Book Reading Guide

As part of our series on reading, this guide dives into how to read a book using the classical framework provided by Mortimer Adler.

By the time you finish reading, you’ll have a framework for reading at different levels that you can apply right away.

Let’s hit the books and explore the following:

  • How We Learn to Read
  • How You Read Matches Why You’re Reading
  • The Four Levels of Reading
    1. Elementary Reading
    2. Inspectional Reading
    3. Analytical Reading
    4. Syntopical Reading
  • Becoming a Demanding Reader

How We Learn To Read

I bet you already know how to read a book. You were taught in elementary school.

But do you know how to read well?

There is a difference between reading for understanding and reading for information.

If you’re like most people, you probably haven’t given much thought to how you read. And how you read makes a massive difference to knowledge accumulation.

A lot of people confuse knowing the name of something with understanding. While great for exercising your memory, the regurgitation of facts without solid understanding and context gains you little in the real world.

A useful heuristic: Anything easily digested is reading for information.

Consider the newspaper, are you truly learning anything new? Do you consider the writer your superior when it comes to knowledge in the subject? Odds are probably not. That means you’re reading for information. It means you’re likely to parrot an opinion that isn’t yours as if you had done the work.

This is how most people read. But most people aren’t really learning anything new. It’s not going to give you an edge, make you better at your job, or allow you to avoid problems.

“Marking a book is literally an experience of your differences or agreements with the author. It is the highest respect you can pay him.”

— Edgar Allen Poe

Learning something insightful requires mental work. It’s uncomfortable. If it doesn’t hurt, you’re not learning. You need to find writers who are more knowledgeable on a particular subject than yourself. By narrowing the gap between the author and yourself, you get smarter.

The Four Levels of Reading

Mortimer Adler literally wrote the book on reading. Adler identifies four levels of reading:

  1. Elementary Reading
  2. Inspectional Reading
  3. Analytical Reading
  4. Syntopical Reading

How You Read Matches Why You’re Reading

The goal of reading determines how you read. Reading the latest Danielle Steel novel is not the same as reading Plato. If you’re reading for entertainment or information, you’re going to read a lot differently (and likely different material) than reading to increase understanding. While many people are proficient in reading for information and entertainment, few improve their ability to read for knowledge.

Before we can improve our reading skills, we need to understand the differences in the reading levels. They are thought of as levels because you can’t move to a higher level without a firm understanding of the previous one — they are cumulative.

1. Elementary Reading

This is the level of reading taught in our elementary schools. If you’re reading this, you already know how to do this.

2. Inspectional Reading

We’ve been taught that skimming and superficial reading are bad for understanding. That is not necessarily the case. Using these tools effectively can increase understanding. Inspectional reading allows us to look at the author’s blueprint and evaluate the merits of a deeper reading experience.

There are two sub-types of inspectional reading:

  • Systematic skimming — This is meant to be a quick check of the book by (1) reading the preface; (2) studying the table of contents; (3) checking the index; and (4) reading the inside jacket. This should give you sufficient knowledge to understand the chapters in the book, pivotal to the author’s argument. Dip in here and there, but never with more than a paragraph or two. Skimming helps you reach to a decision point: Does this book deserve more of my time and attention? If not, you put it down.
  • Superficial reading — This is when you just read. Don’t ponder the argument, don’t look things up, don’t write in the margins. If you don’t understand something, move on. What you gain from this quick read will help you later when you go back and put more effort into reading. You now come to another decision point. Now that you have a better understanding of the book’s contents and its structure, do you want to understand it?

Inspectional reading gives you the gist of things.

Sometimes that’s all we want or need. But sometimes we want more. Sometimes we want to understand.

3. Analytical Reading

Francis Bacon once remarked, “some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested.”

You can think of analytical reading as doing that chewing and digesting. This is doing the work.

Analytical reading is a thorough reading.

If inspectional reading is the best you can do quickly, this is the best reading you can do given time.

At this point, you start to engage your mind and dig into the work required to understand what’s being said. I highly recommend you use marginalia to converse with the author.

There are four rules to Analytical Reading

  • Classify the book according to kind and subject matter.
  • State what the whole book is about with the utmost brevity.
  • Enumerate its major parts in their order and relation, and outline these parts as you have outlined the whole.
  • Define the problem or problems the author is trying to solve.

You’ll probably notice that while those sound pretty easy, they involve a lot of work. Luckily the inspectional reading you’ve already done has primed you for this.

After an inspectional read, you will understand the book and the author’s views.

But that doesn’t mean you’ll understand the broader subject. To do that, you need to use comparative reading to synthesize knowledge from several books on the same subject.

4. Syntopical Reading

This is also known as comparative reading, and it represents the most demanding and difficult reading of all. Syntopical Reading involves reading many books on the same subject and comparing and contrasting ideas, vocabulary, and arguments.

This task is undertaken by identifying relevant passages, translating the terminology, framing and ordering the questions that need answering, defining the issues, and having a conversation with the responses.

The goal is not to achieve an overall understanding of any particular book, but rather to understand the subject and develop a deep fluency.

This is all about identifying and filling in your knowledge gaps.

There are five steps to syntopical reading:

  • Finding the Relevant Passages — You need to find the right books and then the passages that are most relevant to filling your needs. So the first step is an inspectional reading of all the works that you have identified as relevant.
  • Bringing the Author to Terms — In analytical reading, you must identify the keywords and how they are used by the author. This is fairly straightforward. The process becomes more complicated now as each author has probably used different terms and concepts to frame their argument. Now the onus is on you to establish the terms. Rather than using the author’s language, you must use your own. In short, this is an exercise in translation and synthesis.
  • Getting the Questions Clear — Rather than focus on the problems the author is trying to solve, you need to focus on the questions that you want answered. Just as we must establish our own terminology, so too must we establish our own propositions by shedding light on our problems to which the authors provide answers. It’s important to frame the questions in such a way that all or most of the authors can be interpreted as providing answers. Sometimes we might not get an answer to our questions because they might not have been seen as questions by the authors.
  • Defining the Issues — If you’ve asked a clear question to which there are multiple answers then an issue has been defined. Opposing answers, now translated into your terms, must be ordered in relation to one another. Understanding multiple perspectives within an issue helps you form an intelligent opinion.
  • Analyzing the Discussion — It’s presumptuous to expect we’ll find a single unchallenged truth to any of our questions. Our answer is the conflict of opposing answers. The value is the discussion you have with these authors. You can now have an informed opinion.

Becoming a Demanding Reader

Reading is all about asking the right questions in the right order and seeking answers.

There are four main questions you need to ask of every book:

  • What is this book about?
  • What is being said in detail, and how?
  • Is this book true in whole or in part?
  • What of it?

If all of this sounds like hard work, you’re right. Most people won’t do it. That’s what sets you apart.


Accounting Services Guide

One key element that decides the accomplishment of an organization is their finance. If an organization wants to gain success, they have to ensure that their financials are in first class order, particularly with the assistance of an accounting service.

Types of Accounting Services

There are various types of accounting services. All accountants are mostly associated with analyzing and recording business transactions, assessing the business’ money related capacities and bookkeeping. However, there are many accounting services which differ as indicated by the administration status, business condition, and experience among other factors. It helps to know ahead of time the kind of accounting service you require. Below is detailed information of the most well-known sorts of accounting services for your business to enable you pick the correct administration sort to suite your business needs.


Money related analysis; billing, bank reconciliations, end of year tax projection, payroll, monthly trial balances, accounts payable, and assignment reporting are a portion of the works incorporated in bookkeeping. These services are expected to help business proprietors in maintaining their everyday business. Many accounting services providers utilize full-charge bookkeepers and accountants to deal with these accounting services. They monitor day by day business dealings and give up to date correspondence between the accountant and business proprietor.

Tax Services

Many accounting firms specialize in preparation of tax service. The employed tax accountant can handle your income tax preparation and other different assessment necessities set on your business. This sort of accounting service is good for different specializations and businesses with regards to claims and how to abstain from paying unnecessarily duty. You should inquire as to whether the chosen accounting services provider prepares tax since not all accountants do this administration. Make sure to solicit ahead of time in case you have to search another person to do your duties. Speak with your accountant about any private venture accounting needs you may have before enlisting him.

Updating Books

Accounting services will also update your books and PC programs. Also, this sort of accounting administration will even backup your business PC system at regular intervals so that you don’t lose imperative data. The services offered by this accountant give entrepreneurs the confirmation that records are all together and nothing will be lost.

Deal with Your Business Credit

As a business proprietor, it is essential that your business credit is very much isolated from your own credit. With a business credit accountant, you can ensure that your credit document is settled and overseen. Your accountant may screen your business credit and report activities to business credit departments. This is critical in keeping up great credit.

General Accounting Services

High level state accounting services are commonly offered by Certified Public Accountants. The services offered incorporate government and state assessment form readiness, culminating money related explanations, and making spending plan. They additionally offer devaluation of assets checking, business valuation, audit and help customers decide income needs.

How can you pick the correct Accounting Services Provider?

Whether you handle a small or a large business, it is truly essential that you pick the correct accounting services to address your accounting needs. Finance is a vital part of your business and you have to ensure that it is dealt with by a skilled and experienced individual. Picking the correct one would spare a great deal of time and furthermore spare your firm from a considerable measure of lawful bothers. The following is a guide to help you pick the correct accounting services provider for your business needs.


Regardless of whether you procure an individual accountant or contract the services of an accounting firm, ensure you employ somebody who is sufficiently qualified to deal with your funds. They require extraordinary preparing and qualification with a specific end goal to deal with accounting needs legitimately. The more qualified and more experience, the services supplier is in the applicable field, the better it is for you and your firm.

Search for Relevant Experience
Regardless of whether it is recording your organization’s expense forms or bookkeeping, you would require somebody who has officially done these before. You most likely wouldn’t like to be his first customer, particularly when your organization extends to a point and it is audited. It is ideal if the firm your contract has worked with organizations like yours before. This would set them in a place to comprehend your firm better. If they have handled greater organizations than yours, then it’s a positive thing, as you can stick around with that same provider even when your organization develops.

Search for Referrals

Conversing with business accomplices is an extraordinary approach to locate a decent accounting administration provider. Word of mouth is the most ideal approach to discover extraordinary competitors, no matter what. You can likewise ask your companions or relatives who run businesses.

Use of Social Media

The online networking is advancing every day and platforms like LinkedIn are an awesome approach to discover perfect competitors. LinkedIn is the biggest platform for experts globally and links employers with workers. You can simply search the keywords accounting services, enter your area and LinkedIn would give you all the accessible alternatives. Their LinkedIn profile would likewise uncover vital insight about their qualification and experience, and it would turn out to be simple for you to shortlist applicants.


The achievement of a business depends on the precise administration of your monetary transaction and activity. If you neglect to deal with your accounts appropriately, your business will probably come up short. This is the motivation behind why you ought to be exceptionally watchful in dealing with your accounts by employing proficient accounting services provider. They are a requirement for the survival of a business and can even assist save a colossal measure of money by growing business efficiency and allowing you to settle on better cash related decisions by giving productive information, for instance, the examination of business dissolvability and benefit. Accounting is truly the heart of the business if the association’s trusts aren’t supervised authentically, it will over the long haul prompt the mistake of the business. While various little business people acknowledge they can manage their association’s accounts isolated, they frequently recognize past the final turning point that there aren’t adequate hours in the day to deal with each piece of accounting while at the same time endeavouring to build up the business. Go for professional accounting services and you will never regret. By using the above guide, you cannot go wrong.


Import Export Business Guide

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An import is a good or service brought into one country from another country as well as export; which is the process of taking product from one country to another country. The backbone of international trade is specially formed around the term import and export; because the act of international exchange of goods is a significant part of international trading. It is very necessary to balance the value of trading between importation and the amount of product leaving the country so that the host country will have a positive trade balance; else there will be negative balance of trade; which is a critical factor of economy growth and development.

There are two basic categories of import/export:

1. Industrial and consumer goods

Industrial goods are made up of machinery, manufacturing plants and materials, and any other good or component used by other industries or firms. Consumer goods are ready for the consumption and satisfaction of human wants, such as clothing or food.

2. Intermediate goods and services

Intermediate goods such as partly finished goods, are used as inputs in the production of other goods including final goods. A firm may make and then use intermediate goods, or make and then sell, or buy then use them.

The Main Objective of Import Export:

Companies import goods and services to supply to the domestic market at a cheaper price and better quality than competing goods manufactured in the domestic market. Companies import products that are not available in the local market to enable domestic surplus and encourage good economy growth.

There are three broad types of importers/exporters:

The categories of importers or exporters are based on their need and basic requirements such as highlighted below;

1. Looking for any product around the world to import and sell.

2. Looking for foreign sourcing to get their products at the cheapest price.

3. Using foreign sourcing as part of their global supply chain.

Amongst these categories there is an important factor to understand in the levels of import export business called as; Direct Importation.

Direct-import refers to a type of business importation involving a major retailer and an overseas manufacturer. A retailer typically purchases products designed by local companies that can be manufactured overseas. In a direct-import program, the retailer bypasses the local supplier; middle-man and buys the final product directly from the manufacturer, possibly saving in added cost data on the value of imports and their quantities often broken down by detailed lists of products are available in statistical collections on international trade published by the statistical services of intergovernmental organizations supranational statistical institutes such as Eurostat, and national statistical institutes.

The Benefits of Import Export Business

• Importation

If your business wants to extend profit margins, importing goods or raw materials is one potential path towards achieving this goal. Importing from offshore sources provides a host of benefits, including lower prices, higher quality goods, and the advantages associated with international trade agreements. Importation can help small and medium businesses develop and expand by reaching larger markets abroad, thereby increasing their market values.

• Exportation

Achieve your business goals by exporting products. Exporting products can be highly beneficial for businesses today as it can increase the profits of medium and large businesses by helping the exporter to satisfy the need in the external countries. This returns the exporter with foreign exchange opportunities and more.

Common Import Export Documents

These documents are based on the related countries and their individual requirements.

1. Commercial Invoice. A commercial invoice is a bill for the goods from the seller to the buyer.

2. Export Packing List.

3. Pro Forma Invoice.

4. Airway Bill.

5. Generic Certificate of Origin.

6. Dangerous Goods Certificate.

7. Insurance Certificate.

8. Shipper’s Letter of Instruction.

A healthy economy is one where both exports and imports are growing, since this typically indicates economic strength and a sustainable trade surplus or deficit. If exports fall sharply but imports surge, this may indicate that the domestic economy is faring better than overseas markets.

Example of Import Trade

The definition of import is to introduce or bring goods from one country to be sold in his/her country. An example of import is a trader bringing artwork from India to sell at Vietnam Market which is the trader’s home country market.

Example of Export

The definition of export is to discover goods in another country to be sold in another. An example of Export is going to another country to discover product scarcity such as for jewelry and produce or acquire this product from the trader’s country to send to the foreign market.

The future of import export business is one that will always continue to grow. The concept of supply chain which involves the process sourcing for the product and until it is delivered to the receiving market. This process in the recent years has integrated a good amount of technology advancement. We are experiencing the inflow of block chain technology in international trading and there are more of their kinds that will enable feasibility in import export industry. The major requirement is to be updated and close to the necessary information when and where it is available.


Hitchhiking Guide

Hitchhiking is a form of travel that has been around for as long as there have been vehicles to ride. Originating in America and eventually spreading to Europe and the world: it can be used for journeys big or small, from a quick ride to the shop, to a multi-leg expedition across the entirety of continents. I have passed through a number of European countries, parts of South East Asia, China and Japan and shared stories with friends within the community who have hitched all over the world. Drawing from these experiences, I have compiled this ultimate guide to hitchhiking to hopefully continue growing this awesome way of travel.

So, First Things First, Why Hitch?

Hitch-hiking is a nearly cost-free form of transportation, relying on the kindness of strangers and the flexibility of your travel plans. In parts of Southern France, hitchhiking is so common that it has completely relinquished the need for taxi’s, and it’s not a rare sight to see a mother pick up her child from pre-school and hitchhike home. However, with public transport becoming more affordable and reliable, why waste time thumbing by the road side?

Two words, It’s exciting. It’s an adventure in itself. Everyone has heard the old quote, “it’s not about the destination, but the journey to get there”, well that couldn’t be more applicable. A rush of adrenaline pumps through your body each time a car comes round the corner. Each ride brings with it new stories, new life and new adventures. Stepping off the plane as the smell and heat of a new country waves over you, opening the door to a 12-person dorm room; these moments of anxious excitement can be felt each time a car pulls over opening a new perspective with each person you meet.

Generally speaking, it takes a certain type of person to pick up strangers by the roadside. In my experience, these are the type of people you want to meet. They are friendly, optimistic and looking to help someone in need. I have heard stories of amazing generosity on the road, fellow hitchhikers have been given money, food, and places to stay. I’ve even heard of people being given helicopter rides and been invited on week long climbing trips (true story!). Now, I’m not saying freebies are the incentive to hitch-hike, but it’s a nice perk and a true example of the kindness within the community.

Hitchhiking Equipment: What You Need

Now that you’ve decided to take the plunge, step into the unknown and head out hitchhiking. Before you depart, there are a few essentials that you will need to take with you.

Backpack – first and foremost, you need somewhere to store all your stuff. Suitcases are bulky and hard to move around. You want a hikers’ backpack, with the size dependant on the length of your intended journey. It needs to be comfortable as you may need to do some walking between potential pickup spots. It’s called hitch-hiking for a reason.

Hiking shoes/boots – you need something solid on your feet. The road is long and the road is tough. The beauty of hitchhiking is you just do not know where you will end up, so be prepared for all terrain with a decent pair of shoes that you can move around in. Anything that you don’t mind getting wet, muddy and dirty.

Rain gear – there is nothing worse than being left out in the rain with nowhere to go. Except being left out in the rain with nowhere to go and no rain gear. Bring a jacket, trousers and a cover for your pack. Worst case scenario, you wrap up under a tree and wait it out. It’s honestly not too bad.

Food – you do not want to leave your post to go and grab lunch. That could be 20/30 minutes’ worth of potential rides that have driven past. Pack lunch, snacks and a f*ck load of water. You may be there for hours so be prepared.

Map – this should be obvious. Know where you are going and how to get there. This way you can find the main intersections and increase your chances of meeting someone heading in your direction.

Sign – carrying a sign holds much debate. On one-hand, a sign transforms you from homeless drifting serial killer to happy-go-lucky traveller. You look like you have your shit together and you know what you’re doing. The disadvantage is it may put off anyone who can not take you the whole way, losing out on all the short distance rides. The lack of sign also allows you to politely refuse a ride without the awkwardness of admitting you think they look like someone who may wear your skin as a coat.


If you decide to bring one: it needs to be big, clear and simple. Just the town or city name will suffice, possibly in more than one language depending where you are.

Gifts – something small can be a great way to create a positive atmosphere with your new friend. Nothing too big of course, as you do need to carry it. Small trinkets or candy will put a smile on their face and is a nice gesture to say thank you.

Camping gear – if you’re a hardcore and you want to do this properly, then you need to be prepared for an overnight. A good tent/hammock and an appropriate season sleeping bag will be the difference between a comfortable night under the stars and spending your last 20 quid at the only hotel in town. A small pot-set and stove will have you well fed and ready to continue the journey.

Towel – “a towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have.” – Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Hitchiking 101: Useful Tips to Help You Hitch Like a Pro

You have all your gear, you have a destination and you are ready to go. Here are some final tips that can increase your chances of getting a picked up and on your way:

Location, location, location

This is the most important variable to take into consideration. Finding the right location will massively boost your chances of being seen by people travelling in your direction and therefore increase your chances of getting picked up.

First of all, get out of the city. City folk are travelling short distances and are unlikely to be going to the same place as you. Head to the outskirts and find a road that is going your way. You need a well lit area, where oncoming cars can see you from a distance and have room to legally pull over nearby. Traffic lights, petrol & service stations can be good places as it allows more time for drivers to assess you, but be aware that the workers can ask you to leave if you do not buy anything. Finding the right balance of traffic is important. Too much and people will assume someone else will pick you up, not enough and you may become disheartened by the lack of excitement.

In some parts of the world, such as Israel; there are designated hitchhiking areas similar to taxi stands.

Know the Signal

The ‘thumb out’ gesture is probably the most iconic sign of a hitchhiker in the Western world. However, in The Middle East, parts of South America and Thailand: it could be construed as ‘up yours’. So it’s probably a good idea to know your local hand signs before starting out.

In many parts of S.E. Asia, they use an index finger pointed out to the ground in front. Sort of like saying “stop here please”.

The Chinese like to use the back of the hand facing upwards, calling the car in a sort of reverse shooing type gesture by flicking the wrist and fingers up and down. This is also recognised in South Korea.

hitchhikersguide female hitchhiker

Generally speaking, if you are stood by a roadside looking like you need picking up, it should be obvious. Although, if you need extra tips then asking a local person at a bar or hostel will be your best way of finding out.

Appearance: Don’t Look Like a Hobo

A driver has only a matter of seconds to decide whether they wish to pick you up or not – this judgement is almost entirely a visual one. Bright colours make you more noticeable, allowing the driver more time to decide if they want to stop. Do your best to look clean, friendly and basically try not to come across as the travelling dirt bag that we all are. Smoking can lessen your chances, as a non-smoker won’t want that kind of stank in their car. Once you’ve dressed the part, take off your sunglasses, make eye-contact and smile.

Your Duty as a Passenger

You’re finally in the car, now it’s time to do your part. The driver picked you up because they want some company, that means do not sleep. They want to hear about your stories: where you’re from, where you’ve been and what your plans are. For the sake of the whole hitchhiking community, do your very best to entertain them and create a positive image of hitchhikers. They will then tell their friends of the super-cool awesome hitchhiker they picked up, thus in turn making more hitchhiker friendly drivers! A win-win for us all.


Trying to get a ride can feel a lot like trying to get a girl. You must be able to deal with a lot of rejection, knowing that the perfect person may be just around the corner. Time and time again cars will drive past you, often with many free seats, often honking and waving and not even knowing that you are signalling for a ride. It can be frustrating, but the most important thing is to keep your spirits high. Nobody has to pick you up. They don’t owe you anything. Keep smiling, keep walking and keep on keepin’ on.

Going with a Buddy

the ultimate guide for hitchhiking

If you plan on bringing a friend, it is important you are clear on a few things. Hitchhiking isn’t all that glamourous, now and then you may end up at a villa pool party after being picked up by a group of beautiful Spanish women; but more than likely the majority of your time will be spent walking and waiting. Make sure your buddy is clear on this and they are someone you are willing to spend a lot of time with. Bringing the right person along for the ride has many benefits. The waiting time will be more enjoyable, you can take it in turns signalling cars and you will feel safer. Girls usually get picked up quicker as they are seen as less of a risk for the driver, as well as people feeling like they are helping them get out of ‘danger’. So bringing a girl can help you come across as less threatening and bringing a guy can help you feel safer. On top of this, having a buddy means you can spread out along the road and increase the time that the driver sees you, increasing the likelihood of them stopping.

How to Stay Safe While Hitchhiking

Safety first, then team-work

Going out into unknown territory and asking to get into strangers’ cars has its risks. Although there are not as many as the news and media may portray, hitchhiking still has risks nonetheless. There are a few tricks you can do to help stay safe, as your safety is always the most important thing. Except for looking good, of course.

You can refuse any ride

you have waited for hours and someone has finally stopped. You walk to their car and you instantly pick up on a bad vibe. You don’t like how they look; they may have phrased a question weird or you can smell alcohol on their breath. Just because they offered a lift it does not mean you have to take it. Be polite in your refusal, ask where they are going first and tell them that’s the wrong way/you’re actually waiting for your mum/you only accept rides from Prius drivers because you’re a nature loving eco-warrior that shoots rainbows out your arsehole. Whatever works, but always trust your gut.

Have a grab bag

if you are on a longer journey and have quite a bit of gear, it is best to keep your important bits either in your pockets or in a small bag that you have by your feet. If it really comes to it and you need to hop out the car at a set of traffic lights, you will not be able to get your luggage out the back. Keep your money, passport, phone and important things nearby in case a getaway is needed.

Pro Tip: When getting out of any vehicle, keep the doors open until you have all of your belongings. It may be intentional, more likely just an accident – you do not want the car/taxi driving off whilst your bag is still in the back.

Entering the vehicle

If you have a working phone, it is always a good idea to text the car registration to a friend or family member. Better yet, phone somebody and casually drop in a description of the car and the route you are taking into the conversation. You don’t have to give a full police report, but mentioning the absolute hero that just picked you up in a sweet-ass silver Merc and is taking you Southbound all the way to wherever you are going has just made the driver feel very appreciated as well. It also serves as warning to anyone with shady intentions that people know where you are. If you are feeling really paranoid, hitch for rides in sight of a security camera and shout “bye Mum!” at a random stranger when you get in.Trust me, it works every time!

Route planning

Always be prepared to not get picked up. Have enough food and a plan for some kind of shelter just in case. If you opt for walking, check your map and be sure that you can hike to the next town before nightfall. If you are in remote areas, local people will be so fascinated by you you will probably be offered food and a bed anyway. If not, find a guest house and try again tomorrow.

Hitchhiking Law

Rules are different from country to country, state to state. Hitchhiking is rarely illegal, but often there are restrictions on where you can do it. Generally speaking, staying off of highways and only trying to flag down cars that can safely and legally pull over; you should be alright. I would recommend researching the particular area you are in for up-to-date advice on the law.

So grab your bag, strap on your boots and let the journey commence. Happy hitching!


Bitcoin Guide

When you dig into the details of Bitcoin, it’s almost an unbelievable tale about how to create money. Although it seems like fiction, it’s actually the best-known version of digital currency in use today. To help you wrap your head around what it is, what it does and how to earn Bitcoins, I pulled together this complete beginner’s guide to Bitcoin.

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Before we go any further I just want to reiterate that investing in cryptocoins or tokens is highly speculative and the market is largely unregulated. Anyone considering it should be prepared to lose their entire investment.

A bit of bitcoin history

Bitcoin was the first established cryptocurrency—a digital asset that is secured with cryptography and can be exchanged like currency. Other versions of cryptocurrency had been launched but never fully developed when Bitcoin became available to the public in 2009. The anonymous Satoshi Nakamoto—possibly an individual or a group whose real identity is still unknown—is behind the development of Bitcoin who stated the goal of the technology was to create “a new electronic cash system” that was “completely decentralized with no server or central authority.” In 2010, someone decided to sell their Bitcoins for the first time to purchase two pizzas for 10,000 Bitcoins. I hope the pizza was good, because if that person would have held onto those Bitcoins, they would be worth more than $100 million today. In 2011, Nakamoto shared the source code and domains with the Bitcoin community and hasn’t been heard from again.

What is Bitcoin, really?

Bitcoin is a digital currency, so there are no coins to mint or bills to print. There is not a government, financial institution or any other authority that controls it, so it’s decentralized. The owners who have Bitcoins in the system are anonymous—there are no account numbers, names, social security numbers or any other identifying features that connect Bitcoins to its owners. Bitcoin uses blockchain technology and encryption keys to connect buyers and sellers. And, just like diamonds or gold, a Bitcoin gets “mined.”

How do you “mine” Bitcoins?

People—or more accurately extremely powerful, energy-intense computers—“mine” Bitcoins to make more of them. There are currently about 16 million Bitcoins in existence, and that leaves only 5 more million available to mine because Bitcoins developers capped the quantity to 21 million. Ultimately, each Bitcoin can be divided into smaller parts with the smallest fraction being one hundred millionth of a Bitcoin called a “Satoshi,” after the founder Nakamoto. The mining process involves computers solving an extremely challenging mathematical problem that progressively gets harder over time. Every time a problem is solved, one block of the Bitcoin is processed and the miner gets a new Bitcoin. A user establishes a Bitcoin address to receive the Bitcoins they mine; sort of like a virtual mailbox with a string of 27-34 numbers and letters. Unlike a mailbox, the user’s identity isn’t attached to it.

How are Bitcoins used?

In addition to mining Bitcoins, there are other ways to earn Bitcoins. First, you can accept Bitcoins as a means of payment for goods or services. Setting up your Bitcoin wallet is a simple as setting up a PayPal account and it’s the way you store, keep track of and spend your digital money. They are free and available through a provider such as Coinbase. While this might take more time than it’s worth, there are websites that will pay you in Bitcoins for completing certain tasks. Once you’ve earned Bitcoins, there are ways to lend them out and earn interest. There are even ways to earn Bitcoins through trading and recently Bitcoin futures were launched as a legitimate asset class. In addition, you can trade your regular currency for Bitcoins at Bitcoin exchanges, the largest one being Japan-based Mt. Gox that handles 70 percent of all Bitcoin transactions. There are more than 100,000 merchants who accept Bitcoin for payment for everything from gift cards to pizza and even accepts it.

What are the risks?

There’s risk as well as a great opportunity with Bitcoin. While it has been appealing to criminals due to its anonymity and lack of regulation, there are lots of benefits to all of us if you’re willing to accept some risk to jump into the Bitcoin marketplace. Since there is no governing body, it can be difficult to resolve issues if Bitcoins get stolen or lost. In 2014 Mt. Gox went offline, and 850,000 Bitcoins were never recovered. Once a transaction hits the blockchain it’s final. Since Bitcoin is relatively new, there are still a lot of unknowns and its value is very volatile and can change significantly daily.

So, the jury’s still out if Bitcoin will accomplish what its proponents predict, the replacement of government-controlled, centralized money. I fully expect 2018 to give us even more insight about the future of Bitcoin as the technology continues to grow and mature.


Choosing Custom Pin Provider

Choosing a custom pin company is a tricky business, as there aren’t many that cover every aspect that needs to be covered. There are many factors that must be taken into account. Some of the most important are customer advice, better delivery times, and reasonable prices. There are many aspects that you should check with a custom pin manufacturer and once you have done it you will have a much clearer idea when making your choice. Here are some of the points that you should pay special attention to:

Quality of pins and materials:

The best manufacturers of custom pins know how to create the best quality products that meet the expectations of their customers. They are also so confident in their products that they won’t be shy about offering them at a reasonable price. These offers may also be backed by guarantees that allow you to obtain Premium or upgraded pins. These improvements refer to much more elaborate and detailed designs in both color and brightness. They will also be advised by highly trusted professionals who will accompany them throughout the process.

Customer Experience and Reviews:

A good supplier would have an unblemished reputation for providing its customers with products and services without any complaints or miscommunication. The designer assigned to the order will always work hand in hand at each stage to ensure that all specifications are 100% met. It will not be a problem to make all the revisions that are necessary until reaching the final design that will proceed to manufacture.


A good company will also be happy to provide you with sample pins prior to mass manufacturing. Final production will only begin with your approval. They will take care of your needs and requirements and the best thing is that the delivery time will be very short. It usually takes about 12 hours to get a new custom design and less than 15 days to complete the order.

Budget and Cost of custom pins:

The final price of the personalized pins will vary depending on various factors such as shipping costs, time and design as well as other additional costs. You must know exactly how much you will need for the order. Any company that provides you with a free estimate will try to accommodate you as much as possible. That is the company you need.
You can request a quote through the form:

There are also other concerns when things don’t go as planned. But a good company will always have a willing ear to listen to your complaints and complaints and will do its best to compensate you. These are the companies for which you must decide.


Find Router’s IP Address

How to Find Your Router’s IP Address

If you want to make changes to your router, you need to know your router’s IP address. Perhaps you want to change the network name, create a new WiFi password, or use a different channel to boost your internet speed. These functions are accessible through your router’s log-on page, but you can only get there if you know how to find your router’s IP address.

What is an IP Address?

An Internet Protocol (IP) address is a unique string of numbers that identifies the devices in a network. It’s kind of like a mailing address that lets the mailman will know exactly where to drop off your packages.

IP addresses can be public or private. A public IP address is assigned to you by your Internet Service Provider (ISP), such as AT&T or Comcast. However, a private IP address is what allows all your devices to communicate with each other over your private network. In order to be connected to the outside world, devices with a private IP address need to connect to a public IP address, usually through a modem.

IP addresses can also be static or dynamic. A static IP address will not change over time, while a dynamic IP address does change. In most cases, your router will take a (mostly) static public IP address from your modem and transform it into a dynamic private IP address. This allows you to buy new devices and connect them to your WiFi without having to set a new IP address for every device.

What is an IP Address?

How to Find Your Router’s IP Address on Windows

If you’re using Windows, you can find your router’s IP address by using the Command Prompt app or the Control Panel. From the Command Prompt app, type ipconfig, hit Enter, and your system will bring up your default gateway or IP address. In Control Panel, go to Network and internet > View network status and tasks > Ethernet > Details. Here are the steps for each method.

How to Find Router IP Address with Command Prompt

  1. Click the Windows search bar, and type Command Prompt in the search box.
  2. Then press Enter. You can also double click on the Command Prompt app that appears in the search results.
  3. Type ipconfig in the command line and press Enter.
  4. You will see your router’s IP address next to the Default Gateway.
How to Find Router IP Address with Command Prompt

How to Find Router IP Address with the Control Panel

If you prefer to use the Control Panel, here’s how to find your router’s IP address:

  1. Open the Windows search bar and type Control Panel in the search box.
  2. Hit Enter. You can also double click on the Control Panel app.
  3. Under Network and Internet, click on View network status and tasks.
  4. Then click on the link for Connection: WiFi. If you are connecting directly to your router with an Ethernet cable, this might say Connection: Ethernet instead.
  5. Then click on Details in the pop-up box.
  6. Your router’s IP address will be next to IPv4 Default Gateway.

How to Find Your Router’s IP Address on a Mac

You can find your router’s IP address on a Mac in two ways. First, you can open System Preferences, click on Network, and then see the connection details on the Ethernet or WiFi panel. Or, you can launch the Terminal app, type netstat -nr|grep default, hit Enter, and look at the default IP address. Just follow these steps below.

How to Find Router IP Address with System Preferences

  1. Go to System Preferences. You can access this by clicking on the Apple logo in the top left corner of your screen and clicking System Preferences from the drop-down menu.
  2. Click on Network.
  3. Select WiFi in the left panel. If you are connected through Ethernet, your router IP address will be displayed along with other network information when you select the Ethernet from the left-hand side of the panel.
  4. Then click on Advanced.
  5. Click on the TCP/IP tab in the top panel.
  6. You will find your router’s IP address next to Router.
How to Find Router IP Address with System Preferences

How to Find Router IP Address with the Terminal App

  1. Open the Terminal app. You can find this by opening your Applications folder and double-clicking Utilities.
  2. Then type netstat -nr|grep default, and press Enter.
  3. Your router’s IP address will be indicated after the line which says “default.”
How to Find Router IP Address with the Terminal App

How to Sign In To Your Router

  1. Open any web browser. You can use Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or any other web browser.
  2. Type your router’s default IP address into the search bar, and press Enter. (Note: You might be prompted that the webpage you are trying to view is not secure. Make sure that you have the correct address typed in, then click on the option to proceed even if it’s unsafe.)
  3. Log in by typing your router’s user name and password.

Note: This information can be usually found in your router’s manual. Default log-in credentials per router brand vary.


Buying Airless Paint Sprayer

Looking to shift your painting job into high gear? Then an airless paint sprayer is just the tool you need.

This powerful tool is a great alternative to rolling and brushing on paint. An airless paint sprayer is said to complete the job ten times faster!

These sprayers are great for outside jobs and neat finishes. If you’re a DIYer your paint job is about to get a lot easier. And professional painters will work faster, make more money and have happier customers.

Ready to buy your first airless paint sprayer? You can guarantee success by knowing the best one to buy. Here’s everything you need to know.


Comparing Paint Sprayers

Airless paint sprayers aren’t the only sprayers on the market. If you’re looking to buy a paint sprayer you’ll have three options. Compressed, high volume low pressure (HVLP) or an airless sprayer.

Your best choice depends on the job and kind of paint you plan to use.

Here’s a quick comparison:


  • Uses compressed air for paint application.
  • Great for furniture.
  • Are messy and overspray.
  • Use more paint that HLVP and airless sprayers.


  • Paint is released slower.
  • Wastes little paint.
  • More expensive than other sprayers.
  • Great for interior jobs like doors and cabinets.
  • Generally not good for thicker paint jobs like lacquers.


  • Shoot out paint at a high pressure.
  • Gives a very even coat application.
  • Great for outdoor exterior projects like fences and decks.
  • Can handle thicker paints and cover large areas.
  • Noisy compared to HLVP sprayers, so better for outdoor jobs.
  • Spray pattern is harder to control.

How An Airless Paint Sprayer Works

Airless sprayers operate on high pressure from their hydraulic pumps. The paint is pressurized through a small vent. The sprayer pumps out the paint and sprays droplets evenly across the object.

Powerful Production

Airless sprayers can be electric or gas powered.

The high pressure inside of them enables them to quickly complete jobs. They can apply two gallons of paint per minute to a surface. And they don’t require users to thin the paint.

The Technique

If you’re intimidated about handling such a high powered device, don’t worry. A little practice goes a long way with an airless paint sprayer. And they’re generally portable which makes them easy to carry around.

Spray side to side to develop a nice painting motion. You can practice with water first instead of paint. This will give you a good feel for how the sprayer works.

And remember, your sprayer won’t completely cover a surface on the first spray. So don’t worry if you have to do a few rotations.

choosing the right sprayer

Choosing The Right Sprayer

Just arrived in the hardware store and ready to make a purchase? You’ll need the right combo of sprayer specifications for a successful project. Consider the following as you decide on the perfect paint sprayer.


Looking for a speedy paint job? Then choose an airless sprayer with a larger horsepower. A greater horsepower means more paint will spray out faster. But don’t buy a sprayer that’s too powerful for you to physically handle.


Before you buy think about what kind of coatings you’re thinking of using. If you’re looking at thicker coatings you’ll need a sprayer with a bigger tip. A tip that’s too small can leave your paint gun clogged up.

Project Size

The size of your project will effect how powerful a sprayer you’ll need. Bigger jobs will need more pressure and horsepower. While smaller jobs might only require a handheld unit.

Hose Length

Are you working on a larger job like painting a fence? Then you’ll need a longer hose on your airless paint sprayer. Long distance jobs will probably need a hose or extension cord at least 25 feet long.

Weekly Volume

How much paint do you think you’re going to need for your project? The size of your project will determine what size sprayer you’ll need. Try to estimate how much before buying a sprayer. Thicker coatings like lacquers will also have varying requirements.

Use The Right Tips

It’s important to use the right tips with your airless paint sprayer. Tips control how wide the paint pattern is. They also control how fast the paint is released.

For a light to medium coated paint job, you can use smaller tips. If you’re painting a primer or block filler go with a larger tip.

Tip extensions are also useful for painting spots that are hard to reach. They’re great for painting high ceilings and foyers.

Feeling unsure about tips to buy? Check the coatings Product Data Sheet. Or give your paint supplier a call for advice.

Number Of Guns

For smaller and medium jobs at home one paint gun will get your job done. But for larger commercial and industrial projects you’ll need a crew. So buy several guns to accommodate everyone.

Available Power Sources

We mentioned above that you can buy gas, electric or pneumatic airless sprayers. Some can even convert from electric to gas.

So think about the kinds of power sources available at your site. This will make powering your project go a lot smoother.


If you’re looking for a smooth finished look on your job buy a filter. They remove paint debris.

They also make sure your tips don’t clog up. Clogged tips cause splattering paint which ruins a neat finish.

Conditioners & Protectants

You can extend the life of your paint sprayer by applying formulas. Conditioners and protectants protect your sprayer from freezing, rust, and other hazards. You can find them in your local hardware store.

A Few More Pointers…

  • You can buy your sprayer with accompanying wheels or a backpack. This is useful for a project that requires a lot of sprayer carrying.
  • If you want an easy cleanup job, buy a unit that disassembles easily. Units with smooth interiors are also easy to clean.
  • You can also buy an adjustable pressure control with your sprayer. This control adjusts settings that can extend the life of your spray tips.
  • Airless sprayers are known for being loud and noisy. So give yours a test run in the store before making your purchase.
  • Find out if your sprayer has replacement parts available. If something goes wrong you want to be able to fix it.
  • While sprayer shopping, ask the sales person for product guides. Find out if there are any hard copy manuals or customer support lines. Also, ask about any online or digital resources available.


Paint sprayers generally run from $225 to $400. But if you’re doing a one day job, consider renting. You can rent a high production sprayer for $70-$100 a day. And you won’t have to worry about where to store it.


Anyone working with a paint sprayer should be careful. But pay careful attention when using a high-pressured airless sprayer. Let’s go over a few painting safety tips:

  • If your sprayer tip touches your skin paint toxins can enter your body. If you have an accident like this, seek medical attention immediately. Let your doctor know that you have an injection wound.Don’t be fooled into thinking this is a minor injury. Paint toxins entering your bloodstream are extremely dangerous.
  • Wear a mask and eye protection while using your sprayer. And never spray at anyone or at a window. Paint fumes are dangerous so only use paint sprayers in well ventilated areas.
  • Be sure to read your sprayers setup and safety instructions thoroughly.
  • Cover everything in the area of your project including plants and windows. Don’t paint on windy days.

When You Shouldn’t Use An Airless Paint Sprayer

While sprayers are super useful tools they’re not perfect for every project.

  • Paint sprayers can be messy. And they’re best used when you have a lot of space. Is your project a smaller job? Then you might bet better off using a roller or brush.
  • Are you worried about not having enough paint? You’re better off using a roller or brush. Sprayers are great but require a lot of paint.
  • Paint sprayers projects require a lot of prep work. Items in work space will need to be properly covered. So if you don’t feel like prepping, spraying isn’t the best choice.
  • Are you someone who hates cleaning? Well, paint sprayers tend to overspray and get paint on things. You’ll also have to disassemble and clean the sprayer itself.
  • Stick with brushes and rollers for a quicker cleanup process.Our verdict on airless paint sprayers is positive. They reduce the time it takes for manual paint jobs. For professional painters, this can lead to higher revenue and better time management.

The power of airless sprayers also makes at home jobs complete a lot easier. Whatever your project is, sprayers ensure that your paint project is done smarter.

Using the info above, you’ll select the best sprayer for your project. Remember to run any questions by an equipment supplier.

To learn more about the best power tools on the market, follow us. We will help you make the best choice.


Longboard Choosing Guide

Are you struggling to choose the right longboard for you ? Feeling lost in the dense jungle of longboard options available on the market ? Getting dizzy looking at the huge choice of decks all shapes and sizes, the many sorts of trucks, the countless types of wheels ?

Finding the right longboard setup requires deciding how you’re going to ride your longboard. A longboard is the sum of its components, so choosing a longboard amounts to picking the right components, which in turn depends a lot on exactly what you’ll want to do on your longboard.

You need to know your own style of riding. Are you mainly going to be cruising and carving? Commuting? Traveling over long distances? Freeriding or speed skating downhill? Doing tricks and riding bowls? Dancing?

Once you know why, how, and where you’ll be riding, you have a good starting point for choosing the features you really need, including which shape, which trucks, and which wheels.

Of course, your riding style alone will not entirely determine the kind of longboard that’s right for you. Your environment, your physical build, your experience and learning ability, and your preferences also play a major role.

In the following section, I’ll briefly go through the most important features to consider when choosing a longboard and how they can affect your riding.

Then, we’ll look specifically at each riding style.  Based on my own experience and knowledge, I’ll give you the best recap I can come up with regarding the setups that work best for each style.

Choosing the right longboard for you : what to look for ?

Here’s a quick rundown of the key features to look at when choosing the right longboard for you :

  • Deck size & wheelbase : the bigger the deck and the longer the wheelbase, the more stable the board, and the more speed it can handle without wobbles.  Larger boards, however, typically have a larger turning radius.
    Choosing the right longboard - deck length & wheelbase
  • Deck height : distance between the deck and the ground.  It affects the riding feel of the longboard.  Higher decks are harder to push / brake on (more distance for the foot) and less stable.  Lower decks (e.g. dropped decks) are more pushable and stable.
    choosing the right longboard for you - deck height
  • Mount type : topmounts (deck is mounted on top of the trucks) have more wheel leverage and are more responsive.  Drop-through decks (trucks are mounted through the deck) are lower to the ground and more stable.
    choosing the right longboard for you - mount type
  • Deck flex & profile : flexier decks (fewer maple plies, bamboo) are good for carving and pumping, not so good for speed.  Camber (upward curvature) and rocker (downward curvature) also affect flex and bounce.
    choosing the right longboard for you - deck profile
  • Deck concave and kicks  : foot pockets allow foot lock-in, good for carving, freeriding, and freestyle, not so good for cruising and dancing.  Kicktails are important for freestyle and street cruising.choosing the right longboard for you - concave
choosing the right longboard for you - kicks

Truck style : reverse kingpin (RKP) trucks, which are higher up and well turning, work best for most riding styles.  Traditional kingpin trucks (TKP) are good for freestyle tricks and sometimes downhill racing.
choosing the right longboard for you - truck style

Truck width & angle : most trucks are either 150mm wide (for decks < 8.5″) or 180mm wide (decks > 8.5″).  Baseplate angle , i.e. the angle between deck and pivot, affects lean vs turn : how much the deck needs to lean to make the wheels turn.  This is particularly important for carving, pumping and freeriding.
choosing the right longboard for you - baseplate angle

Bushings : bushings play a key part in suspension and turning ability.  Choose hardness based on your weight.  Softer bushings can be good for carving and pumping, harder bushings are better for tricks.

Wheel diameter and lip profile : bigger wheels roll faster – but require a deck with good wheel clearance.  Squared lips provide more grip than rounded lips, while rounded lips are easier to slide.
choosing the right longboard for you - lip profileWheel durometer : harder wheels roll faster on smooth surfaces, soft wheels roll better on rough surfaces.  Harder wheels are easier to slide, softer wheels have more grip.  Softer wheels offer better suspension.Bearings : better bearings can get your wheels rolling for much longer with a single push.  Ceramic bearings are the most frictionless but are expensive.  Normal bearings can work fine if you keep them clean and lubed.

OK, now that we understand the kind of features to take into account when choosing the right longboard for you, let’s move on to discussing the most appropriate feature mix for your own riding style.

Choosing the right longboard to cruise and carve on

Cruising refers to relaxed, leisurely pushing around on your longboard at slow speed.  When cruising, you want to be able to look around without worrying about losing your balance or constantly avoiding pebbles and cracks in the ground.

Carving involves a more dynamic riding style through continuous turns, shifting your weight back and forth and playing with the terrain to carve imaginary curves, similar to snowboarding.

Choosing the right deck shape & style

Most shapes will work for cruising and carving :

  • Pintail : classic surf shape.  Pintails are typically topmount, making pushing a bit harder.  A good pintails will turn well, though, making for comfortable and easy riding on the boardwalk.
    Choosing the right longboard for me - pintail
  • Cruiser : a more compact shaped, topmount deck, often with a kicktail, good for crowded city cruising.
    Choosing the right longboard for me - cruiser
  • Drop-through : lower to the ground and easier to push.  Typically symmetrical (or nearly) with big cutouts for wheel clearance.  More stable for cruising than a pintail, but with a larger turning radius.
Choosing the right longboard for me - drop-through

Drop down or “drop platform” : your feet stand lower than the truck mounts.  The deck is even closer to the ground, so the board is even more stable and pushable for cruising, but often less responsive for turning.
Choosing the right longboard for me - drop down

Choosing the right deck size

  • For cruising on boardwalks or in spacious park areas, a deck length of 36″ to 42″ (width 9.5″+) works well as it provides comfort and stability.
  • If you’re going to be cruising mainly around congested city streets, slaloming around pedestrians, jumping on and off curbs, onconstantly picking up your board to walk, a smaller 28-34″ cruiser is a better fit.  Choose one with a kicktail for quick turns and obstable skipping.
  • If your focus is on carving a lot, go for a shorter longboard as well.  Shorter decks turn faster, all other things being equal.

Choosing the right deck flex

  • A deck with a bit of flex will help absorb shocks and vibrations, providing a better cruising experience.  Also, less stress on your ankles and knees than a super stiff deck.
  • Medium flex is good for carving as you get more energy return from your impulses during turns, helping you gain more speed through carves.  A slight cambered profile also adds feedback and helps with carving.
  • Keep in mind, however, that too much flex can actually make pushing and carving less efficient as a lot energy gets lost through excessive bouncing.

Choosing the right trucks

  • Choose reverse kingpin trucks for your cruising or carving longboard : more space for bigger wheels, more turning.
  • Choose a 150mm truck with a small city cruiser deck (width < 8.5″), 180mm for a bigger board.  For cruising and carving, a standard 50º baseplate angle works fine.
  • For more intensive carving, you may want consider “surfskate” trucks which let you carve like on a surfboard.  These are quite different from standard longboard trucks. 

Choosing the right wheels

  • Wheel diameter of 65 to 75mm is about right for most cruising and carving setups.  A wheel this size will allow you to roll at relaxed speed, while aborbing most small obstacles seamlessly.  Make sure your deck has enough wheel clearance (wheel wells or cutouts) to avoid wheel rub.
  • For both cruising and carving, you want wheels with strong grip.  Choose squared wheels with a softer durometer , e.g. 70A – 78A.  This will allow you to ride comfortably on rough surfaces while maintaining good traction throughout your carves.

Choosing the right longboard to commute on

If you plan to use your longboard for transportation on a daily basis, you want to pick a board that’s stable, fast rolling, comfortable on rough surface, and easy to push and foot brake on.

Choosing the right board for you to commute on has similarities to picking a longboard for cruising, but with a few key differences : you’ll be riding your commuter board a lot more, for longer durations and over larger distances, and probably with more frequency than your cruiser board.

Choosing the right shape and mount type

  • Commuting typically involves a lot of pushing, so you want to choose something that rides as low as possible and that will give you maximum roll for your push.
  • This means you should opt at least for a drop-through, or even a double drop (drop-through + drop deck) for maximum stability and pushability.
  • Stay away from pintails and other topmount decks for commuting purposes – you will be exhausted after a couple of miles.
  • A shape with big wheel cutouts (or at least serious wheel flares) will provide the clearance you need to run bigger wheels for open road commuting.

Choosing the right board size

  • If your commuting involves riding on the open road or bike lanes, you should choose a longboard with a large wheelbase for stability, and wide enough to fit comfortably on.  Pick a board at least 40″ long and 9.5-10″ wide.
  • If on the other hand, your daily commute to school or work goes through busy city streets, opt for a slighty shorter setup, say a 34″-37″ city cruiser, that will let you turn and weave through obstacles swiftly.
  • With a shorter setup, while you may lose a bit of stability and comfort, your longboard will be easier to carry around in a store and stow away at work or school.

Choosing the right flex

  • As we’ve seen for cruising, a little flex can help make your pushing more efficient by adding to the energy of your kicks, potentially speeding up your commute.  Again, beware of overly flexy decks though, which can negatively affect your experience especially at those higher commuting speeds.

Choosing the right trucks

  • You’ll typically want to choose 180mm RKP trucks to match that larger commuter deck – whose width will likely be well over 8.5″ wide for comfortable daily riding.
  • For open road / bike lane commuting, you may want a lower angle truck (e.g. 45º) for stability and larger turning radius.  This will allow you to push hard without worrying about changing direction, and reduce speed wobbles on the incline sections of your commute path.
  • Conversely, if you’re commuting through inner city streets, you want more turny trucks that will let you do quick turns for dodging people, dogs, street lamps etc.

Choosing the right wheels

  • For open road commutes you’ll need bigger wheels for fast roll.  A diameter of at least 75mm is a good choice, provided your deck has enough clearance.  Wheel rub at higher speed isn’t fun.
  • If you opt for a city cruiser, you’ll probably need to go for smaller wheels, say 60-65mm wheels depending on your deck’s clearance and your truck’s height and angle.
  • Most of the time, softer wheels (70A-78A) will be a good choice for commuting because they’ll provide suspension and comfort over rough stretches of road.

Choosing the right longboard to travel on

By “travel” I mean long distance, whether you’re skating to the next town, across the country, the continent, or the planet.  So this is a step up from the concept of commuting.

Choosing the right shape and mount type

  • For long distance skating you need a very low riding dropped platform board so you can push with minimal effort (for hours or days on end).
  • Your deck should have huge wheel clearance, and be wide enough for your front foot to fit comfortably.

Choosing the right board size and flex

  • Specialized long distance longboards such as GBombs are typically under 30″ in length, lightweight, and designed to be used with bracket setups (see below)
  • Flex is a very subtle and important factor in distance skating, affected by the deck’s length, lay-up (number of plies), material (full maple, bamboo, fiberglass hybrid), and bracket type (see below).
 choosing the right longboard for me - gbomb distance deck

Choosing the right wheels

  • Your distance setup should have as big as possible wheels, typically in the 80mm+ range, for maximum speed.
  • For optimal and frictionless rolling you should consider investing in ceramic bearings (e.g. Bones Ceramics).
  • As mentioned, your deck should also be as low as possible to the ground.  On a normal truck setup, this would potentially result in serious wheel bite given the choice of very large wheels.

Choosing the right trucks

  • That’s why specialized distance setups use brackets which extend the deck and provide nearly unlimited wheel clearance.
 choosing the right longboard for me - gbomb brackets

Brackets also allow for very extensive customization of truck angles (vs. to merely fitting wedged rubber pads), potentially making your distance setup much more pushable / pumpable for long distances.

Choosing the right longboard to freeride or downhill

Freeriding and speed skating / racing are the two main types of longboarding disciplines that involve downhill.

Freeriding involves riding at moderate, controlled speed while executing elegant slides and other skilled maneuvers.

Downhill speed boarding and racing is a search for sheer speed, finding optimal speed lines and using advanced sliding techniques only to control speed before speed corners and dangerous road sections.

Choosing the right shape and mount type

  • For freeriding, you want a symmetrical shape (for switch riding), typically 38 to 42″ in length – or a 24-29″ wheelbase.
 choosing the right longboard for me - symmetrical deck

You can use a freeride board for speed boarding as well, although pure downhill decks are typically directional (asymmetrical) since speedboarders don’t usually switch stance.For freeriding, look for a dropped deck for stability at speed if you’re a beginner, or a drop-through with no flex if you’re intermediate.  If you’re a more advanced rider, you may go for a low flex topmount deck, less stable but with more leverage and control in turns and slides.While you may use a drop deck for speed riding, a freeride-oriented concave may interfere with your speed tuck stance.  Many experienced speed boarders choose a topmount board for the control it offers.

Choosing the right flex and concave

  • For freeriding, you want your deck to have enough concave to lock in your feet as you get into slides or pull a 180º.  A bit of deck flex can help with sliding and carving at moderate speed.
  • For speed downhill, on the other hand, you want a really stiff deck, typically with rigid composite material, and more subtle concave for tucking.

Choosing the right trucks

  • RKP trucks provide better traction at speed than TKP.   Trucks should be strong enough to withstand the pressure of sideways sliding.  A width of 180mm works fine with most setups, although some riders use smaller trucks for faster turning.
  • A 50º baseplate angle provides good balance between grip and stability, and enough deck height to avoid wheelbite.  Use a higher angle for easier sliding, or a lower one for more stability at speed.

Choosing the right wheels

  • Freeriders and speedboarders alike seek to find the right balance between traction and sliding.
  • 68 to 72mm diameter wheels are a good middle ground for traction / slidability /durability.  Choose a rounded / bevelled lip profile and a durometer between 78A to 82A – or slightly harder for a heavy rider.
  • Centerset wheels with regular bearings typically work well for beginner level downhill skating, with speed rings / spacers to protect bearings during slides.
  • For more technical and hardcore sliding, choose smaller wheels (e.g. 60-65mm) with a higher durometer (85A +)

Choosing the right longboard to freestyle on

Freestyle longboarding involves tricks such as jumping on and off your board, flipping and spinning the board, and riding on your board’s nose or tail.  Skatepark riding on a longboard is another aspect, similar to skateboarding.

Longboard dancing is a special type of freestyle that’s less acrobatic and more artistic and elegant in nature.  You perform dance moves on your longboard, walking up and down your deck, spinning and cross stepping while riding.

Choosing the right deck shape & style

  • If you’re looking to perform street tricks and ride ramps and bowls like on a classic skateboard, yet you want the added comfort and versatility of a longboard (e.g. for cruising), choose a hybrid shape : similar in shape to a street deck but slightly bigger (e.g. 32″ x 8.5″), stiff flex, two kick tails, mild concave.
     choosing the right longboard for me - hybrid deck
  • If you want to do nose riding and stepping longboard tricks such as nose manuals, shuvits, tiger claws etc, go for a medium sized board (e.g. 34-38″), topmount for maximum control and  responsiveness, with a kicktail and/or nose, a little flex, mild concave (too much concave gets in the way of moving your feet).
  • For dancing you want to choose a bigger deck (42-48″) to have as much room as possible for moving around and cross stepping.  Ideally it should be flat (no concave), optionally dropped, with a bit of natural flex given its size.  A tail and nose are helpful for performing dance tricks.
choosing the right longboard for me - dancer deck

Choosing the right trucks

  • For street style and skatepark riding, you’ll want sturdy, standard kingpin (TKP) trucks, which sit higher and provide more control and maneuverability for tricks.  For hardcore grinding and jumps consider getting forged or precision trucks, more resistant than cast trucks.
  • For mellow nose tricks and dancing, standard RKP trucks will work fine.  For a dancing board, go for trucks with a higher angle (> 50º) and open bushing seats to allow for faster turning despite the large wheelbase.

Choosing the right wheels

  • For street-style freestyle, 57mm wheels come with with most hybrid decks, with durometer between 78A and 82A – harder wheels will be easier to slide but less comfortable for everyday riding.
  • If you choose a medium sized deck for fluid longboard tricks and nose rides, you can go for medium sized wheels (65-70mm).  The durometer you choose will depend on how much carving (softer) vs sliding (harder) you plan to do.
  • For a larger dancer board, pick wheels in the 70-75mm range with square lips for grippier carving turns while you cross-step up and down your deck.  A durometer of around 80A works well for most dancing styles.

Wrapping up

Choosing the right longboard for you is a complex question due to the endless range of combinations of decks, trucks and wheels – not mentioning the subcomponents within and between these, bearings, bushings, hanger, spacers, etc.  Which combination works for you depends on your own personal usage pattern, riding style, and physical abilities.

In this post I tried to sort through the information and recap the most common choices longboarders make for each kind of riding.  Hopefully this will be a useful tool for you to start understanding what to look for in a longboard, and hone in on the type of board that’s right for you.

Nothing replaces stepping on a longboard to get a feel for how it rides, though, so armed with all this information, go hit your boardshop and try’em out before you buy !


Fishing Guide

Fishing may seem complicated to first-time anglers, but that doesn’t have to be the case. With just a bit of gear, a fishing license, and the information in this guide, you’ll be able to get on the water and try your hand at catching some fish by this weekend.

This guide specifically covers spin fishing, which uses a rod with a spinning reel and lures or live bait to attract fish. For new anglers, it’s one of the easiest ways to get outside with minimal investment, but fly-fishing, saltwater fishing, ice fishing, and other types of gear fishing that utilize different reels are all options that may interest you down the road.

The Basics


Getting a License

Before you head out, make sure you have a current fishing license for the state you’ll be fishing in. Licenses are sold online or at fishing shops and occasionally in convenience stores. The price of a day license is usually fairly inexpensive (less than $20), but the exact price depends on the state and your residency, as fishing licenses cost more for nonresidents. But annual licenses are a better bang for your buck, typically going for between $30 and $150. If nothing disastrous happens your first time (don’t worry, chances are low), you might even want to go again. 

Where Should You Go?

It’s always best to talk to a real person about where to fish, as they likely have the most current and comprehensive information about local water. In a pinch, a crowdsourced fishing app like Fishbrain or the more data-heavy FishAngler provides good information on local spots. In general, lakes are a great option when you’re just starting out—they usually have a bank or dock to fish from and often have a larger volume of hungry fish than you would find in a river. Lake fishing mostly involves species like bass, panfish, or rainbow trout, while rivers are almost exclusively fished for salmon or trout species, like rainbow, cutthroat, or brown trout, among others.


It’s important to learn good fishing etiquette early—be respectful of other anglers, the fish you catch, and the environment you’re in. Don’t crowd a spot that someone else is fishing: I like to give other anglers no less than 50 to 60 feet on the most crowded water and more than a couple hundred yards if there aren’t many people around. Don’t keep more fish than you can eat, and always adhere to leave-no-trace ethics. Be sure you know whether the section of the water you’re on is catch and release, limited to artificial lures (no live bait), or fly-fishing only. You can’t always count on a sign to tell you this information, so check a local regulation book or your state’s forestry department’s website for facts as well as updates on closures.



A spinning reel and rod combo is your best bet as a beginner. “Combo” is the key word here—it signals that the reel and rod are sold together, which usually means they’re easier to set up. Here’s a great video that outlines the basic parts of a spinning reel. An employee at your local tackle shop will be able to point you in the right direction in terms of a good beginner rod that will meet your particular needs.

Lures and bait will be your next step after a rod and reel. Live worms or PowerBait—a scented puttylike material that you form around a bare hook—are good starting points, while lures, which are decoys designed to attract a fish’s attention, are another effective option once you get comfortable using bait. You’ll also need some bobbers, which are small floating balls that sink or bob when something hits your lure, indicating you have a fish on. A rubber net (which is easier on a fish’s skin than string or nylon nets), needle-nose pliers to retrieve lures from the inside of the fish’s mouth, and a small tackle box to keep all of your lures and bait in one place are also helpful. 

Like any outdoor pursuit, your fishing needs will only continue to expand as you gain more experience; you’ll likely want to upgrade your gear after a few months, while waders and boots could also be added to your kit down the road.

Useful Skills


Below are a few basic knots you’ll need to know to get started. As your fishing skills advance, a book of common fishing knots will be a good resource to have on hand.

The Clinch Knot

The most important knot in fishing is the improved clinch knot. This knot attaches your hook or lure to your line. Once you’ve nailed this one, you’ll be ready to go.

The Palomar Knot

This knot is another option to connect your hook to your line. It’s known for its strength and ease of tying.

The Double Surgeon’s Knot

A double surgeon’s knot is used to connect two pieces of line. This could be used if you getsnaggedwhenyour lure gets caught on a log or rock and the line breaks—and need to fashion more line before attaching your hook.

Reading Water

It’s helpful to know where fish may be hiding so you can target them better—in other words, “reading the water.” In lakes, fish usually hang out in or around weeds and downed trees close to shore. They might also congregate near drop-offs; for this reason, some lakes are easier to fish if you have access to a canoe or kayak. Similar tactics apply to rivers, where you’ll want to look for places that may provide good cover—logjams or overhanging banks, for example—since a fish’s main objective beyond finding food is hiding from predators.

Catching Your First Fish



Casting with a spinning reel is as simple and intuitive as winding up and chucking your lure as far as you can, like throwing a baseball. Start with about six inches of line out the end of your rod, with the reel belowyour dominant hand. A spinning reel employs a bail(a thin wire arm)to keep your line from coming out of the spool. In order to cast, you’ll need to flip this bail, hold the line with your finger, bring the rod tip up and slightlybehind you (think of the motion you’d use to pick up a phone), and cast forward using your wrist and elbow. When your rod is vertical or just slightly forward from vertical, release the line to send your lure flying. Once your lure is in the water, flip the bail back over and begin reeling.



When hooking a fish, there are two things you want to prevent: the fish “spitting” out your lure, or your line breaking under the weight and power of the fish.

To keep those two things from happening, you’ll need to properly “set” the hook into the fish’s mouth once it has bitten your lure or bait. This means setting it at the right time and with the right pressure: when you see your bobber sink or jerk, point your rod tip up and pull back with moderate pressure to keep the lure in the fish’s mouth without ripping any part of its lip—good timing here will ensure the lure is firmly set in the lip rather than deeper in the mouth. Once you have a proper hookset, you’ll need to focus on keeping your rod tip up while “playing” the fish—allowing the fish to tire itself out while you try to keep it on your line. Cranking the fish in immediately after hooking it will often result in it breaking off, as the fish’s power and weight can often be greater than the strength of the line. By tiring it out, you’ll have the upper hand and eventually be able to reel the fish in.

A few additional tips:always keep your “slack” in (that is, make sure your line is taut), and familiarize yourself with your reel’s drag system. All rods have a drag dial that affects how your reel will handle fish of different sizes and strengths—less drag is needed if you expect to catch small fish, while more drag (and a bigger reel) may be necessary if you’re chasing larger or stronger species.

40-49 years


You’ve successfully hooked, played, and reeled in the fish, and now it’s close to shore. A net will give you a huge advantage here. Once you reel the fish into an arm’s length of your feet, use the net to scoop it up, being sure to avoid letting it flop on the bank or rocks. To further minimize harm after landing a fish, do not squeeze its stomach or touch its gills when handling, and try not to keep it out of the water longer than you can hold your breath, if you intend to release it back.

Other Valuable Resources

To keep improving your fishing skill set, it helps to do some research and get out on the water with more experienced anglers. Here are some other resources that will help you advance:

  1. Hiring a guide once you feel more comfortable fishing will dramatically aid your progression. Guides have a comprehensive knowledge of local rivers and lakes and can also give you a more localized lesson in reading the water, lure selection, and finding new areas to fish.
  2. Local fishing organizations or even your state’s forestry department are also excellent resources. Local organizations often provide fishing clinics, while most states hold fishing derbies, free fishing days (no license needed), and other events that will help you link up with local anglers.
  3. YouTube will be your best friend as a beginner. Whether you’re learning to tie knots, cast, or assemble your rod, watching a five-minute video is often the quickest and most effective way to pick up new information.

While it can be intimidating at first, fishing can be one of the simplest outdoor hobbies to pick up. Catching your first fish is as easy as finding a lake, doing some research, investing in some basic gear, and casting a line.