Are you looking for an awesome all-around longboard? Statista estimates in 2020 the global skateboard/longboard market was worth over $2 billion. Longboards started trending in the 1990s after American surfers developed the lengthy boards in the 1950s and 1960s. Longboards offer features like longer lengths and wider wheelbases, which make them perfect for cruising and downhill riding.
Loaded’s Tan Tien is an all-around longboard that the company launched about a decade ago in 2010. The mid-size bamboo board has been meticulously designed with details for easy pushing, carving, power-sliding, and tricks. It’s also another high-quality model from Loaded Boards, which has over two decades of industry experience. This unbiased review provides a comprehensive look at the Tan Tien including its features, pros, and cons.
- TRICK-FRIENDLY CARVING MACHINE – The Loaded Tan Tien is a performance longboard created for carving, pumping, freestyle, freeride, and urban commuting / alternative transportation.
- FUNCTIONAL DESIGN – Drop-through truck mounting for stability and easier pushing. Large cutouts maximize wheel clearance for deep carves and tight turns. Nose and tail kicks open the door for advanced freestyle trickery and help navigate city streets. Cambered profile and mild concave create a responsive yet comfortable platform for carve-oriented longboarding. Snowboard-inspired construction combines vertically laminated bamboo and fiberglass for a durable, lightweight, and lively ride.
Loaded Boards Longboards
Does the Loaded Boards company sound familiar? If you’ve been longboarding in the 21st century, then you’ve likely heard of this brand. The Southern California-based company was founded in 2000 and started offering longboards a few years later.
Loaded’s goal is to improve the experience of “sidewalk surfers” by creating surfboard and snowboard-inspired decks. Before the company’s launch it experimented with wood and snowboard decks, Kryptonics trucks, and Bones Hardcore wheels. In mid-2002 Loaded launched its first longboard: The Vanguard.
The company’s business values include ones like performance, creativity, and community. It built a close team dedicated to thinking outside the box and designing game-changing products to improve the board sport.
Loaded is also dedicated to practicing social responsibility. How does it achieve that goal? For example, the company focuses on Earth-friendly design and manufacturing. Each product is developed by small teams that focus on developing innovative products including longboards. The company also supports its community through various charities including Boarding for Breast Cancer.
Loaded’s longboard line not only has become a popular brand in the industry but also on the photo-sharing service Instagram. Its models include:
- Basalt Tesseract
- Blood Slayer
- Loaded Boards
- Tan Tien
What else does Loaded offer? Besides longboards, the company also produces other items like trucks, wheels, bushings, and safety gear. If you live in a cold climate then you can also select Loaded snowboards for the winter months.
A Quick Overview of Loaded Tan Tien Longboard
The Tan Tien is a truly all-around longboard that’s been carefully designed to provide a wide range of features and benefits. Are you looking for a board for freeride, freestyle and carving? The Tan Tien delivers key features related to the shape, flex, and truck mounts.
This compact longboard has a 39” length, which makes it ideal for cruising on flat and hilly surfaces, and doing performance tricks. The board is ultra-lively and responsive, which makes it ideal for carving and downhill riding. It’s also easy to pop a trick or do powersliding thanks to the Gullwing trucks. Such features help to explain the board’s Chinese name, which refers to a person’s energy center.
Are you a fan of snowboard-inspired longboards? If so then the Tan Tien might be right for you. It includes a hybrid construction of bamboo and fiberglass. The unit provides a deck that’s flexible and lightweight (3.1 to 3.5 lbs.), yet quite durable. This is another feature that makes the short longboard super-responsive.
Besides the board’s high functionality, it also provides eye-catching aesthetics. This includes a woven bamboo bottom with a one-of-a-kind design. Bamboo is a “green” material that can grow up to three feet (0.9 meters) in one day!
Did you know that bamboo is two or three times stronger than timber? In fact, the Tan Tien provides a super-durable construction versus other bamboo decks. The trucks and wheels also make it easy to ride over stuff like pebbles, sand, and rough pavements.
Features of the Loaded Tan Tien Longboard
Why should you consider the Tan Tien over other similar longboards? Here are some of the key features.
The Tan Tien offers incredible flexibility that makes it ideal for both carving and tricks. This is due to the compact design that includes features like usable kicks and drop-through truck mounts. In fact, the 39” length makes the deck a wise choice for freeride, downhill, and freestyle.
It’s the functional design that makes Tan Tien a flexible deck. The nose and tail allow you to do advanced longboard tricks like Frontside Boneless 180 and Fakie Frontside Pivot.
What’s it all about? This is due to the complex contours which offer an ultra-responsive board. In fact, the board responds well while carving, power-sliding, and popping tricks. The rider has full control of the deck in various situations. The responsiveness is provided by the bamboo and fiberglass construction, which creates a powerful flex. The hybrid board is ideal for pumping and hard carving due to the mild curvatures.
This deck’s shape and contour provide a secure feel when doing carves, slides, and tricks. The mild and complex concave provides a good mix for pumping and carving. Will you have to sacrifice comfort? That’s not the case at all since the deck is carve-focused. This way, you can get the best of both worlds of responsiveness and comfort.
The 50-grit and 30-grid grip tape blend pairs with the mild concave to lock in the rider’s feet for smooth slides. Loaded Boards ships the Tan Tien pre-gripped. The black griptape offers high coverage and natural flex. What’s the effect on board-riding? This offers improved traction and control for pumping and powersliding. It also creates significant “lock-in” on the deck’s nose and tail.
The deck includes Earth-friendly bio-based resins. The natural materials’ sources include natural tree sap. This process helps to replace fossil fuel-based petroleum, which creates a smaller carbon footprint. Loaded Boards has teamed up with Entropy Resins to improve the features of the super Sap resin.
3 Flex Options
This longboard is available in three flex ratings, which provide three combinations of bamboo and fiberglass. You can select a flex rating that suits your height and longboarding style. Which flex rating is right for you? Here are the options you have:
Flex1 (up to 270 lbs.)
This is the stiffest flex available. It offers more stability when cruising at high speeds but less flexibility when cruising. Flex1 is ideal for heavier riders and true longboarding thrashers.
Flex2 (130- and 210+ lbs.)
A softer flex provides better control and tighter carving when riding at slower speeds. It also makes power-sliding easier. Meanwhile, Flex 2 causes stability to drop somewhat at high speeds. What’s the result? Stiffer flex creates more energy potential and stability at high speeds and improved longevity through tough tricks. However, cruising provides less liveliness.
Flex3 (180- and 170+ lbs.)
This softer flex provides better control and tighter turns when riding at slower speeds. Sliding is also easier. However, stability decreases at high speeds. You’ll get more energy potential and stability at high speeds.
Pros and Cons of the Loaded Tan Tien Longboard
While the Tan Tien offers a wide range of features, they might or might not be the particular ones you need based on factors like your height, skills, and preferences. So let’s take a closer look at the deck’s pros and cons.
- Different riding styles
Which factors help to deliver this feature? One is the deck’s compact size. This makes the model ideal for cruising, freeriding, and freestyle. Meanwhile, the high responsiveness also provides a secure feel, which can help when carving, sliding, and so on. Another factor is the board provides high comfort for different types of riding such as downhill or freestyle tricks.
- Available in 3 flexes
Why are three flexes better than one? It provides for different types of longboarder weights and riding styles. You can select Flex1, Flex2, or Flex3 based on your body weight, riding speed, and ridding type. For example, Flex1 is ideal for heavier riders and thrashers, while Flex3 is better for lighter riders who want to do complex tricks.
- Grip tape
This feature includes the grip tape being a 50-grit and 30-grit blend, which provides better carving and sliding since your feet can lock in. Do you want to avoid adding grip tape to your board? Another plus is the Tan Tien is pre-gripped, so there’s no need to spend extra time, effort, and money.
- More stable riding
This is due to features like the drop-through truck-mounting design and mild concave. The extra stability and balance provided make it easier to ride downhill, make tight turns, and pop awesome tricks.
- Mild concave
This design is quite common for longboards and provides high-level responsiveness and comfort for the longboarder. A slight concave can increase the rider’s foothold, which in turn makes drifting, turning, and sliding easier. Are you a beginner skater? If so then the extra stability can be critical as you master the basics of longboarding.
- Composite material
The Tan Tien features a bamboo and fiberglass composite, so you truly get the benefits of both materials. Bamboo is an eco-friendly material that’s one of the world’s fastest-growing plants. Meanwhile, fiberglass provides features like being waterproof and durable. The blend of the two materials provides a longboard that’ lightweight, sturdy, and responsive.
The Loaded board is on the short end for longboards at 39”. Are longer longboards better? It really depends on your riding goals. Longer boards provide more speed and stability. So if you want to do downhill or cruising, then you should probably go with another model besides Tan Tien. The main downside is long longboards don’t turn as quickly, which could affect your carving.
One of the main features of the fiberglass material is it helps to reinforce the bamboo. However, since the model still contains bamboo, there’s a chance you might experience some chipping. If you’re planning to do some major thrashing then this could become an issue.
One of the possible drawbacks of this board is powerslides. Some customers have reported they didn’t have many issues with stand-up slides, although that wasn’t the case with power slides. Another factor is your skill level, since many beginner longboarders have reported this model is a good choice for powerslides.
This model isn’t designed to function as a downhill board. This is due to factors like the flexible deck, freestyle trucks, and double kicktails. If you want to be a speed demon, you’ll probably be disappointed. In general, you should only ride the Tan Tien at a speed under 35 mph or so to avoid losing control.
Does this mean you can’t ride the longboard downhill? No, but it’s not designed for the high speeds of downhill skating. Losing control is certainly a situation you’ll want to avoid when skating.
This model has a premium price, which might be an issue if you’re looking for a budget longboard. Is it worth it? Loaded has received many positive reviews for the quality, durability, and versatility of its boards.
How Does Loaded Tan Tien Compare to Other Boards?
While Loaded has established itself as a high-quality longboard manufacturer, its longboard line is somewhat small compared to other companies. However, this is a practical issue since the company has only been producing longboards for about two decades. A related issue is the California-based company has also received generally positive reviews for its products. That might help to justify considering this model, right?
Another plus of this board like other Loaded products is it’s designed mainly for carving or freestyle. Meanwhile, other Loaded brands are designed for other riding types like freeride, downhill, or dancing. Each model is carefully designed for these functions.
The Tan Tien has also received feedback that’s in line with online reviews for other Loaded longboards. This includes positive marks for features such as:
- Design and aesthetics
- Innovative tech
- Cross-riding types
- Smooth riding
In fact, the Tan Tien has received a sky-high average among Amazon reviews.
Like other Loaded longboards, the Tan Tien has received positive feedback for being designed for different riding types. This includes cruising, freeriding, and freestyle. So if you’re looking for a solid all-around longboard, this might be a wise choice.
One of the common complaints about Loaded decks is their premium price tags. Are they worth the higher prices? Loaded certainly has generally higher prices versus its competitors like Arbor and Landyachtz. However, Loaded also offers premium features to match the premium prices. So it boils down to this question: Are you willing to pay more for better quality?
Verdict - Final Thoughts!
If you’re searching for a high-quality all-around longboard then the Tan Tien is a practical option. It’s a wise choice if you’re a fan of carving, sliding, and freestyle. While the price is high-end, the unit also provides high-end features. Whether you’re a newbie or master longboarder, you can certainly find your energy center with the Loaded Tan Tien.