Cruising on a skateboard is a great and relaxing way of skateboarding. Pretty much everyone who learned skateboarding started out just cruising around at some point. It’s not a type of skateboard you take to a skate park, but they are great for learning how to ride.
Normal sized and wide cruisers are great for beginners because they are more forgiving on rougher roads, require less effort to push around and provide more stability compared to other skateboards. Mini cruisers are harder to ride because and require more experience.
There are some differences of opinion of what exactly a cruiser board is, I mean where do you draw the line? Perhaps you’re even looking to do some tricks like hopping a few curbs or practice power slides. Let’s dive into different types and what exactly is suitable for you.
Wider cruisers are perfect for beginners. There is a lot of room for your feet and these types of cruisers are more forgiving. If your stance is slightly off, a wider board won’t immediately turn or start behaving jittery.
Examples of wider cruiser boards:
Normal Sized Cruisers
Normal-sized cruisers are more of a challenge but still work for beginners. They about the size of a regular skateboard or bigger but also come in all shapes and sizes. They allow for a bit of carving and longer commutes.
Examples or normal sized cruisers:
A cruiser is more agile compared to a longboard allowing for quicker turns but popping an ollie will prove difficult. One of the benefits is that you don’t have to carry around a heavy and bulky board and you can easily take in on the bus or even a plane.
Not all cruisers are equal and there’s a huge difference in price and quality.
The cheap stuff consists of low-quality components like crappy bearings and wheels that are made of cheap polyurethane. Getting a quality board is really important for your safety and others, but also allow for a fun experience instead of a frustrating ride..
Mini cruisers aren’t great for beginners. Imagine trying to learn to ride a cruiser on a 22″ penny board, this isn’t going to work.
Examples of Mini Cruisers:
- Penny board 22″
- Arbor Pocket Rocket
Cruising and Tricks
A regular cruiser skateboard is great for beginners. You benefit from a wider deck and the smooth wheels which offer more stability.
If you want to start out with just cruising and gradually learn tricks all you have to do is get a regular skateboard with softer wheels. Get a board between 8.0” and 8.5” and trucks that match the size.
Wheels should be between 66mm and 60mm and hardness between 78A and 90A. Check out my guide about the perfect skateboard for cruising and tricks.
Assembling Your Own Dedicated Cruiser
If you have the budget you could assemble your own cruiser skateboard and make it exactly how you like. This might seem like a challenge but it really isn’t that hard.
If you have a local skate shop, go there and ask them to help you out, it not assemble one online. It often saves you a few bucks and you can swap parts around until you reached your budget.
1. Choose a Deck
Any shape and size will do (as long as it’s not longboard sized). Anything between the length of 28″ (mini) to 35″ should be fine. Most people go for a width between 8.0″ and 8.5″, just make sure the trucks match. Don’t forget to get grip tape to make sure your feet stick to the board, you often get it for free when ordering a deck.
2. Pick a Pair of Trucks
Trucks are the T-shaped metal things that are attached to your board. There are many brands, but as long as you pick Independent, Thunder or Venture you’re good. Make sure they match the width of the deck/board.
Don’t underestimate bearings, they are a vital part of your cruising experience. Low-quality bearings will wear down fast or even break and block your wheels. Always go with Bones bearings, there are no exceptions except for Bronson maybe. You’ll want bearings that are easy to clean so you can double or triple (and more) their life span. Here’s
Probably the most important part of your setup if you want a cruiser setup. Make sure the wheels aren’t too hard or too soft. Too soft will feel bouncy and sticky where too hard will vibrate until you can’t feel your feet anymore.
Get anything between 82a and 92a where the former provides a smooth ride and the latter allows you to hop curbs a little (still a bit bouncy though).
There’s also size, larger wheels can run over obstacles like small rocks or cracks better than smaller wheels. Get wheels between 54mm and 60mm, and start thinking of riser pads over 56mm to prevent wheel bite. If you want to know more about wheels check out my extensive guide about skateboard wheels.
5. Risers, Hardware, and a Skate Tool
You need hardware to attach your trucks so don’t forget to order them. Nothing more frustrating than assembling a skateboard and finding out you forgot the hardware (been there). Also, get a skate tool, it will prove useful and has everything you need to assemble and maintain your board.
Risers are optional, get a pair when you like to ride your trucks loose and have wheels over 56-58mm. You don’t always need them, only when you want to carve a lot. I ride 58 mm in bowls and halfpipes without risers but my trucks are really tight. I never experienced wheel bite skating transition.
No matter what type of cruiser you want to pick make sure it fits your style. Think about how, where and why you want to cruise before you decide to just buy a cruiser. Don’t cheap out, 90% of the people who buy a cheap cruiser or skateboard get buyers remorse.
It would be a shame to quit out of frustration just because you bought an inferior product.
Make sure you’re safe, beginners should at least wear a helmet though even experienced riders get injured and end up in the ER.
A helmet isn’t even that expensive and they look pretty cool these days. Here are a few helmets that are affordable, comfortable, and not that bad-looking.