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.

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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: Loaded Fattail

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!

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