“No skateboarding signs mean nothing. I’m on a longboard” - Anon
The skateboarding scene, even though it dwells somewhere on the outside edge of mainstream society when you cut through all of the grip tape and the rest of the nitty-gritty, is just like the rest of the world. Turn your back on it for five minutes, and everything changes. Granted, it’s been slightly more than five minutes since we were completely submerged in its everyday ephemera, but the point we were making, stands.
We lost, despite the fact that we still skate every single day, our focus for a while and during that time, longboards stole the limelight and became the ride of choice for hard-core boarders and newbies alike.
The world went long and we were caught short, and that was never a place we thought we’d ever end up in. So we went and did something about it, and decided it was time to find out why all of our ramp-riding partners in crime and street cruising buddies happily sold their souls to the longboard cause.
Being us, we figured out that the best way to start our longboarding adventure was by riding the most popular make and model, which it turns out is a longboard known as the Lookout that’s made by a Calfornia based company called Sector 9.
Even though they’ve been making skateboards for twenty-seven years, we weren’t exactly familiar (which is probably the understatement of the year) with the brand, but the deeper we dug into their background - as we always like to find out everything that can about a board and the company that makes it before we put our lives in their hands, and the more we found out about them, the more we liked Sector 9 and the more we began to understand why longboards, and in particular their longboards and the Lookout, have taken center stage in the skateboarding universe.
Founded by, as most skateboarding companies are, skaters, Sector 9 sponsors its own professional skateboard team and has an impressive line-up of complete boards, decks, clothing, and more in its catalog.
They’re an impressive one-stop shop for any discerning skater, but that wasn’t what made us take them incredibly seriously. No, what bowled us over was Sector 9’s approach to skating and life in general. That was their special something that instantly converted us to their cause and transformed us into life-long fans.
The guys who started making skateboards in their backyard and named their company after a quirky phrase that one of their Hawaiian friends used to use all the time are driven by a simple, central tenet that they call ‘Smash it’. It’s the idea that you bring the full force of your being and channel everything that you are into everything that you do.
That you approach each and every dawn exactly the same way, by pushing yourself to make the most out of every second while constantly challenging yourself to be better. It’s a credo that’s infused into everything they do and is undoubtedly one of the main reasons why the Lookout continues to soar in popularity.
Sectior9 Lookout Review
OUR TOP PICK
Everything that we’ve just said, that was what made us so eager to lay our hands on the Lookout and hit the streets on it. Modeled as one of their flagship commuting and carving boards, the Lookout is a staggeringly impressive three and a half foot long and three-quarters of a foot wide.
It’s huge, but don’t let all of that size fool you as the Lookout is a genuine lightweight, weighing in at just seven pounds. We know, it feels like it weighs next to nothing, and that’s almost certainly down to the deck being made from five-ply bamboo, which gives it just enough flex to make it a comfortable ride and lets it absorb most of the shocks from the cracks and potholes that plague city streets and roads.
Its width makes it easy to find your footing on this monster of a board, and even though we hadn’t ridden a longboard before, the inherent rigidity of the bamboo coupled with the previously mentioned width, meant we took to it like a fish to water and were carving like pros within a couple of minutes.
And we sort of feel like it would be slightly remiss of us not to mention the fact that by using bamboo to make the deck of the Lookout, Sector 9 are reinforcing their commitment to being an ecologically responsible company, as the material they use for their decks from is a replenishable resource. Just riding this board made us want to be better and do more for the world. That philosophy of theirs really is contagious.
While it took us a while to come to terms with and adjust to the shape of the deck, as the front and rear cutouts seem a little strange at first when we started picking up speed and began to carve faster and faster, it instantly became apparent why they’re there. There’s no wheel rub on this board, none at all. You can carve as quickly as you want and are capable of doing, and turn on a dime (not that you’ll be able to, it’s a just a figure of speech as the Lookout’s length means it has a far bigger than dime-sized turning circle) and the wheels won’t rub on the deck.
They won’t hit the wood, they won’t slow you down and won’t serve as an artificial braking system that kicks in just when you don’t want it to and then hurls you off your board. Those cutouts aren’t just for show, they’re a functional engineering phenomenon that’s been put in place to keep you safe and upright on the board at all times. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that they’re also incredibly easy on the eye, and the longer you stare at them, the cooler they seem and eventually become.
Then there are the ten-inch Gullwing Charger trucks that this board rides on. They just make everything seem so effortless and easy. Perfectly balanced and aligned with just the right amount of spring, they deliver an almost consummate level of control to your ride. It’s almost as though you could guide the Lookout with the power of your thoughts alone and if you can think it, this board can do it.
We swear that’s largely down to the trucks that Sector 9 has used in conjunction with their ridiculously impressive deck. Okay, so it might have something to do with the wheels and the speed bearings that they come fitted in them as standard, but it’s mostly down to the trucks and the deck. And, in the spirit of inclusivity, the wheels do play a large part in it, as they ensure that the Lookout rolls like it’s gliding on rails.
Primarily a cruiser and a commuting board, you’ll find it enormously difficult and unrewarding to attempt any sort of high flying tricks or stunts on the Lookout. Our advice? Don’t even try. We didn’t and we don’t regret our decision in the slightest. Honestly, we were too busy enjoying every second of the time that we spent on the Lookout to even think about kicking or flipping the deck.
Whatever Sector 9 is charging for the Lookout when you get to the checkout, don’t argue, just hand them your card and pay them whatever they want. It’ll be the best whatever the amount is that you’ll ever spend and worth it at three times the price. This board is an absolute joy to ride and we can see why so many skaters have fallen in love with it. It’s stolen our hearts too.
But wait, that’s not all and we’re not quite finished within the Lookout yet. Sector 9 in their infinite wisdom must have figured out that a forty-two-inch deck might be a little too long, and somewhat off putting, for some skaters. That’s why they made a slightly shorter model that weighs a little less (not a lot, just enough) and measures just over three feet. It may not seem a lot, but those six inches make all the difference.
Essentially the same board with all of the same bells and whistles as it’s slightly longer sibling, the Mini Lookout is designed to make the transition from traditional skateboarding to longboarding a little easier. We sort of wish that we’d found out about the Mini before we started skating the Lookout, but then if we had found this board first, we wouldn’t have had all the fun that we did with the Lookout.
If you’re worried about the gargantuan length of the Lookout, and honestly what old school skater wouldn’t be intimidated by it, then the Mini is an ideal compromise and an excellent way to dip your toes into the surprisingly reassuring and easy to navigate waters of the longboarding scene.
It’s true, we were skeptical at first, we didn’t want to believe the hype and get swept up in, and way, by what we thought might have been nothing more than the latest skating craze. But we were wrong. Sector 9 is the real thing. They’re a die-hard skating brand who wear their hearts on their sleeve and believe that the world can be better than it is if we all just try a little harder.
And all of the commitment, passion, belief, and energy that they meet every rising sun with is poured straight into the Lookout. You don’t want to ride this longboard, you need to ride it. The minute you set foot on this board, you’ll forget about everything else and you’ll never want to ride any other skateboard ever again. Sector 9 and the Lookout, they’ll change your life.