I had the opportunity to test out the new bamboo drop-through a couple of weeks ago, since I’m a rider and writer. I have a lot of thoughts on it, many positive and I am still wondering if there are any negatives to the Long board itself. It is one of the most comfortable cruisers I’ve ever ridden, and even though I am not a fan of drop-through boards, I thoroughly enjoyed the many rides that I have been on with this board. I am absolutely positive that many beginners and experts alike will enjoy the board for everything that it is: A cruising, carving beast of a machine.
It’s a minimalistic Bamboo Longboard.
I’m not a particularly fashionable or a trendy guy, so I don’t usually buy longboards because of their graphic and color, but I can relate with many when they complement this longboard. It’s natural-looking. It’s just a simple wood veneer on the top and bottom and in my simple eyes, it could go well with anything and make a very good first impression to wherever you decide to bring it.
It’s also nice because it was easy to buy. I didn’t really have to contemplate the graphic, unlike what I do with a few different longboards here and there. All you have to do is concentrate on the shape of the longboard and the concave, which are the two actual features of a board that matters. The designers of the longboard really tried hard to open the board up to the eyes of a beginner.
The concave is pretty minimalistic as well. This lets any cruiser avoid having bad foot pain on long pushes! It’s just a simple progressive concave and some camber, so really all it does is support the arch of your foot and make it easy to turn. Minimalistic concave such as this are found on many downhill boards as well, so if you ever decide to switch to a downhill board, the concave will be more or less familiar.
The grip tape is painless.
What I mean about this grip tape is that it’s very mild. It’s sandblasted into the wood, so you get that beautiful veneer on the top of the board showing through, so you can constantly be reminded that yes, you have a high-quality Magneto board under your feet. No joke. Just kidding, it’s just pretty.
The advantages of having really mild grip tape are many. For one, it won’t destroy your shoes. I can personally attest to having my shoes eaten up by coarse grip tape that comes with many downhill longboards, and I can also say that it’s a huge burden to my budget. 60 dollars every 3 months is extremely expensive. I can’t personally see my shoes being eaten up by the Magneto board since the grip is so mild. However, that isn’t to say that it is strong enough to hold my feet in place during some extremely powerful carving. I didn’t slip at all. Just keep your feet flat and you’ll be good.
I like this grip for dancing as well. Since it’s so mild, it is good for doing pirouettes and crossstepping everywhere since you can move your feet freely. You can slide your feet places with lots of control. Most dancer decks come without any griptape in the middle, but with your Magneto drop through, you won’t need to remove grip tape at all.
It’s also very easy to tweak! When your grip does get dull (it happens with every grip tape ever), all you need to do is sand it down, and place a sheet of grip tape over it. Super easy and convenient.
It has flex.
I’ll be honest, I don’t like rock-hard decks. Even my downhill setup is slightly, slightly flexible. It’s made of 8 plies as opposed to the normal 9 or 10, so it’s still very dampening and welcoming to stand on. Some boards are made of 10 plies and it’s like standing on a rock for 3 hours. The Magneto drop-through is made of 7 plies. 5 of maple, 2 fiberglass. This makes it extremely comfortable to stand on. As a test, I went on a ride on some of the roughest roads that I could find, and I was extremely delighted to find out that it was healthier on my feet than my regular downhill board is.
The thing is, I don’t even push a long distance and my feet usually hurt by the 500 meter mark. That’s on my downhill board. I pushed a kilometer and a half on the Magneto Drop-through and I didn’t feel any noticeable pain in my feet nor in my calves. That’s pretty surprising too; I have flat feet and longboarding itself is painful.
The moderate flex also makes the board a natural shock-absorber. If you look at the deck, you can see that the necks where the standing platform tapers off into the mounting holes is quite long. I believe it was designed this way in order to have a lot of torsional flex, which would absorb a substantial amount of the vibrations that would travel up through the trucks into the board. This is probably why I couldn’t really feel the bumps in the road. After the enough time, the dampening effect should increase even further.
If you ever wanted to start doing flip tricks to add to the “wow” factor of your dancing, this board may be the one. Because of the moderate flex, it makes landing flip tricks deceptively easy when you are learning the tricks because the flex makes the board feel like a pillow; it catches you and makes sure that you don’t just bounce off of the board as soon as you land. I’ve tried flip tricks with my board, and this has happened before. It isn’t pretty.
The board, even though it is quite long, is very slim and compact in every other feature. It’s quite skinny for a cruising board, since cruising boards are usually a bit wider. This allows your toe to slightly hang off the board, resulting in an incredible increase in the control you have over your board. You can also get a lot of leverage in case you ever want to start doing slides and all of that.
The skinniness of the board was something that I particularily enjoyed when I was riding it along the riverwalk. Now, in my city, the riverwalk is usually very packed with people. People going left, people going behind you, cyclists, all of that. The compactness of the board improved my maneuverability between all of these people. I found myself effortlessly weaving in and out of the crowds of people, since where other boards would snag and smash into people’s shins and ankles, this board seemed to be immune to those kinds of accidents.
The trucks also seem to run a lot lower than most trucks on the market. This means that you can get even closer to the ground than a drop through usually amounts to. This means easy pushing and commuting. Trust me, reaching down from a topmount every single time to push hard isn’t the friendliest thing on your core and calves.
The board’s compactness also came to my aid whenever I was carrying it around. Since it is so thin and skinny, I could carry it around the halls of my school with very minimal drawbacks. I didn’t really bump into anyone, who I would have bumped into with my curvy downhill longboard.
The Longboard wheels.
I saved the best for last. The wheels are a very soft, cruiser-type wheel which accelerated quickly and stopped quickly when I needed them to. I could push them and make them travel for a long time, and yet when I needed to stop quickly at an intersection, they slowed down to a stop almost instantly. This made for some extremely efficient commuting times. I could speed the block, and then slow down at the intersection, speed the block and just keep going. The versatility of the wheel in terms of speed made it extremely easy to make split-second decisions and still be safe.
I did try out downhill on them, and they have a curious use that I haven’t had the chance to explore anywhere else. They are training wheels. By this I mean that the wheels accelerate quickly, and then plateau out into this really friendly kind of speed that doesn’t scare you. From this point, you slowly accelerate upwards into the speedier speeds, but it still does give you time to think whether you want to footbrake or not.
They do wear very evenly, which I enjoyed quite a bit.
And this is 5 things I loved about the Magneto Bamboo Drop-Through.
WEAR A HELMET, MAKE SMILEY FACES. Ryan the Longboarder.