Monday, November 14, 2011

Swifts = swift slides -- Bustin Swift Review

   In case my other posts haven't given it away to you yet, I'll just come out and say it, I love freestyle longboarding. It is the peanut butter to my jelly, the cookie to my cream, the ramen to my noodles, the... well you get the point. Anyways, when I saw that Bustin came out with freeride wheels I was super stoked to see two things 1) that there was a new set of freestyle wheel on the market 2) they looked sweeeeeet.

   Bustin Swifts come in two different sizes and in two different durometers.The size options on the wheels are 70mm (40mm contact path) or 77mm (45mm contact path) and the durometer options are 78a or 82a. The wheels are offset, but kind it is a mild offset, come pre-broken in, and have pretty big hubs for the bearings. I can only review the set of wheels that I have been riding which are the blue 70mm 78a wheels so those are the ones I will be talking about, haha.

    The Bustin 70mm 78a Swift Freeride wheels are almost hard to describe, but not by any means in a bad way. The first thing I noticed was that the wheels felt surprising hard for being a 78a durometer wheel, which I noticed on their maiden voyage because my campus is paved entirely in brick. When riding anything paved in brick you feel every single crack under your feet unless you're on super freaking soft wheels, but normally 78a is soft enough. The hardness felt very much like a higher durometer wheel which made me curious how they would handle when sliding.
   I have mostly ridden these wheels on the Bustin Ibach which is a board that I believe is entirely suited to not only freeride wheels, but specifically these Swifts. Slides on these wheels are super fun, but a little different than many of the other wheels I have ridden. I normally classify a wheel's slide as "buttery" or "icy." Buttery being when the slide feels soft under your feet, generally found in softer wheels, and Icy being when the wheels feel hard under your feet as you are sliding, generally found in higher durometers. I tend to classify a wheel's slide as one or the other almost 100% of the time, but these wheels weren't so easy to classify. The best word I can think of to describe the slide of these wheels is as a "sandy" slide. It is a slide that is kind of between buttery and icy, but on the buttery side of the spectrum. I have to admit that I wasn't a complete fan of the feel at first, but once I got used to them I REALLY started to like them.
   They have a little more grip than many of the slide wheels I have ridden so breaking into the slide takes a little more umph. However once you break into that slide its a really controlled and consistent slide. The wheels link back up exactly where you want them to. Whether doing a standing 180 slide or a glove down slide while going fast the slide is very predictable and the wheels reconnect where you expect them to.
   The one qualm I can see with these wheels is that they don't hold speed quite as long as wheels with a faster shape. Don't think that this means that they are slow wheels, they just aren't super fast. I imagine that this problem would be fixed with the 77mm wheels which should reach a higher top speed and hold that momentum for longer than the 70mm wheels. The same is also true of the harder durometer wheels which should be faster (because harder durometer wheels generally are faster) and I am riding the softer wheels.
   All in all I would say that these wheels are a great freeride wheel with a very unique slide. The slide does indeed take a few minutes to get used to since it is a little different than many other slide wheels, but it is totally worth it. I really enjoyed thrashing these wheels up and down the hills around here and would suggest them to anyone looking for a wheel that they want to have some fun sliding all around town with. If you like long standies, glove slides, drifts, or quick little 180 slides you will like these wheels.

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