Posted by:on August 22nd, 2005
Here’s a product with a name that says exactly what it does. My guess its that the Original Twister was named with an eye for available web site domains rather than the need to differentiate itself from competitors. As far as I know, there are no other contraptions available for straightening out warped boards.
The Twister, Ok, Original Twister is a kind of vise or clamp system that when combined with steam or high humidity, can be used to straighten out a warped skateboard. Basically, you clamp your board in and use the devices to twist a warped deck back into a normal shape and hold it that way while you allow the moisture (like from a steamy bathroom) to penetrate it for a short period of time. After keeping it clamped in for a week or so, you unclamp it and check it. If everything is good, clamp it back in and put it under a heat lamp (or warm light) in a dry room for a day. Presto. You’ve got an unwarped deck. Sometimes there will be a little spring back, meaning the board can come out of the clam straight but gradually go back a little bit to the previous warp, although not nearly as bad. If this happens you just repeat the clamp and steam process again. Don’t try to speed up the process as the results will be incomplete or even temporary. You’ll be happier in the long run if you give it the extra time.
Does this sound wacky? Well it isn’t. Ever have a board with pressure cracks where it looks like it might have been left out in the rain even if it hasn’t been? Basically, that is caused when the shape of the deck is cut out before the uncut blank is completely cured. Moisture present in the natural wood is what helps it bend to the shape of the concave mold in the first place. Sometimes a manufacturer will cut out a shape before the wood has cured properly. Sometimes it’s an accident, and sometimes the manufacturer can’t keep up with the demand for the product, so they take a calculated risk the rider will wear out the deck before noticing, or that the moisture content will be remain stable. When the board dries out it becomes stiff. When a deck is cut and sealed before curing, the moisture can sometimes try to escape if the ambient surroundings are drier then manufacturing conditions. Changes in altitude and temperature (from sitting in a hot delivery truck) can aggravate the problem. Wood is a natural organic fiber, and as such is can not be made to conform to our desires 100% of the tie. Sometimes a board will come out warped despite the best efforts of the manufacturer.
So does the Original Twister work? The short answer is yes. I tried mine on a moderate to very warped deck that was clearly visible as being warped. The instructions are kind of vague, about as detailed as what I wrote, so I was a bit unsure when I started. It isn’t rocket science, so juts go for it. The designer of the device is readily available via email and phone (!) to answer your questions. I was able to obtain decent results in one try. The subject was just a garden variety board. I would imagine that too many repetitions of the process would weaken the deck, but I’m not one of those freaks obsessed with analyzing the “pop” of a deck to maximize my ollie performance. The deck did not seem mushy at all. In any case, it was now rideable, where it was not before.
The real question of the Original Twister is who is this marketed to, and is it worth it? At $69.95 plus $15.00 for Shipping and handling, the price is $84.95, making it more expensive than just buying a new deck. The device is simple and well constructed. You could easily make something similar yourself, but it would likely be a time consuming project. If you have a slew of warped decks, you need to change companies. In fact, I can’t imagine any skateshop or manufacturer not exchanging a warped deck. The instructions packed with the Original Twister show a Jason Lee Burger King deck as the example, so it is aimed at collectors. Maybe you live in a flood plain and have had water damage to your collection.
The bottom line is that the Original twister does work as advertised, and technical support for the device is excellent. If you can justify the cost and have the need, you will likely be satisfied. Apparently there are a lot of happy customers and a bit of a backlog for demand.
Price: $69.95 USD
Shipping & Handling: $15.00 USD
Total Amount: $84.95 USD
The Original Twister
740 N. Boyd
Wichita, KS. 67212
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