Posted by:on June 2nd, 2014
Ah, the Long Rider! I first became aware of the Long Rider back in 2005, but only saw a couple small pictures. In 2009 I uncovered an ad for a Long Rider in the Montgomery Ward catalog from 1984. Since that time, I bought one from a reader named Dan Kite who saw it on the site and offered his up for a very reasonable price. I marveled over it, and then I tried riding it a few times but the bearings were sort of shot. Long Riders are sized for (ahem) much smaller riders, so it sat in my basement for a couple years. Recently I picked up one on eBay that Matthijs tipped me off to. It came in the original packaging and it was essentially brand new. Bonus! It was in a different color from the one I already had. So I jumped on it. We had a philosophical discussion about the purchase the other night before we went to the Briefs show. Both my wife and Grover were puzzled by why I spend any money on these things. The answer? I buy them because they are magical and weird!
Here’s the thing with the Long Rider, it’s obviously a gimmicky piece of junk, but you have to imagine that it could have taken off like gangbusters. It’s very strange that they were still using open bearings in 1983, even on a toy board. They’ve got some sort of enlarged shield over the top, so it’s maybe a slight improvement over the 70’s era loose bearings, or at least it would be if the components were any good. These things were manufactured in Taiwan for a company in a suburb of Chicago. There’s a Marchon Inc still doing business now, but their product line consists of eyeglasses and sunglasses, and they are based in New York. Long Rider’s experienced a certain amount of popularity in Australia, however. When the do turn up on Ebay, there’s a 50/50 chance it’ll be in Australia. There was allegedly a Long Rider TV commercial that aired in Australia, but I can’t find it online.
Here’s two views of the Long Rider in the packaging.
Here are two different colors of Long Riders. Besides the red and black, I’ve also seen them in blue.
Both boards are actually the same size.
Details from the front of the packaging. This air on a Long Rider? Never going to happen.
The Long Rider is obviously made for kids, and for an adult, it’s next to impossible to ride. I can barely fit one of my size 13 Vans on the riding platform. The handle is pretty short too, the Long Rider should have been a little, well… longer. Even the kids in the promo photos have to hunch over.
Check out the pre-photoshop effects! Now that’s old school.
I’m not sure if the holes in the backside of the wheel were to preserve weight for shipping or if they were there for some illusion of high performance.
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