WHY SO

Thanks to a great email from Matt, and other skaters that have asked us to give more details on some of our goods, I thought it might be time to do a quick review on Churchill RKP trucks. First off, riders always ask us, “why are these trucks so good”? Being that we sell them for about half the price of their name brand brethren, they should be about half as good. The truth being, that they are made as good as some of the best cast trucks on the market. What could make them as good as the $40-$80 reverse kingpin trucks, you ask? Fact is that these are gravity cast in sand rather than die cast. It’s much cheaper in the long run to die cast. What’s the difference? When you cast in sand, the aluminum gets to cool properly and therefor the truck has no bubbles inside the structure, otherwise known as porosity. This is how they make engine blocks, so you can see how when performance is key, you sand cast. To die cast, hot aluminum is injected into a steel mold which shocks the material and traps in gasses which have to go somewhere, which go inside the aluminum and turn into voids. You could see this if you cut a truck in half. There would be a lot pits and bubbles on the inside which could be the cause of most truck failures and the reason for hanger bending. So why die cast if gravity casting is better? Because in the end, with a steel mold used in die casting, versus a sand cast mold, the part from the die cast mold comes out almost smooth and ready for paint. The gravity cast part is more rough around the edges from imperfections in the sand and requires more laborious grinding and polishing to make it pretty. You could say that every gravity cast RKP truck is almost one of a kind, like a piece of art! How can you tell a gravity cast over a die cast truck? Look at the finish, the prettier it is, the more likely it’s die cast.

In addition to the superior gravity cast process that is used to make Churhcill’s RKP trucks, and other high end trucks like Indy and Randal, they are engineered with extra squared trussing at the structural intersections, plus they have a re-enforced circular bushing seat, unique in the industry, which tightly hugs the bushings and reduces side shifting (speed wobbles due to hanger slop) making them perform more like a precision truck with rear hanger support. So with all the thinking and engineering built into Churchill RKP’s, why would Churchill want to retail a set for half price? Does it cost less to produce than other high end trucks? The answer is NO! In fact we pay a little more to make this truck than the big brands do. Plus we left off the name, so if you don’t know the RKP, it just seems like some cheapo offering by a half rate board builder. But in the end, once you ride it, you might have a hard time finding a better preforming setup for your longboard.

So how did the RKP come to life and why? First off we used Randals and Trackers on all LAX and Churchill boards for a long time. Both of those are gravity cast and made in the USA, two pluses in my book. But those two brands where always running out and we had a hard time getting completes built without trucks. So we needed something to fill in the gap. Instead of trying to create another truck company in a sea of endless brands and offerings, we just left the name off and sold them for a bit less. Plus we didn’t want to compete with our friends like Max from Tracker and Michael from Gravity (former Randal owner). So we left the name off and used the RKP as our fill in. But then skateboarders started buying them and saying, dam, these are really good. Why don’t you guys put a name on it? Oh boy, now we’ve got a pickle! If we brand it and sell it for 1/2 price, everyone will hate it, if we raise the price, it would have a great reputation, but no one would buy it. So what to do? Just leave it alone and let riders figure it out.  The RKP is just another unsung creation under Churchill that will never see the height for it’s engineering or quality but for those in the know, we are here for ya. Thanks for reading. We will try to review and hype up some more of the junk we sell as time goes by :)
-troy

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What Defines Us

Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night thinking about shit? Your mind is running wild with all kinds of ideas and mental lists of things that need to get done. Some of us may be contemplating on how to make more money or what pick up line to throw at the girl in Spanish class. Others might just be plain sleeping at 2am. We all have our own ideas and styles. What got me up so early? First off, it’s those endless “to do” lists. Do they ever get smaller? You know, the one’s like, “we have ton’s of orders to pack and new boards to test, plus inventory to stock and suppliers to yell at”, typical middle of the night, type crap. But overall, it’s the idea of how to make things simpler and how to keep selling boards to skateboarders that are broke like we are.

It seems that the world is getting more complicated by the day. Back in the 80′s, it had to be easier. I mean, if you had a skateboard company, you just ran ads in magazines and paid a few riders. Now, you need a website, ads in mags, ads on forums, riders, instagram, twitter, facebook, imgr, photobucket (I know that one is dated), personal profiles, links, pingbacks, SEO and of course, the most important, CONTENT! Somewhere in here I should include what I like to call “hate management”. That’s not a “web” term yet, but it should be. Most brands and labels stay off the chat rooms (forums) because no one likes to read all the bad shit that peeps spray about us but then, that’s what skateboarding is all about right, shit talking! It has to be that way, what fun would anything be if everyone was happy all the dam time?

But in the end, the secret is happiness, oh wait, I meant simplicity. Although if there is one thing that could help us all have a better time on the road of life, it would be to figure out what makes us “happy” and then do more of that! Skateboarding is a great activity to take up in the eternal quest for happiness. My theory is, do more of it and be happier!

So as the heading states, “what defines us”? In a word, it would have to be skateboards. Then as a descriptor (is that a word, I feel I just made it up), it would be “keeping things simple”. I personally like the key phrase, “making better skateboards”, but that’s a relative idea and begs for blow back, so let’s stick with keeping things simple as our key concept for what we do here at Fun Box. Are you asking yourself, “why in the hell am I reading this nonsense”? I would say because school sucks and this has to be way better than taking a biology exam. But then again, we are known for rambling so read on at your own risk.

Back to simplicity. Have you ever noticed how hard it is to keep things simple? I heard once that “simple ideas” lay only in the complex mind. Is that deep or what? Take this website for instance, we try to keep it very simple (actually we do our web work in house and suck at it, so you don’t really get a choice). The only real changes that we make are taking down and putting up product, oh and my little rant space here on the front page of course. But one thing that everyone notices is that we are pushing a brand without pushing pictures. Its really never been done before, though I will credit Tree Fort skateboards from the early nineties as a contender. Sure there are blank decks everywhere. You see them on ebay, in your local skate shop and even in discount stores. They are viewed as “cheap” and “low end”. You would have to ask yourself, why in the hell would we want to put all the effort into plain and simple skateboards? Why not put a few pictures on here and there? Especially since we do it for other companies. Yep that’s right, we print boards. That’s the irony here. We sell our stuff plain, and ad pictures to the stuff we make for our customers on the Churchill side of the company. So what makes our plain boards better? It’s “simple”, we put a middle man sticker on the bottom and a Churchill sticker on the top, unless you get grip tape, then you get a Churchill sticker in the box instead! Is that “cheesy” or what? A sticker? Why not print it on the bottom or paint it or something permanent so skaters can’t peel it off! And there’s the idea that drives us. We want you to peel it off if you want. Or ad more stickers. Isn’t that what you do with a skateboard? Ad stickers. So in essence, we are just getting you started! Besides, this is the ONLY place in the world were you can get a “middle man” sticker! We don’t even offer them through the Churchill site and we don’t put them on boards that we sell to skate shops (mainly because they don’t want ‘em :)

Some of you know that we have sold branded skateboards (decks with pictures on the bottom). In fact we have had many brands under Churchill like LAX, Stolen, Bareback, Freeride, Warco, and others that I have long forgot. We were one of the first advertisers to support concrete wave like 10 or 11 years ago. This post should probably be on the Churchill site but the idea is still the same, we make pretty darn good skateboards and offer them at a pretty good price. All that ads up to a very strange and outcast idea for this sport. It’s an industry filled with graphics and pro riders. Skateboarding in it’s pure form, has lost a lot of the product focus and really been driven by pictures and names. That could be the sole reason that all the big labels were able to move to china for production without anyone giving a crap. Then longboarding grew legs and became totally product driven. Sure there are pro-riders in longboarding now but originally, it was all about the product.

The current “state of skate”, in traditional skateboarding, IE, street decks and brands, is having some trouble. Brands and dealers are dropping off the map. We are losing some pretty cool skateboard companies and it’s depressing for the company heads. When we chat with those owners, they tell us things like, “I have no idea what skateboarding is about anymore”, and “longboarding has ruined skateboarding”! They often ask us how we are surviving and why skateboarders are buying from us? I mean, we aren’t really a brand, per se, and we don’t have cool pictures, so what is it that keeps you coming back for more? Well I say it’s our focus on making good shit and offering a warehouse for the skateboarder. We work hard to keep the packaging simple and not waste paper and resources by making fancy boxes and labels, plus we save money that way and pass it on to you.

I remember a compliment that Don from Loaded Longboards gave us one time, and that was he liked our bearing tubes. He said they were simple, to the point and not wasteful with excess plastic and labels. The truth is, we never really think about the packaging which is totally 180 out from what we’re taught in marketing school. We’ve been told that customers buy the “box” first and then the product. What a bummer, right? No wonder the planet is in trouble and full of waste! On a side note, we really look up to the cats at Loaded. They have brought some really cool ideas and innovations to the sport. Not too mention that they too, try to keep their products green and manufacture with a small “foot print”. Keep up the good work guys.

Anyway, it’s 2:30 in the morning here in San Diego so I guess I should quit typing and let you guys get back to something more important than reading blog posts from us idiots. But the words don’t hurt our SEO score which needs all the help it can get. In the meantime, thanks for your support. We have so many orders that it’s been tough to post. Speaking of that, I gotta go get some sleep so we can get up early and do to what makes us happy, build skateboards! Nite…
-troy

MORE NEW FLAVORS

We just got the new LTD and KRAY top mount decks in! Now your favorite shapes are available in both mounting styles. Each board is made with Churchill’s Super Natural deck construction using the purest USA grown and harvested 1/16″ Hard Rock Maple through and through.

DID YOU KNOW

It’s the day your package is about to arrive. You’ve been patient and have checked the UPS website five times for tracking updates. The box is going to hit your front door TODAY! You have to take a minute to cool down and act calm because the minute that brown truck pulls up to your porch, the excitement is almost overwhelming. And then, Mr. Brown sets down a box and extends his arm asking for your autograph, or you weren’t home and he left it on the porch. Either way, the day just couldn’t possibly get any better.

Yet before all that magic happens and we put the delivery man to work, your new board from Fun Box took a long journey. Did you know that we build every single board to order? Well not the pressing part, but each purchase is hand picked and assembled one at a time. We love building boards and thanks to all of your orders, we get to spend our days assembling some of the best skateboards the industry has to offer. Every single part was checked and installed by our eager little hands. So remember, when you work with us, you aren’t just purchasing a board or piece of hardware from some big fulfillment house, your getting one on one service from skateboarders who love this sport as much as you do. We do it all right here in sunny So Cal and it’s all just for you! Well, I gotta get off this computer and get out back to help the guys build and ship. Happy first Monday of the week.

NEW THANE

Fun Box is now selling wheels that are 100% MADE IN THE GOOD ‘OL US of A. We have ‘thane coming out of ears over here. The new Churchill White Owls and Red Eyes are in and shipping out right this minute.

ANOTHER BOARD DROP

How’s this for good news? Churchill 36″ ROXIE 3D Double Kick 7ply Decks just landed! We get asked for this board all time and decided to get a short run pressed up. I will get ‘em posted in the skate shop sometime tomorrow for those interested…

NEW V2 BRICK IS DONE

DONE and DONE! We just released the new V2 Brick on the Decks page in the skate shop. If you have been waiting for the original Brick and the bad ass Bacon Brick just wouldn’t do, then check out this hill killer. The brand new V2 is a much more refined machine and features a new Micro Drop Concave with a slight rocker, 3D wheel bumps and CNC machined wells. She offers multiple wheelbase options and small cereal foot pockets in the truck transitions. Pictures don’t due the V2 justice. This is one bad board! In stock and available RIGHT NOW along with several other BRAND NEW un-announced releases. These babies might not last long.

NEW SHIT

We like to think we offer some of the best skate wood in the board sports industry. It can be a pretty stiff task to keep coming up with brand new shit all the time.  We often ask ourselves, “could there be anything better than making skateboards?”, and the answer is always, HELL NO! So to celebrate the best sport in the world, we are dropping FOUR, yep four, brand new incredible shapes and molds. I should have them posted up by the end of the day and when we get the new Churchill WHITE OWL wheels in, we will turn the completes loose too. Some highlights you might notice in the pic; Rocker, 3D wheel wells (bat wings as we call ‘em), Cereal bowl foot pockets, Flattened truck perches, Kick tails, multiple wheel bases and CNC machined wells :)

FUN IS IN THE EYE OF

We’ve been around skateboarding for a long time and one thing we’ve noticed over the last 15 years is that you don’t always have to ollie a 12 stair set to have fun on a skateboard. Don’t get me wrong, tricks never die, no matter how old you get and Steven Meketa seems to make skateboarding fun, every single day. We aren’t sure if he really even has a job since he seems to always be on a board.

Skateboards have advanced like mad over the last few years. There are so many styles and designs out there that if you are just getting into it, you might get a little confused on where to start. The big brands are always coming up with something new and crazy to help them stay in the limelight. Longboarding has seen hundreds of different concaves and all kinds of weird board ideas like bumps in the middle to all kinds of wacky shapes. And on the other end of the scale is Steve with his classy, flat, no concave board with a little flex. Some would say, “who’d ride that?”. But for Steve, his self designed Meketa deck, is the only board that matters. I thought this is worth sharing since classic board shapes are still as popular as ever and they fit right in on the local boardwalks here in SoCal. You can have fun riding almost any skateboard. So let’s grab what we got and go push…

SMALLEST CNC SKATEBOARD


Check out this super cool mini board build by Apollo on his custom built 3 axis CNC router.

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