The Bustin Maestro is one of the most frequently recommended longboards for beginners, being one of the boards that started the trend toward using dropped decks as commuters (now commonly known as “pushers”).
While it isn’t as appropriate for freeriding or long distance as its sister, the Sportster, or as precision-built as Pantheon’s premier double drops, the Maestro is one of the best push boards you can buy, especially at its price point.
Whether you’re in an urban, rural, or suburban setting, the Maestro is nearly peerless if you want to do a bit of freestyle on a stable, comfortable commuter. However, it does have a few limitations compared with other pushers. The key is to know what kind of riding you want to do.
Note that this review was written by Michael who is a very experienced rider, more longboard reviews are coming soon. You can follow him on Instagram!
Bustin Maestro Riding Experience – Good for Beginners?
The first thing I notice when stepping on the Maestro is the hourglass taper and radial concave that runs through the entire deck. The effect of this design is what Bustin calls a “push camber”.
While this sounds like a marketing ploy, it actually does have a purpose, or at least it used to.
Older models of the Maestro were asymmetrical and had camber designed into the front. As a result, when pushing, there was rebound that added momentum from each push.It might not be noticeable to new riders, but as you compare with other double drops, you’ll begin to see how the springiness from each push on the older Maestro was unique.
The current model of Maestros actually does not have push camber on the design. Quite the opposite, it has rocker through the whole deck. There is still a bit of springiness in the push, but that’s because of the flex. Rocker combines with flex for a carvy ride that bounces the rider back and forth, almost like a pumping setup.
When pushing, there is rebound in the deck that seems to add more momentum and speed from each push. It might not be noticeable to new riders, but as you compare with other double drops, you’ll begin to see how the springiness from each push on the Maestro is unique. Additionally, the camber makes for a carvy ride that bounces the rider back and forth, almost like a pumping setup.
The Maestro is a carvy, fast push board that is perfect for beginners. Its low, symmetrical profile will help riders learn how to perfect the basics: balancing, pushing at speed, foot-braking, riding switch. It will also open the door for riders learning how to do tricks, which sets it apart from other double drops.
Let’s take a look at the specs and discuss each component.
- Deck: 37.4” long, 9.4” wide, 25.7-26.3 wheelbase, 2.9” nose+tail
- Bushings: Cone/Barrel 90a
- Trucks: Bustin R1 177mm or Paris V3 180mm
- Wheels: Bustin Premier Formula 70mm
- Bearings: Bustin Options
Bustin recently came out with a proprietary set of trucks called the Bustin R1s. They still offer the ability to use Paris V3s, but the default is their R1 setup.
Some have criticized the company for continuing to create proprietary parts that aren’t particularly innovative or setting them apart from established, specialized brands. How valid of a concern that is will depend on the rider. Beginners won’t have anything to compare to so the experience won’t be affected.
How does the Maestro Compare to Peers?
Speaking of double drops, there has long been some debate as to whether or not the Maestro truly is one. While there is a drop that lowers the deck, it’s minimal compared to other dropped decks like what we see from Zenit, Pantheon, or Subsonic.
Bustin has it listed as a 1” drop, which matches Pantheon’s Quest and Zenit’s AB series, but it feels less than that. In fact, it isn’t that. It’s barely a drop at all. The Maestro’s micro drop is longer and less sharp, so it feels almost like a classic dropthrough deck (think of a Landyachtz Drop Cat, for example).
This affects the ride, for me anyway, because I don’t feel quite as much leverage or comfort against the trucks as I do on other double drops. The effect may be minimal, but it’s worth mentioning.
When looking at marketing the outdated use of push camber, “proprietary” parts, and a 1” drop that falls well short of that, it would be fair to ask tough questions. Is marketing misleading or just listed incorrectly? Perhaps users are mistaken? Fair questions, to say the least.
One advantage that the Maestro has over almost every other double drop in the market is its 2.9” nose and tail. This allows riders to perform a number of tricks and even kick the board up on a curb. While it may not be as useful as a dancer or topmount, it still puts the Maestro in its own class of dropped decks.
The ability to hop a curb will take some practice and skill but is especially useful for urban commuters. Once again, the shape adds a lot of fun.
Bustin Maestro Limitations
Ironically, the things that make the Maestro stand apart from peers (push camber and nose/tail) are also the things that limit it as a long-distance pusher.
The Maestro’s level of flex makes it a comfortable ride that kills vibrations and adds speed through the push camber, but it also limits it as a potential freeriding option. Aftermarket wheels will certainly help a bit, but the design prevents as much customization as would be required.
While it will certainly be fine hitting mild hills and lower speeds, it will never be a first-choice freeride option. It isn’t stiff enough and the concave, while helpful for locking in your feet, is hampered by how much lean the deck has.
This means that if you live in a hillier area where you need to be able to slide and control speed, the Maestro wouldn’t be your best option. Can you learn to slide and do speed checks? Yes, just not as easily as on other comparable options.
Additionally, the nose and tail limit options for trucks and wheel size. I maxed out my ride with 75mm wheels, but any bigger led to a big of wheel bite. Similarly, when I dropped down to 165mm trucks, I could only use 72mm wheels.
This won’t be a limitation for most beginners, but for anyone wanting to get into long-distance pushing (LDP)—or for anyone riding on rough terrain—the Maestro can’t really compete with boards that can handle 85mm wheels and small, nimble trucks.
When to Buy
If you are a beginner looking for a pusher that thrives in any setting, especially those with smoother terrains, the Maestro is a great option. If you are an experienced rider who wants to be able to do tricks on your primary commuter, you won’t find a better alternative.
When Not to Buy
If you live in an area with rough terrain or lots of hills, I suggest looking elsewhere, perhaps to Bustin’s other double drop, the Sportster. If you want a deck built for long distance pushing and prefer to use wheels larger than 75mm, the Maestro isn’t for you.
When deciding if the Maestro is the best option, you need to know what you want in a longboard. If you want a freestyle/push hybrid, this is a stellar option. If you want to get into freeriding or long-distance pushing, avoid the Maestro.
This is a stable, comfortable, fast commuter that works in all environments… as long as roads aren’t too rough, and hills aren’t too intense. It is a fun ride that would be a great introduction to longboarding and won’t limit experienced riders.
Bustin also has a lot of customization options when it comes to graphics, which is another nice touch that few companies offer. There have been complaints about the quality of finish on their boards but, at these prices, many riders will overlook that.
- Cruising: 4 out of 5 stars
- Freestyle: 3.5 out of 5 stars
- Commuting: 3.5-4 out of 5 stars (depending on terrain and distance)
- Freeriding/downhill: 2 out of 5 stars
Bustin frequently has sales that few longboarding companies can match, which makes the Maestro one of the best value-buys one can make. Sign up for their newsletter and jump on a deal when you see it!