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Pantheon Longboards Commuter Longboards – Trip Vs Ember

Pantheon Longboards Commuter Longboards – Trip vs Ember

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“I’m going to be using my longboard primarily for commuting. Should I get the Pantheon Trip or Ember?”

This is probably the most commonly asked question we have received since we released the Trip about a month ago. It is very understandable, considering that we made two very similar boards that are both great for commuting and traveling distance via longboard.

Let’s first start by saying that either one of these skateboards are fantastic for commuting. The primary difference between the two is the setup that they are designed around. In short, we proclaim the Ember as the “Mini Cruiser” Commuter longboard. At 32.75 inches long and only 8.5″ wide, it’s a tiny board built for ease of travel and easy carrying. If this satisfies your size requirements, you could easily consider it as the best mini cruiser commuter longboard on the market. We even wrote a separate blog about it!

The Trip, then, we have dubbed as the Double Drop Distance Longboard. Though the boards are similar, the feel of the deck is what really matters. If you step on one and then the other, you will understand the different vibe and why we draw this distinction.

Trip vs Ember – Proper Setups for Efficient Distance Skating

The Ember is very specifically designed around Traditional Kingpin Trucks (TKP) aka street trucks. The Ember sets up with 149mm Paris Street Trucks, Independent, Bear Street, Caliber Street, or any other 149mm street trucks that you may have laying around in your garage. One of the beautiful elements of this style of setup is that you may already have 149mm street trucks laying around on some old pool deck that you aren’t riding. This is a cheap way to repurpose gear that you’re not using into something highly practical for everyday distance pushing and commuting. The other advantage of the Ember is its size. Though it is only a quarter inch shorter than the Trip, the width is 3/4″ narrower. That is fairly substantial when it comes to weight, but even more substantial when it comes to feel. It just feels smaller and easier to carry around, almost like a true mini cruiser.

The Trip is designed around RKP trucks and true LDP (long distance pushing) riding. RKP stands for Reverse KingPin, which is a somewhat classic style longboard truck. RKP trucks are more linear in how they turn, which in some ways make them feel a little less stable, because they are more nimble. However, the RKP truck’s geometry will feel more stable at speed. That doesn’t mean you can’t fit a TKP truck on the Trip. But you may find that the TKP truck on a Trip results in a lot more bottoming out and flexing the board to the ground. We do not recommend this for heavier riders. In general, I just say that if you want to run TKP trucks, use the board that they were designed for — the Ember.

The crescent drop on the double dropped Trip is INTENSE.

Crescent Drop, Strength, and Flex

One of the key things to notice in the new Trip design is this difference in flex between the old Trip and the new redesigned Trip V2 for 2018. The new Trip has more flex. This is very intentional, and we are creating three different flex patterns to maximize the board for your style and your weight. We decreased concave in the body of the board to increase comfort and position the flex of the deck away from the drops. When you run over big cracks in the road, rail road ties, etc, the body flexes and puts less stress on the thinner, more vulnerable parts of your longboard deck.

We may be describing the neck as “vulnerable” here, but we need to put that in context. The crescent drop is the most radical wood bend in a production level skateboard. The bend is inherently strong. It retains concave through the entire length of the drop and neck where other drop designs have flat spots that will flex. This is what allows us to make a virtually indestructible construction out of less material than many competing boards. We do this so that you can have a high performance ride at a fraction of the cost of other high performance commuter / LDP boards. This curve is really revolutionary and is why so many people are looking to Pantheon longboard decks for their longboard pushers, downhill boards, and cruisers. We call this curve the “crescent drop,” and both the Trip and Ember have it. The Trip is just more radical and deeper.

Trip Pusher vs Ember Commuter – Key Design Points

Pantheon Ember Mini Commuter Longboard

Pantheon Ember Mini Commuter Double Drop Longboard built strictly for TKP style trucks. Low and perfectly efficient!

Ember:
– shallower drop. Fits TKP trucks
– rocker platform puts the middle of the deck 1 inch below the truck mounts
– beef around the shoulders with a shorter neck strengthens the board for the stresses that TKP trucks put on drop decks
– narrower and slightly smaller longboard platform really ideal for commuting and taking your board with you
– ready to rock straight out of the box with our stock complete. Will feel loose and nimble but also stable when moving

Pantheon Trip Double Drop Distance Longboard

Pantheon Trip Double Drop Distance Longboard. Designed for 150-160mm trucks and large wheels. Extremely low and efficient with maximum standing platform over the 33-inch length

Trip:
– wider platform with a deeper drop makes this deck have larger pockets. This makes the longboard feel a little more like a snowboard type of ride
– fits RKP trucks and really shines with Paris 150mm RKP, as they are thin and nimble, great for commuting
– slightly more stable at speed and slightly more nimble at slower speeds
– really feels like an “LDP” (long distance pushing) board made for pushing over longer distances with ease.
– we tested with stock bushings on Paris 150mm RKP and have been very happy with the results. If you want larger wheels or more wheel options than listed on the website, expect to tweak the bushings on 150s. It’s worth it though!
– the snappier nature of RKP trucks makes them a little more comfortable and controlled when sliding. This is expanded by the depth of drops and leverage points that the drops on the Trip provide. The Ember has this, too; it’s just that the Trip’s are more extreme.

Conclusion

There is a lot of information in this post. Please feel free to ask questions, either through email or through this post. We clearly make some pretty highly specialized longboards here. This may feel a little overwhelming, but we are trying to provide information to make it less intimidating. The specialization of the product means you will have way better function when it comes to commuting, long distance skating, skating for exercise, and covering ground with ease on your longboard. Ease of use will free your mind of the struggle of balance and staying safe. This will steer you toward that yogic experience of skateboarding that we are all striving for. THAT is the essence of these boards. Pantheon Longboards is dedicated to purpose built skate products. The Trip and Ember easy make for some of the best boards for beginners and are equally effective as push decks for advanced skaters. They are simply easy to ride, and especially effective with their recommended setups.

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This Post Has 12 Comments
  1. That was a really informative post.

    I’m an older, chunkier rider — 44, 6’1″, 240 pounds — and only started riding last year. I’ve been commuting on my Loaded Dervish Sama, and really like it, but hauling around a 43″ hunk of bamboo is a little inconvenient. I wanted a cruiser board around 32″, and finally settled on one at my local skate shop.

    Unfortunately, the new cruiser deck proved to be a disappointment. The wheels are soft & bouncy, the bearings roll sweetly, and the trucks are carvy yet controlled, but the deck itself & stock setup is just a wheel-biting, “can’t feel where my front foot ought to be so I keep performing unplanned nose manuals” monstrosity of skinned left kneecaps for me.

    Therefore, just this morning I was looking for a better deck in a compact cruiser size around 32″ with a longer wheelbase & a less wheel-bitey design and your blog comes up! Cool! It looks like the Ember may be a great use for my existing 149mm cruiser setup and a bit of variety during my daily 5 miles of pushing around.

    Have you guys tested the Ember with a big/heavy rider? I’m a little worried about the double-drop helping me find new ways to end up with a close-up view of the pavement.

    Thanks!

    1. Hey Matt, we’re a couple days late to this post, but saw your post on Reddit. Stoked to get you on Pantheon and testing out the limitations of our product. Thanks for your order!

  2. Hi!
    I was just wondering; I have the old Trip and I run it with 159mm Surf Rodz TKPs, 1/8″ shock pads and 85mm Speed vents. If I run the same truck set-up with the new Trip, without the shock pads, would I risk bottoming out because of the new drop of the deck? Like with the old set-up, I had it to a point where I was just a fraction of an inch from scrapping the ground on a really hard carve.

    Thanks

    1. We have not tested it with SurfRodz. There are some shops out there selling these with TKPs. Personally, we recommend the Ember if you are running a TKP truck, as it was literally designed around them. The max depth of this deck from the truck mounting position is 1.3″. I would measure your current setup and consider yourself whether this will work or not. We cannot guarantee anything, but my suspicion is that it will work with those 85 Vents.

  3. Jeff.
    Is there any way I can contact you?
    I have a question about wheel clearance for a trip ?
    Sorry to post here but I can’t seem to get the contact page to load
    Thank you
    Dan

  4. I love your boards and I’m considering a Trip for LDP. I have 180mm RKP trucks laying around, could I use them on this board. What’s the harm with the wheels sticking out a bit on each side?

    1. You can use 180mm trucks. We advise toward thinner 150mm trucks because you’re less likely to kick the wheel, and if you want to get technical, it’s more ergonomically efficient to land your foot closer to right underneath your hip when you’re pushing. It requires less activation of balance muscles in your knees and hips and will result in the ability to skate longer with greater balance.

      You can get a very similar effect with the 180s you have by flipping your wheels, if they’re offset, to the inside, or running a fairly thin centerset wheel. I know there’s a wheel out there called the Ahmyo Akasha that is actually “in-set” which is the same effectively as flipping an offset wheel. Either way, the Trip is going to get you lower which is already more efficient than other decks out there, but make your setup thinner for extra points!

  5. Hi, I’m still a little confused re: trip & ember. What is the main difference between the two trucks if I mainly use it for cruising? Which trucks should be carvier? Which one is recommended if I wanted to do a little downhill and learn slides?

    1. We definitely recommend RKP trucks for downhill and especially sliding. You will likely want to update the bushings to be a little bit stiffer, or at least in a barrel/barrel configuration. The RKP trucks will turn more initially, making them a bit touchier at lower speeds, but their geometry is inherently more stable, and they are snappier, making the Trip a better choice for sliding.

      We really like the TKP trucks at lower pushing speeds. They lean over more and turn a little bit less, especially initially, at the top of the turn. They are still very carvy and super fun to ride. Most would consider them more “surfy,” which comes from the more intense lean.

      Thanks for your question!

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