WHICH LOADED BOARD IS GOOD FOR BEGINNER RIDERS?
The Vanguard is great for pumping and carving. The combination between camber and tapered waist allow for nuanced turn initiation and exiting. It is designed and intended for speeds between 0 and 25 mph (0-40km/hr). You can take the board faster with skill and experience, but it is not intended for higher speeds due to its flex characteristics.
The Fattail is designed for parking garages, pumping, freestyle, a bit of freeride, and commuting. It has a high camber for deep, energetic carves that bounce you out of one carve and into the next. It also sports a big ol' tail for manualing, quick turning and even ollies.
The Dervish Sama is designed with carving in mind; however, the drop-through design, concave, mellow camber and nose/tail kicks give it freestyle and freeride capabilities. It will feel a bit more stable at moderate speeds (0-30 mph) than the Vanguard or the Fattail.
The Tan Tien is similar to the Dervish Sama but has a shorter wheelbase, making it a little more focused on freestyle. The complex contours create a super responsive board that allows for increased confidence when leaning into turns, popping tricks, and powering through slides.
The Bhangra is a more compact dancing/freestyle deck. It offers plenty of foot space to get your dancing groove on yet is compact and lightweight enough to facilitate steezy slides and advanced flatland tricks.
The Poke is our little thrasher board. With a rocker profile, concave between the trucks and the big tail give this board a surf style feel with plenty of potential for freestyle tricks. Pair with the Carver Cx.4/C2 trucks for a super surfy and pumpable ride.
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE DANCER?
The Loaded Dancer is dead; long live the Bhangra! The Bhangra is a more compact version of the Dancer that is easier to slide and do freestyle tricks without sacrificing foot space for dancing. It also has rocker, which is really comfortable for freeride and also makes it a tad lower saving your legs for long push fatigue. The nose and tail are also more kicked up, allowing you to lock into manuals with ease. If you miss the Dancer purely because it is a gigantic board, then check out Longboard Larry's Adams Old School Dancer which is 59".
WHAT FLEX BOARD IS RIGHT FOR ME?
When picking a flex you want to think about the type of riding you intend to do and your weight. If you are going to be doing lots of hard landing tricks, a stiffer board is the way to go. A stiffer board will also be more stable at speed. For carving and cruising a softer board will feel more lively and have better energy return. Different trucks will also change your effective wheelbase. For example, a Paris truck (as opposed to a Randal) will shorten the axle-to-axle length by about 0.5" and therefore stiffen up the effective flex of the board. Check out our flex charts to see what is recommended. Just click on the board of your choice then click on the FLEX tab.
WHAT IS THE WEIGHT LIMIT ON THE DERVISH SAMA?
The maximum recommended weight for the Dervish Sama flex 1 is upwards of 250 pounds. If you're looking for a Dervish and weigh more than that, try using Paris 180 mm trucks to shorten the wheelbase a bit; this will make the setup feel a tad stiffer. Other similar options would be a Tan Tien Flex 1 or a Bhangra Flex 1. These two will both feel stiffer than a Dervish Flex 1. The Tan Tien is similar to the Dervish but with a narrower wheelbase and larger nose and tail, making it a little more focused on freestyle. The Bhangra is designed for dancing, and the rocker and damp flex makes sliding super comfortable. The lightweight design (relative to its size) and big nose and tail also make it great for freestyle.
WHAT ORANGATANG WHEELS ARE RIGHT FOR ME?
If you're into downhill we recommend either the In Heat (75mm) or 4 President (70mm). These are our downhill/carving/slalom wheels and have square lips (where the side of the wheel meets the contact patch) for maximum grip. While these wheels can be drifted smoothly at race speeds when brand new, they will need to be broken in before they will slide easily at lower speeds. At first they will put up a fight by chattering and making loud farting noises. This is because they are intended to grip and it is more difficult to initiate slides at lower speeds. However, you can wear them in and round the lips for an easier and smoother slide.
For a slide right out of the box, our freeride line of wheels will do the trick. The Durians (75mm) have a wider contact patch (more wheel on the road, more friction) making them slightly grippier than the Stimulus and Fat Free. The Stimulus (70mm) is a great all around wheel that fits on most boards without running into wheelbite. The Fat Frees are a great wheel for minis, double-kicks, and other smaller boards. They work well on setups where wheelbite is an issue and you need to run smaller wheels.
WHAT MAKES WHEELS FLAT SPOT?
If you do a lot of slides, this will cause any wheels to wear. Some of our riders can go through a set of wheels in a day when riding gnarly hills that require a lot of speed control. There are a few things you can try out to help prevent those evil flatspots.
Try to rotate your wheels (change their positions on the board) regularly, and keep them spinning through slides; this can help them stay round all the way to the core. If held completely sideways for long slides, any wheel could flatspot in one run. Try holding your slides at a lower angle; slides held perpendicular to the fall line (completely sideways at 90 degrees) can flatspot wheels very easily because the wheels will stop rotating and wear in a single location. Slides held at an angle will allow wheels to spin more throughout the slide, shaving urethane more evenly around the entire surface of the wheel.
Unfortunately, such is the nature of sliding; it's inherently bad for wheels, and some of the very worst things you can do to your wheels (sliding far and holding them completely perpendicular to the fall line) also happen to be some of the most enjoyable. Great wheel durability and buttery smooth sliding performance are two traits that unfortunately don't always go together. For example, what is typically distinguished as a "buttery" slide is caused mostly by the way wheels shed urethane as they slide across the pavement. With that said, we're doing a lot of research on our end to develop wheels that combine the best of both worlds and are stoked on what we're learning. One day there will be no wheels... just hover panels that never cone.
CAN I PUT 75MM WHEELS ON MY Tan Tien/FATTAIL?
Depending on your bushing combo, you should be fine. We recommend using 70mm wheels because with certain loose setups wheelbite can happen. If you do get wheelbite, you will not be able to use risers to solve the issue as the Tan Tien is a drop-through board. If you are getting bite, we recommend using cupped washers for your bushings. This well help restrict the bulge of the bushing, thus restricting the carve before it gets bite. If that doesn't do it, the next step would be to upgrade to slightly harder and/or larger bushings. When set up properly, the In Heats are great with the Tan Tien for cruising and pumping; you will have a blast!
WHAT IS A REVERSE KING PIN TRUCK?
Most reverse kingpin trucks are great for carving, and that's why we love them. However, there are small details about the different truck designs that we use on our boards that give them each a unique feel.
Gullwing Charger 2 trucks are 10" wide (183mm hanger), have 50 degree baseplates and a symmetrical hanger so flipping them keeps the angle the same. These come with 90a double barrel bushings which carve well when loose and bomb well when tight.
Paris sport both 180mm and 150mm hangers and 50 degree baseplates. They come equipped with a Divine carve focused bushing combo (barrel on bottom, cone on top). This gives your setup a comfortable balance between stability and maneuverability. They also come in a great variety of colors.
Randal RII 180s and 150s have an open bushing seat (not as restrictive as Gullwing or Paris), Kush 91a bushings that are a barrel cone hybrid and have a flippable hanger for switching the angle (rake -5 degrees). By flipping the hanger you go from a carving setup to a slightly more stable geometry for higher speeds.
The Bear Grizzly 852's also have dual geometry hangers (rake -5 degrees) with a bushing seat that cups the bushings nice and snug. They come stock with high rebound double barrels that are soft which is great for carving when loose and when tightened down feel stable for speed.
Fastracks feature oversized, high rebound upper and lower bushings and have a built in "seat" so that standard size bushings work as well, thus allowing riders to fully tune their set up. The Fastracks have a flippable hanger to lower the angle for more stability, less turnabilty.
WHAT DOES DUROMETER MEAN?
Durometer is the measure of how hard the urethane on the wheel is. A harder wheel will generally be faster (on smooth surfaces) and slide longer, while a softer wheel in the same size and shape will tend to offer more grip and roll smoother over rough surfaces. Skateboard and longboard wheel manufacturers use the Shore A scale to measure the hardness of a wheel.
For Orangatangs, orange (80a) are going to feel nice and soft and slow you down a little quicker in slides than purple (83a) or yellow (86a). If you're doing a lot of fast long slides you may want to go with purple or yellow as softer wheels like oranges will wear more quickly. Purple will be a bit more durable than orange and will slow you down through slides (but not as much). Yellow is the "slidiest" duro. They are designed to break into a slide easier than the orange and purple duros and will not slow you down as much. If you're just learning to slide, we recommend yellow for sure. They will make it easier to gain confidence and get your slides locked in. Have fun staying sideways!
SHOULD I BUY ORANGATANG INHEATS OR 4PRESIDENTS?
The In Heat (75mm) and the 4President (70mm) are our downhill/carving/slalom wheels where you would want a square lip (where the side of the wheel meets the contact patch) for maximum grip. While these wheels can be slid smoothly right out of the box at race speeds, both have a break in period before they will slide at lower speeds. At first they will put up a fight by chattering and making loud fart noises until you round the lips and break them in for sliding. Where they differ is in size and shape. The In Heat has a rippled sidewall for a progressive rebound in turns and while carving. It is also 5 mm taller and 3 mm wider than a 4President. This gives it a higher top speed but less acceleration than a 4President. The 4President is better for technical, quick turning downhill courses that would require the quick acceleration of a smaller wheel.
HOW DID MY WHEEL GET OVAL SHAPED?
Sometimes with normal sliding and wear wheels can cone, flatspot and/or ovalize. A coned wheel will be smaller on the inside lip. A flatspotted wheel will make a ticking noise while riding and have a lot of vibration while riding (other riders and passersby might mistake you for a helicopter or dirtbike). An ovalized wheel is when you have slid a lot and the wheel is no longer round but oval shaped. This will make it appear as if it is shaking while being spun. With generous rotation of your wheels through their life these symptoms can often be avoided.
HOW DO I BREAK IN A WHEEL FOR SLIDING?
Most wheels will have a break in period before they slide well. Try doing a lot of runs at higher speeds with hands down 180 slides, then do a lot of runs doing hands down slides with your board backwards to keep an even wear over all four wheels. The shiny mold finish will give your wheels a solid grip; once your wear that fully away they should have an easier initiation into slides. Make sure you rotate your wheels at the end of a break-in session to maintain a good wear pattern. Take your heelside wheels and move them over to your toeside and vice versa. You can also rotate front to back if you have a directional setup (board is not symmetrical).
WHY ARE MY TRUCKS SQUEAKING?
Maintaining your trucks will help keep your ride as smooth and quiet as the day you bought it. There are a few things you can do to help prevent your trucks from squeaking.
9 times out of 10, that squeaking while carving is from your pivot cup in your baseplate (black circle where the hanger pin sets in). If you take a bar of soap and a butter knife and cut shavings of soap and throw them in the pivot cup it will eliminate that squeak. You can also use petroleum jelly, speed cream or any high viscosity bearing lubricant.
WHAT ANGLE TRUCKS SHOULD I GET?
It depends on your riding style and what you want out of your set up. 50 degree baseplates have become the standard for agile, quick carving trucks. Turning on a dime is great when you're cruising the hood and around town, but at higher speeds these trucks can feel less stable and much more sensitive. This is why a lot of downhill skaters prefer lower degree trucks. They will turn slower and feel dull at a lower speed but become more agile at higher speed. (insert mathematical equation here…) The lower the degree, the more lean and less turn. For more info, diagrams and setup troubleshooting, Randal has some great info on their site here.
WILL MY A HANGERS FIT ON MY B BASEPLATE?
Mixing and matching hangers and baseplates is a fun way to make minute changes to the feel of your trucks. "I like the way this pivot feels, but I hate their bushing seat! If only..." Check out this badass compatibility chart thrown together by the Silverfish Longboarding skateboard gurus!
HOW DO I MOUNT TRUCKS ON MY DROP-THROUGH BOARD?
Check out this video for hands on instructions on how to mount your drop-through trucks.
WHAT BEARINGS COME WITH A LOADED COMPLETE? ARE THEY ANY GOOD?
We have found that it is more important to have fast wheels then having fast/expensive bearings. The thing you want to look out for more than ABEC rating is the bearing material. You don't want a cheap bearing with cheap materials that might seize up on you when riding. All of our boards come stock with Loaded Jehu bearings. We've tested hundreds of bearings and find these to be fast (both out of the box and when broken in) and a good all around bearing. Make sure you run your bearings with spacers and speed rings to help promote even wheel wear and avoid damage to the bearings and/or cores.
HOW DO I CLEAN MY BEARINGS?
Dirty or rusted bearings will roll slower and won't hold speed well. The metal shields on the JEHU bearings will help protect sand, dirt and water from coming in but are not removable for cleaning. For a bearing that is cleanable, try a set with removable shields. Removable shields are good for cleaning and lubricating with speed cream, a low viscosity bearing lubricant. Check out Bones' website for a good resource on bearing cleaning and maintenance.
WHAT SIZE SPACERS WORK WITH ORANGATANG WHEELS?
All Orangatang wheels use "standard" 8mm x 10mm bearing spacers.
WHAT IS THE ABEC RATING AND WHICH IS THE FASTEST?
The Abec rating has to do with the precision of certain aspects of the bearings. It's not a very good indicator of bearing speed or quality for skate applications (for example, the Bones Swiss are an Abec 1). For great info on bearings check out this AXS article!
WHAT TRUCKS DO ORANGATANG NIPPLES WORK BEST WITH?
Nipple bushings fit Paris, Tracker Fastrack, Gullwing Charger II, and old (pre-2010) Bear trucks. They are not compatible with new Bears, Gullwing Chargers, or Indys. The reason they do not work well together is that the bushing seat on these trucks are 7/8ths inch bushing specific and do not allow for a beefy 1 inch monkey areola. Nipples work with Randal trucks, but they do not sit completely contained in the bushing seat. Since the Randal bushing seat is so low, however, it does not interfere with the performance of the bushings. They fit Caliber trucks, but the lean becomes very restricted past a certain point.
CAN LOADED RE-GRIP MY BOARD?
We don't grip our boards in-house so unfortunately we aren't set up for re-applying spray on clear grip. We have replacement Fattail, Tan Tien, Bhangra and Dervish Sama grip on our online store here that with some creativity can be fitted to any board in our line-up.
HOW DO I RE-GRIP MY BOARD AT HOME?
The first thing you have to do is get the remaining spray grip off. To do that you have to sand it down until its pretty smooth. Don't go overboard with the sanding, though; you don't want to get down to the fiberglass. When you're finished sanding, give it a quick cleaning with a damp rag or paper towel and let it dry. You should try to use a mask when sanding because it's bad to breath in any of this dust. Dust in general is really harmful, especially fiberglass and urethane dust. Once it's clean and dry you can apply grip tape. Make sure that you cut the grip tape into pieces though. If you apply a solid sheet of grip tape over the whole board, it can affect the board's flex characteristics and make it feel dead. You can use this opportunity to make some slick grip designs, for sure!