Looking to spice up your cruising sessions with some surf-style carving and pumping, but wondering if you can really cruise on a surfskate?
If (like me) your definition of cruising involves relaxed riding along the beach, on bike trails or on sidewalks, you need a surfskate comfortable and stable enough to not require constant effort from you just to remain balanced and riding smoothly.
Surfskates are designed for snappy surf carves and easy pumping. Their front truck is much quicker turning than a regular longboard truck, which potentially makes cruising and pushing harder.
That said, some surfskates are a lot more stable and “cruisable” than others, giving you the best of both worlds – a nice cruiser feel doubled with a surf-like experience.
Here’s a selection of quality surfskates that have proven to work great for cruising:
|Surfskate for carving||Dimensions [WB]||Price|
|Carver Yago Skinny Goat CX||30.75″ x 9.75″ [16.75″]||$262|
|Carver Greenroom CX||33.75″ x 9.875″ [18.875″]||$242|
|Slide Gussie||31″ x 10.25″ [17″]||Amazon|
|Landyachtz Butter||31.2″ x 9″ [15″]||Amazon|
|Omakase + Carver CX||33″ x 10″ [22″]||$325|
Surfskate vs cruiser: what’s the difference?
If you’re trying to choose a longboard for cruising and commuting on short to medium distances, e.g. to school, work, or train station, but you’re also attracted to surf-style riding, you may be torn between a surfskate or a regular cruiser.
The term cruiser can be used for very different things, but most of the time a cruiser is a shorter (27″ – 34″) surfboard-shape board designed for quick and easy pushing and moving around.
A surfskate is generally a wide cruiser with a special front truck (“surf truck”) that has a much greater range of motion which makes it super-fast turning compared to a normal cruiser.
Surfskates provide extra responsiveness for surf-style carving and allow for extreme surf turns and snapbacks.
The front surf truck combined with a more stable rear truck (generally a regular skateboard truck) also makes surf-style pumping a lot easier including uphill.
So in short, the main difference between a conventional cruiser and a surfskate is the front truck. Other differences include wider deck, milder concave, and a more surfboard-looking style for the surfskate.
Can a surfskate work well for cruising?
It’s possible to use a surfskate for cruising provided it enough stability. Surfskates designed for hardcore surf training such as YOW, Swelltech, or Smoothstar, are the least suited for cruising because they are so loose and lack stability.
On the other hand, surfskates like Carver or Slide are stable enough for a pleasant and pain free cruising experience.
Let’s go over a couple of key things to look for in a good surfskate for cruising.
Surfskate trucks vary considerably in stability. Cruising requires a relatively stable board so you can easily push and cover distances without too much balancing effort.
The Carver CX is a great example of a truck well-suited for everyday cruising and short to medium distance rides. The CX is tighter, more stable, and not nearly as loose as other surf trucks, including its brother the Carver C7.
Stance and wheelbase
For comfortable cruising, you want a deck long enough to accommodate your natural stance – e.g if you’re 6+ foot tall, you may choose a 33″+ deck for cruising.
Length is also related to wheelbase, and a longer wheelbase offers a more stable and comfortable ride for cruising and commuting. A longer wheelbase also makes for easier distance pumping.
On the other hand, a board with a longer wheelbase will be slower turning than a shorter one, so what you choose depends on where you’ll be cruising, e.g. tight sidewalks vs open bike paths.
Some surfskates have shapes inspired by performance shortboard surfboards to facilitate radical surf maneuvers.
Others have an ample foot platform with a full outline and wide nose and tail that result in a comfortable ride when cruising.
Surfskates designed primarily for surf training will often have a stiff flex for explosiveness in radical turns. Cruising-oriented surfskates can have a bit more flex for comfort and cushioning when riding over longer distances.
In general, surfskates ride quite high off the ground due to the taller geometry of the front surf truck. The ride height results in greater responsiveness but lower stability, and makes it a bit harder to push over longer distances.
Some surf trucks like Slide, Flow, and Carver C5, have a lower ride height compared to other surfskates. The Carver CX is also shorter than the C7. A shorter truck results in a more “cruisable” surfskate.
A good surfskate for cruising may have larger and softer wheels compared to a more surf training oriented surfskate.
Larger wheels allow for faster roll on longer rides, while radical surf maneuvers are facilitated by wheels that are smaller.
Both hardcore surf trainers and cruise-friendly surfskates tend to run softish wheels (e.g. 78A) for maximum grip, whether for radical carving or for a comfortable cruising experience.
Best surfskate for cruising
Carver CX truck
As mentioned earlier, the Carver CX is probably the most stable all-around surfskate option due to its bushings-based system and special geometry.
Carver trucks in general are very robust and well-built, but the CX is practically indestructible. It’s a great truck for city cruising and daily commutes spiced up with some surf-style carving and pumping.
The CX makes it easy to alternate pushing and pumping when commuting, which is an awesome feeling.
Carver decks feel great for all-around cruising, solid under foot with comfortable width and concave that feels just right for pushing and pumping distances. Carver decks 30 – 33″ in length with a 16-20 wheelbase are generally best for cruising.
Carver Yago Skinny Goat with CX
A 30.75″ Yago Skinny Goat with CX trucks is generally a good option for cruising for an average sized rider. It offers a pretty long wheelbase (16 3/4″) for its length, making for a stable and comfortable ride when commuting.
The Yago has a pretty stubby outline with a generous 9 3/4″ width, a nice and wide squash tail (6 1/8″), and a relatively wide nose (3 3/4″). This all gives the board plenty of foot space for comfy cruising.
The 69mm big wheels are also very well-suited for longer rides, including on rougher pavement and sidewalks. The soft 78A duro provide solid grip, keeping the wheels on the ground even when pumping hard.
Carver Greenroom with CX
The 33.75″ Greenroom is a midsize deck with lots of foot platform, designed specifically for extra stable carving, cruising, and pushing over longer rides, namely for riders with a larger stance.
It’s 19″ wheelbasemakes a very big difference in the ride, making it very stable for a primarily cruising style of riding. Most riders agree the Greenroom, when fitted with the CX, is one of the best Carver boards for cruising.
The Greenroom comes stock with large 70mm wheels that have a 81A duro – slightly harder than 78A for good roll speed even for heavier riders, while still providing enough grip for easy pushing and pumping.
Check out my in-depth Carver surfskate comparison guide (updated).
Slide Gussie 31″ for cruising
The Gussie is designed with stability in mind and is very well-suited for cruising. Its relatively long 17″ wheelbase makes the board easy to push and pump on short to medium distances.
The Slide surf truck is one of the most stable on the market. It’s also a shorter truck than others, including the CX, resulting in a lower ride height – ideal for pushing and cruising.
The Gussie’s has a very wide outline (10.25″ vs 9.75″ for a 31″ carver) with a really wide nose and broad squash tail. This makes this surfskate super comfortable for relaxed riding.
Nevertheless, the Gussie remains nice and responsive for fun surf carves. It’s also very easy to pump down the line and on short to medium distance.
The Gussie is meant as a highly versatile surfskate for beginner surfskaters and for all-around riding including daily commutes. The big and soft 70mm wheels are well-suited for stable pushing and hard pumping.
Check out my complete Slide surfskates review.
Landyachtz Butter surfskate for cruising
The 31.2″ Landyachtz Butter is another very valid option for a cruising-friendly surfskate. The Banger surf truck is a high-angle RKP (65º) truck that enables tighter carving than regular trucks.
Like the Carver CX, the Banger is bushings based – vs spring-based like others, using extra tall soft cone bushings. This gives it very nice and stable feel when cruising and distance riding.
The LY Butter deck is narrower than Carver decks, at 9″ vs 9.75-10″ for Carvers of similar size. It also has a more tapered tail, although is nose is wider and rounder than most comparable Carver decks.
Most importantly, the Butter’s wheelbase is 15″ vs 17+” for most 31″ Carver boards. The reduced platform and shorter wheelbase can make the Butter less comfortable for everyday cruising. However, the lower riding truck of the Butter somewhat makes up for it.
Overall, most riders agree the Landyachtz Butter feels closer to a regular cruiser than a Carver skateboard, and is well-suited for daily cruising and mellow carving. It’s also more affordable.
Nevertheless, Carver boards of similar length, although higher off the ground with the CX, also offer a great cruising and distance pumping experience.
See my full review of Landyachtz surfskates.
Omakase with CX
The 33″ Loaded Omakase fitted with the Carver CX truck set makes an unbelievable all-around board for cruising, distance pumping, and surskate carving. It’s the priciest options in this list but IMHO, well worth the price.
The Omakase deck has a 10″ width which is wider than most cruisers including most Carver decks. This gives the Omakase an awesome foot platform for cruising and commuting, allowing even bigger-footed riders to carve and pump comfortably and responsively.
When fitted with the CX and a set of larger (70-75mm) soft wheels, the Omakase pumps and turns like a dream, and can be pushed or pumped long distance with little effort. It’s a very effective compromise between a pure surfskate and a regular cruiser.
See my full review of the Loaded Omakase here.