As a disclaimer I am a lifelong cyclist, but a newb skateboarder so if you came here for an expert take on the Pantheon Quest longboard I’m sorry to disappoint you. On the other hand being newish means I’m not set in my ways and if you are a newb as well you can find out how a chubby middle aged dude with average athletic prowess got on with this board. I’m going to start with some background about me and why I chose this board so if you just want to jump to the board review skip the first few paragraphs below and dig in at the “Tech Specs” section.
I’m 51 and I’ve been riding bikes all my life. I’m decent at that without being exceptional. I’ve enjoyed snowboarding, kiteboarding, SUPing and trying to learn to surf…I became competent at the first three sports, but I am still in full-KOOK mode in the waves. About 12 years ago I thought it would be a great idea to get a longboard skateboard. I lived in downtown Calgary at the time so it seemed like a good way to get around town and get some exercise. I tried to learn to ride a longboard a bunch of different times, but I never got comfortable enough controlling the board to feel safe and when I don’t feel safe I don’t have fun. No fun = no stoke to do the sport more. Looking back I think the three things I did wrong were 1) chose hard boards to learn on 2) hung out with friends who were too advanced in skill level and 3) didn’t find a great place to practice.
I’ve freed up more time in my life for recreational pursuits. That’s great, but that led to riding my bikes a ton and developing repetitive strain injuries [RSIs]. So adding a few other sports to my regular rotation seemed smart. I started hiking more, but honestly I find hiking a bit boring so there’s only so much of that I can do. My buddy Michael started longboarding, which piqued my interest watching his social media feed. Unlike my previous skateboard friends who were experts when I was a newb Michael was only 6 months ahead of me on the learning curve. That made it a lot easier to relate and for him to pass on tips that worked for him. He also very generously lent me two of his Pantheon boards: a Pranayama and a Trip. I went from not being able to safely or efficiently move 20′ to a 31K ride around town in about 4 sessions on his loaned boards. That blew my mind, ticked off a bucket list item and presented a great way to get out moving around town that didn’t involved my usual RSI weak spots in my arms. Perfect!
Why the Pantheon Quest?
To be honest I think I would have been happy on any of the Pantheon double drop decks. The low deck heights and big wheels common across the product line seem to be the key to my ease of learning to ride safely and efficiently. After trying Michael’s boards and having success it didn’t make sense to shop anywhere other than Pantheon. The Quest appealed to me because it was a little longer and would work well for covering longer distances. As soon as I completed that 31K skate I knew riding between towns and even touring on a longboard was going to interest me so the Quest seemed like a good fit. It didn’t hurt that it was the only Pantheon complete board I could get my hands on during the combination of a COVID demand spike and COVID supply chain challenges.
This info is for the 2020 Quest:
- 7-Ply Canadian rock maple and 2-Layers of triaxial fiberglass
- Fiberglass layers under top and bottom wood layers
- Directional design with mild taper
- Crescent drops – stiff strong with no weak spots
- 36.5″ Length
- 28.5″ Wheelbase
- 9.25″ Width
- Trucks = Paris V3 150mm 50 deg
- Wheels = 85mm Seismic Speed Vents in Mango 78.5a
- Bushings = Orangutan Yellow [Firm] came with complete, but I swapped in some firmer Rip Tide bushings.
- Bearings = Pantheon
- Grip Tape = Pantheon laser cut tape
- Riser = 5mm drop and I’ll try a 10mm drop soon.
- Weight = 8.4lbs [Deck only = 3.8lbs]
- Height of deck mid-way along length with 5mm riser at edge of unloaded board = 3″
What’s nice about this deck is that it’s long and low to give you a stable platform that’s easy to push. The wheels line up with the edge of the deck so kicking a wheel is hard. Under my 190lbs [ready to ride] the deck will flex a bit, but not a lot. It’s comfortable over rough pavement without flexing so much it will bottom out frequently. The large deck means you don’t have to be super precise with your foot placement in the heat of battle. The crescent drops are strong/stiff and create some nice pockets for your feet to lock into when riding. In stock configuration there is no wheel bite with the Speed Vents and appropriate bushings for your weight.
Fit and finish is excellent. The deck oozes quality and intentional design. The grip tape and deck art make either side of the board a pleasure to look at. The enclosed forks at each end mean you have to disassemble your trucks if you want to remove them from the board and you can damage the deck if you run it into a curb. There is enough tail you can kick the board up into your hand to pick it up.
This deck can be setup with 165mm Paris V3 trucks and 85mm Orangutan Caguamas. I haven’t tried that yet.
The long low deck and mild flex make for a very comfortable platform to push on. I’m still working on pushing more efficiently and the stability of this board means I can relax and focus on my technique without having to worry about the board having a mind of its own. The narrow width trucks make kicking a wheel really hard. The big wheels and excellent bearings provide a ton of glide for each push and roll over rough ground/debris well so I don’t have to worry about things too much. The crescent drop at the front provides a nice shape to steer the board with my front foot while pushing with the rear foot.
To put it into perspective on my 4th longboard session I went out by myself on a borrowed Trip and pushed 31K and on my 6th longboard session I pushed 50K. I’m still just pushing regular with my back foot and not doing it particularly well. I’m going to start working on pushing regular with my front foot next [to be more PC I’m calling that “Wrongo!”] so I have a push from either side of my body. I’d like to get up to 100K distances in a day because at that point I can really start travelling around from town to town on my board. I figure if I can do 50K pretty comfortably now as I get better technique and can use both legs to push longer distances shouldn’t pose too much of a problem.
One thing to note is the Quest has a small amount of concave and the Pantheon grip tape is not super aggressive. This works well for pushing as the deck feels pretty flat and I can move my feet around relatively easily without feeling locked in by the grip tape and concave.
When ordering the complete Quest from Pantheon I opted for the stiffer [yellow] Orangutan bushings. I pushed 25K with them and they were too loose/turny for my 190lbs and crappy skills. I mean everything still worked, but I had to pay more attention to keeping the board straight than I wanted. So I installed some stiffer Rip Tide bushings and a 5mm riser to drop the deck a touch – thanks to Micheal for helping make that happen! The stiffer bushings felt much better to me and for a long distance pushing setup I don’t feel I am giving up too much agility. The only place I noticed any issues so far is 90 deg turns on the bikepath where I am swinging wide into the opposing lane and given how new the board is to me I’ll probably solve that just by riding the board more.
I may well move back to softer bushings as I get more time under my belt, but for now I’m happy with the Quest feeling like a Cadillac not a 911.
I’m never going to be a downhill hero. I’m 51 and don’t want to get hurt. But, there are hills everywhere and if I want to ride my Quest long distances I’m going to ride down a bunch of them. With the stock bushing setup the board felt too unstable for me at fairly modest speeds. I know that’s mostly due to my lack of skill, but that’s what I have to work with. With the lower deck and the stiffer bushings I could go significantly faster before I felt the start of any speed wobbling. It’s a much more confidence inspiring setup so I’ll stick with it and let my speeds increase as I have more board time.
The low deck and narrow wheels make for easy foot braking. My typical plan is to foot drag on and off at the top of a steep hill until I figure I can bomb what’s left with a safe run out. It’s not exciting to watch, but it keeps me on the board and out of the ER!
At nearly 37″ long the Quest isn’t small, but I don’t find it hard to pick up and carry. The weight is low at 8.4lbs and it balances nicely in my hand. Because of the closed forks I do have to pay a bit of attention with what I am doing when I am moving the Quest around so I don’t damage the tips. Taking the Quest on the bus or throwing it into a car trunk is no problem. It wouldn’t be my choice for a frequent flyer, but with COVID going down I don’t think I’ll be seeing the inside of an airport anytime soon. The Quest fits easily under a desk/bed or in a closet.
Although it’s the longest Pantheon drop deck the Quest packs a lot of performance into its length.
Pantheon Customer Service
Before buying the Quest I asked Jeff at Pantheon a question through the website’s chat box feature and I got a helpful reply the next day. After buying the Quest I chatted with Jeff via email a few times about shipping and wheel choice. Again I got a reply within 24hrs and he always addressed my questions/requests effectively. I wouldn’t hesitate to buy another product from Pantheon or to recommend them to someone else. As far as I know Jeff has a day job and runs Pantheon in his spare time so keep that in mind if you don’t get an instant reply to an inquiry. He will get back to you within a reasonable amount of time.
My complete was well assembled. Everything was dialed right out of the box. The hardware was high quality. It was packed well so it wasn’t damaged in transit without going nuts and being wasteful with packing materials. The board was shipped on time and I got a tracking number to follow its journey to my door. I like companies that are solid on their attention to details.
Based on the service I received and the quality of the product I think a Pantheon complete is an excellent value and I would buy another.
What I don’t like about the Quest
So far this review has been pretty positive, but no company or product is perfect so here are all the negatives I can think of:
- Buying a Quest is somewhat hard due to low stock levels. Pantheon is sold out of all their drop decks. I managed to get the last Quest they had in stock. We can blame that on COVID, but ya if you want a Pantheon board and see one in stock at a dealer jump on it because if you wait you could miss out and end up waiting months for another one!
- The enclosed forks mean you can damage the ends of the deck. I don’t know enough about longboards to say whether there is a good reason the Quest has a closed fork, but the Pranayama, Trip and Nexus all have open forks? There could be.
- The stiffest bushing option wasn’t stiff enough for me. Admittedly I’m a newb looking for a TON of stability to work on my skills, but it would be nice if there was an even stiffer bushing option for a Quest complete.
- The Paris truck’s have a raised logo on them that digs into the first layer of the deck when they are mounted. It’s a bit sad to see the damage on a new deck even if it’s minor. I’m going to grind the logo off the trucks.
- I wouldn’t mind the Quest being lower. The stock deck height is a good compromise given the wide variety of people buying these boards, but it would be cool if Pantheon offered a couple of riser options in the drop down menu for their completes. It wouldn’t take any extra time to assemble and would save one step for the customer who wants a lower deck.
- Despite saying I want the Quest even lower I should note I scrapped the bottom of my deck on a very tall root pushing the pavement up on the bikepath. So ya there are downsides to a really low deck, but that’s my fault not Pantheon’s.
That’s about it. Pretty minor points really.
Update: I tried a 10mm riser on the Quest with the 150mm Paris trucks and the trucks hit the inside of the cut out when turning. This would require removing some material from the inside of the cut out. I tried a 7mm riser and it works…just barely…so that is what I am riding currently.
It’s early days with the Quest so this review is focused on first impressions and setup. I’ll do a Part 2 Review after a few months of riding the Quest and a Part 3 Review after a year on this board. Stay tuned….
If you buy a Quest leave a comment with some thoughts. Quest reviews are pretty limited on the interwebs.
- My Insta Feed [Bikes and Boards]: https://www.instagram.com/vikapproved/
- My buddy Michael’s Insta Feed [More bikes and boards]: https://www.instagram.com/ridebikebeawesome/
- Pantheon’s Quest Product Page: https://www.pantheonlongboards.com/product/quest/
- Pantheon’s Insta Feed: https://www.instagram.com/pantheonlongboards/
- Quest vs. Trip Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5KvurBz5HN8
- Skate Further Quest Review: https://skatefurther.com/2015/01/13/product-review-pantheon-quest/
- Flatspot Longboards [Canada and they ship Pantheon]: http://flatspotlongboards.com/