Are Cruiser Skateboards Good for Beginners? A Guide to Choosing the Right Board

Are cruiser skateboards a solid choice for beginners? Dive into the full picture – advantages, types, and assembly to make an informed move.

As someone who’s ridden the concrete waves on all kinds of decks, let me drop some knowledge on you. When you’re just starting out on your skating journey, it’s like learning to surf—you’ve gotta find that perfect wave to ride. And in the skate world? That could very well be the cruiser skateboard. Perfect for cruising around the city streets, the boardwalk, or even your local park, these bad boys offer stability, comfort, and a smoother ride for those still getting their skating legs. But are they the right choice for a newbie? Let’s dive deep and see if cruiser skateboards are the best boards for beginners.

What makes cruiser skateboards a good choice for beginners?

When it comes to skateboarding, the first trick is learning how to cruise around smoothly. In fact, I can personally vouch that pretty much everyone who starts skateboarding began by simply cruising. A cruiser skateboard is the perfect melding of a skateboard and a longboard, offering easy portability and larger, softer wheels benefits.

Image of a man holding a cruiser skateboard. Source: unsplash
Image of a man holding a cruiser skateboard. Source: unsplash

The key here is the forgiving nature of cruisers on rougher roads, requiring less effort to maneuver and providing enhanced stability, making them an ideal choice for beginners.

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My favorite complete skateboard (at the moment):

Enjoi Whitey Panda Complete Skateboard

Are cruiser skateboards good for beginners? A guide to choosing the right board | 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.

What are the different types of cruisers?

Cruisers come in all shapes and sizes, led by the pack by normal-sized cruisers and the more challenging mini-cruisers. Here’s a quick breakdown:

  • Normal-sized cruisers: About the size of a regular skateboard or more extensive, they allow for a dash of carving and lengthier commutes compared to other skateboards. It’s important to note that while they allow for quicker turns, popping an ollie will be somewhat of a challenge – something to remember if you’re itching to try some skateboarding tricks.
  • Mini cruisers: With smaller surfaces making balance a bit more difficult, they’re a great option if you want to maximize your skills and carry your board around easily. One popular choice is Landyachtz’s Dinghy model, which comes with premium components like high-grade polyurethane wheels and a peel-resistant deck for an enjoyable ride.

Can I do tricks with a cruiser skateboard?

The great news? You don’t have to buy two different boards! Cruiser boards that allow some cool tricks are known unofficially as hybrids. Their two secrets lie in the specific wheel size and wheel hardness, good-quality bearings, and a board that at least has a kicktail. Start simple, with just cruising, and gradually work toward mastering basic tricks with a regular skateboard and softer wheels.

Are you on a budget and thinking that skateboarding is kind of hard to learn? Pre-assembled skateboards are an alternative, costing about $70, but their wheels aren’t the most comfortable for cruising.

What do you need to assemble your own cruiser skateboard?

If you’re up for it and have the budget, why not make your very own perfect cruiser skateboard? Assembling ain’t a big deal, and you always have the help of your local skate shop or online forums. Here are the components to focus on:

  • Deck: Your choice here will depend on your preference, and nearly anything from 28″ to 35″ will do, other than a longboard. Don’t forget the grip tape to aid you in those turns!
  • Trucks: Your new best friends will be the T-shaped metal thingies, aka skateboard trucks. Brands like Independent, Thunder, or Venture are reasonably reliable.
  • Bearings: Definitely not to be underestimated! High-quality bearings from reliable brands like Bones will ensure smoother rides and lessened wheel wear.
  • Wheels: The perfect hardness balances a smooth and not-so-bouncy ride, generally between 82a and 92a. Starting with wheels between 54mm and 60mm should provide a perfect beginner experience if you’re looking to dodge those small obstacles on the road. Larger wheels mean you might need to consider riser pads to prevent wheel bite.
  • Risers, hardware, and skate Tool: Necessary to attach your trucks and great for if you’re aiming to ride loose. Also, it’s always handy to have a skate tool around when you’re assembling and maintaining your board.

What if cruising isn’t for me?

Sometimes, the anticipation doesn’t meet reality, and that’s okay! While cruising is a great starting point and is frequently chosen by beginners, there are other options out there and alternative ways to engage with the skateboarding world. Be it street skating, park, or vert, there’s always a style to suit your preferences and skills. One of the most reassuring aspects about skateboarding is that there’s always another possibility right around the corner.

Image of a person riding a cruiser skateboard on a concrete road. Source: pexels
Image of a person riding a cruiser skateboard on a concrete road. Source: pexels

Why I recommend cruiser skateboards

I really believe in the varied benefits of starting with a cruiser skateboard. In spite of other available alternatives, I think that the balance and control that cruising teaches are invaluable for any budding skateboarder. And hey, isn’t it always more about the journey than the tricks?

“Skateboarding can be a challenging sport to learn and cruiser skateboards offer a great starting point. By bringing together the best of both worlds – the agility of a skateboard and the stability of a longboard – cruisers make an exceptional first board choice.”

Dos and don’ts of cruiser skateboards

Cruising on a skateboard is an art, a blend of balance, control, and a good dash of style. Like any form of art, mastering the technique requires attention to detail, consistent practice, and an open mind to do’s and don’ts. Here’s a handy table to help you keep your cruising game on point.

Do’sDon’ts
Start with a high-quality cruiserDon’t go for cheap and low-quality components
Choose a board style that suits youDon’t blindly follow trends or advice
Always wear adequate safety gearNever underestimate the importance of helmets and pads
Maintain your cruiser regularlyDon’t neglect the bearings, wheels, and dek
Improve slowly and steadilyDon’t rush the process
A dos and don’ts table for cruiser skateboards

Advantages and disadvantages of cruiser skateboards

Cruising on a skateboard is honestly a ton of fun and a fantastic way to get into the sport. But like anything, it comes with its pros and cons. Let’s explore them, shall we?

Advantages of cruiser skateboards

Here are the pros of choosing cruiser skateboards;

  • Stability: Cruisers typically have a wider deck and bigger, softer wheels, which offer more stability and grip – especially crucial for beginners finding their balance.
  • Smooth Ride: Thanks to their soft wheels, cruisers roll smoothly over various terrains, from rough asphalt to sidewalk cracks, making it easier for novices to maintain their ride.
  • Versatility: These boards are perfect for city commuting, riding around campus, or a chill day at the boardwalk. You get the freedom to enjoy a relaxed ride without the pressures of mastering tricks.
  • Turns & Carving: Their trucks are often designed for easy turning and carving, providing a responsive and fun experience.
  • Compact Size: Many cruisers, like the penny board, are compact and lightweight, making them easy to carry and store.
  • Great Introduction: For those unsure about diving deep into the skate world, cruisers offer a great introduction without the intimidation of more specialized boards.

Disadvantages of cruiser skateboards

Now, let’s take a look at the cons of cruiser skateboards:

  • Not for tricks: If you’re looking to pop ollies, kickflips, or ride half-pipes from the get-go, cruisers aren’t designed for that. They’re more for transportation and leisurely rides.
  • Wheel bite: The soft and large wheels, combined with deep carves, might sometimes lead to wheel bite (when the wheel touches the board), potentially causing a sudden stop.
  • Limited skill progression: While they’re excellent to start with, sticking solely to a cruiser might limit progression to more advanced skating techniques.
  • Size variations: While many cruisers are compact, there are larger longboard cruisers that might be a tad cumbersome for some, especially when it comes to storage and transport.
  • Learning curve: Despite being beginner-friendly, there’s still a learning curve. Some might find the responsiveness of the trucks a bit challenging initially, leading to oversteering.

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

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Curious to unravel the world of cruising a little more? Well, I’ve got you covered. Here’s a compilation of some of the top questions I often see popping up about cruising on skateboards. Let’s jump right into it!

How are cruiser skateboards different from traditional skateboards?

Cruiser skateboards generally have a wider deck compared to traditional skateboards, providing more stability and control. They’re designed primarily for cruising and commuting. Unlike a traditional skateboard that’s been tailored for tricks and ramps, a cruiser is more focused on providing a smooth, stable ride, making it an ideal choice for beginners.

Why can’t I do advanced tricks with cruiser skateboards?

Cruisers aren’t really designed with tricks in mind. Their significant difference lies in wheel sizing, hardness, and the build of the board itself. While cruisers boast larger and softer wheels that promise smooth rides on uneven pavements, they might limit your board’s ability to pop, affecting advanced trick performance. Don’t fret if you’re keen on tricks, though! As your skill progresses, it’s worth considering other styles that better suit trick-oriented skateboarding.

Is there a recommended brand for cruiser skateboards?

For those asking for a “one brand fits all,” sorry to bust your bubble, but there isn’t a definitive answer. Various brands excel in creating cruising decks, with a common favorite being Landyachtz, known for high-quality components and reliable builds. I suggest reading up on skateboard decks to gain a deeper insight into the wide world of boards out there!

Do I need special sneakers for cruising?

While there isn’t a strict rule for specific sneakers, it’s wise to opt for skate shoes. Skate shoes not only provide a more comfortable and better grip on the board but also sport features that regular sneakers won’t have, like high-endurance materials and specific designs that could boost your cruising experience. You can learn more about this in our detailed guide on skate shoes.

Final thoughts

Skateboarding, at its heart, is a thrilling experience – one that’s kick-started by the humble cruisings of a novice. Cruiser skateboards serve as an epic gateway into the skateboarding world, mixing balance, control, and ease of learning. They bridge the world of skateboards and longboards, creating a novel kind of joy. So, if you’re ready to roll, a cruiser skateboard could be your stepping stone into a larger, exciting world of skateboarding.

Hey, what’s your take? Do you think starting with a cruiser skateboard will be a good move for a newbie? 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 blog for more tips and tricks on mastering the skateboard. Thanks for reading, and keep shredding!

Key takeaways

This article covered the suitability and advantages of cruiser skateboards for beginners. Here are some key takeaways:

  • Cruiser skateboards offer a unique blend of skateboards and longboards, ideal for beginners.
  • There are different types of cruiser boards – normal-sized cruisers and mini cruisers.
  • Hybrids allow for cruising and the execution of tricks and require specific components.
  • Assembling a cruiser skateboard involves choosing components like a deck, trucks, bearings, and wheels.
  • Cruising may not be suitable for everyone, and alternatives like street, park, or vert skateboarding exist.
  • Cruiser skateboards may not be ideal for advanced tricks and have their pros and cons.

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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