Monday, October 22, 2012

Talk about a Good Omen -- Omen TKO Review

Hello There World of Skate,

Omen Longboards was recently kind enough to send me over one of their new decks the TKO. The Omen TKO is a topmount freeride board with double kicks that is designed to meet the challenges of a rider who wants a board that can do everything. However, this isn't just your run of the mill commuter board with kick tails, this board is meant to do everything and do it FAST! This isn't your Mom's do anything board, it's more like Evel Knievel's board if he is feeling reckless and dangerous. Yeah it can go that fast.

The Omen TKO comes in two flavors, a topmount and a drop-through. It's nice having some options and being able to choose between a topmount or drop-through because most riders have a preference. I am personally a topmount kind of guy, especially when they have a drop, so that is what Omen sent my way.

However, before I get any further into this review let's talk about the technical specifications of the Omen TKO.
Omen TKO
39.75 in
28 in
9.5 in
0.45 in
0.5 in
Special Features
Double Kicks, Drop, Flat W Concave

The TKO is an interesting board to commute on. I mentioned that my board was the topmount version of the TKO which makes commuting on it a little strenuous because, like with all topmounts, you are higher up off the ground so each push takes a little more work. Which is why I feel like if you know that you are going to be doing a whole bunch of commuting on your TKO you should consider the lower the ground drop-through version. However, both the drop-through and the topmount versions have that 1in drop which is great. It helps the board ride lower and keep you a little more stable since your center of gravity isn't way up in the air.
I normally find commuting on boards with W concave to be a little awkward. However, the team over at Omen had the right idea with the flat W concave. When I am pushing around town the flat W is nice and comfy and doesn't make me want to die like most do.
I mentioned that the Omen TKO is a symmetrical double kick board, which makes it nice for freestyle applications. You can flip your board around and it will feel the exact same as when you started, which is great for all sorts of freestyle and freeride applications. The kicktails on this board  were obviously well thought out. They balloon out so that you get that nice compromise between wheel clearance and a big tail to put your foot on. They really are quite big tails for a board that has a narrow neck, not to mention the fact that they are about 3in long. I haven't been able to actually ollie the board very high (just like an inch or so) but the tails do actually generate lots of pop. They are mega functional and I am quite a fan of them.  Finally, if you are into doing any kooky dance moves on your longboard then you may like the TKO. The platform has that nice flat W concave which makes it easy to move your feet around on and get groovy.
The TKO does not have any flex to it and is nice and thick, making it pretty freaking stable when going fast. The drop in the platform is great for keeping your feet in one place. The unique platform on this board is really nice because you can tell where your feet are without ever looking down, this is due to the way the W concave, the drop, pockets, and waist all fit and work together. If you ever get in a bind and need to footbrake while downhilling the nice waist on the board makes it just a little bit easier because you don't have to spread your legs very far apart to get your foot on the ground.  I have taken this board down some of the steepest hills around and haven't had any complaints.
This board was literally designed as a freeride board. No matter how long I talk about how good this board is at other disciplines of riding, where the TKO truly shines is in serious freeride. The pockets lock you feet in place so you can slide from the platform. The flat W concave gives you just enough of a lip to slide your board toeside and heelside very easily without having to reposition your feet. It is nice and thick so it doesn't warp under you feet when sliding. The drop in the platform also doubles as a footstop which is just another great way to lock your feet in place. If there one thing I can say about this board is that if you don't want to move you feet you do not have to. Finally, you can even bluntslide this board all day long with no problem thanks to those lovely kicks.
It can't all be good...
The biggest downside I have found with the TKO is the weight of the board. It is definitely not a light board and it can make freestyling kind of difficult. Being so thick definitely made the board nice and stable but it is one of the heavier boards I have ever ridden. That being said, weight is in no way a bad thing for all types of riding. For example, if I am downhilling or freeriding the weight of this board is inconsequential and all I care about is how it performs when going fast.

Bottom Line: Would I recommend this board to a friend?
I would recommend the hell out of the board to anyone looking for a serious freeride board. If you like to go slideways then you will not just like this board, but love it! I have really been enjoying this board and it has helped me step my freeride game up considerably.
The Omen TKO is a board that is meant for stepping your freeride game up. Not just stepping your slides up, but really kicking your fast and long slides up like 10 notches. This board has the platform and stability that allows you to push slides out with repositioning your feet, heck without even having to look down at your board. If you are interested in a board that can really freeride like a madman but also has the versatility to be useful in your daily commute then check the Omen TKO.

Photos: Erik

Any questions, comments, concerns, dialogue, hatemail???
Send it my way!
Stay Awesome,

Current Favorite Setup:
-Surf-Rodz RKPs [50* Plates]
-Orangatang Baluts 72.5mm 80a
-Daddies Board Shop Bearings
-Orangatang Nipples (Medium)
-Holesome Slidepucks and Helmets
-of course my party shirt