Sunday, October 9, 2011

Bailamos -- Loaded Bhangra Review

**Disclaimer: My extreme love for this board may provide a possible bias in my review...
Board Specifications
Length: 48.5” Length Price Tag
Width: 9.5” Damp Flex Razor Tail
Wheelbase: 32.75” Grip Pattern

Shape: Rocker
Kick Tails

Special Features: Dual Kick Tails
Grip Pattern

  Soooo I have been meaning to write a Bhangra review for far too long now, but the bright side of waiting this long is that I have really gotten a feel for this hunk o' wood

   Let me start off by saying that freestyle and dancing are my jam when it comes to longboarding... get it dancing... jam... Anyways, as a dancer at heart I was uber stoked when the loaded bhangra came out cause I had been thinking of finding a dancer anyways.However dropping the 230 smackers on the deck was no walk in the park. Once i finally decided emptying my wallet for this board was worth it I was super stoked for it arrive and thanks to Daddies Board Shop ( it only took 5 days! Yep shameless Daddies plug. I love them.

   Anywho, my Bhangra arrived and I slapped paris 180mm trucks and orangatang 86a stims onto that bad boy. And yes my bhangra is a boy, go ahead and get all your riding a boy/wood jokes out of your system now.

   One of the first things I noticed, besides its honking large 48.5 inches of length, was the nice flex to it. I have more than my fair share of longboards, some flexy as a contortionist and some stiff as a church pew, but this board hits a nice middle ground. The flex is very mellow, almost relaxed, which I have really enjoyed. However, lets not let the relaxed flex on this monster get you thinking it can't rip it with the best of 'em. (see how I called the board a monster? and there are monsters ON THE BOTTOM!!! I bet I was the first person to think of that!) This board has served me well in every boarding discipline beside maybe in a skatepark (which I haven't tried).

   As a man who loves his board dancing, the first time I took it out I was hooked. The closest thing in length I had to this board was a narrow pintail, granted its a kickass pintail, but it was not a dancer. The bhangara has a slight concave to it, just enough to help you feel confident landing spin moves and although not the intended purpose (so far as I know) it also locks in your feet for peter pans! Which is always a sweet dance move to play around with. Having so much room to walk around on the board is awesome, I really enjoy cross-stepping my way to class. The grip tape pattern looks a little crazy with its waviness and that swirly eye right in the middle of the board, but it was all created with a purpose in mind.

   So swirly eye, as I like to call it, is the perfect spot, for someone of my average height, to place his/her foot for two moves if not more. The first is for manuals, I have found that if you place your foot right on the top of the eye swirl finding that manual sweet spot becomes easy as pie. In addition swirly eye is perfect for the pirouette, which I have only hit a few times, but not having grip there is what made it possible. The grip also features a more coarse grip on the tail and nose so that you can really dig into them for tricks.

   I was actually kind of surprised that the Bhangra is not a symmetrical board. The tail of the board is much longer than the nose of the board. It takes some getting used to but both tails are super functional. Each tail requires a slight tweaking in foot placement to get your tricks down perfectly. But i will say that the sheer weight of the board actually makes for really consistent shove-it, which was a pleasant realization. Tigerclaws do require a different pop from either tail, just as a word to the wise. In the end I am split as to whether or not I would have preferred a fully symmetrical board or the slightly asymmetrical board the Bhangra is. 

  Commuting on the Bhangra has its ups and downs (hill jokes), the first obvious thing is a downside. The weight of the Bhangra takes alot to get moving and carrying it around is no joke. However, once you do get it moving its an unstoppable juggernaut! You feel like you can roll over anything and its super fun (obviously) to dance to the night away on this bad boy. Cross-steps, walking the plant, peter pans, all are at your mercy on the kickass plank.

   The final thing I want to address about the Bhnagra is its downhill/freeride abilities. The Bhangra is not, nor does it claim to be, a downhill board. However, it can certainly handle itself pretty well. It stays pretty stable at speeds around 40mph, which is awesome. I thought that sliding on this board would be hard because it is soooo long, but actually its my favorite board to rock some slides on and is the board I learned my switch-toeside-180. Talk about a pleasant surprise.

   I have ridden the Bhangra on a few wheel/bushing combinations but all on 180mm paris trucks and am currently rocking 70mm 86a orangatang stimulus wheels with orange soft orangatang nipple bushings. I have ridden a couple durometers of stims, 65mm (80a and 86a) fat frees, 70mm metro motions, 66mm 83a abec 11 freerides, and 70mm 82a bustin swifts. The swifts and metro motions get wheelbite on the front truck!!!! My favorite set-up is my current one though.

I hope this helped! And feel free to ask me any questions!!!