Sometimes you want a single board that you can use to slash around town, hit a local park or bowl, use for a grocery run, and be capable on flats or hills. If that’s what you’re looking for, we’re about to show you the four most popular midsized double kicks on the market.
We’re looking at a few cruiser longboards from Arbor, Bustin, Powell Peralta, and Zenit to compare durability and build quality. Which should you buy, and why?
- 1 Best Cruiser Longboard Decks
- 2 Comparing The Best Cruiser Decks
- 3 Which Cruiser Deck Should You Buy?
- 4 Why Not Just Buy a Popsicle Deck?
- 5 Conclusion
Best Cruiser Longboard Decks
It’s hard to compete with Bustin when it comes to price. $79 for a blank Yoface deck is a stellar deal, full stop. Add in the frequent opportunities to grab a discount and it’s hard for others to compete.
That being said, is the cheapest option the best value for your money? Maybe… maybe not. Only you can decide what a board is worth to you. Here’s my personal ranking in terms of value:
1. Powell Peralta Slidewinder
These often go on sale for $5-10 more than a Yoface. If you can grab one at that price, it’s the best value option here. Highest quality, second-lowest price. Even at full price, I’d say the comparative strengths are worth the extra money over Bustin.
Flight decks are one of the most durable decks you can get. They consist of 2 plys of fiberglass and 5 maple plys making them one of the strongest decks you can get.
- A simple medium concave, great for cruising and bowl skating.
- Extremely durable, lasts at least twice as long as maple decks.
- A bit more flex compared to full maple boards.
- Glass fiber splinters can cause skin irritation when you develop razer tail.
2. Bustin Yoface
If you’re fine with a blank deck, or even a simple graphic, you just can’t compete with this price. It may be a “lesser” deck than Zenit’s, but it’s also about half the price. Even if you care enough about graphics to pay the extra $10-20 to customize, it’s a great price for what you get.
- This deck is at least a pound heavier than the other boards.
- High concave board and less pocket for your feet.
- Comes with sharp kick angles.
- Great for aggressive cruising.
- Flares and wheel wells allow for bigger wheels without adding risers.
3. Zenit Morning Wood
It’s the most expensive option here. At full price, I’d consider placing it last. However, Zenit offers a few sales annually where you can grab one for at least 15% off. Add in free shipping, stellar customer service, and unrivaled customization options – not only graphics, but thoughtful options that affect function – and the value increases.
- Very customizable; extra plys, skid plates, gri[ tape, & graphics.
- Unique option to pick the wheel base.
- Great for aggressive cruising.
- Fiberglass makes this deck more durable.
- Most expensive of all boards.
- Restrictive foot pocket because of the steep concave.
4. Arbor Axel Serrat
It’s almost hard to compare this with the rest since you can’t purchase the deck by itself. The stock components are great for most people. I’d prefer narrower trucks and different wheels, but it’s still a great setup. Still, you’re forced to pay for components that you may or may not like.
- Shortest wheel base of all.
- Super agile and aggressive ride.
- Comes with wheel wells for larger wheels.
- Quality components on a complete setup.
- Must purchase the whole setup.
- Lacks pop compared to other decks.
Comparing The Best Cruiser Decks
|Arbor Axel Serrat||Bustin Yoface||Powell Peralta Slidewinder II||Zenit Morning Wood|
|Weight||3.2 lbs.||4.2 lbs.||2.7 lbs.||3.3 lbs.|
|Construction||Maple||(E)Core Maple, Fiberglass||Flight®Maple||4 Plys Maple2 Sheets Fiberglass|
|Concave||Medium Radial||.38” 3D Radial||K24||Radial|
|Concave Features||Wheel Wells||Wheel WellsWheel Flares||Mild Wheel Wells|
Custom Setups That Work:
We tried various combinations using the following components on every deck.
- 56mm/59mm 85a Powell Peralta GSlides
- 58mm 80a Arbor Axel Serrat Pros
- 62mm 82a Remember Pee Wees
- 65mm 98a Rainskate Hornets
- 69mm 75a Powell Peralta Snakes
- Paris TKPs165mm
- Paris V3s
Cruiser Wheels to Pick
When skating a larger DK like this, my primary purpose is tech sliding. This means I want wheels that are small (for longboarders) and hard, with a formula that will last a while. For my money, Rainskates are the best around, specifically 98a Yellows or 100a Whites. Greens (95a) are a bit too soft for technical sliding on hills and the 101a Black Rains are too hard to be comfortable (for me).
I also like to slash around town and just enjoy a fun cruise. For that, I prefer a softer wheel like Powell Peralta GSlides or Remember Pee Wees. They’re soft enough to be comfortable cruising, but also small and hard enough to slide. They’re also great for taking any of these decks to a park for some transition skating.
I will say that GSlides, like Snakes, are a bit icy when hitting higher speeds. Not necessarily a problem (only you can determine that), but I do feel less control compared to Rainskates.
Relevant Context: Rider Skill & Experience
These decks were reviewed by intermediate riders coming from traditional skateboarding with experience tech sliding, freeriding, and distance skating.
When it comes to sliding, I can do the four basic freeride slides (hands down heel-side and toe-side, standing heel-side and toe-side) at decent speeds (20-30 mph). When set up for tech sliding, I’m able to do blunt sides, 180s, laybacks, and I’m just about able to pull off flatspin and layback 360s.
In terms of tricks, I’m a bit more limited. I tend to avoid flip tricks. My repertoire is limited to ollie, shuvs, fs 180, and no comply. When trying to learn new tricks, I tend to use a smaller popsicle instead of these larger decks.
Why Buy This Type of Cruiser Deck?
While there are certainly differences that change the feel of each board, they’re still in the same class in terms of versatility and intended use.
Cruiser decks are great for:
- Tech sliding
- Light freeriding
A deck of this size is versatile. Highly technical freestyle skaters will want something smaller and anyone doing high-speed freeriding will likely prefer a longer wheelbase.
Quiver killer? Probably not, but that depends on rider needs to some extent. If you want one board to take to a park, cruise around town, and hit some decent hills, any of these would be a great option.
All of these boards are similarly sized – and that’s where the similarities end. Let’s compare them side-by-side to give a sense of each deck’s comparative strengths and weaknesses.
Depending on your personal preferences and riding style, these features may dissuade you from grabbing any particular option.
|Axel Serrat||Yoface||Slidewinder II||Morning Wood|
|Must purchase complete||Weight – A pound heavier than others||Simplest concave – least restrictive||Price point – most expensive of 4, by far|
|Feels “cheapest”, least durable||Wheel flares – too pronounced||Bit of flex compared w/all maple||Foot pocket may feel too restrictive|
|Wheel wells are a notable weak point||Intense concave –pocket is restrictive||Size – biggest dimensions of the 4||Somewhat aggressive rail concave|
|Least amount of pop (of the 4)||Kick angles are sharp|
|Short wheelbase –least suitable for hills|
Each of these decks has advantages over competitors.
|Axel Serrat||Yoface||Slidewinder||Morning Wood|
|Shortest wheelbase – most agile of the 4||Customization – lots of graphics||Highest quality at a competitive price||Customization – skid plates, extra plys, graphics, grip tape|
|Wheel wells for larger options||Pop – prominent kicks, popsicle angles||Best construction –durable, light, thin||Shipping – fast and free, global|
|Quality components on complete||Flares & wells allow for larger wheels||Concave – secure, but not restrictive||Wheelbase – the only one to offer option|
|Wheelbase – longest, best for freeriding||Pop – Fiberglass tends to add pop|
|Weight – lightest option|
|Pop – great pop, less height|
Which Cruiser Deck Should You Buy?
I can walk through my own preferences, which may or may not resonate with you.
- Powell Peralta Slidewinder II
- Zenit Morning Wood
- Bustin Yoface
- Arbor Axel Serrat 34
Buy the Slidwinder if…
You want the highest quality in this category and prefer a less intense concave.
Don’t buy the Slidewinder if…
You want to buy a complete or don’t like Flight construction.
Buy the Morning Wood if…
You don’t mind buying top dollar for top quality. Zenit has the best maple-construction deck in this class – and you have to pay for what you get.
Don’t buy the Morning Wood if…
You don’t want to pay almost $150 for an oversized skateboard – or if you have issues with even mild wheel flares like on the MW. They’re basically what you get on a skateboard, so very mild, but they’re there.
Buy the Yoface if…
You want to customize your graphic, like intense concave/flares, need loads of pop, like a heavy board, and/or just want to get a great deck for a super low price.
Don’t buy the Yoface if…
You don’t like intense foot pockets or want a light deck.
Buy the Axel Serrat if…
You’re a newer rider or otherwise want a complete with great components.
Don’t buy the Axel Serrat if…
You want different wheels, a more durable deck, or a longer wheelbase.
Why Not Just Buy a Popsicle Deck?
Let’s get this out of the way first. We’re comparing four oversized double kicks. You might be asking, “why not just get a popsicle”?
Good question! Maybe you should. I often recommend a popsicle with a couple sets of wheels (one set for the park, one softer set for cruising) to people just starting out. It’s versatile, easy to use, and functional in a variety of ways (in a bowl or doing short commutes).
Still, there are a few reasons I can suggest getting a larger double kick.
- You’re moving from skateboarding to a longboard but want something that feels familiar, or just don’t like longer options.
- You’re moving the other way, from longboarding to skateboarding and find regular popsicles to be too small.
- You’re interested in hitting some hills as an experienced skateboarder and don’t need a more suitable downhill deck.
- You prefer a larger deck when tech sliding or hitting a bowl.
- You just want to try something new.
For my money, there are two clear tiers. With no disrespect meant for Arbor and Bustin, the Slidewinder and Morning Wood are a class above. Higher quality construction, better design, more durable, just better boards overall.
That being said, you have to consider your own riding style and terrain. If you’re not hitting any hills and are looking for a deck most similar to a popsicle, the Yoface may be a better option for you.
At the end of the day, I mean it when I say that you likely won’t find a bad option here. It’s always a good idea to consider your potions, make sure to check out our entry level top cruiser skateboards.
If you strongly dislike the weight and restrictive concave of the Yoface (like I do), the Yoface isn’t for you. If you don’t want 169mm Paris trucks or Arbor wheels, avoid the Axel Serrat. If you think $145 is too much to pay for a large popsicle, Zenit isn’t worth the price.
But generally speaking, these decks are all high-quality options that would meet the needs of almost anyone looking for a versatile double kick that can be used on a number of terrains for almost any riding style. They all do a stellar job of bridging the gap between skateboarding and longboarding.
Photo Credit IG handles: @mc_longboard, article written by Michael C, final edit by Ruben Vee.
I’m an aged skateboarder and I still shred responsibly. I started skateboarding 25 years ago but also love surfing, snowboarding, or anything that involves a board.