Moronga is Spanish for Slide — Orangatang Moronga Review

Moronga is Spanish for Slide — Orangatang Moronga Review

Hello Students of Radness,

The chipper group over at Orangatang recently dropped another wheel sensation; the Moronga. A bunch of people in the community are saying that Morongas are basically Balut 2.0 and they may be saying that with some good reasons. The Moronga and the Balut have the same diameter, the some contact patch, and use the same urethane formula. However, I think that saying Morongas are a just a tweaked version of the Balut is kind of a simplification and that it glosses over the fact these wheels are, in fact, better than Baluts in a variety of ways.

I was lucky enough to be granted not one but three sets of Morongas. Which has allowed me to shred one wheel in each durometer and therefore give you the most complete review and overview possible.

Let’s get into the technical specifications of the wheel. Morongas come in the three signature color-durometer combinations offered by Orangatang: Orange 80a, Purple 83a, and Yellow 86a. The lower number, of course, being the softest and the higher number coming in as the hardest. Unlike the majority of Orangatang wheels Morongas are poured with a Euphorethane formula and not the standard Happythane. The core of the wheel is very large, wrapped in thane, and topped off with a rounded but relatively thick lip. In addition, the bearing seat is centerset which means the wheels can be ridden in any direction. Morongas have a 72.5mm diameter and a 35mm contact patch with a width of 44mm.

Well now that we have got the techy stuff out of the way, let’s talk about how these bad boys handle in the field.

Commute
Morongas are a great wheel for cruising through town and impressing all the soccer moms with your commuting steeze. Coming in at 72.5mm they are a bit taller than your average wheel, which adds to your top speed, but they have a more narrow contact patch. This narrow contact patch translates to a wheel without a lot of weight behind it which means that you can get Moronags up to speed very quickly. I really like the fact that I can slide to a stop for a traffic light and push back up to my regular speed with minimal effort on these wheels. Unfortunately the Euphorethane formula in conjunction with that large core does have a little bit of a downside, that combination makes your wheels feel really hard under your feet. So if you commute over terrible pavement or lots of bumps the vibrations will start to rattle you after a few miles.

I have found that the Purple, or 83a, Morongas are my favorite hardness to push for a long time. Mostly because harder wheels are faster than softer wheels and soft wheels can eat up vibration. Purple Morongas are right in the middle and allow you to achieve a nice balance between speed and vibration dampening. This balance is great for pushing between classes or for my 2 mile push to work every day.

Freestyle
In my opinion, when it comes to freestyle longboarding the lighter the wheel the better. Which is why Morongas kind of rock for freestyle. That narrow contact patch we talked about earlier makes them a hair lighter than other 72mm wheels. It is really noticeable when trying to hit serious flip tricks like bigspins and kickflips. The first time I slapped my Morongas on my Chubby Unicorn,after rocking 4Presidents, I kept over-rotating all my tricks because I wasn’t used to how light my setup had become haha.

 

Another nice aspect Morongas can offer all you freestylers out there is how easily you can pop them into a 180 powerslide. When I freestyle and link tricks I like being able to throw my board in and out of a switch stance through slides (much steezier than pivots) and Morongas let me do that without a problem.

Yellow, or 86a, Morongas are undoubtedly my favorite durometer to freestyle on. Being nice and hard is just so nice for flatland. Mostly because, as I mentioned, I like to kick out into 180 slides like it is my job. The Yellows are definitely the easiest durometer to bust out a slide on the flats with and I dig it.

Downhill
I can tell you this much, while the Morongas are certainly not a downhill shape they can definitely get you from the top to the bottom. The 72.5mm diameter means that these wheels are going accelerate quickly and sustain a slightly higher top speed than your average 70mm longboard wheel. However, these wheels don’t have much bulk to them, which means they are not very massive, so they are not going to get as much momentum going as a wider wheel would.

I don’t think that Morongas are going to be anyone’s go to race wheel anytime soon (unless you’re racing some crazy technical course). That being said, I was very surprised at how much grip you can get out of Morongas when you want to, mostly with the softer durometer. I was surprised because the wheels are so slidey in general but if you really spend some time on them you can easily learn their grip-slide patterns. If nothing else Morongas are predictable, which is fantastic when going fast and you need to know exactly what your wheels are going to do.

If you are looking to downhill on these wheels then I highly recommend the Orange, or 80a Moronagas. They have the most grip out of the three and drift beautifully. I tried going fast on my Yellow Morongas a couple times, it was scary, haha, they cannot offer the predictability and smooth drift at speed that the Orange ones can.

Freeride
I think that we all know what Morongas were really meant for… slides on slides on slides. Morongas eat freeride for breakfast and poop out silly long standies. You might think that was a joke but I am deadly serious.

Having such a narrow contact patch give you less resistance against the ground when looking to hit slides. That’s just plain and simple science. In addition to that narrow contact patch Morongas are rocking a pretty sweet lip shape. The lip is rounded and thicker towards the outside of the wheel relative to the inside near the bearing seat. This allows the contact patch to remain consistent down to the core of the wheel (note: I have not been able to core these wheels yet because they are so durable. I know the aforementioned information based on the design of the Moronga itself). The core is very large, it is the same spoked core as the Balut, and works in conjunction with the lip shape to offer exceedingly minimal wheel deformation while sliding. Which all boils down to a very very consistent wheel and slide.

In addition to being inherently slidey due to their contact patch and lip shape Morongas are also poured in Orangatang Euphorethane formula. Euphorethane is definitely one my favorite thanes out there because it is so freaking durable. The trade off in durability is that Morongas do not dump thane like some less durable wheels on the market, but that is not a problem for me. I don’t need to measure my thane lines to have fun.

How do they slide?
Morongas slide fantastically all the time. However they feel different based on how you are sliding them. If you are using your Morongas without going very fast they are going to be a little noisy. Now, I think this kind of scares people off because they think noisy means chattery, but let me be clear in that they are not chattery. They may let out a majestic call, much like a hawk, when being slide at slower speeds but the slide is still smooth and consistent.

However, if you are going fast enough to hold a slide out for more than 5 feet or so they quiet  right back down. They jump from the noisy zone to what I call the sugar zone. What is interesting about Morongas is that when they truly break free after a few feet of sliding, into the sugar zone, you can hardly feel the transition. I have noticed with many other wheels that the transition between trying to grip and breaking free can be kind of jerky and weird. Morongas have no such problem and are very predictable under your feet.

When it comes down to freeride I think that any color Moronga would serve you well, it all depends on how you ride. If you are just learning how to hold out long slides go with the harder Yellow ones. For those of you who have been enjoying freeride for a while now but don’t hit slides over 25mph I would consider the Purples. People who love to hit a billion foot slides after going 45mph should definitely get the Orange. I personally rock the Purples and love them! However, always remember that I cannot give you a definite recommendation on durometer because in the end it all comes down to preference.

It cant all be good…
Nothing is perfect; and Morongas, although awesome, are no exception to this rule. I would say the only real downside I have come across with this wheel is on the commute. The large core and dense Euphorethane formula makes for a rough ride over bumpy pavement. Morongas can shake your teeth out of your head after a mile of rough pavement, haha.

The Bottom Line
Would I recommend Morongas to a friend?
I think that Morongas are fantastic wheel and that they suit the needs of a very diverse group of riders. If you are into freestyle grab yourself a set of the Yellows. If you like to freeride then either the Purple or the Orange will suit you at whatever speed tickles your fancy. If you havent taken the time to try Orangatang products then there has never been a better time than now. Morongas are killing it!

Thanks for Reading!
Any Questions, Comments, Concerns, Hatemail, Spam???
Send it my way!

Stay Awesome,
Wayne

My Current Favorite Setups:

Commute:
-Bustin Sportster
-Surf-Rodz RKP176mm 50*
-ORANGATANG MORONGA 83a
-Venom Bushings
-Daddies Bearings

Downhill:
-Loaded Chubby Unicorn
-Surf-Rodz RKP176mm 45*
-ORANGATANG MORONGA 80a
-Venom Bushings
-Daddies Bearings

Freeride
-Loaded Chubby Unicorn
-Surf-Rodz RKP176mm 50*
-ORANGATANG MORONGA 83a
-Venom Bushings
-Daddies Bearings

Freestyle
-Loaded TanTien
-Paris V2 180mm
-ORANGATANG MORONGA 86a
-Orangatang Nipples (soft)
-Daddies Bearings

Kicking it with the Kanthaka — Loaded Kanthaka Review

Kicking it with the Kanthaka — Loaded Kanthaka Review

photo (41)Along with the long awaited Chubby Unicorn Loaded released a second new addition to their line-up. While this deck appears to have a pretty standard popsicle shape, popular in street decks and tech sliders, it definitely has a few stand out features that require a closer look. The Loaded Kanthaka draws from multiple riding styles to create one board that can perform exceptionally well for pretty much anything.

The Kanthaka is a freeriding, tech sliding board with a flare for street style skating. While it may have the appearance of a typical tech slider the Kanthaka handles a little differently due to its dimensions and some subtle construction characteristics. In addition the Kanthaka is a terribly versatile board that can handle parks and traditional street style skating like a champ due in no small part to its fat kicktails and small wheelbase (for a longboard).
photo (39)The Loaded Kanthaka actually comes in two sizes. The sizes on this deck are dictated by the width of the board and not the length (as is typical with most longboards) and gives you the option of a 8.625 in or an 8.875 in. I went with the 8.875 deck because I like to have a nice wide platform for my feet to stand on. Now before we talk about how the Kanthaka handles on the pavement, lets get into the technical specifications:

Loaded Kanthaka

Length

36 in

Width

8.625 in8.875in

Wheelbase

17.5 in

Kicks

7.5 in

Special Features

Rocker, Wheel Wells and Flares, Foot Pockets

Commuting
A first instinct would suggest that the Kanthaka would be very similar to a traditional skateboard when commuting; however, it has these nice wheel wells which allow you to run larger wheels than you would otherwise. Wheel wells can make or break a setup, especially on a longboard, because you generally are riding this type of board with larger wheels than a traditional skateboard would allow. Interestingly, the Kanthaka doesn’t have traditional wheel wells (where there deck is just sanded down for extra clearance); instead it has integrated wheel wells. This lends to a few distinct benefits. First, the board is actually molded up to allow more room for your wheels. Second, the molded wood creates flares on top of the board. Third, by molding wheel wells rather than sanding them out of the deck there are no discontinuities in the fiberglass skin on the bottom of the board; this keeps the deck thick and strong on the wheel well flares. These flares actually end up being super useful, but we’ll talk more about that later.

photo (47)The Kanthaka can take it to the streets like few other boards. It is super light (thank you, bamboo and fiberglass construction), agile as a mongoose, has a little bit of rocker to lower your ride for easy pushing, and has tails that would make even the most spectacular of peacocks envious. The nature of this board lends to equipping it with small light wheels that accelerate quickly and are easy to get off the ground. This translates to a gnarly commute where you can zip through people or cars and then pop up or down a curb with the utmost steeze.

Downhill
Believe it or not, this is not a downhill board. I can already tell you that if you are looking to break the sound barrier on a skateboard the Kanthaka is not the direction you would want to look in (although Loaded has the hookup with the Chubby Unicorn). However, if you live somewhere very hilly you don’t have to necessarily rule the Kanthaka out of your quiver either. photo (13)The wheelbase on this board is small for a downhill board, like really small (17.5in), so it will get relatively unstable at high speeds pretty quickly. I personally have not brought it anywhere north of 30mph for more than a few seconds. However, if you get comfortable on this board I can see people pushing it a little faster. Once you learn the ins and outs of the Kanthaka you can really lock yourself in with the pockets produced by the wheel wells. These pockets and the rockered platform produce a much more stable ride than boards with comparable wheelbases when getting fast.

Freeride
Here is where Mr. Kanthaka really starts to turn heads. Whether you like to spin around with never ending 180 slides or you like to pump out 1000 ft switch toeside slides, you will find something you like with the Kanthaka. Those wheel flares I spoke about earlier make for a great way to lock your feet in place for slides. In conjunction with the kicktails the flares produce a very comfortable pocket for your feet to rest in. When I slip my feet into this pocket hitting slides toeside and heelside without monkey footing (hanging your toe or heel of the edge of your deck) becomes much more manageable. This is an enormous benefit for producing quick spinning slides. I wouldn’t say my 360 slides are by any means beautiful and fluid, but on my Kanthaka they are definitely easier and at least more fluid than on other boards.
photoIf you are more into hitting big long standing slides than just spins the Kanthaka still has you covered. You don’t see many people hitting big standies on most of the boards in its class, however, this isn’t “most” boards. The first and most obvious advantage this board has in fast freeride is the length. Coming in at 36 in the Kanthaka is a little long for an average tech slide or hybrid board which keeps you feeling a little more stable. In addition the rocker-concave combination on this board adds even more stability and lets you get the leverage you need to dig deep enough to hold out slides comfortably by slightly lowering you to the ground.

photo (4)The small size (compared to your average longboard) of the Kanthaka lets you stand comfortably at either kicktail while in the pocket created by the wheel flares and kicktail with your other foot. This leads to one my new favorite things to do when freeriding… Blunt slides. You can blunt slide the living heck out of the Kanthaka on its big ol’ tails. Unlike many longboards (which have smaller tails) where your foot has to hang off the tail, you can rest pretty much your entire shoe on these fat tails without a problem, which I find really nice when trying to hit anything from the tail. Additionally, the tails on the Kanthaka are reinforced with a layer of carbon fiber that actually does make a difference in its durability. If you are just learning how to blunt slide and manual (or if you just know that you tear boards up) the tails on this deck will last a little bit longer due to the carbon reinforcement.

The Kanthaka is one of a rare breed of boards that is just as comfortable on hard wheels as it is on soft wheels. This was my first venture into hard wheels, and I have to admit:  it takes a little getting used to, but it is a whole bunch of fun. I have taken this deck tech sliding on many an occasion and it has handles wonderfully, you feel very in control despite having the iciest wheels possible under your feet. If you have never ridden hard wheels and are interested in trying it out, then the Kanthaka has you covered (worst case scenario: switch back to soft wheels).
photo (1)Freestyle
It was really hard to choose a favorite style of riding with the Kanthaka because it was meant to be such a versatile board. However, I would venture to say that freestyle skating is this board’s bread and butter. The Kanthaka is easily misidentified as a typical popsicle shaped skateboard to an untrained eye because they share so many common characteristics. I have never been very good at traditional street style skating, but this board sure does make me wish I were better at it. Something about the Kanthaka makes you want to start hitting stair sets and rails like it’s your job.

photo (9)With the skills to back it up, the Kanthaka is more than ready to handle this type of skating. The symmetrical shape lets you hit shoves from either tail and feels just as comfortable when the board is backwards or riding switch. The Kanthaka does have a tiny bit of asymmetry to it, but it is not in the shape of the board, but rather in the steepness of the tails. The nose of the board is a little steeper than the tail of the board, however, it is hardly noticeable until you have spent some serious time on this deck.

Everything about the Kanthaka screams, “I want to ollie,” and man alive can this deck get some air. The tails make really solid contact with the ground to generate a very substantial pop that you don’t often find in a longboard. Which is great because while it may take nearly all of my coordination and energy to ollie my TanTien an inch or two high I can get a foot high on the Kanthaka without a problem. Additionally I have ridden quite a few other hybrid decks and none of them generate as much pop as the Kanthaka.

photo (7)The last great thing about the Kanthaka is that it is truly a hybrid deck and can hit the parks and bowls quite nicely. As I mentioned I am not very good at traditional skating but I grabbed the Kanthaka and took it to a makeshift skate park here in Carrboro. Despite feeling incredibly out of my element and kooky the Kanthaka is definitely a good choice for ramps. I was able to drop in and hit the transitions just fine. I let regulars to the park try the board out, and after getting used to my loose trucks, they loved it!
photo (16)Setups:
The Kanthaka is an interesting deck to get all set up. Lots of people prefer reverse kingpin trucks these days, but I think that the spirit of the Kanthaka matches traditional kingpin trucks. I initially ran my Kanthaka with Indy 169’s and didn’t like how restrictive they were, to remedy this I got some of the new Indy hybrid baseplates. These allow me to run a wider array of longboard bushing which I prefer. I am a little biased, but my favorite setup of all time is with Surf-Rodz traditional kingpin trucks; they really suit the board and line up with the wheel wells very nicely.

It can’t all be good
While I think the Kanthaka is a ton of fun, every board has its ups and downs. The biggest downside I would say that the Kanthaka brings to the table is that it has a bit of a learning curve (or at least it did for me). If you are used to riding longboards, which generally have larger wheelbases and smaller tails, this deck will take a little getting used to. It is easy to describe the pockets on the Kanthaka with words but I honestly think that they are something you need to put your feet into to fully understand. I found that the wheel flares and kicktail combination felt very foreign initially and wasn’t sure that I even liked it. Which means it took a little bit of persistence for me to get a feel for these pockets; however, all at once they suddenly felt great! Really, this is only a downside if you don’t want to take the time to get to know the Kanthaka. The good news is that once you get used to the deck you can really do pretty much anything with it.

The Price
The Loaded Kanthaka carries a much higher price tag than boards that would appear similar at first glance. However, the devil (or angel in this case) is in the details and the Kanthaka’s subtleties raise it a cut above the rest. The Kanthaka has carbon fiber reinforced tails, thick durable wheel wells, and a high strength-to-weight ratio thanks to its bamboo and fiberglass construction. These combine to make a board that is not going to give out on you after a few months of serious riding. People may not agree, but I believe that the quality and durability of the Kanthaka merit the slightly higher MSRP.

photo (10)The Bottom Line
Would I recommend the Loaded Kanthaka to a friend?
I would whole-heartedly recommend this deck to anyone looking for a hybrid, tech-slider, or freestyle board. In addition I think that anyone who is looking to make the transition from street style skating to longboard would be smart to consider the Kanthaka.

All in all the Kanthaka is a light, compact, slide machine that can handle whatever may be thrown at it. I commute with this board on the daily, have taken it to parks, tech sliding, and everything in between. It has held up beautifully to all the abuse I put boards through and has helped me learn a few street style tricks. Plus, I really cannot over-emphasize how nice it is to ollie up a curb.  Thank you Loaded for producing another incredibly fun and versatile deck.

Stay Awesome
Wayne

Current Favorite Setup:
-LOADED KANTHAKA 8.875 in
-Surf-Rodz TKP 176mm
-Orangatang Nipples medium (purple)
-Orangatang Fat Free 86a (yellow)
-Loaded Jehu Bearings

Fairy Tales Really Do Come True — Loaded Chubby Unicorn Review

Fairy Tales Really Do Come True — Loaded Chubby Unicorn Review

 Hello Friends,

I come to you today with a review that many people thought would never be written, that of the infamous Loaded Chubby Unicorn. The Chubby Unicorn has definitely been under development longer than any board I have ever heard of and there has been more stoke and hype around this specter of deck than I thought imaginable.  We have all seen the glimpses of the Chubby Unicorn in pictures and videos for a very long time and it will finally be available worldwide on December 4th.

The Chubby Unicorn is a topmount, double kick, symmetrical freeride and downhill board. Despite the seemingly simple shape the Chubby Unicorn, lovingly called the Chubby by many, is a board unlike anything currently on the market. However, before I get into how this thing handles on the road, let’s talk tech.

 

Loaded Chubby Unicorn

Length

42.25in

Width

9.75in

Wheelbase

28.25in

Kicktails

7in (to inner bolts)

Special Features

W-Concave, Wheel Wells and Flares, Recessed Truck Mounts, Grab Rails, UHMW Skin, Urethane Rails

The Chubby Unicorn spent an insane amount of time in development to make what Loaded thought to be the best downhill freeride board on the market. In doing so Loaded added some serious tech to this deck to really make it perform in the manner they wished.

There are several novel features, unique to this board, that are not currently available anywhere else on the market. The most intriguing of which are the Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE)  skin on the bottom layer of the board and the urethane sidewalls coating the rails. These were both added to give the board some extra durability and dampen vibrations when going at top speed. I know that everyone has as many questions about them as I probably did, so I made sure to spend extra time testing every aspect of these new features.

If you have ever read one of my reviews then you already know that I always review a board in each of what I consider to the four main categories of longboarding. This review shall be no exception, so let’s get started.

Commuting
When it comes to a commuter the Chubby sure can make a run to class or work a whole lot of fun. Especially if that run to class or work includes some nice terrain to tear through in the process. I personally find W-Concave to be kind of hit or miss with me in many aspects of riding, but commuting is generally where I don’t like it. However, the W on the Chubby is nice and flat on top so it doesn’t make my feet sore when pushing on it for a long time. Another nice thing for me, because I’m a mongo pushing kook, is the concave. While it is definitely there, like the W, it is not crazy steep foot cramping concave. Finally, I would say that the weight on this board is just right for a commuter, I have ridden dozens of boards that are composed of like 20 plies of maple and they weigh a ton, coming in at less than 5lbs makes the Chubby pretty enjoyable to push around.

Favorite Commuting Setup:
-Paris 50*, Orangatang Nipples (Hard), Orangatang 4President 83a

Freestyle
Well the most obvious trait this board has for some freestyle action are the two giant kicktails on either end. I think that most boards keep their tails a little too short, well the Chubby said screw that! Loaded beefed their tails up with big ol’ 7 inch kicks which is great for freestyle and for freeride alike. There is enough tail to actually pop a significant ollie (not the 1inch ollie you get with most longboards) and you can get plenty of leverage on the tails to do things like shoves, big spins, tiger claws, you name it. Some of the more subtle freestyle bonuses are the urethane sidewalls and the UHMWPE skin on the bottom. They are really nice because if you’re like me, and you don’t have perfect manuals on lock, you will often drag the tail of your board along the ground. Of if you are constantly hitting ollies or big pop tricks off the tails you scrape your tail up pretty fast.  The problem is that on a board with a price tag as daunting as the Chubby Unicorn getting super fast razor tail would be terrible. Fortunately, that urethane sidewall and UHMWPE skin have done wonders to keep my board in tip top shape (despite the fact that I have been intentionally trying to thrash it to give you the best review possible).

Favorite Freestyle Setup:
-Paris 50*, Orangatang Nipple Bushing (Soft), Orangatang Stimulus 86a

Downhill
The Chubby Unicorn is one fast moving son of a gun. I can honestly say that I don’t think I have ever felt as stable on a board as I have on the Chubby. To be fair, this board was designed with me or someone very close to my height, weight and shoe size in mind. I am about 5’9”, 160lbs, and wear a size 10.5 shoe and this board felt like it was meant to be. I am the first to admit that downhill is my weakest skill in longboarding, but I can at least get pretty fast if I try, and I took this board to some of the biggest hills Chapel Hill has to offer and it performed very well. It made me feel more confident going fast which was great because as we all know that person who is the most sure of her/himself is generally the best at downhill, haha.  I probably maxed out in speed at around 40mph on some 45* trucks and I didn’t feel even a slight wiggle under my feet. It is seriously like riding a on a magic carpet, or actually, just like riding on a big fat Unicorn. The wheelbase is long enough to keep stable but not so long that you lose maneuverability. The concave keeps your feet where you want them to be without being overbearing and restrictive. In addition I really liked have the wheel flares on the board as a reference point I could feel without looking down at the board. Finally the recessed truck mounts lower the board just a tiny bit and takes your center of gravity down there with it which adds a little more stability to your runs.

Favorite Downhill Setup:
-Surf-Rodz RKP 45*, Venom Bushings, Orangatang 4Presidents 80a

Freeride
I am aware that the Chubby is downhill/freeride board, but I would like to make the argument that it is actually a freeride/downhill board. Mostly because this board, in my opinion, is at its best during some freeride action. I like that the Chubby retained a wheelbase of only 28.25 inches because it makes the board so freaking nimble on the hills. If you like 180 slides you can spin until your heart’s content with this board due to that small wheelbase and the multifaceted uses of the concave. I have mentioned that the concave isn’t anything super serious, but it is in its simplicity that it shines. The rails and W have enough to grab onto with your feet no problem when transitioning between slides or holding out long slides. I’m no pro rider and cannot hold 16453 foot slides for days, but I have definitely hit my longest slides to date on this board. Additionally I really like to use my tails when I freeride, so I like having the enormous tails on the Chubby when hitting the slopes. The tails have a little bit of concave in them  and are so beefed up that you can definitely keep your foot locked in on the tail in any situation. Finally, let’s talk grab rails. If you are a fan of early grabs or stalefish/indy slides you will be a fan of these grab rails. They are definitely deep enough to grab into with your fingers and get a little more grip on your deck. The only time I ever had an issue with them was if I were wearing slide gloves with finger pucks on them; but then you can’t really grab anything anyways so I can’t really call that the grab rails’ fault.

Favorite Freeride Setup:
-50* Calibers, Blood Orange Bushings, and Orangatang Stimulus 83a or Baluts 80a

Check that Skate Face!

Durability
I don’t normally devote an entire section of a review to the durability of a board, but I think the Chubby merits this special adjustment. I know that everyone wants to know if the Chubby Unicorn is really worth the extra money and the durability of board definitely plays a role in that. I have actually been attempting to thrash this board; I have treated it like absolute hell. I have been taking it off stair sets, curbing it, flipping onto the rails, trying to razor the tail… you name it, I have put this board through it. Through all of this my Chubby still looks better than most of the boards I have and that I take way better care of. I haven’t even been able to scrape through the urethane sidewalls to see the wood on the tails or the rails yet.

It Can’t All Be Good…
Every board has its up and downs. There is no silver bullet longboard that will be a perfect fit for everyone. I believe the Chubby Unicorn has come incredibly close to being a do it all board, but I also acknowledge that this board won’t be it for everyone. My main reasoning is the concave. Some people are really big fans of very extreme and elaborate concave and some people just do not like W concave. This is simply a case of not being able to please everyone because everyone looks for something a little different in a longboard.

The Price
I also happen to be a pretty gifted mind reader and I know the other downside everyone is thinking about right now. The whopping price tag. The Chubby Unicorn is going to set you back $360 for the deck. That is a freaking investment right there. I know that this has ruffled a lot of feathers with people who have been waiting forever for the Chubby to come out only to find they can’t afford it. While I am in no way saying this board is cheap, I do think it is worth the price.

My background in sports started with cycling and surfing which both carry a much larger pricetag than longboarding does. A decent surfboard, even used is going to be at least 300 big ones and the price only goes up from there. Now, to get anywhere near a decent road bike will cost you $1000 and to get a bike that is competitive at the racing level we are talking well over $4000. The Chubby Unicorn is a professional level board using the most innovative manufacturing techniques on the market; it is the crème of the crop, and you really do get what you pay for.

Bottom Line
Would I recommend the Chubby Unicorn to a friend?

Yes, this board has received the Wayne Capps Seal of Approval in pretty much every way. I would however, encourage anyone looking to purchase a Chubby to try one out before you buy. This board does require a significant investment into the sport of longboarding so you need to be sure that you’re in it for the long haul and that you feel comfortable on the Chubby.

I think this board would best suit someone who is looking for one board to do everything. Many people out there now have quivers of boards (myself included) and I think that the Chubby might be a great alternative to a quiver. It costs less than getting more than one board and, in my humble opinion, can do the job of many boards better than any two boards combined.

If you know someone with a Chubby, give the board a try and see if you like it. I am fairly certain you will be impressed and I have to give mad props to Loaded for making such a solid board.
 Thanks for reading! Any questions, comments, concerns!?!?!?

Hit me up!
Stay Awesome,
Wayne

My Current Favorite Setup:
-LOADED CHUBBY UNICORN
-Surf-Rodz RKP 50* Trucks
-Orangatang Stimulus 80a
-Venom Bushings
-Daddies Bearings

Kalypso 4President — Orangatang 4President Review

Kalypso 4President — Orangatang 4President Review

Hey Everyone,

Check out the video review!
Kalypso 4President

Kalypso, my dog, and I decided we wanted to give you our opinions on Orangatang 4President wheels! The 4President line of Orangatang wheels have been around for a pretty long time and have a reputation for being a fast and reliable wheel for many different disciplines of riding. In my personal opinion they are as close to a do anything wheel as one can get. But before we get into how these wheels handle on the road, let’s talk about the specifications of the 4President.

My Co-Star Kalypso

Like all Orangatang wheels 4Presidents are offered in their 3 signature durometers/color combinations, 80a orange, 83 purple, and 86a yellow and these wheels are poured with Orangatang’s HappyThane urethane formula, which a lot of people either love or hate, but I personally love. 4presidents are a hard lipped wheel with an offset bearing seat and measure in at 70mm with a 53mm contact path.

So what does that mean for your riding? Being a 70mm hard lipped wheel gives 4presidents a very quick acceleration and the ability to carve hard and take corners at speed. However, the reason I said that the 4prez is as close to a do anything wheel as you can get is because if you break these wheels in they will slide allllllllll day for you. I really enjoy freestyle, downhill, freeride, and commuting on these wheels.

Disciplines of Riding:

Orangatang 4Presidents perform well in MANY different types of riding from slalom to sliding and everything in between. Let’s talk about how they handle in different riding scenarios.

Commuting:
4presidents make a great commuting wheel for several reasons. The first is that they accelerate quickly and hold speed for a while, which means that they glide for a long time after each push. The second is that they have fantastic grip, even when broken in, for pumping. If you pop these bad boys on a flexy board you can really just pump the day away and hardly ever put a foot on the ground. I have actually pumped UP hill on 4Presidents when I throw them on a flexy board like a Dervish. Kalypso loves to commute on these wheels because she doesn’t have to pull as hard because they roll so easily and for so long!

Freestyle:
I actually really like to freestyle on these wheels! 4Presidents may be a little bit wide and heavy for some people’s freestyle tastes, however, I thoroughly enjoy them. I like that they have a little grip but still slide like crazy if I really throw myself into the slide, even at low speeds. Plus there is always that benefit of being a wheel that doesn’t require that much pushing once it gets started rolling. Not having to push all the time is great for tricks like cross stepping and all that board dancing whatnot.

Downhill:
When it comes to downhilling 4presidents are a fantastic wheel! They get up to speed very quickly and hold speed for a long time. I have seen some serious race set-ups with 4presidents on them as opposed to the larger InHeats due the the faster acceleration of 4presidents. If you don’t break in your 4presidents they can really take a corner too, they grip really hard when going fast. However once you break them in it’s a whole new ball game!

Freeride:
Freeride on 4presidents is insane. They take a little work to break in, you gotta get that shiny release mold off and round out the edges a bit, but once you do it’s game over. I love to slide on my 4presidents. They are as much fun going sideways as they are going downhill. They have a very smooth and consistent slide with no surprises thrown in the mix. I feel very comfortable whenever I slide on these wheels. In addition they wear pretty slowly which is nice. I have a set Orange Stimulus wheels that have worn at much faster rate than the 4Presidents have. I also haven’t ever had trouble with flatspots or ovalling, which is super sick.

All in all, I would say that Kalypso and I LOVE Orangatang 4Presidents! They accelerate quickly and hold speed for a long time. You can pump and freestyle them all day. They can corner like a boss when they aren’t broken in… then when they are broken in they love to slide! Like I said earlier, I think that Orangatang has gotten about as close as you can get to a “do anything” wheel as is possible with 4presidents.
Just ask Kalypso!

 

Thanks for reading/watching!
Any questions, comments, concerns, bills, junkmail, loveletters???
Send them my way!
Wayne

Twirling Whirling Dervish — Loaded Dervish Sama Review

Twirling Whirling Dervish — Loaded Dervish Sama Review

I would venture a guess that pretty much anyone in the world who loves to longboard has given the Loaded Dervish at least a ride or two. Whether you love or hate the Dervish, no one can deny the monumental impact that this board has had on both the longboarding industry and the development of freestyle longboarding. The Dervish is not just a flagship board in the Loaded line-up; it is honestly a staple in the longboarding revolution.

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Bird Fetuses — Orangatang Balut Review

Bird Fetuses — Orangatang Balut Review

Well, I don’t know about you, but I was anxiously awaiting the Orangatang Baluts from the moment I heard what they were all about. Lighter, centerset, longer sliding, freestyle wheels… that is literally what I am all about as a skater. Freestyle and freeride are my favorite styles of riding and these wheels excel both those disciplines.

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Rolling a Fatty — Loaded Fattail Review

Rolling a Fatty — Loaded Fattail Review

Hello fellow longboard enthusiasts!

Loaded recently sent me a brand new toy to play with, their newest board, the Fattail. The Fattail, as the name might imply to you, has one monster of a tail on it. It is a light, tight, flexy board that just makes you want to shred all around town and then some.

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Stimulating Myself? Orangatang Stimulus Review

Stimulating Myself? Orangatang Stimulus Review

Stimulating Myself — Orangatang Stimulus Review

    Orangatang makes the wheel that I consider to be the (or at least my) go to Freestyle/Freeride wheel. I am of course talking about the Orangatang Stimulus wheel. Let’s just say that they don’t call it the Stimulus for nothing, because it certainly stimulates me.

Orangatang Nipple Bushings Review

Orangatang Nipple Bushings Review

Orangatang Nipple Bushings Review[Insert Nipple Joke Here]

The release of Orangatang’s new bushings, Orangatang Nipples, has been long awaited by many in the longboarding community. I can definitely say that I was included in that eagerly awaiting populous of enthusiasts. I was actually one of those guys who pre-ordered a set from daddiesboardshop.

Well, the day finally came when I got a package with two sets of Nipples in two different hardnesses delivered to my doorstep. I ordered the orange (soft) and purple (medium) sets so that I could see which ones I liked more. I didn’t bother buying a yellow (hard) set of Nipples, because I didn’t see the point based on my riding style/weight. I was super stoked to try them out, as I am with just about any new part I can get my hands on, but… I had only just recently made the leap from my double-cone-super-carvey bushing set-up to a barrel-cone set-up and was quite skeptical about how I would enjoy riding double barrels.

The first important thing that I think needs to be talked about in any Nipples review is the hardnesses/durometer that they come in. Unlike most bushings which follow the more standard measure of hardness, the Shore A durometer system, these bushings are based on a relative hardness scale. Loaded/Orangatang recommends orange (soft) for riders 80-180lbs, purple (medium) for riders 160-230lbs, and yellow (hard) for riders 200-270lbs. I weight about 155lbs which is why I decided to try both orange and purple out.

Putting nipples in my trucks was interesting, I normally ride Venom SHR bushings which have plenty of room to crank the nut down on the kingpin on my Paris trucks. With Nipples, however, the bushings fit the kingpin’s length almost perfectly, I was actually afraid they might not fit my trucks despite Orangatang assuring me that they work with paris, because they are so big. I started with the oranges on my tan tien and the purples on my bhangra, because I figured that the harder bushings would be better for dancing.

I took the bhangra (my weapon of choice) out first. The very first thing that I noticed was how different the turning and the rebound felt with these bushings. Nipples have a very consistent turn all the way through to the peak of a carve and in addition they have a very solid “center point” when you are not turning at all. I live on a pretty gnarley hill so having that really solid stable point was a plus that was noticeable right away. The double-barrel bushings though did throw my slides off for a while, being a fan of pretty squirrelly bushing set-ups the Nipples certainly took some getting used to, and my low speed slides suffered for about an hour.

Orangatang NipplesThe rebound on Nipples was actually not what I had expected it to be, when I hear the word rebound I generally think of Venom SHR bushings, which with the right set-up you can basically make a longboard into a ripstick for all intensive purposes. The rebound on Nipples is pretty different, instead of them being really bouncy like my SHRs they absorb more of your weight before they rebound. I didn’t really understand or like this at first, but I grew to really like it when I started trying some tricks.

So after making it out of my neighborhood I met some friends up for a bit of group ride action. We started to play a good old fashioned game of S.K.A.T.E as we tend to do quite often and it was then that I noticed my favorite thing about Nipples… landing tricks became a joke! The solid center point I was talking about made hitting flip tricks and shovits a non-issue. Additionally that interesting rebound really shined in hitting tricks, because when you’re really tweaking your board for a shovit or bigspin or whatever the Nipples “reset” right away. Meaning that your board is back at its center point pretty much the instant your feet leave the board. I had been working on my oldschool kickflips for quite some time and I had gotten them down on my other bushings, but it was so fluid and easy on the Nipples that I was literally shocked.

I am freestyle/sliding rider at heart, but I have recently started testing my downhill limits too. In the package that housed my two sets of Nipples I also had a Comet Voodoo Doll deck delivered. So naturally a few days later a few of my buddies and myself piled into a car and start hitting some of the really monstrous hills around town. I slapped the purple Nipples onto my Voodoo Doll and went to town. Not being the best downhiller on the block I was a little nervous on my first few runs, but after I got comfortable on my new set-up I realized that although they weren’t designed for it, Nipples are not a bad downhill bushing. I hit between 35 and 40mph a few times without any wobbliness. And yes, I know that not getting wobbles is due to the board, set-up, and rider’s ability, but I have liked the nipples more than other bushings I have ridden for downhill. I do, however, think that I need to invest in a yellow pair of Nipples for any more endeavors of the rapid-decent nature, especially if I keep trying to push my speed limits.

All in all I would recommend Orangatang Nipple bushings to a friend for like 90% of set-ups. Those who are looking to break the sound barrier on a longboard should probably look elsewhere and those looking to for the squirrelly-super-pumpy board may want to think about a more bouncy bushing. As for me, despite the adjustment period to my new double barrel bushing set-up, I can honestly say that these are probably my new favorites. They suit my mild downhill, campus, freestyle, freeride style of boarding quite nicely.

Thanks for Reading,
Wayne

My current set ups are:
-Tan Tien, paris 180’s, abec 11 freerides 66mm 84a, bones reds, orange nipples
-Loaded Bhangra, paris 180’s, orangatang stimulus 70mm 86a, bones reds, orange nipples
-Comet Voodoo Doll, paris 180’s, orangatang 4president 70mm 83a wheels, bones reds, purple nipples

Loaded & Orangatang Announce 2011 Ambassador Program

Loaded & Orangatang Announce 2011 Ambassador Program
Loaded Boards and Orangatang Wheels are extremely proud to kick off the new year with an exciting new ambassador program. Our ambassadors are a team of positive athletes from all over the world who represent a wide variety of backgrounds, riding styles, and other strengths.

We will keep our primary YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/LoadedNewsletter) updated with internally produced videos that feature the diverse riding styles of our ambassadors. Additionally, we have created a brand new YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/LoadedAmbassadors) dedicated to sharing a steady stream of content that our ambassadors produce themselves. All of our ambassadors have their own playlists on this channel that will serve as up-to-date collections of their videos.

Enough talk — let’s meet the ambassadors!
Aaron Enevoldsen (Calgary, AB Canada)
Adam Colton (Los Angeles, CA)
Adam Stokowski (Los Angeles, CA)
Aleix Gallimo (Barcelona, Spain)
Alex Limbach (San Diego, CA)
Alex Tongue (Portland, OR)
Amanda Powell (Marshfield, MA)
Ashwin Jaini (Los Altos, CA)
Ben Hartley (Bowling Green, OH)
Brad Bennett (Tokyo, Japan)
Brenden Hawke (San Ramon, CA)
Brett Ciabattini (Temecula, CA)
Bruno Sirera Sorono (Madrid, Spain & Westbrook, CT)
Chris Bobino (El Paso, TX)
Colton Killoran (Surrey, BC Canada)
Dane Webber (Salem, MA)
Diego Alemparte (Santiago, Chile)
Drew Cameron (White Rock, BC Canada)
Dustin Hampton (Los Angeles, CA)
Ethan Cochard (Eugene, OR)
Felipe Malaga Miglio (La Molina, Lima-Peru)
Georges Siddiqi (San Jose, CA)
Gina Mendez (Panama City, Panama)
Hutton Richardson (Phoenix, AZ)
Jackson Shapiera (Sydney, Australia)
Jonathan Douglas (Calgary, AB Canada)
Kyle Chin (Los Angeles, CA)
Lauren Suchocki (Holyoke, MA)
Les San Jose (Long Beach, CA)
Max Watson (Hood River, OR)
Maxim Garant Rousseau (Montreal, QC Canada)
Miguel Azanza (Zapopan, Jal, Mexico)
Mike Girard (Harvard, MA)
Nick Delgado (Broomfield, CO)
Patrick Switzer (Vancouver, BC)
Paul Kent (Calgary, AB Canada)
Pia Saclauso (Gaithersburg, MD)
Robin Sandberg (Oslo, Norway)
Thiago Nobre (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Ysabel Mireles (Heathrow, FL)

The Loaded/Otang Crew