Loaded Longboard Review 2016
Doing it better than so many brands, since 2000, Loaded has perfect the art of longboard technology. We break down what makes them the best and which boards are our personal favorites.
The Loaded Longboard mad scientists at have been at it since the late 90’s, making some of the most technically advanced longboards in the industry. Made in the USA and using premium materials like bamboo and fiberglass, Loaded is able to achieve a flex in their boards that no other company has been able to match. From super flexy carving machines to uber-stiff downhill boards, Loaded has a model that is perfect for every type of rider.
As you read on, you will notice several boards are available in different “flexes”. Keep in mind that flex 1 would be the stiffest and 5 would be the softest. Not all boards are available in different flexes but several are. Be sure to pay attention to the weight capacity of each flex before you make your purchase.
Lets dive right into the good stuff. Here are our top picks from Loaded and what makes each of them so awesome.
The latest board release at the time of this post (Aug 2016), is the Loaded Icarus Longboard. Built with carving in mind, this board can rip a curve. Similar in shape to the Dervish and Tan Tien, the Icarus features larger cutouts allowing for larger wheels and deep turns without wheelbite. Considering it comes stock with 80mm Orangatang Kegel’s, that extra room is much appreciated. Other features include a camber profile for massive energy release when pumping and variable concave with tighter concave in the center to prevent folding and more subtle concave around the edges for a more comfortable locked in stance. If you are looking for the latest and greatest in carving boards that really move, the Icarus is what you should be looking at. Available in 2 flex options and comes stock with Orangatang Kegel or In-Heat wheels on Paris 180mm trucks.
- Large wheelwells make for an anti-wheelbite shape
- Awesome flex balance with a ton of energy when pumping
- Can be for begginers with the balance of flex and larger wheels
The board that started it all for Loaded back in 2002 has become one of the most highly regarded longboard decks in the industry. They call it the Loaded Vanguard Longboard. With a symmetrical shape and stance and loaded with camber, the Vanguard allows users to pump and push through carves, generating momentum as you go for a fast, fluid ride. Available in up to 5 different flexes based on your personal preference and body weight, there is truly a Vanguard for every type of rider. The complete Vanguard comes stock with Paris trucks and Orangatang In Heat wheels. Due to the extreme flex of the Vanguard, Loaded recommends keeping this board under 25 mph. For flatground carving and pumping, there is no better option than the Loaded Vanguard. Available in five different flexes.
- Pumping / momentum means less pushing
- Extreme flex is like a natural shock absorber
- Longer length allows for a wider stance and more stable ride
- Super flexy deck not ideal for heavier riders
- Not intended for downhill or fast speeds due to the extreme flex
Tan Tien Longboard
One of our top picks from the Loaded collection is our version of the perfect city longboard, the Loaded Tan Tien Longboard. This versatile ride has all the benefits of a traditional longboard mixed with some very trick-friendly tech so you can cruise, carve and maybe even nail a kick flip if you are feeling frisky. Loaded added some serious foot-locking concave for stability when you hit higher speeds, the true-twin shape allows for full support under both feet and the added nose and tail kick gives you additional maneuverability. Each Tan Tien complete comes with Paris trucks and assorted Orangantang wheels. Whether you are looking to perfect your slides or just want a more compact, super stable board to cruise on, the Tan Tien is an excellent choice. Available in three different flexes.
- The 39″ length is long enough to be stable but short enough to lug around town
- Functional nose and tail kick add maneuverability
- Available with grippy street or slide wheels
- Due to the drop thru mount and shorter length this board is less flexy than other Loaded boards
Dervish Sama Longboard
In 2007, the Dervish was Loaded’s first attempt at drop-thru mount construction. Five years later they perfected that design and the Loaded Dervish Sama Longboard was born. Taking cues from the original model but adding upgrades like a wider body and functional nose an tail kick, the Dervish Sama quickly became the best selling Loaded board. The wider body offers more stability during carves and slides and Loaded also updated the neck and drop thru cut out area for increased durability during hard riding. In short, the Sama is one of the smoothest riding, easy to balance on, comfortable longboards out there. The complete comes with Paris trucks and Orangatang wheels. With three different flexes to choose from so there is a perfect flex for every weight rider. Find out for yourself why the Dervish Sama is our top selling Loaded longboard. Three different flexes to choose from.
- Symmetrical shape offers comfortable, even balance
- Drop thru mount keeps you closer to the ground
- Pumping and carving is super easy on this board
- Flex deck not ideal for heavier riders
- Not great for downhill or higher speeds due to the flex
Fat Tail Longboard
A revamp of their original Pintail, the Loaded Fat Tail Longboard is a beefier version that is perfect for city cruising, pedestrian dodging or quick trips to the liquor store. A more freestyle-friendly shape in the Loaded collection, the Fat Tail gives you the comfort of a longboard in a compact, shorter length. The fiberglass / bamboo combo that we know and love offers just enough flex for the ride to be super comfortable while the kicked up nose and tail and concaved deck give this little whip some extra maneuverability for added fun and versatility. There is still a slight taper in the deck but the back end has been widened out from it’s days as a true pintail, giving the rider a little more support under their back foot for better overall control and stability. Specifically placed grip tape looks cool and also gives you extra traction where you need it while the top mount and slight camber offer excellent response in and out of each carve. Three flexes available, each comes with Paris trucks and assorted Orangatang wheels. For longboard comfort mixed with street-friendly freestyle capabilities, the Loaded Fat Tail our top pick.
- Shorter length adds maneuverability
- Functional nose and tail kick
- Top mount and slight camber offers a nice flex
- Top mount sits a little higher off the ground
- Shorter length may not be ideal for some beginners or bigger footed riders
My personal favorite board in the entire Loaded collection is by far the Loaded Poke Longboard. A descendant of the Fish / Ceviche collection, the Poke is the latest and greatest when it comes to super “skatey” longboard style cruisers. You can drop into a bowl with it, you can ollie it, you can cruise to the grocery store without wiping out and a whole lot more. It’s truly a dream come true. Slim shape, shorter length, functional nose and tail kick, strategically placed griptape and equipped with Orangatang wheels to keep your ride as smooth as ever. Maybe you skate and are looking for a good cruiser board but don’t want to jump into a full blown longboard? Maybe you longboard and want to downsize and eventually learn to skate ? Either way, it’s the happy medium between the two worlds and it tops our list of all time favorite shapes. No matter your riding style, you can’t go wrong with the Loaded Poke.
- Super versatile shorter shape
- Concave and nose / tail kick offer stability and maneuverability
- Big cruiser wheels ensure a smooth ride
- Definitely closer to a skateboard on the spectrum of boards
- Shorter length can be tough for beginners or bigger footed riders
So good they had to make three different versions. The Loaded Tesseract Longboard is like no other board you’ve ever seen. With downhill influences, the Tesseract family of boards offers a super stiff, stable ride loaded with tech like W concave, flared wheel wells and multiple wheelbase options for personal customization. The Tesseract (pictured) has the longest nose and tail and is in turn the longest of all 3 models. The Cantellated Tesseract has a shorter nose and fatter tail with more accentuated tail kick. Finally, the Truncated Tesseract has the most minimal nose and tail of all 3 and is known as the race-inspired shape. If you’ve got a need for speed and enjoy a little freestyle / freeride in your spare time, then the Loaded Tesseract may just be the board for you.
- Super stiff and stable at higher speeds
- W Concave locks your feet into place for added stability
- Multiple wheelbase options allow for personal customization
- Stiffer profile makes the board a little heavier
- W Concave can be awkward for flat ground pushing
The newest board in the Loaded family (as of June 2016) was created with the intention to bridge the gap between shorter technical boards and downhill-specific models. The end result was the Loaded Overland Longboard. This board has features like a super stiff, stable deck with nose and tail kick, flared wheel wells and insane concave for excellent grip at higher speeds. Equipped with slide-ready Orangatang wheels and machine-cut, strategically placed grip tape, the Overland is the downhill freestyle riders dream. The surprisingly lightweight feel of this board will keep you moving quickly without weighing you down, and to top it all off, the Overland is pretty easy on the eyes if we do say so ourselves. Freestyle ready but capable of handling high speeds, the Loaded Overland is definitely ready for your next kick-push adventure.
- Versatile shape great for freestyle, freeride and downhill
- Lightweight construction
- Loaded with concave for additional stability
- Very stiff deck is less forgiving
- Shorter, more traditional trucks means tighter turning radius