Here at Surfd, we’ve got a confession to make: we’re not exactly pro skaters. In fact, we’re lucky if we get our wheels rolling more than a couple of times a month. So, when we had the opportunity to test out Deviate Board Co’s latest offerings, we approached it with a sense of excitement mixed with trepidation. Could we do these boards justice?
To say that the Deviate boards exceeded our expectations would be an understatement. These boards are the kind of beautiful that make you think twice about scuffing them up on the pavement — they’re truly the Firewire Timbertek of the skateboarding world. However, it’s not just about the looks; it’s about the ride. Smooth, flexible, and with a clear nod to their surfing roots, these boards had us cruising like never before.
Two of the Surfd team, Geniya and Brad, decided to put these boards to the test. Geniya, with her love for longboard surfing, took on the L-Train model and found it more than up to the task. From cross-stepping to carving, hanging five and even ten, she felt like the board was helping her improve her surf style, even on dry land.
Brad, on the other hand, went for the Pretender model, hoping to bring some of the responsiveness of shortboarding to the pavement. The way the board flexed through turns, allowing tight carves and fluid movement, had him nearly giving up the surf for the street on smaller days.
One more reviewer we must mention is our daughter, 9-year-old Stasi. She’s a good little wave rider, and she took to the road with finesse. Her choice of ride is The Pretender, and within a couple of days she was pumping over speed bumps and carving little arcs on the sidewalk.
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About Deviate Board Co
Brooklyn, NY is home to some incredible things, and Deviate Board Co, the longboard company handcrafting boards to perfection, is one of them. Born from the undying passion of its founder James Petitto, a man whose childhood was spent turning found objects into inventions, Deviate Board Co is the realization of a dream. Swapping two decades of corporate finance for a workshop, James is now living his ‘Volume 2’ phase, crafting high-quality longboards that are as much a joy to behold as they are to ride.
An avid surfer from the wave-deprived beaches of Long Island’s south shore, James found a way to merge his love for surfing and woodworking into longboard creation, aiming to create a ride reminiscent of heirloom quality furniture. Today, as a family man, James channels his everyday experiences into his craft, carving balance and sustainability not just into his boards, but into his life. Whether he’s cruising around Brooklyn on his L-Train model or planting a tree for every board sold, James is committed to making an impact on his community, one longboard at a time.
Review of The Pretender
Review by Brad, shortboard surfer
The Pretender is anything but pretentious. It’s a compact and agile cruiser, perfect for those of us who prefer top turns over cross-steps. It’s light, quick, and a downright pleasure to ride. Whether you’re looking to whip around corners or carve turns at the local pump track, this could be the only board you need. They’re calling it the ‘quiver killer’, and I’m inclined to agree.
From the perspective of a surfer, this board is like riding my hybrid Firewire Twice Baked. You’ve got the volume you need to get through the flats but you can smash a couple of quick turns and floaters when the opportunity arises. Compared to riding a conventional skateboard, this is a dream.
Size-wise, it’s 29″ long, 9.5″ wide, and made from beautiful Sapele and Ash hardwood. The two-color deck makes it an object of beauty. It’s like the featherweight champ of the skateboarding world — small but sturdy, agile, and FAST.
Now, let’s talk hardware. This board sports Paris 165mm V3 trucks, ready to handle all the turns you throw at it. The wheels are a speedy breed of Deviate 65mm x 51mm 83A Hardness that practically hum when they roll. Throw in ABEC 9 608 RS bearings, and this board is built for both speed and grace.
The Clear Lucid Light Grip keeps your feet where they’re supposed to be without covering up the deck’s good looks. And at just 7.8 pounds, it’s a breeze to carry.
This is a great ride for everyone — adults, kids, teens. It’s the ultimate hybrid skate experience for carving, cruising, handling small hills, and perfect for the daily commute if your office dress code is chill.
All in all, if you’re in the market for a versatile cruiser, give The Pretender a try.
Review of the L-Train
Review: Geniya, Longboarder
So, I’ve had the pleasure of riding the L-Train, a classic longboard skateboard, inspired by traditional longboard surfboards and designed for nothing but pure, unadulterated cruising.
The L-Train’s got this wide, longboard-style nose and tapered rails through the tail that remind me of a well-fed dolphin — smooth and streamlined. The deck is as flat as a pancake and as big as a dance floor, perfect for those of us who love to test out tricks and show off.
Speaking of maneuverability, the L-Train doesn’t just pump and carve — it practically waltzes, all thanks to the reverse kingpin trucks and the natural flex of the Sapele and Ash hardwood body. It’s like dancing with a particularly nimble and surprisingly light (just 10 pounds) partner.
Now, onto the specs. This board is 47” long and 10.5” wide. It’s got Paris 180mm V3 trucks, Deviate 70mm x 51mm 83A Hardness wheels, and ABEC 9 608 RS bearings — it’s a bit like having a V8 engine on a skateboard. Add the Clear Lucid Light Grip, and you’ve got a ride that sticks to your feet like glue.
Who’s the L-Train good for, you ask? Well, if you’re into soulful free riding, cruising, carving, or covering long distances without breaking a sweat, you’re in luck. It’s also a star at boardwalking, nose riding, and pulling off those flashy tricks that make onlookers go ‘whoa!’.
If you’re an adult longboarder looking for a new ride, or a young ‘grom’ wanting to practice your longboard surfing maneuvers, hop on the L-Train. It’s a ride you won’t forget!
In a world where mass production often eclipses craftsmanship, Deviate Board Co stands apart. Their dedication to handcrafted quality, combined with a clear understanding of the rhythm and feel of surfing, shines through in every board they produce. With every smooth turn and fluid carve, you sense the soul of the board — the love, passion, and dedication that has gone into creating it.
Our experiences with the L-Train and Pretender models have made us — a group of casual skaters, remember — yearn for more time on four wheels. We found ourselves seeking pavement, craving the freedom and flexibility these boards offered, whether complementing our surfing styles or just offering a thrilling ride. And let’s not forget the aesthetics — these boards are nothing short of works of art.
To say we’re impressed would be an understatement. Deviate Board Co has managed to bring a touch of the surfing spirit to the streets with their magnificent boards, and we can’t wait to see where they take us next.
So, whether you’re a die-hard skater, a surfer looking to bring some of that joy to dry land, or a complete novice like us, trust us when we say: these boards are a ride worth taking.