As a longboarder who has been more focused on freestyle than freeride or downhill in the past, I just got my first dedicated freeride/downhill board. I chose the DB Stalker because of the W arch bar in the back and the option of several wheelbases. Another plus for me was on the inner holes, it had roughly the same wheelbase as my Blue Sky Longboards’ Coruja, so I would be familiar with the rotations and feel of the board.
On the Stalker I used a few set-ups. One was a set of Surfrodz RKP trucks on 45 degree baseplates with Surfrodz 10mm bearings, and I also used a set of Randall 180s with a 50 degree in the front and a 42 degree in the back. I have been switching between Abec 11 freerides 78a, Bustin Swifts 82a, and Abec 11 flywheels 76mm 81a. My favorite setup was the freerides, but they wear quickly and started to flatspot (I am guilty of holding my slides at 90 degrees on occasion) so I switched off to the Bustin Swifts which were way icier, but wear slower and slide longer.
My first session out on the Stalker I was hitting heelsides just as long as I was on my older boards and getting my toeside checks even longer than I used to. Even on the first session I was feeling the board allowing me to progress my freeriding faster than I had been able to on my more freestyle oriented decks.
My two favorite features of the Stalker are the wheel wells and the W bar in the back. I had no problem with 76mm wheels with my trucks fairly loose so the wheel wells are suitable for bigger wheels. The W bar makes initiating toesides much easier, and allows you to eliminate that ugly monkey-toe. I took the Stalker to my local favorite hill with a cool S-curve type turn right at the fastest part. The W allows you to keep your foot planted in between the turns without having to move your back foot from toe rail to heel rail, and it feels completely comfortable hitting the turn at 30 mph or so.
One thing to keep in mind regarding the W bar in the back; if you push mongo, the W will feel extremely uncomfortable when pushing. Obviously this board isn’t made for distance pushing, but if you plan on skating to the hill, make sure you can push with your foot in the front. I started off as a mongo pusher but as I dabbled in the distance pushing side of longboarding I learned to push both ways, so it really hasn’t been a problem for me.
The Stalker has a flat kicktail in the back, I couldn’t really ollie it more than a few inches, but it is good for getting leverage for faster rotations, kicking the board up at the end of the run, and doing simple freestyle tricks like shuvits and no-complys. I could get some height on tricks like frontside ollies and half-cabs, but it really wasn’t any good for hopping up curbs or anything practical.
I have only been on the Stalker for a few weeks but I have curbed it pretty hard, it is decently durable but I did have a few chips come off of the nose after curbing it really hard.
Overall the DB Stalker feels super comfortable at speed and provides a huge amount of freeriding confidence. I recommend the board to everyone except skaters who push mongo, due to the arch bar.
If you are interested in taking a closer look at DB Longboards Stalker, check out the deck specs here.