Freebords = Snowboards On Wheels!
Freebords and skateboards are both basically long pieces of plywood with wheels bolted to the bottom, right? So what’s the big difference? Freebords are built to move across the pavement the way a snowboard glides across the powder. That means you can slide, glide, spin, and revert anytime and anywhere without waiting for an Ollie or a jump to take your wheels off the ground.
How is that possible? Skateboards only have four wheels. They roll forward and backward and that’s it. Sure the trucks tilt so you can turn but you’re severely limited as to what you can actually do.
Freebords have six wheels. The four main wheels work just like a skateboard’s. They’re mounted on trucks and rolled forward, backward and tilt to turn. However, the hanger arms on a Freebord’s trucks are so long that the wheels actually extend past the edge of the Freebord. That gives the ride a lot more control and allows them to cut or carve to the extreme, just like when a snowboard’s steel edge knifes into the snowpack.
But it’s the two center wheels that make a Freebord really special. They’re mounted on casters so they spin 360 degrees. Also, they’re set lower than the four main wheels which creates a rocker effect. The lower you mount those caster wheels (they’re all adjustable) the more rocker effect you get and the more freedom and control you have over your Freebord.
By rocking backward or forward and balancing the majority of your body weight over those center caster wheels, you can actually lift the four main wheels right off the ground and spin and glide right across the pavement as if it were white stuff. When sliding you only use the main wheels for balance and to control your speed.
Freebording Is All About “The Glide”
This action not only gives Freebord riders more opportunity for tricks and gnarly fits of “self expression,” it also makes Freebording a little harder to learn. Tip too much weight over those center wheels and you’ll slide out. Put too much on the main wheels and you’ll either come to a stop or “catch an edge” and bite it—not something you want to do on asphalt!
Another huge difference between skateboards and Freebords are the bindings. The original model Freebords just used kick lips and grip tape to keep a rider’s feet in place. Modern Freebords use S2 bindings. These bindings act just like those on a snowboard, keeping the rider’s feet on the board and giving them insane amounts of control over where the board goes. The cool thing is that they don’t lock your feet–you can push or ditch quickly—and they’re adjustable so you can duck your stance as much (or as little) as you want.
Don’t Have a Freebord? Get One!
So if you’re a skateboarder looking to learn something a little bit gnarlier or a snowboarder looking to take your talent off the slopes and onto the street, Freebording might just be for you. Hit up the shop at BlackDiamondSports.com to get all you’re gear. They’ve got every size and model of Freebord available (even some near-indestructible bamboo Freebords), custom wheel and truck kits, and replacement parts. They’ve also got essential protective gear to protect your bean if you bite it—and you will. Hit up Black Diamond Sports today and get in the game tomorrow!