SKOA M.SPECS – CONTROL UNDER PRESSURE
It’s not often I’m asked to write about skating. Usually, I’m selling shooters to barely legal teens or leather jackets to aspiring bikers. But it’s 8pm and luckily I’m no longer at work.
I remember the first time I saw M.Specs. Their dark copper look had caught my attention and the narrow I-beam hangers were sending a message I could only interpret as – Business Only. All right, I’m listening.
100ks an hour top to bottom they said. I was riding M.Specs for the first time. In my head, it boiled down to one simple truth. If I made it in one piece, the trucks were probably OK. GoPro on? Let’s bomb. I had just woken up.
The next 10 minutes were surprisingly humdrum. Smooth. Solid. Uncompromising. The front truck produced the turn and the back followed without a fuss. Thank 1.5mm positive rake front, 1.5mm negative rear, and Skoa’s oversized pivot cups for the flawless delivery. The setup felt good, so I put the 26 baseplate aside for special occasions and switched to the more responsive 42.
I was now skating in the wet, and once again, the trucks let me worry about my lines only. The 160mm hangers gave plenty of grip, which meant that keeping the wheels planted on corner entry became routine. But wet riding is a bit too delicate to fully understand a truck. A final test would have to happen on a dry racetrack.
Narrower hangers give more grip. Don’t argue. It’s physics. And although the M.Specs come in three axle widths, I felt that the widest option (160mm) was all the grip I needed. In fact, I was terrified by it on my first runs. I wanted to slide and the trucks wanted to stick. So I held on to my shriveling balls and went faster, much faster. It’s as if the trucks were daring me to do just that. To find my limit, see how far I could push. A couple runs later, I was cranking into dippers with the level of comfort I’d only experienced in my bed after a 12-hour flight. The biggest surprise then came with high-speed drifting. Load your wheels, let your puck touch the road, and before you realize it, you’ve just busted the smoothest slide ever. Be careful though, as they do have a deep hookup if your composure isn’t right. But when you’re focused, the reward and consistency is unparalleled. Fresh wheels or scrubs.
Verdict: If you want to bomb puck down, buy M.Specs today. They’ll get the best out of your riding. But if you want to keep your paws clean, you’ll have more fun on Vapors.
– Tom Courly