The Loaded Kanthaka, and its newer sibling the Kut-thaka, are impressive boards if you’re a street skater at heart. A remarkable hybrid construction, comfortable concave, rockered profile, and deep wheel flares, make them as capable for street tricks and freestyle as for tech sliding, city slashing and commuting.
The Kut-thaka is basically a shorter and nimbler clone of the 5+-year old Khantaka. The Kut retains all the qualities of his big brother (including its hot looks) wrapped in a much more compact package. Replacing the Kanthaka, the Kut is Loaded’s latest and most freestyle-oriented mini-slasher.
Just as important, in making the Kut-thaka Loaded slashed not only the Kanthaka’s size but also its price. Priced between $159 and $234 depending on configuration, the Kut-thaka is much more affordable, about half the price of the Kanthaka (Amazon).
In this article, I do a close-up on both boards, since each has its advantages and fans.
What are the Kanthaka and Kut-thaka good for?
The Kanthaka is very well-suited for tech sliding, street/freestyle tricks, garage runs, skatepark bowls and ramps. Skaters coming from traditional skateboarding and looking to transition into longboarding for improved commuting comfort will love the Kanthaka. The board is super agile and responsive, much like a street board.
Although it has a relatively short wheelbase (17.5″ ), the Kanthaka’s can be used for freeriding on medium size hills thanks to its special concave and large angled kicks. These create nice foot pockets that cradle your feet in and greatly help with foot placement in extreme situations.
The Kanthaka also makes a great city commuter, despite being topmount, partly due to a slight rocker (lengthwise curvature) which makes the board slightly lower to the ground. This results in distance pushing being less tiresome on your knees since your feet are closer to the ground.
What about the Kut-thaka? Shorter and narrower (see specs below) it’s even more nimble and fun for city slashing, street tricks, and skatepark/pool/bowls. While it’s significantly shorter, it has the same wheelbase as its big brother, thus still offers notable commuting comfort.
When equipped with Carver CX4 trucks and 70mm wheels, the Kut-thuka can also turn into a great street surfer. If you’re into surf skating as well as street freestyle, this is quite a unique combination. The Kut-thaka is positioned as a strong contender to other leading urban mini-cruisers such as the Landyachtz Dinghy and the Tugboat.
OK now let’s dig a bit deeper into the Thakas‘ specifics.
Kanthaka & Kut-thuka decks
The Kanthaka is 36″ long and either 8.625″ or 8.875″ wide depending on which option you choose – probably get the wider option if you’re a bigger rider.
It’s an almost symmetrical double-kick deck with huge 7.5″ kicks – that’s what gives it its street board style. One of the kicks is slightly steeper than the other, though you can hardly detect it when riding switch.
The Kut-thaka, on the other hand, is much more compact at 30.78″ x 8.375″ deck. The kicks are proportionally smaller, which makes sense since the wheelbase is the same as the Kan even though the deck is 5″ shorter.
Also, the Kut is much more directional (asymmetrical) with its nose noticeably narrower than the tail. This gives the Kut-thaka that mini cruiser, city slasher look. At 3lbs, the Kut is almost 20% lighter than its bigger ancestor (3.70, 3.75lb for the wider version).
Both decks are largely rectangular in shape, which provides good room for the feet. Riders with larger feet, however, may have to get used to the narrow width of the deck and learn to avoid shoe-rub in tight turns or slides.
Wheel wells and flares
Both the Kanthaka and the Kut-thaka boast Loaded’s signature wheel wells (in deck bottom) for extra wheel clearance, and matching wheel flares (on top) which are subtle lifts in the board’s contour around the wheels.
The flares not only allows for deeper wheel wells, they fulfil an important functional role in this technical deck: they combine with the deck’s concave and the kicks to create a small comfortable foot pocket between each kick and flare, and a larger pocket between the flares.
The foot pockets on both the Kan and Kut-thaka feel really comfy when throwing the board into slides or slashing it on a ramp, locking your feet in very nicely. The other great thing about these wheel flares is that they give you ergonomic references to help you always know where your feet are and where they’re supposed to go.
The concave, i.e. the sidewise curvature of the deck, is another key element of the functional design. Both decks have the same “elliptical” concave which runs tip to tip lengthwise. The deck is raised steeply on the edge but gets flatter in the center (though not completely flat).
Combined with the wheel flare reference points in the contour, the concave gives you remarkable feedback and comfort when doing kick tricks, getting air in a vert, or surfing the streets on a surf skate configuration.
As I mentioned earlier, both Thakas have a slighly rockered profile, i.e. they feature lengthwise curvature with a lower point in the middle and higher points at the truck mounts.
The center rocker keeps you slightly lower to the ground when you’re pushing. If you’re a frequent commuter on a traditional skateboard, for example, you’ll appreciate the lower position above the ground and the reduced impact on your knees and hips when pushing for a long time/distance.
This is a rarely found feature on street freestyle-oriented decks and makes the thakas more versatile than many other hybrids.
Construction and flex
If you’re familiar with Loaded longboards, you probably expect this: both the Kanthaka and Kut-thaka are made using Loaded’s high-quality manufacturing process from vertically laminated bamboo with a sandwich of fiberglass around it and a bit of carbon fiber in the tails for reinforcement.
Loaded has really mastered the art of achieving unusual deck durability and the right amount of flex for the job. In the case of the Thakas, street/freestyle riding spells stiffness. Unlike other all-purpose Loaded models like the Icarus (see full review) or the Poke (review), the Kan and Kut are the right stiffness for these hardcore street and park sessions.
The deck’s stiffness is also a big plus for riding the Kanthaka or Kut-thaka pretty fast downhill. Here again, more than just a street longboard, the Thaka is versatile enough for some freeride speed thanks to its solid stiff deck and the great foot pockets.
The carbon fiber reinforcement makes the kicks more abrasion-resistant than normal and will keep them squared for a while. Be aware, though, that your tails will still end up bevelling up after a few weeks of intense manuals and kicking the board around.
Another cool benefit of the added carbon in the kicks is that gives the deck a bit more pop when ollying or kicking it for getting off a curb or just grabbing it before walking.
Kanthaka/Kut-thaka: which trucks and wheels?
The Kanthana comes by default in 3 configuration options:
- An all-around riding configuration with 149mm Paris street trucks and Orangatang 62mm Skiffs (80A)
- A street/tech slide/park type config using the same trucks and hard (100A) Orangatang Onsen 58mm wheels instead of the Skiffs
- A specialized “pump and carve” setup with Carver surfskate trucks (CX.4 front, C2.4 rear) and 4President 70mm (80A) wheels and Orangatang Nipple bushings for increased agility and responsiveness.
The Kut-thaka complete also offers 3 pre-built setups – two of which (street and surf) are very similar to the Kanthana:
- A freestyle setup has the 149mm TKP Paris street trucks and 62mm Orangatang Skiffs wheels for riding curbs and sidewalks as well as some freeriding
- A new carving config with Paris V2 150mm 50º RKP trucks ( deep smooth turns) and 70mm Orangatang Stimulus wheels (balanced traction and sliding)
- A “Surf-oriented” config with Carver trucks (directional CX.4 in front), Orangatang 4President 70mm (80A, grippy wheels), and high-rebound Nipple bushings
All configs include Loaded Jehu V2 bearings with integrated spacers.
Both the Kanthana and Kut-thaka have also been proven to ride well with larger RKP trucks like Paris 155mm or Independent 169 trucks with Bones Hardcore bushings.
So while the Thakas are primarily designed with freestyle in mind, you can choose a setup that makes the board either a highly specialized street or city slashing board, or a much more versatile board capable of also freeriding down decent hills at decent speed, or surf the streets like on a fish-style surfboard.
The Kanthaka has proven itself a high-performance freestyle longboard that has a lot to offer not only to hardcore street skaters and park shredders, but also to technical city commuters and tech sliders looking for a smooth ride without losing the performance of a traditional street deck.
Now with the Kut-thaka, that special hybrid street longboard on steroids is born again, this time in a much more compact form yet without losing any of its freestyle abilities, or even its city commuting and carving capabilities.
The astonishing and sophisticated foot pockets created by the combination of elliptical concave, wheel flares, rocker, and kicks, make the board special, locking your feet in for kick tricks, sliding, and speed. While it may take hardcore street skaters a bit of getting used to, this really sets this board apart from other hybrid freestyle longboards and popular mini-cruisers such as the Dinghy.
Overall, riders will agree that the Kut-thaka is an awesome evolution of the Kanthaka. Which of the two works best for you will depend on your riding style, physical build, and your budget, the Kut-thaka being much more affordable than its older brother.