Rider Stats: 5’11, 190lbs; Regular stance
Board Stats: Loaded Fattail Flex 1 with Paris 150’s and Orangatang 83a Stimulus wheels (with 86a Durians pictured)
Having owned a Tan Tien since June and having ridden friends’ Dervishes and Pintails before I thought I knew what to expect when I first heard of the Fattail: a flexy and rather flat board that I won’t have much fun with. Going into it with such low expectations I wasn’t at all prepared for the experience I had instead. I can say, without a doubt, that the Fattail completely changed the way I look at commuting on my longboard. In all honesty, riding the Fattail has produced some of the most fun experiences I’ve had on a longboard — period.
I’ll address the usual “Loaded haters” right up front: no, this board isn’t a perfect freeride or downhill board, but it’s not meant to be that. Introduced at the end of July and actually in stores at the beginning of April, the Fattail was meant to be a replacement for one of Loaded’s classic boards, the Pintail. For what it was designed to do, I think Loaded hit the nail right on the head in creating a super fun and super well done commuter/cruiser board.
It might sound corny but within a few pushes I had a huge smile on my face and felt like a giddy little kid, I was shocked at how much fun I was having. Being a top-mount the Fattail puts you up much higher than the Tan Tien or Dervish would, and mixed with a little bit of flex to dampen road vibrations makes for a very smooth and stable ride. Because one of the main advantages of a top-mount is the added grip, going fast around the streets and walkways on my campus, weaving in and out of people, cars, bikes, and other obstacles was never an issue and never gave me too much of a scare. Loaded is known for making flexy boards, something I experienced plenty with my Flex 2 Tan Tien that I’ve had since this summer, so I didn’t expect anything different from the Fattail, especially since it’s meant to replace the cruiser/carver Pintail.
I’m generally not a big fan of flex, as someone who likes to freeride and downhill I see it as the enemy, something that wants to make your wheels hookup when you’re not expecting it or buck you off your board at high speeds. To my chagrin, however, the amount of flex on my Fattail wasn’t nearly as drastic as I expected, and ended up being a friend, instead of an enemy. As I mentioned above the Fattail offers an extremely smooth ride, even over our cobblestone sidewalks, thanks to the flex that I was just talking about. The use of bamboo and added camber (where the board arcs upwards when unweighted) act as a sort of suspension system for the board, creating a very fun, floaty feeling while riding it. Pushing and pumping also became a bit easier once I learned how to use the flex to my advantage, saving energy by getting more power out of my pushes and easily pumping the board to maintain speed or even accelerate when on a slight decline.
The shape of the Fattail is pretty awesome and is what really makes it fun for me. At 38″ long and 8.63″ wide the Fattail provides you with ample standing space and an ABSOLUTELY AWESOME kicktail. While the front also features a slight kick, the proximity to the front truck, for me at least, made it tough to really get leverage and use it for anything too fun. The Fattail’s kicktail is a bit beefier than what you’d find on the Tan Tien, allowing me to place a good amount of my foot on the tail while still hanging just enough over each edge. Since first stepping on this board I haven’t been able to stop manualing. Everywhere I go I find myself trying to manual even further than before or just adding one in for fun. It’s the kicktail, in my opinion that really puts the Fattail at the head of the commuter/cruiser pack since it adds a bit of flair that absolutely never gets old and turns even the easiest and shortest of rides into a ton of fun. It also allows you to add in some ollies and flip tricks (although I’ll be the first to admit I don’t mix well with flip tricks) that would be impossible, or at the very least much harder, without such a big tail.
Because Loaded put out a video showing Dane Webber and Dustin Hampton absolutely SHREDDING this thing, I had to take it out and try to freeride it a little bit, right? Safe to say, this is not going in my freeride quiver. These guys are pros for a reason and made it look far too easy. I’m not a slouch when it comes to sliding by any means, but the narrow board and very very mellow concave mixed with the added grip from the topmount and my small Paris 150s, it wasn’t a pretty sight. While I’m sure it can be done, and we’ve seen it done, in my opinion you’d be better off going a different direction for a freeride board.
So that’s it really. If you’re looking for a super fun board to get around town or campus with that’ll absolutely never get old, this is it. Enough flex to make the ride super smooth and easy and a kicktail to spice up even the most dreaded commute to early morning class or work the Fattail is a more than worthy replacement for Loaded’s Pintail and will fill the commuter/cruiser spot in your quiver perfectly. Pick one up online directly from Loaded or get out there and support your local skate shop!