Demonseed Deelite – A review by Laura Hatwell

Direct from the Skatefurther forum, Laura Hatwell’s review of the Rayne Demonseed Deelite. Laura recently returned from her epic trip across Orkney, Sheltand and the Highlands of Scotland; ‘Perimeter:North Sea Skate‘ .She spent some time to sit down and give us her views of the Rayne Deemonseed Deelite. Enjoy.

Rayne’s Demonseed deck has been a popular shape with distance and downhill skaters worldwide for some time now. The blend of drop down, drop thru, and concave and stability seems to be a winner on numerous trips, at events and for good old-fashioned commuting too. Coupled with the fact that by utilising some neatly-fashioned Khiro rails and the right trucks you can drop the thing by up to a half inch, you’re looking at a seriously amazing beast.

But that’s just it…it’s a beast. A heavy one at that. I’m a tiny rider, 5 foot 2 inches and 130lbs at best. I’d been riding around on a regular Demonseed for nearly a year trying to keep up with the big boys but, inevitably, failing. Fortunately for me, I was able to rectify the situation this summer, when a Demonseed Deelite, a present for doing some work on a certain Peruvian skate trip website, dropped into my life, express delivery from Vancouver, Canada.

With exactly the same dimensions, and the same drop down/drop thru setup as its fully-bamboo-zled counterpart, the Deelite version is slick. At 44” long and 10” wide with a wheelbase of 34.5” there’s one heck of a lot of room to move about on this board. The difference is, it’s reputedly half the weight. On first impressions, I have to say, it feels it. Perhaps it’s just the shock of feeling a ‘light’ Demonseed, something we’re used to being a bit weighty, but it’s definitely lighter. Which is good, because it costs a bloody fortune.

This thing looks bad in black. Bad as in good. Bad as in so sexy good that you’ll want to stand it on its tail, put your hands on its ‘shoulders’ and give it a massage while others stare on jealously. I do. All the time. Give Me My Quality Seed Time.

To add rigidity without adding weight, the board has 21 carbon stringers running nose to tail, which are impregnated within a layer of fibreglass top and bottom. This arrangement covers a bamboo exoskeleton. Within the belly of this ‘Deluxe’ Demonseed, there is a core of aircraft foam, the shape of which you can just make out in a certain light. Rayne really have taken all the weight that they can out of this one. And it looks amazing.

Now to set it up. Having tried lowering my regular Seed by ½ inch and finding the hangar rubbed a little at the bottom of the drop throughs, resulting in rubbing around the cutouts, I opted for a ¼ inch drop using some hacksawed Khiro hard risers with thin rubber pads to protect the surface of the deck and provide a tiny bit of shock absorption.

I ended up using bolts far too long, but having only them in my possession, went for it anyway. On the Holeys, I chose to put Seismic Speed Vents 85mm, 79a. These wheels have been proven to work on distance trips all around the world, being larger in diameter but lighter in weight thanks to their super duper cores. They’ve survived in all kinds of terrains with nary a scratch, gripping, turning and bouncing over the rough stuff like a dream. In the wheels I used Bones Reds bearings, mid range price, easy to clean and durable. I was all set.
Given that I only had one night to get the board gripped, set up and ready to go, I didn’t have much chance to get my setup wrong before I left for Scotland. It was this or …I didn’t have an alternative. Fortunately, the advice I had been given by forum members Nat Halliday (wafflesole) and Paul Kent (fuzzydeer) proved correct. So now I have 30 days worth of full on distance trip skating to explain to you how I feel about this board!

I’m not gonna lie. This board is stiff. It’s much more rigid than a full bamboo Seed, and therefore, its going to be a bit more rattly than a full Bamboo Seed. With less wood to soak up the bumps, only carbon, you’re going to feel a little bit more of the road surface. Accept that now, like you did when you got on a Rolls Rolls (if you’ve ever done that) on a perfect surface and went “Woah, this is so low and so smooth!”, and quit yer gripin’.

The Demonseed Deelite is incredible. I spent one month loving this board to death. The good outweighs the bad in my opinion, but for the price, I understand you’re going to want a bit better reasoning than that. Well, hear me now.

The Deelite is everything you ever loved about the Demonseed, every feature you cared about – the little concave at the nose to lock your foot in, the sexy nose and tail shape, the bucket concave, the vast footroom, that same faithful unwobbling ride quality on downhills, uphills, and corners – just lighter. And it still sticks to the road, true and strong.

It’s a joy to push, and my current set up really makes it feel like a ‘professional’ distance board for the discerning connoisseur. You can get the thrust forward on your standing leg, and a frighteningly powerful push with your …pushing…leg. I feel very at home on this setup. I will admit, it’s still a little long for me, but if you’re carrying any kind of pack – you’ll need something like this with its forgiving foot area.

For total lightweightness, I would shave off some length, and a half inch off the sides (Rayne rider Paul Kent has been getting his decks made thinner), and snub the nose and the tail, so you can slide trucks in easily and pull it up hills without any issues. Currently, I use a lanyard looped round the drop through to pull my board along if I can’t skate. Yeah it looks daft, but how pretty is my board after 600 miles?

If you want a Demonseed to skate on, like the shape, buy the regular Seed. If you want a precision distance/downhill tool for your arsenal with which to destroy all in your path, have an appreciation for composites and foams, and see weight as your enemy, get the Deelite. Sell your chi-hooa-hooa if you have to.