Like its namesake from Buddhist legend, the Kanthaka is an agile, muscular, and loyal steed for any rider seeking a swift and exciting journey to double-kick freeride enlightenment. Blurring the lines between street skating and freeriding, the Kanthaka builds off contemporary skate design and brings rocker, functional and ergonomic wheel wells, and composite construction to create something innovative, versatile and unique.
The ergonomic benefits of compound curvature paired with a formal appreciation of mid-century modern bent ply furniture were driving design inspirations for the Kanthaka. Around the 1920’s and 30’s, designers such as Thonet, Aalto and Eames pioneered bent ply construction into new forms, new applications, and new material considerations. Their developments investigated the bending capacity of laminated thin wood veneers. Charles and Ray Eames dedicated much of their professional practice to exploiting avante garde design sensibilities emerging from linearly curved bent ply (see Eames Lounge Chair, 1956) and compound curved surfacing (see WW2 Splint designed by Eames, 1942).
Features & Design
Length: 36” (91.44cm)
Width: 8.625” (21.908cm) & 8.875” (22.416cm)
Wheelbase: 17.5” (44.45cm)
Kick length: 7.5” (19.05cm) tip to inner bolt
Weight: 8.625 = 3.70lbs (1.68kg) / 8.875 = 3.75lbs (1.72kg)
Rocker provides a locked in feel when riding between the trucks, and we’ve incorporated it on the Bhangra and Chubby Unicorn. However, we had never seen it implemented in a deck that was intended to be ridden primarily with one foot on the tail or in the pocket between the bolts and the kick transition. The more time we spent riding short-wheelbase double-kicks at higher speeds, the more it became clear that the benefits of rocker could be equally important in this application. We have designed the Kanthaka with a gently rockered platform (enough to create a comfortable interface for sliding but not so much as to disrupt the mechanics of ollies and other tricks) that transitions smoothly into the kicks.
Integrated Wheel Wells/Flares
A direct inspiration from the Chubby Unicorn. From the Chubby we learned how these transitions not only improved wheel clearance but also created ergonomic transitions in perfect placement (just within the inner mounting bolts) to provide lateral support, extra leverage, and board awareness.
Rayne, Bustin, and Landyachtz have all recently released boards with wheel well flares, and we’re stoked to be on the forefront of this functionally driven evolution in skate design.
The wheel well flares on the Kanthaka are designed to enhance clearance on both conventional and reverse kingpin trucks. However, the apex of the flared curvature is intended to maximize clearance for conventional trucks, as these tend to have a lower ride height than their reverse kingpin counterparts.
With the Kanthaka being shorter and more freestyle/street oriented than the Chubby, however, the introduction of too much additional complexity in the concave proved to be a hindrance for certain tricks and landing with your feet over concave “hot spots” in the standing platform.
To get the best of both worlds, we maintained the flare amplitude necessary to provide the wheel clearance and ergonomics we wanted but squeezed the blending transitions away from the center of the deck. The result is maximized real estate in the central standing platform, lateral support inside the bolts, tight pockets between the flares and the kicks, and excellent wheel clearance.
The Kanthaka is designed with an elliptical concave profile. The concave near the centerline of the board is very shallow (but not completely flat) to minimize accidental flipping input on ollies. It ramps up gently near the rails to provide comfortable security and board awareness. The rail concave is more mellow than aggressive for comfort in freeride and freestyle applications; when sliding, additional lateral support and concave are generated by the wheel well flares and kicktail transitions.
To encourage switch riding and shuvit style tricks, the Kanthaka features a completely symmetrical profile from tip to tip.
Nose & Tail Kicks
The kicktails on the Kanthaka are designed to provide excellent leverage for slides and maneuverability. They extend from the standing platform at a relatively shallow angle to generate a quick and well balanced pop for the Kanthaka’s geometric combination of length, rocker, and wheelbase. The nose and tail share the same profile shape, but the nose is slightly steeper than the tail, allowing for a more concave pocket for leveling out ollies or a nominally higher contact angle for popping tricks or bluntslides.
Flex & Damping
Solid for speed and crisp for pop, the Kanthaka’s bamboo and fiberglass construction is stiff without feeling overbuilt. We designed the board with a very minute amount of longitudinal flex: just enough to soak up some road vibration and help keep the ride smooth.
Construction & Production
Sandwiched between layers of bamboo veneer, you will find a layer of triaxial E-glass in an epoxy matrix, a dual vertically laminated bamboo core, an additional layer of E-glass/epoxy, and a carbon fiber layer in the nose and tail for added strength and abrasion resistance. Each board is individually pressed in heated molds to ensure a consistent shape. This composite construction is then finished off with a healthy portion of miracle whip to get that snappy pop we were looking for.
The Loaded crew is stoked with the formal advances we were able to achieve with the Kanthaka board. Picture a magic carpet ride of rolling pastures with meandering hills and valleys of topography yet to be explored. We’re looking forward to the doors that this project opens to future endeavors.