How To Choose The Best Cruiser Longboard: A Helpful Guide

best cruiser longboard

You may have noticed the term “cruiser” is used to designate all sorts of skateboards and longboards these days – sometimes it seems like everything is a cruiser. In reality, a cruiser board is a longboard (or skateboard) primarily designed for relaxed riding and surf-style carving, the kind of riding “cruising” generally refers to.

That being said, there are different ways to cruise on a skateboard, which is why cruiser boards come in different types and shapes. Overall, cruiser boards can be narrowed down to 3 main types of shapes:

  • Cruiser skateboards or “mini-cruisers”
  • Pintail longboard cruisers
  • Drop-through longboard cruisers

With this in mind, here are 3 of the best cruiser longboards on the market – one for each type:

In the rest of this post, I’ll briefly discuss each type of cruiser longboard, then I’ll deep-dive into a few of the best cruiser boards for each type.

1. Cruiser skateboards or “mini” cruisers

longboarding in san diego

Mini-cruisers are small longboard cruisers meant primarily for cruising and carving on campus, city sidewalks, and busy parks or boardwalks. They typically have the following characteristics:

  • Length in the 26″ to 34″ range, 7″-8.75″ width
  • Surfboard type shape with square or swallow tail
  • Kickable tail, small flat nose
  • Some amount of concave for carving and slashing
  • Topmount truck style
  • Big soft wheels in the 60-75mm diameter range
  • Narrow turny and carvey RKP or TKP trucks

Mini cruiser longboards are quick and nimble turning, smooth riding over uneven ground, portable and easy to stash in a backpack or in a locker. They are perfect for campus commutes, city beer runs, and fun sidewalk cruising. Some can even be used in a bowl or a ditch in between cruising sessions. Next, let’s examine two of my favorite mini cruiser longboards.

Best mini cruiser longboard: Landyachtz Dinghy

The Dinghy is an extremely popular mini-cruiser for campus and urban cruising and slashing. Its 28.5″ length and super-nimble setup make it very suitable for weaving through people and things on busy city streets and sidewalks. The large kicktail relative to size, and the responsive Polar Bear trucks make this cruiser highly reactive and maneuverable.

The Dinghy’s 63mm Hawgs wheels are very fast and smooth rolling, and absorb cracks and bumps quite well. Riders can easily mix in kick turns and ollies for curbing in addition to normal cruising. Check out my full review of the Dinghy here, or check out the reviews and pricing on Amazon.

Best mini cruiser longboard: Dusters California Flashback

Priced similar to the Dinghy, the 31″ Dusters California Flashback is a classic surf cruiser longboard with a street deck size. It offers a nice and trickable diamond-shaped kicktail and a wide flat rounded nose. This nimble little cruiser is a bit bigger than the Dinghy so it’s a better option for a bigger rider. With its tight wheelbase (16.5″) and quick turning trucks, it’s still very maneuverable for riding in tight and crowded areas.

The Flashback has a beautiful design with natural wood shades on top and rainbow-shaped yellow and orange lines on blue background on the bottom. The raised 5″ Tensor trucks and wheel wells provide good clearance for comfortable cruising and carving on the 62mm, medium-hard (83A) wheels.

Check out my complete article about Dusters California’s cruiser longboards. You can also see the Flashback’s price directly on Amazon.

2. Pintail cruiser longboards

landyachtz chief review

Pintails are cruiser longboards by essence as they are primarily designed to for stylish and comfortable cruising. Their main characteristics are:

  • Length typically ranging from 36″ to 44″
  • Topmount truck style
  • Shaped like a long and narrow surfboard with a “pin” (pointy) tail
  • No kicks: flat tail, and flat rounded nose
  • Typically some flex in the deck for better carving
  • Carvy and turny RKP trucks
  • Big 65-75mm soft wheel for smooth rolling and grip

Pintails are all about relaxed and smooth surf style cruising and gentle boardwalk carving. They have relatively tight wheelbases (24-26″) for their size which makes them responsive and turny. The effective standing platform on pintails is limited to a fraction of the deck as you generally won’t place your feet on the rear section very often due to the narrowed tail-end.

The following are my two favorite pintail cruiser longboards.

Best pintail cruiser longboard: the Landyachtz Chief

bamboo chief eyes

The Landyatchz Chief is my favorable pintail so far. At a length of 36″, it’s incredibly smooth rolling and fast turning. The bamboo version of the deck is surprisingly comfortable for a pintail. This is due to the slightly rockered profile, the noticeable concave that cradles your feet when pushing and carving, and the nice flex which adds energy to your cruising sessions.

As always, the Bear Grizzly trucks on this cruiser longboard are incredibly fluid and responsive. The soft (78A) 70mm Hawgs wheels are fast, quiet and grippy even when rolling over rough surfaces. The Landyachtz Chief is beyond doubt a premium pintail cruiser. For the full details on the Chief, see my dedicated post here, or check it out here on Amazon.

Best pintail cruiser longboard: Z-Flex pintail 38″

This slightly larger (38″) pintail cruiser from the legendary Z-Flex brand offers a comfortable foot platform and a smooth ride for easy cruising. Unlike the Bamboo Chief, the 9-ply deck is relatively stiff, resulting in a snappy feel but a slightly bumpier one – although the soft bearing help dampen it somewhat.

The Z-flex pintail’s 180mm 45º RKP trucks are slightly lower to the ground than usual, making push cruising easier despite the board’s low flex. The 69mm wheels are smooth and absorb imperfections well. The cruiser longboard comes in a choice of several beautiful retro designs – see the designs and price on Amazon. Also check out my full post on Z-Flex longboards here.

3. Drop-through longboard cruisers

best drop down longboard

The third type of cuiser longboards I’ll talk about are drop-through cruiser boards. These are longer and wider longboards with drop-through trucks for low and stable cruising over longer distances.

These are the main characteristics of drop-through longboard cruisers:

  • Length generally in the 35″ – 43″ range
  • Large standing platform, typically 9″ to 9.5″ wide
  • Long 27″ to 32″ wheelbase
  • Large wheel cutouts with “wingtips” (symmetrical or not)
  • Drop-through trucks mounted on the narrow tips
  • Bigger wheels thanks to lots of clearance from the shape

Drop-through cruiser longboards are designed for cruising comfortably and securely on longer distances and for longer rides. They are well-suited for sustained pushing due to the deck sitting closer to the ground. They are also more stable and comfortable than other types for faster cruising.

Drop-through longboard cruisers are also good for some carving on mild hills during a cruising session due to the cutout shape which gives a lot of wheel clearance. Be aware that this type of cruiser longboard may not be as responsive as the other types due to their larger wheelbase and to your feet not sitting on top over the trucks.

Best drop-through cruiser longboard: Sector 9 Lookout

sector 9 lokoout cruiser longboard

The Lookout is a big cruiser longboard 41″ long by 9.6″ wide with a massive 31″ wheelbase. Besides its spacious standing platform, the Lookout’s drop-through design and flexy bamboo deck make this board low to the ground and very stable. Thus it’s a great board for comfortable pushing and cruising on longer paths. The flexy deck also allows for lively and responsive carving.

The Gullwing trucks are very stable at higher speed allowing for fast cruising – although at the expense of some responsiveness. The huge soft 74mm Nineball wheels make for a smooth ride on uneven terrain. All in all, the Lookout is a super comfortable board for the serious cruiser, including if your cruise path go through a few good hills. Check out my full review of the Sector 9 Lookout, or take a look at the reviews on Amazon.

Best drop-through cruiser longboard: Arbor Dropcruiser

Arbor dropcruiser cruiser longboard

The Arbor Dropcruiser is another every popular drop-through cruiser. Slightly shorter and wider than the Lookout at 38″ by 9.75″ but with a comparable wheelbase, it’s a very low riding deck due to its dropped platform (a “double drop”). Besides length, one aspect that differentiates the Dropcruiser from the Lookout is the stiff 9-ply full maple deck (vs the Lookout’s bamboo flex). The Dropcruiser is also fully symmetrical, unlike the Lookout.

The double drop construction makes the Dropcruiser a low and stable board to push and cruise on. The Paris V2 180mm trucks are also well-known for their responsiveness and tight turning. All this, added to the overall quality of Arbor products, make the Dropcruiser a very good option for a drop-through cruiser. See my full review of the Dropcruiser here.

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Photo credits:
– Featured: “Sidewalk Crusher” by @ChristianRosillo; Rider: @myungjin.c; Permission: Loaded Boards
– “Skater in Venice Beach – Log Angeles, Un” (CC BY 2.0) by Giuseppe Milo (www.pixael.com)
– “DSC03388” (CC BY 2.0) by Rob Cruickshank 

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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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