That's right, finally something to ride these boards with! After 8 years of making some of the best performance longboards in the World, Rayne's Biggie Boss, Graham Buksa, thought it would be fun to try and make some winning wheels. Who doesn't like to shred a lot of new wheels? Right?
What do boards have to do with wheels?
Well.. everything. They complete each other. But in different ways. Bamboo and Urethane have very little in common, but the art and science behind making them awesome is similar. If you're Graham, you've spent the better part of a decade breaking convention making amazing skateboards and skating a lot of amazing roads. All those years and all those miles teaches you a lot about what works and what doesn't - the wrong choices can be the difference between winning and loosing a race, or maybe whether you hold out or high-side that slide.
So Rayne manufactures wheels?
No, Rayne manufactures skateboards in our own factory, but we've only started designing wheels. Despite what you may or may not think, for all the many wheel brands there are only a small handful of factories that pour wheels (the best are in America, F*ck yeah!)
Truth is, Rayne is not "manufacturing" your wheels right now. For wheels, our job is to prototype wheels and have the ones we like most manufactured for us all at one of the worlds leading Urethane wheel factories. It's might even be the same factory as some of your other favorite wheel companies (sssshhhhh!). Well, it's not really a big secret, but if you don't know, now you know!
How is Rayne prototyping?
Starting in 2010 with some basic principles of wheel, a few Urethane formulas we liked and the Scientific Method, Rayne set out to secretly work with the local Vancouver community and some of the Rayne Team Riders to identify and select their favorite Urethane, Core, Durometer, Diameter, Core Placement and Lip Profile. We skated hundreds of wheels!!
With that, we decided on a Urethane formula and shape: 70mm, 80a, Side Set 6-Star Core with a stone ground contact patch. We really like it and so did a very strong majority of the community and Rayne Team Riders who tested it. It's a durable, smooth, easy to break free and easy to control performance freeride wheel. We think they're the most fun when they're going sideways!
So what about the other wheels?
Stoked on the freeride formula and wheel. We knew we wanted a set of Square Lipped wheels to fit the other basic wheels we use most: 66mm, 70mm, 75mm. These wheel were intentionally left with a shiny, factory finish for the most grip and control in a performance downhill wheel. We wanted fast roll speeds in straights and a balance of grip and control for cornering and drifting. Like most downhill wheels, after a few runs the edges of the lips get worn and dull, the factory coat wears off and Urethane starts heating up and wearing down so the grip gets more and more drifty. When the wheels get drifty the 66mm are a ton of fun to slash and slide and the 70mm are sick on fast standup runs.
So what's next?
Try the wheels!
What's next, with the release of the first line up, we are ready to prototype some new shapes and improve the next release. That means a lot of skateboarding! This time, we also want to open the prototyping up to more people, not just Vancouver and the Rayne Team. That means you - the Global Rayne community needs to help. We'll be releasing prototype packages to interested riders to test and give your feedback.
To make the art and science work, we need to use both art and science. There are a lot of different roads and lots of different riders and that makes for lots of different experiences. Just keeping it to Vancouver or our guys won't give us the best results and we demand the best.
For now, you can get the Rayne Wheel Line Up here at Rayne.com or at your favorite Rayne Retailer and give us feedback by phone, email, post, in person at an event, or on one of our profiles. We want to know what you think!
Make sure you like, follow, and keep in touch and we'll let you know when the first prototype packs are ready to go out!