The Landyachtz range is divided up into these main categories: Mini cruisers, cruisers, downhill / freeride and hybrid. What makes each Landyachtz catalogue interesting is what has evolved, and what gets dropped. There is such a diverse range of boards, sometimes hard decisions have to be made, like dropping a board that might have a small cult following. This year those boards look to be the Rippleridge and the Peacemaker. Stay with us, we'll go through the whole range and let you know what is new, what is gone, what has evolved and give a brief review of the decks as we go.
First, lets look at what is new
New for 2017
The new board everyone is talking about is the Stratus. Like most of longboard companies, Landyachtz sniggered at the Loaded Dancer, snubbed the growing scene and then thought Sh$% there are a lot of skaters doing freestyle, we better get on that!!
That is not what really happened, I'm just poking fun. But there are a lot of "mainstream" longboard companies making "dance" boards now :-)
Landyachtz do a lot of testing, I'm assuming the hollowtech is up to the brutal treatment of a freestyle dancer. These boards look good. With team members like Steven Vera, these boards have been developed the right way.
Mini cruisers are probably Landyachtz most popular series of boards. The last few years they have just nailed an awesome mini cruiser. Deck, graphics, trucks and wheels have all been on point. I think there biggest strength is the wheels, the Hawgs they use are a fun wheel, stick in a carve but you can break them out and do a slide if you want. The wheels have been so popular they have been released as a standalone product: 63mm Fatty Hawgs and 70mm Fatty Hawgs
The range of cruisers is much the same this year. Choose from 24 inch Dinghy, 26 inch dinghy, or the classic 28.5 inch Dinghy. There is just one Tugboat this year called the Dog Temple. The Dodger range introduced in 2016 is still there in a 28 inch and 32 inch long board.
The Tugboat (image above) is that classic 80's style skateboard. It is 9 inch x 30 inch. The classic dimension is 10 inch wide, but 9 inch is perfect, not too wide, still makes it light to get around on, you can hit up your local skatepark and look good commuting there. It is a modern concave, mild, small nose and a big kicktail.
The Dodger series is quite unique. I would call it a European inspired longboard. In Europe a lot of skateboard design came out of the ski industry. So their cruiser decks and slalom decks looked like cut down ski decks = long and skinny. Landyachtz call them 1970s inspired. The Dodgers are only 6.8 and 7.75 inch wide, but they are 28 and 32 inch long. The front truck is close to the nose so this gives them a big wheelbase. They will skate like a bigger board, not a squirrely as a smaller board, so you can do big deep carves, get a bit of pumping going, much like a slalom board. You get the best of both worlds, smaller lighter board that skates like a bigger board...if that makes sense.
Graphics really make and break a board in this range. Two most popular boards from last year are still there: Growler and Birds. The Birds graphic is just amazing, the bottom graphic flows into the top graphic with clear grip, it just a beautiful board.
New to the range is the Hatchet Birds, using the same type of Birds graphic. Looking for the best flat land push/dance deck money can buy? You are looking at it. Maple construction, flared for bigger wheels, twin kick, symmetrical, wheels that will give a bit to help catch a shuvit. When you retire this deck, it will look good hanging on the wall.
Although Landyachtz foundation is based on young men doing crazy downhill stuff, and generally setting the world on fire, they have expanded out the range to appeal to women. Women should be 50% of skaters, so where are the boards designed for them? You'll see the mini cruiser range is not all about skulls and beers. There are some obvious male opinionated graphics, nothing insulting, but there are also patterns, colours that will appeal to women. The boards also are reflecting women's style, the above hatchet is an example.
Graphics good or bad or just average? You want more skulls? Or a request for a reissue of old graphics, like the Hot Sauce graphic from a few years ago! Let us know what you think in the comments area below.
These are the bigger boards, the most boards have been dropped out of this part of the catalogue, you probably wont notice. There is now only two boards over 40 inches: the Pinner and the Totem. Both OG boards. Decks no longer available are the fibreglass versions of the long pintails. Probably a good move, anyone looking for a 44 inch pintail probably wants nothing but bamboo and maple.
Some of Landyachtz most popular boards are in the cruiser range. The Battle Axe 35 and 40 are both still there. Nothing has changed, just a graphics update, there would be rioting in the streets if they changes these boards. If anything, the concave is a bit milder. There is no W anymore, if it is there, it is very subtle. There is a bit of flex in the deck, which makes it a bit more fun to push and carve on.
There have always been good value top mounts, very under rated. In 2016 it was the Stout, Malahat, and Ripper boards. This year there are two ripper boards, A maple ripper and a bamboo ripper. Simple, functional longboards.
My two favourite boards in this category are the Mini Chief Floral and the Fibreglass Mummy.
The Mini Chief Floral is a 36 inch long pintail. How awesome is that? It's the perfect pintail, set up to cruise, push and enjoy. Not too big. Brilliant graphic that extends over to the griptape. Super fun pintail for quiver, or a great first board to start a quiver.
The Mummy has been missing for a few years. There has been a few decks about, but Landyachtz have brought it back in 2017 as a complete. This board is an excellent city cruiser or commuter. It is a skateboard size with a longboard wheelbase, so it feels like a longboard when you skate it. The wedged nose adds an extra zip to the front truck. wide platform give you lots of room. After a week of skating this board, you'll be ready for the pedestrian slalom championships...that's going to be an Olympic sport right?
We have to move on, there are so many good boards in the cruiser section, do yourself a favour, check them out if you are in the market for a good all round longboard.
Downhill and Freeride
Although Landyachtz have an impressive range, it is all built on their core product: downhill and freeride boards. For twenty years they have cut their teeth designing and making boards that go fast downhill, bending wood that defies logic, and surprising everyone year after year with innovation.
Losers first: this is what has been dropped. No Mini Wolfshark, no Charlie Horse, no hollowtech Switchblade in 36 or 38. Which is a real surprise, I would have thought the 38 would be the most popular size, it is in the maple series.
This is just speculation, I have not questioned anyone at Landyachtz, but there are rumours Landyachtz are going to change how they release boards. There will be more boards released throughout the year, not all in one drop in March/April. The mainstream boards might all be released at the start of the year for the tradeshows, and so skateshops can pre-book the easy winners. The core downhill/freeride decks, as a niche market, they get revised and new boards released in the second half of the year. We'll see if that is how 2017 plays out. In the meantime, if you want a hollowtech Switchblade, there is only 40 inch, there might be a few 2016 Switchblade 36 inch decks left if you are quick.
All the OG boards are still there. Evo, Switch, Nine Two Five etc.
The only real change seems to be the Osteon. It's concave has been upgraded from medium to deep. We tried to compare 2016 and 2017 but we sold the last of our 2016 stock before the 2017 arrived. Below is Billy Bones in action on the Osteon.
In the world of hollowtech, the Tomahawk gets the nod and gets a hollowtech model. There is a maple version and new hollowtech. It is such an under rated deck, one of our favourites, so good to see there are other skaters out there that love it too. Both decks have the same dimensions, 39 inch long, multiple wheelbases, deep concave.
Honourable mention goes to this year's Wolf Shark with the original graphic, you can read more about that here
I'll just say it as it is...the Rippleridge and Peacemaker are gone. In my opinion, dropping the Peacemaker was a mistake. There is nothing like it out there. 32 inch x 9.5 inch. Modern single kick, maple with wheel flares so you can rock bigger wheel. Lets all take a moment and pause in silence, remember the thane that was dumped in their honour. Where to now? Truncated Tesseract? Omen Shred Puppy? Rayne Darkside? Or maybe something like an Elephant BBQ Session? A debate for the next campfire.
New boards are: Presidente, Perfecto and Laguito. These sort of replace the Loco series. Only come as completes in Australia. Skateboard wheelbase (14) and bear trucks and Chubby Hawgs. Not trying to put them down, they are a popicle version of the Dinghy. Probably a good move on Landyachtz part, they are marketing them as the All Terrain Vehicle. They sold out fast in Australia, so skaters love them.
That's it, that's all I got. Landyachtz put out an awesome catalogue this year, in the form of a newspaper. We gave out heaps of them at Newtons, and we'll do a limited catalogue mail out for newsletter subscribers.
What is not included in our Landyachtz catalogue, and we have not mentioned is the wheel range for 2017. The new range has not arrived in Australia yet, we'll do a blog post about the changes when they arrive. Basically all the harder duros have been dropped (nothing harder than 82a), and Street Hawgs have been changed to Adanac, Cordova and Venables.
Here is a sneak peak...