (some discussions say30% more than maple equivalent stands), biomass (some sources say greater as compared with and equivalent hardwood forest)
Maple: matures in 50-60 years, requires replanting, processes C02 and gives back 02, biomass
The comments I have viewed on the web are encouraging for bamboo constructed skateboards. Consider how, where, who and what the skateboard products are made of before spending your hard earned dollars. Ask questions and do not be fooled by the marketing propaganda.
In this review of Bamboo SK8 I can say that I have been very satisfied with the board, happy with the customer service and would recommend as a good addition to any serious skateboarders quiver.
References and interesting online articles
According to the Science Channel (January 2008, Episode 7 – “Invention Nation”), skateboarding has replaced flooring as the #1 contributor to deforestation of maple trees in North America.
Bamboo Biomass An INBAR Working Paper by I.R. Hunter and Wu Junqi
Comments about Bamboo
Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum)
BAMBOO vs MAPLE skateboard stress experiment http://youtu.be/dTgI4d6HnH8
Highest Ollie http://youtu.be/dteRp0PzbNs
How it’s Made > Skateboards http://youtu.be/a6m0tShtZCQ
Bamboo Sk8 – Helping the planet: one hard-wearing skateboard at a time http://youtu.be/q-LhBrRxf80
BambooSK8 CW6 San Diego News http://youtu.be/cplqc5sm_jk
Bamboosk8 Skateboard Review http://youtu.be/PtlQyaPTNTA
Bamboo skateboard review http://youtu.be/ZaGIT8FIBRo
Maple skateboards vs Bamboo skateboards http://youtu.be/lnJW8d12J68
Bamboo SK8 Commercial http://youtu.be/v6NJro7yHP0
Skating my Bamboo Skateboard http://youtu.be/H5kiIxs4H2M