Alternative Longboard Review (Bunting & Fantail)

The great guys at Alternative Longboards sent us some boards to review.

 

 

THE FANTAIL

Alternative - Fantail 

Length:  91 cm (35.8 inch)
Width: 23.5 cm (9. 25 inch)
Concave:  1.0 cm (0.39 inch)
Wheelbase: 60 - 63 cm (23.6-24.8 inch)
 

This directional freeride/downhill board features Alternative’s V-Tech construction, carbon spine and is heat (HPL) pressed. Its shape is cut with a CNC machine and eventually sanded and glossed by hand. The deck has subtle rocker and a smallish but effective kicktail, it also features a micro-drop in the front of the board that wedges your foot between the wheel arches to create a really comfortable topography to press your toes into. Our favourite thing about this deck is the feel of the rear wheel flares, they are really noticeable features in the board and make really good ‘locators’ without being too big or steeply curved that they are sketchy to use. We wouldn’t suggest using this board for super-hardcore downhilling due to the short wheelbase length and limited options thereof, but we found it to be a really fun and functional hybrid board that will handle things quite well until you hit 40mph. This deck falls into our ‘city shred’ category because it can handle kerbs and cool features, sketchy city pavements as well as tackle the steep hills and corners when you are out shredding in the suburbs. We had a great time exploring new residential spots around the city on this board before we took it out to the big hills. Overall, we really enjoyed this board, its construction is exceptional, it has a very functional shape and it was such a pleasure to test in such a wide variety of situations. 

THE BUNTING

Alternative - Bunting 
Length: 91 cm (35.83 inch)
Width: 23.5 – 25 cm (9.25 – 9.84 inch)
Concave: 1.0 cm, W 0.25 (0.39 inch, W 0.1 inch)
Wheelbase: 69 – 75 cm (27.17 – 29.53 inch)
 
First things first, this deck is handmade in Poland and the quality is amazing! It has interlaced strips of wood (they call it ‘V-Tech’) that is heat-pressed (HPL) between fibreglass, ply, a carbon spine and even a layer of multi-logo printed cork on top which makes the deck not only sexy, but durable and stiff. The construction design is certainly unique and eye-catching, we really enjoy the fine details and high quality materials exhibited in this board. The symmetrical shape is superb too, the wheel arch flares, W concave, micro-drop, variable board width and sharp rails combine effortlessly together to create the most natural, supportive and functional concave shape we have ever tested. It is extremely difficult to cram all of the aforementioned features into one board without getting gimmicky or sacrificing the feel and functionality of the deck. That is why we think that what Alternative Longboards have done here is borderline wizardry, every element of the board’s concave is ‘just right’, no feature is too big to become restrictive or uncomfortable and no feature is too small, making you feel unsure about using it when you are bombing down a hill or freeriding at 35-40mph. Every twist, turn, lump and bump of this deck has been engineered to work seamlessly and intuitively with your feet (our tester is 6’2’’ with UK size 9 shoe). When you combine the exceptional concave with the multiple wheelbase mounting options you can really dial in your setup without having to get the drill out of the shed. We love this board when it is mounted on the shortest wheelbase option at the front and somewhere in the middle at the back of the board when we’re downhilling because you get slalom-like responsiveness up front and a little extra stability at the back due to the longer wheelbase. When we’re freeriding, we like to bring it all in and use the shortest possible wheelbase (27 inches) because the concave places your feet right on the end of your truck’s baseplate and gives you super-control when sliding. We’re really clutching at straws when we try to thing of the bad points of this deck, so the only things we can say is that the W is a bit awkward for people who push mongo and the board does have a very subtle flex when an 86kg man stands in the middle of the board, both of which are pretty insignificant points to consider when you have the wind on your face and the most incredible feeling board beneath your feet as you charge down your local spot. If you couldn’t tell, we love this board and it has reached the official status as out favourite downhill AND freeride board ever, this is because of its unique construction materials and process, exceptionally functional and technical concave design and its all-round sexy appearance. 
Congratulations Alternative, we tested this board on the gnarliest roads we have and it handled them with ease! 

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THRILL