Writer: Hadi Salloum
Rayne, based out of North Vancouver, is generally seen as one of the more prolific longboard companies in the industry today. Personally when I think of Rayne, having had one of their boards in the past, a few words and phrases float around my head: Durable, rigid construction, Aesthetics that make me think things about an inanimate object that no man should ever think, Innovation, and concave.
Yes, Rayne consistently comes out with innovative shapes and aggressive concaves. One of these, perhaps the most popular and well-known press, ‘Fat Bottom’ Construction, was designed for, and flourishes in the downhill world. Born and bred for downhill, boards with Fat Bottom construction are known for foot-lockingly aggressive concave, deep pockets, and a rigid W running up the center, and superb wheel clearance without the need for wheel wells. Rayne’s other popular construction variant, featuring the ‘Mean Cave’ concave, as you would think, has a few characteristic differences. With it’s signature bubble domes or “pleasure domes” just before the bolts, and a crazy deep bowl-like concave between them, boards with the mean cave are a favorite of those looking to go fast, and generally spend more time sideways, rather than parallel with the road. However, numerous riders took issues with the single-kick Rayne Darkside, featuring the ‘Mean Cave’ concave: Wheel clearance issues. If you’ve ever seen a Darkside, and you like going fast, odds are you’ve wanted to take one down a hill. This mindset led a lot of people to try just that, fitting it with their favorite downhill setup and going at it. These people learned the hard way that fitting those tall, wide downhill wheels would be no easy task, as wheelbite has proven to be an issue for many with the board.
When Raffi G and the Legit boys rolled up to the 2015 Agenda Trade Show, among the many sights and sounds, Rayne Longboards was there to offer a taste of what was to come. On display was what I can only assume to be updated versions of the Brightside (34’’ x 9.25’’), Darkside (36’’ x 9.75’’), and Otherside (38’’ x 10.13’’). On first glance, you can see Rayne’s signature fiberglass construction, and of course, the mean cave up top. But flip those suckers over, and what do you see? New graphics, which interestingly enough form a larger picture if you place the boards side by side from shortest to tallest, a definite plus for all the board collectors and inheritance earners of the world. And when you look past the graphic, you will see the biggest change Rayne has introduced, wheel wells! The wells, painted red, are proof that Rayne is a fan of progression, and really listens to community feedback. They must have seen the ghetto wheel wells being sanded into Darksides, Brightsides, and Othersides, and made the necessary adjustments so us riders wouldn’t have to. Kudos to you Rayne, you have unlocked the true potential of Mean Cave.
Be sure to check out the 2015 Rayne Longboards lineup when it drops, I see it being a highly successful year for Rayne. We can only hope to see Rayne in the shop someday in the future!