Loaded Tan Tien Review: The Legendary All-Around Longboard

loaded tan tien review

The Loaded Tan Tien has earned a lot of respect in the longboarding community over the 10 years since the first version was launched. It’s a highly-regarded mid-sized symmetrical drop-through, carefully engineered for a mix of pushing, hard carving, easy sliding, and performance tricks.

The Tan Tien really is a true all-around board – not a bland “lowest common denominator” type board, but a very assertive and technical one. The board’s size, truck mounts, shape and contours, special flex, and setups, are specifically designed toward very distinctive carving, freeride, and freestyle-focused experiences.

At 39″ in length, the Tan Tien is the Dervish Sama’s (another Loaded legend) little brother, introduced as a response to the need for a more compact and trickable longboard both on flat and hills.

It’s astonishing to see how many riders mention the Tan Tien is still their favorite longboard after many years of riding. They describe it as one of the most comfortable and easiest boards for learning new sliding and freestyle skills. The Tan Tien doesn’t come cheap, but the quality and durability justify the investment.

Check out the Tan Tien on Amazon or here on Loaded’s website

Loaded Tan Tien: riding experience

loaded tan tien: pushing and commuting
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The Tan Tien is built for push commuting, carving, pumping, freeride, and freestyle. It’s a low riding board with an amazingly comfortable and secure deck, making it great for pushing, sliding, and kick tricks.

The only thing it doesn’t excel at is downhill, as it can get a bit unstable at very high speeds – something one would expect with such a flexy deck.

The Tan Tien’s drop-through design (trucks mounted across the deck) gives this board great stability and a lower ride height compared to a topmount. The lowered center of gravity makes pushing easier with less strain on the knees.

The deck’s flex (especially the flexier version) also makes the Tan Tien very forgiving and easy to control when carving down hills at higher speeds. It’s also easy to take sideways and performs very nicely on curvy hills.

Tricks like shuvits and ollies are also natural on this board due to a nice sense of control stemming from the relatively short outline (compared to full-sized longboards), the awesome kicks, and the cozy foot lock-in.

loaded tan tien riding experience
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Meanwhile, the Tan Tien is still long enough to feel like a “regular” longboard and is extremely comfortable and amazingly smooth to cruise on out of the box – as if already broken in. Carving the front or the back is a treat.

The grip tape (variable in grit) and the flex on the Tan Tien are commonly mentioned as two of the board’s greatest assets which lead to an awesome riding experience.

Tan Tien owners agree its construction (see next section) makes it exceptionally durable – unlike other leading brand’s bamboo decks that end up snapping from riding too hard.

The Tan Tien cruises over rough pavement, pebbles, sand and debris effortelessly. It feels lightweight and solid.

Now let’s take a closer look at deck’s the shape and construction.

Check out the Tan Tien on Loaded’s website or on Amazon

Loaded Tan Tien: construction

loaded tan tien construction

The Tan Tien has a snowboard-inspired construction with a hybrid mix of vertically laminated bamboo and fiberglass. This combination results in a lightweight (3.1-3.5 lbs), strong yet flexy deck that offers a lively and responsive ride.

The energetic flex is particularly suitable for hard carving and pumping, with the deck generated nice feedback each time you initiate a carve through a heel or toe impulse.

Like many other Loaded models, the Tan Tien comes in three flex options, from stiffest (Flex1) to flexiest (Flex3). Stiffer is better-suited for heavier riders or those doing hardcode kick and flip tricks. Flexier is better for lighter/smaller riders and those looking for a responsive deck for a super carvy and flexy style, including for effective pumping.

As for durability, many Tan Tien owners report still riding their board and enjoying the deck flex after 7-8 years non-stop riding and continuous abuse on it (running the board over, crashing it into obstacles etc).

Check out the Tan Tien on Loaded’s website or here on Amazon

Loaded Tan Tien: shape & features

loaded tan tien shape and features

As mentioned earlier, the Tan Tien has a classic symmetrical drop-through outline, with accompanying large wheel cutouts for high clearance in deep carves, including with big wheels.

At 39″ by 8.75″, the Tan Tien is relatively compact for a longboard, with a medium-long 27″ wheelbase. The complete weighs around 5 lbs.

What sets the Tan Tien apart from other drop-though twintips, besides the composite material and resulting flex, is the responsive curvatures of the deck.

The Tan Tien deck boasts a cambered profile and mild but complex concave providing that special mix of comfort and high reactiveness for carve and pump-focused riding that you find on many Loaded longboards.

The responsive feel you get from the deck shape and contour gives you a secure feel and extra confidence when doing turns, slides, and tricks. Your feet fit naturally in the reliable concave, which helps keep them in place when digging hard into carves.

Riders also love the 50-grit / 30-grit mixed grip tape, which combines with the concave to lock your feet in for really predictable slides.

The upturned nose and tail kicks encourage advanced freestyle tricks, and enable effective kick turns when riding in tight city streets.

Check out the Tan Tien on Amazon or here on Loaded’s website

Loaded Tan Tien: setups

tan tien setup

The Tan Tien comes in two recommended setups, a carving and pumping-oriented setup and a freestyle and freeride-focused setup.

Both setups include Paris V2 180mm trucks (50º) which are highly responsive, super smooth, and with a relatively low ride height. My personaly experience with the Paris V2 is that they are very fast turning, awesome for carving, and astonishingly good for pumping.

The carving setup includes the Orangatang Stimulus 70mm, large and soft with a 80A duro, providing a balanced mix of grip and slide. The freestyle/freeride setup has the lighter and harder 69mm/86A Kilmer wheels, a slightly better choice for tech tricks and slides.

Some Tan Tien owners like to alternate between RKP trucks for tricks and TKP trucks for hardcore carving.

Final words

When riders talks about the Tan Tien, what stands out the most is outstanding build quality – many riders feel no other boards on the market even comes close, including reputable names such as Arbor, Sector 9, Original…

What’s more, many agree the Tan Tien performs better than many other boards, due namely to its advanced layering and flex, highly-engineered deck shape and design, and quality setups.

In short, this is a solid, long-lasting, truly versatile longboard that definitely deserves its high-end price tag. Plus, as you probably know, with Loaded you can always count on great customer service.

Check out the Tan Tien on Amazon or here on Loaded’s website

***
Photo credits:
(1) Featured image: “Stand Tien” by Fer Vega – Rider: Camilo Cespedes – Courtesy Loaded Boards
(2) Cruise Tien by Fer Vega – Rider: Yahzper Maldonado – Courtesy Loaded Boards
(3) Pop Tien by Fer Vega – Rider: Yahzper Maldonado – Courtesy Loaded Boards

12 comments

Hey fellow boardrider, want to post a comment or question? Due to the ever-growing number of comments on this site, I've moved them here:
As always, I try to answer as many of your questions as possible. Since the forum is better organized, other riders may also help answer your questions. You can still post comments here if you want to but from now on, I'll mainly be monitoring the forum. Ride on!

  • Hi there!

    Great review. I’m looking for a board for carving, sliding and pumping. Do you think the Tan Tien is the right board for me ? And which flex would be fine for this at 155lbs ?
    Or should I tend to buy a Icarus ?
    Hope you could help me 🙂
    best regards Daniel

    • Hey Daniel, the Tan Tien and Icarus are both drop-through twintip shapes with 38-39″ lenth and 37-38″ wheelbase, so they are quite similar. The Tan Tien is a bit flexier (in Flex3) and has slightly bigger kicks for tricks. If pumping is more important to you than tricks, go for the Icarus (see my in-depth review here). Given your weight Flex2 would probably work best for you.
      Ride on!

      • Hey many thanks for your quick reply 🙂
        I have read your awesome review of the Icarus also now and talked to my dealer. It’s good to hear that the two boards quite similar because my dealer offered me the Tan Tien more than 100 bucks cheaper than the Icarus. So I think I will go for the Tan Tien. Would you advise me to get it at flex 3 or flex 2 at 155lbs ? Normally i would drive to my dealer to test it and look what work better for me, but this isn’t possible due to the corona situation. Oh I forgote to mention that this is my first longboard, but I used to ride a normal Skateboard when I was younger and I’m a advanced Snowboarder.
        best regards Daniel

        • Hey Daniel, well for carving and pumping you want to have more flex, so the Flex 3 is probably a good choice for your weight. If your goal was to do mainly freestyle and speed then I would suggest a stiffer version.

  • Hey there!

    I’m actually looking for a fast board which I can also push with my feet (kinda new to longboarding and this will be my first board). Do you recommend the Icarus or the Tan Tien? My weight is around 70kg.

    Thanks in advance!

    • Hey, the Tan Tien and Icarus are similar in size and mount style but the Tan Tien is more freetyle-oriented (larger kicks) while the Icarus is primarily designed for pumping and carving (longer wheelbase, more concave). The Icarus is also slightly shorter at 38.4″ vs 39″. Both are great boards but if you’re looking for a drop-through for commuting the Icarus is a great option, unless you plan to do dancing & freestyle.
      Depending on your personal needs, there are also other Loaded boards that are topmount but still great for pushing. Check out my new Loaded selector tool here.

  • Hey Jesse I’d like to make my Tan Tien a more efficient pump board. Its got the original Paris trucks with Orangatang Stimulus 70mm 86a wheels and possibly the original (5year old) red bushings. Reading about specific pump set-ups on your site I’m wondering if there would be a better truck/wheel/bushing selection. I don’t want to get into the Don’t Trip price range but want to help my current deck a little. What do you suggest?

    Thanks,
    Jim

    • Hey Jim, the Tan Tien setup can be made into a proficient pumper by swapping the wheels to 70mm 4Presidents (probably in a softer duro like 80a or 77a) and replacing the bushings with something with more rebound like the Orangatang Nipples or Knuckles. You could even go a step further and put Nipples on the rear truck and Knuckles in the front truck, which would add some directional bias to the setup and make pumping much more potent. Also, if you really want to get more turn out of the Tan Tien, you have the option of topmounting the trucks and/or adding some wedging and dewedging. Ride on!

      • Thanks for getting back to me, I now have my weekend project.

        On another note, what’s your experience with the FreeBord product? I believe they’re on their 5th generation of tweeks and as a snowboarder I’d like to give it a try.

  • Hey! Love the review, I’m 180lbs and I can’t decide if I want a flex 1 or 2. The board will be used mainly for cruising with some freestyle (80/20). Any thoughts on what I should get? Apparently medium soft is better for crusing/landing tricks. What do you think?

  • Hi Jesse,

    I am looking for a board to ride around the streets of Manhattan for fun and general commuting. I want a board that is both stable (given that the streets are not always in the best condition) and responsive (to be able to avoid pedestrians and cars). I weigh about 18-185lbs. What do you recommend for a board and for the flex? I was thinking the Tan Tien in either a flex 1 or 2 but I’m not sure. I want some flex to deal with the bad streets, but I am not sure if I would be too heavy for a flex 2. Thanks!

About me

Big Kahuna

Hi I'm Jesse. All my life I've been passionate about the board riding lifestyle. Some years ago I got into longboarding, and in doing so, I discovered a whole new universe and a fantastic community. There's something for everyone in longboarding regardless of age, gender, size, and fitness level. Ride on!

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