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Cruiser Skateboards: What Are They Good For?

Cruiser Skateboards: What Are They Good For?

Cruiser skateboards make an excellent choice for beginners and long-time skateboarders. Their compact surfboard-like shape, surfy trucks, and larger soft wheels make a great combination for providing you with a smooth ride. What are cruisers actually good for?

Cruiser skateboards are great for transportation and commuting around town with ease due to their directional shape, portable size, bigger softer wheels, and responsive trucks. However, some cruisers can also be used for light tricks, transitions and bowls, and even riding down hills.

One of the best mini cruisers around for city commuting, mellow tricks, and bowl, is the Loaded Ballona. Check out my in-depth review here.

Can you use a cruiser at a skatepark?

Many cruiser decks have a directional shape that resembles old-school skateboards, with the nose truncated, making it more aerodynamic for cruising. 

Because most cruiser skateboards have a kicktail and are not significantly larger than a regular trick skateboard, it is possible to ride a cruiser at a skatepark. 

It might not be the conventional setup for riding bowls and performing grinds on ledges and rails—but it is definitely possible on a cruiser because it still resembles a standard skateboard, despite having a shorter nose which makes it harder to do nollies and nollie-based tricks. 

That said, cruisers generally come with softer 78a to 80a duro wheels, making them not ideal for smooth skatepark terrain. 

If you want to make your setup more suitable for skateparks like a regular “popsicle-shaped deck,” you can switch to harder 52 to 56mm wheels with 95a to 105a in durometer, depending on your preference and the size of the transitions. 

Are cruiser skateboards good for beginners?

Not all cruiser skateboards are suitable for beginners, e.g. the short and narrow vinyl Penny Cruisers. If you plan on getting a cruiser as your first skateboard, make sure you get something that is at least 29 inches long and 8 inches wide. The wider and longer surface will enable you to find your balance easier. 

A good example of a cruiser not very suitable for beginner riders is the uber-popular Landyachtz Dinghy. Its size varies but the most common is 28” x 8”, which makes it a lot smaller than a street deck, and hence less stable and harder to balance on for a beginner.

The Dinghy’s 14+” wheelbase is also among on the low end for a cruiser – longer wheelbase means better stability.

See also: 16 Great Mini-Cruiser Skateboards (Top Brands Only)

Can you do an ollie on a cruiser board?

Because of their light weight, you can do ollies on most cruiser boards, even the heavier options. 

Some cruiser boards like the Landyachtz Dinghy and Mini Dinghy weigh 10 to 15 lbs., which is about as much as a standard trick skateboard. 

Cruisers might have a shorter nose, but the kicktail can still function as a regular skateboard, making it possible for skaters to do ollies, flip tricks, no-complies, and more on a cruiser skateboard. 

Can cruisers go on ramps?

Cruisers are very versatile types of skateboards, and it is definitely possible for riders to skate ramps on a cruiser. 

Because cruisers are smaller than longboards and equipped with a kicktail, you can use it for skating most skateboard ramp types.

You can use a cruiser for riding mini ramps, spines, hips, quarter pipes, kickers, and most skateboard obstacles. You might feel a little awkward at first because of its shape, but you can still do most tricks that a regular skateboard can do on a mini ramp. 

Can you carve on a cruiser?

Cruisers are equipped with more responsive trucks, which are excellent for carving. Although some cruisers are equipped with traditional kingpin (TKP) trucks, you can still carve hills, flat roads, bowls, and other terrain types with ease on a cruiser. 

You can adjust the tightness of the trucks to your preference to make carving more comfortable. 

Most complete cruisers you can buy in the market are equipped with softer 78a to 90a bushings– which makes the trucks more responsive. 

So even if you come across a mini cruiser with 24-inch trucks or a more prominent cruiser with wider trucks, you can still carve comfortably by adjusting the tightness or switching to bushings that match your weight.

Rider WeightRecommended Bushing Durometer
100 lbs. and below78a to 80a
100 to 125 lbs.80a to 82a
125 to 145 lbs.82a to 87a
145 to 17585a to 90a
175 to 19587a to 93a
195 to 22090a to 93a
220 lbs. and higher93a to 98a

Even without swapping your bushings, you can still carve on most cruisers because of the truck configuration.

But in some cases, having unresponsive trucks that tilt too much on the side when you carve can cause wheelbite which can lead to a crash.

Can you do tricks on a cruiser longboard?

Cruisers are not just limited to cruising. You can also do tricks, such as ollies, flip tricks, grinds, board slides, powerslides, and more. You can use a cruiser for skating parks, skate plazas, and, downhill spots, and street spots. 

That said, doing tricks on a cruiser is more challenging than on a street deck because of its shape. Skilled skaters can probably do almost every skateboard trick on a cruiser while beginners may need to work harder initially. 

if you are looking for a skateboard that is more trick-focused, getting a standard popsicle-shaped complete may be a better option. 

Once you learn a couple of tricks on a standard skateboard, you will notice a slight difference when doing the same tricks on a cruiser deck– even if you use the same trucks and wheels.

Can you kick turn on a cruiser?

Because cruisers are equipped with fully functional kicktails, doing a kick turn on ramps, half-pipes, and other types of transitions is doable. 

If you equip a 26 to 31-inch and 8 to 8.5-inch wide cruiser deck with 139 to 149mm trucks and 52 to 56mm wheels, you can skate transitions as if you were using a regular board. 

Kick turns are not the only thing you can do with a cruiser setup. You can do axle stalls, grinds, hand and foot plants, aerial tricks, and more. It just takes a little time getting used to– whether you have experience or not.  

Can you freeride on a cruiser?

Because most complete cruiser setups are equipped with similar duro wheels as longboards, they can also be used for freeriding. 

However, some freeride slides are more challenging to do on a shorter cruiser, such as pendys, pre-drifts, and most puck-down tricks.  

If you want to use a cruiser for doing a specific set of freeride tricks, you need to choose the appropriate cruiser size. Some cruisers are as long as 36-inches, making more suitable for high-speed freeriding. 

On the other hand, shorter 26 to 31-inch cruisers are excellent for doing heelside and toeside stand-up tricks. If you equip them with harder wheels at around 95a to 100a, you do stand-up slides and tech sliding. 

What is better: a longboard or cruiser?

Whether to choose a longboard or a cruiser depends on the context. For freeriding and downhill skateboarding, longboards are better than cruisers because of the wider surface, wider trucks, and larger wheel diameter. 

Longboards range from 36 to 42 inches long and are typically equipped with 180mm reverse kingpin trucks, making them smoother for carving and doing wider turns.

Because longboard wheels have a wider contact patch ranging from 30 to 50mm, and diameters typically in the 70 to 85mm range, they have more grip and are less likely to slide out when going fast. 

For commuting, longboards are bulkier while cruisers are more portable if you need to store or carry your board in between trips. 

Also, since cruisers are smaller and more lightweight, they have faster acceleration compared a longboard. 

Although some longboards are also equipped with a kicktail, it is easier to float over speed bumps, sidewalk cracks, and other road imperfections when commuting when commuting on a cruiser.

When it comes to versatility, cruisers are much more versatile compared to longboards. As I discussed earlier, there are far more skate disciplines you can comfortably do on a cruiser than a longboard.

Overall though, both types of boards are great for the type of skating they’re designed for.

See also:
Longboard vs cruiser: which to choose?
Choosing the best cruiser skateboard

Is Globe a good cruiser brand?

Globe Cruisers are really good in terms of materials, ride quality and components. 

Globe cruisers come in a variety of sizes ranging from 24 to 36 inches. And because Globe owns DSM, a reputable skateboard factory that produces high-quality pressed maple decks, most of their cruisers are pressed to perfection using their trademark Resin-7 formula. 

Some of their cruisers, including the 24-inch and 36-inch options, are made with bamboo and fiberglass for flex, as opposed to the classic hard maple. These models are well-made as well.

The materials used to build Globe’s decks are excellent, whether you prefer one with flex or a solid surface.

All Globe cruiser completes are equipped with Tensor TKP Alloy Trucks, which are known for being durable and lightweight. 

Although some models come with generic wheels, the ride quality of Globe cruisers is still top-notch.

See Best Globe longboards and Best Globe skateboards