What Is Different Between Cruiser Vs Longboard?
Meta: Are you wondering what is different between cruiser vs longboard? Let’s find out the answer in our today’s article.
Obviously, you can easily find a wide range of boards in our market of skateboards today. Among them, cruiser and longboard are the two most popular types.
The question is, “Do you know what is different between cruiser vs longboard?” Today, we will provide all of the useful information for you to find out the answer. Are you ready for it? Let’s get started!
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What is a longboard?
In a nutshell, a longboard is also a sports equipment that is quite similar to a vanilla board, but it is much longer. Well, in fact, it is a standard board’s subcategory.
So how to recognize a longboard?
That’s quite easy. You just need to estimate the length of the board. If any board is more than 36 inches, you can be sure it is a longboard.
And with that said, the longboards have gradually developed over the years with many different variants. Along with that, there are also many specific terms used to distinguish the kinds of longboards. They, for instance, include casual cruising longboards, freestyle longboards, downhill longboards, to name a few.
Each of the longboards mentioned above features a unique design for many different purposes.
However, in general, all longboards have longboard-style trucks that are higher and turn sharper than the vanilla ones. Also, they come with big soft wheels of about 70mm or more.
Parts of longboard
A longboard is made with ten different parts comprising of grip tape, deck, trucks, axle, bearings, kingpin, truck bolts, and wheels. Keep reading for more details about these elements below.
Grip tape is a layer covering the surface at the top of the longboard deck. It looks like sandpaper and offers traction between the shoes of users and the longboard.
Deck is the top surface that you stand on. It is, usually, made of maple material or bamboo for strength and durability. It is currently available in many different shapes, comprising of pintail, blunt, mini cruise, and twin. Also, it can be fixed to trucks in various configurations.
A truck is a metal piece of a longboard attached to the back of the deck and the wheels. It plays a crucial role in building a complete skateboard. Each longboard demands two trucks measured by axle width or hanger width.
An axle is a metal rod running through the hanger of the truck, which protrudes a few inches on both sides. Besides, an axle nut can hold in place one wheel that is put on either end.
Bearings of a longboard are round metal parts that are put inside the wheels to attach them to the axle.
This is a big bolt holding different elements of the trucks together. The pins are mounted in vanilla or reverse configurations. In most conditions, reverse kingpin configuration is useful as it not only is responsive at low speeds but also offers stability at high speeds.
Truck bolts are useful parts in attaching the truck of a longboard to the board deck.
Wheels make a longboard crave, cruise, or slide on a riding ground. Currently, there are many specs for the wheels like lip profile, wheel diameter, durometer rating, and contact patch.
What is a cruiser board?
Cruiser boards are normally boards that are not used to do tricks and almost focus on rolling around. They are quite short; that’s why they are not called longboards. These skateboards come in various shapes and sizes.
As you can see, a cruiser board is quite small. Therefore, it is convenient for you to carry from place to place. On the other hand, you cannot use it for longboarding, such as freeriding and downhill, which is a limitation of this kind of skateboard.
A cruise board regularly uses small wheels of about 55 – 65 mm, keeping its size and weight down. Still, it takes advantage of vanilla board-style trucks, as well as they are much shorter and lighter. These wheels can make a cruiser board move well over more difficult surfaces rather than a regular board.
Regarding the elements of a cruiser board, it features almost or all the parts like a longboard.
Difference between cruiser vs longboard
As we mentioned above, a cruiser board is shorter and more lightweight than a longboard. Also, it is more maneuverable and responsive to traveling in harder areas. Meanwhile, a longboard is much more stable at fast rolling speeds. That’s why it is ideal for riding in long distances and down the hills.
See more: Carve longboarding
A confusing terminology
We admit that it is confusing to get clear about longboard and cruiser. First, let’s discover the term longboard. Generally, it refers to any four-wheel board but a conventional street (or trick) skateboard.
The term skateboard means symmetrical decks with a popsicle shape and two kick tails attached to regular kingpin trucks with hard wheels. It is also well suited for rail grinds, ollies, and flips.
Typically, every part of a longboard is bigger than that of a skateboard from decks, trucks to wheels. That is the most obvious thing you can find in distinguishing the two.
And about cruisers, well, they are like mini longboards that are shorter and more lightweight. Besides, they are also identical or smaller than street skateboards. To differentiate these two types, you can consider the shape of their deck and wheels.
Types of riding (between street, city transport, distance travel)
Let’s dive deeper into the difference between a longboard and a cruiser regarding the styles of riding.
Street & Longboard
Have you ever wonder why there is the presence of cruisers on the longboard market?
Well, the answer is simple. That’s because cruisers can meet the demand of those who seek something in between longboards and street skateboards.
Most skaters prefer skates for regular cruising and daily commutes in the city. Street skateboards are nimbler, lighter, and less cumbersome for you to carry around than longboards.
However, if you ever use this type of board, you will easily find it quite slow and more uncomfortable to cruise on due to the shocks and vibrations you get. You know why?
That’s because of the stiff deck and hard wheels of the street skateboard.
City transport & Distance travel
The main usage of cruisers is to travel in short distances. As we talked a lot above, cruisers are lightweight and compact, so carrying them around is like a piece of cake. It also fits in a plane’s overhead compartment.
Meanwhile, longboards are bulkier and heavier. However, you will see they are more smooth and stable to ride in long distances at high speeds. You even don’t need to put much effort into riding them fast.
With the ability to handle high speed, they are an ideal choice for downhill rides
The key factor in distinguishing a longboard and a cruiser is the deck size.
Typically, the decks of a cruiser cannot surpass 34 inches long and 8.5 inches wide. On the other hand, a longboard deck is available from 36 inches to 42 inches in length and 8.5 inches to 10 inches in width.
Is the deck size important?
The answer is a big YES.
The length of a deck and wheelbase – the distance between the front and back trucks – affect the ability to turn.
While a cruiser deck lets the board turn “on a dime”, so skaters can avoid obstacles and cracks, a longboard’s has better turning arcs.
Furthermore, though flex generally varies much for a longboard, some flex supports cruising more smoothly and comfortably in harder surfaces. Especially, a cruiser often features a more robust deck, allowing more pop when skaters use the kicks.
Most cruisers look like surfboards with a kick tail or a small nose kick, which we can use to do kick tricks, as well as pop over cracks, and manuals.
On the other hand, a longboard has various shapes. However, most have the pintail-like shape or symmetrical cutout-like shape.
A longboard has kick tails to allow some dancing tricks or freestyling.
In general, you will not perform the similar types of tricks on a cruiser as on a longboard. Instead, you will concentrate on steeping tricks and manuals vs. jumps and radical kickflips.
Wheels, flares, cutouts
Regularly, cruisers have narrower wheel flares and noses to curb the wheel rub risks. The trucks of a cruiser are typically loose for fast turns. Therefore, it is essential to have a proper wheel clearance for tight carving whenever riding in narrow spaces.
For a conventional longboard, wheel clearance, drop-through, and topmount are all critical. Some longboards are used for distance pushing, riding fast on the straight roads, in contrast with turning and carving continuously, so they undoubtedly flaunt limited wheel clearance.
You might not know this, but when cruising, how the trucks of a board are attached on the decks impact the way that board rides much. Most of the mini cruisers have the trucks mounted below the decks. This means they are quite high off the ground, which makes them more difficult to push on.
Furthermore, topmount can make the board less stable at high speeds due to the higher gravity center.
Are you clear at this point?
Generally, a cruiser is not ideal for long riding as it features small wheels and topmount design. Meanwhile, a longboard can come with drop-through or topmount design like pintails.
Accordingly, pintail longboards are tougher for long-distance pushing, as well as less stable at high speeds than drop-through ones. However, they deliver better performance in faster turning.
In sum, longboards are hardly as nimble as cruisers due to their size.
Cruisers normally use traditional kingpin trucks (TKP) like the trucks found in street skateboards. Meanwhile, longboards run reverse kingpin trucks (RKP).
Particularly, the TKP can respond to tiny movements of our feet, which makes them ideal for kicks with low-speed riding.
Still, the TKP trucks come with more “dive” than the RKP ones. That means as you begin leaning into a turn, your board turns dramatically, and then more slowly when you continue.
Moreover, the TKP are shorter than the RKP. Therefore, on cruisers, they offset the height of the ride caused by topmount design.
In addition to wheelbase length, the RKP contribute to the stability of the longboards at high speeds as their design aims to respond deeper and slower. They demand harder leaning to turn on them. TKP are more likely to suffer wobbles and twitchier.
The wheels of cruisers are often smaller than that of longboards. They are typically about 55 – 65 mm, which matches smaller decks and trucks. As you might know, bigger wheels can cause wheelbite. Wheels with the smaller size can reduce the weight of the board. However, cruisers still have bigger wheels than traditional street skateboards, which are about 50mm only.
Especially, cruiser wheels are normally soft with the durometers in the range of 78A- 82A.
They are ideal for cruising as they help to eliminate shocks, even on rough terrains, and deliver better traction during the carving process.
Some skaters are fond of using a bit stiffer wheels, which are roll faster and more slideable on almost smooth surfaces.
In comparison, the longboard wheels for cruising are regularly bigger, which are from 70mm. Even, the wheels found in longboards for distance pushing can be even 85mm. The purpose when using these wheels is to offer the decks enough wheel clearance. The bigger the wheels are, the faster the rolling is.
That’s why longboards can manage high speeds well.
The table of differences between cruisers and longboards
To help you out in summarizing all differences in our article, we have created a table below. Hope you will find it useful!
|● Under 36 inches
|● Above 36 inches
|● 56mm – 65mm
|● More than 70mm
|● Ideal for short distance
● Easy to carry thanks to compact and lightweight design
● More responsive for riding in rough areas
|● Better choice for travelling in long distance and downhill rides
● Handle high speeds well
● Much stable at fast rolling speeds
● Faster turning
|● Slow and uncomfortable due to shocks and vibrations caused by small wheels and hard deck
● Not used for riding down hills
|● Quite bulky and heavy
So now do you have the answer to the question “What is different between cruiser vs longboard?”
In sum, the key difference is that cruisers are shorter than longboards. Besides, you cannot do tricks when using cruisers. Instead, pick up a longboard.
For some recommendations, if you just want to move around in short distances, you should go for a cruiser as it is quite compact and lightweight. On the other hand, consider buying a longboard for travelling far.
And one more thing, remember to consider speed, deck, turning, purpose, and wheels carefully and you will make a right buying choice.
Thank you for reading.