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Loaded Fathom Review: Distance & Commuting (Bracket Setup)

Loaded Fathom Review: Distance & Commuting (Bracket Setup)

If you’re looking to take your distance skating to a whole new level, a distance platform made for brackets is the way to go. The Loaded Fathom bracket setup is explicitly designed for serious distance skating and commuting.

The Fathom is an invitation to push hard and far. The super low platform and the large drop created by the brackets, combined with BIG wheels, really make you want to jump on the board and hit the road!

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The Fathom in a Nutshell

The Fathom is a highly specialized distance-pushing longboard built around the Loaded Zee Brackets designed by G/Bomb (the King of brackets), resulting in a high-performance, double-drop distance setup.

This is the first time Loaded creates a bracket setup, something many LDPers out there wouldn’t have dreamed of! There was a Loaded x G/Bomb Fathom proto back in 2012 using cut-up Vanguard and Derrvish decks – it wasn’t pursued though.

The new Fathom with the Zee brackets reflects 10 additional years of high-end design and engineering from Loaded (and G/Bomb).

The Fathom offers an alternative to biking for commuters, fitness buffs, and travelers. It blurs the lines between longboard and bike by allowing for very high ride speeds and roll times – a result of the low ride height and ability to run huge wheels (up to 105mm) without risers.

The Loaded Fathom is priced at $389 for the Dad Bods complete and $329 for the Caguamas complete. These are relatively reasonable prices compared to other performance bracket setups on the market.

Fathom pros & cons


  • Low ride, great speed & stability for LDP, commuting, skogging
  • One of the few double-drop bracket setups
  • Pre-tuned for anyone wanting to get into performance LDP (no trial & error)
  • Runs mega-wheels wheelbite-free without risers
  • Great for fitness and travel skating, very easy on the knees
  • Compact and stowable, modular for travel packing


  • Specialized bracket setup, not for all-around city slashing
  • No real kicks for popping the board, quick turns, or tricks (but…)
  • May be too low for some heavy riders on very bumpy terrain
  • Short 23″ deck takes getting used to for big-footed riders
  • Fixed-angle brackets not ideal for a pumping setup (but…)

Who is the Loaded Fathom for?

The Fathom is an amazing longboard for:

  • Fitness training
  • Long-distance skate travel
  • Easy & fast daily commuting on roads and bike paths

With this setup, Loaded chose to focus entirely on distance and commuting – vs other styles like long-distance pumping (more on this later).

If you’ve ever searched for information on the best distance setups, you’ve probably run into endless technical debates on the best combination and config of drop deck, bracket/torsion tail, trucks, and wheels. There are very hot discussions in dedicated distance skating groups – like this one or this one.

The Fathom + Zee Bracket system is meant to bring the benefits of a low ride height + large wheels to distance riders right out of the box, without the need for config headaches. The goal is to make performance LDP and fitness skating accessible to everyone.

Is the Fathom well-suited for heavier riders?

The Zee Brackets are very robust, extensive testing was done on them under extremely high loads. They are quite stiff – most of the flex comes from the deck rather than the brackets.

That said, for riders much heavier than 250 lbs, the flex in the Fathom deck may break in over time, so the Fathom may not be your best choice for a daily driver. It’s also a relatively short deck that might not suit most bigger riders.

Check out the Fathom bracket setup on Loaded’s website

Why a bracket setup?

If you’re new to bracket setups, you may wonder what’s so special about them. Brackets serve many different purposes, but when it comes to distance skating and commuting here are the main advantages:

  • Bracket setups provide ample clearance and comfortably accommodate the largest wheels.
  • While non-bracket setups can be made to run wheels like the Dad Bods by adding risers, a bracket setup allows for running extremely responsive trucks at a lowered platform height.
  • First-time riders are typically surprised by the responsiveness of bracket setups. Once they get used to them, they often won’t go back to a regular deck for commuting and distance skating.
  • Brackets provide improved flex distribution, which results in greater strength. The flex designed into the brackets also helps dampen the vibrations from rough surfaces.
  • Bracket systems offer a modular design for travel, with smaller decks. On the Fathom, you can easily take off the brackets and pack the whole thing into a bag or suitcase as small as 23″ – as opposed to 33″ for a traditional full deck.
  • Brackets let you tune your setup without taking everything apart, you can swap out individual pieces. and slowly make upgrades.

Another advantage of many bracket setups is infinitely adjustable truck angles. Many brackets allow you to angle the trucks to optimize pumping without pushing the ride height up.

However, as mentioned the Fathom is completely focused on distance pushing, so Loaded has made the angles fixed so that everything runs “plug and play”.

That said, you can choose the 43º baseplate add-on option with your Fathom custom build (see below). Loaded has also hinted at future bracket setups around the Zees that will focus on other types of riding like distance pumping.

Bracket setup vs double-drop setup for distance?

Compared to a double-drop deck (e.g. the former Loaded Pantheon Trip), the Zee Bracket system provides more wheel clearance.

This is due to the brackets’ added stiffness at the neck/drop area, which reduces the need to reinforce the neck with a more fleshed-out outline shape – which in turn provides more room for the wheels.

In the above image, you can see the Trip’s neck is noticeably wider than the Zee bracket. As a result, there is less room for wheels like the Dad Bods on the Trip vs the Fathom, with a higher chance of wheelbite in hard turns, especially with a heavier rider.

Another difference is that having the drop in the bracket instead of the deck allows for more complex geometry and shaping of the deck. A good example is the dramatically uplifted corners on the Fathom deck.

Fathom riding experience

As you might expect, the Fathom pushes superbly. It’s also very nimble, even surfy because of the short deck. The board’s very low ride makes it extremely comfortable to push, skog, and foot brake on.

At 23″, the platform is long enough to fit my feet end to end when switching pushing legs. It’s slim enough for effective pushing yet wide enough to comfortably place my foot across without foot rub (I’m a size 12). There’s actually a surprising amount of room for such a small deck.

The deck has a very low concave which makes it very comfortable for pushing and shifting your feet. Meanwhile, the deck corners are aggressively raised, providing great reference points and eliminating any risk of wheel rub on the super short deck.

The upturned corners act as very effective footsteps, with your front toes and rear heel curling up on top of them. You know where your feet are at all times.

The Fathom feels very stable when pushing hard and gaining speed – no wobbling whatsoever – feels like a flying carpet.

Despite the stability though, the board is highly responsive due to the double-drop brackets combined with the 150mm Paris trucks, even when running the huge Dad Bod wheels. I’m able to easily steer the board with my non-pushing foot with only subtle pressure.

The Dad Bods have MASSIVE momentum and can climb over just about anything, including rolling up moderate curbs. The low ride, high speed, and glidey feel on any pavement give you a unique riding experience.

Fathom specs & features

ShapeSymmetrical double-drop bracket setup
Length & width33″ (including brackets) x 9.25″
Wheelbase26.5″ (with brackets)
Weight3.1/8.4/9.6 lbs (deck only/Caguamas/Dad Bods)
Profile & flexSlight camber, subtle flex

Fathom deck

Again, the Fathom deck itself is very short at 23″ (the size of a Penny board). The Zee Brackets add an extra 10″ to the length of the full setup. At 33″ total, the Fathom is nice and compact for stowing and carrying around when commuting.

The Fathom uses a classic 8-ply maple layup, a functional and economical choice for the Fathom. It also allows for more dramatic curvatures compared to Loaded’s typical vertically laminated bamboo composite construction.

As I mentioned earlier, the curled-up deck corners (with reinforced grip tape) act as effective foot stoppers, keeping your feet away from the wheels, and locking your feet in place when riding fast.

The exceptional wheel clearance and uplifted corners in the Fathom’s shape really set it apart from other performance LDP boards e.g. the Pantheon Bandito.

The Fathom also has a subtly cambered profile for additional comfort when traveling. The camber adds to the brackets’ dampening effect and provides additional suspension when riding on uneven terrain.

Loaded Fathom distance and commuting longboard

Loaded Zee Brackets

The Loaded Zee Bracket was designed by G/Bomb exclusively for Loaded. It leverages the design and technology from G/Bomb’s Adjustable Composite Bracket (aka Glass Drop) albeit in a new way that’s 100% focused on distance pushing (vs pumping):

  • The Zee bracket creates a double-drop (vs only drop-down) truck mounting system
  • It’s intended as a symmetrical (vs. directional) setup with 0°, non-adjustable truck mounting angles

Another key aspect of Loaded’s exclusive longboard brackets is that they are more cost-effective compared to other brackets. Again, this contributes to the reasonable price of the Fathom complete vs other performance LDP setups out there.

The fiberglass composite material used in the brackets makes them really strong and super light. Robust O-rings are integrated into the brackets to protect the deck at the contact points, eliminating the need for shock pads.

The brackets help create a very responsive ride with tight flex and truck positioning. Unlike G/Bomb’s standard composite brackets, the Loaded Zees are compatible with Paris trucks without the need for risers.

Design & graphics

Faithful to the Loaded tradition, the Fathom is an eye-pleasing piece of work. The deck’s top side is laid out with elegant grip tape patterns in shades of black/dark grey. The center area of the grip tape is split into two halves with subtle contour lines, with each half having a slightly different pattern.

A stylish silver circle holding the Loaded logo shows through the grip tape, with sophisticated light grey wave/cloud graphics around it on the grip tape itself.

On the bottom side, stunning graphics stand out on a black background. They are themed around travel, adventure, and exploration, with art depicting the ocean and Polynesian ancient sail ships.

Fathom tail nub for vertical storage

Loaded has designed a “tail nub” that can attach to the rear truck, allowing the rider to pop the board up and even balance it vertically on end (depending on truck/wheel choice).

You can download the STL file here for free and use it to 3D print the nub at home.

Fathom setups

The Fathom comes fitted with highly responsive and durable 150mm Paris V2 trucks. The Zee Brackets require hangers at least 140mm wide. The narrow-ish 150mm Paris contribute to the responsiveness of the setup despite the double drop and the large wheels.

Both the front and rear trucks have a 50º baseplate angle, optimal for effortless pushing. As mentioned, the Zee brackets have zero wedging, so the overall setup angles aren’t modified.

The Fathom can be ordered with either the 105mm Dad Bods (80a) or 85mm Caguamas (77a). I’ve been a Dad Bods fan for a while, these wheels are super fast with incredible roll momentum and rollover, they’re insanely grippy and carvy yet very lightweight and agile for their size. See my full review here.

The Orangatang Caguamas are more “reasonably sized” and more nimble than the Dad Bods, though still very beefy and fast. Being 20mm smaller, they give you faster acceleration and an even slightly lower ride.

If you’re wondering about bushings, note that the stock Paris bushings work well for distance pushing because of their relatively low rebound. High rebound bushings like Orangatang generally work well for pumping and carving at moderate speeds but are a bit too lively for LDP.

Check out the Fathom bracket setup on Loaded’s website

Distance pumping bracket setups

As mentioned, the main features that set the Fathom apart from other performance bracket setups are the double-drop design and the ready-to-ride, fully optimized symmetrical distance setup.

Most bracket setups out there are directional pumping setups with split angles. A lower degree rear vs front makes high-speed pumping more efficient, as more energy goes into moving forward. This is a different application than what the Fathom is intended for.

That said, split angles can be achieved on the Fathom with different front vs rear baseplates. Loaded provides an add-on option for a Paris V3 43° baseplate in the Fathom custom builder. This will allow experimenting with a 50°/43° split as an intro to directional setup tweaking.

Final thoughts

The Fathom is Loaded’s unique take on high-performance bracket setups, 100% focused on distance pushing. The Zee brackets and the double-drop design make this board amazingly suited to fitness skating, travel, and commuting.

The Fathom offers an ultra-comfy deck combined with industry-leading bracket design and high-speed fat wheels, all in an affordable package. The setup gives me an amazing feeling of ease and speed when pushing on bike trails or open roads.

See the Fathom bracket setup on Loaded’s website