How to Choose a Cruiser Skateboard: 10 Key Factors for The Best Ride

Find your perfect cruiser skateboard with this solid guide. Uncovering 10 key factors to consider for the best skateboard ride. Read on to learn more!

Are you pursuing that perfect cruiser skateboard that feels right under your feet? What if you stumble upon a tricky choice that leaves you like Harry Potter playing with his wand choices at Ollivanders? In this post, you’ll learn about different types of cruiser boards, their purposes, the varied materials used, and factors like size, shape, and flex to consider. Whether you’re a seasoned skater looking for a change of pace or a newbie wanting a beginner-friendly board, this guide will steer you through the essentials of choosing the perfect cruiser skateboard for your next ride.

What are cruiser skateboards?

Cruiser skateboards are your ultimate companions for zippy short-distance jaunts. Their convenient size makes them perfect for lugging around or even traveling on a plane if they’re compact enough. While they aren’t meant for advanced trick performance like their longboard relatives, they offer thrilling, quick rides.

Image of a skateboarder holding his black cruiser skateboard. Source: unsplash
Image of a skateboarder holding his black cruiser skateboard. Source: unsplash

However, be mindful that these babies can also be sketchy for downhill rides at high speeds due to possible wheel wobbles. Treat them like a Ferrari, opting to cruise around town, stunning the onlookers, rather than taking on a Nitro Circus freeride style.

Are you confused about the difference between skateboards, cruisers, and longboards? Take a quick detour right here.

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My favorite complete skateboard (at the moment):

Enjoi Whitey Panda Complete Skateboard

How to choose a cruiser skateboard: 10 key factors for the best ride | 61vn95mf7ql. Ac sl1184 | skateboard salad
My favorite complete skateboard (at the moment):

Enjoi Whitey Panda Complete Skateboard

I had my board stolen a few years ago and was forced to quickly replace it with a complete. I got one with an Enjoi deck and loved it so much that I still buy the Whitey Panda deck each time I need a new deck. This complete with budget-friendly, beginner-friendly parts, but I still swear by it.

Can everyone ride cruiser boards?

Absolutely! It would be best if you had a bit of patience. Size does matter when learning to ride, with bigger boards offering more stability. The Cruiser skateboard crew covers a wide spectrum of sizes, the smallest being the Penny board. However, the adrenaline rush from mastering a relatively unstable ride is not to be missed! Just imagine Tony Hawk pulling off his insane 900 on a cruiser—really, how sick could that be?

Does the material of a cruiser board matter?

Choosing a cruiser board material goes beyond mere aesthetics. It’s the key to getting the right amount of flexibility you need. Cruisers come in various flavors, from cheap plastic to high-quality, durable maple, cherry wood, and grade-A plastic. The stiffer and flick-resistant your board, the less it will let you wobble at speed, but a flexible board can absorb shocks for a comfortable commute like a dream.

The choice is like choosing between an Aston Martin DB9 and a Cadillac De Ville. What about grip, you ask? Some boards come with a fully gripped deck, while others will have only a few strips of grip, and then there are those boards that lack grip entirely. Choose wisely based on your crusade about where and how you’ll ride.

How do you choose the right cruiser board?

Choosing the right cruiser board is not just about strutting around showing off your new gear—it’s about finding the right kind of shred for your feet. Whether you’re cruising around campus or darting through the city sidewalks, your board’s design, features, and components play a crucial role. Let me break down these elements for you:

1. Types of cruiser boards and their purposes

Understanding the different types of cruiser boards is the foundation of your quest for the perfect ride. The cruisers may not allow you to attempt tre-flips, but they surely offer buttery smooth rides for shorter distances. And, well, their versatile sizes make them almost “Speedy Gonzales” quick!

Your mini cruisers don’t have a “handle with care” tag. They are quite popular portables, and despite their smaller size, they can offer an error-free, comfortable ride. While they may not be as speedy as longboards, they are a solid choice if you want something in the middle.

Choose a cruiser that aligns with your anticipated purpose—smooth sailing or an adrenaline-rush-inducing zippy ride around town. Larger boards come with the added advantage of more stability, making them ideal for beginners, while the smaller ones, though a bit trickier to handle, offer a bigger thrill. Just remember, high-speed downhill rides are best left to longboards.

2. Size and shape of a cruiser board

When choosing a cruiser board, size isn’t a “one-size-fits-all.” Cruiser boards come in varied sizes and shapes, each designed for unique needs and desired performance levels. Like, would you wear baggy jeans for a CrossFit workout? Not really!

Typically, cruisers have a pointy front for an aerodynamic edge; however, whether this shape makes a big difference is still up for debate. Most feature a slightly raised tail, allowing you to hop curbs or perform basic tricks. Flat variants also exist, which are usually stiffer.

3. Material and flex of a cruiser board

Materials and flex, or the board’s stiffness, are crucial elements of a cruiser board, impacting your ride significantly. Boards with more flex absorb shock better, contributing to a smooth ride, which is especially handy if your route is a little rough around the edges. But push them to higher speeds, and they may betray you, swaying away that stability.

The choice of materials and flex depends on your preference and the specific ride that you’re looking for. Materials vary from cheap plastic to high-quality, durable wood or grade-A plastic. Extra grip from fully-gripped decks can edge up your control over the board. Ultimately, it’s all about how you want your journey to feel—not too stiff, flexible, just right!

4. Cruiser wheels

Any board can roll, but cruiser wheels make your rolling journey smooth. If the ride of your life is all you want, then softer wheels are what you need. Cruisers with softer, larger wheels (65mm and above) can manage rough roads and those pesky twigs and pebbles rather smoothly. Remember McFly’s hoverboard from “Back to the Future”? Instead of a hoverboard, he had these smooth ‘n’ soft cruiser wheels.

5. Trucks and bushings

Trucks and bushings ticket you to the land of tighter turns and carving. Cruiser-board trucks need to have the perfect blend of tight and loose. Loose trucks can phenomenally upgrade your carving ability, which becomes crucial when you stroll through narrow streets. But just like Captain Jack Sparrow treads the line between genius and madness, tread your loose truck line with care, or you may be left wrangling.

As for bushings—those cone-barrel-shaped urethane components—they cushion up the ride but also counter-flex those sharp turns, making your cruising less of an out-of-control Miley on a wrecking ball and more of a Stallone in Rocky Balboa-Uppercut control.

Choosing the right cruiser board isn’t rocket science—it’s more like understanding what you want from your ride and matching those needs to what cruisers offer. If you plan to assemble your board, this guide can turn that ordeal into a breezy DIY task.

6. Cruiser board maintenance

Once you’ve found your sick cruiser, you want to ensure it sticks around for the long haul, right? A regular maintenance routine goes a long way toward keeping that boarding experience top-notch. Cleaning your bearings regularly will keep them shrieking like banshees. If you want more details on carrying this out, follow this guide for tricks and techniques.

7. Rider’s stature

Remember, cruiser boards are not a one-size-fits-all solution. Your cruiser needs to suit your foot size, weight, and, not to mention, your skating style. Skaters with larger feet might find Penny boards a bit cramped. Similarly, lightweight riders typically choose boards with more flex to absorb minor bumps and enjoy a smoother ride.

8. Cost

While deciding on that killer cruiser board, look at your wallet. Yes, higher quality often equates to higher cost; however, several affordable boards carry stellar quality and functionality.

9. Durability

No one fancies a cruiser board that splits or snaps right in the middle of a ride! Opt for boards crafted from durable materials like maple wood or high-grade plastic. Not just the deck; consider the durability of the wheels and trucks. But remember, durability often comes at the cost of added weight.

10. terrain

Finally, consider the terrain you’ll be igniting sparks on. Cruising around hilly areas or tackling rough surfaces? Then you’d need some good flex and larger, softer wheels. Conversely, for smoother pavements, you can opt for less flex.

Image of a black cruiser skateboard leaning on the wall. Source: unsplash
Image of a black cruiser skateboard leaning on the wall. Source: unsplash

Additional cruiser skateboard tips

Getting your hands on your dream cruiser is just step one. Here are a few tips to help you nail the cruiser journey:

  • Learn basic skateboard maneuvers before stepping on a cruiser
  • Practice safe riding techniques and always gear up with protective gear
  • Experiment with different riding styles to figure out what you enjoy the most
  • Get professional help or consult knowledgeable peers if you’re assembling your board

Personal take on cruiser skateboarding

Speaking from my journey as a skateboarder, I can vouch for the unrivaled freedom a cruiser board brings to my skateboarding experiences. My first encounter with a cruiser was daunting; it felt uncanny and less stable. But with time and patience, it became my trusted companion for quick runs to the grocery store or leisurely evening rides around town.

“Mastering the cruiser skateboard means embracing the thrill that comes from the unpredictable and the freedom that comes from the ride. Remember, the journey of cruiser skateboarding is about more than just steering the board. It gets as exciting or casual as you allow it to be!”

As an intermediate skater, transitioning to a cruiser meant adapting to its unique features, flex, and feel. The learning curve was steep but worth every single drop of sweat. For anyone keen on experiencing the thrill and convenience of cruiser skateboarding, I’d recommend checking out this guide.

Here is a table that compares different types of cruiser skateboards based on factors that impact their performance and suitability for varied riding preferences.

Type of Cruiser BoardAverage Deck Size (in inches)MaterialIdeal for
Penny Boards22-27PlasticShort commutes, flat surfaces
Mini Cruisers29-32Wood/PlasticShort commutes, tricks and stunts
Mid-size Cruisers32-35WoodCommuting, cruising
Long Cruisers36-42WoodLong commutes, downhill rides
A comparative overview of different cruiser skateboards

Advantages and disadvantages of cruiser skateboarding

Choosing to ride a cruiser comes with its own set of upsides and downsides, much like choosing between watching the Super Bowl live or enjoying the comfort of your couch. Let’s unpack some of those pros and cons:

Advantages

Cruiser skateboarding is not just about skating; it’s the gateway to an exhilarating, liberating ride packed with advantages like:

  • Portable and lightweight, making it perfect for commuters
  • Shorter decks allow for ease of maneuverability
  • Durable and designed for longevity
  • Offers a smooth ride, even on rough terrains
  • Versatile, with varying sizes and flex to cater to different preferences

Disadvantages

However, every rose has its thorns, and cruiser skateboarding is no exception. Here are some cons to keep in mind:

  • Not suitable for tricks or high-speed downhill rides
  • It can be unstable for beginners.
  • Requires regular maintenance for optimal performance
  • Pricier than regular skateboards
  • Choosing the right cruiser can be overwhelming due to the wide range of options.

If you are a visual learner, check out the video below from YouTube.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Before we close the chapter on cruiser skateboards, let’s address some of the commonly asked queries that might be lingering in your minds:

Can I do tricks on a cruiser skateboard?

Yes, you can do basic tricks on a cruiser skateboard, thanks to its slightly raised tail. However, considering their smaller size and less stability, they don’t lend themselves well to advanced tricks, unlike freestyle or street skateboards. For practicing more advanced stunts, drop into this guide for a step-by-step breakdown.

Can I take my cruiser board on a plane?

Yes, provided it’s compact enough, you should be able to take your cruiser on a plane. But, to avoid any last-minute disappointments, it’s a good idea to check the airline’s skateboard policy. For some nifty insights on which airlines are skateboard-friendly, check out this post.

What maintenance does a cruiser board require?

Like any other skateboard, your cruiser requires regular checks and maintenance for optimal performance. Regular cleanups, especially for your bearings and wheels, can prolong your board’s life and ensure smoother rides. If you need tips on making your skate shoes last longer, read this article.

What’s the best size cruiser board for me?

The size of your cruiser board would largely depend on your foot size, weight, skateboarding competency, and personal preference. Larger boards offer more stability but could be bulkier to carry around, while smaller ones provide nippier rides, with the tradeoff of less footing space and stability.

Final thoughts

In this full-throttle ride into the world of cruiser skateboards, we’ve whizzed through all you need to know to choose your perfect cruiser board. From understanding the nuances of different types of cruiser boards to the nitty-gritty details of their components, we’ve covered them all. Have I given you food for thought when picking your cruiser skateboard? Did anything in particular strike a chord?

And did I cover everything you wanted to know? Let me know in the comments section below. I read and reply to every comment. If you found this article helpful, share it with a friend and check out my full blog for more tips on tricks on everything skateboard. Thank you for reading, and here’s to shredding the streets with your dearest cruiser!

Key takeaways

This article covered how to choose a cruiser skateboard. Here are some key takeaways:

  • Cruiser skateboards are suitable for short distances and offer swift, smooth rides.
  • Size, shape, flex, and material significantly impact the performance of a cruiser board.
  • Opt for boards with larger, softer wheels and somewhat loose trucks for cruising around town.
  • Regular maintenance will ensure your cruiser board’s longevity.

Helpful resources

Steven Portrate
Written by Steven Sadder, Staff Writer

Hey! I'm Steven, a lifelong skater, and proud New Yorker. I’ve been skating since I was a teenager. I may be a bit older now, but I'm not slowing down. Follow me for skating tips and latest gear reviews.

Nick eggert.
Edited by Nick Eggert, Staff Editor

Nick is our staff editor and co-founder. He has a passion for writing, editing, and website development. His expertise lies in shaping content with precision and managing digital spaces with a keen eye for detail.

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