PhatBlox were made necessary by the world at large. You see, the world is made for average-sized dudes and gals. Ever wonder how you'd jam yourself into a sports coupe if you were 150 lbs (68 kg) overweight or lay down if you were 7 feet (2.13 m) tall? Probably not, if you're an averaged-sized person, because life was designed around you like a tailored suit.
James Rotundo, a passionate longboarder who by his own admission weighs 315 lbs (143 kg), found this out the hard way. His trusty longboard of ages got jacked from his garage, and Rotundo was forced to go board shopping. None of the boards that he found at his local shop could effectively support his weight. In fact, some shop employees were wary of him even testing a board out.
Luckily for the world of longboarding, Rotundo isn't the type of guy that goes home and sulks in his beer. He hit the garage and invented PhatBlox to fortify his board, providing the strength and smooth carving dynamics he was looking for. And as not to miser all the glory for himself, he founded his company - 42fi Systems - to supply PhatBlox to other riders in need of more tweak-able rides. Rotundo claims the system can work with many off-the-shelf boards.
As the name implies, PhatBlox are quite simply blocks - hunks of billeted aluminum - that slide between the deck and trucks. They install within minutes using simple hardware. Once the blocks themselves are installed, a cable connects the front and rear blocks. As the cable is tightened, it slowly flexes the board downward. It's similar to the way the cable bends a bow back toward the archer, but far more subtle. With the support from the tensioned cable, the board is able to hold more weight. Thus a board that would have cracked under Rotundo's stocky frame is able to support him comfortably.
While the main benefits appear to be for heavier riders, anyone that's ever wanted a means of tweaking the flex of his board can benefit from the system. Like a track driver lowering his suspension and choosing "Race" mode, a longboarder using PhatBlox can adjust ride settings for the nature of his ride. For a sleepy day of flat boardwalk or sidewalk cruising, you can keep things loose and flexible, allowing for smooth carves. If you plan to pound pavement uphill or straightline downhill, you can tighten the settings up, giving you a stable, responsive ride.
"With a tight cable, it gives the rider a much stiffer board, as well as more control," Rotundo explains."So when you speed check, there's no unwanted flex in the board throwing off your balance. With a loose cable, the board is not nearly as responsive to your actions and would not be conducive to drifting because of the lack of control."
PhatBlox.com launched late last month. You'll find PhatBlox in silver or black for US$59.95.