Are you having trouble choosing the best cruiser longboard? The vast options available and contradicting views from well-meaning friends may have left you in a dense fog of confusion. Do not despair as this article will help clear that, and you will make a great choice guaranteed!
Read on to learn just what a cruiser longboard is and how to choose one tailor-made to suit your needs. Whether you are only starting in the sport or have been on it for years, you’ll discover more things in this post.
What is a Cruiser Longboard?
A cruiser longboard is a board used to commute or enjoy leisurely rides. It is ridden in a relaxed and fluid manner at low, moderate, or high speeds. Cruiser longboards turn at a wider radius and give smooth rides in rocky areas.
The best cruiser longboards are generally more stable than other boards and give comfort in long-distance rides. It is not great for tricks but is great to use when commuting.
Is it Easier to Ride Cruiser Longboard?
Since it is designed to go at high speeds over long distances, a cruiser longboard is easy to ride. The wide and longboard give adequate space for the rider to gain much-needed balance. It is also very stable, versatile, and comfortable to ride even for older riders.
What Style of Longboard is best for cruising?
The best longboards for cruising are either double-drop decks or flexible drop-through decks. They have both have a low center of gravity, making them very stable even when going very fast. They are also easy to push and carve, allowing you to ride in comfort for longer.
Several longboards on the market supposedly meet this description. Below is the product review of a phenomenal cruiser longboard.
Quest QT-NSC44C the Super Cruiser
- Material: 7 ply Bamboo & maple wood deck, aluminum trucks
- Deck size: 44 inches
- Truck Size: 7 inches
- Wheels: 70mm PU wheels
- Bearings: ABEC 7 bearings
- Kingpin: Inverted
- Colour: Black
For optimal performance, exquisite style, and top quality, look no further than the Quest QT-NSC44C cruiser longboard. Created with the rider in mind, this board offers a comfortable ride making sure you get wherever you want in style. Also, it is durable and reasonably priced.
Its Maple wood bamboo deck is designed to perform and offers stability, making it the best cruiser longboard for beginners. The polyurethane wheels are large enough to go over low-lying obstacles to give a smooth ride even in uneven terrains. The kick-tail allows you to make quick turns, jump in and out of curbs, and go over big humps too.
The Quest QT-NSC44C cruiser longboard can handle heavy weights with ease and is great for commuting. Get it today, and you will find that it is the best longboard for cruising and commuting.
The trucks may need tightening on the onset, but after that, this longboard performs as expected. It rides smoothly over rocks and debris and is very durable. It is the best longboard for long-distance cruising for beginners as it is stable, has vast foot space, and is easy to maneuver.
This perfect longboard board does not use price as an excuse to compromise quality. Even though it is cheap, it is made of high-quality materials that do not wear easily. Its original graphic design is simple and looks great. Overall this is a purchase worth making!
For a middle-aged beginner, finding a longboard that offers the much-needed comfort and support is difficult. The Quest QT-NSC44C cruiser longboard does just that and more. It is easy to ride and puts no strain on angles and joints. It is also very easy to push and slide, causing minimal fatigue to the user.
How to Choose the Best Cruiser Longboard Setup (Buying Guide)
The market is flooded with tempting offers, so choosing a board is overwhelming, especially your first time. You will find that of late, and most longboards are dubbed ‘cruiser’, so finding your ideal is difficult. To help clear the mist, here is a guide that will make you make the right choice, the first time.
Know What you Need
Before diving into the saturated market of cruiser longboards, you need to have a clear draft of what you want. It is best to note down all your requirements to avoid being swayed into making a wrong decision by colorful adverts. Take note of the type of cruising you want, your required speed levels, experience level needs, and other details.
Here is a list of questions you have to think of
- Which cruising style is best for me?
- What is my experience level?
- How important is stability for me?
- Am I planning to do short or long-distance cruising?
- What are my height and weight?
- What is the area I plan on longboarding like? Is it in an area with high traffic, or is it a quiet zone?
- Do I plan to use the board for tricks?
- What is my preferred speed level?
When you have answers to those questions and have noted other important details, you may start looking at your options. You have to know more about each part of a cruising board to make an informed choice. In this guide, I will go through pointers to help you choose the right cruiser board. Each part will be critically analyzed, giving you all the information you need.
1. The Deck
This is a significant part of the board and one of the most important. It determines your riding style, speed, and much more. Below are the most pivotal things you need to look at when analyzing a deck.
The Deck Style and Shape
Not all deck-shaped and styles are suitable for a cruiser longboard. Check out the following shapes and make your preferred choice.
These longboards have a classic surf shape. Because of their top mount, they are difficult to push, but they turn well and give a comfortable ride. You can opt for this if you are looking to go on short-distance cruises on a curvy course.
However, for long-distance cruising and commuting, this is a wrong choice. You are likely to get tired after just a few miles.
This board is compact shaped. It has a top-mount deck and is perfect for cruising in a crowded city. Its kicktails make it easy to jump through curbs and steer away from sudden danger.
- Drop through deck
A drop-through deck has a low gravitational center. This is because its trucks are mounted through the deck pulling it closer to the ground. This gives it more stability making it a great beginner’s choice.
It is also ideal for long-distance cruising because it is easy to push and control. You will also not tire easily since you drop your foot a short distance when pushing.
- Dropdown Deck
With this deck style, your feet are lower than the longboard truck mounts. This lowers the deck, making it very close to the ground. The even lower center of gravity makes it more stable than most board styles and easy to push.
Dropdown deck boards are also easy to break, and for inexperienced riders and children, this is important. Also, if you plan to venture out into downhill longboarding too, this is a good choice.
A downside of this board style is it is difficult to turn. It is, therefore, not good for high-traffic areas or twisted skateboarding courses.
- Double drop
The board has a double drop feature, which comes from the fact that it has both drop-through trucks and a drop deck style. It is the most stable deck style and perfect for cruising.
Unfortunately, it is hard to find a double drop board because of its manufacturing complexity. Even if you are lucky, its makers usually charge exorbitant prices. Your budget is permitting; however, this is a safe and worthy investment perfect for beginners and professionals alike.
2. The Concave
The concave is the slight curvature that helps conform your feet to the board’s shape, increasing contact and grip. It makes the longboard’s edges and rails higher than the board’s center. This improves the rider’s balance making it easy to master and control for a beginner.
An ideal cruiser longboard should have a slight concave. Manufacturers are always experimenting with different concaves. Just go for the one that suits your style.
3. Flexy or Stiff
The deck flex determines its ability to absorb shocks and vibrations when cruising. A deck with some flex puts your knees and angles under far less pressure than a stiff deck. While it may be slower, it is more comfortable since you will be closer to the ground.
For most cruising types, the best board is one with a medium flex. This is because it gives greater energy returns from the impulses you make when turning. This allows you to gain and retain speed through curves.
The slight curvature of a board with medium flex increases feedback and helps with carving while cruising.
After reading all the advantages of board flex, you may be tempted to pick one with too much flex. This is unwise as it makes pushing and carving hard because of its excessive bouncing.
Nevertheless, while it is not highly recommended, especially for beginners, a cruiser longboard with a stiff deck is still okay. It gives you a more fine tunes response to any leans and sways you make. They also go faster and are what most refined longboarders call ‘a real longboard.’
4. The Kicktail
A kicktail is a skateboard detail that is on one or both ends of a longboard. It helps the longboarder make complicated moves or tricks and successfully go through curbs and high obstacles. It also helps in making quick turns, which are vital when cruising in busy areas.
You can opt for a board with no kicktail, one kicktail, or two kicktails.
- No kicktail
It is more stable than one with kicktails. This is because it maximizes the effective wheelbase. This is a greater option for beginners or older riders who are unlikely to want to make kicktail-assisted moves.
- One or 2 Kicktails
A board with one or two kicktails is good for more experienced riders. A beginner can go for it too but is unlikely to use the kicktail function at first.
5. Deck Height
Deck height is a measurement of how far the deck is from the ground. It determines the feel of the board when riding and its stability. Always know that the higher the deck, the less stable it is. High-decked boards are also harder to push or break.
For cruising, it is good to opt for a lower deck. It is not as fast and responsive as high-mounted decks, but it takes less effort to control.
● Deck length
The length of a cruiser board affects its stability, speed, and ease of control. As a usual rule, the bigger, the better if you are a novice rider. This is because a longer deck has a longer wheelbase, more stability, and minimum wobbles.
Generally, cruiser longboard lengths range from 28 to 42 inches. The next topic will give you more on this aspect.
6. The Trucks
Trucks are another important part of the board that plays an essential role in how your board works.
Longboard trucks are the part, which attaches the wheels to the deck. They determine how the board turns and pivots at the axle.
The best cruising longboards have inverted or reverse adjustable kingpin trucks. They are high up and turn well, making them suitable for all cruising styles. They are also good for performing tricks and high-speed cruising.
A board with reverse kingpin trucks permits more side-to-side movement when riding, increasing control, and stability. Longboard trucks are adjustable to your personal preferences. If it is not included, it is advisable to get a tool that allows you to adjust your longboard trucks as necessary.
If you tighten the nuts, it compresses the bushings resulting in a tight feel when turning. Tightened trucks are ideal for high speed cruising as it stabilizes the board. If you plan to cruise in an area with many turns, loosened trucks are better as they turn with ease.
When picking skateboarding trucks, opt for the ones closest to your deck width. This gives you ample room to make proper wheel selection. Widths of 8.5″ or less need trucks of 150mm, and those higher than 8.5″ need 180mm trucks.
7. The Wheels
Some wheels have two distinct features you need to know – the diameter and durometer. Both features determine the speed of your board and hence play an integral role in determining its functionality.
- The diameter
This is a measurement in millimeters, which shows how large your wheels are. Your wheel choice depends on your preferred cruising type, experience level, and the speed you want.
Larger wheels are good for low-speed cruising. They have increased ground contact, which makes them slower and difficult to accelerate. The good thing about large wheels is they roll easily over obstacles giving you a smooth and stable ride.
Smaller wheels are for moderate to fast cruising types since they accelerate quickly. However, they are for more experienced riders as they are less stable, and hitting an obstacle could cause a fatal accident.
- The durometer
This is how hard or soft your wheels are. It is a measurement in the wheel specifications, usually followed by the letter a. The durometer that is perfect for you will depend on your weight preferred cruising type and location
- Soft Wheels
These have a lower durometer, great traction, and roll best on rough roads. They have more grip and better suspension too. Pick wheels with a low durometer if you are a beginner or weigh below 135lbs.
Their softness, however, causes a lot of ground friction, slowing them down. Thus soft wheels are good for low-speed cruising. Soft wheels have a durometer ranging from a 75a to an 80a durometer.
- Medium Hardness
Wheels with medium hardness are good for medium-speed cruising. These are good if your weight is between 135 and 175lbs. Wheels of this range are in the 80a to 83a durometer range.
- Hard wheels
Hard wheels have a higher durometer than soft ones. If you love high speed and likely to longboard on smooth surfaces, choose hard wheels. They are easier to slide.
If you have a heavy built over 175 lbs, go for hard wheels with a durometer between 83a and 86a. The wheel gives you the optimum cruising experience.
Wheel bearings are what make your wheels go round. Good quality bearings roll for a long time after just one push. When picking bearings, your primary concerns should be cost, quality, and durability.
A higher ABEC rating shows that the bearings make the wheels spin at a fast rate. Ceramic bearings, though being expensive, are low maintenance have very little friction. If they go above your budget, normal polyurethane bearings are just fine.
For longboard cruising, the best ABEC rating is at least three and above depending on your preferred cruising speed. Wheel bearings need regular maintenance, and you should keep them dry, well lubed, and free of dirt. It ensures optimum performance and helps them last longer.
9. Decent Bushings and Pivot
Between the kingpin, baseplate and hanger are rubber pads called bushings. Ideally, each of your skateboard trucks should have two bushings. While many may argue that bushings have a negligible effect on the overall longboard performance, they are still important.
The hardness or durometer of your bushings influences how the trucks pivot to the board. Hard bushings make turning hard. However, they return more energy-giving more resistance to pumping.
Soft bushings may be easier to turn as they absorb energy and impact, but they offer little pumping resistance.
Should I Get a Cruiser or a Longboard? What is the Difference Between a Cruiser and a Longboard
So, you want to go cruising and aren’t sure whether to get a cruiser or a longboard. While both perform the cruising function well, they do not work in the same way. Here are the differences between the two.
A cruiser is short, lightweight, portable, and easy to move around. On the other side, true to its name, a longboard is generally bigger, heavier, and more cumbersome to carry. Typically, cruiser boards have deck sizes less than 34 inches that are also very narrow.
Longboard cruiser boards have decks longer than 36 inches and between 8.5 to 10 inches wide.
Because of their size, longboards are generally more stable than cruisers. This makes them a better beginners’ pick. It also makes them easier and less tiring to ride over long distances.
Longboards can be pushed very easily and effortlessly and gain speed fast. They are also even more stable at high speeds than the cruiser board.
- Ease of maneuverability
Because of their size, cruiser boards are easier to move through high traffic areas than longboards. They also have a much shorter turning radius making it easier for them to make quick turns and avoid obstacles. They are far more nimble than longboards too.
Flex varies with different longboards, but most cruising longboards have more flex than cruiser boards. This makes them more comfortable riding in rough or rocky terrains.
Cruisers have an asymmetrical shape similar to surfboards. They usually have kick tails, nose tails, and their small size, making them perfect for tricks. Longboards come in different shapes, and most are pintail-shaped and symmetrical.
Overall, a cruiser is portable, easy to ride in crowded areas, and great for tricks or flips. Longboards, though being on the heavier side, are more stable at high speeds, have greater flex, and comfortable riding in rocky areas.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can you do tricks on a cruiser longboard?
Ans: Yes, you can do tricks on a cruiser longboard. However, it may be difficult as cruiser longboards are heavy and hard to lift off the ground. A cruiser longboard’s shape may make it a little more challenging to do the footwork necessary to execute tricks properly.
Thus, it will require adequate practice and a high skill level to master tricks on a longboard though it is possible.
- Are cruiser longboards good for beginners?
Ans: There are specific cruiser longboards that are good for beginners. For instance, the Quest super longboard comes highly recommended for both beginners and children. While there is a need to get cautious when choosing beginner longboards, most are generally safe, stable, and easy to master.
- Does the shape of a cruiser longboard matter?
Ans: Yes, the shape does matter. The cruiser longboard concave shape is one of the most important factors that determine its performance. There several different types of concaves on the market, all specialized in performing well in other areas. When picking the best concave for you, determine what function you want to perform to get the best board.
- What longboard is best for cruising?
Ans: Since stability is vital when cruising, the best cruising longboard is one with a deck, which is 40″ or longer. Opt for a flat deck with moderate flex for comfort and minimal joint strain. A great option when selecting a cruising longboard is the pintail longboard. It is perfect and for relaxed, short, or long-distance cruising.
Other great cruising longboards include the quest super cruiser, Atom Pintail longboard, SCSK8 Complete longboard, Santa Cruz Land Shark, and the Sector 9 Fractal.
- Are drop-through longboards good for cruising?
Ans: Yes, drop-through longboards match the needs of any longboarder when cruising. Its shallow platform with a low gravitational center gives much-needed stability, especially in high-speed cruising. They also require less energy to push, allowing the rider to go long distances without wearing out.
- Are drop deck longboards good for cruising?
Ans: Yes, drop deck longboards are undoubtedly great for cruising. Their trucks, mounted on top of the deck, make the deck lower and more stable. So, even beginners and kids will find them easy to use and master.
Do you now have an idea of the cruiser longboard you want? Looking at all you have learned against the specifications you want, you may now have a better idea of your dream board. You can either buy each part and make a custom longboard from scratch or buy a pre-assembled one.
Remember, what is best for someone else is not necessarily; what is best for you. Take your time, use all the pointers you learned, and you will soon be cruising on the best cruiser longboard! Happy cruising!