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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1. Landyachtz Dinghy
One of the best mini cruisers 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 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 basic tricks and 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 or check what evo.com has to offer (recommended)
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! Update 2: New bearings are so much better. Keep on reading though, because I tested a cruiser that you can’t possibly regret buying.
2. Magneto Mini Cruiser (Budget)
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.
3. Arbor Oso (Oldschool Cruiser)
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 a good 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.
Note that the Oso Artist version (link to Amazon) has the same wheels as the Pilsner which are way better cruiser wheels!
- 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
Buy this board (Amazon link) if you’re a beginner, heavier or taller, and want a stable cruiser versatile cruiser. This board just rocks but make sure to loosen the trucks a bit, they are rather tight out of the box which makes turning a bit harder.
It also takes some time to break in the bushings. If this board is too bulky for your taste, check out smaller the Arbor Pilsner at the bottom of this page.
This is a beast of a deck and it’s impressive. I ordered a bunch of stuff for this blog and the arbor Oso was in the package which resulted in a huge box. The deck is huge, I mean almost 10 inches wide is pretty impressive. It looks solid and provides a lot of stability. Huge kicktail which is freaking awesome.
The 169mm Paris trucks are no joke, the stability they offer is something I really like but I needed to tweak them because they are pretty tight. The loser you tweak them, the more playful this board becomes. Reminder to beginners, if you don’t adjust the tightness you’re going to have a bad time.
The bushings are pretty hard I guess and as a beginner, you really need to be able to correct minor balancing errors. If you don’t loosen up the trucks you will eat shit. My friend (while testing) told me it felt sluggish and I experienced the same thing, once we adjusted the tightness of the kingpin nut, it made a huge difference.
Paris trucks are one of the best you can get when it comes to cruisers but you really need to make them work for you. You could consider swapping the bushings to make it more playful but it’s not really needed if you are a tall or heavy person.
I was impressed at first but later realized the wheels are a bit of a compromise between pool/park skating and cruising. The Oso Artist version board for example, has 61mm/77A wheels which is a huge difference compared to 58mm/80a wheels.
I had to replace the wheels to make it a solid cruiser. I now ride this board with OJ super Juice 78a 60mm wheels and Bones Swiss 6 balls. It made a huge difference.
Great bearings for a complete, sure you can get way better bearings but this would only make the board more expensive. Not top-notch, but pretty fast nonetheless!
4. Arbor Pilsner (Winner!)
I think this mini cruiser is even better than the Dinghy. For just a bit more you get top-quality Paris Trucks, great wheels and slightly wider board. I picked the Foundation version because it matches my Arbor Oso and its really a rad board.
OK dang, I think if you are looking for the best mini-cruiser, this is the absolute winner. I had the honor of riding this board on a beautiful spring day which makes you appreciate the little freedom we have left (over here) at the moment. Check out my full review here and see why I think this is the best mini cruiser.
I am allowed to ride boards with my kid but it’s strongly advised to stay 2 meters away from others. Can do, I respectfully went out of my way if I was about to come too close to cyclists or pedestrians, but anyway this board man, it’s perfect!
Nimble, fast, agile, stable, beats longboards (my kid was challenged to a ‘downhill’ ride-off and the Pilsner made the longboard kid eat dust!). The wheels are superb and the Paris trucks are awesome. It’s very stable at a high velocity which surprised me, to be honest.
I’m just learning as I go and I get to test all this stuff and I was in awe of the Dinghy at fist but, this board really is the best complete cruiser you can possibly get (until I find a better one, which I doubt). You’ll notice the first time you step on this board, riding on clouds, super-fast, super nimble but I’m repeating myself.
If you are in doubt choosing between the Dinghy and the Pilsner, definitely go for the Pilsner, hands down!
- Deck: 8.125″ x 28.75″
- Trucks: Paris Trucks
- Wheels: 61mm/78A Easyrider Bogart Wheels
- Bearings: ABEC 5 Bearings
- Clear Grip
5. Globe Big Blazer (Best for Beginners)
I promised my wife not to buy any more cruisers but alas, I couldn’t resist this board and I’ve been eyeballing the Globe Big Blazer for a while now. I don’t regret buying this board because it’s pretty awesome. Less agile and nimble compared to the Pilsner and Dinghy but a very stable and fast board.
It’s the tallest board listed on this page and wider than the mini cruisers (with the exception of the Oso Foundation). It’s a very stable ride because of its dimensions but still pretty good at carving though it doesn’t turn as fast as the smaller cruisers. This one is also pretty stable downhill and is surprisingly fast.
They come in various sizes and the one displayed here is the 32″ version which is the same size as a regular skateboard. I let my son pick the graphic so I ended up with some psychedelic mushroom graphic but I must admit that I like it. Don’t worry there are many different graphics to choose from if this isn’t your thing.
I like how to colors of the wheels and trucks match the design and even the wheel wells match the colors. Gotta love the bottle opener which I noticed when unboxing the board. I had a good chuckle about that, I mean nothing better than riding on a warm summer day and opening a cold bottle of…uhm…water? Anyway, let’s have a look at the components.
The deck is quite big but even though it’s wider and bigger than most of the boards here, it’s still considered a mini-cruiser. It has a low/mellow concave, an angled kicktail, and a straight pointy nose. The edges have some sort of protective strip so the griptape won’t peel off which also makes this board look even better (in my opinion).
Because of it’s low concave, width, and length, this board is great for beginners. The shape will help you stay on the board and there’s less chance of losing your balance.
The Globe Big Blazer comes with high-quality Tensor trucks which are quite wide and make the board feel very stable (Tensor is owned by Rodney Mullen). The bushings are just right for me and didn’t require a lot of time to break-in. I did a small adjustment because I wanted to loosen them a bit to increase it’s carving ability.
Pretty smooth wheels with a large contact patch that provide extra stability. They are 62mm and 78A on the durometer scale which is great for a buttery smooth ride. They handle cracks well and I have no issues riding through a patch of grass or gravel. I’m still testing this board so an in-depth review will have to wait but I’ll make sure to add a video once I recovered from an injury.
Here’s an image of how it compares to my Dinghy, it’s quite a difference as you can see. The Big Blazer is more than an inch wider (9.125″ at the widest part) and has less concave.
Great cruiser for beginners and I absolutely recommend this board to anyone who wants to start cruising. Very safe choice if you’re on the fence about the other smaller cruisers. Check for prices on Amazon or visit evo.com (currently on sale).
6. Custom Cruiser (Cheaper Option)
I get many questions about skateboard that are suitable for both cruising and tricks, or cheaper cruisers that for that matter. To be honest, most of the boards listed here are expensive. I don’t want to convince you to buy trash, but the reality is that you get what you pay for if you buy one of those really cheap cruisers from Amazon.
You can build your own cruiser and have it professionally assembled. The easiest is to get a wider popsicle setup. Get an 8.5″ wide deck, and change the wheels to OJ Super Juice 60mm/78A, and add 149mm trucks. This one costs around $113, give or take and it feels great riding because of the super soft wheels.
- You get a high-quality deck.
- Cheap 149mm trucks that are fine for cruising and tricks.
- Reasonable bearings, not the best.
- And most importantly awesome cruiser wheels!
Here’s what you should select, I picked the 8.5″ because it is more stable for beginners. You can also go for the standard 8.0″ which rides buttery smooth. If you want to go for an 8.0″ you only have to change the wheels, leave the trucks default (139mm).
Anyway, here’s what works:
The setup here is great for cruising and won’t cost you an arm and a leg. You can even pop some ollies if you want. You can set this up yourself at the CCS skate shop in a few seconds and they’ll build it for you. If you like to ride your trucks very loose add some 1/8″ riser pads which you can pick from the selection menu. Configure it yourself at CCS.
- 8.5″ deck should have 149mm trucks and 60mm/78A OJ Super Juice cruiser wheels
- 8.0″ deck, 60mm/78A OJ Super Juice cruiser wheels, and the standard 139mm trucks
- If you want bigger wheels, add riser pads. You could also consider different bearings.
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.
I’ve listed six cruisers here that I tested myself, I don’t think there are many blogs (like none) that actually go through all this trouble, but I don’t mind. You visiting my site makes this possible and I’ll be sure to add more in the future.
Not all cruisers are equal, some are nimble and fast. Others are stable and more suitable for beginners. No matter what cruiser you pick, you have to practice a lot before you can comfortably ride. All these cruisers are great for kids and adults at any skill level. Some are a bit harder to learn to ride on, others are more accessible and stable.
If you can ride a small board, you can ride any skateboard. Just take it slow, get some protective gear and at some point, you’ll be cruising the streets like no other.