Posted by:on June 1st, 2003
I first saw the Sector 9 name in 1996 while failing to surf for a couple of weeks in Puerto Rico. The graphics were heavy on a 60’s and 70’s surf vibe, which I couldn’t relate to, but the price was appealing. Having ridden a couple of longboards in 80’s (Madrid Mike Smith and Schmittstix Saw blade) I had a feeling I would one day return to brotherhood. Cut to the year 2000 and Sector 9 is bringing you what is possibly the largest production model longboard ever. ( Update: Actually, Jam Longboards now makes an 80″ model. The Nosewalker weighs in at 57″ ) I picked up one of these goliaths at the skate shop down at the mall. Well actually, I got it from one of those chain-type sports super stores (Copelands). I prefer to frequent the mom and pop type shops, but this board had been whispering to me every time I passed it by. A ramp local that worked there was quitting and therefore flowing his employee discount of 30% off during his last week of employent. That cinched it. At $139 complete, the Nosewalker was already a reasonable deal, and at less than $100 I couldn’t pass it up. Much to my wife’s dismay, that day I took it to the hills of suburban Seattle for a test run. What follows is the low down.
The specs on this beast are impressive. according to the Sector 9 web site, It’s either 56 or 57 inches long and 11 inches wide. Mine clocked in at 57″ by 11.5″”. The trucks are Pivot 146mm w/ flat risers. 9 Ball Wheels (61mm/78a) and Greaseball Bearings (ABEC 3) round out the setup. The graphics are of a plain and simple style reminiscent of a 60’s abstract style. The same style is echoed under the clear grip tape on the top deck. When I say deck, deck! This thing has got more surface area than a bowling alley. The deck itself is 13 ply and looks like it was carved out of chunk of 3/4 inch plywood. It’s completely without concave as it should be – flatter than your little sister. The shape is a classsic retro surfboard/longboard bomber. It’s very pleasing to the eye.
How does it ride? It’s a boat for sure. But it’s no dinghy. Think of it as a luxury cruiser. Although the board is thick, it’s got a ton of flex since it’s essentially just a five foot long plank. Sector 9 claims the 13 ply constrruction can handle the heaviest of heavies. It turns surprisingly well, but you have to plan those turns in advance. This class of cruiser has a different feel than most longboards. The mechanics of turning involve more than simple wieght shifting and leaning. It’s often necessary to move to a differrent position on the board to get the most out of your turn (or avoid falling off) at higher speeds and/or a tighter turning radius.
Down side? The deck construction seems a little cheap. Perhaps that’s just because the thing is so out of scale that it creates the illusion of clumsy construction because it’s basially a big flat plank. Watch your nose on narrow streets if you have to jump off to avoid a car. Curbs can kill your board, where’s the nose bone? Just kidding. The wheels seem like they could be a little bit bigger. If you are going to use the Nosewalker on a hill (and you should) you’ll have watch your rear for fish tails during backside turns. On a cosmetic note, say goodbye to the graphics on the wheels after the first couple of turns – no big deal though. Pivot trucks? I can’t vouch for the quality but they seem ok for this type of use. Sector 9 offers Indies on some of there other boards, I’d much rather ride an Indy.
On the plus side, this board will make you a ruler! The Nosewalker is fun at any speed, and guaranteed to turn heads. Get ready to hear “Is that a skateboard?” for the rest of the board’s life. The energy required to overcome this board’s inertia (15 pound shipping wieght) gives you more than enough momentum to roll over most obstacles. I rolled over a very nobby manhole cover without a hitch. The Luke Nosewalker name is the icing on the cake.
Sector 9 sells the Luke Nosewalker online for $159 complete, but I’ve seen it for $139. There seems to be a couple of different graphic variations so don’t be surprised if it doesn’t look exactly like the ones featured here. Forget kickflips. Buy it. Ride it.
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