Sneak Peak: The Loaded Freeride/DH Board

on 09/05/2011, 23:31.

Our freeride/DH board is a board that will do it all and can be used as kitchen table when needed.  We wanted to make a very versatile board that would allow you to bust out steezy flat ground tricks, slide as fast as you can with, rage hills and tuck all fancy-like in your leathers.  Why?  Because we like all kinds of riding styles and encourage you to explore and blend styles together.




What you see below is NOT the final board but the latest prototype.  We repeat: this is NOT the final board.  Stoked to say we have gone through several prototypes so far, exploring a variety of different core thicknesses, construction layups, W concave curvatures, nose/tail widths and lengths, etc.

Please note that the board in the following photos has undergone lots of heavy thrashing (both freeride and freestyle) over the last month and a half, hence the visible wear and tear. As you can see, the rails of the board are damaged. We are in the process of developing sidewalls that will not only protect the rails but also help dampen vibrations while riding. This is currently the most challenging detail that is preventing us from releasing the board yesterday.

Click on any photo below to view it in full resolution. We will show you pictures of all the protos (plus a bunch of very cool CAD drawings and other goodies) in the full-length writeup with the release of the board.  Right now we're just honing our teasing skills.

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WHEN IS THE RELEASE?

Not sure yet. We have some more experimenting to do with rail durability and dampening. We intend for the board to be out this year. We are moving as fast as we can.

PRICE

We accept most varieties of exotic animal trading. Not sure on the price yet; there are still a couple more tweaks to be done including dialing in the construction and sidewall durability.

SPECS

Length: 42” – Yes, it seems like a long board. But you have to consider the nose and tail are each 4.5” long.

Width: 9.75” – We designed this board with a men's size 8 to 11 shoe in mind.  We feel that 9.75" is a good width to allow your toes and heels to slightly touch each rail so you know where you are on your board and do not have to shift your feet around when transitioning from heelside to toeside slides. Although the width is slightly less than many other downhill boards on the market, we have tested with several foot sizes (including Adam Stokowski's gigantor boat feet) and have found that it is a comfortable size for most non-silverback riders.

Wheelbase: 28.5” – We have experimented with super small wheelbases of 26” in the past and find that 28.5” gives you the best of both worlds: not too big and not too small.  Makes maneuverability great and sliding comfortable and fun.

Weight: ??? – We are aiming to make this board as light as possible, while still durable and damp.

FEATURES

ROCKER – For this type of riding we have fallen in love with rocker and the locked-in feeling it provides for sliding. We realize that there is a fine line to rocker: too much rocker feels awkward and too little feels like nothing at all.  So we have put in a nice amount of rocker that gives just enough of that comfortable cradling and sunk-in feel that we love.

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RECESSED TRUCK MOUNTS – We have recess-mounted the trucks into the deck to allow the board to sit lower to the ground, increase stability and improve sliding performance. Incorporating rocker in a deck also leads to positive wedging of the trucks, which affects the way the board handles/turns. Too much wedging (particularly when using 50° reverse kingpin trucks, as this board was designed around) results in a board that is twitchy and over-sensitive at speed. To prevent wedging while still achieving the amount of rocker we desired, we angled the truck mounts so that the trucks will sit neutral (as if they were topmounted on a flat stiff deck). 

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INTEGRATED WHEEL WELLS/FLARES – The board has pronounced wheel wells that flare up above the top surface.  The wood bends up to provide extra wheel clearance while also creating a transition to push your feet up against.  Backside 180s while nestling your toes between the wheel flares and W concave is what made Kyle and Adam giggle like little girls. This deck achieves a unique, locked-in rider interface and greatly reduces potential for wheelbite. We are very stoked to be able to do this by thinning and bending the wood in such a complex manner. 

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W CONCAVE – W concave is loved by some and hated by others, often due to bad experiences with older designs. There are many benefits to W concave: it gives strength to the board, allows you to make the board lighter, and (if done right) can give you increased lateral support on the deck.  W concave can be very comfortable or very uncomfortable, depending on how it is implemented.  We have created a very wide W concave in which the W hump conforms to the arch of your foot. The center of the hump is wide and mellow, creating a comfortable flat section for pushing and general riding. The channels created by the transitions between the W hump and the edge rails on both sides lock your toes and heels in, providing lots of lateral support near the rails where it is needed for slides and cornering. The W concave combined with the wheel flares creates a nice locked-in feel. Combined with good griptape, the ergonomics of this deck allow you to keep your feet situated and avoid the need to shift or adjust them for back-to-back 180s and other slides.

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NOSE & TAIL KICKS - The symmetrical nose and tail on this board (well, it's really a misnomer to say "nose and tail" as the board is completely symmetrical) have gone through a variety of protos of different lengths and widths.  At first we tried doing very short and subtle kicks but came to realize that if we were going to have a nose and tail on this board we should go all the way and make them large, comfortable and very functional.  Enough length to them that when you mess up on a manual the tail hits the ground first rather than being too short and letting your foot slip off.  This board is not designed to be an amazing ollie machine, but the nose and tail are long/wide enough to bust out an ollie if you get the timing down.  The nose and tail feel especially good for shovits, manuals of all varieties, popping the board into your hand and for hitting small ferocious animals. We are actually going to be making the nose and tail slightly wider than the nose and tail you see in the images.

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GRAB RAILS - The underside of this board has two sets of grooves on each side that are both functional and weight-reducing. The outer grooves are positioned for your fingers to grab during toeside and heelside predrifts, while the inner grooves are set deeper in toward the center of the deck to provide grip for early grabs.

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FLEX – Stiff… Very stiff. Yes, indeed, Loaded can make a stiff board. As much as we like flex in carving boards, we know that having a stiff board is essential for speed. It is still important to get the right flex/stiffness based on rider weight and desired speed, though, and we are still dialing in the construction to allow for the ideal balance of stiffness and dampening. 

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Buffalo Bill 2011. Christopher Lagace photo.

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Buffalo Bill 2011. Christopher Lagace photo.


We’re stoked on the potential this board has for you all to blend so many riding styles together.  Excited to see what you all will do with it.  Thank you all for inspiring such a board and pushing longboarding in so many exciting directions.


The Loaded Crew

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