About Loaded Boards
Dedicated to the growth of board sports through performance, community, and creative expression.
Exploring ways of emulating snowboarding and surfing on land, Loaded began as a passion (obsession?) in the mid 90s. We scavenged Krypto Classics, Krypto 85s, Bones Hardcore wheels, every new-fangled truck we could find, and retrofitted every piece of wood or old snowboard we came across with trucks and wheels. The decision to start a company occurred in September of 2000 following a series of serendipitous events. After much trial and error with all kinds of materials and production methods, we launched our first board, The Vanguard, in June 2002 to no fanfare whatsoever. The next few years were an uphill battle and we came close to closing up shop numerous times. By 2009 a fledgling longboard industry had been established and the boarding world was starting to take notice.
We're currently focusing on strengthening the foundation of Loaded: our internal crew, our ambassadors, our approach to product development, our infrastructure and our effect on the contemporary culture of skateboarding. We believe that business is an opportunity for developing an ethical system of responsible practices and we're blessed to have Loaded as a vehicle to continue exploring and engaging our evolving passions.
Skateboarding is currently in a renaissance period of design and creativity. We're inspired by the industry, committed to its collective success, and proud to have a role in this era..
We build what we want to ride.
We're currently experiencing our most creative product development era. We are passionate about materials, are committed to environmentally conscious design and production, appreciate the subtleties of process (the devil's in the details) and are devotees of functionally driven design.
Our design approach begins with a commitment to creating significant and unique board riding gear. Our design sensibility is one of parsimony (Occam's Razor or K.I.S.S. design methodology). We strive to consider all approaches and explore the benefits of multiple methods . We consider it "telescopic" as the scope starts broad and becomes progressively optimized.
The ideation and design of all of our products are spearheaded by a small, project specific, in-house team followed by input from the entire in-house crew and select ambassadors. The strength of each project team is built on a foundation of trust, maximizing individual strengths/perspectives, accountability, intellectual rigor and constructive criticism. Egos and biased assumptions are challenged and the expectation is that each player brings a healthy dose of positivity and passion to the table. The upshot is both refined product and poignant personal growth.
As with everything, it all comes down to people. We've worked hard to build a tight knit crew of diverse and unique individuals who share a common passion for getting weird and who have collective synergies. This approach extends beyond our in-house crew and includes our vendors who are like-minded and whom we believe to be the best in the world at what they do.
We try and put out a coherent ideology and we find that those that get it are drawn to it and become part of the dialogue. This is especially true for our shops and distributors worldwide who are our partners in irreverence and promoting the gospel of stoke.
We love skateboarding, snowboarding and surfing and we want to see them all expand and be successful. This mission at the core of all our business strategies.
Our current priority is to grow the longboard industry and community. Our belief is that the rising tide raises all ships, and that if longboarding grows we will grow. We don’t prioritize our brand to do that. We view all other longboard companies as friends and partners who are collectively growing skateboarding. We don't have any intention of "fighting over market share," but rather are looking to innovate and inspire in order to grow longboarding for the good of all.
We've studied the successes and missteps of the Surf, Snow and Skate industries and have determined what we believe are the best practices:
The specialty skate/surf/snow shops and distributors are the heart and soul of the culture of board riding. To that end we work with the best partners worldwide and are committed to supporting these shops and distributors in order to ensure their long-term success. This support occurs in numerous fashions, with one key method being that everyone in the supply chain makes a fair and sustainable margin. This seems obvious but unfortunately hasn't been standard practice in our industry, and the specialty shops have been the first to suffer. By giving the retailers healthy margins we've become known/criticized for our high pricing/prices. So it goes. We've also helped many survive the Great Recession. We feel that we provide the best product we can at a fair price while compensating all those that contribute to the process in an equitable manner. If you don't like it—you don't need to buy our shit. But if you choose to get a Loaded, be proud that your hard earned money is supporting a creative and cultural process, and is helping this community to thrive.
We enjoy what we do and we love to challenge each other and to challenge you. We expect you to challenge us back and we feel that this is the key to personal and communal growth.