Simple Magic’s official product review reviews

A special appreciation.

Simple Magic’s official product review reviews

What is skateboarding if not an assortment of commercial products animated into a global network of cultures and friendships by shared creativity, passion, and desire to belong? The individual parts of a skateboard are empty vessels but become keystones, portals, and historical documents; that meaning prescribed by person and circumstance. The throughline between these items isn’t just that they’re magic talismans subject to sales tax, but magic talismans that gain power through our opinions.

Whether it’s shit-talking a board brand’s woodshop we know nothing about, paying blind allegiance to a griptape company, or a preference for a pair of shoes with maximum “board feel,” what brings these products to life as much as our use of them, is how we feel about them. Personal or public reviews can drive revenue which creates more products. There’s an entire micro-industry of YouTubers who review skateboarding gear for thousands (and sometimes millions) of “views.”

However, we don’t often examine these sentiments themselves. We mostly see them as a utility: should I buy this? Yes or No. But diving deep enough into that swirling sea of opinions could reveal something about our shared culture born of consumerism. That’s why I thought it would be an interesting exercise to review skateboarding product reviews, to scratch away at the surface of what we say about these artifacts in the hope of finding more.

To do this, I won’t be focusing on reviews made by professional content creators. Instead, I scoured the internet for perspectives unsullied by monetization or attempts at algorithmic divination, tapping the vein that runs through the hearts and minds of  everyday skateboarders: the online review section.

Reviews have been edited for length and clarity.

McCoy Transcend VX Deck Santa Cruz Skateboard Deck


Complete PERFECTION. I love that I finally never have to worry about which direction my board is facing!! Plus the concave isn’t too steep and isn’t too mellow. The wheelbase is perfect for the length of the deck. It’s stronger than ANY BOARD available—yet still has enough give to feel like a real skateboard.

The graphics really suck—if I’m being honest. But I just make it my own. Overall, I LOVE THIS DECK. This is my fourth or fifth one.

Simple Magic’s official product review review:
This is how you execute the “shit sandwich” feedback technique. An absolutely fawning appraisal of the board’s symmetrical shape and wheelbase serves as a hardy top layer of positivity before reaching the doo-doo portion of the review. “The graphics really suck… But I just make it my own.” Amazing. But if that taste of excrement were still too overpowering, keep going. The saccharine flavour of “I LOVE THIS DECK. This is my fourth or fifth one.” is just waiting for your to sink your teeth into it on the other side.

Darkstar Lutzka Celtic Foil R7 Skateboard Deck

Kenneth R.

What can you say it's a Dwindle distribution board? So you know what you're getting every single time—a high-quality beautiful product. This board doesn't disappoint. It's probably the most beautiful skateboard I've ever owned and I probably am going to buy another to skate because I'm mounting this as wall art.

Simple Magic’s official product review review:
The line between earnestness and trolling can be hard to parse at times. Kenneth may very well mean what he’s saying here, but this is also the type of sarcastic shitpost you’d expect someone to write about a Greg Lutzka Darkstar board. The gushing is so over the top that it leads me to believe this couldn’t even be a Dwindle employee pumping the tires on their own product—you can’t have your bots feel like parody or no one will bite on their message.

This review has also made me grapple with the idea that my view of skateboarding might be too narrow, concerned with only what is “cool,” leaving me unwilling to accept that there could be living, breathing Lutzka and Darkstar fans out there. A fandom so dedicated it might manifest into home decor. If this is real, Kenneth, I’m happy for you and appreciate your comment. You’ve helped me open my heart just a little wider. As a gift in return, if you’re looking to add to your collection, I found this rare Guy Kampfen number on eBay.

Enjoi Whitey Panda Complete Skateboard


trucks arrive very loose and 2/4 wheels were over-tightened. nothing a socket wrench can't fix
truck width matches the board
as an intermediate I can say this is adequate for beginners

Simple Magic’s official product review review:
Once I read Mathieu’s review as if it were a Louise Glück poem, it came into focus in one beautiful, haunting flourish.

Alien Workshop - Complete Skateboards

Parker K.

On a scale of 1-10… 11. Love it. Brings me back to 1995 when I had one of these. I was 11 years old and tried a nollie for the first time. Board slipped out from under me and went right into the middle of the street where a car ran over it and broke it in half. Dude kept driving and didn't stop. I was so upset but thankfully I had cool parents that taught me to get over it and work hard for another one. Anyways, random trip down memory lane. The board is sick and can't wait to nollie it again. I'll land it this time!

Simple Magic’s official product review review:
Not only is this a charming product review that ties a childhood memory to the present day, but it’s also the origin story of Parker’s grindset. While mourning the hit-and-run of his Alien Workshop skateboard, his parents instilled in him the defining character trait of our day: hustle. Now, almost twenty years later, Parker finds himself at the precipice once again. And if his commitment to the grind is as advertised, he’ll be nollieing in no time.

Stage 11 Polished Standard Skateboard Trucks Independent

John M.

They came in as Beautiful [as] I imagine. I wanted to skate these for a while and…. I got a new board [of] a new size so I needed new trucks for my Baker board and that was the move for it. The kingpins look gorgeous and these ride [as] smoothly [as they] grind [in] skateboarding sponsored films.

Simple Magic’s official product review review:
I’d guess that English is not John M.’s first language, so there’s a chance something might be getting lost in translation here, but much like Kenneth R. above, John is utterly smitten with the beauty of their new purchase. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard anyone refer to kingpins as “gorgeous” before. That comment actually made me zoom in on the kingpin in the product photo, and you know what? Pretty fuckin’ hot.

Stage 11 Hollow Delfino Silver Red Standard Skateboard Trucks Independent

Timothy L.

Pedro Delfino is my favorite skateboarder so of course i had to buy his trucks. i paired one of his trucks with the Slayer trucks and combined them on my Red and black antihero board. these trucks are 10/10 i definitely recommend.

Simple Magic’s official product review review:
Timothy’s setup sounds like pure chaos, which makes sense if Pedro Delfino is your favourite skateboarder. But if you look beyond the aesthetic madness on its face, there is a method to it. One red truck and one black truck on a red and black Antihero board—see? There’s chaos, but it’s controlled, much like Delfino himself.

Stage 11 Forged Hollow Slayer Black Standard Skateboard Trucks Independent

Robert T.

Slayer 🔥🔥🔥:sign_horns::sign_horns::sign_horns:

Simple Magic’s official product review review:
You know what, the devil horn emojis not translating feels a lot more metal than if they had.

Tensor Alloys Skateboard Trucks (Pair)


Got em at a discount, missing a nut, but they’re great. I needed hardware anyway [and] the hardware I got came with wheel nuts. Been using them for a few weeks now and the only problem I had was that the trucks were clicking. I fixed it by putting some tape under the bushings and washer. Learning to 5050 stall on round coping has been pretty smooth

Simple Magic’s official product review review:
LJ, I’m sure the discount was a big point of attraction for you, but don’t let it cloud your judgment. Considering everything you’ve described above, from missing nuts to being forced to tape your new trucks quiet, I take no pleasure in saying this, but it seems like you got ripped off.

Powell Peralta Dragon Formula 93A Green Dragon Skateboard Wheels

Justin C.

Omg…. I’m only going back to other wheels so I can appreciate these gems. These wheels are game-changing.

Simple Magic’s official product review review:
Let’s take a step back here, Justin. Are you saying you want to pull a reverse LJ and rip yourself off on purpose? Because if I understand this correctly, to remind yourself of how much you like the Powell Peralta Dragon Formula wheels, you’re going to spend more money on other wheels that you don’t like just so you can become frustrated at their inadequacy, in turn reestablishing what already you knew going in; that the Powell Peralta Dragon Formula wheels are your favourite? There’s got to be a more cost-effective approach.

BRONSON SPEED CO. G2 Skateboard Bearings - Set of 8


They’re aight

Simple Magic’s official product review review:
It should be noted that the “headline” for YungNhung’s review on Amazon is “Skate for Jesus homies.” It feels a bit strange that YungNhung would shoehorn a bit of Christian propaganda in here, but it’s not surprising. Have you ever watched televised sports? Jesus is often the first to be thanked after a mixed martial artist knocks their fellow Child of God stiff. So having that energy carried over into a review of skateboard bearings isn’t a stretch. What’s more confounding is that YungNhung calls the bearings just “aight” while giving them a full five stars. What’s your methodology here, YungNhung? “Aight” doesn’t really inspire confidence. Is there something more to the story here YungNhung? YungNhung?

Shake Junt 7/8 Phillips Hardware


Helps you skate better than everyone else

Simple Magic’s official product review review:
Ah, a harkening back to the marketing techniques of old, when we were explicitly told that a largely replaceable product wouldn’t just help us perform better, but perform better than everyone else. I haven’t used Shake Junt hardware, so I can’t knock Jessica’s claim, but I would like to ask a few questions if I could: How? What? Chicken bone, nowison?

Mob Skateboard Grip Tape

Jacob H.

It’s grip tape I don’t know what to tell you

Simple Magic’s official product review review:
This is exactly what a review of grip tape should be. But, unfortunately, in this instance, it is exactly wrong. There is always something “to tell you” about Mob, and that’s that you should’ve got Jessup.

Nike SB Chron 2 Canvas


Dope looking canvas sneakers like Vans.

Simple Magic’s official product review review:
I’m unsure what to make of R.I.’s uniquely conflicting review. They say that the shoe is “dope looking” but still dock it two stars without further context as to why. Is the Chron 2 only worthy of three stars because it looks like a Vans sneaker? Is this a subtle dig at Vans? A scattershot takedown of both? Questions remain.

Vans Skate Old Skool Shoe x Frog Skateboards


SKATING LIKE A FROG! Luv them frogs.

Simple Magic’s official product review review:
This review was actually under the latest Breana Geering Old Skool colourway, but from what I could tell from reading down the page on Vans’ website, the reviews of every special Old Skool colourway that Vans puts out are collected in the same place without differentiation, which is confusing for the consumer looking to get feedback about specific products. This left me to assume that the above review is actually about the Vans x Frog Skateboards Old Skool. If that’s the case, it’s a fun and flawless evaluation—ribbit! If not, it’s a complete non sequitur and I’m publishing inaccurate information.

I didn’t want this review review to become a review of Vans’ review widget, but it’s important to hold powerful entities to account.

eS Men’s Accel OG Skate Shoe, Brown/Gum, 11 Medium US


Love them more than a human being I live with

Simple Magic’s official product review review:
Given that diablogato’s review is over seven years old, I imagine that human being no longer lives with them.

Sparked husband photo via Retrospectoscope.

Tail Devil Skateboard Spark Plate


Got this for my husband for Christmas, he loves it. Gives all the neighbors something to look at.

Simple Magic’s official product review review:
What really makes Retrospectoscope’s review sing is the accompanying photo. It’s rare that someone will feel inspired enough to leave a positive review for a novelty product on the website of a brutal and unfeeling corporate behemoth like Amazon, but to back it up with a delightful image that accurately and lovingly illustrates their terse and to-the-point assessment—beautiful. A shock of colour in an infinite gray horizon. The absolute zenith of the medium.