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Pokemon GO and Skateboarding Are Perfect, Here’s Our Pokemon GO Guide for Those Who Skateboard!
By now you’ve heard of Pokemon GO the amazing new Pokemon game and the first Pokemon app for iOS and Android. You move around the real world and the augmented reality part of the Pokemon app shows you wild Pokemon nearby, Poke Stops which give you items, and Pokemon Gyms which you can challenge based on your team. Pokemon GO is the most popular app and most popular game right now, and that’s perfect for skateboarders: we get around the real world better than anyone else. Becoming a skateboarding Pokemon trainer is easy, here’s our Pokemon GO guide to going from Pokemon GO Beginner to becoming the ultimate Pokemon GO Pokemon Master using nothing but your skateboard and our guide.
DISCLAIMER: BE CAREFUL WHEN COMBINING POKEMON GO AND SKATEBOARDING. ALWAYS WATCH THE ROAD.
Master the Basics of Pokemon GO
To max out your potential you need to know how Pokemon GO works. Download the app, get your account set up, and catch your starter Pokemon. Once you’ve familiarized yourself with the way the map works, locating Pokestops, and locating gyms, you’ll be ready to use our Pokemon GO guide. Poke Stops are blue with a cube until you get close, then you open them up and swipe the circle image / coin. You will get items from Pokestops. Gyms are larger, typically a color from a team with a Pokemon on top. You need to become level 5 before you can fight and conquer a Pokemon Gym. Now that you’ve downloaded Pokemon GO and you know how to use it let’s get in to the details.
Get Informed – Know Your Pokemon GO
- Grass Shaking/Leaves – Seen on the map, a Pokemon may be at the grass or may *not* be at the grass. Wild Pokemon are simply more likely to be in the shaking grass area. The leaf / shaking grasses are found everywhere but are most common near parks or open areas. Try to find a park you can skate through to snag a bunch super quick.
- Pokemon Tab / Gray Pokemon Outlines – Seen on the map this lets you know which Pokemon are nearby.
- Footprints Below Pokemon – Seen in the menu in the map this lets you know how close a Pokemon is to you. The fewer footprints there are closer the Pokemon is. Rumor has it that 1 foot = 50m, 2 feet = 100m, 3 feet = +150m
- CP – This is the Combat Power of a Pokemon. The higher the better for use in battle. The higher your level the higher the CP of the Pokemon you catch.
- Stardust – Used to level up your Pokemon this stuff is gained from capturing Pokemon. You can earn it as part of you bonus for owning a Gym.
- Candy – Used to level up your Pokemon. Get candy from capturing Pokemon. You can get Candy from doing a Transfer, but you get 1 Candy for each Pokemon transferred.
- Eggs – You have an Incubator in your Items. Click to your Pokemon then swipe right to get to the Eggs tab. Choose an egg and start incubating. The egg will hatch when you’ve gone the distance on the egg. Your incubator is infinite but Incubators you buy with Coins have limited uses.
- Incubator – Used to hatch Pokemon Eggs. The Incubator only counts your steps if you are skateboarding or walking. It seems like driving does not work. App must be open.
- Coins – Buy them with real money or earn them each day by having a Pokemon defending a gym. Open up the Shop section and top right is a button. Make sure you have at least 1 Pokemon defending a gym to earn Coins daily.
- Alerts – The app has to be open for you to get alerts about Pokemon.
- PokeStop Refresh Time – 5 minute refresh.
PROTIPS: Pokemon GO and Skateboarding
- Watch The Road – There have already been reports on Reddit of people crashing on their skateboards and hurting themselves as well as *gasp* shattering their phones! You can hold your phone in your hand or pocket and get vibrations and sound updates. You’ll most likely be taking lines and alleys you haven’t taken before so stay sharp.
- Always Equip An Egg – If you’re skating around never forget your eggs. Unlike most people your eggs will be hatching 2x as fast because you’re skating. Eggs and skateboards are one of the best cheats for Pokemon GO.
- Drop Your Pokemon At the Gym – Before getting your daily bonus to get your Coins be sure to drop some Pokemon off to defend the local gyms. With your skateboard under your feet you’ll be able to roll from gym to gym quick.
- The Grass Is Always Greener – Grassy areas and parks are the prime locations to pick up new Pokemon. Poke Stops are usually at nearby landmarks and Pokemon Gyms are at major landmarks. Skaters have the advantage as often Poke Stops will be along pathways and parks cars are not allowed on and other trainers will have to walk.
- Get Electric – You need battery power. Between filming skate clips, watching skate clips, and playing Pokemon GO your skateboarding session is going to wreck your phone battery. Make sure you’re fully charged and keep your charger on you.
- Capture Everything – To get Candy and Stardust you need to capture Pokemon and you’re going to get a lot of Zubats and Ekans as you’re rolling around. Capture everything you can while on your skateboard so you’re always finding new Pokemon as you’re skateboarding.
- Pump Yourself Up – Some phones will allow you to play music over Pokemon GO. Turn off the music in the Pokemon GO settings and blast your usual skating playlist to keep yourself pumping the kilometers.
- Pokemon Move With Your – If you get to catch a rare Pokemon but its floating out in the street don’t stress, it doesn’t actually move away as you move away. You can powerslide to a stop and hit the sidewalk so you have the time to make a Great Pokeball throw.
- Roll Deep – Get to your friends in your crew before anyone else does to make sure you’re all on the same team. Once you pick a team color in Pokemon GO you cannot change your team color. After you’re all on the same team it will be easier to take down gyms as a squad. Roll deep to smash your opponents and get tons of prestige for your gym so its invulnerable.
Skateboarding Tricks While Capturing a Pokemon
So far we’ve done is a little curb slapper while catching a Charmander but one of the finest parts of skateboarding and playing Pokemon GO is getting a rolling capture or making a trick. Trying to hit a Pokemon with a Pokeball while skateboarding and busting a trick is no small feat! We’ve also been getting screen captures with the AR turned to get Pokemon in the shot.
Ash Ketchum may ride a bicycle but Pokemon GO is a skateboarding game for sure. We were busting tricks at every gym location earlier today and were considering a system whereby you had to do a trick based on which Pokemon you caught. Either way Pokemon GO is getting dominated by skaters rolling from gym to gym claiming the rarest and best Pokemon Gyms for themselves. Now that you know the Pokemon GO basics and you’ve got the Pokemon GO PROTIPS, its time to hit the streets.
No Look Pokemon Capturing – Pokemon GO Plus
Pokemon GO Plus is the wristband attachment made by Nintendo made for capturing Pokemon without needing to hold your phone. Skating around staring at a screen can be exhausting after a while so Pokemon GO Plus is a Bluetooth wearable Pokemon GO wristband that notifies you when a Pokemon is near without needing to have the Pokemon GO app open. Perfect for those who roll the distance in areas where there aren’t really a lot of Pokemon the Pokemon Plus wristband isn’t available yet but will be released this year by Nintendo. The Pokemon GO Plus wearable is already up on Amazon.com so we can see what it looks like, and Nintendo *is* taking preorders but no one has had a real chance to do a Pokemon GO Plus review yet. When we do get one we’ll do a Pokemon GO Plus review for sure.
Pokemon GO Plus Preorders / Pokemon GO Plus In Stock
The Pokemon GO Plus release date says December 2016, but that is only when it is sold out. With the popularity of Pokemon fever hitting peak right now Nintendo has been taking Pokemon GO Plus preorders and the Amazon.com offering says its Currently Unavailable when the Pokemon GO Plus is not in stock. If you want to see if Pokemon GO Plus preorders are working or if Pokemon GO Plus is in in stock click here.
We’ve seen mad people rolling around in Pokemon clothes, from Pokemon Tshirts to Pokemon Hats. There’s some rad Pokemon gear floating around, (outside of Ash Ketchum snapbacks), to help other Pokemon Trainers recognize you at a spot. Not everyone on their phone is out training their Pokemon so its nice to know who’s playing the game and who’s not before you start creeping on people. We’re in to the Pokeball Tshirts, Pattern Pokemon Tshirts, and some of the Pokemon Backpacks out there. Here’s some of what’s floating around out there:
Send Us Your Illest Pokemon Trick Shots!
Got some killer content for us? Follow us on Instagram @whateverskateboards and shoot us a DM with your best Pokemon skateboarding pics. If your pics are sick we’ll give you a shoutout! Follow our Instagram for giveaway and dank skateboarding memes!
The Best Gifts for Skaters – Skateboarding Gift Guide – Christmas Edition
Skaters can be a tough bunch to go gift shopping for: we’re incredibly picky about our gear, our shoes, our skateboards, our brands, and our steez. We get a lot of customers calling in over Christmas looking for the perfect Xmas gifts for skaters in their life. Maybe you’re looking to get your bro something you can totally borrow, maybe you’ve got a grom of your own, or maybe you’re browsing for gifts for a skater boyfriend or skater girlfriend. We’re here to break down some of the best skateboarding gifts you can get the skater in your life. Welcome to our Official Whatever Skateboards Christmas 2015 Gift Guide. We’ll break down the must have gifts as do’s and don’ts for skateboarding gift ideas.
Top Skateboarding Gifts
– Buy a quality helmet.
– Get something cool so you’re more likely to wear it.
– Don’t buy a bike helmet and not a skateboarding helmet.
– Don’t buy a used helmet, ONLY buy new helmets. Used helmets are not safe and very dangerous!
Custom Skateboard or Custom Longboard (Obviously from Whatever Skateboards!)
custom skateboard as a gift is that it is personal it can be part of your skaters quiver without you needing to worry about all the technical details behind skateboarding. A cool design on our pro quality decks is enough steez for any skater to proudly rock. We carry all the most popular sizes of skateboard. Our most popular sized classic skateboard deck is the 8″ x 31″ 3/4 skateboard. We also have tried-and-true longboard shapes. If your skater boyfriend or skater girlfriend don’t have a longboard cruiser they make a great gift for any skater. our most popular longboard is our Dart pintail series. For those looking to get something a little smaller we have the perfect wooden penny style skateboard without our Lil Guy.
– Buy a quality skateboard.
– Make multiple designs to come up with something awesome.
– Don’t buy cheap plywood skateboards at Wal-Mart or Target.
– Worry! Our custom skateboards and custom longboards make a rad gift.
GoPro Hero 4 Camera
– Read up on the various GoPro camera models and addons. The screen, extra batter, and waterproof case are the most popular addons.
– Get an extra memory card.
– Don’t buy a cheap camera, you’re better off getting something else if you’re not getting something nice like a GoPro or a DLSR still camera.
Skateboarding Gifts on a Budget
Skate Tool or Skate Key
– Get a skater a skate tool as a gift if they don’t have one.
– Don’t worry if your skater already has skate tool, you can always use a few more and friends often “borrow” them. – There are no don’ts really, skate tools are essential for all skaters.
– Make something awesome. Try a few designs!
– Create a design that is easy to read and not complicated.
– Use complicated designs or very small text.
Last Minute Skateboarding Christmas Gifts
Whatever Skateboards Gift Card
Gift cards are one of our most popular skateboarding gifts. Its not easy to nail the perfect design on your own and sometimes skaters are just plain picky. If you need a last minute skateboarding gift for skaters a Whatever Skateboards gift card can be the perfect way to get an awesome gift with time to spare. Available in different values you can tailor your gift to your budget and your skater.
– Snag a gift card for at least $100 depending on the skateboard you’re trying to get your skater, some downhill longboards or specialty skateboards can be more!
– Panic! We’ve got you covered for Christmas gifts.
Whatever Skateboard’s Official Review – Tony Flop Pro Skater 5
Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5 is out and the results are in: its not good. You know its for real when die hard Tony Hawk fans like ourselves are bearing the bad news. The Tony Hawk hype machine had pumped this skating game up to 11 only to have it aggressively panned on social media and by critics. A quick read of comments on Tony Hawk’s Instagram lets you know how people feel. Sadly Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5 doesn’t even let you design your own skateboard. And unfortunately for skaters this is the most recently released major skateboard game so there’s no real option but to buy it and complain :-( And that brings us to our Official Whatever Skateboards Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5 Review.
SCORE: 7.2 / 10 (NO BUENO)
What Does Whatever Skateboards Know About Skateboard Games?
For one we play the XBox One in our office constantly and we’ve logged some major hours designing our own skateboard in Skate 3 and Skate 4. While we don’t have an Official Whatever Skateboards Review of Olli Olli and Olli Olli 2 we’ve logged A LOT of hours on them and even have some of the global high scores. Not to mention several members of our team used to be game developers and had platinum hits so we’re not just parroting the rest of the reviews.
The Good: This Game Has Some Moments
As with any game you can see the developers and production team did try put their hearts in to it. Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5 shines during certain surprise and delight moments: putting the first weird head on your skater, popping beach balls in The Berrics pool, and even firing explosive rockets out of your skateboard. The subtle trick names as you clear gaps and grind rails are good for a smile and the quippy mission names are the same way. Some of the missions are better than others, and there are a few times the rides lines really are spectacular. Overall the stock levels are actually pretty fun and larger than we expected. Oddly enough one of the best parts of this game is the stupid Robomoto intro.
The Bad: Yikes
Our first office play session was hours long and we unlocked the third level. The next day we went to play again and all of our game data had been reset. That meant hours of replaying the missions and the complete lack of story (unlike THPS Underground) became painful. We bailed. We forced ourselves to pick it back up again. Every private match ended in a crashed game and needing an XBox One reboot. You can’t even switch Missions from within a Mission, you have to go all the way out to “Freeskate” mode even though the menu opens up. You hit the left menu button and the menu opens on the right of the screen. Hit the right menu button and the menu opens on the left side of the screen. In a nutshell this game is mentally painful to play.
The Ugly: This Game Is Actually Worse Than You Realize
This game does a bit of a disservice to gaming. Where the original Tony Hawk Pro Skater was innovative and moved gaming forward this game was a cold rehash of the Tony Hawk franchise. The best new move was stolen from Olli Olli and the “big new thing” is a multiplayer open world no one wants to be in. Given the years between the release of THPS4 and THPS5 this game should have been a glorious reboot of one of the last god-tier gaming franchises from the golden era of 32 and 64 bit gaming. Instead we got the Star Wars: Episode 1 of skateboard games. Everyone was hoping for a new version of an old classic but instead what we got was the same old game. There goes another unicorn :’-(
The soundtrack is another great place to see something terribly wrong with Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5: its all rock and punk. There’s no EDM, no dubstep, no hip hop, and no rap. The original soundtrack was incredible, this was huge chance to reboot it and instead what we got was a small can of TH approved music. We know he likes that stuff already, its not new to brand followers. And its certainly not in touch with modern music. Does the Hawk listen to anything but guitars? What about any other skaters in the game? Do they have ears and like music? We’ll never know.
Unlike the original Tony Hawk Pro Skater which had a bevy of famous skaters this version pretty much lets you pick from Tony Hawk, Tony Hawk Jr., and Tony Hawkette. Where the hell is Rodney Mullen, Evan Smith, Kilian Martin, or any female skaters? Why can’t I make my own face on a skater? Why can’t I skate my own skate? The original Tony Hawk Pro Skater went so far past Tony Hawk himself that it made him stand out as a remarkable individual in a community and finalized his status as a pop culture god. Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5 continues to celebrate the Tony Hawk legacy but never gets past the Tony Hawk brand enough to connect with anyone actually playing the game.
In the end it felt like THPS5 was a game made for one person to play: Tony Hawk.
Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5 PROTIPS
- Metacritic gave this a 1.5 / 5
- Gamespot gave this a 3.0 / 10
- Wait until much later or even after the holidays to get this game if you have to buy it the price will be much lower.
Its An Electric Self Balancing Scooter Two Wheel Standing Skateboard Hoverboard! DUH!
SCORE: 9.2 / 10 (WORTH IT!!)
What’d We Test?
We decided if we were going to get some of these stand up lighted scooter thingies we wanted to do a proper test. That meant doing it right and getting a few of the quality versions of these that use the Samsung batteries typically found in electric bicycles. Remember: the main cost on any electric scooter or electric skateboard is the batteries. We have some large guys on the staff and they need the extra horsepower (Editor: hey! I’m right here!). Just kidding. The the cheap electric scooters we tried were low cost and broke easily, they weren’t built to handle actual use. You can ride a nice electric self balancing scooter outside, though they will get very scratched up. We ended up sticking with multiple generations of the higher quality ones and didn’t bother with the smaller versions.
Turns out all of the “brands” of these are the same thing with a different sticker. Some of them are charging 2x-3x the cost of the usual top end unit so don’t outrageous prices for a better “brand” of these, its all about the battery.
These are electric motorized platforms… OBVIOUSLY THEY ARE INCREDIBLY FUN. As soon as you’re rolling around without moving your legs realize just how dope these things actually are. With each wheel moving independently you can pivot 360 degrees in place easily, the precision cornering gives you excellent maneuvering of the board in tight spots. It really shined on open sidewalks and we rolled around a local street festival kooking out and having a great time on the blocked off road. They’re super responsive indoors as well. If you’ve been on an electric skateboard these are a totally different experience and are a great new skill to learn.
Did we mention they have Bluetooth speakers built in? Blast tunes and roll, so awesome.
Battery Life And Speed
The battery life on these is HOURS you can roll on one charge all day. The nice ones have an indicator to let you know when you’re getting low, once it shows a low battery light you have plenty of roll time to get back. These Samsung batteries must be made out of magic because they charged up crazy fast. When you get moving the electric bicycle batteries give these balancing scooters quite the kick, you can hoss around between 6 to 8 miles per hour comfortably without speed wobbles and the manual says up to 10mph though it does max out.
The Glamorous Life of A Celebrity
Part of the appeal of these is the headlines they’ve been making with celebrities using them and most of them have sold in California. Wiz Khalifa was tackled in an airport riding them, Justin Bieber was filmed kickflipping one in LA, and tons of other celebs have been rolling around them. That’s not really selling point until you yourself get on of these io boards and you’ll see why: you too are an instant celeb. Every time you cruise these things every skater stops to take a ride. Everyone has loved them so far, we’ve seen a few electric tricks get popped, a few curbs get dropped, and we’ve met a lot of people. Definitely worth it for the wow factor, plus its a great ride. Everyone will ask you where you got it.
Good For Non-Skaters
Skateboards scare people who don’t skate. Science is working on a cure for them but until then this is something they might be more into and will ride around. Could be a nice gateway drug in to real skating. The more advanced models of the electric self balancing scooter have a beginner mode and a remote to help ease the learning curve.
The Technical Manual
As an added bonus the technical manual is a hilarious mess of translation errors that’s worth the read. In a nutshell: be careful, wear protection, and don’t drive it on unsafe terrain.
These Are Not Hoverboards
Don’t believe the hype, they don’t hover. They roll.
You’re not gonna go pro on these on your first try. Take your time getting on them. Place your first foot on one platform and imagine you’re positioning yourself over your front trucks to push your skate. You want to be over your centerline on the platform with your foot perfectly flat. If you don’t then one of the two wheels is going to start moving forward and backward quickly and accelerate. Do not jump on with both feet right away! Take your time, within about 5 – 10 minutes you’ll learn how to roll around comfortably. It is a different skill than skateboarding or electric skateboarding. Its also a different skill than scootering or electric scootering and its different than a Segway. Its definitely fun to learn though and will keep your abs and hip flexors working out. Your non-skater friends will need you to hold them their first time on these “self balancing platforms”.
There Is No Word For These
You will meet more people cruising on these electric self balancing skateboard standing two wheel scooters than you have ever met in your life and they will all ask you the same thing: what is it called and where do I get it? You can’t buy it in stores (we’re working on selling them here) and there is no official word for these things.Skegboard? Skegway? Kookboard? Electric Skitch Machine? People movers? Futureboard? We have no idea and no one wants to stay electric self balancing skateboard standing two wheel scooter. They go by a lot of names but they are not a electric unicycles, electric hoverboards, electric skateboards, or electric scooters so we don’t know what to call them yet :-( I’m sure they’ll be at a skatepark near you soon.
Hard to Find
They’re insanely hard to find right now. They are pretty much sold out everywhere and they aren’t available in stores. We know a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy, etc. that hooked us up with some of the only available ones south of Orange County. We want to get more for the office so we’ve started focusing our laser beams on locating the prime source of the best ones available…
Cracks and bumps are no joke on these things, as are slopes and hills. These are perfect for skaters though as we already know all the best lines through town. Unfortunately your non-skater friends may need a guide and slow you down from your electric kookboard shred sesh.
- Quality, quality, quality. Get the good ones with Bluetooth speakers.
- Take your time on your first run, we had a few bruises and roughed up ankle on our first try. You’ll get the hang of it in about 5 – 10 minutes.
- Approachable for non-skaters.
- Caution: you’ll make a lot of friends and everyone will want to ride your new board but they may need help at first.
- Getting off is the hardest part. Come to a stop and again imagine you’re positioning over your front trucks on a skateboard to push. This will help you focus on keeping keep your foot level. In an emergency you can quickly remove both feet at the same time so it does not move.
- It will get scratched up but they are durable.
- They will roll if you bail bad, be prepared.
- We’ll let you know if there’s a better word than electric self balancing scooter in the future.
We got Tony Hawk Circuit Boards, the Remote Control Mini Finger Skateboards by Tony Hawk, Birdhouse, and HEXBUG!
You know we’re stoked on these remote control Tony Hawk Circuit Board skateboards, we wrote an earlier article on our blog before they were even released. BUT NOW WE HAVE THEM AND THEY ARE AWESOME. And after several days of not sleeping or eating and playing with them constantly we came to and decided these mini skateboards deserved an Official (capital O) Review.
SCORE: 9.2 / 10 with Skatepark (WORTH IT)
What’d We Get?
We got it all pretty much because we wanted every skateboard and skatepark. We have just about every possible skate, a bunch of power axels, loads of remotes, tons of trucks, wheels out the wazoo, and most importantly the FULL skatepark. Seriously, we kinda went nuts on things and it was a bit of a Christmas present for the office. We only managed to get a few pictures before we tore in to them like feral animals so here’s what we got:
These are remote control finger / mini skateboards. We’ll say that one more time: Remote. Control. They are SO FUN. And they can cruise pretty seriously, we drove some of them outside 10+ city blocks on sidewalk and they go about as fast as you can walk. Incredibly fast. The battery life is great, we’ve been playing with them constantly and haven’t worn out a single poweraxel yet. They have some decent horsepower behind them so you can really get them going, especially in the skatepark features. Remember, they have two speeds! You can use the remote to trigger between them but we pretty much leave them on turbo boost 24/7.
The skatepark! The skates are fun on their own but the ramps, halfpipes, rails, and basically the entire skatepark setup makes the Tony Hawk Circuit Boards really shine. They’re sized perfectly for the deck size and they’re definitely doable. When you actually get the hang of going back and forth in the halfpipe there is a 100% chance you’ll wish you could skate vert that tough IRL. We *highly* recommend getting the full skatepark setup and not just one feature, (ramp, halfpipe, bowl, etc.) Its worth the few extra bucks to have a bunch of feature pieces to work with. Here’s one of our setups we call the “Megaramp”
The bad list is actually pretty short, these were even better than we were expecting. If we could make a few wishes we’d wish for an ollie button and slightly longer range on the remotes controls. Also if we’re wishing we’d wish ourselves to be tiny so we could skate around on these things for realsies. If you’re getting two remotes get one that says CH1 on the front and one that says CH2 on the front so you’re not crossing the beams.
Just a warning but do not step on one of these and try to ride it “for science”. You will find yourself making an apology to the whole office as to why you broke the awesome new Tony Hawk Circuit Board.
Getting some Tony Hawk Circuit Boards? Here’s some pro tips we wanted to share in the review:
- Get the full skatepark. Single features are cool but it is way more fun to have the full skatepark.
- Save the boxes, they are good for blocking in the skatepark / halfpipe and raising up ramps.
- Practice, practice, practice.
- When trying to grind the rail come at the rail at a 45 degree angle until you’ve gotten good at it.
- Get multiple poweraxels (power packs) and remotes. Make sure to get both CH1 and CH2 remotes.
Here’s a link to the official Tony Hawk Circuit Boards HEXBUG website if you want to obsess over remote control skateboards like us :-)
Get ‘Em on Amazon!