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Best Loaded Board: Ultimate Comparison Guide [2023 update]

Best Loaded Board: Ultimate Comparison Guide [2023 update]

Loaded boards are considered among the best longboards out there. They are high-end boards with high-quality, innovative, and durable materials and construction. They have advanced shapes and features for very technical and progressive riding.

Many longboarders wish they owned a Loaded. Whether you’re an experienced or newer (but passionate) rider, you may be attracted to these advanced products. Buying a Loaded board, however, can be a bit of an investment as they sell at a premium price. Thus, you want to make sure you choose the right board for your needs.

When selecting the best Loaded longboard for yourself, you need to take ask yourself a few important questions:

  • What is(are) your primary riding style(s)?
  • What is your preferred mount style?
  • What is your ideal board size?
  • What kind of shape do you need?
  • What is the optimal component configuration for you?

Merely listing the Loaded longboards and their characteristics would not be very helpful in making the right decision for you. In this article, my aim is to help you sort through the board features in the Loaded lineup so you can figure out the best-suited Loaded longboard for you.

If you’re in a hurry, here a shortlist of the top 5 most popular Loaded boards:

Loaded Vanguard: best Loaded board for carving & pumping

Loaded Icarus: best Loaded board for drop-through carving

Loaded Bhangra: best Loaded board for dancing & freestyle

Loaded Ballona: best Loaded mini-cruiser for city slashing

Loaded Tan Tien: best Loaded board for pushing & commuting

UPDATE: Loaded has released two amazing new boards, the Omakase, a super-wide cruiser designed for distance commuting and carving, and the Coyote, a great city slasher. Check out my full reviews of the Omakase here and the Coyote here.

Also check out my cool new multi-criteria Loaded board selector tool here

*This post may have affiliate links, which means I may receive commissions if you choose to purchase through links I provide (at no extra cost to you). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Why choose a Loaded longboard?

why choose a loaded longboard

If you ask around the serious longboarding community, you’ll hear a lot of praise for the Loaded boards (albeit not their pricing). Here are some of the things riders keep saying about Loaded longboards:

  • They are extremely strong and durable
  • They are super lightweight
  • They are astonishingly smooth riding
  • They offer high performance for the riding type they’re designed for
  • They are very well-made and beautiful looking
  • They are technologically advanced

Such feedback is heard over and over again. On the flip side, some riders sometimes complain about the higher prices Loaded boards sell at compared to other serious competing brands e.g. Landyachtz or Arbor – this sometimes even lead to occasional negative feelings against the brand.

Loaded boards have premium features

Loaded fans, however, generally feel the premium prices are justified. Loaded pushes the envelope on longboard innovation by sourcing high-tech materials with superior physical properties that result in a very special riding feel. Also, Loaded is constantly evolving their manufacturing process to achieve decks which are much more resistant and responsive and offer the right flex and shape functionality. Some examples:

  • Hybrid bamboo + composite fiber construction that results in both added strength and specially crafted flex for each target riding style
  • Advanced pressing process that leads to sophisticated shapes with special concaves and contours for the right balance of foot cradling, freedom of movement, and responsiveness.
  • In certain freestyle boards, use of innovative materials such as basalt fiber for its extra strength and damping properties – as well as its milder environmental impact compared to fiberglass.
  • Use of cork for vibration damping, extra moisture resistance, and low abrasion grip for dancing and boardwalking.
  • Innovative wheel flare design that serve not only for wheel clearance but also form part of the board’s overall shape and response points for carving and tricks.

In short, Loaded has unique value for longboarders in terms of shapes (directionality, curvature), flex (carefully designed and implemented flex for each style, multiple flex options), concave (for versatile riding, see later), and complete setups.

Speaking of setups, Loaded completes always ship with premium components including Paris or Carver trucks and Orangatang wheels, Loaded’s own line of quality longboard wheels. All these brands are highly-regarded standalone and offer quality products that longboarders often choose when assembling their own custom longboards.

The Loaded longboard lineup

The Loaded lineup is relatively small compared to other leading longboard brands such as Landyachtz. At the time of this writing, there are no more than 14 Loaded models offered, each with a very specific personality, a strong reputation among riders, and a history of solid performance – some have become “household names” in the longboarding community.

All of Loaded’s longboard models are designed for versatile riding, a lot of them making great all-around boards. Of course, this kind of statement is not going to help you much if you’re facing the task of choosing a specific model for yourself! Fear not, my goal in this article is to help you sort things out and narrow down your choices.

Loaded has designed each of its longboard models with one or two primary riding styles in mind such as carving, pumping, freestyle, dancing, freeride and downhill. More about this shortly.

One question that often comes up is, what about cruising? Cruising typically refers to easy riding and often combines several riding styles including carving, pumping, and perhaps some sliding. So if you’re looking for the best Loaded longboard for cruising, look for the carving, pumping, and/or freeride-oriented boards in the lineup.

To help sort out the boards I have created a chart that recaps the main features and style focus of each board. Click on the image to see the Google Sheet:

Loaded boards comparison chart
My own Loaded board comparison chart

The right Loaded board for your riding style

The first obvious question you need to ask yourself when selecting a Loaded board is, what is my primary riding style. Is your goal for this board essentially kicking around the city? Traveling by pushing and pumping over distances? Freeriding and sliding on smaller hills? Bombing bigger hills at high speed? Doing some advanced technical riding, freestyle tricks, or park and pool? Dancing and boardwalking?

Let’s apply some filters to narrow down our options based on target riding style.

Best Loaded board for carving and pumping

best loaded board for your riding style

The following Loaded boards are designed with a strong carving and pumping focus (the links take you to the quick review section below for that specific board):

See also: Dervish Sama vs Tan Tien vs Tesseract for downhill carving and freeride

Best loaded board for freestyle and sliding

Next, the following boards offer a freestyling and sliding (aka lower-speed freeride) focus:

Best loaded board for downhill racing and fast freeriding

Three Loaded boards have a stronger focus on speed and downhill riding:

Best loaded board for dancing and freestyle

And finally, these 3 bigger longboards make up Loaded’s dancing and classic freestyle lineup:

Note that, if your main focus is on pushing and commuting, you may wonder where your style fits here. The above categories are only the first step though, keep reading for more selection criteria.

Choosing the best Loaded board size

best loaded board size

The next criterion you want to apply is board size. How stable vs portable a board do you want? Will you be carrying it a lot? Of will you be driving to riding places? Are you looking for a Loaded board with a larger wheelbase for dancing, speed, or commuting?

Smaller Loaded boards

These are the smaller boards (34″ and less) in the Loaded lineup:

Midsized Loaded boards

The midsized Loaded boards (35″-40″) are:

Larger Loaded boards

And these are the larger sized (40″+) boards in the lineup:

So at this point, say you need a smaller board for slashing around the city but you want to carry it around with you all day and stash under your desk. You might choose either the 34″ Poke or 31″ Kut-thaka depending on your focus – Poke for city carving, Kut-thaka for more flips and tricks.

Choosing the right Loaded board mount type

Best loaded board mount type

The next most important selection criterion has to be mount type: do you want a topmount or a drop-through board? In short: topmounts are more responsive and better for tricks, but harder to push on and less stable at speed. Drop-throughs are easier to push and commute on, more stable at speed, easier to break into slides, but less responsive and nimble.

Note: after reading the above paragraph, you may find it a bit confusing that a board like the Loaded Truncated Tesseract is primarily meant for speed even though it’s topmount. However, changing certain variables in a board’s shape or construction can significantly change its behavior at higher speed. In this case, a stiff construction and a rockered shape can make a topmount like the Truncated Tesseract more speed-friendly than a flexy cambered drop-through like the Tan Tien.

Topmount Loaded boards

Most of the boards in the Loaded lineup are topmount:

Drop-through Loaded boards

There are only 3 models in the Loaded lineup with a drop-through mount style – probably due to Loaded’s focus on technical performance and responsive riding:

Back to the question of which Loaded board would work best for pushing and commuting, both the Icarus and the Tan Tien are mid-sized drop-throughs that make great boards for push traveling. Choosing one between the two requires considering additional criteria such as shape features.

Choosing the right Loaded board shape

Once you’ve narrowed down the target riding style, board size, and mount type for your Loaded board, it’s time to pick the best deck shape for your needs. There are 2 basic types of shape, symmetrical and directional.

Symmetrical shapes are generally meant for freeriding and freestyle tricks since they allow you to ride switch more easily and generally have a kicktail and nose. Directional shapes are better-suited for commuting and for speed.

Another important shape aspect is wheel cutouts. In cutout shapes, the wheels stick out from beneath the deck (vs tucked under it). This allows high wheel clearance for deep turns (carving, freeride) but can be a problem for freestyle or speed riding as there’s a higher risk of touching a wheel with your foot.

Symmetrical Loaded boards

Over half of Loaded’s boards are symmetrical shapes with double kicks – those shaped with large wheel cutouts are indicated:

Directional Loaded boards

These are the directional decks in the Loaded lineup, most of them offering a single kick and a small nose for manual and shuvit tricks. Among the directionals, only the Fattail has large wheel cutouts:

So suppose you’re looking for a good Loaded board for everyday carving and mild freeriding without much push traveling. You might consider a mid-sized symmetrical topmount like the Tesseract Basalt or the 38″ Vanguard, depending on your flex preferences. Speaking of which…

Choosing the right Loaded board flex

best loaded board flex

The last aspect I will touch upon in terms of narrowing down the Loaded options is flex – other aspects such as concave and width should also be factored in but I’ll discuss these in the board lowdown section below.

Besides board shape and ride height, flex can be an essential aspect of how a board feels and whether it’s a good fit for your specific style. Flexy boards give you more rebound when carving and can add efficiency to your turns. A bit of flex can also help absorb shocks and make distance pushing and commuting more comfortable and effective.

On the other hand, too much flex can make a board less stable at higher speeds and less performant for freestyle kick and flip tricks.

Highly customized flex is something Loaded boards are famous for – as mentioned, the company’s high-tech manufacturing process and materials are geared toward achieving the best flex profile for each deck. Many Loaded boards come with several flex options to accommodate each rider’s weight and personal preferences. That said, Loaded boards can be roughly broken down as follows:

Best Loaded boards on the stiffer side

Half of Loaded’s lineup is made up of stiffer boards for hardcore freestyle or speed:

Best loaded boards on the flexier side

The other half includes boards with “energetic flex” that come with 2 or 3 flex options – Flex1 being the one with the most amount of stiffness and damping:

Need more help choosing the right Loaded Board for your needs? Check out my awesome new multi-criteria Loaded board selector tool

Loaded longboards mini-reviews

At this point you probably have a better idea of what you need, and you may have a shortlist of Loaded boards you’re interested in. To complete this review, let’s take a quick look at each of the boards and any additional aspects not covered in the above criteria.

Note that I’ve ordered the boards by length. Some of these Loaded boards have their own review on this site, so feel free to dig deeper where that’s the case.

Loaded Boards Kanthaka / Kut-thaka review

Loaded Kut-thaka review

The 31″ Kut-thaka is a shorter version of its big brother the Kanthaka. It’s a capable city commuter designed for city carving and slashing. It’s very portable and stashable. It offers a big tail and small nose for tricks, a stiff deck fit for tricks, and special concave for commuting comfort and easy tech sliding.

In short: the Kut-Thaka is a small, lightweight board for carving, short city commutes, and street tricks.

UPDATE: the Kut-Thaka has been discontinued and replaced with the Coyote, which has the exact same city slasher shape as the Kut-Thaka (it’s basically V2) although with full maple construction. See my full review of the Coyote

Check out the Loaded Coyote here on Loaded’s site

Loaded Boards Truncated Tesseract review

Loaded Truncated Tesseract review

The 33″ version of the Tesseract is primarily designed for downhill racing and speed. It has a stiff deck with subtle concave, rockered profile and raised edges that combine to create foot pockets to cuddle your feet at high speed. The relatively long wheelbase also provides stability at speed. The wheel flares also offer important reference points when going fast.

Check out the Truncated Tesseract on Loaded’s website

In short: a board built for speed, comes with a pure downhill setup. See my full review of the Tesseract here.

Loaded Boards Poke review

Loaded Poke review

The Poke, like the Kut-thaka, is a city cruiser and slasher, albeit slightly bigger and more comfortable for longer city runs, and with a bit more flex. Its rocker and mild concave provide good grip for carving. It’s directional shaped but the ample tail and decent nose make it trickable and slideable as well. The Poke is also a capable board for pool and park.

See the Loaded Poke here on Loaded’s website

In short: a capable, lightweight, slightly more comfortable city cruiser for slashing, carving, and freestyle tricks. Check out my full review here.

Loaded Boards Cantellated Tesseract review

Loaded Cantellated Tesseract review

The 36″ version of the Tesseract is a hybrid freeride/freestyle board. Like its little brother, it’s primarily built for speed with its stiff deck, rockered concave and flares that offer a secure feel when going fast, inviting you to slide. Meanwhile, the adjustable wheelbase and wide kicktail (but no nose) allow for some nice kick and flip tricks.

Check out the Cantellated Tesseract on Loaded’s website

In short: a board for fast and technical freeriding as well as some freestyle. See my full review of the Tesseract.

Loaded Boards Overland review

Loaded Overland review

The 37″ Overland is another freeride and freestyle board with a moderately stiff deck for speed and a large kick and steep nose for tricks (ollies, manuals, shuvits, kick turns). Like the newer Tesseracts, it has a rockered profile and a mild concave for comfortable freeriding and sliding. The narrowed waist and Carver truck setup option also make it a good surf carving choice.

See the Overland page on the Loaded site.

In short: another board for fast and technical sliding + some freestyle, sized in between the Tesseracts. Also a capable surf-style carving board.
UPDATE: also see my full review here.

Loaded Boards Fattail review

Loaded Fattail review

The 38″ Fattail is a topmount with a cutout shape (wheels stick out), a cambered profile and a flexy deck. The camber and flex are meant to provide rebound and energy when carving and pumping. The large wheel clearance allows for deeper carves. The small tail and nose help for kick turns and mellow freestyle and dancing tricks.

See the Loaded page for the Fattail.

In short: a board primarily designed for carving and pumping on flat ground. Also has a dancing setup option with wider trucks.

Loaded Boards Vanguard (38” and 42″) review

Loaded Vanguard review

The Vanguard is similar in riding style to the Fattail as it’s also a topmount cutout shape with camber and high flex for energetic carving and pumping. Its shape also gives high clearance for deeper carves. Compared to the Fattail, the 38″ Vanguard has additional sidecuts (tapered waist) which give you more control and responsiveness for carving transitions and turns. It also has a more lightweight construction.

See the Vanguard’s page on Loaded’s website.

In short: another high flex, responsive carving and pumping board. Two sizes (38″ & 42″) and 5 flex options (lower to higher).

Update: check out my new full review of the Vanguard

NOTE: for a discussion of Icarus vs Tan Tien vs Vanguard, read the comments in my Icarus review post.

Loaded Boards Icarus review

Loaded Icarus review

The 38.4″ Icarus is a technical symmetrical drop-through with wheel cutouts designed for hard carving and pumping. The drop-through design, advanced multidirectional flex, and special concave and rail contours give it a specific and innovative riding experience, namely for pumping.

Check out the Loaded Icarus here on Loaded’s website

In short: an advanced carving and pumping longboard. The drop-through construction and the flex also make it easier to push on. See my full review.

NOTE: for a discussion of Icarus vs Tan Tien vs Vanguard, read the comments in my Icarus review post.

Loaded Boards Basalt Tesseract review

Loaded Basalt Tesseract review

The 39″ Basalt Tesseract is a symmetrical freeride/freestyle hybrid topmount shape (no large wheel cutouts). Despite its size, it’s a very responsive board due to a relatively small (adjustable) wheelbase, a stiff deck, and large dual kicks for quick turns and freestyle tricks. The W concave and wheel flares give you comfortable lock-in for sliding at speed.

See the Tesseract Basalt version here on Loaded’s website

In short: a good choice for going fast and sliding with a comfortable and secure feeling, and for doing traditional longboard freestyle tricks. See my full review.

Loaded Boards Tan Tien review

Loaded Tan Tien review

The 39″ Tan Tien is a long-standing, highly-regarded Loaded lineup staple. Like the Icarus, it’s a flexy drop-through, though with larger kicks for freestyle. A very versatile and responsive board that can be used for freeriding, longboard tricks, carving and pumping, and push commuting.

Check out the Tan Tien on Loaded’s website.

In short: a classic carving, freeride, and freestyle drop-through board with a flexy cambered deck, big wheel cutouts for deep turns, and a comfortable concave for speed riding. See my full review

NOTE: for a discussion of Icarus vs Tan Tien vs Vanguard, read the comments in my Icarus review post.

Loaded Boards Chubby Unicorn review (blood slayer edition)

Loaded Chubby Unicorn Blood Slayer review

This awesome-looking 42.25″ symmetrical freeride/downhill topmount is designed specifically for speed. It offers nice lateral support for sliding and high-speed cornering through its comfortable W concave that spans the entire deck. The board’s angled truck mounts make it lower and more stable at speed. The twin kicks are great for sliding and kick tricks and the grab rails support pre-drifting and grab tricks.

Check out the Blood Slayer’s page on the Loaded site.

In short: the Chubby Unicorn is a legendary, high-end & high-tech speed board, the priciest in the Loaded lineup. This board is for serious freeriders and racers.

Loaded Boards Dervish Sama review

Loaded Dervish Sama review

The 42.8″ Dervish is the largest drop-through and another long-time staple in the Loaded lineup. It’s similar to the Tan Tien, only bigger. Large wheel cutouts for deep carving, cambered and flexy deck for high energy response, low-riding drop-through trucks for stability and pushability, kicktail and nose – albeit smaller than the Tan Tien – for trickery and quick turns.

See the Dervish Sama page on Loaded’s site.

In short: the biggest (yet lightweight) Loaded longboard for comfortable and responsive pushing, carving and distance commuting. Also makes a very good dancing board due to the flex, moderate kicks, and mild concave.

Loaded boards Tarab review

Loaded Tarab review

The 47″ Loaded Tarab is often considered one of the best dancing longboards out there. This symmetrical topmount is first and foremost optimized for boardwalking and cross-stepping. The large roomy foot platform, flat-ish kicks, and mildly grippy cork top layer provide a very supportive dancing platform. The deck’s highy durable, lightweight, and damp construction, along with the reinforced kicks, allows for advanced freestyle tricks.

See the Tarab here on Loaded’s website

In short: the Tarab is a top choice for dancing and classic longboard freestyle. It’s also a great board for comfortable distance commuting. More about the Tarab in my complete review.

Loaded Boards Bhangra review

Loaded Bhangra review

The 48.5″ Bhangra is the largest board in the Loaded lineup, and the Tarab’s predecessor as a dancing and freestyle board. It’s also a symmetrical topmount with wheel cutouts and comfortable flex (slightly more than the Tarab). It has large angled twin kicks for tricks. Like the Tarab, the Bhangra boasts a durable hybrid bamboo construction and mild concave for footwork. It has strong grip between the trucks to support carving and sliding.

Check out the Loaded Bhangra V2 on their website

In short: the Bhangra provides the roomiest platform for dancing and freestyle. It’s also a great longboard for classic carving and road surfing. Here’s the Bhangra’s page on Loaded’s website.

Final words

So if you went through this extensive Loaded Boards comparison guide, I hope you’ve found it useful. Loaded is truly a premium longboard brand with products that always aim to push the limits of build quality, ride comfort, and technical features in a performance longboard.

While many Loaded boards are highly versatile and great all-around boards, each board in the lineup has a distinctive personality that makes it a compelling choice for a specific style or combination of styles.

You’ll see Loaded longboards mentioned in many places in this site, simply because they’re among the best. Check out my in-depth reviews of specific Loaded models.


Saturday 10th of October 2020

Amazing stuff again, Jesse. Wow. Thank you! I have a question for ya.

Here's my context: I live in hilly suburbs with lots of traffic and solid sidewalks. I'm still pretty much a beginner and badly need to be able to jump curbs, carve and slide to slow myself down. I also have loads of bike trails for pure cruising and fun carving. So no need for downhill ever (zero desire), only some moderate hills that I'd slide/freeride on, and no interest in tricks apart from popping up a curve or dancing at all. I commute on a board 2 miles a day, sometimes up to 4.5 miles. Pretty hilly, lots of traffic so I stay on (wide) sidewalks.

Ok, the scenario is this. I have the opportunity to get up to 3 boards to meet all of these needs. I could get any 2 or 3 of a Dervish Sama, Poke, Bassalt Tesseract, Coyote, and Vanguard, and Omakase. Given my context, which 2 or 3 would you recommend? I don't really love mini-cruisers, but like the Coyote since it's not a "pure" mini anyway (more comfy and stable). I mostly want to avoid "wasting" features. For example, I wouldn't want the Poke and the Omakase because they're too similar.

If I had to pick 2 or 3 to do my suburban commuting (needing to carve and slide to slow myself down) and carve/cruise/freeride for fun, which would you pick? I know that's kind of an odd question. It seems like all of these boards are pretty multifaceted so I think I could get away with just 2 or 3? Like, maybe the Sama and Tesseract/Coyote or Sama and Poke? I need excellent sliding and carving, great jumping curbs and cruising, and everything else is either extra fun or just unnecessary.

Thanks again, man. I'm sorry to be blowing up your comment section lately.


Tuesday 16th of June 2020

Hi, Thank you for your reviews. I am debating between the Loaded Overland and Cantellated Tesseract. I'm a big guy so I'm lookin for the stiffest board that doesn't flex to much. Do you have any recommendations between the two?

Big Kahuna

Tuesday 16th of June 2020

Hey Simon, your comment has been answered here in the forum. Ride on!


Thursday 9th of April 2020

Thank you for this great review! I'm considering building a board for carving, pumping, and a surf-like experience, using waterbone surf adapters, bear grizzly trucks and orangatang stimulus 70mm (I already have them). The Poke and Omasake boards appealed to due to their relatively short-size and their tail kicks. They both sit as the stiffer end of the distribution in term of flex, but which one of those two boards will you consider to be the flexier one? Does the Omasake as subtle flex, such as the Poke?


Big Kahuna

Friday 10th of April 2020

Hey Adrien, good question, I feel the Poke has quite a bit more flex than the Omakase (though still subtle compared to real flexy decks) . It feels thinner, narrower, and lighter. The Poke is awesome for tight carving and pumping as it gives you nice feedback. One big difference between the two is the concave/rocker, the Poke's has a lot more concave and foot lock-in due to the strongly uplifted rails and pronounced rocker and wheel flares. That makes it great for pumping, hard carving, and sliding, but the lock-in feel can get in the way of pure surf style since it kind of traps your feet. It's great for speed and for tricks though. The Omakase feels flatter, stiffer (it was designed initally for electric), roomier, and more comfortable for distance.

If you were to compare them to surfboards, the Poke would be like a performance shortboard while the Omakase would be closer to a fishtail or minimal. Both will work great with the 70mm Stimulus (e.g. this Omakase config and this Carving & Slashing Poke config), and both should be great with the Bears - the Bears are pretty good pumpers, or you could check out Carver CX for even more pump and carve (see the Poke Surf Simulation setup).

I know it's a tough choice, also depends on your level (freeride, slides) and your size/weight. Ride on!


Thursday 12th of December 2019

Hi, thank you so much for the reviews. I have one question though: in one of the sections, it said that the Loaded Coyote fell in the downhill speed and fast freeride category along with the tesseracts? Is that true? I'm just wondering mostly due to its relatively smaller wheelbase and length. Thank you.

Big Kahuna

Thursday 12th of December 2019

Hey Carlos, you're absolutely right the Coyote doesn't really belong here with it's 17.5" wheelbase. Some riders do use it for mellow freeriding on medium-sized hills because of the special concave and functional kicks. The nice foot pockets cradle your feet in and help with foot placement when riding faster and sliding. But it's not designed for pure downhill speed, and neither was the Kut-thaka before it- My bad, I'll remove it from that section. Thanks for the heads-up. Ride on!