The Freebord 5-X skateboard is designed to give you the feeling of riding a snowboard while on concrete urban roads. If you’re someone who is in craves sliding down a snowy slope, who can’t wait for winter to come and make everything white again, you’ll likely fall in love with this product, since it is capable of giving you the same experience you would have on the side of a mountain even on sun-drenched streets just around the corner.
Several different sports involve a wooden plate and a set of wheels, and despite getting often mixed up in the eyes of a beginner, there is not much overlap between the fields. Longboards or cruiser boards all excel in specific fields, as do skateboards, and nobody would consider using one tool to execute the moves reserved to another.
The Freebord X-5 bridges this gap thanks to an extra set of slightly higher wheels placed under the plank, which gives the same rocking feeling and drifting ability that snowboarders have grown to love. Governing your speed, making a 360-degree turn, or navigating tight spots are all done using the same body movements one would use on the snowy slopes, and giving the rider a perfect tool to keep up the training during long warm summers.
The Freebord 5-X lets you turn any downhill road into a snowy slope to snowboarder on thanks to the unique wheel configuration it has been designed with. There are four edge wheels, as you would expect on any skateboard, but they are placed further out than on regular models, to provide increased stability, and each of them is attached to its suspension system. Then, right behind them, there is another wheel that can rotate 360-degrees and also sits slightly higher than the two other wheels that stick out on the sides. This lets the Freebord 5-X drift and slide in any given direction, just like you would on a snowboard.
Two bindings are installed on the ends of the boards to hold the feet in place and provide the rider with more leverage to make turns. All the maneuvers on the Freebord 5-X, including stopping, are done only by shifting weight from one side to the other, without ever having to take your foot off to push against the ground. The design and position of the wheels maximize the turning radius of the board, as well as making the ride more comfortable by absorbing impacts and also distributing the weight of the rider more evenly across the whole board.
The main deck, which can be made either by maple wood only or by a combination of maple and bamboo, is thinner in the center to allow for better control of torsions and spins. The suspensions and the wheel height are all adjustable to match your body weight and your specific riding style. The Freebord 5-X is the result of long years of trial and error, but all that experience has been useful to manage to replicate the same motions of a snowboard on concrete roads. Here is a rundown of its main features
- Replicates the feeling of going on a snowboard
- Four edge wheels stick out further for extra stability
- Each edge wheel has an individual suspension system
- Raised castor wheels behind edge wheels allow for lateral sliding
- Suspension strength and wheel height are adjustable
- Two bindings keep feet in place and increase turning the power
- Wide turning ratio
- Suspensions on wheels dampen vibrations
Main deck lengths: 77cm, 82cm, 87cm
Main deck widths: 20.9 cm, 22.9 cm, 24.1 cm
Deck material: Canadian rock maple, with or without bamboo lamination
Maneuverability: There is truly very little difference between riding the Freebord 5-X and sliding on a snowboard. Thanks to the unique wheel system, shifting your weight from one side to the other of the board lets you initiate a slide in whichever direction you wish to go, just as you would on the snow. The wide base makes for excellent balance, providing the rider with the confidence needed to rock back and forth without worries, also thanks to the bindings that greatly increase the overall maneuverability of the board. The bindings only give the foot something so press against it and do not lock it in place, so in the event of a fall, they will not hold on to your ankle and cause injuries. Stopping will take some getting used to, but after a while, the weight shifting motion can be naturally accentuated to achieve it as soon as it is needed.
Ease of use: Just like snowboarding or skateboarding, learning to ride on the Freebord 5-X is not easy if you’ve never set foot on a deck with wheels. Seeing the experts do it always makes it look very easy, but there are a lot of subtle adjustments going on that take time to master. If you stick at it, however, you will manage to get satisfying results after a couple of weeks, at least enough to stay confidently on the road. We recommend taking some time to customize the board, so you will feel even more at home on it. If you already have a background in snowboarding you will find that, as you would expect, the whole process goes much more smoothly and you’ll soon find yourself at home on the Freebord 5-X as you would on the slopes.
Maneuverability: 98% – The Freebord 5-X makes good use of all the innovations the company has designed to make rolling on a concrete road as similar to a snowboard experience as is humanly possible, and it shows. The rider is free to initiate slides in any direction with a simple shift in body weight, and even 180 or 360-degree turns are achievable without much effort after the required amount of practice. The more time you spend on it, the more you will feel the Freebord 5-X react to your smallest movement and it will soon start feeling like an extension of your body.
Ease of use: 97% – Those without any prior experience on boards, be it on the snow or in the skate park, will have some difficulty taking up riding on the Freebord 5-X, since it takes a while to get used to the type of motion it requires. The board, however, goes a long way in making the experience smooth and enjoyable for the user, thanks to a wide wheelbase and excellent suspensions, which make for a very smooth ride. Once you’ve put in enough hours, as well as scratches and bumps, you’ll find that the Freebord 5-X lets you feel free on the road in a way you didn’t think possible.
Price: 96% – If you’re in the market for high-quality sports equipment, you’ll have no problem including the Freebord 5-X in your kit. The board is priced nicely along the lines of a good quality skateboard or longboard, going slightly above the basic models but well within the range of the premium ones. Those that are passionate about snowboarding will not have any problem in justifying this purchase, and those that just want to get into the sport will find it reasonably accessible if they are buying one for the first time.
Overall: 97% – The Freebord 5-X doesn’t fill a unique nice, it makes its own. Introducing a new concept that has rarely been seen before, this innovative board blurs the lines between sporting categories and delivers a fun experience that allows avid snowboarders to keep themselves fit during the down season, and curious beginners to get closer to the sport in a way they never dreamt about. Using a new wheel design to the maximum of its capabilities, the Freebord 5-X delivers a great amount of fun and opens the door to a world of new possibilities that are just waiting to be discovered.
Globo Surf Overview
The Freebord 5-X skateboard sits apart from any other board on wheels you may find, because of the unique way it can transform the experience of skating down a road into something else entirely, making you feel as if you were sliding on the side of a mountain even if the sun is beaming on your face. It is always inspiring to find products that turn challenges into new opportunities, providing a solution for snowboarders in the summer but also giving new and creative riders new tools to play with, so we think that the Freebord 5-X should be an example to be followed.