The great thing about mini cruisers is that they are suitable for commuting without having to carry a huge and heavy board around. Mini cruisers have big soft wheels and despite being smaller, they still allow for carving.
These decks are loved by cruiser boarders for their looks, performance, and quality of the components. This is not your typical list post just summing up pros and cons. I tested all of the cruisers listed myself, no fake stuff but my personal experience may differ from yours.
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The best mini cruiser (by far) is the Landyachtz Dinghy. The Dinghy is the little brother of the Tug Boat and the parts are high quality and are very well-tuned. The Dinghy is the favorite among cruisers and works extremely well out of the box! Check out the test drive I did with a friend. I did an in-depth review recently if you want all the details, this board is a rock star.
Landyachtz has been building boards for decades and produce their own wheels and trucks. Their cruisers are well known for their quality and durability.
The Dinghy (Amazon link) is the perfect cruiser/commuter board that you can easily carry around. The smaller versions can even be stowed away in a backpack but this version needs to be strapped on. Some airlines even allow these boards as a carry-on, as long as you abide by the rules.
The small wheelbase and trucks (105mm) make it responsive and turns but it easily snaps back into position meaning it’s also surprisingly stable for its size, but you need to tighten the trucks a bit. Don’t tighten the nuts on the kingpins right away.
Ride it about one hour or rock and carve for about 30 minutes before you do, otherwise, you might compromise the integrity of the bushings. I tightened them a little bit which made a huge difference.
It’s the perfect balance between cruising, carving and small enough to do some basic tricks (though for that I recommend a regular skateboard).
The Dinghy has been around for a while and the design changed a bit over the years. Still, it’s the number one mini-cruiser out there. Mini cruisers aren’t exactly cheap, at least a decent one isn’t.
The problem with many cheap cruisers is that they are made of poor quality components. Sure you can get a cruiser for around 70 bucks but the bearings are usually of low quality and the wheels consist of a cheap polyurethane (plastic) mix.
Anyway here’s why this cruiser is the most popular:
- Easy to carry around, it’s small (28,5”) perfect for commuting (there are also even smaller versions)
- The kicktail allows you to do some tricks or hop curbs
- High-quality wheels that are great on rough surfaces, the big soft wheels give a butter-smooth ride
- It has a mellow concave which makes the board more responsive
- Price quality the best choice, durable components that last a long time
- It’s just a really fun ride and it’s very silent.
You can either get harder bushings or take your time to get used to it, but there’s an alternative. I was told larger and tall or riders with big feet will have a harder time learning to cruise on this board. I don’t think this is true but you could go for the Landyachtz Tugboat instead. It’s a bit more expensive.
Some people claim this isn’t a board for beginners, but I let a few beginners ride this board and they really liked it. One person said it felt heavy but was surprisingly stable, she actually did a fine job riding this thing. It probably has to do with the fact that this board is very stiff.
Anyway, this is the ultimate cruiser that allows you to do tricks and it ‘s a very playful cruiser that can take you everywhere. Landyachtz is an excellent brand and they know what people want, you won’t be disappointed. Check for prices on Amazon.
Board (or deck)
The board consists of 7ply’s of maple wood (7 layers pressed and glued together) which is the best quality wood when it comes to skateboards. Because it’s a smaller board it isn’t very flexy. The board feels stiff which ads stability and has a mellow concave. The concave is perfect for carving as it allows your feet to get more grip when you lean.
Maple wood is perfect but it requires you to take care of your board. It’s organic material and you need to keep it dry. Don’t leave it outside when it’s too hot, this is bad for the epoxy resin that holds the ply’s together. Same for rain, the glue can resolve and the board will start to delaminate.
As for grip tape, this version has clear grip on top (which can get dirty) but there are also versions with dark grip tape. The grip isn’t annoyingly rough and it isn’t hard to move your feet around.
This board also has wheel wells that help to prevent wheel bite (your wheels coming into contact with the board when you carve). The tail is slightly elevated (kicktail) and allows you to hop curbs and even some ollies.
The trucks are rather narrow (105mm) but that’s to be expected on a board this size. Smaller trucks are less stable in general but fine for cruising around. Landyachtz produces its own trucks so you don’t get any crappy off-brand stuff. They come with Polar Bear trucks and reinforced axles and quality material hangers. the bigger bushing seats increase turn ability and the riser pads help to prevent wheel bite.
The baseplate has 8 holes so you can decide if you want to ride an old school or new school trucks (that’s a subject for another time).
They may feel a bit loose or turny at the beginning but your bushings need so time to break-in. You can tighten the nut on the kingpins once you cruised for a couple of hours. Don’t do this right away or you could crush the bushings.
Wheels & bearings
The Dinghy comes with big soft wheels and is crazy fast. The hardness is 78A on the durometer scale and they have a diameter of 63mm. The wheel size and hardness (or softness) can deal perfectly with small rocks, cracks, and twigs meaning objects won’t block the wheels when you’re cruising.
Try to avoid glass when you spot some, it may get stuck in your wheels which is really annoying, even though the wheels are made high-quality urethane, you don’t want to get anything stuck in them.
Bearings are often overlooked but they make your wheels spin. Good bearings will let your wheels spin for minutes and bad ones less than 5 seconds. You can imagine the effort it would require to push a board with bad bearings.
The Dinghy comes with Bear Spaceball bearings which are fine. The bushings are protected by spacers which are attache to rings and keep out dust and dirt from entering the bearings. Try to maintain them by cleaning them once a season, they’ll last much longer.
I’m not 100% convinced of the bearings just yet, so I’ll update this post and share how they hold up. UPDATE: so far they are holding up fine. Testing new bearings soon!
Magneto Mini Cruiser
This is the cheapest on this list but can still be considered a decent mini-cruiser if you’re willing to ignore its flaws. I tried my best to find a board that’s a bit cheaper and still provides somewhat of a cruiser experience.
The bearings aren’t great, but you should be able to fix this a bit by applying some silicone lube. This will make them spin faster but you could also consider getting a set of high-quality bearings once you get comfortable cruising around.
Sometimes the deck is a bit warped so make sure to check it properly before you ride it. They are mass-produced and sometimes a faulty board slips through standard quality checks. Mine is perfectly fine and I’m still impressed by what you get for the money. For a detailed
I actually paid more than double because I needed to import and show you some decent images. It looks a lot like the Dinghy, to be honest, I wonder why… Anyway, I just wrote an in-depth review and found some interesting facts you won’t read anywhere else. In short, a decent budget cruiser but it has some issues.
I think this cruiser is fine to start with if you’re on a budget. The bushings are soft and the trucks feel very loose. Ride it for an hour or so and adjust the tightness of the trucks. You could also you to save a little extra and go for something of higher quality. It doesn’t compare to the other boards listed here.
You really need to push often to maintain speed which would be frustrating for a more experienced rider. If you can save some more money and get a better board.
Beginners seem to like this board and I think it’s a good choice if you’re new to riding but it doesn’t provide the ultimate cruising experience. I think that’s just too much to ask for considering its price. It definitely has that ‘WOW new cool board, must ride now’ feel. Still, you get what you pay for.
- Designed to be fun to ride and portable to carry around, this is our go-to board for anyone who skates everywhere.
- Length = 27.5" | Width = 7.5" | Wheelbase = 18.5"
- Canadian maple deck with high quality components
- The double kick tails for added fun and versatility
- Sand grit finish on top to grip your feet and show off the maple deck.
Arbor Oso Foundation
The Arbor Oso Foundation cruiser is much wider and more beginner-friendly than the Dinghy or Magneto, and it just looks rad. High-quality board and parts! I just did my first test ride and this may be my new favorite cruiser.
It’s rather wide and less nimble compared to the Dinghy but it’s such a calm and relaxing experience when you ride this board. It’s fast, stable and has no issues with gravel, cracks or rough surfaces.
If you’re in doubt about the Dinghy’s size, this one is probably the best alternative. I recently tested and reviewed this board and am pretty much in love. In short, this board is rad, super stable and comfy!
I fell in love at my first push, it just feels so stable. The wide trucks provide a stable ride and if you place your feet incorrectly you’ll notice but it won’t feel uncomfortable. The thing about narrow boards is that you need to place your feet exactly right, this board is pretty forgiving and you can slowly adapt to find your perfect stance.
It’s fast! I didn’t expect this board to go so hard when you push its limits but it doesn’t care. No matter how hard you push, this cruiser just goes on without wobbling. I think this guy can be even used to ride bowls, the wheels aren’t too big and at 80A this shouldn’t be an issue.
- Length: 31.5″
- Width: 9.5″
- Wheelbase: 14.5″
- Concave: Radial – Depth: Medium
- Griptape: Clear, Spray-On
- Flex Level: Stiff
- Wheels: 80A – 58mm – 36mm contact patch
- 7 Ply Maple | Premium Wood Topsheet
Here’s a link to Amazon. Buy it if you’re a beginner, heavier or taller, and want a stable cruiser that won’t let you down. This board just rocks but make sure to loosen the trucks a bit, they are rather tight out of the box.
More cruisers to come!
Don’t forget a skate tool
All of these boards are good to go straight from the box but might need some tuning. Get a skate tool from Amazon if you don’t have any tools at home. You probably need to adjust the trucks a bit if they feel too loose or tight.