I never tried a surfskate before but since they are becoming more popular it was time to learn what all the fuss was about. I decided to buy and review the Landyachtz Surfskate and share my experience riding this board.
The Landyachtz Surfskate is a high-quality cruiser suitable for both carving and cruising. While Landyachtz named it a surfskate, it is actually more of a cruiser-surf hybrid board. It’s fast, forgiving, and beginner-friendly. Surfskates are not designed for tricks but for those who love cruising and carving.
Let’s have a close look at this board and see why it is or isn’t for you. This review is mainly about the Landyachtz Butter but I’ll also cover some of the aspects of the Pocket Knife and make a comparison. Let’s go!
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- Landyachtz Surfskate First Impressions
- Test Ride
- Breaking Down The Parts
- Landyachts Surfskate Butter VS Pocket Knife
- When To Buy
- When Not To Buy
Landyachtz Surfskate First Impressions
The first thing I noticed it’s rather heavy but not too heavy, so it’s still easy to carry around. It’s a gorgeous board, I really love the glossy finish and the minimalistic graphic that is both used on the bottom of the deck and on top of the grip tape.
On the subject of grip tape, it’s quite thick and consists of a layer of foam with grip on top. Should feel very comfy on your feet and maybe it helps you to lock your feet a bit more when carving, just a guess.
The front features a high angle RKP truck with tall bushings that should help you turn better. The rear truck is a standard kingpin Polar Bear truck size 155 mm attached to a super high riser. Very interesting design and you will immediately notice the height of the trucks.
Glossy wheels grippy soft wheels comparable to the Landyachtz Dinghy and the deck has a low kicktail with a slight camber which is almost not visible.
- Length: 31.2″
- Width: 9″
- Wheelbase: 15″ or 17.1″
- Wheels: Soft Glossy Fatty Hawgs at 63 mm and 78A durometer (hardness)
- 7-ply maple deck with a slight camber and kicktail, hardly any concave
- Trucks: Bear Banger SurfSkate Truck and Standard Bear trucks at 155 mm
- Bearings: Spaceball bearings with integrated spacers
The Pocket Knife specs are almost the same except for the wheelbase (13″ to 15″), width (9.1″), and length (29.6″).
I am not a surf skater so this video is not great at showing what it can do, I saved that for another video.
Overall this board feels like a cruiser with extra carvyness and it takes some time to get used to the jittery movement. I really like how it turns compared to my other cruisers and I definitely like riding this board but it took me some time to get used to it.
The foam grip tape is a strange sensation when you’re used to riding regular boards, I like it though but I’m not sure how durable this stuff is.
It can deal with rough surfaces easily as long as you take a more aggressive stance (lean backward!) and has no issues with gravel, rocks, cracks, or pesky twigs.
Hopping curbs is certainly possible but the kicktail takes some time to get used to, it’s just quite flat compared to my other cruisers. I wouldn’t try any tricks on this board.
It was designed for cruising and carving, not for kickflips, ollies, and shuvits. In my opinion, it’s just a waste of this board and I certainly don’t want to damage it on day one.
Get a regular skateboard with soft wheels instead if you want to get gnarly but still cruise around, this board is just too heavy for that kind of stuff.
I tried a few mellow slopes and did actually experience speed wobbles when you’re going fast, this is clearly visible in the video. It works when you ride in a straigt line, but minor corrections cause the rear truck to wobble.
This is not a downhill board after all, and I suspect his board will get even more twitchy once you push the speed to its limits. The trucks feel very loose depending on your weight so a heavier person might want to swap out the bushings.
Pumping is possible but it’s really hard to maintain speed, I don’t feel like this board was designed for that. Adjusting the wheelbase makes it a bit easier but even then it won’t pump like a long-distance board.
I managed to pull off a few slides but the area was a bit wet which makes it easier, nevertheless sliding is possible! I haven’t experienced wheelbite yet but I’ll try harder next time. Update: still no wheelbite!
Breaking Down The Parts
Let’s take a look at all the components, most of the parts consist of standard Landyachtz stuff so you can get an up-close view of what this board is made off. Not many surprises but the trucks are certainly the most interesting part of this setup.
Trucks (Bear Banger & Standard)
Let’s start with the part that is supposed to make this board a surfskate, the RKP Bear Banger truck. One of the first things I noticed is the reverse kingpin on the front truck which allows for more aggressive turning.
The front truck angles at a total of 70 degrees (65° truck + 5° wedges riser pad), and comes with large cone-shaped bushings. When looking at similar setups you often see one inverted kingpin truck at the front and a standard at the rear.
Other surfskates often have springs or adapters for extra carvyness that might not last very long depending on the brand. The lack of spring or other adapters is compensated by this new design but who knows how they will hold up in the future, it’s too early to tell.
I’d say this is more of a cruiser/surfskate hybrid (a cruirfer?) but that doesn’t mean it won’t give you that surfy feeling. It does actually, but probably less so than the more expensive surfskates. I personally don’t mind at all.
The rear truck is less interesting, just a standard Bear truck at 155mm. The huge riser is something you’ll notice immediately and provides a more aggressive angle.
As I noted in my first impression, the top consists of a layer of soft foam with grip tape on top. Maybe it’s for riders who like to cruise barefooted (on grip tape?) or maybe it provides extra stability when carving. I’m still not sure but it’s rather unique and an interesting design choice.
After riding it I must admit that I’m not a fan. Unless you’re able to replace the foam griptape you should avoid riding after a rainy day. I had a hard time cleaning the grip tape and don’t think it’s very durable.
It feels a bit heavier compared to my other boards but it’s also bigger and wider so that would explain the extra weight. The glossy finish and graphic is beautiful and immediately gets you excited to ride the board. Note that there are a couple of versions available, and I picked the Butter Walnut version which is a bit longer.
The nose is pointy but flat and it has a kicktail which is slightly elevated but way less compared to other cruisers. Still enough to take a more aggressive stance when you encounter pebbles or cracks.
The board consists of 7-ply maple and it hardly has any concave, just a slight camber which makes it also a great surfskate for beginners. It’s a nonflexible board so people that are really into deep carving probably will enjoy this board less.
It’s wide enough for riders with larger feet and really feels stable when cruising around. After all, this what meant to be a stable cruiser and Landyachtz pulled it off.
The front comes with six mount holes so if you aren’t happy about the standard 15″ wheelbase you can move it and try the 17.1″ which will make pumping less difficult and increases stability.
Note that the wheelbase depends on the version you pick, more about that later.
This is the first board that doesn’t have flat screws, this might have something to do with the foamy grip tape. Flat screws probably start tearing, but it’s just a guess. Other than that there’s nothing remarkable to note. Obviously the screws on the back truck are taller because of the bigger riser pad.
I still am not convinced by the Spaceball bearings. I usually replace these immediately after I tested the board. Right now I have a couple of people riding Spaceballs on regular skateboards to see how they hold up. In my opinion, Bronson Raws or Bones Swiss 6 bearings perform better but to be fair, they are way more expensive.
Overall the bearings are fine but if you want to get more out of your board upgrading the bearings is recommended. Don’t be fooled by the ABEC rating though, it really doesn’t make a difference.
Like all Spaceball bearings they come with built-in spacers, that’s a pretty neat feature and it keeps them in place. If you ever decide to replace the bearings, make sure to get some spacers.
Fatty Hawg Wheels
Fatty Hawgs are great wheels and I know what they’re capable of because I like to ride the Dinghy and Tugboat occasionally. There are better wheels out there but if you want the absolute best, you better pick your own parts and assemble it yourself.
The difference here is that the wheels are glossy and more grippy, unlike the stoneground Fatty Hawgs. I still need some time to see if there’s any improvement here.
Anyway, on topic. The Landyachtz Surfskate comes with 78A 63mm radial Fatty Hawgs wheels with a contact patch of 43mm (riding surface). You’ll be able to do (power) slides to some extent but this will take some practice.
What’s important here is that they are grippy and small objects won’t block the wheels. Fatties have no issues riding over smaller rocks, surfaces like gravel, or rough roads. They don’t make a lot of noise and you can even plow through a patch of grass if you happen to run into one, just make sure you lean back.
The standard Fatties perform less in wet conditions. When the street are still a bit wet from rain they tend to have less grip compared to other cruiser wheels. No biggie, you shouldn’t ride in these conditions anyway unless you really want to.
Your bearings typically don’t last very long when they get wet often. Again, I still need to test more to see if the glossy fatties perform better.
The wheels stick out a bit, especially at the back truck because of the wide trucks. Regular skateboarders like me aren’t used to wheels sticking out and sometimes I hit the wheels with my push foot. Nowadays less often, but it’s something to keep in mind when you aren’t used to this type of setup.
Landyachts Surfskate Butter VS Pocket Knife
I bet some of you are in doubt between choosing the Butter or the Pocket Knife so I thought I might do a short comparison. The main difference between the Landyachts Butter and Pocket knife are the dimensions, wheelbase, and snappyness.
Currently, Landyachts offers just these two variations but announced to introduce more surfskates in the near future. Depending on your preferences you can go for the Butter or the Pocket Knife.
Landyachtz Surfskate Butter
The Landyachtz Butter is the one featured here. Ik picked this board mainly because of its design and its size, and the fact that it’s probably a bit easier to ride than the smaller version. It isn’t that much bigger though so once I get the Pocket Knife I’ll be able to explain the real difference, for now, I’m just guessing.
I’d say the Butter is better at plowing through cracks and rough surfaces but less snappy than the Pocket. The Butter is a bit longer (31.2″ vs 29.6″) and offers more real estate at the front which makes it more stable and forgiving when you find yourself slightly off-balance.
This makes the Butter a better choice for beginners that want to carve and cruise, or taller riders and heavier riders that need some extra room and support. The Landyachtz Butter weighs slightly more compared to the Pocket Knife, exactly 3218 grams in science points, and 7.09 LBS in freedom units.
If you’re in doubt and new to riding boards, this is the one to pick.
Landyachtz Surfskate Pocket Knife
The Pocket Knife is the shortest of the two and comes in two different designs. It has a shorter deck and wheelbase compared to the Butter. This makes it more nimble and snappy but less stable compared to the Butter.
It has a pointier nose though I think this has more to do with aesthetics than improving its performance. The total length of the Pocket Knife is 29.6″ and 9.1″ wide and has a standard wheelbase of 13″ but you can adjust this up to 15″ by moving the front truck.
Since the Pocket Knife is smaller, you’d expect it to weigh less and it does. At 6.5 LBS (about 2950 grams) it’s lighter than the Butter but the difference isn’t huge.
If you’re in doubt and have experience riding boards, this is the one to pick.
When To Buy
If you’re into cruising (or new) and want to get a cruiser that offers more aggressive carving compared to standard board the Landyachtz Surfskate is a great choice.
It feels surprisingly stable for a surfskate and the size of the board is beginner-friendly, you will have some trouble balancing at first because of the front RKP truck.
It will take some time to get used to and you need to break-in the bushings before you feel comfortable. Good thing is that there’s lots of room to place your feet and move around, even if they are a bit bigger than average.
If you’re not into technical trucks or transition skateboarding and just want a fun ride, this is board is a good choice. It’s not too big nor too small and easy to carry around when you have to take the bus or a short walk.
When Not To Buy
Since this is the first surfskate I tested I had to do some research to find out what others say about this board. Overall people are really content with its performance but if you are looking for a dedicated surfskate there are better boards available.
The negative comments come from people that are used to long-distance boards with a lot of flex. They have a hard time pumping this board and adjusting to its smaller size. Also, if you are looking to ride longer distances without too much effort perhaps this is not your board.
The Landyachtz Surfskate is a cruiser/surfskate hybrid if you want the ultimate surfing experience on land you better look at other brands like Hamboards or Waterborne (there are many more brands, just do your research).
The Landyachtz Surfskate is neither a cruiser nor a surfer but more of a hybrid that works really well out of the box.
It’s aesthetically pleasing and really gets you pumped to ride by just holding it, it’s a fun ride but I really had to get used to the jittery movements and carvyness at first.
The Butter surfskate is more beginner-friendly because of the extra deck real estate and the Pocket Knife is a bit shorter and snappier.
Want to cruise at speed while still able to make sharp deep carves? This board delivers. I do have a problem with the price tag, it’s almost 200 bucks and I think it’s hard to justify. There are better boards out there for just a bit more.
Keep in mind that I will do more testing and my initial conclusions might change a bit over time. After all, it takes time to really get to know a cruiser or surfskate so I will update this post. I’ll also lend it to a few people I know to further test its capabilities and share their findings.
After that, it’s time to replace some of the standard parts and see how to get the most out of this board. Make sure to read about all the other boards I tested, check out my list of best cruiser skateboards.