Thursday, 8 October 2015

Joe Baldwin bags victory at ‘Shred O Grande Freeride 2′...

Joe took a fantastic win in Spain recently & here he tells us all about it:

Joe on the first corner in the final heat (his race-face is definitely on here)...
"The steep top section sling-shotted you into this right-left combo. The line you hit is between the manhole covers and the massive crack in the road. This road is brutal to race because there is no room for error. Miss your line and you might get bucked off your board by an unruly manhole cover, apocalyptic earth fissure or a random wave in the asphalt. The final corner was the most technically difficult I’ve skated in a long time. Once you linked 2 apexes between a shrub, a depressed manhole cover and a janky curb you had to bank really hard to the next righty where you had literally half a second to breathe before you set up the pre-drift initiation. If you slid to early, you had too much speed to make the corner when you hooked up. If you slid too late you were in the hay. If you slid just right, you still had to hunt for the apex hidden by bushes. I took the win at this event after some brutal knockout racing rules. You had to win your qualifying heats to reach the finals. 

You won or you lost, simple. Amazing roots-style race trace from Shred O Grande. 
I’d give this track a Gnar Factor 8/10 and a Tech Factor 7/10."

Joe at the back of the line-up... he says "Had to make a crazy pass to take the win!"
 Many thanks for taking the time to tell us about it Joe, we really appreciate it & all of us at SMB Bearings Ltd send you our love & congratulations on your success.
Joe's victory even made the papers!  If your Spanish is up to it, you can check out the full story here :-)

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Ian Emery, RC Heli pilot, season round-up...

We're always thrilled to hear from our friend & RC Heli flying legend Ian Emery & he's very kindly taken time out of his hectic life to send us this great season report:

Ian Emery pictured piloting at the BMFA British Nationals recently - pretty iconic image!   

Ian says "It’s been an interesting year and it’s gone so quickly, I can’t believe another season is over.  I have been rather distracted this past 9 months with lots going on, notably the safe arrival of our second baby. 
Early in the New Year I gained sponsorship and a place on the JR Macgregor flight team and an opportunity to switch to the JR Sylphide EX, a helicopter I have dreamed about owning since I started flying RC helicopters. 

Ian's JR Sylphide EX in action...

Much of the pre-season was spent building and getting the helicopter setup, being an 800 size helicopter it is larger than anything else that I had flown and managed to enjoy whatever days that were available getting used to flying it.

The first Competition of the euro-season was held in Vitry-Le-Francios in France at the beginning of May, it was a good turnout with some very good pilots from 5 different Countries.  Disappointingly I finished last, but the quality of flying was exceptionally high and it gave me lots of ideas on how I could improve as the season progressed.  The following week we made the trip back to Lendelede in Belgium.  It was almost a replay of last year with winds up to 40mph on the Saturday which made things particularly difficult for everyone.  Over the course of the weekend I managed to battle my way up the leader board and finished in 7th place which I was thrilled about given the result from the week before.

There was then a 4 week break before travelling to Scotland for the Scottish Heli Nationals in the middle of June.  So I went back to my training field to get lots more practice.  I felt very determined by time we arrived and after a long battle with my good friend Roger Mayo, I managed to finish ahead of him in second place which was just amazing. 
There was then quite a long break whilst the British Team travelled to Austria for the World Championships in July.  

August brought the 1st Team trial and the BMFA BritishNationals at the end of the month.  It was a bit of a poor turnout for the 1st Team trials with only 3 pilots.  Roger and I were once again very close in our scoring.  After 4 rounds I was only 3 points behind him.  This left it all to play for at the Nationals.  Arriving at the Nationals I didn’t feel prepared at all.  A week in hospital and lack of sleep following the birth of Oliver meant that I hadn’t flown at all in about 3 weeks.  

The first couple of rounds I was frustrated by a few silly mistakes which resulted in big downgrades with my scores.  Roger also made a few mistakes which meant the scores were still very close.  In the end I won 2 of the rounds and Roger won 2.  When all the scores had been added together Roger had increased his lead slightly which resulted in my finishing 3rd for the Team selection and 3rd in the British Nationals.  

We have had some really good battles throughout the year and it’s always nice to kick back and have a few beers with everyone at the end of the day.
I'm really pleased to have made it into the Team for the European Championships next year in Poland, but there’s no time to rest.  There is a new schedule to learn and I am hoping to get a second Sylphide in the air so that I have a back-up machine just in case.  So I’m just trying to make the most of the good weather and have started training ready for next year.

I would just like to take this opportunity to thank all of the staff at SMB Bearings for your continued support which has been amazing.  Good luck with the move to the new premises!"

Thanks very much indeed Ian - many congratulations on the safe arrival of Oliver, the newest addition to the Emery household & for continuing on with your flying season.  We're honoured to support such a gentleman & a brilliant ambassador for the RC Heli community.  
Roll on the 2016 season & more adventures!

If you would like to follow how Ian & the Team are getting on check out these websites:
Euro Heli Series
British F3C Team
European Championships

Monday, 28 September 2015

SMB's big move approaches & a new era begins...

Well, we are very excited to announce that we now have a provisional moving date for our new premises. On the 17th October, we'll be making the move (hopefully, barring any last-minute snags) from our old building in Brize Norton to our new home at Ventura Business Park in Carterton.

The main office, all it needs now is our furniture!
 The interior building work is completed, flooring is laid, cables & telecoms are installed - all we need to do now is move our office, furniture & many thousands of bearings to the new unit!!

Colin practicing his clog dancing curtsy in the meeting room!
With the new move we'll also have an exciting new employment opportunity,
for a general office & warehouse assistant, so if you fancy being a vital part of the SMB Bearings Ltd team then why not contact us for further details or just send us your CV (all applications will be treated in the strictest confidence).  Go on, don't be shy - we'll look forward to hearing from you!

The new warehouse racking is being delivered & installed this week & then we're good to go!

Friday, 11 September 2015

SMB's new premises at Ventura Park - let there be light!

The kitchen is nearly ready, let there be coffee!
The re-lubrication room's worktops are being cut to size & installed next week 

The ante-room to the re-lubrication room is nearly ready... 

The meeting room has lighting & wiring - also an alien slug seems to have taken up temporary residence...

The main office is now wired & lit & the painting is nearly completed too.

We're really impressed by how light & airy the office is going to be...
...if a little startled by just how much wiring it takes to get the whole "light & airy" thing going!!
We'll be finalising the moving-in date very soon & we'll let you know asap when the big day is - so excited!!!

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Schaeffer Mclean - Skate Video Finalist SKATE BELIEVE - NYJAH HUSTONE

Schaeffer Mclean's latest adventures caught on YouTube :-)

Schaeffer says:
"Our Entry to the Skate Video Competition FixUP DIYBristol. We came 4th out of 16. Rules: make a video 3 days, I was suffered an injury in the weeks beforehand, so we had to find a stunt double to film my skateparts. This left us just one day to film and make this Vid. Many thanks to Rafferty Maitland King for being my stunt double. Nyjah's voiceover by Khiry Tha Young Prod'G. Main Skater Jeb Burns, and Ollie Pillinger my Skatepal. Rafferty performed the Big Three and Jeb performed the Double Kickflip in my shoes.... about 4 sizes smaller than his own... big props to them both, and Ollie for being such a talented Actor!! Thanks for watching. #nyjahhustone #tonyhawktoast"

Well done on placing fourth Schaeffer, that's quite an achievement!

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

F1 in Schools World Championships 2015 - SMB Bearings sponsor Team Apex...

Here at SMB Bearings we have a proud history of supporting STEM projects & in particular for young competitors in the F1 in Schools events.  We are delighted to announce that we are sponsoring Team Apex from Deans Community High School at this year's World Championship event, being held in Singapore next month.

The team really appealed to us with their enthusiasm & professionalism & - combine this with their technical prowess & we reckon they're onto a winner! :-)  You can see for yourself how hard they've worked to get to the world finals - watch their journey to the national finals here:

Team Apex's car for the F1 in Schools national finals
All us of at SMB Bearings would like to wish Team Apex the very, VERY best of luck for the competition & we look forward to bringing you updates on their progress next month.  In the meantime, you can follow the team's shenanigans through their website or via their Twitter & Facebook pages...

Friday, 21 August 2015

SMB Bearings Ltd, our new office - a room with a view!

The work on our new premises continues apace & we look all set for our move at the end of September - you can see some of the progress below:

Check out the view from our new offices...
...compared to the current office's vista (pictured above), it's going to be amazing!! :-)

The lighting & heating have been installed in the vast warehouse...

The office & technical areas, as seen from the warehouse...

The technician's re-lubrication lair is still a little bare, but all the equipment should be arriving in the next three weeks

The lovely Jason, from Tapper Interiors, who has been working so hard for us

Our view from the office into the warehouse...

It will be wonderful to have so much warehouse space for our expanding product range & we look forward very much to welcoming clients in our new meeting room & office suite.  

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Visit SMB's eBay skate shop...

We have a range of specialist skate bearings available & also the grease to keep them running smoothly.  If you'd like to purchase some premium skate bearings from us, please visit our eBay listings today - we are proud to have received excellent feedback from our customers:

Monday, 10 August 2015

Touch Bionics "i-limb quantum" does morning coffee...

Brilliant video from our customer Touch Bionics, showcasing their innovative prosthetics making life's essential jobs just a little easier...

It's wonderful to think that our precision miniature EZO bearings are used by Touch Bionics in such magnificent designs! :-)

Friday, 7 August 2015

SMB's August newsletter

See our latest newsletter HERE
If you'd like to sign up to receive the latest news from SMB Bearings, please email with the subject "newsletter" & we'll add you to the list (you can unsubscribe at any time & your email address will not be used for any other purpose or passed on to third parties).

Friday, 31 July 2015

Schaeffer Mclean - I Skated with Chris Haslam!!!

The gorgeous Schaeffer Mclean gets to skate with his heroes (& showcase some serious skills of his own) - watch out for the pocket rocket in the orange Matrix tee... :-)

Schaeffer says:
"The Globe Team's European Tour stopped by Oxford Skatepark and they put on an amazing show, but even better, they were just the friendliest guys you could meet. Rodney Mullen was so kind and nice, and David Gonzalez was spectacular. They were all so cool, but the best bit was skating with the legend Chris Haslam. It was such a fantastic day, and the local Oxford skaters so nice. I really hope that guy at the end lands thats 8 Stair soon... he so nearly had it, so close".

Monday, 6 July 2015

SMB's new premises - building update...

Well, despite soaring temperatures last week (we had a high of 36°C on Wednesday & averaged 25°C for the rest of the week - we're British, so that's way-hot for us!) the building work has continued in leaps & bounds & we are now the proud owners of some walls! Check it out:

The upstairs office & meeting room are taking shape

Downstairs & this will be the ante-room to the technician's clean-room lair :-)

This is the entrance to the kitchen & other welfare facilities (posh speak for the loo)...

The office is taking shape, with windows installed & partition walls nearing completion

In the next few days, the climate control systems will be installed &, once all the wiring is completed the final walls & the floating ceilings can be put in place.   It's then that all the really exciting (expensive) stuff starts being installed -the clean room is going to be a thing of great beauty, do we really have to let the technician in - he might make a mess?!

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

SMB's new premises, building work continues...

We are getting very excited here at SMB Bearings, as the building work continues apace on our new, larger premises at Ventura Park, Carterton.  

Ventura Park - our unit is bottom left of the picture - our neighbours include Airbus UK & the local leisure centre.

Tapper Interiors have made a cracking start & the mezzanine level & stairs are now in place, so the upstairs offices & meeting room & downstairs clean-room can be built now. 

The electricians are also on-site, so power & lighting are going in shortly.  It may not look like much yet, but we're sure it's going to be just amazing! :-)

We'll bring you more news as work progresses & look forward to a grand unveiling of the finished building very soon (hopefully around September)... 

Friday, 12 June 2015

SMB proud to support Go Longboard Day 2015...

Time for the annual Go Longboard Day
We're delighted to be involved & have donated a few prizes for the big day.

Organiser Ben Stainer says:

"The plan is actuallyfor there to be three events in one day:

Meet at the pavilion in Victoria park at 11:00, from there its making the small trip to the dancing spot, where their will be a longboard dance/flatland contest with various prizes, starting around 13:00 and ending around 13:30 (prizes to be announced)

The second event is a push race, much like APN did at Victoria park in 2012. A loop where the start is the finish, with prizes and little need to have a leg day

Image courtesy of Shove-it mag
The third event will be at Greenwich park, at a place called lovers lane for a slide Jam. Greenwich park is fairly easy to reach from Victoria park, several options will be posted in more detail below


To push to the Nearest DLR station (Bow Church), head straight towards Mile end tube station. at the main road, turn left and continue along, past mile end and Bow road tube stations. Bow Church DLR will be just after Bow Road tube station


227 from stop W (just outside of the entrance closest to the pavillion) to WESTFERRY DLR

D6 from Stop Y outside of St Barnabas church (Going back towards mile end station) and get of at UNIVERSITY OF CUMBRIA IN LONDON. Westferry DLR is a 5 minute walk away

Once on the DLR, head towards Lewisham and alight at CUTTY SARK. Follow the signs to greenwich park.

The slide jam will be happening around 16:30, to compensate for the tube being as reliable as political promises made in the election in May.

The slide Jam will be in two categories
Soft wheel (under 90a)
Hard wheel/tech slide (over 90a)

Any questions, do not hesitate to message me (Ben Stainer) about transport, suggestions etc

If your skate company wants to Sponsor go longboard day, please contact us!

Hope you can come down and meet the melting pot that is the longboard community!

Sponsors will be announced as soon as they come through!

SMB Bearings (that's us!)
Slide Perfect Wheels

Cover photo credit to April Whitlow
Shove it Mag:

We wish all participants (& of course the dedicated organisers) every success with this event - it's sure to be great fun!  Find out more at the event's Facebook page.

Friday, 15 May 2015

Euro Heli Series news...

Our friend Ian Emery has been involved in the establishment in 2014, & growth in 2015, of the Euro Heli Series - a series of radio controlled helicopter competitions across Europe.  

The first two events have already taken place this year, in France & Belgium - & two more events follow in the autumn, the Netherlands &, just confirmed, now also in Slovenia.

Photo by Mark Christy, Belgium competitors 2014...
And the winners from Belgium 2015...

Ian visited us recently & told us some of the difficulties involved in arranging these events (not least being able to afford the judges required to make it an officially recognized F3C event) so we are thrilled that he's been able to gain the support & momentum required to make a go of it!  

Ian says "I am pleased to announce that the Moonlight Cup, held in Slovenia will be added to the Euro Heli Series Calendar for 2015. It will give pilots from other parts of Europe who can't make it to any of our other events an opportunity to get involved in the Euro Heli Series and as always everyone is welcome to come along.
This years Moonlight Cup will be held over the weekend of 11-13 September 2015. I will be adding a page to the website over the coming weeks and information will be added as it is confirmed.
Thank you to everyone who came to Vitry le francois and Lendelede over the past couple of weeks and to everyone involved in organising the events. It was great to catch up and really nice to see so many F3C pilots and judges there".

We'll bring your more news from Ian & his Euro Heli Series adventures throughout the season - in the meantime we wish Ian & his fellow competitors continued fun & success - happy flying guys!