As I was leisurely riding along the beach on my favorite pintail the other day, someone stopped me to ask me what makes the best longboard for cruising. I suddenly realized this wasn’t such an obvious question to answer due to the broad-ranging meaning of the term “cruising”.
Cruising means different things to different people, but generally, we might say it refers to riding around on your longboard for pleasure. Figuring out the best longboard for you to cruise on, however, depends on how and where you ride.
Here’s my personal top 5 selection of cruising longboards (click to jump to the relevant section of this post):
These longboards have very different characteristics, I’ve picked them because together they cover the most common styles of longboard cruising, which are:
- Easy cruising
- City cruising
- Distance pushing/cruising
In this post, I take a closeup look at each of these boards and discuss the kind of cruising each is best suited for and why.
UPDATE: the new Loaded Omakase cruiser with its compact and super-wide shape (33.5″ x 10″), responsive and low-riding Paris V3 TKP trucks, and huge Orangatang In-Heat wheels, is a serious new challenger to the above boards. Highly durable, with an advanced profile for carving and speed, it’s a comfortable performance longboard for many different styles of cruising. Read my review.
1. The Landyachtz Chief
If your main goal for cruising is relaxed riding on smooth roads and alleys,
I’ve been personally riding the Landyachtz Chief (Bamboo Fish version) for a few months now and I really love it. It has a classic pintail shape with a tapered tail and a somewhat pointed nose that gives it a classic, surf-style look. The fish version I have has gorgeous turquoise color and design.
The Chief’s 36″ length gives me tons of space for my size 12 feet. The long wheelbase makes the board super stable for cruising, including for riding down mild hills to the beach or shooting videos on my phone while riding.
The pintail is virtually flat with no kicks, which gives me nice extra space to stand and move around. The absence of kicks also lets me position my feet on top of the trucks. That combined with the
The Chief does have a slight concave that gives me
The Bear trucks are super flowy and
The wheels are large 70mm Hawgs which roll fast and smooth and absorb ground imperfection really well thanks to a soft, 78A durometer. Fitted with Zealous bearings, these wheels roll on forever.
Overall, I highly recommend the Landyachyz chief for easy cruising and relaxed riding in open spaces.
2. Landyachtz Dinghy
If your cruising style mainly involves riding city streets and sidewalks, then you need something highly turnable, kickable and portable like the Landyachtz Dinghy. Check out my complete review for more details.
The Dinghy is an extremely popular choice for a city cruiser that’s small enough to be carried in a backpack (it’s 28.5″ long and 8″ wide) and fast and agile enough for cruising sidewalks and crowded streets.
It boasts a sturdy, durable deck and
The Dinghy has a relatively stiff deck with a directional shape and a big kicktail that makes it suited for jumping on and off sidewalks and performing fast kick turns and small jumps when cruising around the city. Also has a small nose for some cool nose tricks.
The narrow Polar Bear TKP trucks (105mm to fit the Dinghy’s small deck) and short wheelbase (14.5″)
The 63mm Hawg wheels are quite big – relative to deck size – and soft (78A) making the Dinghy nice and smooth on uneven ground. They comfortably swallow cracks and bump while maintaining good speed, and also offer
All in all, the Dinghy is a capable mini-cruiser longboard for nimble cruising in urban areas. It has a very smooth feel and lets you do some kicking and hopping for fun street riding. Just be aware it’s a technical little board that for more experienced riders. Also, its small size can make it a bit challenging for bigger riders. Go to the full review.
UPDATE: check out my review of the new Dinghy challenger for the sweetest city commuting experience, the awesome Loaded Ballona mini-cruiser.
3. Globe Blazer
Another one of my favorite longboards for cruising in the city is the Globe Blazer. It’s similar to the Dinghy but even smaller in its Regular version at 26″ x 7.25″, making it a uber-portable mini-cruiser to carry around all day and move around city or campus streets and sidewalks.
see my complete review of the Blazer.
Unlike the Dinghy, the Blazer comes in 2 additional sizes, the Bigger version (32″ x 9.125″) and the XL version (36.25″ x 9.75″), which adds viable options for bigger riders like me and for those of us who also go cruising on larger roads and on longer rides.
No matter which size you choose, the Globe Blazer has a really nice classic cruiser shape with a decent kicktail (though not as big as the Dinghy) for quick
The Blazer comes with TKP Tensor trucks of different size depending on the Blazer version, very agile and with a very smooth feel well-suited for urban cruising. The Globe wheels on all Blazer versions are similar in size to the Dinghy’s and provide good traction and shock damping while allowing for some sliding.
The Blazer is also a very well-built, high-quality product made by a respected company. The choice between Dinghy and Blazer is a tough one – I really like both and they both come in a wide variety of beautiful designs. If in doubt, go for the Dinghy if you like more kick and concave for tricks, or the Blazer if you like a classic mini-cruiser or if you want a slightly bigger board. My complete review.
4. Arbor Dropcruiser
If your definition of cruising involves a lot of pushing for long durations on open roads and spaces, then the best cruising longboard for you may well be a low-riding board with lots of foot space. See my full review or check out the Dropcruiser here on Evo.
The Dropcruiser is my personal choice for this type of cruising with its double-drop design. Double-drop means a drop deck, lower in the center than at the mount points, coupled with a drop-through truck mount, which makes the standing platform even closer to the ground. This is as low as it gets on a longboard, making it very pushable compared to a
The Dropcruiser has a solid and ample, 38″ x 9.75″ deck with a long wheelbase making it very comfortable and stable to cruise on including at some speed. It’s a symmetrical shape with large wheel cutouts to allow for big wheels for fast cruising without getting wheelbite.
The 70mm Arbor wheels are smooth and fast-rolling, great for cruising and pushing. They are soft (78A) for shock absorption and grippy for fast carving. The Paris reverse kingpin trucks participate in the smooth and
The Dropcruiser’s low ride provides enough stability to allow for riding down some hills while cruising. Being low also means you can easily break into slides, which further adds to your ability to go faster on this board.
In short, the Dropcruiser is a bigger and lower riding board than the previous options. As such, while it’s not as nimble or portable, it’s a very good choice if your cruising habits
5. Loaded Icarus
I’ll wrap my selection of the top 5 longboards for cruising with the Loaded Icarus, an unusual, higher-end board in the longer-distance cruising category. See full review.
The Icarus is a symmetrical drop-through longboard similar in length (38.4″) and wheelbase (28.25″) to the Dropcruiser. However, the Icarus is significantly narrower at 8.6″ (vs 9.75″) and has a special flex and cambered profile designed specifically for advanced carving and pumping.
So while the Dropcruiser has a dropped platform (lowered in the middle), the Icarus is cambered, i.e. it’s actually higher off the ground in the middle than at the mount points. This gives the board a springy feel that adds to the special flex to provide lots of energy return when carving and pumping – although at the cost of slightly more height and bounce for pushing.
The Icarus has an advanced hybrid construction with a blend of bamboo, fiberglass, and cork that combine to achieve a mixture of energetic flex, high resistance (despite the drop-through design), and light weight (6.5lb vs 8.8lb for the Dropcruiser).
Another key feature of the Icarus is its variable concave and specially-engineered wheel flares. The flares allow running huge wheels up to 85mm without
Like the Dropcruiser, the Icarus comes with 180mm Paris RKP trucks, making for deep stable turns. Orangatang wheels either 70mm Stimulus or 80mm Kegels provide a different mix of grip, roll speed, and cushioning when cruising and carving fast.
In summary, the Icarus is a highly-engineered, high-quality (but pricier) longboard for distance cruising. It’s designed specifically for carving and pumping, and for running really big wheels. It’s very lightweight so hence more portable than your average commuter board. It lets you blend some freeriding into your cruising experience. See the complete review here.
Features of the best longboards for cruising
I’ll finish this post with a few key considerations regarding which features make the best cruising longboards.
As we’ve seen earlier when discussing my top 5 cruising longboards, the best shape and mount style for a cruising board depends on how and where you will primarily be cruising.
Cruising longboard deck size
Deck size in the first question that comes to mind when choosing the most appropriate longboard for cruising. The bigger the deck, the more comfortable the ride, but the heavier for carrying around. If you’ll be mainly cruising in crowded urban spaces, choosing a city/mini cruiser in the 28″-32″ range is probably a smart move.
If on the other hand, you’ll mostly be cruising along beach fronts and parks, a mid-sized longboard in the 32″-38″ range may be a good choice. Finally, cruising and pushing over longer durations and distances typically will be most efficient on a full-sized longboard 38″-43″.
Cruising longboard deck shape
For mid-size beach cruisers, a pintail
For longer-distance cruising and commuting, a classic symmetrical cutout shape will give you a lowered ride height and easy pushing. Those larger boards offer comfortable foot space between truck mounts and good stability at higher speed (being lower to the ground). The big cutouts and wheel wells also reduce the chance of
Cruising longboard mount style
For cruising, both
Drop-throughs, however, ride lower to the ground so they are typically more pushable and more stable for going fast, as mentioned. Drop-throughs also tend to be larger and well-suited for
Cruising longboard concave
Cruising generally involves relaxed riding and moving your feet freely on the deck, so mellow concave is generally best-suited. However, cruising paths sometimes involve riding down some hills, in which case a more prominent concave can come in handy for foot lock-in at speed and for speed checking.
City cruisers can also benefit from having a bit of concave to facilitate small jumps and quick carving. Here again, the amount of concave on a cruising longboard is very much a matter of preference and cruising style.
Cruising longboard construction and flex
Good cruising longboards range from 7 to 9-ply hardwood maple construction to advanced hybrid composite blends as we’ve seen for the Icarus. While durability is important, cruising activities typically does not put as much stress upon your deck as freestyle tricks or fast downhill for example.
City cruisers are probably the cruising boards that require the most strength for mixing in street tricks.
With regards to flex, a somewhat flexy deck is typically helpful for cruising comfort and shock absorption. Too much flex, however, can get in the way of pushing and stability at speed, and can make sliding, kick turns and tricks more challenging.
Cruising longboard trucks
Trucks on city cruisers should be fast and responsive – typically street trucks whose width match the small deck size.
Trucks on a pintail should be flowy and
Finally, longer-distance cruising longboards work best with stable trucks that will keep you on course when pushing and pumping. These trucks should not be as loose as for relaxed beach cruising.
Cruising longboard wheels
Good cruising longboards come with proportionally big and soft wheels for fast rolling and smooth riding over debris, road cracks, and rough terrain.
Cruising wheels typically have a durometer between 78A and 85A. They are often square-lipped with a wide contact patch for high traction when cruising and carving –
Smaller city cruisers often come with wheels in the 60-65mm range (Dinghy, Pilsner), pintails in the 65-70mm range (Lanyachtz) Chief, and larger drop-through cruisers in the 70-85mm range (Dropcruiser, Icarus). Using quality bearings such as Bone Reds or Zealous bearings helps keep your cruising wheels rolling longer and quieter.