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Loaded Dervish Sama Longboard Review: King Of All-Rounders?

Loaded Dervish Sama Longboard Review: King Of All-Rounders?

The Loaded Dervish Sama is one of Loaded’s longest standing and best-selling longboard.

On the upper end of the midsize range – you might even call it full-sized – it’s been highly-regarded for years in the longboarding community for its quality, durability and versatility across many riding styles.

The Dervish Sama is a 42.8″ x 9″ fully symmetrical drop-through with a hybrid bamboo cambered construction that gives it astonishing flex. It offers an ample platform that accommodates many types of rider levels, builds, and styles – including dancing – check out the top 7 dancing longboards.

For the reasons I’ll explain in this post, the Sama is really a jack of all trades. It’s a fantastic all-around longboard for a mix of comfortable cruising, distance pushing and/or serious pumping, dancing and freestyle, and even some mild freeride.

Priced from $330, the Dervish Sama is Loaded’s Swiss Army knife longboard and a historical incarnation of Loaded’s unmatched crafstmanship and know-how. The Sama gives you a unique riding experience that lasts for years.

Check out the Dervish Sama here on Loaded’s website

Loaded Dervish SamaSpecs
Length & width42.8″ x 9″
Deck weight3 – 3.6 lbs

Who is the Loaded Dervish Sama for


Let me go over the kinds of riding you can do on the Sama.

All-around rider

The Dervish is a very pleasant board for cruising around and commuting. The large deck makes it very comfortable to commute on. The drop-though design keeps it low to the ground, making for easy and effective pushing.

The large wheel cutouts can accommodate huge wheels (70 to 80mm) without wheelbite, leading to fast roll and a smooth and comfortable ride (low vibrations) on all sorts of terrain.

Dancing & freestyle

At nearly 43″ in length and 9″ in width , the Dervish Sama is a whole lot of standing platform. This permits exploring dancing moves and board walking, footstep combos, spinning and pirouette tricks…

Of course, the Sama is not as big as the Bhangra, is a bit flexy (depending on flex option) for a dancer, and the large wheel cutouts may get in the way. Nevertheless, it’s a fantastic board to learn your first dancing steps while still being able to do a lot of other things.

The small upturned kicks are also super helpful for throwing some flip tricks in there, making the board suitable for freestyle in spite of the size of the deck size.

Carving and pumping

The Dervish Sama’s flexy construction, cambered profile, and huge wheel clearance is pure bliss for those riders looking for a snowboard-like carving feel. The camber makes the board spring back up when flexed down, resulting in a lively and energetic, surfy feel.

Distance pumping freaks who dig larger decks will also love the Sama for the same reasons – the bamboo flex and camber provide amazing energy return through pumping motions.

Good beginner longboard

Newbies immediately feel secure and comfortable on the Loaded Dervish Sama because of the large stable foot platform set low to the ground thanks to the drop-through mount. This makes it easier for a beginner to pick up and learn compared to a topmount.


The Sama is a very flexy board so it’s not designed for high speed downhill and for big slides. For mild hills, however, it’s a lot of fun due to the comfortable platform, long wheelbase, drop-through stability, and mild concave providing decent foot lock-in.

The board’s soft flex, low ride, and concave also give you decent control when sliding and turning at low speeds.

Dervish Sama deck: construction & shape

Let’s zoom in on the Dervish Sama constrution and shape for a minute.

As mentioned, the Dervish deck is middle to long range at 42.5″ with a 9″ wide standing platform providing good foot traction.

It’s fully symmetrical with large wheel well cutouts that maximize wheel clearance in deep carves and tight turns.

Like most of Loaded’s high-quality longboards, the Dervish Sama is built from a vertically laminated bamboo core sandwiched in between two sheets of triaxial fiberglass, giving it its special flex (see below). The Sama was actually the first to use this technology.

Combined with the flexy high-tech construction, the Sama’s cambered profile makes it highly responsive for carving.

The drop-through truck design lowers the center of gravity and adds stability to the board.

The short but raised nose and tail kicks greatly facilitate popping up the board and making kick turns, adding a lot of versatility to it.

The board has a mild but present concave providing noticeable foot locking while not getting in the way when dancing and board walking.

The nose and tail have significant concave for strong lock-in in shuvits and no-complies. The kicks are reinforced with fiberglass for added stiffness and control in freestyle tricks.

The grip tape is more coarse on the kicks than on the standing platform, similar to the Tan Tien and Fattail, offering extra foot traction for tricks.

For all of its longboard manufacturing, Loaded emphasizes using eco-friendly materials such as tree sap and recycled industrial waste, and thrives to reduce the eco impact of epoxy material.

Check out the reviews for the Dervish Sama here on Loaded’s website.

Dervish Sama flex options

As mentioned, the Dervish Sama’s bamboo + fiberglass construction provide energetic flex which is great for carves and pumps, as the deck loads up and springs out in a super responsive way.

In general, a softer flex gives you a nice carvy surf feel through springy turns and a lively feel, while a stiffer flex is more suitable for fast downhill, big slides, and hard tricks – avoids bottoming out and provides a more stable ride.

The downside of having too much flex is lower control for freestyle tricks when riding on the nose and tail. On the Dervish, however, the extra layers for fiberglass add stiffness to the kicks, preserving pop and control.

The Dervish Sama comes in 2 flex options, Flex1 (stiffest) through Flex3 (softest). All other things being equal, a softer flex is often better suiter for lightweight riders, while heavier riders can go for stiffer flex. Here’s Loaded’s rule of thumb:

Devish Sama FlexRider weight (lbs)Rider weight (kg)
Flex 1170 – 27075 – 122
Flex 2180 – 18545 – 84
Flex 375 – 15035 – 68

Beyond your weight though, your choice of flex for the Dervish Sama very much depends on your riding style, goals, and personal preferences. Here are examples of rider choices:

Rider weightChosen Dervish Sama flexStyle / Comments
155 lbsFlex 2Age mid-30s, , 5’10”, carving & pumping, no dancing or freestyle
160 lbsFlex 3Tested all 3 flex options. Love the extra flex for pumping and carving hard
185 lbsFlex 2Carving, dancing, commuting. Used to very flexy decks. Love the balanced flex of the Dervish
160 lbsFlex 2Love bamboo flex, enjoyable ride
110 lbsFlex 3Perfect for me, super responsive, right amount of bounce back. Carving is awesome

It’s worth noting that any board will get flexier over time.

Loaded Dervish Sama setups

Loaded suggest two setups for The Dervish Sama. The Carving & pumping setup ($330) emphasizes flowy turns and high grip for hard carves. This config includes Paris 180mm trucks with large soft 75mm Orangatang In Heats.

The Freestyle & freeride config has 75mm Durians instead of the In Heats. This setup focuses on providing a balance between grip for carving and sliding ability for moderate freeride.

While both wheels have the same diameter, the In Heat is sharp-lipped with a 56mm width and contact patch, making it an uber-grippy wheel ideal for hard carving.

The Durian, on the other hand has a rounded lip and much narrower contact patch (45mm) very suitable for sliding and freestyle tricks.

See my complete guide on how to choose the right Orangatang wheels for your style.

See Loaded’s recommended setups for the Dervish Sama on their website

What riders say about the Dervish Sama

Here are some frequent comments from Dervish Sama owners:

  • If you’re not sure what board to choose, the Dervish Sama is highly recommended for dancing, freestyle, (slow) sliding, and commuting.
  • The Dervish Sama is great both for newbies and advanced riders. It’s a particularly good option for newer riders looking to learn dancing & freestyle.
  • The Dervish Sama is beautifully built and highly durable. Many riders own it for at least 3 years. It’s totally worth its price and remains as comfortable, responsive, and stable as years go by.
  • The Sama has a great surfy feel for carving. It often feels like riding a snowboard.

A few cons:

  • Being a full-size longboard it’s not as lightweight as a cruiser to carry around
  • While the Dervish Sama is responsive for it’s size, it’s not as tight turning as a shorter longboard or a cruiser. You need to really loosen the trucks for tight turns.
  • While the board is trickable, it’s sheer length and size requires good skills and timing for popping, grabbing, and flipping it around, making some tricks challeging.
  • The Flex 3 version of the Dervish Sama is extremely bouncy. While it works well for pumping, depending on rider weight it may be too flexy even for pushing.
  • If you do a lot of freestyle, the tail will wear out quite fast despite the fiberglass reinforcement.
  • Some riders find the grip tape on the central part of the Dervish deck hinders spin tricks as your feet get caught. Dedicated dancer longboards like the Bhangra generally only have grip around the edges, not in the center.

Dervish Sama vs Tan Tien (and other Loaded boards)

A question that comes up a lot is whether to choose the 42.5″ Dervish Sama (31′ wheelbase) or the 39″ Loaded Tan Tien (27′ wheelbase).

The two boards have a very similar design and are both flexy symmetrical drop-through shapes with large wheel cutouts. Both are carving-oriented with freestyle abilities.

The Tan Tien being smaller, it’s also lighter and easier to flip around and do tech tricks on. The Dervish Sama, on the other hand, has a fuller platform more suitable for dancing.

The bigger Sama gives you a super comfortable ride for cruising, while the more compact Tan Tien is a bit easier to take into a train or carry into a building when commuting.

Being shorter, the Tan Tien is slightly less flexy for the same flex option. This gives the Sama a bit of an edge for soulful pumping and carving.

If you’re looking for a dedicated pumping and carving board, the Loaded Icarus might just be your best choice. The Tan Tien is awesome if your focus is on hardcore freestyle and tech tricks. And of course, the Bhangra is the undisputed winner for a true dancer.

But if you’re looking for a mix of all these things, a longboard that performs well across all these very different riding styles, then most riders will argue the Dervish Sama is a fantastic option – the “Swiss army knife” of Loaded longboards.

Photo credits:
Featured: Super Air Nautique G23 Paragon – Courtesy of Nautique