Gear Check: Amanda Pérez

The skateboarding of Amanda Pérez will hopefully be familiar with all of you who are currently reading this; if for some reason it’s not, please have a quick scroll through her Instagram - @destroyedbrains – then come back after you’ve immersed yourself in the European transition annihilation that awaits.

Originally from Uruguay though starting skating whilst living in Madrid, Amanda properly joined the Blast Skates family in 2017, after she relocated to South London, the spiritual heartland of the Blast operation.

Following on from Ben Koppl and Jake Snelling, last week Amanda became the latest Blast rider to be bestowed with her very own signature collection, so – timely as ever - Rob Whiston decided to borrow a couple of minutes of Amanda’s time during a sun-soaked Stockwell session over the weekend to give her set-up the ever critical Gear Check treatment.

Yep, that is Amanda’s brilliant and vibrant Blast Skates signature board that you can enviously admire here. This shaped number clocks in at a whopping 9.75” wide, and is loosely based on the silhouette of an old Jeff Kendall Santa Cruz board. The tail is a squared off affair that comes in at 6.5” with a deep kick, whilst the opposite end of the board comes to a mellow, pointed nose that measures a slightly shorter 5.25” in length. The wheelbase is an ever so slightly larger than average 14.75”, allowing you plenty of room for your repertoire of properly decked lip tricks. The graphic – drawn in that classic Matt Bromley style – depicts the Blast Mascot being abducted from a solo session by passing primate, and if you pay close attention to pool on the tail, you’ll also notice a tribute to the sorely missed and much loved Ralph Roberts. As with all of Blast's boards since 2019, this one is designed and pressed in the UK by GnosisMFG. By rolling back the shaped clock 30 odd years, Amanda has produced a sturdy board that will surely appeal to fans of transition skating, especially ones wo are on the look out for something that breaks free from the traditional popsicle mould. If you tend to find yourself drawn to ‘the streets’, as it were. this 9.75” wide board might not instantly appeal to you, but it’s 2021 and I’d never be so foolish as to rule anything out…

So what of the rest of the hardware that’s clinging to Amanda’s brilliant signature board? It will come as no surprise to learn that her undercarriage is typical of someone who spends most of their time blasting around sizable concrete transitions. Those well-loved trucks happen to be the classic choice of Independent 159s. The 159s are an exact fit for boards measuring 8.75” in width, meaning that - when applied to Amanda’s signature Blast shape – they perfectly occupy the narrower point of the board’s rear, prior to the tail taking shape, and they comfortably sit towards the gradually thinning nose area. Independent have long since earned their reputation as a solid and responsive all terrain truck, and even though Amanda’s axels have clearly endured some serious grinding here, you know they’ve still got plenty of life left in them yet. Complimenting these Independent 159s perfectly are some 56mm Spitfire Formula Four wheels, enabling Amanda to confidently tackle most weather beaten London surfaces without fear of being tripped up by the under wheel appearance of an unexpected crack, biter, or wilfully disbanded can of Holsten Pils. The conical shape of the wheels assist with locking into grinds, whilst the wide riding surface coupled with the 99DU hardness helps keep you gripped firmly to the floor. As the eagle-eyed of you will have probably noticed, Amanda uses riser pads, giving her additional distance between the underside of her board and the outer edge of her wheels, reducing the risk of dreaded wheelbite.

Amanda is a firm fixture of the Vans UK family, and whilst we have no photo of her feet here, she has been very recently spotted skating in the timeless Vans Sk8Hi shoe, in the currently popular off-white/marshmallow colourway. If I were forced to guess, I’d say that those are the shoes she was skating in at the weekend, but that would be pure speculation on my behalf.

Amanda road-testing her signature collection at Dan Cates' bowl. Video: Macey Sherman.

And there we have it – a very critical appraisal of Amanda Pérez’ current rig. Amanda’s Blast Skates signature capsule is currently available, including the aforementioned board alongside clothing items and a few other special pieces. Go forth, track it down and considerably improve your very own Stockwell (or other local skatepark of choice) skates. Until next time…