Twin Tail
Real Skateboards/ Slap Magazine

TWIN TAIL MONARCH: REAL SKATEBOARDS REVIEW.

Earlier this year, Real Skateboards re-released their Twin Tail Monarch skateboards. For many who may not know, twin-tail skateboards are rare to find, and very few brands sell them. Other than Real, Element has also had a run of twin tails, and Deathwish’s own Neen Williams has a line of twin noses. The goal with twin tail skateboards is to increase the life of the skateboard because the user would be riding the board both ways. This twin tail, in particular, comes from professional Ishod Wair.

Ishod Wair has been known for his idiosyncrasies on the skateboard. This can be seen in his episode of the podcast The Nine Club. He is one of my favorite skaters because he can essentially do anything. While there are many skaters that are as versatile as himself, there aren’t many who could emulate his level of difficulty with ease. Since I knew he was one of the only skaters to ride twin tails, along with its scarcity, I knew I had to get one ASAP before they ran out. While my local skate shop was late on receiving the boards, I was able to buy one from the Skate Park of Tampa website.

WHAT I REVIEW AND TYPES OF SKATEBOARDING I DID

For this review, I will discuss shape, slide, durability, and anything else that may need to be specified. This is also my opinion, so my experiences are significantly different from others. To begin, I would like to start by discussing the types of skateboarding I did with this board. For the most part, I skate street instead of bowls, so that shortens what I specifically did with the board by a lot. For the most part, I have been practicing on ledges and flat bars so I can take more tricks to down rails. On average, I ride between 8.3 and 8.5 in size, so the skateboards I ride are a bit wider.

ISHOD WAIR TWIN TAIL MONARCH REVIEW:

TWIN TAIL: SHAPE

The shape utilized on this skateboard is known as Real’s “R1” construction, which is overall medium in all aspects of the shape. What I do like about Real and Deluxe distribution as a whole is that they tell you which skateboard you have within the batch. Because they are pressed in multiples of 4, skateboards at the bottom of the press may have the same shapes but would be mellower than skateboards at the top. From steep to mellow, they press a roman numeral between 1-4 to indicate where the skateboard was on the press. I’ve ridden this skateboard for so long that I forgot which number my particular board was, but I think it was a 3 or 4, which is mellower than a 1 or 2. The nose and tail were also more pointed at the end (like a tail). While the nose on normal skateboards is usually bigger than the tail, the tails on this board were both pointed, slightly shorter, and significantly symmetrical. Coming from riding a traditional skateboard, having two tails was weird because I could ride the board any way without having to think about which part of the board was the nose. This was no gimmick, and had I not messed up on the grip job, I wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference between my trucks when I was finished with the board. Overall, I’d say that the shape and concave were perfect for a tail, but to have a tail as a nose, I thought it was slightly difficult to utilize with my front foot on certain tricks.

9/10

SLIDE

While I don’t think the slide of a skateboard is very significant, this skateboard, in particular, was “slick.” Their website says that the 8.3 (the one I rode) was specifically the one that Ishod rides. As a “Slick” skateboard, they put a certain type of material at the bottom of the skateboard. I guess it was supposed to help the skater slide certain tricks, but I didn’t notice any difference when I was riding it. In the beginning, it was slippery, or when I popped the skateboard for a trick, but after a couple of weeks, there was no difference. I actually didn’t like the material at the bottom because it didn’t seem like it was working. Maybe it was human error, but I think the whole “slick” concept is pointless.

5/10

TWIN TAIL: DURABILITY

The R1 construction on this board was durable. When I initially ride a new skateboard, I don’t do the most difficult tricks. I work my way up to more difficult tricks because some skateboards are like twigs in the beginning. I think the R1 construction makes for flexible yet durable silhouettes, but I am unsure of how they perform under pressure right out of the gate. I’ve been riding this skateboard for a few months now, constantly doing grinds and slides, and recently managed to crack the skateboard. I’ve been skating for close to a decade, so while I may not be the best, I’d say I have some skills that I have learned over time. I’m also somewhat on the heavier side, so it is important that skateboards last for me. Unlike many other skaters, I become more frustrated at breaking boards because I will ride them for months until they break. Riding a new board is definitely a challenge in the beginning. Overall, from my history with the R1 construction, I’ve had good and bad experiences. This one was good.

10/10

FINAL THOUGHTS ON ISHOD WAIR TWIN TAIL MONARCH

Overall, the whole experience of the twin tail is very foreign and worth the try. I know as a skater that many stick to what they are used to, but like new foods, you never know until you try. I don’t think I’d ride another one, but I wouldn’t be mad if I had to. I think there are only a couple of issues I could think of.

Firstly, I’d say that it becomes increasingly difficult to do tricks nollie, or switch, where you would have to pop the skateboard with your opposite foot. The nose of a board is significantly bigger for a reason. In this case, the reason the nose of the skateboard is steeper than the tail is that the foot that you flick the board with might be foreign to popping the board and, therefore, not as strong. The nose also helps your foot with flipping the board because there is more space for your foot to come in contact with. I think having an actual nose is more beneficial and orthodox than two tails.

The second issue I have with these skateboards is the fact that one would have to buy new trucks with this particular board or change the pivot cups and bushings. This is something that stopped me from riding the board both ways. The way a skater naturally moves with a skateboard is essentially etched into the bushings and pivot cups. Because the skateboard has a nose and a tail, being able to ride the board backward initially feels weird. The average skater may not have new bushings or pivot cups, so riding a twin tail may be weird at first, or you could ride the skateboard like a regular skateboard. The point of riding it both ways is to extend the life of the skateboard, but in my case, my bushings were broken, and my skate shop is far from my location. I also had an indicator bolt so I wouldn’t get confused with future skateboards, but my front truck was also acting weird. Hopefully, in the future, I will figure out the issue, but it didn’t stop me from riding the board, just not to its full intention.

8/10

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