When you’re looking for something on the market of skateboarding, options of longboard and cruiser are the things that you can find. You may be at a loss on what to get.
They are two different things, and you have to know the differences for you to reach a decision. Then you can figure out what’s best for you.
The cruiser is a short and more lightweight board. It can get you through the tight areas in the city as it is responsive for easy maneuvering.
Whereas, the longboard can turn a wider radius, but you can expect its stability in terms of fast-rolling speeds. Therefore, it’s suitable for riding down a hill, traveling long distances and open road commuting.
This comparison is not enough, as this article will tackle more of it.
Longboard and Cruiser, Terms Used in Skateboarding
A longboard refers to a board with four wheels that are not specifically the traditional skateboard. It is bigger than the skateboard in terms of deck, wheels, and trucks.
With bigger parts, a longboard is more comfortable to ride. Skateboard has a symmetrical deck in the shape of a popsicle. It also has two kick tail mounted on kingpin truck, which is in a traditional style.
There are small hard wheels for flips, rail grinds, and ollies.
The cruiser is distinguished as a ‘mini longboard’ or ‘mini cruiser’ based on its shorter board. It is configured for the optimization of pushing and going to places when cruising though these functions are the things that different types of longboards can give.
The constant thing is that longboards are always bigger than cruisers.
The range of the cruiser’s size is the same as the skateboard. But they can be distinguished through their decks and wheels.
Comparison: Longboard vs. Cruiser
Types of Riding
1) Cruiser Riding, Longboard and Street
Cruiser can be a type of longboard. So why isn’t it just under the category of longboard? It was made to fill in the gap between street skateboard and longboard.
Many skaters ride the board for commutes and just causal city cruising. Streets are crowded and congested most of the time.
Longboards can be bulky around when they have a 38-inch deck or longer. A cruiser is easy to carry as it is lightweight. It’s not only portable but agile.
It can also offer some of the comforts that you can get from a longboard. It is possible as cruisers have larger wheels that have a unique shape for comfort.
2) City Ride vs. Distance Travel
The primary role of a cruiser is to let you through the busy street of an urban place. You can easily navigate the area with busy streets and a crowd of people on the sidewalk. Therefore, it’s made for rides in a short distance.
Although longboards can be heavier and bulkier than cruisers, they have advantages too. It’s stable, and you can ride it smoothly even though you’re taking on long-distance. You can be at full speed on country roads.
Pushing would longboard are generally effortless and efficient. Their size enables them to pick the speed with no trouble so you can go fast.
They also handle speed well so you can go downhill with no obstacle. But due to the longboard’s bigger boards that create a large turning radius, it is not nimble as the cruiser.
The deck size of the longboard ranges from 36 to 42 inches long, with a width of 8.5 to 10 inches. A cruiser’s deck has a length of no longer than 34 inches, and it’s usually around 28 to 32 inches with narrower width below 8.5 inches.
The length of the deck and wheelbase impact the turning ability of the board. Smaller cruisers can make the board turn ‘on a dime’ so it can easily avoid cracks and obstacles.
Bigger longboards are expected to have wider turning arcs.
A cruiser won’t beat the longboard’s stability, particularly if it’s at a fast speed. The short wheelbase, together with the loose trucks, can cause speed-wobbles when going down the hill.
The longer wheelbase makes longboards more stable in any kind of terrains.
Flexon longboards vary. Some of them are suitable for cruising, providing comfort on rough terrain, and assisting with carving.
Cruisers have a stiffer deck, so there’s more pop when you use the kicks.
Cruisers are mostly in the shape of a surfboard. They are asymmetrically accompanied by rounded square or just squared tail. The nose is pointy.
They always have a kicktail. You may find some with a small nose kick for manuals, kick tricks, and popping over small cracks.
Cruisers are lightweight so you can do simple tricks even when you’re on the city street like kick turn, kickflips, ping off, or on curbs. They’re just soft tricks as these boards have heavy wheels.
Kicktail is added to the cruisers for easy access to the urban landscape.
There are some cruisers that are built for freestyling. One of them has freestyle features like pronounced concave and two full-sized kicks.
Longboards can be found in many shapes and styles, such as pintail for cruising and symmetrical cut-out shape. They may also come with a kicktail for freestyling and dancing.
You will do manual and stepping tricks with longboards as well as radical kickflips and jumping. There’s no need to bring them to a skate pool too.
Wheel Wells, Cutouts, Flares
The wheel flare and narrow nose of a cruiser prevent wheel rub from happening. The trucks are loose for fast turning. Wheel clearance can cause tight carving, which is essential for tight places.
Wheel clearance on longboards can vary from top-mount to drop-through. The purpose may be for distance pushing or focus on riding fast in far straight roads.
They are opposed to carving and turning. Thus, it results in limited wheel clearance.
The truck-mounted on the deck is the one that affects how you ride the board. Mini-cruisers usually have top-mount, which means that the truck is bolted under the deck. So you notice that they are slightly high off the ground.
With this setup, it’s harder to push them on the ground. You have to bend your knees as your foot puts in a lot of effort to reach the ground.
It implies that it has a higher center of gravity, so it’s less stable when speed increases. So they’re ideal for a short distance and don’t ever use them when going downhill.
Longboards can have top mount or drop-through with trucks to traverse the deck through holes. The pintail is built for long distances since you can go on pushing and you can turn out with it. But it’s less stable than drop-through.
The stability of the drop-through is consistent, even on a downhill ride.
The difference that you can easily spot is the size. Longboards are longer than a cruiser. Cruisers are flat and thin.
Cruisers are designed for taking you around, but you can’t do tricks with them.
Longboards allow you to do tricks. When you’re performing on your board, you can’t be considered cruising. But longboards can take you to places outside the city. You can depend on its speed and stability as you cross the long distance.
It’s also essential to pick your deck as it affects the performance of the board.