For most people, cruising on a skateboard means riding around in an easy-going way for the sake of riding and sightseeing, as opposed to riding your board for speed, transportation, or tricks.
You can generally cruise on any skateboard, including a cruiser, or a mid or full size longboard, or even a regular street skateboard. Just because a skateboard is a cruiser doesn’t necessarily make it the best choice for you to cruise on.
Cruiser skateboards are shorter longboards – from around 26″ for a mini to 34″ for larger cruisers – with a surfboard-style or bullet-like shape. They generally have bigger wheels than a street skateboard, and larger ones run reverse kingpin (RKP) longboard trucks.
The following is my selection of 8 top skateboards for cruising, based on popularity among riders and my own experience. I’ve picked 2 boards from each of my 4 top brands: Loaded, Landyachtz, Sector 9, Arbor.
|33.5″ x 10″||20.75″ – 22″||Wide cruiser||RKP 180mm||70mm|
|Loaded Coyote $215||30.75″ x 8.38″||17.5″||Cruiser with concave||RKP 150mm||65mm|
|Landyachtz Dropcat Amazon||33″ x 9.63″||23.9″||Directional drop-through||RKP 180mm||72mm|
|Landyachtz Surf Life $200||31.6″ x 9.5″||15.7″ – 17.8″||80s style carving cruiser||RKP 130 surfskate||65mm|
|Sector 9 Ledger $180||40″ x 9.25″||27.75″||Full-size pintail||RKP 9″||65mm|
|Sector 9 Fat Wave $160||30″ x 9.8″||16″||Wide cruiser big kick||TKP 158mm||61mm|
|Arbor Sizzler $160||30.5″ x 8.63″||17″||Swallow tail carving cruiser||TKP 149mm||61mm|
|Arbor Zeppelin $170||32″ x 8.75″||23″||Directional drop-through||RKP 180mm||65mm|
Loaded Omakase 33″ for cruising
The Omakase is a very wide (10″) cruiser which makes it extremely comfortable for cruising, including for bigger riders with larger shoe size.
This cruiser has a very long wheelbase for its length (up to 22″) giving it very good stability and ease of pushing.
The deck’s rockered shape and pronounced wheel flares give you a nice and comfy foot grip. The raised flares make this board very carvy and responsive, allowing for tight turns when riding down tight alleys and sidewalks.
The “all-around” stock setup includes 180mm Paris reverse kingpin trucks which are highly flowy and responsive in turns. These RKP trucks are now shorter, making for a lower ride and nice pushing feel. The 70mm Orangatang wheels are fast, smooth, and grippy.
Check out the Omakase all-around setup on Loaded’s website
Loaded Coyote 30.75″ for cruising
The Coyote is compact, nimble, lightweight (2.8lb), yet incredibly smooth to cruise on. The 17.5″ wheelbase makes it quite stable at speed for a cruiser this small.
The rocker and wheel flares are similar to the Omakase, giving it that special foot tuck and tight turning feel for tight spaces. The 17.5″ wheelbase is significantly longer than most cruisers of similar size, resulting in amazing stability when cruising.
The Coyote boasts a huge kicktail and a nice upturned nose, so spicing up your cruising with some hops and kick tricks comes very naturally.
The Coyote ships with either 129mm street trucks or 150mm RKPs. The latter option is the best for a cruising kind of style as it gives you a more flowy and stable ride – vs a snappier response for radical tricks.
The 65mm/77A Fat Free wheels are fast rolling and wheelbite-free with this deck. They run smoothly even on rough terrain and offer excellent traction in turns.
See the Coyote all-around setup on Loaded’s site
Landyachtz Drop Cat 33″ for cruising
The Drop Cat is Landyachtz’s smallest drop-through ever made, associating the advantages of a drop-through – extra long wheelbase (24″) for stability, low ride for easy pushing, big wheel cutouts for clearance – to the compact size of a cruiser.
The deck has an innovative highly-rockered shape that makes it almost as low riding as a double drop. but without the drawbacks – your can still place your feet very close to the truck mounts for more responsiveness.
The Drop Cat’s small size lets you cruise on narrow pathways and easily ride tight corners. The 7-ply construction has a slight flex that makes for a smoother ride on rough terrain.
The subtle flex also gives you a very nice rebound when carving turns during your cruising sessions.
The Drop Cat comes with 180mm Gen6 Bear Grizzly trucks, some of the most responsive and carvy RKP trucks out there, and big soft (72mm/78A) Hawgs wheels.
Check out the Landyachtz Drop Cat 33″ on Amazon
Landyachtz Surf Life 31.6″ for cruising
While designed for surf skate, the Surf Life is a fantastic cruising skateboard, especially if you enjoy surf-style carving and pumping while riding around. Its nearly 18″ wheelbase gives it the comfort and stability you want when cruising.
This board’s vintage pool shape features a wide foot platform with a wide nose and super wide tail with a tapered “waist” close to the tail. The long and wide kicktail is effective but the relatively flat incline makes for a comfy foot platform when cruising.
The deck is fitted with soft-top grip tape, allowing for relaxed barefoot cruising and carving, e.g. at the beach or in the park.
The Surf Life comes with Landyachtz’s Banger surfskate truck in the front, a 130mm reverse kingpin truck which is turnier and “surfier” than regular RKP trucks, but without the looseness and instability of hardcore surfskate trucks.
The 65mm Hawgs wheels are quite large for a good fast roll. They offer solid grip in tight surf turns due to the sharp lips, wide contact patch, and grippy finish.
See the Surf Life 31.6″ surfskate cruiser on Landyachtz’s website.
Sector 9 Ledger 40″ for cruising
Pintails are great longboards for cruising, and the Sector 9 Ledger is arguably one of the smoothest pintails out there.
The super smooth 9″ Gullwing Charger trucks and 65mm Nineballs combo ideally complements the roomy cruising deck with ample nose riding space.
The Ledger has a very comfortable concave, just enough to keep your feet in place yet without hindering your moves. While smoothly cuising and carving on this blissful – and great looking – pintail, it’s hard to resist taking a few dance moves as well.
See the Ledger pintail 40″ on Sector 9’s website
Sector 9 Fat Wave 30″ for cruising
This cruiser has a 1980s-style bullet shape outline – the stubbiest board in the Sector 9 lineup currently. The stubby shape makes the Fat Wave very nice and relaxing to cruise on, including for riders with big feet.
The 16″ wheelbase makes the Fat Wave stable enough while being nimble and turny for street cruising. The kicktail is short but very wide, adding to the ample foot platform and making kick turns a breeze when cruising tight back alleys and sidewalks.
Meanwhile, this is a great board for pool riding as well as street/park slashing, namely thanks to slight nose kicks and the highly trickable Gullwing Pro street trucks
The 61mm/78A Nineballs, while round lipped, provide ample grip and roll for some smooth cruising sessions.
Check out the Fat Wave Mosaic 30.5″ on Sector 9’s website.
Arbor Sizzler 30.5″ for cruising
The Arbor Sizzler is another nice and smooth riding cruiser board for relaxed and stylish cruising. Narrower than the other cruisers in this list, the sleak outline makes this board easy to carve on.
Bigger footed riders, however, may find wider decks more comfortable.
The Sizzler has a classic swallowtail surfboard shape, surf-inspired design and bamboo finish (Bamboo version) that make this board very attractive for stylish boardwalk chilling.
The 17″ wheelbase – quite long for a 30″ deck – gives it good stability and a smooth ride. The functional kick is just big enough for easy kick turns and small curb hops, keeping your back foot gently locked-in when cruising on sidewalks.
The Sizzler comes stock with 149mm street trucks, making this board lower riding for easy pushing. The TKP trucks and 61mm wheels are an invitation for snappy turns and easy kick maneuvers to spice up your cruising.
See the 30.5″ Sizzler surf cruiser on Arbor’s website
Arbor Zeppelin 32″ for cruising
Similar and size and truck design to the Landyachtz Drop Cat, the Zeppelin is also a super smooth compact drop-through which is blissful to cruise on. Slightly shorter than the Drop Cat, it still has a long and stable 23″ wheelbase
The Zeppelin doesn’t have the Drop Cat’s super deep rocker, and so is not as low riding – although the drop-through design still gives it a low ride compared to a topmount, making it very pushable.
Unlike the Drop Cat, this board focuses on exceptional carving ability. The turns on the Zeppelin provide an incredibly smooth and responsive feel. If you like to carve small hills during your cruising sessions, the Zeppelin is your guy.
The special carving feel of this deck is further reinforced by the flowy Paris 180mm RKP and the large and soft 65mm Arbor Mosh wheels.
Check out the Zeppelin compact drop-through on Arbor’s website
What makes a good skateboard for cruising
Cruiser or not, here are some essential criteria to look for in a good cruising skateboard:
- Easy pushing: makes cruising nice and pleasant
- Comfortable: decent room for the feet, easy balancing
- Responsive: ability to make quick and tight turns
- Good roll & cushioning: the board should ride smooth and roll over things
- Trickable: you may want to pop the board once in a while when cruising
- Portable: easily alternate relaxed cruising and walking
- Surfiness: surfy feel (optional!)
See also: what exactly are cruisers good for?
1. Easy pushing
The first criteria for cruising is without any doubt ease of pushing. You want the pushing on your cruising board to be as pleasant and effortless as possible.
Here’s the deal: the lower to the ground a board rides, the easier it is to push on – your kicking foot needs to travel less to reach the ground.
As a result, drop throughs (trucks mounted through the deck), drop decks (deck is dropped, sits lower than truck mounts), and double drops (drop through + dropped) are the easiest boards to push on.
That said, topmount boards (trucks mounted below the deck), while they ride higher, are more responsive (see below) so some riders prefer them for cruising.
If a topmount is chosen, look for a longer wheelbase and wider platform. Both of these things lead to more stability and hence easier pushing.
2. Riding comfort
A good cruising skateboard is a comfortable board, one you’re eager to jump back on because of the great feeling you get.
A comfortable board for cruising starts with the appropriate length and width. This depends on your own size, weight, and shoe size. The taller you are, the longer you want your cruising skateboard/longboard to be. The heavier you are and the bigger size shoe you wear, the wider a board you want.
Rule of thumb for cruising skateboard size:
|Rider size||Cruising skateboard size|
|Height < 170 cm||Length < 28″|
|Height 170 – 185 cm||Length 29″ – 32″|
|Height > 185 cm||length > 32″|
|Weight > 85 kg||Width > 9″|
Besides length and width, the skateboard shape will result in more or less foot platform. E.g., a cruiser with a wide tail/nose can give you extra comfort for cruising. A pintails with a longish wheelbase can provide a nice and smooth ride feel.
A good cruising deck may have a bit of concave or wheel flares for a nice tucked-in feel for your feet. However, when cruising you tend to move your feet around a lot – to push and to get on/off the board, so too much concave might actually get in your way.
Last but not least, deck flex can make a difference in the riding feel you get when cruising. A bit of flex in the deck provides nice feedback and added energy in turns and carves.
Too much flex, however, can make it harder to push and make for a less stable ride. Bamboo decks are generally flexier, while maple decks with lots of plies are stiffer. Which you prefer for cruising depends on your tastes and skills.
3. Responsive turns
When cruising, you may find yourself riding on boardwalks, sidewalks, trails, narrow alleys etc. Unless you’re only going to be riding bike trails and open road, you need a skateboard that allows you to turn on a dime.
Topmount boards – e.g. classic cruiser and mini-cruiser shapes – will give you a more responsive ride compared to drop-through and dropped shapes. This is mainly because your foot will generally sit closer to the trucks – even on top of the front truck.
Also, classic cruisers tend to have shorter wheelbases compared to drop-throughs. All other things held equal, a shorter wheelbase gives you quicker and tighter turns.
Therefore, surf-style cruiser shapes are generally a good choice for cruising in tight areas such as campus trails or sidewalks.
That said, some riders love the nice and comfy feel of a good drop-through – e.g. the Arbor Zeppelin which is quite short for a drop-through.
Besides turning radius, truck type also plays a key role in responsiveness and ride feel. Reverse kingpin (RKP) trucks generally give you a nice and responsive flowy feel, while street (TKP) trucks are snappier and tighter turning but not as smooth for cruising.
4. Good roll and cushioning
When cruising along park trails or on a boardwalk, you want each push to give you good roll you can chill on your skateboard and look around while riding.
Larger wheels (typically 60 to 70mm diameter) will give you more roll speed than smaller ones, assuming you have decent bearings – most leading brands skateboards/longboards come with OK bearings .
For cruising, you generally want the biggest wheels you can fit onto your deck without getting wheelbite. This depends on the deck’s size but also on the size of the wheel wells / wheel flares. You can add risers between deck and trucks for increased clearance.
Besides wheel size, for cruising you want wheels on the soft side, e.g 78A – 80A durometer, with a large contact patch (sharp lips). The reason is you don’t want to worry about skidding and sliding in tight turns. Wider softer wheels give you good grip.
Softer wheels will also make cruising a lot more comfortable for you vs hard wheels. They absorb vibrations and roll over cracks and bumps a lot better, resulting in a much smoother ride.
If your goal is to spice up your cruising sessions with curb hopping, ollies, and kick flips, you may want to consider a tricks-capable type of skateboard.
One option is to choose a cruiser with a relatively short wheelbase (e.g. 14-15″) that will allow you to throw the board around without sacrificing too much cruising comfort.
Also look for a functional kicktail and possibly nose kick for easily popping the board off the ground and slashing sidewalks and banks on your cruising path.
For “slash cruising” you’ll probably want a board with street trucks instead of RKP, and slightly smaller and harder wheels (e.g. 58mm 90A) than you would choose for just mellow cruising.
When cruising around, you may make frequent stops to grab a drink, say hi to someone, check out the beach etc, grabbing your skateboard under you arm and walking around like a normal human for a while.
Ideally, you want a board that’s not too bulky or heavy to carry around. Cruisers in the 28″-33″ generally meet this requirement.
That said, choosing a bigger or heavier drop-through may be worth it for comfort and stability, especially if cruising for longer distances and sessions. Just keep in mind a bigger deck with 180mm RKP trucks and 70+mm wheels may not be featherweight.
Just like some riders like to slash it up when cruising, others (like myself) love to carve it up and get that surfing feel on a skateboard.
Cruisers mounted with RKP trucks or even surfskate trucks can give you awesome surf-style carving and pumping capability. These are typically decks in the 29″ – 33″ range.
While Paris RKP trucks can be very responsive and carvy, a carver deck equipped with surfskate trucks like the Carver CX or the Slide give you an incredibly fun ride, turning your cruising session into a wave riding one.
Some larger boards like the Loaded Icarus advanced symmetrical drop-through also focus on carving and pumping. Those are awesome to cruise on, but are on the bulkier side.