Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Whirling Twirling Dervish...Sama -- Loaded Dervish Sama Review

I would venture a guess that pretty much anyone in the world who loves to longboard has given the Loaded Dervish at least a ride or two. Whether you love or hate the Dervish, no one can deny the monumental impact that this board has had on both the longboarding industry and the development of freestyle longboarding. The Dervish is not just a flagship board in the Loaded line-up; it is honestly a staple in the longboarding revolution.

The Dervish Sama embodies all that the original Dervish does plus a little extra. It is a light, flexible carving machine that makes riding it more enjoyable than is imaginable while giving you a sense of freedom and mobility. Which in my opinion is the reason the Dervish has been such a wildly successful board. It makes you want to ride it; it is fun! The older model of the Dervish was a fantastic board with its own merits, however, there were some things that I thought would obviously improve the board... and Loaded happened to have hit all the spots that I thought could use an upgrade while still maintaining the integrity of the traditional Dervish.
A Little G-Turn Action
Let's get into the specifications of the Dervish Sama:
SpecsDervish Sama
Length42.8 in
Width9 in
Wheelbase31.5 in
Special FeaturesKicks
This brave new Dervish differs from the old one through a few cosmetic changes, some subtle ones, and a drastic one thrown in here or there. Let's start with some of the cosmetic ones because they are both obvious and pretty sweet.

The Dervish Sama has a new bottom graphic (see pic), which I do like, however, I unfortunately LOVED the old graphic, so I am a hard critic to please in that department. That being said it is a sick, simple graphic that showcases the bamboo that makes the board up. The other cosmetic change, and this is both cosmetic and functional (but I'm going to keep under cosmetic since it looks so cool) is the new grip tape patter (see pic). A whole bunch of people really liked the look of the dervish with the clear grip on it, but I think most people know that it wore off kinda quick. This new grip is more substantial and the pattern it is cut into fits the flowy, spinny feel of the Dervish. The grip on the nose and tail sections is more coarse than the grip elsewhere so you can really get torque on your spin tricks, while is is milder on the platform so you can move up and down the board without feeling like your feet are glued in place. This more mellow grip is just wonderful for board dancing.
the new Grip
The platform is a part of the Dervish that went through several changes, beyond its new grip and paint job. The new platform is wider, measuring in at 9inches, which I think is an improvement for pretty much any type of riding. Having more width on the platform allows for easier cross-stepping-board-dancing action, gives you a large platform to land on when doing tricks, and makes you feel a little more comfortable when holding out slides.
Shall We Dance?
Speaking of hitting some slides, the platform on the Dervish Sama isn't just wider; it has more concave to it which is actually important for several reasons. The first reason is that the concave works to keep your feet on the board and not sliding off. So whether you are trying to hold some long standies and just spin in circles with some quick 180 slides you know your feet will be where they should be. In addition to this the concave did something that I didn't expect... It actually helped mellow out the flex on the board. I know this Dervish is known for being flexy (and it definitely still is) but the flex on the new Dervish is less like one of those giant inflatable bouncey houses (where you don't really know where you're going to bounce; you just know that you're going to bounce a lot) and more like a small tight trampoline (where you always know how you're going to bounce). Having a more consistent flex pattern has made the Dervish Sama a more effective board in that you always know how you're going to rebound out of a carve and how the board is going to flex under your feet while sliding (author's note, I would stick to the flex options suggested by Loaded when choosing a Dervish Sama, they seem to have got it right).
Slide Time
Arguably the most visible change (and the change I most wanted to see in the Dervish) was the addition of upturned kicktails. The Dervish was already a symmetrical freestyle board with a functional nose and tail, so I couldn't ever see why they wouldn't just "kick" the tails. Now that they did, I can whole heartedly say that I am in love with these tails. If you have ever ridden a Tan Tien (also a Loaded Board) then you will know what to expect with these tails because they feel very similar. I  also happen to like doing manuals (and g-turns, and tail slides, and all that kind of stuff) on upturned tails, like those on the Dervish Sama, infinitely more than any other type of tail. These tails make all your crazy freestyle dreams come one step closer to reality. Now, you aren't going to go from hitting nose pivots to bigspins just because of them, but they will help your progression along.
Manuals Made Simple
Now that I have covered the changes in the board as it went from the Loaded Dervish to the Loaded Dervish Sama, let's talk about what it is good for. The Dervish Sama is a dropthrough, cambered, flexy monster of a board. What does that mean?

The dropthrough keeps it low, so pushing is easier and you are a little more stable when cruising down a hill with that lower center of gravity. The camber lends itself to the flexy nature of the board. By being elevated with the camber of the board it gives you the opportunity to really dig into carves. While carving your little heart out you unlock the full potential in the board that we talked about earlier. All of these elements combine to make commuting, freestyle, board dancing, and some freeride the Dervish Sama's many strong points.
and an Early Grab for good measure
Sooo... Who wouldn't I recommend this board to and who would I?I would not recommend this to someone looking for a strict downhill board or a really high speed freeride board. However, I would recommend the Dervish Sama to the person looking for that all-around board. I have immensely enjoyed riding this new Dervish for past few weeks and have only good things to say about it.  This board can dance, freestyle, commute, slide and shred like no other, so why not take it for a spin? They don't call it a whirling Dervish for nothing.
My Current Favorite Setup:
-Dervish Flex 1 (I like my board a little stiffer)
-Paris 180mm Trucks
-Orangatang Balut 86a (Yellow) [Balut are NUTS on the Dervish Sama]
-Orangatang Nipple Bushings (Soft/Orange)
-Bones Redz bearings
Any comments, questions, concerns, good vibes, bad vibes???
Send them my way!


  1. Great review! I have ridden the original dervish a ton, and am stoked to buy myself this new one. I weight 175, and am debating back and forth between getting a flex 1 or a flex 2. I want to get in to some moderate down hill riding, nothing too insane though, but I do mostly wanna work on more freestyle/flat land tricks and dancing type stuff. Any suggestions on which flex would work better?

    1. you may want to consider a flex1, it will feel a little stiff for a while, but the flex will break in and it will be a better flex for light downhill, freeride, and more durable for big freestyle tricks

  2. This is an awesome and very helpful review. I'm newer to longboarding and looking to get a good board now. I've been looking into this and a few other boards. I'm not really into tricks and sliding yet, I'm looking more for a board for commuting around campus to class, some slight down hill (wouldn't be over 30mph or anything extreme..), and such. I'm also 6'3, weigh 165, size 13 feet. All that being said, what board would you suggest between the following: Sama, Tan Tien, Rayne Vendetta, or BC Moray/Eel?

    Thanks Wayne!

    1. Thanks Dude!
      Well, being 6'3 the sama is a little more suited to your size over the tantien out of the loaded options. BC makes great boards, but they don't have that really flexy pop that loaded boards do which is super fun when commuting. I haven't ever ridden a vendetta, so I can't really tell you much about that one... However rayne is known for making top notch boards.

      If I had to choose one (and I had the money) i would get the sama, the kicktails and the flex make it a great board to commute on and to learn on! It can really handle an array of skating situations and would serve you very wheel. Out of all my board the Dervish Sama has really got me excited

  3. Hi,
    First, great review. I am considering the Sama right now. And I have a question about the flex. I am 150 lbs but I want to be able to do a lot of sliding. And I heard the flex on this board will break in. So I am not sure should I get Flex1 or 2. Can you give some advice?
    Thank you so much

    1. Hey There!
      Sorry for the late reply!!! I didnt see this comment until now, but I would say for some sliding definitely get a flex 1, i have a flex 1 and weigh 160 and I love it

  4. You know, I'm considering the Dervish Sama too. I am 6'1" and weigh about 240 lbs. I will be starting to cruise for a while and then work my way up. And I will probably be wearing a small knapsack on my back each time I longboard. Any tips?

    1. Hey There,

      If you are looking at a dervish sama then for your height and weight i would stick with a flex 1 (the stiffest) and it will feel real nice for you!!!

      My biggest tip for working your way up from cruising to sliding or tricks or anything really is just to skate ALL the time! Always take your board with you everywhere and skate everything you can find. The more time you spend on the board the better you will get faster

  5. Hey there, I'm not sure if this thread is still active or not... Anyway, I weigh 130 lbs, and I am worried I will outgrow a flex 2, should I get the flex 1?

    1. Hey Stephan,

      I would say to go with the flex one because it will give you room to grow and they tend to last a little longer!

      Hope that helps and thank you for reading!


    2. Thank you so much Wayne,

      I really appreciate your input. I'll be getting my flex 1 today!

  6. I am really having trouble deciding between the sama and the bhangra. I want to learn to dance a little and I heard that the bhangra is better overall. If you know about the bhangra board, is it good for cruising and carving too? Thanks in advance