If you’re looking for a cruiser that is compact and super easy to skate, look no further. The Landyachtz Drop Cat 33 is one of the best cruisers I’ve skated to date. It’s low to the ground, easy to skate, and quite turny. I’m quite pleased that I own this board and get to skate it often. However, the turning did feel a bit awkward sometimes …
Check out my review for more.
- Width – 9″.
- Length – 33″.
- Wheels -Hawgs 72mm 78a Plow King wheels.
- Trucks – Reverse kingpin Bear Gen 6 trucks. 50*, 180mm.
- Bearings – Space Balls Abec 7 bearings.
- Construction – 7plys of Maple
**Though Landyachtz did send me this to review and ride as part of my sponsorship agreement with them, I will remain unbiased and fair in the review. A big part of me accepting the sponsorship was being able to review products from an unbiased POV.
Landyachtz Drop Cat review
When it comes to cruisers, I like those that are on the smaller side of the spectrum. They’re usually a bit nimbler, easier to carry around and just more fun to cruise with than bigger ones – hitting features, busting out small slides and slaloming between road obstacles is what I crave for and small cruisers have that juice on tap.
That said, you often can’t fit very big wheels on them and they aren’t suited for skating distances more than a handful of miles. Mini-cruisers do have their limitations.
I really liked the Fireball cruiser as a mini cruiser but I couldn’t push it for too long before getting tired. Pushing uphill and over rougher roads kinda sucked as well – it just wasn’t the type of board suited to that sort of riding …
I was itching for something that was just as compact as the Fireball but was better for getting around, especially over those longer distances.
I had been eyeing the Drop Cat 33 for a long time (even before my sponsorship) as it seemed like the sort of board I was looking for – it was relatively compact (33inches long), had a standing platform that was low to the ground (easy to push), had bigger wheels (would roll longer and over most things), and seemed to turn on a dime (easy fun slalom). So naturally, I had to pick it.
When I actually got to ride it, my suspicions were confirmed. It was easy to ride but ofcourse, one or two little things that weren’t obvious affected the overall ride.
For more info on the best cruisers on the market, check out this article here.
The Drop Cat is quite small …
At 33inches, this is one of the smaller drop-through cruisers around and I really liked this. I’ve always felt like most drop-through cruisers are too big (most are about 36inches in length). This makes them feel a bit slow turning and sluggish, and makes them feel unwieldy when carrying them around – I’ve bumped many a people in a supermarket aisle trying to handle a big board.
I’ve also always felt like I have to have my feet too far apart to handle those bigger boards (I’m only 5ft10, so taller riders may disagree with this).
Because it is so small and is also a drop-through, you sort of get both the benefits of riding a drop-through and the benefits of a smaller compact board. As a result, the Drop Cat is easy to carry around, lightweight and has a nimble feel when turning – it’s very reactive to your input and.I love this!
However, with this small size comes a rather small standing platform. You only have about 20inches of actually board to stand on as the wheel cutouts to avoid wheelbite are quite big.
This small standing platform isn’t going to work for everyone – especially those with wider stances. I think tall riders will be affected the most.
The standing platform isn’t too big
The standing platform of this board is only about 20inches long, 9inches wide at the front and 8inches at the back. It tapers to the smaller 8inch width from the front to the back.
It’s about the same as riding most compact cruisers – but you have a wider, more comfortable standing platform. So if you’re used to small cruisers, you’ll be able to transition to this one with no issue.
Basically, if you can comfortably stand over the mounting points of a small cruiser with a wheelbase between 14-17inches, this board will likely be ok for you.
And whilst it is wide and kinda comfortable, I couldn’t help but sometimes feel that I didn’t have enough room length wise. I think it’s because I unconciously prefer to have my feet over the mounting options that I felt this way. Other than that, I’m quite happy with the overall size of the board.
The Landyachtz Drop Cat has flex
The board has a considerable amount of flex and will flex under your weight. This lowers your to the ground and makes pushing and footbraking abit easier. Paired with the considerable amount of rocker, you actually ride super close to the ground.
The flex also just adds a bit of bounce and “juice” to the overall ride. It makes it a bit more fun as you can bounce in and out of the turns – just watch out you don’t accidentaly force the wheels to break traction as you do. It’s quite easy to do this if you’re over enthusiastic.
Finally, the flex acts as a shock absorber and it helps harsh out the feedback you get from riding over rougher surfaces.
This complete is really turny!
As I mentioned earlier, I usually dislike how to drop throughs turn. They aren’t very nimble, feel sluggish and they take forever to turn. Fortunately, the Drop Cat has a much better feel when turning.
Because of it’s compact size, it has a smaller wheelbase. This allows it to have a smaller turning circle and a sharper turn. It also has a considerable amount of rocker which carries on throughout the board. This rocker wedges the front trucks by about 5-7* and wedges the back trucks by about 3-5*.
This rocker brings the overall truck angles to about 57 and 53 degrees. Naturally, a higher angle truck turns a lot more and this adds to the nimble feel.
Though it is nimble and it does turn a lot, with the stock bushing setup the board didn’t give me a particularly nice feel when turning.
It had a tightrope sort of balancing point and it would turn too suddenly for my liking … I talk more about this in the “what I didn’t like about the Drop Cat section below. Messing with the bushings did solve this, and some riders might actually not find issue with it at all.
How does the turning feel?
When it comes to turning, the board doesn’t turn much, then it turns a lot/suddenly, and then it quickly taps out of that turn. You don’t really dig into the turn as you would with a top-mount board, the turn sort of taps out, and you can lean and fall off the board if you keep adding more pressure/leaning expecting the board to lean and turn even more.
You kinda have to hold the angle and just hold on as the board turns. It’s like a dead end of the lean and you just hold it there.
The board sits super low to the ground
The drop-through nature of the board, the considerable amount of rocker and the flex allows this board to sit super low to the ground. This does a few things.
It’s super easy to push and footbrake
The first thing the low height does is make the Drop Cat really easy to push and footbrake on.
When skating longer distances and skating uphill even, I could feel myself getting less fatigued as I didn’t have to reach as far to get my foot down to push. I wasn’t bouncing up and down as much to get to teh ground and I was able to conserve a lot of energy.
Footbraking was also a lot easier. I gave the board to a friend who was struggling with footbraking and they were able to do it quite easily on this. They struggled a lot on a top mount as it was higher off the ground but came close to doing it quite well with the Drop Cat.
I found the board to be quite comfortable
When it comes to concave, the board has minimal features and the concave is rather mellow. It does have wheelflare sort of things and kinda rises up where the cut outs are. This might be uncomfortable if you have really big feet, but should be ok for most.
The main place that felt kinda of uncomfortable was the rear of the board. If I put my feet directly across the wheel flare sort of things it wouldn’t feel very nice.
The only issue I see is the standing platform feeling a bit too small for bigger riders.
The construction is solid
Despite being really flexy, these boards can carry riders up to 250lbs in weight. The construction is solid and I haven’t had an issue with any cracks or anything forming. I only weigh 150lbs, but I make sure to abuse my boards, taking them over all sorts of environments.
No issue so far construction wise with the Drop Cat.
Is it good for learning to slide?
It’s not a good board for downhill skating. It has flex and a lot of wedging which increases the angles of your trucks considerably, this can make it unstable at faster speeds.
However, because it is so low to the ground and it is a drop-through, it will be a good board for learning to slide. Drop-throughs and boards that sit close to the ground break traction super easy and this is no different.
I gave it to a buddy of mine who was still learning to slide and he had a blast. It broke traction easily for him and he was sliding within minutes of riding it.
It’s not a bad board for doing downhill stuff with under 25mph.
However, because the standing platform is quite small, it’s best for riders with a narrower stance. You might suffer if you like a wider stance for sliding.
The components are quite good
Apart from being a great board all-around the Drop Cat comes with excellent components too. It is paired with Bear trucks and Hawgs wheels – all baby companies of Landyachtz.
I was really impressed with the Plow kings
The Plow Kings surprised me! I didn’t think these wheels would be this good. Looking at the product pictures, I took them at face value and discounted them as regular, kinda wack longboard wheels. But they blew me away when I actually tried them
These roll fast and pick up acceleration quickly. They rolled over most things and absorbed a ton of road vibration. They didn’t have an amazing amount of traction or grip, but were good enough for a cruiser wheel. But I should not understate that they roll really fast and accelerate quite quickly. They’re not a race winning wheel, but they really excel in that 15-30mph range.
They were also quite easy to slide despite having such a wide shape … though I reckon it’s mostly because they were attatched to the Drop Cat that they have been easy to slide, so take that with a grain of salt.
The Bear Spaceball bearings are decent
When I skated them the first few times a lot of lube leaked out of them and on to the shields. This is largely normal though. The lube leaking out was the excess lubricant in the bearing and this happens to most bearings as they break in.
Bearings with thicker lubricants (eg. Lithium Grease) don’t have this happen to them though …
You will have to wipe the wheel down to get it clean once the lube stops coming out.
Otherwise the bearings are still wroking quite well. I’ve skated them over dust, mud, puddles etc. and they’re still going strong. No issues so far.
The Bear Gen 6 trucks are high-quality
The Gen 6 trucks are the update Bear cast trucks. A lot of people didin’t like the 5th gen bear trucks and after trying them myself I can see why. The Gen 6 are considerably better though.
These have a very flowy turn, and feel quite leany and carvy. The turn is usually quite predicatable and smooth.
What I didn’t like about the Drop Cat
It had a tight-rope feel when skating
When leaning, the board would turn very suddenly and quickly and would react to my inputs quite drastically and then would suddenly stop turning as much. This gave the board an overall tight-rope feel like I was balancing on a point and it would turn very quickly/suddenly if leaned either left or right.
Honestly, this feel isn’t too bad and some people might like it, but I didn’t find it to be very comfortable and it made the board a bit awkward to skate. It was also not very confidence-inspiring at higher speeds (20-25mph) – you want a board with a smooth, forgiving turn for going fast.
How did I fix this?
A quick fix to this tight-rope feel would be removing the cupped washer on the bottom of the boardside bushing. This will give the board an overall better feel as the bushings won’t be constricted as much and will allow the trucks to flow better. But for the best feel, you should pick up some aftermarket bushings according to your weight.
What after market bushings am I using?
I eventually switched over to soft hardcore bushings which gave me the feedback and the smoother lean that I was looking for. I am currently riding the 85a (white) bushings in the front truck and the 87a (green) bushings in the back truck. The board still turns just as much, but the turning isn’t as sudden and it leans in a smoother controllable way.
These bushings also give me feedback (a tiny bit of bounce) when I’m engaging the truck rather than just mushing over and allowing the truck to flop left or right. This gives me a lot of confidence, both at low speeds and slightly higher speeds as well.
I think higher rebound bushings (like Powell Hardcore bushings, and Venom SHRs) give a better feel in them. I tried some Venom HPF and they felt waay too mushy for my liking. Higher rebound bushings gave me a better feel.
The graphic got dirty quite easily
I got the version of the Drop cat with the white graphic. Being in Kenya, where there is dust, mud and all sorts of things, the board nturally got a bit dirty. Also, grease stains stuck on it and stuck out a bit.
I cleaned it for the review and they more or less came off. Some stubborn stains stayed but it was more or less like new. But if if how the graphic looks is important to you, get the darker versions where the stains won’t show up.
Is the price fair?
Depending on where you pick it up, this board will cost you bout $200. It is a bit on the expensive side, but you are paying a premium for high-quality products with great components.
If you like what I’ve said in the review, you will absolutely love this board and it will be worth it for you.
No kicktail – not the best for all sorts of terrain
Not having a kicktail hasn’t really affected me so far. I’m quite used to navigating urban roads on boards that don’t have tail (most of the DH boards I have don’t have one), so this was quite easy to adjust to.
However, I can see the lack of a kicktail being an issue for people who have to use one to go up curbs and the like.
Things to watch out for!
It’s easy to kick the wheels
Because its so short and sort of narrow size, you can sometimes kick the wheels on this board when you’re pushing. This only happened to me the first few times skating the board, or when skating it after a long-period of not skating it. I would quickly adjust and it would’t be an issue any more.
Just something to keep in mind.
Be careful riding over puddles
The cut-outs let water and mud through. You’ll get sprayed if you roll over any of these.
Unless you have wheel shields to protect against the water spray, this board is best for riding in the dry.
Don’t use trucks under 160mm in width
You’ll get wheelbite quite easily with trucks that are a shorter width than this. And with this board, you’re going to want to avoid wheelbite as much as possible. It is often quite sudden and you’ll find yourself flying forward.
Who is this board right for?
- Looking for a relatively compact cruiser that will be easy to skate around with? This is the one for you.
- Still want a compact board but want something better suited for longer distances? This is a good choice.
- Looking to buy a board for a kid? This one is a good choice. The smaller size and standing platform accomodates a shorter stance. They’ll have better control and a better riding experience with this board.
- Looking for a great beginner board? This is a great choice.
Who shouldn’t buy this board?
- If the board doesn’t fit your budget, it isn’t a good choice for you.
- If you have a very wide stance, this board might be too small for you. You should consider the Drop Cat 38.
- If you want kicktails, this isn’t a good choice.
Where to buy the Drop Cat cruiser?
You can buy the Drop Cat here at the Stokedride shop.
What do you think, is the Drop Cat 33 right for you?
If you’ve liked what you’ve read I highly recommend you pick up the Drop Cat. You will absolutely love it. If you’re still hesitant, I recommend looking at my best cruiser boards list for more options and info on other boards.
Big thanks to my patrons Jed, SuperbadJuju, Mowgii, Bryan, Andrew, Jan, Jay, Owen, Samil, Daniel, Alex, and Kasajja for the support. Your continued support of me allows me to keep making things like this. Cheers!