Arbor Pilsner Review – Leaves Every Cruiser in the Dust

5.0 rating

Arbor Pilsner mini cruiser

I admit it, I have a problem. I fell in love with cruiser boards and love the playful and smooth ride they offer, that is unless you get a decent cruiser. The Arbor Pilsner is currently my favorite complete cruiser and I haven’t been able to discover any cons so far. Truth be told I’ve only been riding this one for a couple of weeks.

In my opinion, the Arbor Pilsner is the best complete mini-cruiser you can buy. You get top-quality Paris trucks, wheels that are buttery smooth, ok bearings, and a rad looking deck.  Though I can’t comment on its durability just yet, I’m pretty confident this board will last for a long time given you treat it right.

Let’s have a look at the components, take it for a test ride and do some comparisons, I’m sure many of you wonder how it compares to the Dinghy, you came to the right place.

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The Arbor Pilsner Components

This board is pretty well assembled and every part makes sense. I was pleasantly surprised the first time I tested this board. I got a couple of boards with fancy cruiser wheels, and somehow the Pilsner just feels great to ride.

I don’t know how durable the wheels are but they are perfect so far, the bearings probably could be better but the wheels make up for that. The design of the deck is gorgeous and the Paris Street trucks can take a beating. 

Specs:

  • 129mm Paris street trucks, top-mounted
  • 7 Ply Canadian Maple with a Premium Palisander Wood Finish
  • Wheels: 61mm/78A, 36mm contact patch (might vary per type)
  • ABEC 5 Bearings with Spacers
  • 1/8″ Hard Risers
  • Glass Re-Grit grip tape (recycled) 

Deck

Arbor Pilsner deck bottom

Gorgeous deck, solid, stiff, a concave that just feels right and despite its small size it feels very stable. I’m a fan of natural-looking wood types of decks and the Pilsner nails it. They come in different designs though and are updated each year so, by the time you read this, the one featured here might not be available anymore. That’s just the graphic and grip though, the shape of the board won’t change and that’s what matters.

Because of the semi mellow concave, you can take an aggressive stance and ride through rough patches, grass, cracks without losing your balance given you know what you’re doing. It will be a bit harder to control for beginners but practice makes perfect so don’t feel like you need to be an experienced rider. More about that later.

Arbor Pilsner deck top view

I own the foundation version and I really have to give props to the designer, the graphic really appeals to me and the choice of colors really go well together. I’m sure not everyone will agree and it’s a matter of preference. I do know that graphics motivate you to go out and ride, you look at the board and you just have to go out there. Funny how that works.

Trucks

Arbor Pilsner trucks

Paris trucks are a very reputable brand and design trucks specifically for cruisers and longboards. They can take a lot of abuse and a few slappies aren’t a big deal. These are made for gnarly stuff so need to hold back. I won’t recommend going full hardcore street on this board because it wasn’t built for that, the trucks can handle it though.

Wheels

Arbor Pilsner wheels

I read somewhere that someone wasn’t happy about the wheels because they chunked but I haven’t been able to reproduce this problem so far. Sure if you grind ledges, soft wheels are going to suffer but it’s a cruiser, you don’t want to get too gnarly. I really love these wheels and they are one of the best I rode and I tested many cruiser wheels already. 

The Arbor Easyrider Bogart wheels are super soft 78A and a perfect 61mm in diameter. My board has the amber color version which looks really neat, I love it how they light up when you ride on a sunny day, though you won’t notice when you’re riding.  

Bearings

Probably the component to get the least excited about, but this seems to be the case with all the complete cruisers I tested. Still waiting for my Comet Cruiser through which I expect to be perfect. `The bearings are rated Abec 7 which really doesn’t mean anything when it comes to skateboard bearings. Easy to replace to make this board perform even better.

Arbor Pilsner Test Ride

I think I already mentioned a few things about how this cruiser rides but check for yourself. It’s just a raw edit, nothing fancy but it gives you a good idea of how it performs in different circumstances. I’ll add more footage later but this gives you a decent impression.

Carving

This board carves swiftly and responds really well, just a minor shift in balance and the board reacts immediately.  I’m not a carving king but I can’t deny the agility of the board. No wheel bite, and you’ll notice right away when you need to bail. The great thing I noticed while filming is that when you make a mistake, the board is very forgiving.

I need to take a crouching position when I record these videos which kind off sets me off balance. I was surprised how easy it is to correct your minor navigational mistakes and it just goes back into full cruising mode. This happens around 0.18 in the video where I sort of lose my balance but can quickly correct the error before riding a patch of grass.

Tricks

The Arbor Pilsner was not meant for tricks. I always get questions like “can you ollie this board?”, heck you can kickflip a banana if you got the skills but it’s not like they are meant to be flipped. Don’t expect a cruiser to act like a popsicle board, it’s just a waste of your board and you better just get a skateboard which was designed for that purpose.

Yes, you can ollie this board but I wouldn’t recommend trashing a cruiser like this. Just get a regular skateboard with softer and slightly bigger wheels if you want to cruise and do tricks.

Downhill

It seems to handle well but this is not a downhill board. It can deal with speed but at some point, you’ll get speed wobbles. Don’t buy this board if you’re looking to bomb the hills. It’s a cruiser/commuter not build for ridiculous speeds and I’m sure the bearings will melt if you go fast for an extended period of time.

I’m going to test this a bit more so expect an update.

Rough Roads

No issue unless you really hit some medieval bricks, sure you need to push a bit harder to maintain speed but it doesn’t feel like you need to give up and just walk. The Pilsner can handle a lot, but who would ride rough surfaces on a cruiser anyway.  Gravel isn’t an issue, it deals well with grass, cracks are of no concern and those pesky pebbles are easily disregarded. 

If you run into some rough stuff, just hold on tight and you plow through it like a breeze. 

Landyachtz Dinghy VS Arbor Pilsner

Landyachtz Dinghy vs Arbor Pilsner

I get this question a lot. Which cruiser is better, the Landyachtz Dinghy or the Arbor Pilsner? Hands-down the Arbor Pilsner! The wheels perform better and the trucks can take much more abuse, so overall the Pilsner beats the Dinghy. 

I know Landyachtz claims they offer the best mini-cruiser, but you should really try for yourself, there is a big difference. Sure, not everyone can afford to test both of these boards, but luckily I can. Rest assured the Pilsner is really a better choice (link to evo.com).

I think if Landyachtz worked on their wheels a bit it would be a close call but the Pilsner really provides a better cruising experience, sorry Landyachtz you come second. To be fair, the Pilsner if more expensive but it’s worth it.

The shape also differs, the Pilsner’s nose is less pointy and the corners at the end of the tail are less rounded, more space for your back foot. They are about the same length but the Pilsner is just a bit wider than the standard Dinghy.

Is it Good for Beginners?

Tough question because I’m not a beginner but I do know that learning to ride a skateboard takes time and effort. Why buy a crappy board that doesn’t really ride well if you can buy a board that takes a bit of patience before you can excel. I mean, skateboarding is all about practice and passion.

You want to learn how to ride comfortably and enjoy the experience? It’s possible, it’s not like you need to lean tre-flips, it’s just riding a board. Everyone can do that but you need to practice. Just take it slow, don’t expect to cruise like a pro within a week, you really need to put in some time and effort. It’s about mastery and it’s in our genes, humans have the desire to master a skill, and riding a cruiser isn’t exactly rocket surgery.

I often get emails from people that picked up cruising who are well over their 50’s and they’re killing it. There’s no excuse, the only thing holding you back is you. So yes, beginners can safely buy this board and it would save you some money in the long run because buying a cheap crappy board will only be a frustrating experience. Sooner or later you want something better and you’ll regret buying a crappy board.

When to Buy

If you want a really really great mini cruiser that’s portable, fast, nimble, doesn’t require to replace wheels or trucks to improve the stock components, the Arbor Pilsner is about the best you can buy (as far as I know). I tested many cruisers and this one is on top, sure there are different types of cruisers I love but when it comes to the mini cruisers there is no other.

I’m anxiously awaiting my Comet Cruiser though and I expect it to be better, but that’s an expensive niche cruiser with a 6 months waiting list.

Anyway, this board is great to navigate small spaces, is great for riding around in your local city (be mindful of others) and great for cruising around campus. You can even consider this board if you’re planning on cruising for miles on end because this cruiser just keeps going and going and you hardly have to push. Check for prices on evo.com or Amazon.

ARBOR Pilsner Photo Skateboard, Multi
Arbor Pilsner Walnut 2017 Complete Mini Longboard Skateboard New
ARBOR Pilsner Photo Skateboard, Multi
Arbor Pilsner Walnut 2017 Complete Mini Longboard Skateboard New
$170.00
$169.00
ARBOR Pilsner Photo Skateboard, Multi
ARBOR Pilsner Photo Skateboard, Multi
$170.00
Arbor Pilsner Walnut 2017 Complete Mini Longboard Skateboard New
Arbor Pilsner Walnut 2017 Complete Mini Longboard Skateboard New
$169.00

When Not to Buy

You shouldn’t buy this board if you’re on a limited budget, you can build your own much cheaper cruiser if you have an old board somewhere. The only thing you have to do is slapping some OJ super juice wheels on your board, add 2 riser pads, and some decent bearings. Buying a whole new setup and customizing it to your needs is probably gonna be more expensive though.

Quality skateboards don’t come cheap and for good reasons. You want the ultimate cruising experience, you’re gonna pay for it but it’s going to bring you so much joy, it’s worth it.

Final Verdict – 5 Stars

The Arbor Pilsner is about the best cruiser skateboard you can buy. It ticks all the boxes and you gotta hand it to the builders, they did a really fine job in shaping the board and adding just the right parts that work so well together. This is my first 5-star review, sure the bearings aren’t great but considering the price and the stuff you get it really deserves to be the top cruiser board.

This is not a trick board, don’t expect to kickflip, ollie, shuvit or anything gnarly, it’s not meant for that. Sure you can hop curbs but don’t trash it, such a waste of such a nice board! Get a popsicle, you psycho!

I’ve read somewhere that this board was also designed for parks and bowls but I’m having some doubts about that. It seems too small for that and the wheels are too soft. You really would have to push hard to keep momentum in a bowl and it will bounce around. I will test and share my findings once the parks open again.

You will not regret buying this board but if you’re a complete beginner you got some challenges ahead. This goes for everyone who wants to learn how to cruise, no exception. Just make sure you pad up, wear a helmet, and be on your way. Not your board, check out the other cruisers I tested.

Ruben Vee

I 'm an aged skateboarder, but I still shred responsibly. I started skateboarding 25 years ago and I'm out there whenever I can.

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