Metro Motions 78a Review

Metro is a skater owned company managed by none other than Buddy Carr. They offer four freeride wheels: the Motion, Links, Spyders and Micro Motions. I got the chance to get a hold of the set of 78a yellow Metro Motions to skate, and I can definitely say that they’re a killer wheel! I was able to skate them on a technical downhill run; smooth pavement; and some chundery, rough pavement, which they held up extremely well with no chunking or ovaling.

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I tested these 78a motions on a fast technical downhill run, which consisted of smooth and rough sections.

Metro Motion 78a

Photo: Mike Blackman

The slide was more than predictable and consistent; They were not randomly icy or randomly grippy at any point at all. A really good thing about them was that they killed the right amount of speed — not too much, not too little.

On the opposite spectrum, the hookup was incredible! It wasn’t that hookup that grips up really quick and gives you a little wobble, or just doesn’t hook back up; It was a really controlled push-back that kept you right where you needed to be.

The release point on them was not hard, in fact, it was actually quite easy and forgiving. Not one time did I have a scary moment of near-highsiding. Now when you think of a slidey freeride wheel, grip probably does not come to mind, but don’t fret! I managed to grip some hard turns as well as a corner with “cat scratches”(little divots/strips left on the road from construction trucks) while going pretty fast.

The durability of these wheels were actually quite surprising! They do not wear too quick at all, yet they do leave some noticeable, yellow thane. I’ve been continuing to skate them hard at multiple sessions since first mounting them on my board and they still haven’t even touched the inner lip yet.

To conclude this little review of the 78a Metro Motions, I would definitely urge you to give these wheels a try if you haven’t already. Whether you’re just learning how to slide, or an experienced skateboarder, these 78a Metro Motions will definitely do the trick and stoke you out. From smooth pavement to rough pavement, the consistency of the slide, hookup, and release point were an A+.

- Mike Blackman

Thanks to Alex Liu for helping edit the above post. 

 

Nelson Longboards Stingray KT 36 Review

Stingray KT 36 Review

We’re stoked to finally bring you the Nelson Longboards Stingray KT 36 review! Nelson took their popular Stingray KT39 and shot it with a shrink ray to form the Stingray KT36, a perfect “do-it all” board. With aggressive 3D concave in the front, mild W-concave in back, a wheelbase range from 21”-23”, and a flared nose and 6” kicktail this deck is quite the little shred machine. After riding it for around 2 hours, I immediately fell in love with this decks concave.

The mild W-concave in the back of the deck forms an incredible pocket that eliminates the need for monkey toe. Although I am not usually a fan of 3D wheel wells, I actually enjoyed the natural foot stop these raised wheel wells created and they also came in handy when popping ollies. The large 6” kicktail on this deck makes ollies and freestyle tricks a breeze and the flared nose is also pretty functional once you get used to it.

The 8-ply construction makes this deck a freaking tank (like honestly you can throw this thing around and you don’t need to worry). Just like its larger counterpart, the KT36 is a freeride machine, especially for smaller riders. If you want a deck that you can take from the hills to the park, go checkout Nelson’s Stingray KT36. Check out the video review below to hear more thoughts and see it in action.

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Tiger Skate Designs Tuesdays Wheel Review

This time around we’re taking a look at Tiger Skate Designs’ first ever wheel, the Tuesdays. The Tuesdays are a 70mm freeride wheel with a sideset core and a 37.5mm contact patch. The Tuesdays are available in one durometer, 81a. Overall, these wheels were super fun and made otherwise daunting slides feel like someone flipped the switch and turned easy mode on.

The Tiger Skate Designs Tuesdays are great for learning new slides and going bigger than you ever have before, as they feature a super predictable break-point and hookup, so you’re never left wondering exactly when you’re going to start or stop sliding. Featuring a similar shape to the Venom Tweaker, the rounded lip and sideset core do offer some traction, however the sugary thane allows you to break the wheel sideways with just a touch of effort.

Tiger Skate Designs TuesdaysThe Tuesdays were designed to slide and shine when you’re doing just that, whether it be mobbing down a fast freeride run or putting on your favorite slopestyle hill. We were able to champion some slides at dumb slow speeds that would have gotten us buck on any other wheel, allowing us to have more fun and add more variation into our runs than most other wheels allow for, simply because we knew we could pull it off when we tried new things. On the other hand, you’ve got riders like our boy Tom Leary, who mob hills faster than my jaw can hit the floor and do some pretty gnarly slides on these puppies.

Because these suckers slide so well, they also drop thane and leave lines like sidewalk chalk. As you’d expect with characteristics like that, we found them to wear pretty quickly, although nice and evenly. I haven’t had a set of wheels wear as evenly as the Tuesdays in a long while, due in part to the 36mm core that the Tigers rock, I’m sure.

The Tiger Skate Designs Tuesdays are a great freeride wheel and shine when they’re put to the use they were designed for: getting sideways. The predictable nature of the wheel means you’ll be able to increase the size and variety of your slides quickly and with confidence, with much less concern of getting buck when you least expect it. We’re stoked at Tiger’s first shot at a wheel and think you will be too. Pick them up over at their online store for $47.00, or see the image below to learn how you might be able to win a set of Tiger Skate Designs Tuesdays for yourself on our Facebook Page!

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Review: Loaded Boards Tesseract Review

Loaded Boards recently released the newest addition to their downhill and freeride lineup, the Tesseract. Drawing from lessons learned when developing two of their last major releases, the Tesseract blends some of our favorite features found in both the Chubby Unicorn and Kanthaka to create a super versatile and unbelievably fun board.

tesseract bottom

It’s got variable wheelbase options from 24.5” up to 26”. At the wider wheelbase option your kicks aren’t as functional for ollies, but they’ll still get the job done. It’s symmetrically shaped and features symmetrical rocker, dish-concave kicktails, flared wheel wells, gas pedals and W concave. Every time I look at it I can’t help but think it looks like the Kanthaka and Chubby Unicorn had a baby, and this is the beautiful result.

tesseract full viewThe Tesseract is a bamboo core sandwiched between two layers of fibreglass. Topping things off, quite literally, is a layer of cork. The cork is there to help dampen road vibrations and prevent damage to the graphic from spreading the same way a wood veneer usually does, as cork doesn’t scratch the same as other woods. While I have reservations about the use of cork since it can dry out and crumble, as many Birkenstock owners know, it really does work as a dampener. The board is incredibly light, yet super stable and agile at speed, something I almost wasn’t expecting since it’s so thin. The gas pedals are well placed and the wheel well flares make for some pockets that lock your feet in perfectly and allow you to know where you’re standing at all times. The W concave is much less aggressive than what we found on the Chubby Unicorn, making it more comfortable for longer sessions and long distance pushes.

I’ve also been able to pop fat ollies on this board, most of the time without even slapping the tail all the way to the ground. We’ve really been having a blast riding it, both for freeride and downhill and think it’s an extremely versatile board that will be a go-to in a lot of people’s quivers. It’ll be in in stores by the end of July, including our friends at MuirSkate, so check it out when you get a chance! Check out what else we had to say in the video review!

You can also scoop a fresh Tesseract deck with some fast shipping via Amazon:

Photos courtesy of Loaded Boards. 

Review: Orangatang Morongas

A few months back Orangatang unleashed the new version of their freeride wheel, dubbed the Moronga. Replacing their previous freeride wheel, the Balut, the Moronga picks up where the Balut left off, getting some increased downhill performance without any sacrifice to its ability to slide like butter. The Moronga utilizes both the same core and urethane (Euphorathane) introduced with the Balut, and comes in the standard Orangtang duros and colors: 80a (Orange), 83a (Purple), and 86a (Yellow). They ‘re 72.5 mm in diamater, with a 35mm contact patch and centerset core; they come stone ground, decreasing the break-in time.

Photo: Loaded Boards

Photo: Orangatang Wheels

The Euphorathane urethane lends itself well to the wheel and feels much different than it did on the Balut — for the better — making for very smooth, consistent slides on almost every pavement type and hill I brought them out to. The Morongas feel like they want to stay under you and resist getting sideways until you’re finally ready to break them out, even when going fast. This is thanks to a redesigned lip profile on the Moronga, allowing them to be used at much higher speed with a greater deal of confidence. Despite feeling awesome, however, they had a tendency to sound loud (although I did note that the 86a duro was much quieter than the softer 80a and 83a duros), so you might want to be careful if you’re sessioning early in the morning or late at night in a neighborhood.

morongas_on_chubbyThe centerset core and new lip design give the wheel grip when you need it, while the narrow contact patch allows for a smooth, predictable slide. This new lip profile is accomplished on the Moronga with the additional urethane added around the core to help support the lip and maintain its shape through the entire life of the wheel. It’s this same lip profile that gives the Moronga the big leg up on the Balut when it comes to going fast, since it provides added grip without sacrificing the narrow contact patch for smooth, controlled slides. While I haven’t cored my set yet, I’ve taken a ton of urethane off of ‘em and feel like I’m still skating the same wheel as day one. Because they’re centerset you can also flip them as they cone to help keep things perfectly even, helping to extend their life even further.

The beefy core that’s deep down inside the Morongas forces the wheels to maintain their shape while sliding, helping to reduce ovaling and deformation. In the 3 months or so I’ve been riding a set of 83a’s slopestyle, they’re still perfectly round and are wearing much slower than other wheels I’ve skated recently. I’ve also been fortunate enough to be flat-spot free and haven’t heard too many people talking about flat spots being an issue (feel free to leave a comment below if you’ve heard otherwise). The big thing, though, is that they still feel like the same wheel I’ve been skating since day one, a consistency I appreciate.

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The wear, having skated them pretty consistently since February.

All-in-all, we’re very impressed with the Morongas. It’s clear that Orangatang worked hard to take what worked from the Balut and build off of it to make an even gnarlier, more versatile wheel. The improvements over the Balut mean you’ll be able to skate this wheel faster and harder than ever before, while still being able to rail fat slides when the moment strikes you. It’s still not a downhill racewheel, nor is it meant to be. Since I’ve been riding the Morongas I’ve been able to confidently leave for sessions without having to worry whether or not I brought appropriate wheels for whatever the day might bring. As I said in our video review, I’ll be keeping these wheels as a part of my quiver for the foreseeable future.

So how do the three duros stack up against each other?

80a (Orange): Grippiest of the 3 wheels. Takes a bit more to get them to break out but produce buttery smooth slides, especially at speed. Best while riding fast.

83a (Purple): My favorite all around wheel right now. Hard enough to slide when putting and soft enough to grip corners while steaming. Smooth slides, although like I said up top, they can be a bit loud on some pavement. They also wear a little slower than the 80a.

86a (Yellow): Tons of fun and slide forever, these are something else. They still have a lot of grip for how hard they are, but once you get them sideways they just keep sliding. Not the best for shedding speed but a ton of fun when wanting to learn how to go bigger. These things take a beating without losing too much thane, in my experience.

The Morongas will run you $54.00, if you pick them up from our good friend Scott over at MuirSkate you’ll even get free shipping.

Loaded Boards Kanthaka Review

What seems like wayyyy back in late November, Loaded Boards announced what the industry had been waiting to hear for so long: the freeride/downhill board that had been, the Chubby Unicorn, was here. There was another announcement that day that didn’t receive as much fanfare but managed to turn heads nonetheless: Loaded’s first true double-kick (DK) ripper, the Kanthaka.

The Kanthaka comes in two width flavors, 8.625in and 8.875in, which we tested for the review. The length measures at a nice and comfortable 36” with a 17.5” wheelbase, meaning you’ve got some meaty 7.5” symmetrical kicktails to give you some gnarly pop without ever thinking twice about whether you’re riding the tail or nose. Of course, Loaded also went ahead and created a dope new pseudo-MC Escher inspired graphic (which has held up surprisingly well to board slides) that’s sure to draw some second-looks. We road the Kanthaka with Indy 169 trucks and Bones Hard Hardcore bushings but you can also ride Paris 155′s, or an equivalent, if you’re feeling like some RKP love.

As you’ve no doubt come to expect from Loaded, the Kanthaka sports some unique features that haven’t found their way to other DK boards of this size and shape. For starters, Loaded’s penchant for durability is evidenced in the Kanthaka’s bamboo construction as well as the addition of a carbon fiber layer on both the nose and tail, for extra abrasion resistance.

kanthaka2The Kanthaka also sports an elliptical concave as well as some super subtle rocker which when combined, make for a sturdy and comfortable standing platform whether you’re sliding or riding street/pool/park, etc. Much like the Chubby Unicorn, integrated wheel-well flares made their way to the Kanthaka, helping to fully form pockets between the tails and the bolts to lock your feet in when sliding.

While at first I wasn’t sure how much I’d like the wheel wells when not skating down hills I found them to actually help a little in the park, giving a little extra feedback so you always know where your feet are on the deck, something most people aren’t used to on a street deck. The deck also has a surprising amount of pop to it, making big ollies a breeze.

kanthakaconstruction

Overall we’re pleased with the Kanthaka. It took some getting used to since it’s different in many respects to other boards in similar sizes and shapes, but in the end we were shredding it and had a great time. The biggest complaint we heard from people was that the pockets felt a bit odd at first and took some getting used to; but once we adjusted our stance accordingly we tended to not think about it. While I think there’s room for some minor improvements with the flares, like making them slightly less aggressive, it ultimately comes down to personal preference. The Kanthaka is extremely versatile and can hold its own whether you’re bombing through city streets, hitting hills, or going to the park – a Swiss army knife of skate decks. We’re excited to see Loaded bring some more innovation and style to the short wheelbase DK game and know the Kanthaka will make for a very versatile addition to anyone’s quiver.

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Safety Meeting: Certified vs. Non-Certified Helmets

Alright folks, gather ’round for an actual safety meeting…about safety. There’s a lot of mystery and debate in the world of helmets about what’s adequate. We all know that the certified, hard foam helmets are ideal, but anything will do…right? Not the case, as the Athlete Recovery Fund so bluntly shows us in their video (below).

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In it they travel over to Easton-Bell’s testing facility and show the difference between a certified and non-certified helmet, the results are pretty shocking. The performance of a non-certified helmet is so poor that it’ll produce lethal results at a fall from 1m — only half the height they usually use to certify helmets. In it the tests showed an impact of 816 g’s in the non-certified helmet and something like 135 in the certified helmet, anything below 300 g’s is considered to be non-life threatening. You might walk away a little concussed, but you won’t die. 816 to 136 — that’s a huge, huge difference. It’s life or death, no two ways around it. As Jake Wade of Team Tangy said, “I may as well be wearing a hat, at least I look better in one.” While I still think there’s more value in a non-certified helmet than that, it does make you think twice about what you’re putting on your lid.

What do you want to look for when shopping, then? CPSC certification is the government standard for helmet safety, and is the logo or fact you want to look for when purchasing your new lid. In order to attain CPSC certification, no more than 300 g’s can be produced in a drop from 3.3-6.6 feet. In some cases it can be even less. That means you’ll walk away from the fall with a concussion at the worst — much better than death, brain bleeding, TBI’s, etc. If you don’t see CPSC, look for it’s equivalent but less used certification, ASTM F1447.

I have to admit, I knew that non-certified helmets weren’t as safe as the hard-foam certified versions, but didn’t ever think that the results were this dramatic. I took a big fall and smacked my head hard with a non-certified helmet, and am now even more thankful than ever that I walked away just fine. Bottom line? Pick a certified helmet up. I’m going to buy a new one ASAP and suggest you do too. It’s just not worth risking a traumatic brain injury (TBI), paralysis, or death. 90% of traumatic brain injuries that result in death are preventable, so use your head and protect it properly. Visit the NOBI Foundation and Helmets in Hands for more statistics and information.

Did you know the differences between helmets was so stark? Sound off in the comments below.

Loaded Chubby Unicorn Review

If you haven’t done so already head over and take a look at our first thoughts on the Chubby Unicorn. Instead of doing what I usually do in reviews, this post is going to compliment what was already said in our first thoughts, as well as what we talk about in the video review.

Side view of the Chubby Unicorn and its urethane rails.

As we said in the first post as well as the video review, the Chubby Unicorn is SUPER comfortable. The fat W concave mixed with integrated wheel wells create comfortable well formed pockets to lock your feet in during slides, and encourage good form while tucking. The thing I really like about the concave on the Chubby Unicorn is that I don’t need to move my back foot at all. At 9.75″ wide I’m able to keep my toes on the front rail and heels hanging off the back, making both the W accessible for toeside slides and rails accessible for heeslide slides without you having to shuffle your feet at all. The thing I can’t stress enough, however, is that despite the W being so aggressive, it doesn’t diminish the feeling of the rails like we’ve seen on other boards. This means you really do feel locked in no matter what you’re doing on it. I’m a big fan of rocker when it’s done well. The Chubby Unicorn’s rocker is subtle enough that you’ll forget it’s there, but functional enough to add to that stable, locked in feeling. One thing that I was pumped to learn was that the recessed wheel wells are angled so that the rocker doesn’t affect the angle of your trucks, meaning your 50* trucks stay 50*. Another big thing we liked was that the concave runs through the kicktails. This allows you to know where you are on the kicks without looking and keep your feet where you want them.

Jake gets steezy on the Chubby Unicorn in this still from our video review

Downhill on the Chubby Unicorn feels great. I expected it to feel a little too long to go fast on, but quickly adjusted my tuck and soon found myself more comfortable on the Chubby Unicorn than any other board in my downhill quiver. As I mentioned above, the pockets created by the wheel wells and W encourage good posture when tucking. As Henry mentioned in the video, the pocket created in the front allows you to angle your foot slightly forward, and the fat W concave gives your back foot a pocket to fit securely into, between the rail and W. The board is still agile and easily controlled despite it’s length, thanks to the 28.25″ wheelbase. While there is some dampening to remove some of the road vibrations, I wouldn’t say the board really has any “flex,” like you’ve come to expect from Loaded Boards. The thing really is quite stiff, even when standing in the middle, which helps make it feel even more stable at speed. Jake was able to rip down straightaways and still throw technical enough slides to get around a set of hairpins at one of the gnarlier downhill spots here in Connecticut, putting it through it’s downhill paces where it performed with flying colors.

The construction quality on the Chubby Unicorn is unparalleled to any board we’ve seen yet. Despite the complex design and new construction techniques, the board feels more sturdy than any “classic” board I’ve ever used. So far it’s holding up much better than I expected, as well. To be honest, I figured that with ollies, high-speed curbbing accidents, and collateral damage from failed putt tricks there would quickly be problems with the UHMWPE and urethane rails: I was wrong. The urethane that Loaded developed along with Orangatang is HARD. I mean really hard. I’ve been able to scuff it and scratch it a little, but it’s not chipping, peeling, or delaminating at all. I’m super stoked. It’s still too early to really tell how the UHMWPE bottom will hold up and when it will show signs of wear, but so far it’s just as we’d expect and have seen minimal wear and tear from ollies. Another thing to be noted is that the urethane runs about 1/2 inch from the edge of the board on the sides and about a full inch or more on the tails to ensure that you won’t run into delam issues and ensure that your pop stays fresh for a long time, even if you start to wear through the first parts of the UHMWPE.

UHMWPU bottom with a fresh Skate the East sticker on it.

One thing I’m super keen on is the fact that between the UHMWPE bottom and urethane rails this board is sealed to be waterproof. That means you won’t have to worry about it getting waterlogged if happen to be skating through the wet. I’m very impressed with how well Loaded did in putting this board together. It feels sturdy and really shows the attention to detail that Loaded paid to the small things, it really did beat my expectations. I think it’d be super cool if you could send the board back to be re-coated with the UHMWPE or urethane if something did eventually happen to them, to extend the life of the board. You can get your skis and snowboard resurfaced and re-railed, why not your longboard too? I think it’ll be interesting to see if Loaded ever offers anything of the sort since these boards are definitely meant to last a long, long time.

So, is there anything we didn’t like about the Chubby Unicorn? To be honest, not much. While I’ve gotten used to the length of the board, I wouldn’t mind seeing a shorter version with an even shorter wheelbase to allow you to ride over the trucks, instead of behind them — something I’ve heard from a few other people, as well. I also don’t think this board shines as a commuter. While the kicktails make it a bit more practical, the length of the board makes it a bit cumbersome to carry around in and out of stores, buildings, crowds, etc. I also had trouble finding the perfect foot position when pushing because of how big and aggressive the W concave was. That being said, the board was meant to go down hills and get sideways, so it’s understandable, although a bit out of character for Loaded.

Overall, though, Loaded really took their time in thinking the board out and creating one of the best constructed, highest quality pieces of longboarding gear we’ve seen yet. The Chubby Unicorn will surely be a game changer and will force a lot of the competition to think further outside the box and push board design even further. I also think we’ll see some of the innovative features found on the Chubby Unicorn find their way into new shapes and sizes both from Loaded and the competition as time goes on. Things like urethane rails and UHMWPE will become standard features for many boards in the near future due to their functionality and value added.

Check out the video review below and make sure you watch it all the way through to see Henry Lancaster-Goguen and Jake Wade put the Chubby Unicorn through a much needed workout.

Stats:
Name: Chubby Unicorn
Length: 42.25”
Width: 9.75”
Wheelbase: 28.25”
Kick length: 7” (tip to inner bolt)
Weight: 4.9 lbs

Head over to their website to read the full story of the development and naming of the board, and all the specs and features. Make sure you’re our fan on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and subscribe on YouTube to stay current with everything that doesn’t make it to the blog, too!

A Chubby Unicorn in the Wild: First Look

With Loaded’s announcement that finally unveiled their long awaited downhill/freeride board, the Chubby Unicorn, Henry and I knew we’d have to find a way to get you guys a first look at the board before anyone else, and before our full video review comes out, so that you can have a little sense of what to expect. Plus we took some pretty juicy photos and needed an excuse to post them.

When you first pick up the Chubby Unicorn or stand next to it, one of the first things you think is: this thing looks long. Coming in at 42.25″ long, this thing isn’t short by any means (especially since I’ve been riding Bustin’s 36″ EQ for months). In fact, I had to reposition a few other boards in my trunk to get it to fit in without sticking out too much, a first for sure. What’s so deceiving about the length, however, is the fact that the wheelbase is actually only 28.25″ long — meaning that extra board is found in the fatty and super comfortable kick tails.

 

The kicks are fat, fun, and super functional. Big enough for most of the pad of your foot to stand on, the concave also runs through the kicks making for the meanest pocket I’ve ever felt on a longboard kicktail. It feels like your foot actually belongs on the kicks and makes you want to use them more and more.

The W concave is super fat and does match the arch of your foot very well, keeping it aggressive where you want it and mellow enough to stand on for a while. The closest thing to the Chubby Unicorn W I’ve felt is on the Lifelong Seeker, however the rails on the Chubby Unicorn really set it apart and make the W stand out. Despite the aggressive and fat W concave, there is still ample room for the rail to rise back up, making for a super locked-in feel and pocket when you turn your feet at an angle when tucking. The W is also super useful for toesides, comparable only with Rayne’s Pleasure Dome in terms of functionality. Despite being a notorious monkey-toer, I was able to keep my back foot still and still throw checks and 180s.

All and all Henry and I were super stoked on the board and came off the hill saying that Loaded did not waste one second while prototyping this board (in one form or another since 2004). Keep in mind this is all based off of our first, initial session with the board. As we ride it more we’ll learn more about it and figure out exactly what we do, and dont like and be sure to update you in the full review. We’ll try to keep it relatively quite about the Chubby Unicorn until we do our full review, when we’ll take it through Freeride, Downhill, and Freestyle to see how it shines in each category and of course put together one of the dankest edits you’ve seen yet.

Check out the full gallery below and some of the earliest shots of the Chubby Unicorn after it’s full release into the wild!

Review: Loaded Dervish Sama

It’s been a while since we dropped a review but that doesn’t mean we haven’t had products in the lab undergoing some serious testing. We’ve got a bunch more coming out over the next couple of weeks that’ll include some decks, grip, safety gear, and a couple of other odds and ends — a perfect way to figure out what you want to spend some of that end of summer money on.

This time around we’re looking at Loaded’s newest addition to its family, the Dervish Sama. Taking the place of (can you guess?) the Dervish in the Loaded Boards lineup, the Dervish Sama keeps many of the familiar characteristics of its predecesor but adds a few much appreciated tweaks where you’d want them most.

While they’re both drop through designs, the new Dervish Sama is a bit wider, but still allows for you to go between heelside and toeside checks and slides without having to do much foot movement. The new Dervish Sama is also slightly longer than its predecesor, thanks mainly to the addition of kicktails.A bit smaller than the ones you’ll find on the Tan Tien the kicks are still extremely functional and are riders to easily incorporate flatground/freestyle tricks into their lines. Despite a fair amount of camber, which also adds to the flexy and springlike feel, Loaded has managed to maintain enough concave to create some pretty solid feeling pockets that do a nice job of locking your feet in for slides but won’t cause cramps for long pushes. When pushing that convex and flex come to help absorb bumps in the road and facilitates fluid and almost effortless pumping action.

Loaded also updated the graphic on the Dervish Sama which holds some similarities to the new graphic released on this season’s Tan Tien. The laser cut grip designs which first came about on the Tan Tien before making their way to the FatTail, have also found a home on the Dervish Sama, making for a pretty dope looking board both on top and bottom.

The biggest drawback as well as selling point, depending on how you’ll be riding it, to the Dervish Sama is the amount of flex it has. Even at the Flex 1, which is what we tested, there is a lot of bounce and an almost spring-like feel when coming out of slides. It’s more than manageable and just took a little getting used to since both Henry and I ride stiff top mounts as our full-time whips. Going fast is where I liked the flex less and less, Henry also admitted to not feeling comfortable tucking on it. If you’re going to be doing a lot of flatground and pushing, however, the flex is going to be your best friend. The drop through design is also going to help a ton as it’ll put the board closer to the ground, making it more stable and making pushing that much more of a breeze.

Overall I was surprised at how easy the Dervish Sama was to freeride. I knew it would be great as a commuting board and the kicks make it very functional for freestyle riding as well, but I really didn’t expect it to perform as well as it did on the hill. We both adjusted to the flex and were having a blast on it in not time. If you’re looking for a commuter board that can also take a thrashing when you want it to the Dervish Sama is worth a second or third look for sure.

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UPDATE: OHHH SNAP! The SKATE THE EAST TANK TOPS are officially in the webstore! Head over and cop one before they’re gone for good — $15, can’t be beat.