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.

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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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Loaded Announces Long Awaited Downhill/Freeride Deck and Double Kick Surprise

Loaded Boards has finally announced their long awaited, downhill/freeride offering, dubbed the Chubby Unicorn, along with another surprise, a short wheelbase dual kick board dubbed the Kanthaka. Both boards will be available in select shops (and online) worldwide on December 4th and let me tell you — it’s been worth the wait from what I can tell and from what I’ve heard. The Chubby Unicorn will hit the market for $360, and the Kanthaka for $188 (decks only).

We won’t get into too much detail, that’s what our review and videos will be for in the coming weeks, but we figured we had to post some pictures and specs for y’all, right?

Chubby Unicorn:

The Chubby Unicorn (a hilarious name), formerly the “DH Proto,” brings a while slew of new features that have never been seen on a board before, which helps explain why it’s been nearly half a decade in the making. The two biggest standouts are the fact that it rocks a UHMW sheet on the bottom of the board, similar to what you’ll find in slide pucks, to help protect against abrasion and dampen road vibrations and also features urethane-coated rails, again to help reduce abrasion, keep pop longer and help lock out even more water. The board is also unbelievably comfortable, with a fat W, pocketed tails and so much more. Like I said — we’ll save the good details for the review that’s coming soon.

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.

Kanthaka:

Unlike the Chubby Unicorn, which everyone knew was coming one day, I had never even remotely had the Kanthaka on my radar. Whether Loaded did a great job of keeping a secret, or whether I was oblivious is still unclear but one thing is — this board is impressive in my first look. The wheel wells create a very interesting pocket near each kick, which positions your feet right over the bolts and should lock you in really well for slides. It’s got some unique features you won’t find on your typical popsicle-stick street deck and shows that Loaded thought outside of the box when designing it. It’s got a super comfortable platform to push from and should end up being a super sweet city slasher/tech board.

 

Length: 36”
Width Available In: 8.625” and 8.875”
Wheelbase: 17.5”
Kick length: 7.5” (tip to outer bolt)
Weight: 3.70 lbs / 1.68 kg (8.625”),
3.75 lbs / 1.72 kg (8.875”)

Head over to their website to read the full story of the development of the board, and all the specs and features.

 

Update: I figured I’d add some more pictures into the mix for everyone.