Deck reviewLandyachtz reviews

Landyachtz Freedive Reef Review

My Landyachtz Freedive Reef has seen more combinations of trucks, wheels, wedges, etc., than any other board I’ve owned; it’s my favorite board in the Landyachtz lineup and possibly one of my favorites ever. 

But there are one or two things that make it inappropriate for some riders. Find out what’s up with this deck in my review below.

Specs

  • Length: 36.8″ 
  • Width: 9.6″ 
  • Wheelbases: 23-23.5″
  • Construction: 7 plies of Canadian maple, 2 plies fiberglass(pre-cured fiberglass)
  • Shape: Single Kick w/ Taper
  • Concave: Micro-drop with rocker, mellow W, and wheel flares 

Summary

This is my favorite board from the Landyachtz line-up and the one I’ve spent the most time on. 

I believe the Freedive is one of the most versatile longboard decks available today. Whether it has been freeriding, downhill, or cruising, I’ve been able to do them on this deck. 

The kicktail is incredibly functional on this deck and paired with how lightweight it is, you can successfully ollie it – and maybe even do some tricks if you got the chops.

I’ve been setting it up with all sorts of wheels and trucks; if I had to pick one deck to ride forever (or take traveling with no idea what sorts of roads I might skate), this would be the one.

Aggressive hands down riding with big wheels, chill freeride, vibing, cruising, big slides, etc. It can do it.

And the graphic is incredible. It’s a pleasure to look at it and it is a real head turner – I’ve had many compliments. It’s also pretty scratch proof.

landyachtz freedive reef graphic

However, there are some things about this deck that make it unsuitable for some riders.

The space between the micro drops is only 23inches. This board is suited to riders who have a shorter stance or are smaller in size. For reference, I am about 5ft,10in (178cm) and I’m just relatively comfortable on this deck.

The wheelbase is also relatively short. This means this board isn’t inherently good for going super fast (over 40mph). That said, it can handle speed if you set it up with split-angle trucks. It is certainly more of a freeride board than a downhill board.

The construction is solid and the board has little torsional flex. However, the deck doesn’t handle impacts as well as I would like. The tail chips (just as any tail would) from a ton of use but remains functional for a long time. 

It certainly has its cons, but nothing I’d say is a deal-breaker (unless you got a wide stance).

I think this is one of the best boards out there, and I certainly will be asking my team manager to hook me up with more of them.

And if I was designing my pro model board, it would look quite similar to this board.

stand=up toeside slide on the freedive reef

Landyachtz Freedive Reef Review

The Freedive has a relatively small deck (makes it versatile/quiver killer)

The Freedive Reef has a relatively “small” deck. 

Because it is not too long and not too wide, the small deck allows the board to be used in a variety of ways.

I can set it up with 155mm (or 165mm) wide trucks and freeride wheels and use it for freeriding comfortably. 

Or I can set it up with narrower trucks (120-140mm wide), pair it with wide wheels and use it for a more rip and grip setup.

The 8.9-9.2 ish inches where your feet go and the 23-23.5 inch wheelbases are in that sweet spot that the board can be used for freeriding or aggressive hands down riding successfully. 

I have taken advantage of that with how I’ve ridden it.

This is what makes this board incredibly versatile.

However, when you consider all the features – think micro drop and kicktail, the standing platform on this small deck isn’t all that much.

no grab toeside on a landyachtz board

The Freedive Reef has a small standing platform

You’ll be spending most of your riding time between or on the micro drops. Given the distance between the drops is about 23inches you don’t have that much space.

You have a pretty small standing platform to work with.

standing platform for the freedive reef

This smaller standing platform is great for riders with a small stance or riders smaller in size. You have the drops not too far apart and you can use both when riding.

The drops on most micro drop boards are often too far apart to be used. And you end up using either the front or the back drop, but never use both at the same time (unless you’re tall or have a wide stance).

The Landyachtz Cheese grater is a good example of this. 

So this deck is great because you can use both drops.

However, that small standing platform is not good for riders with a wide stance.

approximate stance for teh freedive

Not good for riders with a tall stance

However, if you are tall or have a wide stance, this deck doesn’t work for you.

For you to use it, you’ll have to force your stance to fit inside the 23inch standing platform – which can be quite uncomfortable if your stance isn’t naturally small.

I think this is a deal-breaker for riders with a taller stance.

Is the concave good?

The concave is great. It isn’t too mellow but it isn’t too aggressive. It’s probably the most ergonomic “slightly aggressive” concave I’ve ever used. And works great for my size 10US/9.5UK feet.

The concave is slightly raised rails, some rocker, micro drop, mellow wheel flares and mellow w. It guides your feet to where you should stand in a very natural way. 

Landyachtz freedive reef concave

I just naturally place my feet where it wants me to without thinking about it. The only time I’m reminded the deck has concave is when I stand on a feature. Writing about it now, I’m surprised.

It’s really good.

Is the micro drop good?

I use a footstop and only make proper use of the micro drop at the back. With the footstop, the micro drop in the front isn’t uncomfortable and doesn’t get in my way. With the footstop, the micro drop feels more like an aggressive wheel flare underfoot.

FRONT OF THE FREEDIVE REEF LONGBOARD

The combination of micro drop, mellow w, and the concave locks in your feet – I don’t really need a footstop but having one is useful for me regardless.

And because the micro drop isn’t super aggressive or steep, you can quite comfortably place your foot on it.

freedive reef concave

What did I find uncomfortable?

I found the rails to be steep sometimes and uncomfortable under my heels. It was manageable though and didn’t negatively affect my riding experience. But I would be interested to see a Freedive with mellower concave under the heel similar to what the Rocket Micro has.

More on the micro drop

I like how the micro drop meets the wheels flares and the rail. It doesn’t feel awkward to place your feet at that intersection and use the drop. I found it great for pushing against during toesides with my back foot.

using the rear microdrop to take a toeside corner

The drop on this board is gradual and isn’t steep. I think it’s there to provide a feature to use during riding, rather than something functional.

The combination of rocker, flush mounting, and micro-drop does affect stability (positively) and makes the transition into a slide more forgiving, but the micro-drop doesn’t affect riding all that much.

Just something to note.

Is the construction good?

The construction is great. It keeps the board lightweight. 

This makes it easy to do ollies, tricks, etc. and makes it easy to carry around. 

ollie on the Landyachtz freedive reef

And the board is stiff. It doesn’t have much torsional flex (for a single-kick maple, composite board). I have no complaints about the stiffness.

Is it durable?

The board also handled impacts pretty well, but I don’t think it is the most durable or impact resistant. The tail has started chipping after heavy use and the nose split after some impacts. Though both are still very usable.

nose splintering on longboard

Maybe I’m asking for too much from the board, but I wish it had better impact resistance and the tail lasted a bit longer.

With how hard I am on my decks, I don’t think this deck will last me more than two years of use. But also, popsicle boards usually last a month before being replaced so maybe I’m asking too much durability from the tail for how much I use it? But it is a point of weakness.

If you won’t be using the tail much, don’t worry about this. 

And I think the impact absorption will be ok for long time use. Just don’t let your board hit too many curbs.

tail splintering

I think this contributes negatively to impact absorption

Also, the rails are trimmed at an angle (which gives the illusion of a thin deck). But I can’t help but think this contributes negatively to the impact absorption ability of the deck. The outer and topmost ply gets the brunt of most impacts and is usually what splits first. 

I reckon if the rail was less angled and more square, the impact would be better distributed between the plys leading to be better long-term durability.

rails of the freedive

The graphic is scratch-free?

I’m not sure what has been done with the graphic, but it seems to be inside/under a layer of something and has generally not faded away and not been scratched up.

This is super super sick. Never had a deck like this before.

Is it good for rip and grip?

As I said, you can set this board up for ripping and gripping, taking aggressive lines, and using race wheels and sheeeit.

But the micro drop, rocker, and flush mounting reduces how much grip you can squeeze out of your wheels and how much you can manhandle your board. At least that’s how it felt to me. 

With a proper top mount board, I felt like I had more control (but also more chances to mess up), but it was a little bit easier to take aggressive lines and be more consistent.

I felt like I could still skate well with the Freedive, but not my best. I wouldn’t pick it for racing, but at the same time, it isn’t a race board … so yeah.

In summary, it does rip and grip good but isn’t a race board.

landyachtz freedive reef

Is it priced fairly?

The deck is made in Canada (not China like most LY boards) and is made with maple and composite. 

I think it is on the expensive side, but at the same time, sort of fairly priced for where it is made and the materials used.

The pre-cured fiberglass apparently isn’t cheap and is finicky to get right. I also think it’s (+ some resin) what makes the graphic on the bottom scratch-proof? I could be very wrong about the scratch-proof bit tho.

So perhaps that’s the reason for why it may be so expensive.

It could be cheaper, but for the value of the deck and the use, and how comfortable is for me, I can’t complain.

I also did get it for free, but with my experience with it, I’d be happy to pay full price for another one.

rider doing a stand-up toeside slide

Is the Freedive wheelbase too short?

The wheelbase can be too narrow (or just right) depending on what you want to use the board for.

The 23-23.5 inch wheelbase makes the board a bit unforgiving for slides but you get used to this. But it is a generally unforgiving wheelbase. You need to make sure you set the board up correctly for what you want to do, otherwise, you may not have a positive riding experience.

For example, if you set the board up with symmetrical trucks and try to skate super fast, then yes the wheelbase would be too narrow to accommodate that. But if you set it up with split-angle trucks and skate fast, the wheelbase is just right.

The 23ish range of wheelbases are tricky as they can very aggressively show you (think violent wobbles or a high side), you haven’t dialed in your board.

Getting the setup right is key for this board, so keep this in mind when you’re purchasing it.

riding the landyachtz freedive reef

How deep is the flush mounting and wheel flares?

The flush mounting is about a 1/8inch deep and the wheel flares are about 1/8inch or more deep.

freedive reef flush mounts and wheel wells

Is it good for cruising?

Paired with the functional kicktail and smaller wheelbase, this board is nimble enough for the city and works well for cruising.

I’ve had a lot of fun cruising from one spot to the other, ollieing over potholes and road imperfections, dodging obstacles, and other road users.

Is it good for beginners?

I’d say yes and no. If you’re a shorter rider, yes. If you’re taller no. And again no because the space to stand on can be a bit cramped. Not bad for most people, but a longer platform can be more accommodating as you can spread yourself out more comfortably. But riders with a short stance will love this board.

downhill skating on the landyachtz freedive

In terms of stability, it can be a bit unforgiving. Board with longer wheelbases are more stable. But if you keep this board under 30-45mph, you should be ok.

And the 23inch wheelbase can make learning to slide a bit unforgiving. You do get used to this and can use the board well, but I’ve always felt a 25inch wheelbase was better. That said, some people disagree with me on this.

What I didn’t like about the Freedive Reef/what to look out for

My biggest gripe with the board is its durability. I don’t like how the tail held up and how the board handled impacts.

The construction is great, it makes the board lightweight and functional, but you sacrifice long-term durability. I’m not sure what they can do to fix this. Maybe thicker rails?

freedive nose chip

The other thing most should look out for is if their stance will fit within the standing platform. Aaand how they set the board up. With the 23-23.5inch wheelbase, this is a key thing to getting the board to work well.

Who is it right for?

I’d say the Freedive Reef is perfect for riders of all experiences, granted they fit within the standing platform.

It’s also amazing for riders looking for one board that can do it all. That said, it’s down to you to make sure it’s set up well for the riding you want to do.

longboard freeriding

Where to buy the Freedive Reef?

You can buy it here at the Landyachtz Website.

My Freedive Reef Setups

Setup 1

  • Deck: Landyachtz Freedive
  • WB: 23.5inches
  • Griptape: 60 grit Lokton 
  • Trucks: Bear gen 6
    • Width: 155mm
    • Baseplate Angles: 40/40
    • Bushings: 93a/93a plug barrel Venom HPF
    • Washers: Cupped washers all around
  • Wheels: Yates Hawgs, EZ Hawgs, Tracers Dragonskins, etc.

Setup 2

  • Deck: Landyachtz Freedive
  • WB: 23.5inches
  • Griptape: 60 grit Lokton 
  • Trucks: Bear gen 6
    • Width: 155mm
    • Baseplate Angles: 
      • Front: 50°
      • Back: 35°
    • Bushings
      • Front: 85/85a plug barrel Venom HPF
      • Back: 93/95a  plug barrel Venom HPF
    • Washers
      • Front: Flat small washer RS/Flat washer BS
      • Back: Cupped washer RS/BS
  • Wheels: Remember hoots, Green Krimes, Supreme Hawgs, etc.
Freedive reef with bear gen 6 trucks

Setup 3

  • Deck: Landyachtz Freedive Reef
  • WB: 23.5inches
  • Griptape: 60 grit Lokton 
  • Trucks: Bear gen 6
    • Width: 130mm
    • Baseplate Angles: 
      • Front: 50°
      • Back: 30°
    • Bushings
      • Front: 81/85a plug barrel Venom HPF
      • Back: 95/95a  plug barrel Venom HPF
    • Washers
      • Front: Flat small washer RS/Flat washer BS
      • Back: Cupped washer RS/BS
  • Wheels: Blue Biggie Hawgs.

Setup 4

  • Deck: Landyachtz Freedive
  • WB: 23.5inches
  • Griptape: 60 grit Lokton 
  • Trucks: Valkyrie MK£ Voxters
    • Width: 160-170mm
    • Baseplate Angles: 45/45
    • Bushings: 87a/87a keg Venom HPF
    • Washers: Flat washers all around
  • Wheels: Free dumbs, EZ Hawgs, Snakes, etc.

Setup 5

  • Deck: Landyachtz Freedive
  • WB: 23.5inches
  • Griptape: 60 grit Lokton 
  • Trucks: Aera P2s
    • Width: 130mm
    • Baseplate Angles: 
      • Front: 46°
      • Back: 30°
    • Bushings
      • Front: 78/78 Venom HPF
      • Back: 93/93 Venom HPF
    • Washers
      • Front: No BS/Flat small washer RS
      • Back: No BS/Cupper washer RS
  • Wheels: Various
aera p2 trucks

Setup 6

  • Deck: Landyachtz Freedive
  • WB: 23.5inches
  • Griptape: 60 grit Lokton 
  • Trucks: Caliber III trucks
    • Width: 157mm
    • Baseplate Angles: 
      • Front: 50°
      • Back: 35°
    • Bushings
      • Front: 87a/90a plug barrel Venom HPF
      • Back: 93a/95a plug barrel Venom HPF
    • Washers
      • Front: Flat small washer RS/Flat washer BS
      • Back: Cupper washer RS/BS
  • Wheels: Savannah Slammas
caliber 3 trucks

Setup 7

  • Deck: Landyachtz Freedive Reef
  • WB: 23.5inches
  • Griptape: 60 grit Lokton 
  • Trucks: Paris V3 trucks
    • Width: 150mm
    • Baseplate Angles: 
      • Front: 50°
      • Back: 35°
    • Bushings
      • Front: 87a/87a plug barrel Venom HPF
      • Back: 95a/95a plug barrel Venom HPF
    • Washers
      • Front: Flat small washer RS/Flat washer BS
      • Back: Cupper washer RS/BS
  • Wheels: Savannah Slammas, Green Krimes
paris trucks

Did you enjoy this review of the Freedive Reef?

I hope this review has been insightful. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ve been very clear about how this board works (in terms of concave) and how good it’s been to me. 

In an odd way, the board feels so natural to me that I don’t even notice what my feet do sometimes – they just know where to go and what to do. It’s almost 2nd nature. And it’s hard to put things you don’t notice into words.

Anyway, let me know what you guys think about the review!

Big thanks to all my patrons for the support – David, Squirrels Adventures, Mike, Jed, Mowgii, Jan, Josh, Jay, Jay, Bryan, @owencampbell777, @dkwan, Alex, Kasajja, Domnik, @pablo.vega.andrade, Vlad, Asa, Helge, DeLacoste, Peder, Josh, Mike, Anthony, @issishreds, Greg, Jackson, Slipa, Louisa, Bill, Steve, Brain, John, Austin, @bomber_p_, Brian, Jeffrey, Jules, Henry, Austin, Philip, Oliver, and Justin. I couldn’t write articles like this without you guys’ support.

Have any Question or Comment?

3 comments on “Landyachtz Freedive Reef Review

Hugh

Hey man, I’m looking at buying the freedive, (my board got snapped last night after hitting a pothole during a hill bomb…) but I wanted to know whether I should buy the complete setup or just the deck. I’m pretty much an intermediate downhill rider. I have my basic slides down and usually am bombing hills at around 20-30mph. I’ve never really experimented with different angle trucks nor different bushings, so I don’t really know what I would like. Do you think the stock trucks, wheels, bushings, etc. that come with the freedive would be good for someone like me?

Thanks,
Hugh

P.s.:
Love the YouTube channel, keep doing what you do!

Reply
Alex

Nice review !
Really complete, well done.
But this board is not for me…
I don’t like micro-drops on deck, because it limits the stance, and 23″ is too short for me.
And the durability is a bit worrying.
I have some boards since 4 years that are in way better condition…
Do you try the Original Arbiter KT ?
This board looks like the Free Dive, but without micro-drops, and with a lot of wheelbases choices.
An awesome concave.
And very durable.
You maybe should give a try 🙂

Reply
AbugaA

I am thinking about the next single kick I’ll ge and I have a few things in mind! Don’t want to spoil but you’ll see them over the next coming month 🙂

Reply

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