Review: Valhalla Octahedron downhill skateboard deck[wptouch target=”mobile”]
I wasn’t too familiar with Valhalla Lonboards when I first got the offer to try out their Octahedron, but when I got a look at the deck I was stoked. I will start off by saying what hardly needs to be said: this deck is sleek. Simple and to the point, this is your downhill freeride deck with some seriously sharp features. At 35” long and 9.75” wide, this smaller, lightweight deck packs a powerful punch. The board is made up of eight plies of maple sandwiched between two plies of lustrous black formica and has a nice mellow W-concave along with rocker throughout the board. They did a bit of CNC work as well with wheel wells, flush mounts and an awesome yet simple graphic engraved straight into the bottom of the deck. And since there are multiple wheelbases from 24” to 26” there is something in this board for everyone.
There is something to be said about a simple and genuine downhill and freeride deck done right. The shape is known and trusted, and the concave isn’t overdone. It has been awhile since I rode a deck without a bunch of crazy bends and flares, so it was nice to get my feet on a board with a fairly straightforward concave. The mellow W and rocker are nice additions that make for comfortable foot placement and maximum foot to board contact, but I think what I like most about this board’s concave are the sharp edges. These edges allow you to know very precisely where the board’s ends are. They’re great for digging your toes or heel into when you’re freeriding and provide a sense of comfort—there’s no way your foot is going to slip off this board without you realizing.
On the shortest wheelbase, this board is a blast to slide on. The combination of the rocker, W concave, flush mounts and short wheelbase give you great board control while freeriding—your weight is directly over your trucks so every move you make is transferred quickly into the board. Not into short wheelbases? The 26” option gives you a couple extra inches for comfort at speed. It’s still short enough for that snappy riding response, but the ride becomes a little more slack. On any wheelbase, the 8 ply maple and 2 ply formica construction makes for a lightweight and responsive ride at any speed. The deck is nice and stiff, but the formica adds a bit of vibration dampening for those rough roads.
For me, I liked this board on lower degree trucks (Paris V2 43 degree), Venom bushings, and 65-70mm wheels. The Octahedron seems to perform best on fast, technical roads that require both holding speed and sliding to get through a tight line. As I said before, the construction and deck size give you a lot of control, especially when you’re riding the smaller wheelbase. This deck was also great for freeriding on both small and big hills. The tight concave and rocker give you a great, sure-footed feeling when you’re going fast and want to rip some huge slides. The smaller deck size and lighter weight are great for getting some really technical slides in while you’re going slower on smaller hills, too.
If you’re looking to hold your speed, charge technical downhill courses, and find just the right line down the mountain, the Valhalla Octahedron is a great fit for you. Some people may shy away from taking the board on bigger hills since it’s longest wheelbase is only 26,” but I say you should try it anyways. This board handles beautifully at any speed, but it’s the most fun when you take it over 30 mph. I honestly don’t have any complaints about the deck. It’s a no-frills downhill and freeriding deck that performs exactly how you want it to when going fast or slow. Valhalla did an awesome job and I wholly recommend the Octahedron for fellow mountain shredders itching for a smaller lightweight deck. If you get the chance, definitely check this high-performance board; it won’t disappoint.