Have you been street slashing using a board that does not give you the optimal performance you want? We’ve all been there – buying one board only to find replacing it after a couple of uses because its level of flex is just not enough. But, what level of flex do you exactly need?
Riders who love freestyle riding should choose boards that have soft or medium flex. If you will just be cruising around town, you might as well look for a board that offers soft flex for better shock absorbency. For downhill riding, choose stiffer boards. Luckily, there is one brand that allows you to choose your own preferred board flex. And that’s what Loaded Boards is famous for.
- CRAFTED FOR CARVING – The Loaded Vanguard brings lightweight snowboard-inspired construction and performance to the pavement. Camber, sidecuts, and high-energy flex allow for responsive carving, pumping, and commuting.
The History of The Loaded Vanguard Longboard
The Vanguard is the company’s very first board. It all started with scavenging old pieces of Bones Hardcore Wheels, Krypto 85s, Krypto classics and any pieces of hardware from old snowboards and surfing boards in the 1990s. They did this out of their passion for surfing on flat terrain. Fast forward to 2000, a company named Loaded was established.
The company went through a lot of production trial and error using different materials and methods. But when was Vanguard introduced into the market? It was in 2002 when their very first board named The Vanguard was launched. Today, each board that the company produces is a reflection of their desire to create boards that are designed by environmentally-conscious individuals.
A Quick Overview of The Loaded Vanguard
The Vanguard is the company’s signature board. As with all other series products from Loaded, the Vanguard also boasts of everything that a board should have for serious carving. This Vanguard series was manufactured using the best components. Also, the makers see to it that the board possesses some serious dancing potential.
But is this board only good for carving? Absolutely not. The Vanguard boards are also perfect for pumping and commuting. But, why so many capabilities in just one board? The answer lies in the outstanding features that this board has such as highly functional, great curvature, sturdy and lightweight. It also has the best components you could ever have in one board.
The Features of Loaded Vanguard
Sit tight and prepare yourself to be awed by the Vanguard’s amazing features. They are the following:
The board is designed to have tapered shape which helps maximize its wheel clearance. This translates to so much ease when doing deep carves and tight turns. Its side cuts are aimed towards reducing torsional stiffness by giving way to greater nuances that one needs for turning radius. Its mild-concave also provides better control from edge to edge.
The cambered platform provides a lot of opportunity for the rider to show off a truly impressive carving performance.
Lightweight and Sturdy
The Vanguard series were constructed from fiberglass and bamboo materials which makes it lightweight and sturdy at the same time. The board is available in five different flex ratings. This way, riders may choose their preferred flex according to their weight, stance and riding style.
What flex is ideal for heavy riders? If you’re a heavy rider, choose the one with a lower flex. On the other hand, lighter riders can just opt for boards that have higher flex especially if they’re looking for something that has greater responsiveness.
The Vanguard board is manufactured with environmental sustainability in mind. This is made possible by the use of bio-based materials obtained from industrial waste streams. Examples of these bio-based materials include tree saps that were used as a replacement for petroleum content. This reduces the carbon footprint that epoxy usually emits during the manufacturing process.
The company’s production team is working closely with Entropy in their efforts to improve the resin characteristics of the epoxy. They do this in accordance with their advocacy for a cleaner and greener environment. Entropy is a producer of sustainable laminating epoxy which is used for manufacturing longboard decks.
What good is a longboard if it comes with low-quality trucks? Luckily, this board is designed to have trucks that assure riders with plenty of wonderful riding experiences. This is because the Vanguard has the finest Paris 180 mm 50-degree V2 trucks that were manufactured using unique technology and high-quality materials.
Paris trucks are known for the ability to give a smooth ride. Beginners will also be thankful for these trucks because they are not difficult to control. It allows them to perform turns that are smooth and on point.
The durability of Paris trucks can be attributed to its gravity molded virgin aluminum. It went through a process of secondary heat treatment and this results in trucks that are very resilient. Paris V2 trucks are also known for its universal mounting capability which means it can cater to different mounting methods with its 6-hole baseplate.
Orangatang Wheels in one Loaded board? Is it too good to be true? You’d be so fortunate to have the Vanguard because it would mean you will also have the best wheels. These wheels are equipped with enough grip which allows the board to gain substantial speed.
Moreover, its friction between the ground and the board is maintained within low levels and this helps the rider to pick up speed in no time. The wheels have 75mm radius, a contact area of 56mm and a core that is strong enough to provide wheel support.
Multiple Flex Ratings
What is the significance of these color-coded wheels? Orangatang wheels come in different colors. Each color represents a different level of hardness. You can opt for yellow if you want the hardest wheels which have a durometer rating of 86a.
The blue wheels are labeled with 77a for durometer rating. It’s plush and extra soft. However, it does not possess plenty of grip. Moreover, the yellow wheels are rated with 86a durometer which is recommended for riders looking to spend most of their time freeriding.
Which color should you prefer? Many riders prefer the 80a orange wheels for its all-round hardness. Others choose to have 82A purple wheels if they’re looking for something that’s faster when riding on smooth surfaces. However, wheels with this durometer level may tend to give a harsher ride when the road proves to be a choppy one.
Which flex is great for heavy riders? If you are a heavier rider, might as well select flex 1 or flex 2. Having this level of flex prevents you from bottoming out. Flex levels 1 and 2 also prevents heavier riders from damaging the graphic design printed at the bottom of the deck.
The Pros and Cons of The Loaded Vanguard
Remember that there is not one board that can please everybody. There will always be the negative and positive sides of each board brand. The good news is, with the Loaded Vanguard, the positive sides far outweigh its negative aspect.
- Balanced center of gravity
Achieving a balanced center of gravity is something that is not hard to do with Vanguard due to its symmetrical shape. The shape of the board also allows for better control and improved energy generation.
- Super responsive
The Vanguard’s camber design has a snowboard-like responsiveness. This type of deck proved to be great for carving which is not surprising given the intuitive feel that its design provides. The five different options for degrees of flex greatly contributes to the board’s responsiveness. Note that flex 1 is labeled as the stiffest and flex 5 is the softest.
The opportunity to select the level of flex for the deck allows carvers an unparalleled precision in terms of choosing the best level of responsiveness. Plus, the lightweight board also makes it so easy to control. This is such a huge bonus if you’re a newbie and a lightweight rider as well.
- Provides a locked in feel
A locked-in feeling greatly contributes to a rider’s confidence. This is achieved through the nominal concave shape of the board which also adds strength to the board.
- Durable deck
The board is made of vertically-laminated bamboo, coupled with triaxial fiberglass which makes the board less prone to chipping. Besides, with its fiberglass and bamboo construction, what more can you ask for?
- High-quality Wheels
The Vanguard boasts of high quality Orangatang wheels. Besides, the colored wheels of Vanguard boards are also according to its durometer. This makes it easier for riders to tell the level of softness or hardness of the wheels.
The well-rounded edges of Orangatang wheels are perfect for riding on concrete and flat surfaces. The rounded shape of the wheels guarantees greater stability. They are also less likely to become wobbly. These are built to be versatile so that the rider can use the board for different riding experiences.
- Eco-friendly grip tape
The clear grip tape of each Vanguard board is obtained from recycled crushed glass. This tape provides full coverage of the board without compromising the amount of flex that’s present in the board. The clear grip tape also makes the composite material and construction of the board to become more noticeable.
- Customization options
Loaded sees to it that each Vanguard board suits every rider’s preference. Users may choose from multiple varieties of board setups according to flex rating, rider performance and body weight.
- Too flexy for some riders
The board may be too flexy for heavier riders. This is also the reason why the board may not be ideal for downhill and for riding at faster speeds. The experts from Loaded highly suggest that the Vanguard should not be used for riding at a speed of more than 25 miles per hour. This is true especially if you choose the Vanguard board that has an extreme flex level which makes it unsafe for super-fast riding.
How Does the Loaded Vanguard Compare with Other Boards in the Market?
One of the most outstanding features of Loaded boards that many of its customers love is the varying levels of flex that they can choose from upon purchasing. Its fiberglass and bamboo construction, paired with five different flexes make Loaded Vanguard outshine any other famous brand of longboards.
In terms of size, the Loaded Vanguard along with other boards from the same brand, is relatively small compared to other leading longboard brands. The Vanguard has its own distinct personality and is known for its ability to provide solid performance. This comes as no surprise knowing that the Vanguard is produced by a company that makes use of high-tech manufacturing processes to be able to come up with a board that has the perfect level of flex.
Do other brands offer multiple flex options? There is no other manufacturer that offers flex-deck options much like what the Loaded Vanguard does. So, whatever weight, riding style and personal preferences you have for a board, you can rest assured that you will have it from the Loaded boards.
However, some people complain about the hefty price attached to the Vanguard board. Others find it a lot more expensive than its competitor brands.
Another thing that sets the Vanguard apart from any other boards out there is the fact that it is fully equipped with premium components. Its Paris trucks, Orangatang wheels and other parts of the setup have earned the reputation as excellent stand-alone products.
The components which complete the Vanguard are exactly what most riders prefer to have when customizing their own longboard. But then, why waste time putting extra effort in customizing your own board when you can have every component you want in the Vanguard?
To buy or not to buy the Vanguard board? The decision will always be up to you. Loaded has different types of boards for every riding style and rider’s weight. But keep in mind that no other brands allow you to choose the flex rating for the board. And whether you’re a seasoned or a newbie rider, flex is everything! And, this should be reason enough for you to opt for the Loaded Vanguard board.