The Volante Checkers are center set, 68mm, 82a, freeride wheels. I’ve been riding the Volante Checkers for about a week now on various types of hills doing various types of riding. Overall I am thrilled with Volante Checkers, Comet’s first wheel, for just about everything I have thrown at it. The checkers have a good range of features and quality that fuse to form a great all around wheel.
The Checkers are great for all kinds of hills from straight mellow freeride spots to steep winding hair-pin laden monstrosities.
Volante Checkers Review
On a freeride hill you’ll be able to incorporate all kinds of tricks as well as throwing some big ‘ol standup slides. The Checkers feel a little grippier than the skinny contact patch and 82a durometer would suggest. That being said, they aren’t too hard to break out so they make quick rotations and freeride tricks, like slide shuvs, a sinch. The slight grippy-ness also makes them exceptional for big slides, I haven’t iced out more than once or twice on these wheels in the whole time I have been ridding them.
However, get off the straight hills and the checker’s get fun. I took them to a steep hill with three sharp hairpins and had a blast with Ohio State University’s “The Longboarding Club”. The checkers blow off a decent amount of speed but not too much, and they will grip fairly well for a freeride wheel. This equates to you driftin’ ‘em out and suckin’ ‘em back in to take the turns like a boss.
There are some additional features of the Volante Checkers as well. Firstly, they’re center set (or at least close enough to center set so that it doesn’t change the feel, I’m not sure) so if they are coning a lot (which they will) you can just flip ‘em around and let them fix themselves. Another pro of the Checkers is the fat white thane lines. They thane pretty brightly, and I am 6’3” 130lbs. Even under a very skinny dude, they still leave some nice lines, especially considering that they are an 82a wheel. My photos are kind if dark so the thane lines don’t show to well, but you’ll like how it looks. And yet another pro of the Volante checkers is their uncanny ability to slide on ANYTHING. Concrete, asphalt, pavement patches, gravel, whatever you put them on they’ll slide with pretty much the same consistency. I skated a hill covered in pavement patches, that changes to fresh pavement, then switches to concrete (sidewalk material) all in one run and had no problems adjusting to the different surfaces.
As with all great wheels, there are a few downsides of the checker. They wear pretty quick. I am not very hard on wheels (I can get 2 months out of a wheel if I can keep it round) and I took off around 7mm in a week. This isn’t too bad, but I’m a skinny dude who maxes out at about a 50 foot stand-up (and doesn’t do them that often). The upside being if you’re trying to core a set of wheels the Checkers will help you pump buttery slides all day long!
Another con is the fact that they aren’t very big and they have a pretty low roll speed. For the size the roll is great, about as good as a 70mm wheel but they are a tad smaller giving a bit less life and roll speed.
All-in-all, the Checkers are great wheels for just about all kinds of freeride, read more about Volante Checkers here.