As Skaters Who Want More, We Believe in Giving More
“You don’t skate the same as everyone else. So why do other truck companies treat you as if “one size fits all?” As one of today’s skaters, you have that “quiver mentality”. We believe that you deserve more, not less. More hanger widths. More baseplate angles. More mounting holes and wheelbase lengths. More bushing heights to fine tune your lean. We pack more options into our line of trucks than anyone on the planet because we skate too. When you want a little less responsive hanger, flip our raked hangers over or try our new rakeless hangers. Feel the rebound of the Abec 11 bushings in their exclusive Reflex Formula urethane. Try new setups. Experience the peace of mind in knowing that everything fits. Feel free to mix and match. When you’re out there skating your ass off, don’t settle for less. Demand more. We think you deserve it. Grab some of our trucks, stick ‘em on your board, and find out what we mean when we say, Power to the Skater!” ~Chris Chaput
A great way to get in tune with The Liquid Truck Company is to check out this interview below of Chris Chaput by Michael Brooke from Concrete Wave Magazine.
By Michael Brooke
Chris Chaput is a rare breed. It’s not often that someone so talented on the board is also so gifted in designing each and every aspect of the board itself. On the board he has been the World Freestyle Champion in 1976, the IGSA World Cup Downhill Champion in 2001, and both the World Longboard Champion and Best All Around Skateboarder in 2002. Off the board you know him as the founder of Abec 11 Wheels and a partner in Jet Skateboards. Self-described as a “computer geek and teacher trapped in a skater’s body”, he’s been one of the busiest guys in the industry and is preparing to launch The Liquid Truck Company’s impressive new line of products. We got a chance to pin him down to see what in the world is in store for remainder of 2014
How long have you been working on these trucks?
I’ve been working on building and improving trucks nearly as long as I have been on wheels. I’ve produced countless prototypes and small production runs but it’s so insanely expensive that I couldn’t share them with more than a handful of top skaters. It’s been a long, arduous, journey, but has definitely been time well spent. I’ve been competing and skating recreationally since the seventies but since 1999 it’s been racing that’s driven me to build a better mousetrap. Don’t get me wrong, freeriders and cruisers also benefit greatly from having a well-designed truck, but racers want to win and need the highest performing gear out there.
So what exactly was your “aha” moment in the development of the trucks?
I’ve been skating on loose trucks and throwing around longboards for so long, I used to think that “slop is your friend”. It’s fun and feels more like surfing. But slalom racing changed all that. Conventional wisdom tells you that wheels are important for traction and control, but when I was riding some precision slalom trucks, the light bulb went on. I discovered what a huge effect your trucks can have on traction. As it turns out, slop is not your friend. Race trucks need to steer on a precise axis of rotation and to have a great range of motion to keep your wheels in contact with the ground. It’s easy to get a board to drift and slide, but I don’t cater to one-trick ponies. The team and I love so many different types of skating that we want boards that we can setup to either stick like glue or to drift like mad. Enter the Liquid Truck Company.
What makes these trucks so special and who are they aimed at?
What makes these trucks so special is the mindset behind our entire line. Most truck companies look at what sells, copy it, and then produce one or two sizes in a bunch of different color ways. That’s fashion. We don’t care as much about making money as we do about making trucks. We are skaters who skate. We want what we want. If we want some steep or shallow baseplate angles, we don’t want to be handed some middle-of-the-road baseplate and some freaking wedge pads. We don’t think that skaters should have to modify what’s available. Instead we give the skaters what they want. We give them hanger widths from 100mm to 200mm, baseplate angles from 5° to 60°, and the level of precision they want (Attack, Liquid,or Fyre). Our cast hangers and base plates are fully compatible with our machined hangers and base plates. Our ultra-precision Fyre Trucks use the same exact hangers as our Liquid Trucks – only the base plates are different. We have raked hangers as well as rake-less hangers. Our trucks ship stock with Abec 11 urethane bushings. All of our base plates allow for both .750” (tall) bushings as well as .600” (short) bushings and ThikCups. This way you can dial in your setup for Extra Lean and traction or for Standard Lean and drift. We’re aiming for skaters with that “quiver” mentality – skaters who are tired of settling for less. Our wheel program proves that we don’t believe in “one size fits all”, and the same is true with our trucks.
What do you feel is the future of these types of high-end CNC machined trucks and what do you see as the state of long- boarding in 2014?
I think that the future for our high-end CNC trucks is very bright, but that the future for many others is pretty bleak. Does that sound like a dick thing to say? Allow me to explain. The market for machined trucks is relatively small and it simply can’t support another new CNC truck company every week. Skaters tend to reject the “me too” guy with a machine shop who looks to profit off of the success of others. If I never make a dollar producing CNC trucks, I’m still a happy man, but that’s only because of how I see the role of machined parts.
I see CNC as a way to produce fantastic niche products in limited quantities. The trick is to do it without breaking the bank. It’s cost prohibitive to produce a ton of molds for a truly comprehensive line of cast hangers and base plates. Our Attack Series of cast longboard trucks is by far the most ambitious with its 6 unique hangers and 7 unique base plates. By having our own in-house CNC machines and CAD/CAM software, we’re able to release an array of 21 different hangers using 5mm width increments and 12 machined base plates using 5° angle increments. Whatever you can’t get in the cast series you can get in the fully compatible machined series.
You’ve spent a lot of time and money on this. What makes it worthwhile?
Yes, it’s a heavy investment, but longboarders are stoked. It’s taken a lot to get where we are today but skating has been a blessing to me for forty years now and it’s time to give back. The single most satisfying thing for me is watching a new generation of skaters progressing and taking it to a whole new level. I have a shared vision with an awesome crew and a bad- ass team and collectively we say, “Power to the Skater!”