When one thinks about longboarding, the first thing that comes to mind for most
people is cruising.
A majority of people who pick up a longboard want to cruise around or simply ride
around for pleasure.
But as common as this riding style is, choosing the perfect board for cruising isn’t as easy as you think.
While you can cruise on any board, the best longboard for cruising should feel natural to ride, effortless to push, and shouldn’t get in your way in any way.
Depending on your riding style, experience and terrain, you’ll find some cruiser boards may hamper your cruising experience.
For example, take the mini-cruiser boards. They’re technically cruiser longboards.
While they’re portable and nimble, they’re best suited for the last mile sort of longboard cruising.
Sure, the mini-cruisers are great for short dashes to your local store, but after a mile or two, they start getting exhausting. This is not to mention they’re agile, so you need to work hard to keep them in control-this beats the “carefree,” effortless, and enjoyable experience associated with cruising longboards.
Mini-cruisers aren’t the only type of boards you need to avoid when choosing the best longboards for cruising.
You also want to keep away from options built with a specific function in mind. For example, you don’t want to use a downhill, freeride, or dancing longboard for cruising.
Of course, some options such as carving longboards have numerous traits overlapping with the cruisers, but they’re best used for cruising by longboarding professionals.
If you’re a rider, who simply needs a high quality longboard for riding on the sidewalks and streets in relaxed mode and don’t want to show off or get hurt, I would suggest you strictly choose a quality longboard for cruising.
These special boards exemplify two ideas that identify with most skating culture: surf style and leisure. They offer a smooth ride and require the least effort to take you from point A to point B.
Now, if you need to know how you can get the best cruiser board, this article is for you. I’ll cover how the different parts of a board will affect your riding experience and the essential components you should look out for.
I’ve also thrown in five of my favorite cruise boards you could choose from if you like.
Table of Contents
The Best Longboards for Cruising For The Money
#1 Playshion Drop Through Longboard Skateboard - EDITOR'S CHOICE
For our top pick, I wanted a versatile board that I can use for cruising and other riding styles such as carving, freestyling, and even dancing.
A few picks can actually pull that off, and one of them is the Playshion Drop Through.
It’s a truly multi-functional cruising longboard, adept at different boarding styles.
But does its versatility sacrifice the cruising performance?
Let’s find out.
Features and Benefits
Playshion’s design isn’t anywhere premium, but not a problem considering what you pay for the board.
It does, however, look and feel nice.
While it won’t awe the professionals, beginners will revere this cruiser board with a lot of admiration.
First, it’s easy to use and will only take a few hours to get used to the board, learn exactly to place your feet, and properly push the quality longboard.
The build quality is awesome, too, and I feel it’s a fantastic board for a newbie who may want to hold off on buying “better” options or even a replacement without spending big dollars.
Now, into the meat and potatoes of the board, there’s a lot to love with the Playshion’s deck.
Let’s start with the construction.
For the price, it’s easy to think you’ll get a Walmart quality deck- but that’s far from the truth. Playshion 39-inch drop maple deck is made of 8-ply hardwood that feels sturdy and doesn’t crack even when abused. It takes on a beating like a champ and won’t break even after repeated banging against obstacles.
Another benefit of the hardwood maple deck construction is the flex. The maple wood might be sturdy but has some flex for shock absorption but not so much that it bottoms when riding.
It’s strong and can hold riders up to 250 pounds without any drag.
As for the length, Playshion has a 39-inch deck length, an inch less than the typical 40/41-inch length of cruising longboards.
Unless you are cruising for long distances, I think the length is fine and not worth the extra 30 or 40 bucks you pay far for the longer models.
Playshion’s cruising performance is awesome, and you’ll love every second on the board.
Part of Playshion’s fantastic cruising performance is the drop-through shape and cambered design.
The slight concave helps secure your feet to the board and facilitate easy turning.
But that isn’t as helpful at cruising as what the drop-through shape does.
Its lowers the center of gravity of the longboard, helping the riders achieve extremely stable rides.
Additionally, riders will have an easy time pushing and braking as their feet don’t have to travel long distances.
Wheels & Trucks
If you need a board you can use for skating on the skatepark or keep up with your kids or friends on a bike, you’ll love what this pick offers.
First, you get 70mm wheels with a hardness of 78- they feel right in terms of softness and will drive you over manhole covers, bumps and sticks without any problems.
The ABEC-9 bearings don’t spin great but will get the job done. The steering is a bit sensitive, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll love how the board rolls effortlessly.
I’ve no complaints about the Reverse Kingpin Trucks (RKP), with soft bushings for comfortable longboard cruising.
#2 Quest Super Cruiser Longboard - Popular Option
Second on our list of the best cruising longboards is an option that manages to meet all of the most important factors that make a quality longboard great.
Quest Cruiser Longboard is reviewed and rated by many riders as among the best cruising longboard among its users.
It’s also a popular option in the market today, as it’s well built and comes with a gamut of fantastic features.
Features and Benefits
Quest Super Cruiser 44 is a great professional board!
It’s a nice board that is fun to ride and will take you where you need to go in a decent amount of time.
Users love the board because it easy ride and shift the weight, and it goes farther than a longboard skateboard deck does.
My favorite design feature is the kick nose and tail on this board.
I know kicktails are a personal preference and not necessarily essential for the best longboard for cruising.
But I love kicktails on my board when I can’t turn quick enough as I can step on the nose and pivot out of the way. Alternatively, I can lift the front wheel to get over a big bump without the need to get off the board. But that just me.
Quest Super Cruiser is beautiful, and the stock photos don’t fully express the shiny finish on the bottom and the single design accenting the natural grain of the bamboo.
It’s not very flexy as the Playshion, and honestly, it feels stiff. If you prefer a springy board, then Super Cruiser Board isn’t. Of course, it also depends on your weight. I’m a husky 200 pounds guy, and but it barely bends.
The good news is you can always loosen the trucks a bit to make it maneuverable. I highly recommend this.
I’m a big fan of the slight camber platform that curves the center of the board up in relation to the kicktails.
It serves a few purposes, including allowing the board to hold more weight without bottoming or sagging in the middle.
Secondly, the design provides more room for flex on carves.
Quest Cruiser board rides well out of the box.
It offers a smooth ride, but the top mount deck may set back beginners.
The fact that the aluminum trucks are mounted like a normal trick skateboard raises the board higher off the ground than a regular drop-down/through the board.
While the design allows for deeper turns and a better feel when cruising, beginners say the board is too wobbly and want to tighten the trucks.
However, intermediates and expert longboarders or those familiar with the mechanics of riding rip stiks say Quest offers a surfy feeling and more like riding on the water.
This is the aspect I love most with Quest and the general top mount models- the flowy ride feeling and precise turning response.
Wheels & Trucks
The longboard wheels and bearing are mid-range as far are riding performance and hardness is concerned.
They’re a great all-around option for the average person riding around and have wonderful traction due to the large contact patch and beveled edges.
On the other hand, the bearings perform well, and while they’re not the fastest, they perform well out of the box, especially after a little break-in.
#3 Sector 9 Stranded Strand Cruiser - City Cruiser
Sector 9 is undoubtedly one of the popular longboard brand out there.
The brand’s lineup has a strong focus on carving, but they also include some awesome freeride and cruiser models.
And today, we shall be looking at one of the popular cruisers, the Sector 9 Stranded Strand Cruiser.
I love this cruiser because of its impressive quality and the awesome performance of the aluminum trucks (Gullwing) and wheels. I can’t also fail to mention the surf-inspired designs and artwork.
Features and Benefits
As with all Sector 9 longboards, the Stranded Strand Cruiser has an awesome design.
For instance, the maple wood and bamboo deck feature a cool island with skull graphics on the bottom and attractive color stripes on the top’s bamboo veneer background.
Even better, the board feels good as it looks.
The wood blend combo is sturdy and will take on a beating without breaking or cracking.
I’ve crashed the deck repeatedly against obstacles and smashed it against the wall, yet it holds strong and only has a few minor imperfections here and there.
The deck is probably where Sector 9’s Stranded Cruiser departs for the traditional cruising longboard.
Stranded Strand is ultra-short, with only a short length of 34 inches. That about six inches shorter than a typical cruising longboard.
It qualifies this board as a mini-cruiser and an ideal option for working your way through the heavy human traffic or evading obstacles.
Like a true carving bard, it’s nimble, short, and small, allowing riders to make the short, snappy turns, essential in heavy-traffic areas.
While it’s technically a cruising board, it may not be the best pick when you need to rack up some miles.
First, it doesn’t go as fast as the longer long board and will require you to push harder and a lot more to keep going.
Even worse, the board requires a lot of effort to keep it in control.
Ideally, I would only recommend this board for the serious pros, who can manage the niggles of a shorter board and those who don’t need to travel long distances.
It’s only suitable for short trips to your local store, hitting the streets, or going from one lecture hall to the other.
As far as the cruising styles, I would say Sector 9 is a “surfboard on wheels” as it lets you surf an imaginary wave.
By simply leaning on your back foot (pop-wheelie), the board can easily pick up, gain and maintain speed.
It also has fantastic maneuverability, and there’s no need to kick off the ground like traditional skate boards.
However, stopping may require some practice.
Wheels & Trucks
Stranded Strand’s rolling performance is everything you would hope for in a cruising longboard.
While the 61mm 78a feel small, they feel right for their softness and will roll over almost all obstacles, except the large cones and twigs.
The reverse kingpin trucks and bearings are awesome, while the small but well-angled kick makes it easy to pop the board off the ground on and off curbs.
#4 Atom Drop Through – 41 Inch - Value For Money
If you’re considering investing in the best longboard for cruising but don’t want to pay big bucks for it, you’ll like the Atom Drop Through longboard.
While not exactly inexpensive, it doesn’t do a lot of damage to your wallet.
In fact, it strikes the sweet spot between cost and longboarding performance.
Features and Benefits
Out of the box, Atom Through is a high quality longboard for cruising.
It’s a good cruiser, but if you really want to glide around, you need to add some upgraded bearings.
Bone super reds are suitable for the board and will let you gain more speed and rack some extra mile effortlessly.
And because cruising is all about speed and distance, this cruiser longboard does both extremely well once you upgrade the bearings.
There’s plenty to love with the Drop Through deck.
It sports a drop-through design for starters, meaning it sits pretty low to the ground, so you don’t have to plant leg much. This is essential, especially if you’re looking to go for long distances.
Secondly, this best longboard is as durable as it gets. I’ve crashed head-on into curbs and other obstacles, and yet, it only has minor scratches here and there to show for it.
My favorite feature is the bamboo deck. I love the material for two things.
It has a high flex, and the deck’s bendiness is essential for shock absorption when riding on uneven and rough terrain.
Secondly, the material is ultra-light, so it’s easy to carry, and the crashes aren’t that bad.
Atom Drop Through board is fun to ride, and it makes easy turns, so you don’t lose your balance.
However, the turns are wide, so you need a lot of practice before pulling off a 180.
Still, it feels nice to ride and runs smoothly.
Even better, it has an anti-slid grip tape, so it keeps your feet glued onto the board when cruising at high speeds.
Wheels & Bearings
Atom’s turnability is awesome, and you’ll love everything about its drivetrain.
First, the large Polyurethane wheels are big enough to roll over cracks in the pavement or small sticks and rocks on the street.
The trucks offer great maneuverability and will have you turn in a dime to avoid collisions or obstacles.
My only concern was with the ABEC-9 bearings. They offer decent performance, but not as super-fast as I would have hoped.
The good news is you can always replace the bearings for a more agile and comfortable ride.
#5 Santa Cruz Pintail Longboard - Best Cruising and Carving
Our final pick, Santa Cruz, is the best longboard for cruising and carving.
It’s a unique pintail longboard that can satisfy the needs of carving and cruising riders without sacrificing any riding style.
The board is durable, too, and will serve you for a long time to come.
But does it have what it takes to take you from point A to point B?
Features and Benefits
My first observation on this board is how attractive it looks.
It flaunts a fiery theme on the classic pintail shape deck consisting of choreographed box-like designs that look attractive and will surely get you compliments everywhere you go.
But the board isn’t all about aesthetics!
The deck is well constructed using durable maple wood that will allow it to take a beating without breaking down.
Additionally, it has a sturdy grip tape that glues your feet on the maple laminate deck and will keep you from wiping out when performing the complex carving tricks at speed.
Santa Pintail deck only comes at a measly length of 33 inches, a far cry from the typical cruising longboard.
But here is the thing; Cruz isn’t your typical cruising longboard.
Instead, it’s a skateboard that can double as a cruising and carving longboard.
Its length is critical in allowing the board to make the short, snappy, and turny maneuvers, typically associated with carving.
At the same time, the length allows you to ride for a decent distance without tiring as you would on a true carving skateboard.
Of course, we wouldn’t expect Santa Cruz to challenge the Atom or Playshion regarding speed and ease of use with such a shorter length.
While Santa Cruz offers a comfortable ride, I wouldn’t recommend it for beginners.
The short length sacrifices on some important elements a newbie would benefit from.
While professionals will love how turny and responsive the board is, beginners will have difficulty controlling the board.
See, shortboard mini-cruisers require a lot of effort to control and get them in line, downplaying the whole idea of cruising.
Wheels and Trucks
As expected, the turning ability of this carving board is not to be doubted.
The trucks and bearings are high quality and will provide riders with the best longboards for cruising performance.
My only concern was with the 60mm urethane wheels, which are a bit smaller but will still roll well over the small cracks, and obstacles.
Best Longboard for Cruising Buying Guide
In the section below, we shall look at the critical features riders should look at before purchasing the best longboards for cruising.
But before I share the tips with you, you must learn the different styles of cruising.
Knowing your style of cruising will determine what board you get and critical features to look out for.
Different Styles of Longboard Cruising
We’ve four different styles of cruising, and they’re:
- Board walking
- Long-distance Cruising
- Urban cruising
- Flat ground carving
Board walking refers to a leisure style of riding typically done in a nice pleasant environment such as beach fronts or skate parks.
It’s mostly used for relaxing and enjoying the day while performing some light exercises.
Another common reason for cruising on a longboard is for long-distance commuting.
Here, “long-distance” may be across campus or even across town.
A majority of long-distance cruisers prioritize speed and mileage with less effort.
Typical longboards for long-distance commuting have a long deck and sit close to the ground to keep pushing for long distances with less effort.
Urban Transportation Cruising
If you plan to use your board primarily for moving around the city, you need to learn how to maneuver around people, traffic, and other riders.
This is where the mini-cruisers come into play.
The mini-cruisers have short decks, are agile and nimble compared to the long-distance cruisers.
They also have a tight turning radius and are best for navigating around people, obstacles, and cars.
“Carving” Cruising Models
Carving is generally described as a discipline of its own, separate from cruising.
However, carving on flat grounds can be a great part of the cruising experience.
Carving requires a faster turning than the regular cruisers, yet not necessarily as fast as the quick city mini cruiser.
Features to Consider When Selecting Longboard Skateboard Cruiser
Generally, longboards for cruising should be on the soft side.
But of course, this will depend on where you’ll be doing your cruising.
For instance, the carving-cruiser board, mostly used for riding in areas with gradual turns, require a board with a short-stiffer deck.
On the other hand, if you need a cruising longboard for leisure walks on the sidewalks or skatepark with rough asphalt, you need a flexy board that lessens the jarring sensation.
Size of Deck
Generally, cruising longboards are associated with longer decks. This is particularly true if you’ll be going for long rides.
The longer boards are also recommended for riders who like to go faster, Taller riders will also love these quality boards as they’ve a wider stance when riding.
However, if you’re still undecided on what kind of cruising riding style you prefer, I recommend choosing the midsize option.
There’re various types of deck styles for longboards for cruising, and each style has benefits/cons over the other.
The common styles are:
Drop-throughs have a lowered center of gravity, making them stable and comfortable to push.
They don’t require frequent pushing and let you rest or extended periods.
I find them suitable for riders who need to use the longboard as their primary means of transportation.
Conversely, longboards with a high profile are a challenge to use, especially for beginners who haven’t mastered balancing.
Traditional Cruiser Shape
The traditional cruisers have narrow fronts, widening in the middle and tapering towards a rounded end.
They’re typically smaller and feature kick tails, making them ideal for navigating sidewalks and crowded areas.
A pin tail longboard is a popular style of cruising longboards.
Their pintail shape resembles a surfboard, with a broad center base, tapering to the ends.
The slightly slimmer rear end lets the board accommodate the larger wheels for greater stability.
Plus, the wheels, combined with the wheel wells, lets you turn much deeper without worrying about wheel bite.
Do I Need Kick Tail for my Cruising Longboard?
This is a personal preference, and cruising longboards with or without kick tails have their benefits/cons.
Kicktails are generally used for quick turns, and if you live in an area where you need to perform the quick turns when cruising, then a kick tail is necessary.
This feature is also essential for those who need to perform tricks.
However, not having kicktails also has its benefits.
One, you can maximize your longboard’s wheelbase.
Secondly, if you ride with your feet in a wide stance, the larger wheelbase will allow for a more comfortable ride.
Best Longboards for Cruising Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: Is a longboard better for cruising?
A: Yes, longboards, particularly those with pintail shape decks, are great for relaxed and effortless cruising. Additionally, you may want boards greater than 40″ for extra stability.
Q: Which is faster, longboard or cruiser?
A: Generally, cruisers pick up more speed than longboards. They’re also more comfortable to stand on.
Wrap Up: Our Choice
Our top pick for the best longboard for cruising is the Playshion 39-inch board.
It’s not a premium option, but it ticks on all the boxes for the best cruising longboard.
This quality longboard is agile, easy to ride, and the performance is as good as that of the more expensive picks.
It’s also a great option for both beginners and experts, so no need to upgrade to a new longboard once you outgrow this option.