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Shihao Cao

Shihao Cao


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I longboard everywhere at Cornell, and downhill full-speed whenever the road is clear. If I'm in NYC or Chicago, I'll also longboard around.

I started longboarding back in middle school when I built my first electric longboard. But since then, I have always preferred non-electric boards. They are 5x lighter and easier to carry around.

The electric board

This was my first ever board, and it was a whole saga to build in Middle School.

I rode it whenever I needed to go from North campus down to Central campus, and it certainly got the job done. It was fast, and I was never late to class.

The way too small nickel board

I got this board in the Summer at SpaceX in 2020 out of necessity. I didn't bring my electric board to LA, and since I didn't have a car in LA, I wanted a board so I could ride between my office in HT-21 and HT-01.

I later converted it into a snowboard and never bothered to put it back together lmao.

The GP

The general-purpose board. I got this board in the Fall of 2021, as I needed a board with real grip-tape and stiffness. This board, especially with the upgraded 70mm wheels gave me real stiffness and confidence in going down the hill into Collegetown at full speed without carving.

Its true beauty is its portability though. I don't go to class without it.

The spark gloves

Right after I got the GP board I knew I needed some gloves because I was going to wipe out. I did a set of DIY slide gloves because premade was expensive lol. I got a set of work gloves, a sewing kit, velcro pads, and flint pucks, and sewed it all together.

Yes the flint pucks are just for the cool-factor its very fun haha. Try out a pair if you haven't! It pushes you to learn much faster.

The first nicer board

This board is a drop-deck 42" board made from 8-ply maple. It uses RKP trucks. I upgraded the wheels to Orangatang Stimulus 70mm 80a wheels on Bones Red Bearings. This is my nicest ride for sure. If only I could bring it everywhere haha.

I kitted this ride out for downhill freeriding and sliding.

2022/2023 update:

The length of the flower board gave me a lot of control once I broke into the slide since I had a ton of leverage in either direction, but it also made it very hard to break into the slide in the first place.

Thus I switched to a slightly shorter dedicated downhill board. It wasn’t drop-through, and there was plenty of footroom near the trucks for additional torque for breaking traction.

Later in the winter, I also switched from FatFree 65mm to Skiff 62, these much narrower wheels had even less traction area so it was even easier to break into the slides. The general theme is that almost every upgrade helped me break into my slides even more.

As I got better, I was able to pull off some pretty sick slides like this!

Graduating from Cornell

For me, the undulating hills of Cornell were the whole reason I started skating around. The hills beckoned to be ridden, forcing me to learn how to slide to stop. I will never forget cherishing the end of class just so I could ride to the bottom of the hill listening to my favorite song of the week. Feeling the wind rushing past me, and the asphalt vibrating through the board is what made me feel alive.

And so, I thought it was only fitting to get a few glamour shots in graduation attire before I left.

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