Guide To Cruiser And Longboard Skateboarding
Cruiser skateboards are smooth and fast, perfect for chilled skates around your city. However, they also lend themselves really well to surf/snowboard style carving along with the potential for some retro-inspired moves in the skatepark.
Cruiser Skateboard Set Up
Cruisers sit somewhere between a regular deck and a longboard. They have a less aggressive profile than a standard deck, and come with large soft wheels. This allows you to roll over rough surfaces with ease, and provides good grip for laying down carves.
Being shorter than longboards they are snappier, easier to hit quick carves and generally a little more convenient.
Some cruiser decks come with a surf-inspired shape, featuring a pointed nose and swallowtail. Not only do these boards look awesome but they are also perfect for laid back cruising and flowy carves. Other cruisers come with a more 90’s skateboard shape, offering a wide nose, more pronounced kick in the tail and concave across the deck. Although still primarily focussed on relaxed skating, they do lend themselves to some basic tricks (albeit quite different and usually harder than if you were to trick a usual popsicle shape skateboard).
Cruiser boards are arguably the best choice for travelling from a-to-b. They’re much easier to carry than a longboard and offer more manoeuvrability.
The shorter length of cruisers, and soft wheels, make them an excellent choice for working snappy carves and quick rail to rail control.
Top Three Tricks
Manual – Lifting your front or back wheels off the ground, effectively a skateboard wheelie.
Carving – Hitting long or short flowing turns that mimic surfing/snowboarding.
Bowl – Not technically a trick, but taking your cruiser round a skate bowl is one of the best feelings you can get on a skateboard, linking flow, carves and speed for the ultimate surf/snow sensation.
As given away by the name, longboards are much longer than a standard skateboard or cruiser. There are a range of different types available, but the three most common would be boards that are designed for either smooth cruising around town, bombing hills or freeriding/dancing.
Longboard Set Up
Thanks to their length and width, longboards are often easier to ride for beginners than standard decks. Longboard decks typically come in between 32 – 42 inches and vary in both flex and shape. The decks generally feature a gentle concave, with the shape of the nose and tail being the main varying factor. Pintail boards (with a sweeping pointed nose and tail) are a classic shape, perfect for laid back cruising. Variations include a kicked tail as well as dropped down trucks.
Most longboards now come with reverse kingpin trucks. These are essentially reversed from standard trucks, in the sense that the kingpins on both trucks face outwards rather than inwards as is usual. This has a number of benefits for longboards, primarily more stability at high speed and better control and feel when carving.
As with cruisers, longboards come with large and generally soft wheels which gives a fast, smooth ride with plenty of control.
As with cruisers, longboards are perfect for laid back skating, soaking in bumps and carrying speed with ease. Due to their size, they aren’t as suitable for travelling from a-to-b (they can be a little awkward if you need to jump on a bus for example). However, they are great for carving and give you a really valuable way to work on balance, carve technique and rail-to-rail transitions.
Top Three Tricks
Carving – Hitting long or short flowing turns that mimic surfing/snowboarding. Same as with cruisers, but if anything, a more enhanced sensation.
Slide – Initiating a controlled slide of your wheels is not only useful for speed control, but with variation, can become a super stylish move.
Walk the plank – In the same style as surfers, cross-step up and down the board to ride the nose and tail.