Chuck Taylor – the ultimate skate shoe

For lots of people, its all about Vans, Etnies, Fallen, or whatever, but for me the ultimate skate shoe is the good ol’ Converse Chuck Taylor. Everything else feels like a clunky boot, and there is nothing like a pair of slightly worn chucks for feeling the board under your feet. Since I ride with a regular stance, and footbraking is my go-to method for slowing down, I naturally wear out the right shoe 10x faster, and I ended up collecting left shoes (seen above) as a fun reminder of how much I have been riding lately (and I just couldn’t bring myself to get rid of that custom red/yellow monogrammed one, maybe that’s how this started?). One time I wrote an email to Converse, asking them if they could sell me 10 right shoes … I don’t think they were very amused, LOL.

Tuning the Mermaid

To combat the inexorable accretion of body fat that necessarily follows the formula of {covid + couch + beer} I decided to dust off the LDP board and get some exericise. Time for some config!

First the basics of the build

Deck: Roe Mermaid LDP
Trucks: Custom. Bennett in front, wedged 22 degrees, with custom Cindrich baseplate. Venom bushings (Olive Green SHR tall barrel on bottom, Yellow cone on top) ultra loose; Tracker RTS rear truck, for stability and grip, outfitted with Orangatang knuckles and a Khiro cone on top.
Wheels: Orangatang In Heat (75mm, 80a duro)

Mermaid, pictured with Seismic Blast Waves, replaced in this reconfig.

All credit for this build goes to Paved Wave. Shoulders of Giants.

This deck is made for pumping, and it’s pretty fun. On day two of my new health kick, I ran into my old enemy, wheel bite, despite all the risers. So, I figured I could drop 3mm from the wheel diameter by switching the Seismics out for the buttery yet snappy goodness of O’tang. And they are a little softer, so I figured I might get some extra grip off the back truck.

In Heats, with Bones Swiss bearings

Yeah, so that all worked. Sweet ride, and the O’tangs are definitely an upgrade … but I still got some wheelbite (!) oddly in the exact same spot on my ride, while riding goofyfoot. Maybe I’m putting too much weight on the front foot in that stance? Not sure, so I’m tightening the kingpin nut a full turn (it was crazy-loose, to be fair) and I might swap in slightly firmer bushings.

Bushing detail

Mermaid front truck detail. Bennet + Cindrich + Venom

LDP front truck works best when it’s as loose and turny as possible. That why I have a cone, and SHR all up in there. But since I am experiencing wheelbite, despite the smaller wheels.

Time to dig into the old Bushing Library for some options. My gut says to swap out the bottom barrel for something firmer than the (very soft) Olive SHR Venom.

To be continued …