The Landyachtz Dinghy and Abor Pilsner are undoubtedly the two most popular mini-cruisers under 30″ out there. If you’re a newer rider, you may be torn between the two.
In this post we take a hard look at how these two little rippers compare.
The Dinghy and the Pilsner are very similar in many ways but they do have some subtle but important differences which include wheelbase, kicks, amount of concave, truck customizability, wheel size and quality, and overall riding feel.
Here’s a quick specs comparison:
|Landyachtz Dinghy||Arbor Pilsner|
|Dimensions||Classic: 28.5″ x 8″|
Shape 9: 28.5″ x 8.5″
Blunt: 28.5″ x 8.6″
Coffin: 28.2″ x 8.3″
|28.75″ x 8.25″|
Shape 9: 15″
|Construction||7-ply Canadian maple|
+ 1 layer of polymer for strength
|7-ply Canadian maple|
+ Premium Palisander wood finish ply
+ Bamboo finish ply
|Trucks||Blunt: 130mm Polar Bear|
Others: 105mm Polar Bear
|129mm Paris (street)|
|Wheels||63mm Fatty Hawgs|
50mm contact patch
Lip profile: round
|61mm Arbor Bogart|
36mm contact patch
Lip profile: round
|Concave||Medium-low, pronounced wheel flares||Low, subtle wheel flares|
|Shape||Shape 9: squared off nose, extra wide diamond tail|
Blunt: tapered nose
Coffin: wide squared nose and tail
|Wide rounded nose, wide squash tail|
Landyachtz Dinghy complete review
Arbor Pilsner complete review
UPDATE: a new challenger is in town, the amazing Loaded Ballona mini-cruiser! See my in-depth review
Dinghy vs Pilsner: deck shape
The Dinghy comes in 4 different versions with slightly varying shapes and sizes. Left to right: Dinghy Classic, Shape 9, Coffin, Blunt:
For example, the Dinghy Shape 9 has a cool 80s retro shape with a very wide tail, diamond shaped nose, and tapered waist. The Dinghy Blunt is the widest of the four, whereas the Dinghy Coffin is the smallest.
The Arbor Pilsner comes in a single version – though in several designs ( Foundation, Artist, Photo, Solstice):
Dinghy vs Pilsner: size & platform
The Dinghy and the Pilsner are comparable in size: 28.75″ for the Pilsner vs 28.5″ for most Dinghy versions; 8.25″ width for the Pilsner vs 8″ – 8.6″ for the Dinghy’s.
The Pilsner has a slightly longer wheelbase (15.25″) than even the longest Dinghy (14.5″ to 15″). This gives the Pilsner a slight edge in comfort and stability.
If you’re a bigger footed rider however, the Dinghy Blunt can give you the little extra width you need (8.6″ vs 8.25″).
Aside from the foot size aspect, the larger Dinghy versions and the Pilsner have similar foot platforms.
The tail and nose on the Pilsner are wider than on the Dinghy Classic. The Dinghy Shape 9 and Blunt, however, have meatier tails compared to the Pilsner.
In general, the Dinghy has a deeper kick compared to the Pilsner – which is why the Pilsner’s wheelbase is a bit longer. Choosing between a Dinghy and a Pilsner involves a kick vs wheelbase tradeoff.
On the other hand, the Pilsner offers a slightly bigger and steeper nose kick which comes in handy for tricks and advanced slashing.
Another difference is that the Dinghy has a bit more wheel flares compared to the Pilsner, resulting in a bit more pronounced rear foot pocket and a bit more wheel clearance, so it can run slightly bigger wheels.
The Pilsner’s larger nose kick, on the other hand, provides added foothold for the front foot when riding hard.
Riders generally tend to rank the quality or the Pilsner’s deck above the Dinghy’s.
Let’s now look at the other components.
Dinghy vs Pilsner: trucks
The Dinghy comes with Polar Bear street trucks, 130mm for the bigger Blunt version and 105mm for the Classic, Shape 9, and Coffin.
On the Shape 9, the 105mm trucks are completely covered by the relatively wide deck, while the 130mm Bears stick out from the Blunt.
The Pilsner comes with the highly praised 130mm Paris streets, which are among the best trucks out there. Most riders tend to agree the Paris have the upper hand over the Polar Bears in terms of performance and strength.
Riders also find it a lot easier to find and fit the bushings they needs on Paris trucks.
The 130mm Paris trucks are relatively for the 8.25″ Pilsner deck, giving the Pilsner extra stability for fast riding. However, the narrower Arbor wheels make up for truck width to keep the overall setup tucked under the deck with no risk of foot rub, similar the Dinghy classic.
If you go with the Dinghy, be prepared to replace the bushings to reduce your chance of wheelbite, especially for heavier riders, as the stock bushings are quite soft.
While the Pilsner’s 61mm Arbor Bogart are also good quality wheels, Pilsner owners often choose to swap them out for other wheels – e.g. Orangatangs Fat Frees.
Again, finding the right size bushings for the Polar Bears more of a challenge compared to the Pilsner, as Paris trucks use more standard bushings.
Dinghy vs Pilsner: wheels
When it comes to wheels, however, the Dinghy earns the point. The 63mm 78A Fatty Hawgs are well-known for their ultra-smooth and cushy ride.
Also, the extra 2mm on the Dinghy’s Hawgs will give you slightly better roll compared to the Bogart.
Another aspect of Fatty Hawgs wheels is that they have a 50mm contact patch, vs 36mm for the Arbor, and are sharp lipped. This results in more solid grip when slashing and carving hard on the Dinghy.
That said, the Pilsner’s narrower and round-lipped Bogart wheels make it easier for tech sliding, park elements, and hardcore street tricks.
Whether you choose the Pilsner or the Dinghy, you’ll likely want to upgrade the bearings.
Dinghy vs Pilsner: riding experience
Everyone will agree about the Dinghy being really fast and snappy, highly carvy, great for weaving around people and obstacles on tight sidewalks.
Some, however, find it a bit too loose and twitchy, harder to control. This can be somewhat improved by tightening the trucks a bit.
The Pilsner feels more stable and less out of control, probably because of the slightly longer wheelbase. Meanwhile, it’s still highly maneuverable for city riding and short commutes.
Contrary to the Dinghy, most riders tend to loosen their trucks on the Pilsner to make it even more nimble for commuting. You will probably need to upgrade the bushings (same for the Dinghy).
Dinghy vs Pilsner: who is it best for?
Rider size & skills
The Dinghy works best for small to medium sized riders and those with more advanced skills who are able to leverage the board’s snappiness.
The Pilsner is “tamer” and more easily ridden by older or bigger riders who need a small cruiser for tight city commutes.
City carving, street & park
The Dinghy feels a bit more “slashable” than the Pilsner, including on ramps and transitions, thanks to a shorter wheelbase, deeper kick, and slightly more foot lock-in.
On the other hand, the Pilsner has a wider tail and nose compared to the Dinghy Classic and Coffin, and has more of a nose kick for tricks.
The Pilsner’s Paris trucks are highly trickable and behave beautifully in the skatepark or in a bowl.
The Pilsner’s stock wheels are smaller and a bit more “street-focused” while the Dinghy’s are more suitable for hard carving and some mellow hills (if you have the skills).
That said, the Dinghy Shape 9 with its retro bowl shape is also quite well-suited for pool and park riding.
Here again, the Pilsner feels a bit more stable at higher speeds.
Dinghy vs Pilsner: final verdict
The two little rippers, the Dinghy and Pilsner are tight competitors. Which you choose depends on whether you favor snappiness over stability, kicktail/flares over nose kick, deck width over length, larger grippy wheels over easy-to-customize trucks.
Check out my individual in-depth posts on the Landyachtz Dinghy and the Arbor Pilsner
Wednesday 12th of January 2022