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Best Santa Cruz Longboards – 2023 Comparison Guide

Best Santa Cruz Longboards – 2023 Comparison Guide
The Roskopp face

Santa Cruz Skateboards is one of the oldest, most influential, and most prestigious skateboard companies in the world.

Founded in 1973 by three surfer friends in Santa Cruz, California, initially as a surfboard manufacturer, the company has been producing high-quality skateboards, apparel, and accessories for over 40 years.

Santa Cruz Skateboards is known for its iconic skateboard lifestyle and artwork such as the Screaming Hand, the Dot, and the Roskopp face (designed in 1985 by legendary artist Jim Phillips).

NHS Inc., the distribution company created by the Santa Cruz boys, also distributes Santa Cruz Snowboards, Santa Cruz Surfboards, Creature Skateboards, Independent Trucks, Bronson Speed, Krux Trucks, Ricta Wheels, Mob Grip, OJ Wheels, Road Rider, Slimeballs, Bullet, and Nor Cal Clothing.

The Santa Cruz longboard lineup includes 4 distinct shapes:

  • The Drop-Thru
  • The compact Pintail
  • The mid-size Pintail
  • The Drop Down

The above 4 models combined have close to 30 design variants. The following table recaps the longboard shapes and designs with their key specs:

1. Drop-through longboard
Floral Flame Dot Drop Thru$20936 x 926.75
Roskopp Five Drop Thru$21036 x 926.75
Classic Dot Drop Thru$20936 x 926.75Check
Journey Drop Thru$21036 x 926.75
Wave Dot Splice Drop Thru$20936 x 926.75Check
Mandala Hand Drop Thru$20936 x 926.75
Prismatic Dot Drop Thru$20936 x 926.75Check
2. Pintail longboard
Holo Flame Dot Pintail$20033 x 9.221
Screaming Hand Pintail$20033 x 9.221Check
Yin Yang Dot Pintail$20033 x 9.221
Stipple Wave Dot Pintail$20033 x 9.221
Stranger Things Screaming Hand Pintail$21833 x 9.221
Toxic Dot Pintail$20033 x 9.221Check
Wave Dot Splice Pintail$20033 x 9.221
Cabana Dot Pintail$20033 x 9.221
Iridescent Dot Pintail$20033 x 9.221Check
Obscure Dot Pintail$20033 x 9.221
Rad Dot Pintail$20033 x 9.221Check
Serape Dot Pintail$20033 x 9.221
Decoder Wave Pintail$20033 x 9.221
3. Large pintail longboard
Amoeba Dot Pintail$20039 x 9.627
4. Drop-down longboard
Botanic Skull Drop Down$21037.5 x 9.527.5Check
Crane Dot Drop Down$21037.5 x 9.527.5
Toxic Hand Drop Down$20937.5 x 9.527.5
Phase Dot Drop Down$20937.5 x 9.527.5
Obscure Hand Drop Down$20937.5 x 9.527.5
Decoder Roskopp Drop Down$20937.5 x 9.527.5Check
Split Hand Drop Down$20937.5 x 9.527.5
Contra Eclipse Drop Down$20937.5 x 9.527.5Check

If you’d like to see the full list in a Google sheet, click on the capture below:

See also:
Santa Cruz Cruiser comparison guide
Santa Cruz Surf Skate comparison guide

*This post may have affiliate links, which means I may receive commissions if you choose to purchase through links I provide (at no extra cost to you). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

1. Santa Cruz Drop Through 36″ Longboard

The Santa Cruz Drop Thru longboard is a medium-sized symmetrical drop-through cutout shape. The 36″ length and 9″ wide give this board an ample foot platform resulting in very comfortable commuting.

Its solid 9-ply hard maple construction makes the Drop-Thru very durable and suitable including for heavier riders (e.g. 250 lbs).

The drop-through mount style results in a lowered ride compared to topmount, well-suited for effortless distance pushing.

The long 26.75″ wheelbase makes this longboard very stable at higher speeds. This combined with the symmetrical shape makes it a good board for freeride. The W concave helps keep your feet in place.

The shape’s sidecuts help make this board nice and carvy and make it easier to push the board sideways for slides. The small dual kicks also help with quick turns and add to the board’s overall maneuverability in turns.

The 180mm RKP trucks provide a responsive and flowy feel in turns. The large (66mm), soft (78a duro), square-lipped Slime Ball wheels offer a high grip for hard carving including downhill. The deck’s large cutouts and wide trucks eliminate any risk of wheelbite.

Size36″ x 9″ (WB 26.75″)
KicksSmall twin kicks
Construction9-ply North American Maple
TrucksBullet 180mm RKP downhill
Wheels66mm 78a Santa Cruz Slime Balls

Below are the gorgeous designs available for the Santa Cruz Drop Thru.

Floral Flame Dot Drop Thru

The Floral Flame’s bottom side features a beautiful fuchsia background with an attractive flower pattern. Layered on top is a dark and flowery Santa Cruz Dot with blue and white flame brand name lettering.

Like all Drop thru versions, the top side of the deck is fully covered by grip tape (no graphics)

Roskopp Five Drop Thru

This version of the Santa Cruz Drop Thru has stunning artwork on the deck’s bottom side, featuring the iconic Roskopp face alongside other comic-like characters amidst an explosion of flashy green, yellow, and pink colors that span from wingtip to wingtip.

Classic Dot Drop Thru

The Classic version is what you’d expect based on the name: it features the classic Santa Cruz Dot with a red background and the SC name in yellow lettering on top. The red dot sits on a dark veneered backdrop. Simple and elegant.

Check price and availability on Amazon

Journey Drop Thru

The journey shows an awesome blue comics-like hand with legs and a smiling mouth. The hand carries a beautiful flower. This is in contrast with the habitual pain-suffering Santa Cruz Screaming Hand.

The hand around a joyful background with cheering yellow, red, blue, and green colors, with mushrooms and other objects alongside the Santa Cruz letters.

Wave Dot Splice Drop Thru

The Dot Splice features an ocean-inspired Dot, with in the background half solid red and half surf waves, and a dual color Santa Cruz lettering. Around the Dot, red and turquoise patterns made of thin lines fill the bottom of the foot platform.

Check price and availability on Amazon

Mandala Hand Drop Thru

The Mandala Hand shows yet another version of the Screaming Hand, this time in psychedelic-style red and green tones on a dark backdrop. The Santa Cruz Drop adds purple tones with the Santa Cruz lettering in fluorescent green and black. Overall very nice oriental-inspired artwork.

Prismatic Dot Drop Thru

The Prismatic, as the name suggests, has a pastel, prism-like gradient overlaid on top of concentric motifs alternating circling lines and checkered patterns. In the middle is a discrete Santa Cruz Dot with the lettering in shadowed light color characters.

Check price and availability on Amazon

2. Santa Cruz Pintail 33″ Longboard

The Santa Cruz 33″ pintail is a classic pintail shape – narrow aspect, widening shape from tail to nose, long tapered tail. At 33″, this is a nice and compact pintail that can easily be carried around into a store or public transport e.g. when commuting.

The pintail is also a great shape for relaxed riding, cruising, and effortless carving on boardwalks or bike lanes. The long wheelbase (21″) makes it very stable for easy riding and exploring the surroundings, including at moderate speeds.

The 9-ply maple construction makes this pintail relatively stiff and highly durable, including for heavier riders. Despite the narrow aspect, the 9″ width gives you ample footroom even for larger shoe sizes. the ride height and low flex also help minimize any foot rub.

this board features a mellow W concave that helps keep our feet in place when riding faster, making for a comfortable ride when commuting or carving.

The Santa Cruz 33″ pintail comes fitted with 160mm reverse kingpin trucks, resulting in a smooth, flowy and carvy feel that matches the spirit of the pintail.

The smaller and softer 60mm Slime Ball wheels provide the necessary grip for seamless carving and ensure sufficient wheel clearance even in tighter turns.

Size33″ x 9.2″ (WB 21″)
Construction9-ply North American Maple
TrucksBullet 160mm RKP
Wheels60mm 78a Slime Balls

Let’s take a look at the designs available for the Santa Cruz 33″ pintail longboard.

See also: Drop-through vs pintail: which to choose?

Holo Flame Dot Pintail

The Holo Flame pintail has a discrete and elegant design, symmetrical on both bottom and top sides of the deck. White and yellow contour lines around a dark background, with a small, toned-down Santa Cruz Dot toward the nose with flame-like golden letters.

Screaming Hand Pintail

This Pintail has the infamous Santa Cruz blue Screaming Hand spanning the full width of the deck’s bottom side. A flamboyant design with these classic graphics laid out on a dark background with a thick red contour stripe.

The top side is covered with black grip tape, also contoured with red and blue lines. It shows the traditional Santa Cruz Dot with a red background.

Check availability and price on Amazon

Stranger Things Screaming Hand ($218):

This variant of the Screaming Hand (see above), the bottom side artwork is a collab between Sana Cruz and Stranger Things, evoking the spooky and supernatural Hawkins atmosphere. The lower part of the hand turns to a black and red, inferno-like color theme. The rear wheels are red as well.

Yin Yang Dot Pintail

The Yin Yang Dot is mind-boggling with its blue backdrop patterned with the Yin-Yang symbol, pink rails, and yellow rails contour lines. The large central Santa Cruz Dot is also Yin-Yang-themed. The same theme and colors are used on the top side as well. The yellow wheels match nicely with the art colors.

Stipple Wave Dot Pintail

The Stipple Wave Dot has really cool wave-like graphics on both sides of the deck – brown waves on a wooden background for the bottom side, blue waves on a turquoise background on the top. The rail contours on each side of the deck use the color theme of the opposite side.

Toxic Dot Pintail

The Toxic Dot pintail has an impressive look with flashy poisonous graphics in orange, yellow, and pink shades. The top side art is also gorgeous with the rails covered with the same ebullient orange and yellow pattern surrounding the Santa Cruz dot on the bottom side.

The Santa Cruz lettering in the black dot has an awesome orange, pink, and white melting aspect.

Check price and availability on Amazon

Wave Dot Splice Pintail

The Wave Dot Splice has a nice bee-like look with brown-toned stripes and turquoise rails on both sides of the deck. The Santa Cruz Dot has a beautiful island theme with a mighty surf wave, tropical flowers, and a pink and turquoise color theme. The pink trucks match the dot and top side contour lines.

Cabana Dot Pintail

The Cabana features a tropical-inspired theme on the bottom with turquoise palm trees on a pink background surrounded with harmonious pastel green and wood-veneered contour lines.

The top side also has a wood veneer aspect with attractive turquoise rails and light green and pink surrounding lines. The pintail ships with nicely matched silver trucks and black wheels.

Iridescent Dot Pintail

The Iridescent Dot Pintail features an astonishing color spectrum on the top side, both inside the Santa Cruz dot and around it, with color gradients transitioning between blue, pink, orange, green, and more. The bottom side reflects the top art through subtle contouring lines and a larger version of the dot.

Check price and availability on Amazon

Obscure Dot Pintail

This board features cool flashy green and blue patterned graphics on a dark background with a pink contour line and black rails. The top side of the deck has dark grip tape highlighted with pink lines, with the rails using the same graphic theme as the bottom side.

Rad Dot Pintail

The Rad Dot has a hypnotizing, small checkered black and red pattern on the bottom, and beautiful pink, purple, and orange contour lines highlighting black rails and grip tape on the top side. The Santa Cruz Dot features a matching color theme with melting lettering on a black background. Purple wheels.

Check price and availability on Amazon

Serape Dot Pintail

The Serape Dot version of the Santa Cruz Street pintail could have been named “Rasta” for its sunny yellow, red, and green tones stripe graphics. The pattern is also used on the rails on the top side. Matching green wheels. Make sure you put on sunglasses before you look at it.

Decoder Wave Pintail

The Decoder Wave is a variant of the Wave Dot Splice, this time with a cool turquoise, water-like patterned background and turquoise rails on the bottom side. The top side has a veneered wooden aspect with darker blue rails and fuchsia outlines. Silver trucks and fuchsia wheels,

3. Santa Cruz large pintail 39″

The 39″ pintail longboard is a sized-up version of the compact pintail we discussed above. It has the same classic pintail shape and stiff 9-ply maple construction, only longer and wider (39″ x 9.6″).

this large pintail naturally boasts a longer wheelbase (27″ vs. 21″), making it super comfy for cruising and commuting and very stable at higher speeds. yet it has the same nose and tail length (2.4″ and 5.4″) as its smaller sibling.

Due to its larger width, the 39″ pintail comes with wider RKP trucks (180mm vs. 160mm for the 33″). As a result, it can also run much larger wheels (72mm vs 60mm) without risk of wheelbite.

While the full-size Santa Cruz pintail isn’t as compact and portable as its little brother, its huge foot platform and nice and responsive ride make it a great board to ride on a daily basis.

Size39″ x 9.6″ (WB 27″)
Construction9-ply North American Maple
TrucksBullet 180mm RKP
Wheels72mm 78a

Amoeba Dot Pintail 39″

The art theme on this mid-sized pintail features a really cool “amoeba” worm-like pattern on the bottom side and the top-side rails surrounding the black grip tape. The red bottom-line rails, contour lines, and Santa Cruz Dot color greatly complement the graphic theme.

4. Santa Cruz Drop Down 37.5″ Longboard

The Santa Cruz Drop Down 37.5″ is a midsize longboard focused on commuting, distance, and freeride. It’s a very comfortable board with a large foot platform. It rides very low to the ground, making it extremely stable and effortless to push on.

this is an ideal board for long-distance pushing – even more so than the Drop Thru discussed earlier, since the very low ride height allows you to push with minimal knee effort.

This longboard also has a significant wheelbase giving it high, wobble-free stability for faster downhill riding.

As a result, it’s a great board to learn to freeride on as it provides a very confident and secure feel, including when breaking traction into slides.

The Drop Down features functional dual kicks which help make it maneuverable and turny despite the longer wheelbase and dropped platform. The kicks also come in handy for technical freeride maneuvers, including for switch riding.

The Drop Down ships with relatively narrow and responsive 160mm Bullet RPK trucks, and 66mm Slime Balls wheels that run wheelbite-free on the high-clearance deck.

Size37.5″ x 9.5″ (WB 27.5″)
KicksTwin kicks
Construction9-ply North American Maple
Trucks160mm Bullet reverse kingpin downhill
Wheels66mm, 78a Santa Cruz branded Slime Balls

See also: Drop-through vs drop-down longboard: which to choose?

Botanic Skull Drop Down

Check price and availability on Amazon

Crane Dot Drop Down

Toxic Hand Drop Down

Phase Dot Drop Down

Obscure Hand Drop Down

Decoder Roskopp Drop Down

Check price and availability on Amazon

Split Hand Drop Down

Contra Eclipse Drop Down

Check price and availability on Amazon

Bonus: older Santa Cruz longboards on Amazon

Santa Cruz Mahaka Rasta Fade Pintail 39″

Santa Cruz Lion God Rasta Drop Thru 40″

Santa Cruz Impact Drop Down 40″