We sent a Firewater over to the Longboard Critic (www.thelongboardcritic.wordpress.com) for one of their famous, or infamous, no bullshit board reviews. Check out what they had to say about this unique hybrid board.
And click here to get one for yourself!
Moonshine is an interesting company. Born in a wakeboard factory that’s now called the Distillery, designing longboards was a labor of love for many of the crossover athletes who are employed there. Building wakeboards all day and working late nights developing skateboards was the only way anything was going to go into production. They were literally moonlighting (which makes you wonder if someone confused Moonlight with Moonshine or of its a clever association). Not that it was a rag tag team of rebels against their evil boss or anything. My retail job doesn’t even like me socializing with other employees once I’m off the clock…these guys were allowed to use expensive machinery for what was, as the time, a pet project. That’s quite the risk, but it obviously paid off because Moonshine MFG is now it’s own brand, and such a badass one that the entire factory was renamed to fit it’s “alcoholic old-western” style theme. Speaking of which, let’s break out the Firewater and get this hoedown started!
Holy crap guys, I’d get this board just to use as a skateboard. The very first thing I noticed was how light it was. Plus, the carbon stinger thing must work because this boards pop is no joke. It’s not just a popsicle shaped longboard either, my skateboard riders said they felt most comfortable on this board out of everything I’ve had them try so far. Ollies leave small white marks where the tail hits the ground at first. I thought it was the urethane rail coming off…which at first seemed awesome because: c’mon, even your ollies thane!? Though I quickly realized that it was actually the carbon layer getting rubbed off, which isn’t nearly as cool…but at least it wasn’t razor tailing in the first sesh. As we started to get into grind-testing territory we realized that the carbon came off pretty easy during boardslides as well. This gave them a uniquely smooth, chalky feel that longboarders will recognize as being a really nice slide characteristic. I loved it immediately, and once used to it, everyone else did too. Though I’d warn anyone hoping to maintain the watertight aspects of the deck that you’ll quickly loose that feature after too many boardslides. Also, I may be the only person who still cares, but primo slides seem smoother and don’t fuck up your deck as much thanks to the thick urethane rail.
I found out what board I’d be reviewing long before I got to start testing…so I did quite a bit of research in anticipation. In all honesty, the concave seemed like somewhat of a disappointment on paper. Though I shouldn’t have jumped the gun, because it’s actually quite perfect. I’m not saying it’s a crazy foot hugging cave or anything…but it cradles you pretty nicely while maintaining a general skateboard feel. Techy freeriding is ridiculously fun on this board. At 18-19″ WB I would suggest TKPs, which require a riser on this deck since the wells aren’t huge (and even small freeride wheels are generally 60mm and up). The coolest thing I discovered though was that, not only are the wheel wells relatively long, but a redrill doesn’t compromise any of the boards cool features. See those black bars around the mounting holes? Yea…those aren’t just decoration, that’s urethane. Redrill anywhere in the black and the board stays waterproof and you don’t lose any road dampening. Wheelbases up to 21″ are possible this way. It’ll shorten your kicks some, but with RKPs they’ll still be super functional and freeriding will be that much easier and more stable.
Oh crap…did I really just make “cruising” a category? I officially suck. In all seriousness though, I love this board for commuting…but it doesn’t really fit any of the criteria for a good LDP setup. So I guess I’m going to have to call it cruising. If you’re not exactly going cross country or anything but want a fun way to get to work or school, this board is it. It’s not dropped or anything so pushing a lot will still be like doing squats, but hey…you’re a skater, I’m sure you’re used to that. Plus, it’s crazy light so you aren’t going to get tired pushing places, or carrying it when you get there. It’s also a decent sized deck, and feels stable over various terrain. Plus, the shape is extremely functional so hopping up and down curbs (or over various other obstacles) is damn easy. The best part though? The fact that, hills or not, you can still have fun thrashing this deck. I look forward to riding my Firewater to work nearly every day simply because I know I’m going to have one hell of a lunch break.
Even at the shortest option 18″ is on the longer side of the tech slide wheelbase spectrum (though these things are typically preference). However, unlike freeride, with harder wheels riding stability doesn’t always equate to slide control. With less grip from the wheels, there isn’t much of anything pushing back against the inertia of the board…so smaller, lighter decks serve to even out that balance somewhat and give you more control over your movements when going sideways. A slightly larger board that happens to be as light as the smaller ones also maintain this balance well and make for a great option for those who like longer wheelbase techsliders. If you’re a dedicated hard wheel slider who’s used to smaller boards, you might not feel so comfortable…but for those who also freeride the leverage of a larger stance seems to help with rotations and will generally feel more stable. Another thing I’d like to bring up again is the wear patterns of the actual deck. While the carbon comes off pretty easy during tail-down blunt sides, the urethane rail actually holds up extremely well. Plus, it’s pretty thick so even as the tails razor away (which, even with the solid rails, will definitely happen with president blunts), you won’t be reaching the water-vulnerable wood very quickly.
BAM! done! Btw, I’m tired of writing conclusion paragraphs so I’ll just catch you kids next week…