One of the best longboard brands that has dominated the market is Loaded Longboards. Loaded Boards officially formed in September of 2000, but their crusade began almost a decade before that. They key players involved with forming the company were passionate about bringing the joys of snowboarding and surfing to the dry land.
Sure, skateboarding blew up in the 1980s, but that variety of skating evolved more towards freestyle tricking and less towards the smooth carving feel they were looking for.
They invested almost two years into trying every combination of materials they could think of, from retrofitting snowboard decks with trucks and wheels to custom shaping their own decks, all in the pursuit of carving on land. Many of their creations were interesting, and some were probably actionable, but they didn’t convey the sensation that these pros knew so well.
Finally, in June of 2002, Loaded Boards unveiled the Vanguard – their first longboard. The Vanguard’s deck was snowboard-inspired, and turned out to provide an intuitive feel while carving that riders are still falling in love with, a decade later. The bamboo laminate keeps the board lightweight and easy to manipulate – a huge bonus for lighter and newer riders. Loaded longboard decks are so good that they make up almost our entire list of the best longboard decks.
Which Loaded Longboard is Right for Me?
This convenient infographic creatively illustrates how the different Loaded Boards models are designed to perform. Decks that overlap styles incorporate design features that extend the utility of the longboard.
Image Courtesy of loadedboards.com
| Icarus||Check Price||Carving/Pumping|
| Vanguard||Check Price||Carving|
| Tan Tien||Check Price||Freestyle|
| Dervish Sama||Check Price||Dancing/Carving|
| Bhangra||Check Price||Dancing/Freestyle|
5 Best Loaded Longboards
 Loaded Boards Icarus Bamboo Longboard – Complete Setup
“The carving board, reimagined”
Considered by many a longboarder to be a triumph of Loaded’s pursuit of snowboard-style carving on a skateboard, the Loaded Icarus is indeed a “carving machine”.
Like other carving longboards, the Icarus features deep CNC-milled wheel wells and drop-through mounting to prevent wheel bite and allow for deep carves, respectively. The subtle concave deck design provides further leverage and control for deep carving and tight turning, while the minimal nose/tail and lack of tailkicks further illustrate the focus of this deck on carving and pumping.
Through a wide lens, the Icarus is certainly a milestone in Loaded’s crusade for bringing the snowboard carving experience to the streets. The snowboard-inspired deck design is brought to life via a bamboo/fiberglass composite with an additional cork bottom-layer for extra vibration dampening. Fitted with Paris 180mm trucks, Orangatang longboard wheels, and Loaded Jehu V2 bearings, the Loaded Icarus is not only ready to ride out of the box, it is absolutely ready to shred.
Length: 38.4” / 97.5 cm
Width: 8.6” / 22 cm
Wheelbase (inner hole): 28.25” / 71.76 cm
Weight (deck only): 2.9 lbs / 1.3 kg
Flex 1: 170-270+ lbs / 75-115+ kg
Flex 2: 75-200+ lbs / 35-90+ kg
 Loaded Boards Vanguard Bamboo Longboard – Complete Setup
This snowboard-inspired deck is perfect for carving and pumping.
This was Loaded’s first original longboard design.
This is the longboard that started it all (at least for Loaded). Since the mid 90s they have kept their team a tight-knit group that covers a spectrum of eclectic talent. They have since embraced this unique approach and solidified it in their company. The company cites the importance of building on foundations of trust, particularly how essential it is towards “maximizing individual strengths/perspectives, accountability, intellectual rigor and constructive criticism.”
Remember, after forming their company, they took almost two years to research and develop their snowboard-inspired design before being satisfied with the product.
The Vanguard, featured here, is the source of that satisfaction. This is the board that made the stubborn team that had rejected so many viable and profitable designs, up to that point, jump up and down and pop champagne in celebration.
Today, the Loaded Boards team has come a long way in terms of experience and knowledge regarding the designing and manufacture of longboards. Consequently, the Vanguard now comes in five different degrees of flex, allowing carvers an incredible amount of precision in selecting the responsiveness of their longboard deck. Additionally. Loaded’s commitment to using high quality material components such as bamboo, basalt, cork, and fiberglass has freed them up to explore other noble pursuits like their proprietary bio-epoxy used to laminate their deck layers.
The Loaded Vanguard is an iconic longboard needing little introduction, and this complete setup is fitted with Paris trucks, Orangatang wheels, and Loaded Jehu V2 bearings, making it eager to prove itself right out of the box.
Length: 42 and 38” / 107 and 98 cm
Width: 8.5” / 21.5 cm
Wheelbase (inner hole): 35 and 31.5” / 88.9 and 80 cm
Weight (deck only): 2.7-3.8 lbs / 1.2-1.7 kg
Flex 1: 175-230+ lbs / 80-105+ kg
Flex 2: 150-210+ lbs / 68-95+ kg
Flex 3: 150-200+ lbs / 68-90+ kg
Flex 4: 120-170+ lbs / 55-77+ kg
Flex 5: 80-140+ lbs / 35-65+ kg
 Loaded Boards Tan Tien Bamboo Longboard – Complete Setup
A masterful balance between carving and freestyle capabilities.
If you look at the infographic above that Loaded created to visually identify the right longboard to meet a specific rider’s needs, you’ll find the Tan Tien centered in the “Freestyle” category.
That would be because the Tan Tien is engineered to be exactly that – a freestyle longboard.
Drop-through mounting and deeply machined wheel wells start things off, and the subtly flared nose and tail kicks settle things nicely. Given that all of Loaded’s boards are snowboard-inspired, you can expect this board to behave with just as much carving superiority as the rest.
This makes it an ideal choice for freestyle tricksters that incorporate hard carves like Coleman/Pendulum slides into their routine. Understand that this is simply recognition of how this longboard makes such tricks easier, but that in no way implies that the scope of the Tan Tien’s freestyling prowess is limited to such. In fact, this is a preferred deck for many of the advanced freestyle tricks being done, due largely to its lightweight and durable construction, and efficient design and shape.
Length: 39” / 99 cm
Width: 8.75” / 22.3 cm
Wheelbase (inner hole): 27″ / 68.6 cm
Weight (deck only): 3.1-3.5 lbs / 1.4-1.6 kg
Flex 1: 170-270+ lbs / 75-122+ kg
Flex 2: 130-210+ lbs / 59-95+ kg
Flex 3: 80-170+ lbs / 36-77+ kg
 Loaded Boards Dervish Sama Bamboo Longboard – Complete Setup
A freestyle carver that is well-rounded enough to appeal to longboard beginners and experts alike.
One look at the drop-through mounting and deeply-milled wheel wells, and you know this board is made for carving. Those deep wheel cutouts make it possible to carve deep and turn tight, while the dual talikicks provide extra leverage for navigating urban terrain.
The deck is engineered from a bamboo/fiberglass laminate that is vertically layered, providing a strong yet responsive flex that is a nod back to Loaded’s snowboarding roots. The Dervish Sama is offered in 3 flex ratings, that Loaded recommends considering next to rider weight. This aims to match the rider with the level of flex considered “normal” for their weight (seasoned-riders will likely know what level of flex they like).
The Dervish Sama is a durable, lightweight, all-purpose longboard that is perfect for new riders that might not be sure what style of riding they will engage in. It provides enough access to so many different kinds of longboarding and is high enough quality that it will see new riders through years of their journey.
This one is also a good pick for those who came up on cheaper, lower-quality longboards that have stuck with it long enough that it’s time to invest in a proper ride. Those budget boards are fine for someone uncertain about sticking with it for the long haul, but once you’re hooked, do yourself a favor and see the difference for yourself.
Length: 42.8” / 109 cm
Width: 9” / 22.9 cm
Wheelbase (inner hole): 31.5” / 80.0 cm
Weight (deck only): 3.0-3.6 lbs / 1.4-1.6 kg
Flex 1: 170-270+ lbs / 75-122+ kg
Flex 2: 100-185+ lbs / 45-84+ kg
Flex 3: 75-150+ lbs / 35-68+ kg
 Loaded Boards Bhangra Bamboo Longboard – Complete Setup
Loaded Boards’ iconic dance model – perfect for fleet-footed longboard dancer.
The “Loaded Bhangra” has become iconic among longboard dancers as the best available. This is owing largely to the stiff flex, top-mounted deck that boasts a generous overall width and huge tailkicks. This all translates into a longboard that enables both dancers and freestylers to show off their entire arsenal with ease.
The V2 model deck featured here uses a basalt/bamboo composite with bio-epoxy laminate. This brings a top-shelf experience in terms of material quality as well as eco-friendliness. The wheel-well sections are CNC-milled with precision, ensuring the maximum amount of footing remains while still preventing possible wheel-bite.
Rounding out the complete build with Paris trucks and Orangatang wheels makes this one the best ready-to-ride longboard that money can buy. A perfect selection for anybody interested in longboard dancing, freestyling, or commuting. We made sure to include the Bhangra in our list of the best dancing longboards.
Length: 48.5″ / 123 cm
Width: 9.5″ / 24 cm
Wheelbase (inner hole): 32.75″ / 83.19 cm
Weight (deck only): 5.1-5.5 lbs / 2.3-2.5 kg
Flex <1: 130-300+ lbs / 60-136+ kg
Flex 2: 90-190+ lbs / 40-86+ kg
As you can see, Loaded Boards hardly settled after the success of the Vanguard. To the contrary, it seems to have inspired the team to believe in their goal even more strongly – if such a thing were possible.
Over the subsequent years and decades, the team at Loaded has made incredible strides building bridges between the snowboarding and longboarding communities. Enthusiasts from either side have since found immeasurable joy in exploring the similarities and differences of the other, and the endeavour has led to innovations in technology for both sides as well.
In many ways, the company is one of principle, as opposed to being one of compromise.
Some companies are constantly restructuring and rebranding as part of an endless effort to conform to popular trends. Loaded is not that kind of company. Instead, this team holds fast to its principles, which turn out to be wholesome enough that it has paid off thus far.
Instead of rebranding to meet the growing needs of their consumer base, Loaded has simply designed a new deck to satisfy the various styles of longboarding. By insisting on making the use of quality materials and snowboard-inspired characteristics inherent in every deck, they have since risen to the top as a leader in the industry altogether.
Whatever your riding style and whichever design you end up going with, one thing is absolutely certain. Choosing a Loaded Board means getting a longboard you can trust – because trust is built into every single one, from inception to production to delivery.
We feel the same way. We work hard to be your number one trusted source for learning more about and comparing the overwhelming volume of longboards and equipment on the market.
We hope you enjoyed this look at some of Loaded Boards’ most popular offerings, and that you found what you were looking for – whether it be information or a new ride!
As always, thanks for stopping by and visiting us, and don’t forget to CTRL-D and bookmark us for later. Stay safe out there – see you next time!