Arbor Dropcruiser Review: A Comfortable & Stylish Mid-Size Commuter

Arbor Dropcruiser review

Last week I saw someone cruising on an Arbor Dropcruiser longboard and I got really impressed by how fluid and comfortable the ride seemed to be, so I thought I’d take a closer look at that board.

The Arbor Dropcruiser is no doubt a well-regarded longboard. It’s a dropped deck and drop-through board in the mid-size range with a strong focus on comfortable cruising, pushing, distance commuting, and light freeride.

At 38″ in length with a 29.25″ wheelbase, it offers an ample, low-riding platform that’s optimized for running bigger softer wheels, allowing for riding fast including on rougher surfaces.

The board is a smooth glider super comfortable for carving over longer distances and riding down medium slopes, with lots of foot space and decently tight turns with no wheelbite.

Priced at $150 to $200 with different beautiful designs, the Dropcruiser is definitely a good affordable choice for a commuter board. In this article, we’ll examine the Arbor Dropcruiser in some detail. If you prefer, you can skip below to the list of designs the Dropcruiser is available in. The Photo Collection is my personal favorite (Amazon).

The Arbor product line

Arbor skateboards

First things first, if you’re a longboarder, you’re probably aware that Arbor is one of the respected brands out there, who’s been on the market for over 20 years with a wide range of quality longboards.

Arbor is actually structured as a collective of designers and artists focused on building quality skateboards, snowboards (their initial product) and clothes. Their main product focus is on high craftsmanship and sustainable materials. They are serious about the environment and donate part of their profits to groups that protect and restore forests, namely the Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative.

Arbor’s longboard collections are organized by design theme, e.g. Groundswell series, photo collection, artist collection etc). in addition to full-size longboards they offer a cruiser line, a hybrid line, and a street line, all with beautiful choices of graphic art and material.

The Dropcruiser double-drop setup

The Arbor Dropcruiser is a drop-down deck with a drop-through mount style – also known as double-drop.

In case you’re new to longboarding, a drop-down deck means the standing platform (the area you place your feet on) is lowered relative to the truck mount points.

Arbor Dropcruiser drop-down deck

Drop-through, on the other hand, means that the trucks are mounted through the deck vs below it – the deck has cutout holes in it so the trucks can be mounted across it.

Practically speaking, this means to assemble the board, you first need to unscrew the truck’s baseplate off the hanger and then sandwich the deck between the baseplate – which sits flush or slightly above the deck surface – and the hanger (sits below the deck).

Arbor Dropcruiser drop-through mount style
Arbor Dropcruiser drop-through truck cutouts

A drop-through mount has the main advantage of further lowering the deck to the ground compared to a topmount (where the deck sits on top of the trucks), and offering higher stability at speed.

Drop-through + dropped-deck (double-drop) is the lowest riding combination. The lower the deck to the ground, the easier it is to cruise and push on as your foot travels a shorter distance to the ground, which requires less effort in terms of knee bending and hip flexing.

Thus the Dropcruiser’s lower platform provides a comfortable ride with easy pushing for long commutes and a very stable riding experience that results from a lowered center of gravity.

Dropcruiser deck shape

Arbor Dropcruiser deck shape

The Dropcruiser has a solid, 9-ply hard rock maple construction build to last and endure abuse. Although that’s at the cost of a slightly higher weight, that’s not a handicap given the primary riding uses the board is made for.

The Dropcruiser deck is comfortable at 38″ x 9.75″ with a large wheelbase of 29.25″ to 32″ depending on how you set it up.

It’s a symmetrical shape with large wheel cutouts. Again this reflects the Dropcruiser’s cruising and commuting DNA since this provides room for much bigger wheels without suffering wheelbite when carving turns. Bigger wheels allow for more speed and better comfort on rough terrain.

The Dropcruiser boasts a mild concave – a widthwise curvature with the edges slightly raised. This can be seen when looking at the deck down the nose toward the tail. Unlike a flat deck, concave helps secure your feet and lock them in when going faster or sliding.

Arbor Dropcruiser mild concave

The Dropcruiser deck does not have rocker or camber. Rocker sometimes helps lower the deck a bit more, while camber can give a deck more spring, This deck has a normal profile for a more predictable ride at higher speed and for technical freeride slides. A regular profile also helps make the board more even durable, less vulnerable than a curved profile.

Arbor Dropcruiser trucks

The trucks that come stock with the Arbor Dropcruiser are Paris V2 reverse kingpin trucks, some of the best trucks on the market in terms of strength and resistance (they’re guaranteed for life) and responsiveness in turns. The 180mm hanger width is well-suited for the Dropcruiser’s 9.75″ width.

Arbor Dropcruiser Paris 180mm truck

The Paris’ open bushing seats give them a smooth and carvy feel, and their 50º angle a quick and fluid turn well-adapted to cruising and carving. The 90A mixed barrel and cone bushings also participate in that carving fluidity.

Dropcruiser wheels

Arbor Dropcruiser Outlook wheels

The Dropcruiser comes by default with Arbor Outlook wheels which are big 70mm, soft (78A) and smooth cruiser wheels, very comfortable at higher speeds and on rougher terrain. These wheels are great for carving, cruising, pushing and commuting, and maintain a high roll speed.

The wheel “Venice” formula the Outlooks use is a cruiser-focused urethane blend designed to work well on rougher roads. They are soft and grippy enough for handling cracks and bumps. Their centerset core placement is optimal for cruising, and the 38mm core also helps absorb imperfections while maintaining maneuverability at commuting speed.

Some riders like to run even larger wheels on the Dropcruiser, such as 75mm Orangatang In Heats (Amazon). Also, although the stock ABEC-5 bearings are decent, you may want to upgrade them with some Zealous bearings for a virtually endless roll.

So, what is the Dropcruiser good for?

As you probably figured it out by now, the Dropcruiser is built for cruising, pushing and commuting. The dropped deck and drop-through mount make it very low to the ground for easy pushing over distances, whether to go to the store or across town on a daily basis. Watch the following 10 seconds:

But the Dropcruiser is also a very good board for some downhill freeride. As mentioned, the mellow concave locks your feet in nicely which gives you the confidence and secure feel you need at higher speeds.

The very low platform provides great stability when going faster. It also makes it extremely easy to break into slides – lower decks are easier and less intimidating to push sideways at speed.

The large wheel cutouts also allow for tight carves when riding down on a hill, with little risk of wheelbite. This also gives the rider confidence for going faster. The cutouts and symmetrical shape are also very well-suited for technical sliding and freeride tricks such as heelside and toeside 180º slides.

Dropcruiser designs & colors

Here are some of the great artistic designs available for the Dropcruiser – click to go to the Amazon page for each board:

Final thoughts

If you’re a longboard commuter and like pushing and carving across widespread areas of town, and like to mix distance pushing and carving with some freeride and even technical sliding, then the 38″ Dropcruiser double-drop setup is a solid, comfortable and durable choice. It’s also a great board for push racing and longboard travel.

Of course, it’s not the most lightweight board out there, but it’s a quality product with great craftmanship and beautiful design, at a relative affordable price.

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About me

Big Kahuna

Hi I'm Jesse. All my life I've been passionate about the board riding lifestyle. Some years ago I got into longboarding, and in doing so, I discovered a whole new universe and a fantastic community. There's something for everyone in longboarding regardless of age, gender, size, and fitness level. Ride on!

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