Downhill longboarding involves riding down hills as fast as possible and keeping the board under control. Speeds in excess of 80 mph have been obtained. UK rider, Pete Connolly, is the current Guinness world record holder, for the fastest man on a longboard, with a staggering top speed of 91.17 mph. These boards are usually 95–110 cm (35–44 inches) long, featuring wheel bases from 28-35 inches, and very stiff to improve control at speed. “Speed wobbles” pose a problem for beginner downhill riders but intermediate and advanced users overcome this by learning to relax and control their muscles. Downhill decks usually fall into Six categories: topmount, micro drop, drop thru, drop deck, double drop and flush mount. Topmount boards provide the most traction, but tend to be less forgiving. Micro Drops lower the ride height slightly, which results in a great all around board. Drop thru decks consist of mounting the baseplates of the trucks on top of the board with the trucks hanging through a hole. Like micro drops these tend to be all around boards and were very popular 2009-2011. Drop Decks get the rider very close to the ground, providing an easy to push and drifty ride. Double Drop decks are a drop deck with drop thru truck mounts. These decks were fairly popular in the mid 2000s but have largely fallen out of favor due to their unresponsiveness. Flush mounts seek to lower the ride height by mounting the trucks in a recessed area on the board. This minimally lowers ride height but increases the chance for wheel bite (which is where the wheels rub against the board in a turn, usually resulting in a crash). The vast majority of downhill long boards are built from wood. The three most common woods used are Maple, Baltic Birch and Bamboo. Maple is less prone to fracturing during construction than Baltic Birch, and as such is used in almost all high end boards. Other materials used in long board construction are: 1) Carbon fiber with a foam, balsa or hollow core. 2) Aluminum, either pressed or milled. And 3) Carbon Nano Tubes, although this proved prone to failure and no current company is using this material.
Downhill boards and freeride boards are often used interchangeably. The main distinguishing factor is that downhill boards are usually directional, with a defined front and rear, while freeride boards are symmetrical front to back.
Downhill longboarders usually use Reverse Kingpin Trucks (RKP), whereas skateboarders use Traditional Kingpin Trucks. RKP trucks tend to hold traction better and are easier to handle at speed, whereas TKP trucks are more suited for tricks, bowl skating and usually sport a lower ride height. Other forms of trucks have been seen in downhill but remain on the sidelines. These would include torsion trucks (seismic) and CAM trucks (Other Planet). Downhill trucks are separated into two further categories: Cast and Precision. Cast trucks are the economical choice as well as the most common, although Precision Trucks are becoming more common. Cast trucks are usually a gravity cast aluminum with a solid steel axle that is non-removable. Due to the casting process cast trucks have ‘slop’ which is caused by small gaps in between parts. This causes small shifts and movements at speed and results in slightly diminished control. Cast trucks are also prone to warping slightly, causing uneven contact pressure on the wheels. Precision trucks can counter these limitations at a much higher price tag, although not all brands achieve this equally. Precision trucks are milled out of Aluminum billet and usually house two separate axles.
The angle and width of trucks also come into play with most falling in the 35°-52° range. A 45° truck is the center point, providing an equal ratio of lean to turn while also providing the most overall turn. A higher degree truck initiates a turn faster with less lean, but reduces the overall turn of the system. This is useful for riders seeking to maximize traction. A lower angle truck initiates a turn slower with more lean, and this results in less overall turn. These trucks are useful for making sliding easier, and also for many beginners who are struggling with speed wobble. The most common widths used are 150-200mm, with 175mm and 180mm being the most common. Generally a narrower truck increases traction but is less forgiving. However this is directly related to the width of the board as the truck and the board work together to form a level against the bushing.
Ian Kung, who used to work in a design team for BMW, is in charge of graphics. He creates the patterns and designs with the other designers who graduated the fashion schools such as New York and Antwerp. On top of that, D/HILL LAB started with welcoming Jun as a head designer, who worked for COMME des Garçons and had his own brand for more than 10 years. Ryoni Ben who produced stickers and a graphic artist, Marco Foltran who produces collaboration, have connection with D/HILL as well.
“MILES” collection is a free size lineup beyond the gender or the nationality, created by the team clued up in each area.
It is Tyler Oh’s wish and the root of the D/HILL project to bet his life on downhill skateboards, to show how much he loves it to the world and to make it recognized.
D/HILL is trying our best to provide every consumer in the world with high quality products and we’re also focused on not only creativity but also an artisan mind to make D/HILL a brand that can bring valuable changes in people’s lives. We will plan collaborations with new artists or brands, but we would love to make products that connect D/HILL’s view of the world and produce what customers will readily take. D/HILL is expanding its core confidence in order to extend the ability to provide high quality products.