If what you know about skateboarding is huge verts, Vans shoes, or longboarders on college campuses, then the Loaded Boards Chubby Unicorn deck ($360) and the whole downhill/freeride movement will blow your mind. Somewhere between snowboarding and street luging, this fun activity involves crazy talented and insanely balanced (maybe not mentally) human beings flying down streets at 50 mph, pre-drifting into turns and emasculating “play it safe” onlookers the whole way. And that’s exactly what this board does best.
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Let’s clear the name up right now. “Unicorn” is due to its lengthy development process and wild rumors of its existence, while the “Chubby” moniker comes from its wide, flat stance. Loaded Boards used 3D mapping and a handful of construction miracles to create a basswood core for speed and rigidity that also offers enough flex to dissipate annoying road chatter — and then shaped the deck into a W concave that aids foot position and control. The underside features an ultra-high molecular-weight polyethylene used in snowboards; CNC routed grab rails, which drop weight and offer ergonomic zones for pre-drifting hand placement; and wheel well cut-outs to help avoid face-smashing wheel bite. An Orangatang urethane sidewall adds strength and a sharp look. Sure, its price point is high, but the combination of technology and design should be enough to motivate “punk kids” everywhere to grab a few more shifts at Taco Bell.