Sunday, October 9, 2011

Insert Nipple Joke Here -- Orangatang Nipples Review

   The release of Orangatang's new bushings, Orangatang Nipples, has been long awaited by many in the longboarding community.
   I can definitely say that I was included in that eagerly awaiting populous of enthusiasts. I was actually one of those guys who pre-ordered a set from daddiesboardshop.

   Well, the day finally came when I got a package with two sets of Nipples in two different hardnesses delivered to my doorstep. I ordered the orange (soft) and purple (medium) sets so that I could see which ones I liked more. I didn't bother buying a yellow (hard) set of Nipples, because I didn't see the point based on my riding style/weight. I was super stoked to try them out, as I am with just about any new part I can get my hands on, but... I had only just recently made the leap from my double-cone-super-carvey bushing set-up to a barrel-cone set-up and was quite skeptical about how I would enjoy riding double barrels.

   The first important thing that I think needs to be talked about in any Nipples review is the hardnesses/durometer that they come in. Unlike most bushings which follow the more standard measure of hardness, the Shore A durometer system, these bushings are based on a relative hardness scale. Loaded/Orangatang recommends orange (soft) for riders 80-180lbs, purple (medium) for riders 160-230lbs, and yellow (hard) for riders 200-270lbs. I weight about 155lbs which is why I decided to try both orange and purple out.

   Putting nipples in my trucks was interesting, I normally ride Venom SHR bushings which have plenty of room to crank the nut down on the kingpin on my Paris trucks. With Nipples, however, the bushings fit the kingpin's length almost perfectly, I was actually afraid they might not fit my trucks despite Orangatang assuring me that they work with paris, because they are so big. I started with the oranges on my tan tien and the purples on my bhangra, because I figured that the harder bushings would be better for dancing.

   I took the bhangra (my weapon of choice) out first. The very first thing that I noticed was how different the turning and the rebound felt with these bushings. Nipples have a very consistent turn all the way through to the peak of a carve and in addition they have a very solid “center point” when you are not turning at all. I live on a pretty gnarley hill so having that really solid stable point was a plus that was noticeable right away. The double-barrel bushings though did throw my slides off for a while, being a fan of pretty squirrelly bushing set-ups the Nipples certainly took some getting used to, and my low speed slides suffered for about an hour.

   The rebound on Nipples was actually not what I had expected it to be, when I hear the word rebound I generally think of Venom SHR bushings, which with the right set-up you can basically make a longboard into a ripstick for all intensive purposes. The rebound on Nipples is pretty different, instead of them being really bouncy like my SHRs they absorb more of your weight before they rebound. I didn't really understand or like this at first, but I grew to really like it when I started trying some tricks.

   So after making it out of my neighborhood I met some friends up for a bit of group ride action. We started to play a good old fashioned game of S.K.A.T.E as we tend to do quite often and it was then that I noticed my favorite thing about Nipples... landing tricks became a joke! The solid center point I was talking about made hitting flip tricks and shovits a non-issue. Additionally that interesting rebound really shined in hitting tricks, because when you're really tweaking your board for a shovit or bigspin or whatever the Nipples “reset” right away. Meaning that your board is back at its center point pretty much the instant your feet leave the board. I had been working on my oldschool kickflips for quite some time and I had gotten them down on my other bushings, but it was so fluid and easy on the Nipples that I was literally shocked.

   I am freestyle/sliding rider at heart, but I have recently started testing my downhill limits too. In the package that housed my two sets of Nipples I also had a Comet Voodoo Doll deck delivered. So naturally a few days later a few of my buddies and myself piled into a car and start hitting some of the really monstrous hills around town. I slapped the purple Nipples onto my Voodoo Doll and went to town. Not being the best downhiller on the block I was a little nervous on my first few runs, but after I got comfortable on my new set-up I realized that although they weren't designed for it, Nipples are not a bad downhill bushing. I hit between 35 and 40mph a few times without any wobbliness. And yes, I know that not getting wobbles is due to the board, set-up, and rider's ability, but I have liked the nipples more than other bushings I have ridden for downhill. I do, however, think that I need to invest in a yellow pair of Nipples for any more endeavors of the rapid-decent nature, especially if I keep trying to push my speed limits.

  All in all I would recommend Orangatang Nipple bushings to a friend for like 90% of set-ups. Those who are looking to break the sound barrier on a longboard should probably look elsewhere and those looking to for the squirrelly-super-pumpy board may want to think about a more bouncy bushing. As for me, despite the adjustment period to my new double barrel bushing set-up, I can honestly say that these are probably my new favorites. They suit my mild downhill, campus, freestyle, freeride style of boarding quite nicely.

Thanks for Reading,


My current set ups are:
-Tan Tien, paris 180's, abec 11 freerides 66mm 84a, bones reds, orange nipples
-Loaded Bhangra, paris 180's, orangatang stimulus 70mm 86a, bones reds, orange nipples
-Comet Voodoo Doll, paris 180's, orangatang 4president 70mm 83a wheels, bones reds, purple nipples