Cruising can be fun but you’ll need some big and soft wheels to get that smooth cruising vibe. Cruising on a board with small and hard wheels is just the worst. At some point, your feet are tingling and you feel like your teeth are about to droop right out of your mouth.
In order the get the most out of your cruising exprience make sure you get quality parts. The best skateboard setup for skateboarding should consist of the following parts.
- Decks can vary but you want something portable
- Wheels between 56mm and 68mm with a durometer below 80A
- High trucks that match the width of your deck
- Quality bearings to maintain speed
You have a few options here. You can go for a dedicated and portable cruiser, slap some riser pads and big soft wheels on your popsicle board or go full out longboard.
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Regular skateboard for cruising
Converting your skateboard into a cruiser is probably the cheapest option. If you don’t own one try to get a used skateboard, often you can get a pretty good used board on Craigslist. For those who do own a skateboard, all you have to do is get some smooth wheels, riser pads, and maybe new bearings (depending on the condition of your current ones).
Cruiser Setup Option One
I actually tested this a while ago and it can work. If you want to cruise without doing technical trucks, go for the setup like on the image (the board on top). All I did was put risers for more clearance and these awesome 78A 63mm Fatty Hawgs Wheels.
I was surprised how well they performed and despite the bigger wheels, my board was pretty responsive. Ollies feel a bit sketchy though and I wouldn’t recommend kickflips.
Just keep in mind that for a setup like this it’s all about the wheels. Get a set of riser pads for extra clearance and big soft wheels. Make sure the wheels aren’t any bigger than 65mm, anything above feels unstable and unresponsive. I tried 70mm longboard wheels and it just didn’t feel right.
I tested a few cruising wheels and found the perfect set that also fit on a regular skateboard. There are only a couple of brands that now what cruiser wheels are about.
The rest of the setup consists of an old 8.0″ deck (brand unknown) and standard Tensor trucks. The bearings are old Bones Reds that need replacement. If you can, go with an 8.5″ or bigger for a more stable ride. You could even try an old school deck.
Cruiser Setup Option Two
I also have a board that allows for a bit of cruising and do some technical tricks. I must admit this isn’t the ideal setup but it works if you want a bit of both. You won’t cruise long distances and even though it’s a smooth ride, you need to push a lot harder compared to setup option 1. it’s a bit of a trade-off but it works.
Setup two is at the bottom of the picture. It’s just a regular 8.0″ Santa Cruz deck with Indy trucks. The wheels are 56mm Ricta Clouds with a durometer of 92A. You might want to get them a bit softer, I actually think 86A would provide a smoother ride but I haven’t been able to test this.
Dedicated Cruiser Setup
Ok, now we’re talking. What you’re looking at here is a disassembled Landyachtz Dinghy and this cruiser is fun! Despite being smaller than a regular skateboard it handles like a boss. I had my eye on this board for a long time and decided to go for it, zero regrets!
What I like about this setup is that all the parts work so well together. You can carve, pump, ollie, slide and most of all…. cruise effortless. It actually has a nose and tail and some concave for extra grip when popping a few tricks. Now, I wouldn’t go to technical on this board but you can pull off some manuals, ollies and when you’re skilled enough, ride a bowl. Check my test ride to see what this baby can do:
Most of all it just rides so smooth. If you’re looking for a portable cruiser that can hop curbs, this is the one. If you just want to cruise there is another version without concave. You won’t be able to ollie but you will cruise the way it’s meant to be without having to drag a huge longboard around.
If you look closely at the part and want to assemble a cruiser yourself, this should give you a good idea of what to look for.
Cruising a Longboard
Well to be fair, longboards are just made for cruising (and bombing hills, dancing, slalom, etc). I own one myself and I mainly use it for filming but it’s just the ultimate cruising experience. I don’t like how heavy it is and the size, it’s uncomfortable to carry around. I rather grab my bike if I have to go from A to B but that’s just my personal opinion which should be totally ignored.
I love the flex this board has and the little effort it takes to maintain speed. Huge Orangatang wheels and trucks from another time that aren’t made anymore. The first time I set foot on this board I made the classic mistake of placing my ‘pushing foot’ too close to the deck. When I pushed the wheels hit my foot, such a noob.
Anyway, longboards provide the ultimate cruising experience. Even though I’m more of a technical skater, I learned that becoming a good longboarder isn’t as easy as it looks. It requires a lot of technique and pumping is pretty hard if you’re not used to a board like this.
Longboards are expensive, at least if you want something that gives you the ultimate cruising experience. They go from 60 bucks to 600 bucks. Cheap longboards are utter crap and these really expensive longboards? Not really worth the money. Expect to pay between 200 and 350 USD for a really great longboard.
I can’t really recommend a specific board, it’s just not my area of expertise. Check the longboard subforum on Reddit, these guys can help you out but make sure to provide a budget.
There are a couple of options here, assemble one yourself or get a preassembled cruiser. Let’s look at 3 dedicated cruisers that are great for beginners. If these are too expensive I can recommend the cruiser Stoked Ride Shop offers, probably the best bang for your buck.
The Arbor Oso Foundation Cruiser is a classic 80s style cruiser and comes with 169mm Paris trucks that offer a lot of stability. This setup has the smallest wheels (58mm) in the lineup and are 80A on the durometer scale. This board can also be used to ridie pools. What I like most about this board is its size. It’s the largest and widest board in this line-up which you can still carry around comfortably.
The deck is 9.5″ wide and 31.7″ tall, the width provides maximum stability and the height is comparable to a regular skateboard. I own this board and love it, check out my full review here.
The Arbor Pilsner comes with 129mm Paris street trucks. The wheels are big and smooth and very suitable for just cruising around town or campus. They are sized at 61mm/78A, 36mm contact patch but the wheels vary depending on the type of board. This is the smoothest cruiser I tested so far and is currently my favorite cruiser, check out my review.
The Landyachtz Dinghy one of my favorite mini cruisers. It’s a very fast and nimble board which also allows you to do tricks. I tested this board a while ago and I just love it. Read my review and learn why I like this board so much.
Assembling one yourself is easy, you can just get a regular setup and add 60mm cruiser wheels (and riser pads!). I personally love the Orangatang Fat Free wheels and The OJ Super Juicer Wheels. The OJ’s go well on a wider board (9.0″+) and the Orangatang are great on smaller boards because of the large contact patch.
You can also go for a custom setup, all you need is big soft wheels and a popsicle board. I tested a standard deck and swapped the basic wheels for OJ Super Juice (78A/60mm) and it rides buttery smooth. It might be an option if you’re on a budget. Make sure to get a wider setup and pick the right size trucks. An 8.5″ board needs 149mm trucks.
Wrapping it Up
Cruisers can be cheap or very expensive. It really depends on what you want to do. Long smooth rides without getting exhausted? Go for a longboard. Short commutes in the city? Go for a small dedicated cruiser. On a budget or do you still want to perform tricks? Convert a regular skateboard into a cruiser or just get a complete skateboard.
Picking the right parts really depends on what, where, and how you want to cruise. This post is just to guide you and show you some alternative options. The possibilities are endless but your wallet probably isn’t.
Lastly, check out muirskate.com, these guys know everything about cruiser setups and love to help you out. Check out their website and they have about the best customer service you can get. They will answer all your questions and can get you exactly what you want.
Also, check out:
- Setups for Heavy Riders
- Setups for Beginners
- Setups for Street
- Setups for Parks
- Setups for Transition
- Setups for Mini Ramps
- Setups for Pools & Bowls