Landyachtz Dinghy Review : A Good Longboard for Me ?

Landyachtz Dinghy review

If you’re out there looking for a compact longboard for cruising and moving around, the Landyachtz Dinghy may be worth considering.  It has been around for over 20 years and remains very popular year after year.  Why? Because of its quality build and components, its looks, functionality, and price.

Here’s the lowdown on the Landyachtz Dinghy’s main strengths :

  • Smaller at 28.5″, on the lightweight side, easy to carry around
  • Very smooth ride on any surface due to the big soft wheels
  • Nimble and quick turning due to its size and responsive trucks
  • Versatile thanks to its kicktail, nose and light concave
  • Quality deck, wheels, and trucks packed into a well engineered complete
  • Attractive graphics designs that make it stand out from the pack
  • Competitive price in relation to the included components

Some things to be aware of about the Dinghy :

  • Fast and turny: can be hard to handle for new riders
  • Some bigger or heavier skaters may find it too small for comfort
  • Not as lightweight as a bamboo or composite/hybrid deck
  • Small wheelbase and maple deck makes it ill-suited for downhill

At around $130, the Dinghy is very affordable – see the Dinghy’s exact price and awesome artwork versions here on Amazon.
But let’s dig in a bit deeper.  First, some background about Landyachtz.

Landyachtz: the cruising longboard company

Landyacthz has been building longboards for 20 years.  Started in a basement by two friends, it has grown into a 60 employee company with offices and retail space in Vancouver and Los Angeles, and a manufacturing facility in British Columbia.

Landyachtz also owns the Bear Trucks and Hawgs Wheels brands, both well-recognized in the longboarding community for their quality.  All the Lanyachtz complete longboards come with these trucks and wheels.

The company keeps a strong focus on their cruiser longboard category, putting special efforts in quality deck construction and quality components.  In addition to their mini-cruiser line – which includes the Dinghy, Landyachtz also has a full-size street cruiser line (ATV), a traditional pintail series (Freedom), and a freeride and downhill longboard series.

What is the Landyachtz Dinghy good for?

what is the landyachtz dinghy good for

The Landyachtz Dinghy is a smaller commuter longboard that can easily be carried under your arm, in a backpack, on the bus or on a plane, easy to store in a locker or closet.  Its main appeal stems from its attractive, practical and fun image.

The board’s narrow (105mm) topmount trucks and small wheelbase make it very nimble and turny.  On the other hand, it’s also surprisingly stable, making it a nice board for cruising, carving, and riding down mellow hills.

It’s small enough to do tricks such as ollies, kickflips, and manuals, and its kicktail makes it easy to jump on and off curbs and big potholes – flawless sidewalk to street transitions.  It’s also good for riding bowls and ramps at the skatepark (assuming you choose a longboard vs a regular skateboard).

It’s worth noting that the Dinghy is best suited for an intermediate rider due to its small size and wheelbase, topmount style (the board sits really high) and fast trucks.  Although it’s relatively stable in relation to its size, a beginner longboarder may prefer a drop-through (lower deck) as a first board for more stability and easier pushing.

Also keep in mind that, while the Landyachtz Dinghy is a great casual mini-cruiser and “slasher” (for simple kick tricks), it’s not meant for serious freeriding or downhill speed – it’s just too small and not stable enough for that.

NOTE: since this article, I’ve published a new review of the Landyachtz Tugboat, the other ruling mini-cruiser from Landyachtz. Check it out also for the lowdown on Dinghy vs Tugboat.

Features of the Landyachtz Dinghy

The Dinghy complete longboard comes with high-quality components including Hawgs wheels, Polar Bear trucks, and Spaceball bearings – as opposed to generic no-name components.  The deck, trucks, and wheels were designed together to ensure full compatibility and precise engineering for the complete longboard.

The price for the complete, normally around $130, is actually lower than the sum of its components (around $150 between the deck, trucks, wheels, bearings, risers, hardware, and grip tape).

The Dinghy comes in 3 different sizes to accommodate smaller riders :

  • Landyachtz Dinghy 28:  28.5″ length, 8″ width, 14.6″ wheelbase
  • Lanyachtz Mini Dinghy 26: 26″ length, 6.5″ width, 14″ wheelbase
  • Landyachtz Mini Dinghy 24:  24″ length, 6.5″ width, 14″ wheelbase – for featherweight riders

Aside from the deck, all size models use the same components.

The Landyachtz Dinghy’s deck

landyachtz dinghy deck

The first thing that pops out when looking at the Dinghy is its quality directional topmount deck.  If you’re like most Dinghy owners, you will probably like the strength and durability of the sturdy 7-ply maple deck layups over time.

Flex and grip

The deck is relatively stiff, suitable for popping and sliding the board.  It has a mellow radial concave which allows for comfortable foot placement when turning fast, riding downhill or sliding, albeit without locking in your feet too much.

Likewise, the durable clear grip provides good foot traction, but not so much as to make it difficult to turn your feet.  Some versions have a thin foam layer between the board and the grip tape for extra comfort – but not all models.

Kicktails and clearance

The ample kicktail invites you to perform kick turns and small jumps.  The small nose makes it easy to pull manuals and other tricks.  The deck is slightly heavier than a regular skateboard, so popping ollies requires more leg muscle.

The deck has flared wheel wells providing more clearance for carving, a must-have given the Landyachtz Dinghy’s highly turny trucks and short wheelbase.  The wheel wells and risers help avoid wheelbite for those tight turns.

Some caveats

While the maple construction gives the Dinghy strength and durability, it also has its downsides. For one thing, maple decks are not as water resistant as bamboo or hybrid ones and absorb water over time, thus making it heavier.

Wooden decks also tend to chip faster.  Nevertheless, many Dinghy owners reported their boards hold up for an unusually long time without signs or wear and tear.

Finally, the Landyachtz Dinghy’s deck can suffer from speed wobbles early on at faster speed because of its stiffness and short wheelbase (read about overcoming speed wobbles).  But of course, speed is NOT what the mini -cruiser was built for in the first place.

Landyachtz Dinghy’s trucks

landyachtz dinghy polar bear trucks

The Dinghy comes with 105mm, traditional kingpin Polar Bear trucks with enlarged bushing seats for more turnability.  That’s quite a narrow truck, not as stable as a bigger one, but that’s to be expected given the small size of the Dinghy’s deck.

Bear trucks have very high tolerances to minimize slop.  The hangers are machine faced for increased strength and the axels are heat treated and reinforced to keep them spinning straight.

The trucks baseplates have 8 holes, which allows you to customize your board by leveraging either the old school or new school hole pattern.  The trucks also come with 0.25″ risers to reduce the risk of wheelbite.

Some riders find the bushings initially a bit squeaky, though that’s the case with most new bushings until they get broken in.  You may choose to replace them with other quality bushings such as  Venom bushings (Amazon) matching your weight and style.

Landyachtz Dinghy’s wheels

The Dinghy complete comes with Hawgs Fatty 63mm wheels – again, Landyachtz owns the Hawgs brand.  Hawgs wheels use proprietary urethane and rigorously tested downhill under freeriding conditions.

The Hawgs are the same wheels that come with the high-end Landyachtz downhill / freeride models, so they boast superior quality as confirmed by most Dinghy owners.

Smaller but very smooth

While the 63mm diameter wheels are adequately small to match the Dinghy’s size and fast turning trucks, they have great roll speed for their size.  With their soft 78A durometer, they feel somewhat squishy yet still firm.  The Fatties strike that sweet spot between smooth rolling on all kinds of terrains and easy breaking into slides.

You’ll find the wheels to be buttery smooth – you can barely feel the bumps even at higher speeds.  The wheels can really run over almost anything – including sidewalk cracks and even metal chunks, without easily getting chipped.

Grippy yet slidy

These wheels’ small size and proportionally wide contact patch (50mm) make them very controllable for slides while still being grippy enough.  Their very rounded lips on both sides also greatly facilitate kicking into slides.

Another feature of the Fatties that makes them quite versatile is the offset positioning of the wheel cores.  With this positioning, the core (hard material inside the soft urethane) is placed somewhere in between the inner side of the wheel and the center – as opposed to centerset and sideset cores.

Offset positioning results in a balanced mix of grip and slide.  The Fatties’ very wide and supportive cores are actually “very offset”, reflecting the Landyachtz Dinghy’s focus on sliding and tricks when carving the streets.

Landyachtz Dinghy’s bearings

The bearings that come stock with the Dinghy are Bear Spaceball bearings.  Here again, not your typical generic, no-name, low-quality component.  These are very decent, ABEC7 bearings (though ABEC does not mean much for longboarding).

The built-in spacers help the wheels stay aligned and wiggle free, make it easier to change the wheels, and let you tighten your axles to your liking without messing up the setup.

As a Dinghy rider, you’ll find these bearings allow your wheels to roll for a long time, and are strong enough to withstand a lot of popping tricks without getting damaged.

Although most Dinghy owners agree these bearings are pretty good, you may still choose to upgrade to even better ones such as Bone Reds for more speed (for more info check out this post, the section upgrading your bearings).

Dinghy Turbo

One of Landyachtz’s latest additions to the Dinghy tribe is the Dinghy Turbo, a premium model that’s more lightweight than the others thanks to the new titanium Polar Bear trucks (titanium axles and hollow kingpins) and some fiberglass layering in the deck.

The Turbo also has new wheels, the Rocket Hawgs – a shrunk down version of the famous race wheels Biggie Hawgs.

Dinghy graphics and designs

One of the things skaters really love about the Landyachtz Dinghy is its really cool choice of graphic design – some of them engraved in wood. Check out 22 really cool Dinghy designs here on Amazon.

Beach Party
Mark McMorris Red
Dinghy Trout

The Dinghy Emboss, for example, with its very sober looks, has been a top seller in Landyachtz’s mini cruiser category.   Some Dinghy owners actually order a second Dinghy just to hang it on their wall!

Other popular DInghy versions include the Dinghy Turbo, the Dinghy Summit, and the Dinghy Burning Sky:

Questions about the Dinghy’s size

Longboarders considering the Dinghy sometimes wonder about the board being too small. As discussed, whether it’s too small for your needs first depends on the kind of riding you want to do – it’s a great size for city commuting and cruising and easy transportation on sidewalk and around campus, being a very nimble and portable board.

Besides usage, however, you should also factor in your height, weight, and foot size when deciding whether the Dinghy is a good match for you. Some riders with larger feet may feel 8″ is a bit narrow for comfortable riding – you may get “footbite” in really tight turns. Also, if you’re a taller rider, you may have a shorter stance than usual on the Dinghy because of the short length.

In short, the dinghy may not always be the best match for bigger riders.

Cruising & commuting on the Landyachtz Dinghy

The Dinghy is meant for city cruising and convenient urban transport. Its short size and wheelbase and the directional shape make it super nimble for weaving around people and things in tight spaces. The narrow turny Polar Bear trucks are very quick and turny for sidewalk navigation.

The ample kicktail adds to the maneuverability and allows for easy curb and crack hopping. The Dinghy can easily be stashed into or onto a backpack, and painlessly carried around a store or a school building.

In short, the Dinghy really is a fast and nimble city slashing board. You can ride it pretty much everywhere on short trips around town instead of driving or taking the bus, and have a great time doing so. It does take a bit of skills to handle the Dinghy for commuting – see the section about beginners below.

Freeriding & downhill on the Dinghy

Short answer: not so much due to its small wheelbase. When going fast you need stability, which typically comes with a longer wheelbase and/or a lowered deck (e.g. drop-through trucks or a dropped platform). The Dinghy’s 14/14.5″ wheelbase is a bit short for real speed beyond small hills on your city commute path.

That being said, some experienced freeride and downhill riders are able to ride the Dinghy quite fast because of the deck’s stiffness and the Hawgs wheels nice grip. The mellow radial concave does provide a bit of foot lock-in at higher speed – albeit not as much as a true freeride board. At moderate speeds, the Dinghy’s topmount reactiveness and turny trucks allow for tight carves and easy breaking into slides.

To summarize, while the Dinghy is a a bit short for real speed, some experienced longboarders have some serious fun sliding on moderate hills.

Pumping on the Landyachtz Dinghy

With the righ trucks, the Dinghy can be made into a cool pumping board. Swapping the Bear trucks for some good surfskate trucks, e.g. Carver CX/C5 trucks, Slide trucks, or the Yow surfskate adapter, can turn the Dinghy into a small pumping machine. Although narrower than a typical surf skateboard (8″ vs 9″+), it can still pump very nicely on sidewalks, parking lots and garage driveways.

Check out my post on surfskate trucks to learn more about which truck to use.

Skatepark & street tricks on the Dinghy

is the landyachtz dinghy good for skatepark

Many riders love hitting the skatepark, ditches, and pools on their Dinghy. The responsiveness and tight turns make it a great board for park riding and street tricks such as kick tricks, manuals and slides. The Dinghy’s carving ability and smooth rolling on its bigger wheels (compared to a street board) also make it super fun for pool and ditch riding . Optionally slap some surf trucks on it and you’ll be really surfing the concrete on that awesome mini-cruiser.

The Dinghy is not really for beginners

Due to its small size and responsive trucks, the Dinghy is quite twitchy – again, it’s designed for nimble city cruising and slashing. If you’re a beginner, you’ll normally want a more stable board, one with a lower turn-to-lean ratio, which means the board will turn less for the same amount of lean onto the edge.

A longer wheelbase, a wider deck with wider trucks, harder bushings, larger wheels, all these factors contribute to making a less twitchy longboard. Also as mentioned earlier, a drop-through or drop deck longboard will ride closer to the ground compared to the Dinghy and thus give you better stability for learning to kick push and ride confidently on flat ground.

Some new riders, however, have better than average balance and may get used quickly to the Dinghy’s responsive topmount ride. You may just fall for the coolness factor of the Dinghy and decide to learn on it no matter what! That may be easier, however, for a smaller rider than for a bigger one.

Wrapping up

If you’re looking for a cruiser small and light enough to take anywhere, yet stable enough to ride comfortably AND agile enough for slides and kick tricks (in short, you’re looking for a unicorn) then you’ve found it with the Landyachtz Dinghy – see it here on Amazon.

The mix of features and component quality you’ll get for the price is hard to beat.  And the graphics are just plain awesome, with plenty to choose from.

Just remember though, no single board can be everything to everyone.  So if you’re a total beginner, the Dinghy may be too small/fast /high riding for you.  Also, if you’re a downhill addict, the Dinghy will probably not give the stability and confidence you need at high speeds.

If you’re an intermediate level skater looking to carve the streets, you can also fine tune the Landyachtz Dinghy to suit your specific needs, tightening or loosening the trucks to make it more stable or faster, upgrading the bushings and bearings, etc.

Overall, most Dinghy owners agree you can’t go wrong with this board, provided you have the right skills for it.

Photo credits:
Product shots and ditch courtesy of Landyachtz

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About me

Big Kahuna

Hi I'm Jesse. All my life I've been passionate about the board riding lifestyle. Some years ago I got into longboarding, and in doing so, I discovered a whole new universe and a fantastic community. There's something for everyone in longboarding regardless of age, gender, size, and fitness level. Ride on!

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