There is a wide collection of boards in the skateboard industry. The standard board that has a pointed end on one end and a kicktail on the other that most people call a skateboard. Longboard that is a more extended model of the standard board. A longboard also has other differentiating features, but the major one is that it’s longer than a standard board.
The other type of board is the cruiser board. A cruiser board is usually shorter than a longboard but longer than a standard board. This type of board is also thinner and flatter than a standard board.
This post is going to look at the longboard vs cruiser board to help you make an informed decision about which skateboard you need.
World of Skateboarding
The world of skateboard began in the late 1940s/early 1950s when California surfers craved for something to do when the sea was calm. Since then, the industry was started and has continued to gain popularity.
What is a Longboard?
Simply put, a longboard is a kind of sports gear that looks like a standard board but is much longer. It is a subcategory of the standard board; that’s, a longboard is a skateboard. The distinction mainly is between a cruiser board and a longboard.
Any board that is 36 inches or more can be considered to be a longboard. With that said, longboards evolved over the years to include different versions, and therefore more specific terms are used to differentiate the various types of longboards found on the market today.
For instance, there are freestyle longboards, downhill longboards, casual cruising longboards, and others. They all come with their unique design and are used for different purposes.
All longboards come with huge soft wheels of at least 70mm and also come with longboard style trucks which turn sharper and are higher than standard style trucks.
Parts of a Longboard
A longboard is made up of different elements that include trucks, wheels, bearing, and deck.
- Grip Tape – This is the material that covers the top surface of a longboard deck. It is similar to sandpaper and it provides traction between the longboard and the skater’s shoes.
- Deck – This is the surface that the skater stands on. The deck is often made of bamboo and/or maple material for durability and strength. A longboard deck might come in a number of different shapes and design including twin, mini cruise, blunt, and pintail. The deck can be fixed to the trucks in many different configurations.
- Trucks – The truck is the metal T-shaped part of the longboard that is attached on the underside of the board’s deck. These trucks come in different styles, with a smaller truck meaning that your longboard will provide a small turning radius.
Longboards come with a set of two trucks which are used to attach the board’s deck to the wheel and also play a critical role in how the longboards turn. The trucks can be broken down into different unique parts: baseplate, bushings, kingpin, hanger, and axle.
- Axle – The axle of the trucks is the pin that runs via the hanger and attaches to the wheels.
- Bearings – They are added to the wheels of the board to reduce friction and enable it to spin effortlessly.
- Kingpin – This is the huge bolt that holds the different parts of the truck together. The pins can be attached in reverse or standard configuration. In most situations, reverse kingpin configuration is used since it provides stability at high speeds while being more responsive at low speeds.
- Truck bolts – Truck bolts are used to attach the longboard truck to the deck of the board.
- Wheels – We all know what wheels are. These wheels enable the longboard to slide, crave, or cruise on the riding ground. There are different specifications for longboard wheels such as contact patch, durometer rating, wheel diameter, and lip profile.
In general, when you consider all the parts used to construct a longboard, you can quickly notice that it is similar to a standard board.
What is a Cruiser Board?
A cruiser board is generally a board that isn’t constructed for the purpose of doing tricks but mainly focused on the real act of rolling around, and it is short, hence cannot be called a longboard. These types of skateboard come in all manners of sizes and shapes, for example, there are small plastic boards that are called mini-cruisers.
Sometimes, cruiser boards are simply trick stand boards with soft “cruiser” wheels as opposed to hard “trick stand boards” wheels. The small size of a cruiser makes it more convenient to carry from one place to another, but this means that it is less ideal for more demanding acts of longboarding (like downhill and freeriding) than a real longboard.
Cruiser boards usually use small wheels of between 55-65mm, which keep their weight and size down and also use standard board style trucks which are lighter and shorter. The soft wheels enable the cruiser to move over harder surfaces than a standard board.
A cruiser board also contains all, or most, of the parts found in a longboard.
Difference Between Longboard vs Cruiser Board
First, we will look at the longboard:
- Longboards are any skateboards that are at least 36 inches.
- They use soft wheels, but sometimes skaters install hard wheels on them. The type of wheel attached will depend on how you intend to use your longboard. Their wheels are usually bigger and measures about 70mm. The more prominent wheels help the longboard to gain speed, so they are very effective for downhill riding.
- They are used for different purposes such as performing tricks or just racing down the road.
- Longboards usually come with different style trucks. The trucks are often angle sharper and higher.
- Their decks come in different styles.
- They can have symmetrical boards on both ends. These types of longboards are often used when performing tricks and are perfect for 180 tricks. Through this, you can do your trick in all directions.
- The other style of a longboard is having a drop deck. The middle is usually lower than the ends. This helps to lower the COG for the board enabling the rider to maintain the control even at top speeds. These types of longboards are also perfect for downhill riding.
- Longboards provide the ability for the trucks to be mounted on the board in different ways, depending on the skater’s needs. Some trucks can be installed on top of the board while others drop through the board. There is a cut out at the center of every end on the drop through design where the trucks attach. The aim of this form of mounting is to enable the board to be lower and hence reduce the COG.
Now that we have seen the longboards features let’s look at the cruiser ones to know how the two differs.
- The majority of cruisers feature a pointed front that helps the rider to cut through the air. These types of boards are also quite flat when compared to longboards. The pointed front and the flatness enable the cruiser to be highly aerodynamic and thus attain top speed.
- The other thing that makes cruiser to be different is their soft wheels. They only use soft wheels that make them bumps-friendly to provide a smoother ride.
- The major purpose of a cruiser board is to get from one area to another or around town. It isn’t made to do tricks. The board doesn’t have a way to enable the rider to kick it in the air, and the trucks aren’t recommended for grinds and other things.
- A cruiser picks up speed faster than a longboard and is more comfortable to stand on. To ensure that they are comfortable to stand on, cruiser boards are shorter than a longboard. However, some cruisers are similar to a longboard, but the majority of them are shorter than the average longboard. Cruisers are, however, longer than a standard board.
- The additional length compared to an ordinary standard board provides the rider enough space to stand on and even enables you to make turns effortlessly. They are smaller than longboards to help them be easy to carry around.
- Another thing that makes cruiser boards to be lighter than longboards is their decks. The deck is thin, reducing weight and enabling them to attain top speeds. In addition, their wheels are smaller when compared to longboards ones. This also helps to reduce the weight.
- In general, cruiser boards are made to provide a smooth ride on any surface and do this at the highest speed possible.
Things to Consider When Buying a Skateboard
Here we will look at some specific factors that will help you make up your mind on which board you should get.
1. Flex and Function
The flex of longboards enables the user to ride on the open road. The flexibility of a longboard makes it much easier to make big and broad turns when compared to a cruiser. Therefore, if you aim is to bomb a big hill with lots of turns, you should consider getting a board that is 42 inches and above. The cruiser boards help to absorb the shock due to their soft wheel, making them perfect for riding in rough terrains while at the top speed.
2. Turning Agility
For busy cities, you will require a skateboard that offers agility and turns swiftly as you navigate obstacles and people. The majority of cruisers are 32 inches or less. This provides them sufficient flex to enable you to move around busy town (although you might need to walk down some streets). Their shorter deck provides the rider a tighter turning radius which comes in handy in case you spot a hole in front.
3. Cruising Stability
Many new riders require an additional stability. A longboard is often easier to maneuver and more stable than a cruiser. You will realize that it is much easier to ride a longboard than a cruiser if you are a beginner.
4. Skateboard Portability
The one main benefit of a cruiser over a longboard is the ability to carry it from one area to another with ease. It can fit anywhere, in your back bag, desk, under the table, on a plane, or at a restaurant. If you want something you can use around the clock, then a cruiser might be a perfect purchase.
Read more: Best Skateboard – The Ultimate Guide
So now you can differentiate between the two types of skateboards. Just to recap.
The major difference that comes out between a longboard and a cruiser is that a cruiser board is shorter than a longboard. Also, you cannot perform tricks while on a cruiser, which you can easily do on a longboard. Cruisers are mainly designed for speed and transporting you round. However, some people use longboards for this purpose.
For example, if you are simply moving around with a longboard that has soft wheels, then you are simply cruising around. On the contrary, if you are performing tricks on your board, then you aren’t cruising, and you cannot use a cruiser.
Also, we have seen that cruisers are flat and usually thin. Therefore, if you won a drop deck skateboard, then you shouldn’t use it as a cruiser. Although downhill exploration is cruising, it isn’t the normal purpose you would put your cruiser too.
So, depending on why and where you are cruising, you need to figure out the perfect length for the deck. The difference between a cruiser and a longboard is not just a matter of style. The deck affects your ability to turn, which eventually influences how you skate.
There we go, we hope the above article was helpful enough to assist you to figure out the answer for longboard vs cruiser. A few things to remember, speed, wheels, deck, turning, and purpose, and you will surely make the right choice when buying your skateboard.