What Is A Cruiser Skateboard? Distinguishing Between Competition And Leisure

Skateboard on a ramp

As skateboarders know, there is a wide range of deck designs and skateboard types. You will encounter many variations in sizes, shapes, and materials when comparing skateboards such as cruiser skateboards, longboards, or trick boards. What is a cruiser skateboard? Here is what you need to know about those fun and versatile boards.

Cruiser skateboards are a smooth and agile type of board. You can use them for leisure and downhill riding rather than for performing tricks. A lot of cruiser boarders feature a kicktail to improve their maneuverability and a drop-through design for stability. You will notice that the wheels are larger than on other boards since wide wheels improve stability and help you carve.

Is a cruiser skateboard right for you? How are those boards different from longboards? What kind of cruiser skateboard would you use in a race or competition? There are many things to consider if you are interested in getting a cruiser skateboard.

What Is The Most Common Design For A Cruiser Skateboard?


What is a cruiser skateboard? If you ask this question to skateboarders, you will get different descriptions. Cruiser boards are a large category where you will find different styles and design elements.

Here are some common design elements you will find when looking at cruiser skateboards:

  • Kicktails. Not all cruiser boards have kicktails. This type of design is something you can find on a lot of trick boards, but a kicktail is an interesting feature for a cruiser board since it helps you do sharp turns and navigate curbs.
  • Board length. The length of a cruiser board varies from 28 to 46.” If you are new to skateboarding or want a cruiser board for a child, we recommend choosing a shorter deck between 28 and 32.” Longer cruiser skateboards will help you gain speed. Mid-size boards between 30 and 40” are a common option.
  • Stiff and flexible boards. Stiff boards are more responsive. Most skateboarders use stiff cruiser boards for riding downhill. However, a flexible board absorbs shocks and feels more comfortable. If you want a cruiser board for commuting, a flexible deck is a better option.
  • Truck. One of the most important characteristics of a cruiser board is its stability. Ideally, the width of the truck should match the width of the deck.
  • Wheels. Cruiser skateboards typically have wide wheels that are close to the board. Most cruiser boards come with soft wheels for a comfortable ride.
  • Sharp and round wheels. Sharp wheels deliver better grip and traction. A rounded design is better for sliding. You can find cruiser boards with both types of wheels, but sharp wheels are a better option unless you want to use the board to slide.

What Kind Of Cruiser  Skateboards Can You Use For Competitions?

man holding a skateboard

Downhill races are a very exciting type of skateboarding competitions. The features of the boards that professional skateboarders use in those competitions are slightly different from what you would find on a leisure cruiser board.

Most professionals use reverse-kingpin trucks for carving. You will also notice the rounded design of the wheels since this feature allows skaters to slide while going downhill.

The Red Bull Big Drop is a great example of how exciting downhill races can get. Participants use top-mount decks to achieve higher speeds, but it’s best to use a drop-through deck if you are new to riding downhill. This design will keep you stable and allow you to ride with your center of gravity relatively low.

A top-mount deck skateboard has a truck attached directly to the bottom of the deck. This feature makes the skateboard more responsive and improves grip. It also keeps the board stable as you gain speed. However, it’s not a type of board you can ride without any experience!

Races and competitions typically have guidelines regarding sizes and requirements for skateboards, but you will find that professional skateboarders usually have personal preferences whether they compete in downhill races or other types of skateboarding events.

Chase Hiller is one of the best downhill racers in the world. Take a look at his Instagram page to see what kind of board he uses. His board is stiff, lightweight, and features a slight drop-through for stability. The wide wheels help make the board more responsive in sharp turns.

What Is The Difference Between Longboards And Cruiser Boards?

men and skateboard

What is a cruiser board? Depending on who you ask, you might get a definition that also encompasses longboards. Both types of boards are ideal for leisure rides and commuting.

You can use a cruiser board or a longboard to ride downhill. There are races and slalom competitions with both types of boards.

Longboards are becoming a popular option as more skateboarders use them to spin and perform dancing moves. It’s easy to get confused between cruiser boards and longboards because there is no official definition for either type of board.

The main difference between a cruiser board and a longboard is the length of the board. However, there is a gray area where a board can belong to either category depending on who you ask.

The length of a longboard varies between 33 and 59.” The width is either 9 or 10.” Because the length of a cruiser skateboard can be anywhere between 28 and 42,” there are some boards that can fit in both categories.

Cruiser boards tend to have smaller wheels compared to longboards, but the size of the wheels isn’t enough to put a board in a specific category due to the wide range of designs available.

Cruiser boards tend to be more similar to traditional skateboards because of their size while longboards are available in longer sizes. You can find a wide range of designs in both categories, including boards with kicktails and boards with drop-through decks.

Differentiating between longboards and cruiser boards isn’t very important. You need to find a size and features that correspond to your level of experience and personal preferences.

The only time you need to be precise about labels and features is if you enter a competitive event. Check the guidelines carefully to see how the organization behind the events defines cruiser skateboards and longboards and to make sure your board meets size requirements.

Getting Started With Cruiser Boards

Skateboard on a pedestrian lane

Purchasing a cruiser skateboard is a great introduction to skateboarding. It’s easy to feel intimidated by tricks and skate parks, but riding your board leisurely is something anyone can do.

You can use your cruiser board to take a leisurely ride through town or to commute to work. Look for a board that feels stable and is easy to maneuver if you are new to skateboarding.

Flybar makes a 24” skateboard that is very accessible for beginners. It features wide wheels and a kicktail. Once you gain more experience with riding cruiser boards, look into purchasing a longer board like this 44” bamboo skateboard. This longer board will help you carve and gain speed.

If you want a board for commuting, look for something convenient to use. A longer board goes faster and is fun to ride, but a shorter deck is more portable.

The best material for a cruiser board is a matter of personal preferences. Flexible woods like bamboo or poplar are great options. Plastic boards can feel stiff, but this material is worth considering if you want to try riding a cruiser board without spending a lot of money.

How To Stay Safe On Your Cruiser Board

skateboard and chair

Cruiser skateboards tend to be safer than other types of skateboards since you won’t use them to perform tricks. However, there are a few risks associated with riding in an urban environment.

Find a safe area to practice. Look for a road that usually doesn’t have any traffic and avoid curbs and sharp turns at first. Wide turns will help you get used to maneuvering your skateboard.

Be mindful of visibility when riding your cruiser board. If you keep your center of gravity close to the ground, noticing you might be difficult for drivers. There is also a risk of collision when going around a curve that could hide oncoming traffic. It’s also best to avoid sidewalks since you could accidentally injure pedestrians.

Find out where local skateboarders go for cruising. They should know which spots are safe and where you can practice.

Be careful when riding downhill. You can gain speed quickly and lose control of your board if you lack experience. Look for an area with a mild downhill slope to get started.

Practice turning, stopping, and navigating curbs before you go anywhere with your cruiser skateboard. You will be safer if you can avoid obstacles and feel comfortable on your board.

Keep in mind that you will be riding on asphalt. It’s important to wear protective clothing and skateboarding gear. You can find affordable wrist guards and elbow pads on Amazon. We also recommend wearing knee pads and choosing comfortable shoes with a good grip on the surface of your deck.

Have fun with your cruiser board and remember to stay away from areas with potential obstacles and dangers until you gain more experience!