Longboard dancing is an awesome discipline that’s all the rage these days, particularly in Asia and Europe, and quickly picking up in the US. The Loaded Tarab (Amazon page) is considered one of the best dancer boards on the market.
What’s so great about the Tarab? It’s a performance board specifically designed for
Let’s take a closer look at this intriguing new dancer.
Loaded Tarab goals and features
The Tarab is Loaded’s newest dancer board, a successor to the popular Bhangra, introduced in 2010, itself an evolution from the Dancer (2008). At 47″ in length and weighing in at 5lb, the Tarab is notably shorter and lighter than the 48.5 Bhangra.
The Tarab was created to meet the needs of an increasingly technical and “
Another big trend the Tarab is catering to is the eco-friendly, fitness-driven, and fun alternative urban transportation movement. In addition to a technical dancer, the Tarab doubles up as a super comfortable and efficient device for distance commuting.
So how do these goals materialize in the Tarab? Here are some key aspects:
- The huge 47″ x 9.5″ foot platform and long 31-32″ (adjustable) wheelbase offer tons
orroom for moving, cross-stepping and spinning while carving
- The large kicks with built-in urethane bumpers for doing kick and flip tricks, with a mellow angle (compared to a street deck)
- The strong bamboo and composite construction and plastic reinforced rails for resisting the abuse from failed kicks and flips and upside down landings
- The concave for comfortable foot cradling and the rocker for lowering the deck closer to the ground, making pushing less of an effort
- The deep wheel wells for clearance when cruising and
carving,and the grab rails for hand-held flip tricks
- The right flex for the job: choice of a stiff deck for freestyle or a flexier version for smooth dancing and comfortable cruising
- The cork layer top for grip when dancing and vibration damping when commuting on rough roads
Now that we know what the Tarab is about,
Loaded Tarab deck
The Tarab is not only a piece of artwork, it’s also high tech and innovative – as are most Loaded longboards.
Loaded loves bamboo (and we love Loaded) due to its strength and flex properties. Most of the longboards in Loaded’s lineup use a hybrid bamboo + composite mix. The Icarus, Poke, and Kanthaka/Kut-thaka, for example, combine bamboo with fiberglass for super strength, special flex, and pop.
Though the Tarab deck also has a hybrid sandwich construction, it uses basalt composite layers in place of the usual fiberglass
- It’s more eco-friendly, being based on volcanic minerals vs chemicals for fiberglass (toxicity)
- It’s more lightweight and resistant for a similar amount of weight, resulting in a thinner and lighter deck – the Tarab deck weight about 5lb – around 1lb less than the Bhangra.
- It has a
differentflex response than fiberglass, less bouncy and more shock-absorbing – a better fit given the Tarab’s significant length
Tarab deck shape
The Tarab deck is fully symmetrical with huge kicks reflecting its dancing and freestyle focus. Like several other Loaded longboards, it combines a subtle rocker and a mild elliptical concave which gets steeper as we go from the middle of the deck towards the edges.
The concave helps keep your feet comfy and secure and adds carving leverage under the feet. As I mentioned, the rocker lowers the board slightly closer to the ground, making it easier to push over long commutes.
The kicks are large enough to flip this huge board around when dancing, particularly with the outer (longer) wheelbase setting. The tail and nose, though, are only mildly uplifted to maximize the size of the platform for dancing – other boards designed for old-school street tricks like the Kanthaka have kicks with higher angles.
The deep and wide CNC wheel wells combine with the board’s cutout shape with the narrower tails to provide ample wheel clearance for tight carving when dancing and cruising.
On the bottom side of the deck are channels that run parallel the rails to facilitate grabbing the board when flipping it with the hands as part of a freestyle trick.
You can hardly talk about a Loaded board without mentioning flex, which is one of Loaded’s most distinguishing strengths – a specific, well-researched amount of flex implemented through a unique mix of material and layup.
Similar to other boards in the Loaded lineup, the Tarab has a nice and even flex, though it has a more “damp” kind of feel. The Tarab comes in 2 flex options (some Loaded boards have 3).
Flex 1 is the stiffer option and the preferred one for an aggressive freestyle-focused riding style involving pop and flip tricks with heavy landings. A stiffer flex helps you remain on your board when landing a jump vs getting pushed off through
The Flex1 version is implemented using an additional layer of bamboo compared to the Flex2 deck version, which makes the board more solid for landing. Even if you don’t normally do a lot of freestyle tricks, Flex 1 may be a good choice for you if you’re on the lighter side, e.g. under 150lb.
The Flex 2 version of the Tarab deck does not have that extra bamboo layer on top, making it a bit more lightweight and bouncier. This is an often preferred option for traditional longboard dancers who primarily walk and spin around on the board with no freestyle kicking and flipping.
The added flex makes the board more responsive turning when pressing onto a rail for carving turns, and overall bouncier when moving around, something a lot of dancers appreciate.
Ultimately, which flex you choose depends on your personal preferences, body build, and riding style.
I’ve already mentioned the Tarab’s solid hybrid construction which results from the bamboo + basalt sandwich layup. The Tarab is really designed with strength in mind. It’s reinforced with urethane bumpers in the nose and tail and so holds up very well in the face of rough manuals,
The rails are also reinforced with the same type of super sturdy, abrasion-resistant thermoplastic used in slide pucks or even skis and snowboards. These reinforcements not only protect the rails from getting damaged in rough landings, they also help preserve the Tarab’s concave if landing hard on the deck’s bottom.
Tarab grip features
A distinctive feature of the Tarab is the cork material used for the top layer on the deck. Not only is it beautiful looking, it actually serves an important functional purpose: providing traction even when the grip tape is removed – something hardcore longboard dancers often for more freedom and fluidity of movement for the feet around the deck.
The other function the cork layer fulfills is to provide extra vibration damping when riding on
The Loaded Icarus and Tesseract also have cork, though as a bottom layer for vibration absorption. The Tarab uses cork in a novel way as a low-key alternative to grip tape.
Speaking of grip tape, the Tarab’s grip design is again tailored with great care, reinforced over the kicks and more discrete in the center not get in the way of
Loaded Tarab trucks and wheels
I’ll wrap up this article with a quick look at the complete setups Loaded recommends for the Tarab.
The main and most affordable config (see it on this Amazon page) has Paris 180mm 50º RKP trucks and Orangatang Stimulus 70mm wheels, 80A or 86A durometer.
This is a dancing, carving and mellow freestyle-oriented type of config, with the Paris longboard trucks making for smooth and controlled turning and the Stimulus wheels providing
The alternative setup Loaded recommends, “Lofti’s config” – pricier, see it here on Loaded’s website – focuses on a more aggressive freestyle style of riding. It includes Paris Savant 180mm 50º trucks for heavy landing tricks.
The Savants are known to be very responsive and resistant to bending. Lofti pairs the Savants with Nipple bushings for even more responsiveness in the trucks.
The Lofti setup includes a set of
If you’re into dancing or classic longboard freestyle, then the Loaded Tarab (Amazon page) is probably on your radar. Though it’s quite a pricey board, as always with Loaded, it’s worth every penny.
An astonishing mixture of high-quality material, engineering, craftsmanship, and riding expertise, the Tarab is a highly technical longboard and some might say a piece of art, with its beautiful cork top and great-looking Arab-style graphics on its bamboo layered bottom.
In terms of riding experience, the Tarab distinguishes itself from other dancers through its lighter deck, damper kind of flex, and even stronger and durable build. The cork and basalt layers and the subtle rocker also make it an incredibly comfortable board to cruise and commute on.
When paired with quality Paris trucks and Orangatang wheels with the right durometer – which ones you choose depends on your personal riding style – it’s no wonder that the Tarab, despite its steep price, is being so widely acclaimed by longboarders of all kinds.
Featured image: Tarab | Loaded Morocco 17 – Photo: Christian Rosillo – Rider: Lotfi Lamaali
Photo: Tarab | Loaded Morocco 26 by Christian Rosillo – Rider: Lotfi Lamaali