Perhaps you want to get back into skateboarding or maybe you’re completely new and have no idea what to look for.
Don’t worry I got you covered, from complete cruisers to custom setups, let’s dive a bit into what would be right for you and what to avoid.
The best you can do is setup your own board, if you just want to ride and perhaps learn an ollie it’s better to assemble a skateboard yourself.
Just cruising comfortably means you have a wide range of options to pick from. Perhaps you want to commute longer distances, then we’re talking about longboards.
Let’s start with what to look for and check a few custom setups and cover a couple of cruisers and longboards. All the products are tested by us, no BS.
Skateboard Setup Cruising and Tricks
This is one of my favorite skatebaord setups for cruising and tricks. I had some spare skateboard parts laying around and decided to assemble this baby.
It’s super fast, offers a very comfortable ride, deals wekk with rough roads but you are still able to pop a few ollies and shovits without problems. Great for beginners that just want to learn how to ride or those who want to get back in the game.
It comes with 80A 56mm Bones Rough Rider wheels which are soft enough for cruising and hard enough for tricks. To be fair, they are a bit bouncier compared to let’s say, 99A 53 Spitfire Classics. They Rough Riders are very grippy and can also be used to ride slippery bowls.
For this type of setup the trucks don’t really matter but I would advise to get trucks that are great at carving. Independent trucks, Venture Trucks (high), Ace Classics, or Paris Street trucks, they all work. This setup has GrindKing trucks which are very loose.
As for bearings, I used Bronson Raws, they make a bit of noise but are super fast. I personally like the sound but not everyone agrees. You could also consider Bronson G3’s or Zealous bearings (less acceleration but they roll for a longer time).
The deck size is 8.5 which is a great size for bowls, cruising and poping ollies. kickflips would require you to flick the board a bit harder.
- 8.5-inch deck (just pick your favorite brand)
- Trucks: Independent 149, venture, Ace, or whatever (should fit the deck)
- Wheels: Bones Rough Riders 80A/56mm
- Bearings: Bronson Raws or Bronson G3
- Griptape: doesn’t matter, think I used Jessup
- 7/8″ hardware to assemble the trucks
Skateboard Setup For Tricks
This is for those who are already experienced in skateboarding and are coming back from a long break. Just your typical street setup with harder wheels and a poppy deck.
The possibilities are endless here but a safe choice is to go with an 8.25″ wide deck, Thunder or Independent trucks, Bones STF 53mm wheels, Spitfire Classics, or Mini Logo wheels (budget).
Old School Cruiser Skateboard Setup
I forgot to add this one so I editted my post, how could I forget! Old school decks are amazing, not just from a nostalgice point of view, they are super stable and comfy to ride. There are probably a few old farts who can appreciate an old school skateboard, and it’s a ton of fun setting one up yourself.
The decks in this example are around 10″ wide, you can set them up with Paris 169 trucks (9″) or Independent stage 11, 215 trucks. Be aware that Paris 169 come with very hard bushings so you might want to replace them.
As for wheels, that’s up to you. Want a smooth ride? Check out my recommended wheels, want something in between? Bones Rough Riders will work, anything between 56mm and 64mm is a good choice. Bigger just requires less pushing and deals better with cracks or rough surfaces.
Bronson G3 or Raw bearings are great choices, super fast and durable. Don’t forget to add rails to really finish it, there you have it your old school skateboard setup!
If you’re curious about my setup, I just grabbed some left over parts and assembled this board. The Venom wheels really complement the setup.
- Mike Vallely Elephant reissue deck (including rails)
- Paris Street trucks 169 (horrible hard bushings)
- Venom Thug Life Six-Fours 64mm/78A
- Bones Super Swiss bearings
- 1 1/8″ hardware from Fireball Co Supply
- 1/8″ shock pads
- 10″ grip tape
Mini Cruiser For a Smooth Ride
For those who are new to skateboarding and want a comfortable ride you can either go for the Cruiser setup I recommended or pick a dedicated mini cruiser.
There are many to pick from but I’ll mention a few that really worked well for me. Some are fast and nimble and other offer a relaxing ride.
Landyachtz Tugboat Captain
To be honest, I am not a huge fan of landyachtz. Of testting a couple of them I came to the conclusion that they aren’t they best you can get, but they aren’t that expensive. Landyachtz cruisers are entry level boards but the Captain is a ton of fun.
One thing that really stands out is the steep concave. You really feel this when you stand on this board and helps you to plough through almost anything.
This board is also pretty fast and easy to carry around. It’s about as long as a regular skateboard but wider. At 10″ you have a loot of room for foot placement though less than the Arbor Foundation (up next) because of the steep concave.
This cruiser is for those who want an exciting short ride, do a bit of a workout and pop a few ollies. You can even kickflip this board if you’re skilled enough.
I like how fast it responds and its carvy nature, it’s also very suitable for heavy riders and people with large feet. If you want something more nimble consider the Arbor Pilsner (review here).
Not a fan of the bearings and wheels but on this setup they seem to work well. I usually replace the Spaceball bearings and Fatty Hawg wheels (Bronson G3’s/RAW and OJ Super Juice wheels 60mm are recommended). Check out my LY Tugboat review.
The Arbor Oso is less of an aggressive ride compared to the Tugboat but in return you get a very stable and comfy ride. I really like the smoothness of the Bogart wheels, one of the better budget cruiser wheels available.
Like all complete cruisers the bearings aren’t great but I feel like they perform better than the spaceball bearings. Replacing them is recommended.
This board comes with Paris Street trucks, quality stuff that can take a beating. The only downside is the bushings, they are a bit too soft for my taste but that’s a personal preference.
Anyway, I am able to ride through patches of grass, have no issues with pebbles and even riding through gravel is possible. Same goes for the LY Tugboat, so not much of a difference there.
This cruiser just is one of the more laid back boards you can get. Not a lot of concave so lots of room for your feet, still a huge kicktail to really dig in and hopping a few curbs is possible. The board is heavy though, but that won’t stop you from popping a few ollies.
Longboards Setups For Adults
So recently we started adding a couple of longboard reviews thanks to Michael who is an expert in this area, as well as in mini cruisers. Since I get tons of questions from older beginner skaters about where to start, it really won’t hurt to get a longboard first.
Sure, it’s a different experience compared to technical skateboarding but they are great for learning how to ride. Lots of room for your feet, they don’t require lots of pushing, and overall the learning curve is less steep compared to a skateboard with hard wheels.
Here are a few options, keep in mind that these boards are a bit more expensive compared to the more popular brands. Popular isn’t always good, it just means they have a bigger marketing budget. Landyachtz, Arbor, Sector 9 can’t compete quality-wise.
The Pantheon Pranayama is the perfect commuter. It’s probably the best option when your want to ride long distances. Perhaps less nimble compared to a mini-cruiser, but way less of a workout when pushing this board around.
Is extremely low which makes it a lot easier to maintain your balance, something beginners will appreciate. Even though this board is only 31″, it offers a huge standing platform compared to other boards. It actually feels bigger than it is.
Another great thing is that this board doesn’t get wheelbite and less of a chance of hitting the wheels when you push the board. It’s not only great for beginners, experienced riders will love it. Check out the Pantheon Pranayama review to learn more.
The last recommended longboard for adults is the Bustin Maestro. This is a very carvy board, and like quite low which makes it perfect for beginners. it’s easy to learn how to balance, push, breaking or any of the basics that require you to ride around comfortably.
It does have a few limitations which are explained in extreme detail in our review. Check the Bustin Maestro review to learn more.
A Few Tips for Adult Skaters
If you want to get into skateboarding, start slow. Really start with the basics! Look up a few tutorials on youtube, wear protective gear, and always bring your phone in case of an emergency.
Riding on softer wheels and wider decks really makes a huge difference, this is why I started of this post with the cruiser trick hybrid. You need something forgiving and extremely hard wheels might not be the best choice right now.
You can always upgrade along the way. Wheels are easy to replace and if you want to get into more technical stuff, get harder smaller wheels.
Make sure to take a break now and then, skateboarding can be pretty intense. Make sure to wear the right shoes and don’t ride in crowded places until you are skilled enough.
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.