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What Is a Cruiser Skateboard & What if You’re a Natural?

What Is a Cruiser Skateboard
Written by Brian G Smith

Cruiser skateboards are a hybrid of regular skateboards and longboards. They are bigger/wider than most skateboards, but smaller than longboards.

As the name suggests, a cruiser skateboard is designed to cruise around small to medium distances. Doing stunts and tricks is a bit harder at first.

Cruisers offer more stability and flexibility than skateboards.

Types of Cruiser Skateboards

1. Mini cruisers

Mini cruisers

These are perfect for youngsters and beginners. The short deck (below 30 inches) provides better portability and convenience. You can even perform a couple of tricks on mini cruisers.

However, covering large distances (more than 3 km) with mini cruisers is going to be hard. Many people use mini cruisers to gain some additional speed and flexibility while performing tricks.

2. Traditional cruisers

Traditional cruisers

Usually, traditional cruisers are the perfect fusion of skateboards and longboards. It’s not good for beginners but can become the perfect companion for experienced ones.

Traditional cruisers are a little longer/wider in size and perfect for quick transportation. They have higher trucks and large, soft wheels that provide a smooth ride.

3. Penny cruisers

These are most probably the most widely known variation of cruiser skateboards. Penny cruisers are made from lightweight plastic and are super easy to carry around.

Penny cruisers

The small narrow decks allow penny cruisers a great turning ability and speed, which makes them popular among kids. The distinctive non-slip “waffle top” texture provides more grip.

4. Surfskates

If you are one of those who like carving their boards, you’ll love surfskates. The main intention behind a surfskate is to get the feeling of surfing over waves while you ride on the road.

Surfskates stay much more maneuverable and flexible during turns than other cruisers, allowing you to enjoy a surfing-like experience. They’ll also improve your balance.


Additional Features You May Expect on a Cruiser

1. Wheel Wells

To provide an additional layer of protection from wheel bites, many cruisers come with wheel wells. They can make your ride more secure and give you the extra turning radius you need.

Wheel Wells

Wheels wells are just little bumps inwards the deck that provides the extra space needed to avoid wheel bites and making tight turns.

2. Rails

Some cruisers also feature rails underneath the deck for a better grinding experience. Rails usually are made from durable plastic that easily slides over curbs, grind rails, ledges, and copings.

Not only do rails help you to grind better, but they also help protect the graphic under the deck.


When to Choose a Cruiser?

Cruisers are purposely-built for commuting over short distances. You can go anywhere within 10 min riding distance. Any more than that and the ride will become less comfortable as you go.

Cruiser skateboards need constant pushing and input to be able to follow a straight path. If you are okay with some extra effort in exchange for a great experience, cruisers can be a great choice. But they’re not your cup of tea if you’re crazy about tricks.

If you want to learn skateboarding, cruisers can be a good starting point. The wider deck will help you gain balance easily. Once you master the balance, you can go skateboarding.

How to Choose a Cruiser Skateboard

1. Construction

A wide array of materials can be used to build the cruiser of your choice. The most commonly used materials are maple wood, bamboo, birch, UHMW, fiberglass, urethane, cork, and carbon fiber.

A standard 7-ply deck is good enough for most of your cruising needs. Feel free to use thicker or thinner boards if they suit your needs.

2. Size and shape

Now choose the best shape for your cruiser. Generally, cruiser boards are around 27-34 inches long and come in a variety of shapes.

Larger boards like traditional cruisers offer more speed whereas the short ones are more agile and provide better control. For beginners, penny or nickel cruisers are both good starters.

3. Tail/nose

Tails and nose dictate the versatility and direction of your board. The round shape of the nose will help you change direction smoothly. The popsicle-shaped ones are good for one-directional rides.

Cruisers have only one kicktail for those who are interested in tricks and stunts. If you just want to cruise around the city instead, choose a flat deck.

4. Price

The price depends on whether you want a custom-built cruiser or a pre-built one. We recommend buying between $50-$100. You’ll find most of the decent-quality cruisers at this price.

Tips for skateboard cruising

  • Choose cruiser boards as they have bigger decks and wheels, which can give a better cruising experience.
  • Choose what stance makes you more comfortable; a goofy or a regular stance.
  • Don’t forget to wear your safety gear like a helmet, right shoes, wrist guard, and knee pads as they can protect you from injuries.
  • Learn how to stop first and then how to slow down as they can ensure your safety at a higher speed.
  • It is also important to learn how to turn as it will help you to navigate through uneven terrain, obstacles, and sidewalks.
  • You need to practice more in a familiar place before you go to city roads.
  • You also need to practice falling as it can also save you from getting a serious injury.
  • Always follow your area’s road and traffic rules.

Skateboard vs Cruiser vs Longboard

1. Length

Skateboards are smaller in length than both cruisers and longboards. Cruisers are a bit longer and longboards are usually the longest.

2. Wheel Size

Skateboards have smaller, hard wheels suited for performing tricks. Longboards have bigger and softer wheels that allow more stability during speedy rides.

Cruisers perform better than skateboards over short distances but can’t provide longer support like longboards.

3. Trucks

Shorter skateboards offer trucks with traditional kingpins that are good for grinding and tricks. Longer cruisers and longboards offer trucks with reverse kingpins for better carvings.

4. Flexibility

Skateboards are short and stiff. You can accomplish many stunts and tricks with skateboards. Longboards are long and flexible and are perfect for covering a large distance.

Being a bridge between the two of them, cruisers offer better flexibility than skateboards and are less flexible than longboards. They are perfect for cruising over short distances.

Attribute Skateboard Cruiser Longboard
Length 30 – 32 inches  27 – 34 inches 36 inches and above!
Width 7.25 – 8.5 inches 8 – 10 inches 8.5 – 10 inches
Wheel size 50 – 60 mm 55 – 60mm above 60 mm
Wheel hardness Hard Soft Soft
Shape Mostly popsicle shape. Has a concave deck, and most aggressive kicktails Don’t have concave, usually. Have mild kicktails. Don’t have nose and tails
Trucks Normal Normal More high and wide
Momentum Low High High
Flexibility Low Moderate High
Purpose Stunts and tricks mainly Cruising around short distances Longer and faster rides


1. Is it harder to ollie on cruisers?

Ans. The answer depends on what you are used to. If you are used to skateboarding, it will seem harder to perform ollies on cruisers. However, if you are a beginner or familiar with how cruisers feel, performing an ollie will become just as easy as with a skateboard.

2. Are cruiser skateboards better for beginners?

Ans. Yes, cruisers have big and soft wheels that will not only give you a smoother ride but will also provide you enough grip to cruise through city roads. The wider deck provides better balance and control, making cruisers ideal for newbies.

3. Can I use a cruiser skateboard at a skatepark?

Ans. Yes, of course. Many people even perform a wide range of tricks using cruisers at a skatepark. It all comes down to your personal preference. You can use whatever feels comfortable to you.

4. Can cruisers go on ramps?

Ans. Yes, cruisers are known for their versatility. Whatever you can do with a skateboard, you can do most of them with cruisers. Feel free to hit mini ramps, spines, hips, quarter pipes, or kickers if you feel comfortable and confident with your board.

About the author

Brian G Smith

“Hey, are you out of your mind?” - this is what I often hear when people see me performing some really dangerous stunts. While most people use scooters to commute, I use mine to hone my stunting skills. Yes, that’s me, Brian Smith. I’ve a small group of like-minded people in my team that love to do all sorts of stunts with their kick scooters and skateboards. My fans also ask me to teach them a thing or two every now and then. This is why I am here. In my leisure time, I like to write about what I do with my scooters and what I am going to do next. One thing I want to say to all my fans - Don’t hit the streets without proper information and training..

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