Ever since its release in December 2013, the Earthwing Hell Camino has flown under-the-radar for most longboarders. The Hell Camino was released at the peak of the NLS hype, and as a result, it never received the attention it deserves. Today, we’re going to change that.
The Hell Camino is a hybrid; it has elements of both a standard doublekick skateboard and a downhill/freeride-oriented longboard. While many companies have struggled to get the perfect balance of street and downhill abilities in a board, we feel that Earthwing nailed it with the Hell Camino.
7 plies of 1/16” maple
Front and back wheel flares
Nose and tail kicktails
Symmetrical standing platform
Trucks: Independent 169s w/ Bones Hardcores
Wheels: 64mm 85a Cult ISMs
Bearings: Mercury Bearings
Trucks: 180mm 47° PNL Strummers
Wheels: 70mm 80a Sector 9 CS Raceforms
Bearings: Mercury Bearings
Our first thought as we unboxed the Hell Camino was, “Wow, why is this board not more popular?” The Hell Camino has every feature a longboarder could want crammed into a 37” deck. It has rocker, front and back wheel flares, W concave and kicktails. What more could you need? Normally, we’d be a bit wary of a longboard with that much going on, but Earthwing managed to masterfully blend all of these elements together into a cohesive design.
We’d like to commend Earthwing on making the Hell Camino’s concave completely symmetrical. While the shape obviously isn’t symmetrical, everything between the wheel flares is. This is ingenious on Earthwing’s part. Unlike most single kicks with flares on the market, the Hell Camino gives riders two distinct ways to skate the board. Not only can you skate the Hell Camino like a classic single kick (one foot on the kick/pocket of the kick and one foot wedged against the front flair), but also you can skate it like a completely symmetrical brick. We do have one concern though: the thickness of the rear wheel flares. The combination of the deep wheel wells + steep wheel flares results in the rear flares being a mere 2 plies thick.
It should also come as no surprise that the Hell Camino is lightweight. At 37” long and composed of 7 plies of maple, the Hell Camino is pretty light. Combined with the relatively mellow kicktail (steep kicktails can feel pretty bad on longer boards), you should have no trouble doing some wrongboarding on the Hell Camino. The square shape of the kicktail is also a nice touch. Reminiscent of the Corchia, the square shape provides ample leverage when skating the Hell Camino from the tail, yet it doesn’t inhibit the pop.
Finally, we love the Hell Camino’s graphic. The artwork is well done, and it just emanates a “street” style graphic.
The first thing we noticed after setting up the Hell Camino was the wheel clearance. With Indy 169s, ¼” of riser and 64mm Cult ISMs, it was physically impossible for us to make the Hell Camino get wheelbite.
The actual ride of the Hell Camino is about what you’d expect out of a 20.75-24” wheelbase singlekick topmount. The concave locks you in well without being uncomfortable, the kicktail has a good amount of pop, and you have miles of wheel clearance. As a result, we’re not going to bore you with the details of how it feels. Instead, we’re going to focus more on the Hell Camino’s “dualism” of sorts.
The Hell Camino is unique in that it can be skated in two completely different ways. Generally, boards will be designed with either RKPs or TKPs in mind. Sure, some boards will feel good with either, but we feel that the Hell Camino goes above and beyond.
On one hand, you can set up the Hell Camino on its smallest wheelbase (20.75”) with a 150-170mm TKP and <65mm wheels for a fun city-slasher and wrongboard. With Indy 169s and Cult ISMs, skating the Hell Camino felt a lot like skating a double kick. Linking rotations was a breeze, the flares did a fantastic job of locking us in, and it was all-around tons of fun. We even threw on some Slide As, and while it wouldn’t be our #1 choice (the wheelbase is slightly too long for a dedicated techslider), the Hell Camino works pretty well for techsliding. With Indy 169s, the Hell Camino had a nice amount of pop for ollies and fliptricks.
On the other hand, if narrow TKPs aren’t your thing, the Hell Camino works equally well with 180mm RKPs and 70mm wheels. Using the longest wheelbase (24”), the Hell Camino felt stable (at least as stable as a 24” wheelbase topmount is going to be), and it felt entirely capable of being used for faster freeride and downhill.
As a result, although we don’t like throwing around the term “quiver killer,” we definitely feel that the Hell Camino is as close to a quiver killer as you’re going to get.
The Hell Camino’s symmetrical concave is also a huge plus when it comes to freeride. When we were riding switch after a 180 standup slide, we wouldn’t even know the board was backwards if we didn’t look down at it.
While the Hell Camino is a great all-around board, it does have a few flaws.
The first and most significant flaw is the thickness of the wheel flares. While the clearance is phenomenal, the wheel flares are less than 2 plies thick in some spots. We wouldn’t be surprised if repeated abuse eventually led to the flares splitting.
Second, some riders may not like the placement of the rear wheel flares. There is minimal transition between the kick and the wheel flares, and as a result, the pocket formed by the kicktail is very aggressive. You’re essentially standing with half of your foot on the flare, half of your foot on the kicktail. We did not find this to be uncomfortable, but it definitely does feel different from your standard kicktail pocket.
Finally, we would like to see an 8ply Hell Camino for heavier riders. At its longest wheelbase, the 7ply Hell Camino had a bit of give for our 200lb+ reviewer. It’s not uncommon for Earthwing to offer boards in two thicknesses (Supergliders, old Supermodels, the Yoni Ettinger Pro Model, etc.), and we think the Hell Camino would be the perfect board for this option. Lighter riders or riders looking for a primarily street-oriented setup can go for the 7ply, and heavier riders or riders looking for a stiffer setup for faster skating can get the 8ply.
The Hell Camino is the perfect culmination of Earthwing’s board-making expertise. It has elements of longboards, elements of conventional skateboards, and it’s an all-around well-made board. Whether you’re railing corners at 40, throwing 50ft standup slides or jumping down stairs, the Earthwing Hell Camino can handle whatever you throw at it. Combine all of this with its $90 price tag and it’s an absolute steal. The Hell Camino really embodies the mantra of “skate everything.”
If you’re looking for a do-it-all board that doesn’t break the bank, look no further than the Earthwing Hell Camino.