Loaded Vanguard Longboard Review
The Vanguard is the next iteration of the Flex series of longboards by Loaded and is its signature board. Loaded boasts an amazing line up of carving boards with serious dancing potential and the Vanguard is no exception. With a symmetrical shape and stance for a balanced center of gravity as well as the ability to weight and unweight the deck through turns for control and efficient energy generation, this performance downhill board will change the way you experience topography. Pre-loaded with concave and convex cambers, and constructed from the best components available, the Vanguard series represents groundbreaking innovations in the way a board rides.
The Vanguard has quite a bit of flex and offers a multitude of flex options for full rider customization, plus it has a nice amount of camber as well to counter the flex so that when you ride the board levels out to be nice and flat. Due to the extreme flex of the Vanguard, Loaded recommends keeping this board under 25 mph. There is no better option than the Vanguard when it comes to flatground carving and pumping. Available in up to five different flex options based on your personal preference and body weight, the Vanguard caters to every type of rider.
- Length: 42″/107cm & 38″/98cm
- Width: 8.5″/21.5cm
- Wheelbase: 35″/88.9cm & 31.5″/80cm
Deck: 2.7 – 3.8lbs / 1.2 – 1.7kg
Complete: 6.9 – 8lbs / 3.1 – 3.6kg
- Concave Style: Camber, Radial
- Concave Depth: Mild
- Plys: Vertically Laminated Bamboo
- Construction: Bamboo/Fiberglass V-Lam Epoxied
- Grip: Clear, Spray-on, Full-deck
- Graphic: Vanguard Birds
- Trucks: Randall RII 180mm
- Wheels: ABEC-11 Gumballs, 81A
- Bearings: ABEC 5 shielded. Includes spacer and speed rings
- Flex Options:
Flex 1 (42″/107cm): 175-230+lbs / 80-105+kg
Flex 2 (42″/107cm): 150-210+lbs / 68-95+kg
Flex 3 (38″/98cm): 150-200+lbs / 68-90+kg
Flex 4 (38″/98cm): 120-170+lbs / 55-77+kg
Flex 5 (38″/98cm): 80-140+lbs / 35-65+kg
- The Vanguard is designed with a healthy amount of camber to provide snowboard like responsiveness in a pocket-sized package. Big and lively camber is the heart and soul of the Vanguard.
- The Vanguard is perfectly laid up with a combination of vertically-laminated bamboo, sheathed in triaxial fiberglass and epoxy and pressed into concave and convex cambers for responsiveness and high energy potential. The thickness and the composite material are used to create the different flex profiles.
- The rails are squared-off, reflecting both a desire to simplify production and to telegraph the position of the edge through soft skate shoe soles. Loaded used a roll-on, clear grit system with a medium texture that works very well.
- A nominal concave provides a locked-in feel and stiffens the deck without undermining the camber and flex characteristics of the board.
- The Loaded Vanguard features a clear spray grip made of recycled crushed glass which allows for full coverage over the entire board without impacting its vital flex characteristics. Additionally, it flaunts the beauty of the composite material and construction.
- Symmetrical shape and stance allow for a balanced center of gravity to increase the ability to weight the deck through turns for better control and energy generation. The Vanguard will change the way the way you experience topography.
- To compliment your riding style, Loaded is available in a multitude of setup options for the ultimate customized ride as well as decks which are graded for rider weight and performance.
- With its bounce characteristics, you will learn technical dance maneuvers in no time. You can generate top speeds without even putting a toe on the ground. The Vanguard represents groundbreaking innovations in the way a board rides.
- The compliant decks and Gumballs accommodate rough roads and facilitate both pumping and insanely tight turns or slide maneuvers.
- Super flexy deck is not ideal for heavier riders.
- The board is not intended for downhill or fast speeds due to the extreme flex.
The Bottom Line
The Loaded Vanguard is an amazing board for surf-style cruising and carving. All in all, it’s a perfect all around longboard. If you’re looking forward to pumping on a longboard, the Vanguard is the board for you. You can generate top speeds without even putting a toe on the ground. Practically indestructible, these lively composite boards are designed for carving pleasure, not speed. However, the cambered, flexible design is neither intended nor appropriate for real bombing.