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!