Landyachtz Dinghy Review: The Complete Lowdown

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
  • Super smooth ride on most terrain due to the soft wheels
  • Nimble and quick turning thanks to small size & responsive trucks
  • Versatile due to its kicktail, nose, and light concave
  • Quality deck, wheels, & trucks packed into a well-engineered complete
  • Attractive graphics designs that make it stand out from the pack
  • Very affordable given the quality of its components

Some things to be aware of about the Dinghy :

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

At around $140 (depending on version), the Dinghy is quite affordable – see the Dinghy’s exact price and awesome artwork versions here on Amazon.

Landyachtz Dinghy buyer reviews: key pros and cons

Here’s a rundown of the Dinghy’s main strengths and weaknesses according to Dinghy owners:

Landyachtz Dinghy pros

  • Riders love the Dinghy’s dimensions, quality parts, and awesome designs. Phenomenal product, best board out there from a top brand in the $140 price range
  • The Dinghy has the feel of a longboard but the control of a skateboard
  • The Dinghy gives a very smooth ride. Most riders feel the wheels are soft and good at going over cracks and uneven pavement (though some disagree, see Cons below)
  • The Dinghy is a perfect little shredder for anyone with experience. You can do all sort of tricks and still have the cruising ability of a well-designed longboard.
  • The Dinghy’s stiff flex gives the board good stability
  • The Dinghy has very functional kicktails for doing ollies here and there
  • The Dinghy is very lightweight to carry around, perfect for campus, fits in your backpack. Exceptional board for cruising around campus and the city.
  • The Dinghy is strong enough for doing tricks, including for a 200-pound rider
  • The Dinghy’s bearings are phenomenal out of the box
  • The Dinghy is precisely engineered. probably the best quality setup for the price.
  • Sidewalk-to-street transitions on the Dinghy are smooth
  • The Dinghy can be taken down hills if you’re experienced enough
  • Compared to a Penny board, the Dinghy is lighter, wider, and stiffer
  • The Dinghy carves really well
  • The 63mm 78A Fatty Hawg wheels are perfect for doing little slides.
  • The Polar Bear trucks on the Dinghy allow for deep and fluid carves even at higher speeds.
  • The Landyachyz Dinghy has absolutely gorgeous artwork e.g. the Beastwreck or the Dinghy Birds (with engraved wood)

Landyachtz Dinghy cons

  • You may feel a bumpy or sluggish ride on bad pavement with the Dinghy’s original wheels if you’re heavier. Fitting some Orangatang Stimulus with Dime bag wedged risers can improve things significantly.
  • The Dinghy’s stock wheels quickly get dirty and bad-looking
  • The Dinghy is sensitive to poor foot placement or bad balancing, especially if coming from a longboard – you’ll need to up your skills
  • The Dinghy sits up quite high and the small wheelbase makes it a little tricky
  • The Dinghy’s artwork is just too nice to scratch, hindering your motivation to try tricks!
  • The Dinghy’s stock cone/barrel bushings are high quality but may be a bit soft for a heavier rider. Higher duro bushings e.g. Venoms (Amazon) are recommended.
  • The Dinghy may scratch up quite easily if you do heavy tricks
  • Make sure you have risers on your Dinghy setup before going down a hill – else you may risk a nasty crash

So that’s what the Dinghy owners have been saying. Now let’s dig in a bit deeper and look at what the Dinghy is capable of.

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.

Dinghy
Beach Party
Dunghy
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 (cowboy):

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. The Dinghy is a great size board for city commuting, cruising, and easy transportation on sidewalks and around campus, being super nimble and portable.

Besides usage, though, you should also factor in your weight, height, and foot size when deciding whether the Dinghy is a good match for you. Some riders with larger feet may feel a 8″ deck 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. Here’s an excerpt from a helpful comment from Steve, one of my readers (see the comments section):

I’m 6ft and about 195lbs, size 10 (UK) feet. I snowboard and love to ride my loaded dervish Sama. I’ve has fun in various cities but find carrying it less convenient than it could be. I’ve not really ridden for about 3 or 4 years but fancied getting back out in the streets when I’m working away.

So I just bought a Dinghy and have been learning to ride it for a few days. It does have its challenges! Foot placement is tricky for me, there is very little room for error. I have ridden 2 longboards, Sama and a Landyachtz Switchblade which are both low and long, easy and forgiving to push, I found a preferred foot position on both boards but it was adaptable, with the Dinghy I am almost hanging 5 and it teeters on the edge of my comfort zone. The higher deck on the Dinghy has given me a couple of sketchy foot braking moments and I’ve accidentally stomped on the kicktail a couple of times.

The Dinghy is very nimble and at lower speeds is super comfortable. Today though I found that upping the speeds and looking to cruise around a wide curve it just didn’t behave as I was expecting. it was almost like I was leaning back with pressure on the toe edge to make the turn. weird!

Summing up my few hours of riding experience on the Dinghy so far, there is a lot to love, its massive fun. riding the Sama now comparatively feels a little dull and predictable. It will be a steep learning curve and I expect to eat dirt regularly along the way, but I don’t think the challenges are insurmountable. I will find where my feet are best placed so my pushing and braking skills will improve.

I hope to improve my skills so the Dingy becomes easy and fun for getting around cities 3 to 4 miles at the time, much faster than walking and much more fun than taking the bus. Most of all, I know it always fits in my suitcase so I never have an excuse not to have it with me.

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 Landyachtz Dinghy is not for complete 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.

Landyachtz: the cruising company

I’ll wrap up with a quick word about the Landyachtz brand. 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.

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

6 comments

  • Hey Jesse,

    I snowboard and have recently got into longboarding. I’m learning on a tan tien (39″ with 27″ wheelbase), which I can use pretty well on bike paths.

    However, when I’m on sidewalks, I can’t manage a 90 degree turn, even with proper bushings for my weight. I suspect it’s just too long a wheelbase.

    Looking at shorter wheelbase options, would you recommend something like a landyachtz dinghy (15″ wheelbase) or something in the 20″ wheelbase range (like a loaded poke)? I’ve never used a street skateboard so I have no preference for 15″, but I’m not sure if 20″ is small enough to handle sidewalks corners well.

    Thanks,
    Vinay

    • Hey Vinay, yeah the reason you’re having trouble handling tight corners is probably the size and drop-through design of the Tan Tien which is best-suited for distance riding/pushing and speed. I myself ride a Poke as my main board for everyday riding including city sidewalks. Not only is the Poke shorter than the Tan Tien with a smaller wheelbase, as a topmount it’s much more responsive due to the increased leverage on the trucks. I use the 2 different setups depending on my mood, the carving setup with Paris trucks and Stimulus wheels or the surf setup with Carver CX trucks and 4Prez wheels. See the details for both setups here on the Loaded page. Both are awesome and super nimble, they let you make very tight turns – I can actually do U-turns on pretty narrow paths quite easily. The Paris setup is lower riding and super responsive, better for slides and hills, while the Carver setup is great for pumping and surf style.

      The Dinghy is a great little sidewalk cruiser but it’s a bit twitchy and harder to handle if you’re a newer rider and/or if you’re a bigger rider. The Poke may be a better option, being just the right size and lightweight with the composite bamboo construction (like most Loaded models).

      • hi all. I too snowboard and love to ride my loaded dervish Sama. I’ve has fun in various cities including Hamburg, Barcelona and Singapore, but just find the transporting of it to be less convenient than it could be.
        bare in mind I’ve not really ridden for about 3 or 4 years but fancied getting back out in the streets when I’m working away. so I just bought a dinghy and am learning to ride it since Saturday. it does have its challenges! I’m 6ft and about 195lbs size 10 (uk) feet and foot placement is tricky – I have found that there is very little room for error. I have ridden 2 longboards, Sama and a Landyachtz switchblade both low and long, easy and forgiving to push, I found a preferred foot position on both boards but it was adaptable, with the dinghy I am almost hanging 5 and it teeters on the edge of my confort zone. higher deck had given me couple of sketchy foot braking moments and I’ve accidentally stomped on the kick tail a couple of times.
        it is very nimble and at lower speeds is super comfortable. today though I have found that upping the speeds and looking to cruise around a daily wide curve it just didn’t behave as i was expecting. it was almost like I was leaning back with pressure on the toe edge to make the turn. weird!
        summing up my few hours of riding experience so far, there is a lot to love, its massive fun. riding the Sama after feels a little dull and predictable. it will be a steep learning curve and I expect to eat dirt regularly along the way. I don’t think that the challenges are insurmountable. I will find where my feet are best placed my pushing and braking skills will improve. I have skills goals to make what I want to do as easy and fun and that it get around cities, 3 to 4 miles at time quicker the walking and more fun than buses. ultimately, I know it will fit in my suitcase so I never have an excuse not to have it with me.

  • Hi,

    I’m looking for a longboard suitable for a pumping track and after some research I’ve decided that Dinghy may be a good candidate. I’m 65 kg and 185cm (144lbs, ~6ft). I don’t have almost any experience with flat longboarding but I’m able to keep balance/speed on the pumping track so I’d call myself intermidiate. Is Landyachtz Dinghy a good choice for me?

    Thanks,
    Tob

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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