It’s tough being a longboard company and being asked weight limits for our boards. The reality is that you just don’t TRULY know the limits of a product until something breaks. We do often get requests from heavy customers looking to purchase a longboard. Sometimes it’s their first time riding, and sometimes these customers used to ride and are just getting back into it. And then there are just flat out heavy skaters out there that need a reliable longboard that they can county on. Our top recommended longboard for heavy riders is the Pantheon Nexus. Easy choice!
Only recently has this become apparent that we need to make it abundantly clear for our customers. I didn’t realize there were as many heavy longboard riders out there as there are! Although our original intent for the Nexus revolves around downhill and freeride, the qualities that make it excellent for downhill also make it exceptionally strong. For those heavy riders looking for the absolute best longboard for an easy skate experience, we always recommend the Nexus.
Only recently are we realizing that the Nexus truly stands apart from the market in this respect. This is coming as a result of reviews. I have personally recommended our Nexus to many skaters over recent months looking for a board that they could count on to handle their weight. And the reviews are coming in. Some customers have written reviews on our website. Often times, they just reach out to me personally.
The Pantheon Nexus for Heavy Longboarders
What makes the Nexus so good for heavy riders? Well, consider that the classic “stiff” construction is generally considered a 9 ply maple deck. Alternatively, you can usually substitute a layer of triaxial heavyweight fiberglass (the weight of the glass is important) for a ply, if it’s on the edge of the board. This will result in essentially an equal strength board that is also more weather resistant than classic maple, and it’s more torsionally rigid, too! This is especially important when you start to go fast, as torsional stiffness will more directly link your feet and weight input into turning the trucks. A soft board goes out of control much more easily.
So, then, the Nexus is constructed of 8 plies of Canadian maple, and it’s sandwiched by a layer of heavy triaxial fiberglass on either side. It is essentially the same stiffness as a 10-ply deck, with as much or more torsional rigidity. And that’s not even all of it! The Nexus is also equipped with a relatively substantial concave (this adds stiffness). And it also features our proprietary crescent drops, which retain concave through the length of the platform, reducing flatspots in the board.
If you think about a piece of paper, for example, when a piece of paper is flat, it is soft and floppy. If you crease that piece of paper, or even just hold it in a U-shape, it becomes more rigid. Now do that for maple ply, and you’ll understand why curves are so important! The Nexus has a ton of curves! And yet, we find a way to make them very comfortable and ergonomic with our crescent drop. This makes the Nexus a great longboard for heavy riders, because it is so stiff that it can hold a ton of weight. It also makes it excellent for downhill!
What are the Weight Limits of the Nexus?
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Addressing weight limits is a difficult topic. Of course, I want riders to be safe, and I never would want a board to break under them. So we try to be conservative. I have personally weighted the Nexus with well over 300 lbs, and I even left that weight on the deck while it sat in my garage for over a week. Occasionally, I would come and stand on the board with the weight and bounce around on it, just to be sure I was excessively weighting the board.
So we advertise the Nexus as definitely good up to about 325 pounds. Beyond that, all I have are reviews. Recently, we got a review in from someone that is 360 pounds who absolutely loves the board. That reviewer even set up their board with with Gullwing Sidewinders! Now, a truck like a Sidewinder is going to put even more excessive forces on the neck of any board, because the axles are placed so far out from the mounting area that they really torque the neck quite heavily. This gives me a lot of faith in our Nexus deck for heavyweight riders.
The Nexus for Downhill Longboarding
What makes the Nexus longboard especially great for heavy riders also makes it great for downhill. The deck is rock solid. For beginner downhillers, double drop boards like the Nexus are excellent. The board gets riders especially low to the ground, lowering the center of gravity and increasing stability. Stability is also added by a fairly long wheelbase of about 30 inches. And the icing on the cake is the fairly substantial but comfortable concave and intense stiffness! These features all will increase the feeling of stability.
The low platform decreases the amount of time necessary to put the foot down for footbraking. It also reduces the downforce that goes into the wheels, making slide initiation very simple. This makes the Nexus exceptional for learning downhill and freeride sliding skills. We definitely recommend this board for these purposes!
Alternatives to the Nexus for Heavy Riders and Downhill
There aren’t going to be a ton of great alternatives to this board for heavy riders. Depending on your weight, you may consider the Landyachtz Evo, which is a staple deck for heavyweights. Although we believe our concave to be much more comfortable, this is subjective opinion. One thing I can say in favor of the Nexus is that we took the time to revamp this mold a couple years ago, building off of what we learned in its previous renditions. We believe we truly maximized the comfort of the board.
Although the EVO is an absolutely awesome deck for learning downhill, it is unidirectional. This is something to keep in mind when you are learning freeriding. You can easily set up a Nexus unidirectionally by changing truck angles, but you cannot set up an Evo bidirectionally. That said, we do think the Landyachtz Evo is a great board and would recommend it to beginner downhillers as an option to consider.
The only other deck worth considering as an alternative for heavy riders are the Rayne Demonseed series decks. There are a few of them, and they have changed a bit over the years. I believe the older bamboo decks made with fiberglass were very excellent decks. I don’t think I would personally recommend the all-maple decks, as they are less strong and more likely to warp.
When I look at the Demonseed, personally, I see a deck that our Nexus heavily outdates. Obviously this is a biased opinion, but I say this from the perspective of a designer, not as someone trying to sell you a board. The main reason is because of the drop shape and the fact that the Nexus retains concave through the platform. I have personally always found this to be significantly more comfortable, and I think most other riders would agree. Opposing opinions are usually made by people who haven’t tried the Nexus.
Other Pantheon Options – Longboard for Heavy Riders
Obviously, the word “heavy” is a relative term. We have easily tested our Pantheon Pranayama up to about 250 pounds, and most riders at this weight have loved the board as a commuter longboard. I tend to recommend the Pranayama as a commuter longboard for riders up to about 220 pounds, personally. Obviously there is room here for interpretation, and although longterm longevity may eventually become an issue, nearly all riders up to 250 pounds have given us positive reviews.
With that in mind, riders of the same weight range can also consider the Pantheon Trip as an alternative distance longboard. The Trip has a nearly identical construction in terms of strength, and is a very similar board to the Pranayama. We just outfit the Trip with RKP trucks. This makes the board a little more stable for when riders encounter hills on their distance rides.
Finally, we absolutely recommend our Pantheon Quest for riders up to about 280 pounds. My guess is we could probably get a great review from someone nearing 300 pounds, but we are awaiting that feedback! The Quest actually has one more maple ply in the core than our Trip and Pranayama decks. It also features the same concave profile as our Nexus board, except that we cut the Quest a bit slimmer to fit a slimmer overall setup. We prefer to recommend and set up our Quest with 150mm trucks and our 86mm McFly long distance wheels. This slim profile makes the Quest a most excellent adventure and backpacking longboard, since you are less likely to kick the wheels with the slim setup. Because you can count on this board in any situation, as long as you fit the weight profile, the Quest really stacks up.
The Nexus Excels at the Extremes
All of these boards feature our crescent drops and extremely comfortable concave. The Nexus, at the end of the day, just really excels at the extremes. You can really count on the Nexus in high speed situations, regardless of your weight, and the strength is exceptional. If you are looking for a super low longboard pusher that also manages downhill super well, the Nexus is the best option out there. And if you’re over 300 pounds, the Nexus is probably the best longboard for heavy riders out there.