Longboard vs Cruiser


Difference between Longboard vs Cruiser

So, you’re looking for a longboard. You’ve already ruled out a street skateboard because you want something more versatile and comfortable to ride, and you’re not interested in pure trick skating.

You primarily want something you can use to cruise and commute on a daily basis, such as to the train station, or simply to ride to the store or the park. However, when browsing the available options online or in skate shops, you’re undecided between Longboard vs  Cruiser.

Is there a difference between a longboard and a cruiser?

First, let’s clear something up: Any four-wheeled board that isn’t a traditional street (aka “trick”) skateboard is referred to as a “longboard.” Skateboards are symmetrical, popsickle-shaped decks with two kick tails mounted on traditional kingpin trucks with small hard wheels, ideal for ollies, flips, and rail grinds.

Longboards are usually larger than skateboards, with larger decks, trucks, and wheels. That is the difference between the two. Longboards are more comfortable and stable to ride because they are larger.

Finally, a cruiser (really a mini-cruiser) can be the same size as or even smaller than a street skateboard. The only thing that separates the two types may be the wheels and deck shape.

  • Types of riding: longboard vs. cruiser

Many skaters use their skates for everyday city commuting and casual city cruising. Street skateboards have always been more nimble, less cumbersome, and lighter to carry around in congested city streets and sidewalks than those heavy bulky 38′′ or longer longboards.

If you’ve ever ridden a street skateboard, you’re aware of how uncomfortable and slow these boards are to cruise on due to the strong vibrations and shocks generated by the small hard wheels and stiff deck.

  • Distance travel vs. city transportation

The primary function of a cruiser is short-distance transportation. Getting around the city, navigating around things and people on busy streets and sidewalks. It’s small and light, making it easy to take anywhere: into a store, the office, a restaurant (under the table), a bus, a train… It fits in a plane’s overhead compartment.

Longboards that are full-size, on the other hand, are heavier and bulkier. However, over longer distances and at higher speeds, such as on country roads, they are stable and smooth to ride. They allow for more efficient and effortless pushing in general. They can pick up speed quickly and go fast due to their size and weight.

They can also handle higher speeds, making them a good choice for downhill riding. On the other hand, larger boards have a larger turning radius, making them less maneuverable in tight spaces than cruisers.

  • Deck size on a longboard vs. a cruiser

Longboard cruisers, on the other hand, have decks that are 36 to 42 inches long and 8.5 to 10 inches wide.

A cruiser, on the other hand, is often less stable than a full-sized longboard, especially at higher speeds. When driving down steep hills, the short wheelbase, combined with loose trucks (see below), causes speed wobbles. Because of their longer wheelbase, longboards are much more stable at high speeds.

Longboards have a wide range of flex, but some flex makes cruising more comfortable on rough terrain, easier on the joins, and aids carving. The deck on cruisers is usually stiffer to allow for more pop when using the kicks.

Longboard vs. cruiser: what’s the difference?

They frequently use a kick tail – and occasionally a small nose kick – to perform kick tricks and manuals, as well as pop over small cracks.

Another advantage of mini-cruisers is that they are so small (close to skateboard size) and light that you can do soft tricks like kick flips, kick turns, and hopping on and off curbs while cruising around the city.

Because of their larger wheels, cruisers are generally heavier than street boards, so I call them “soft tricks.” As a result, while some riders can ollie on them, it requires more effort. Because the main focus of a cruiser is, well, cruising, the kick tails are primarily designed to assist you in navigating the urban landscape.

Longboards with kick tails can be used for freestyle or dancing tricks. On a longboard, however, you won’t do the same tricks as you would on a small cruiser: manuals and stepping tricks will take precedence over radical kickflips and jumps. You also won’t be able to use a regular longboard in a skate park. 

  • Cutouts, flares, and wheel wells

To reduce the risk of wheel rub, cruisers have a narrower nose and wheel flares. Because cruiser trucks are designed to turn quickly, having good wheel clearance is critical for tight carving in tight spaces.

Wheel clearance on regular longboards, both topmount and drop-through, can vary significantly. Some longboards are designed primarily for distance pushing, with a focus on riding fast and far on straight roads rather than carving and turning constantly, and thus have lower wheel clearance.

Others, such as the Loaded Icarus, are designed primarily for carving and pumping, and their ample wheel cutouts and deep flares allow them to handle very large wheels without suffering from wheelbite.

  • Longboard vs. cruiser: how to mount it on a truck

The way a board’s trucks are attached to the deck has a big impact on how it rides while cruising. The trucks are bolted underneath the deck on the majority of mini-cruisers. As a result, cruisers are higher off the ground, making them more difficult to push – your kicking foot must drop further to reach the ground, and your standing knee must bend further.

So you get the idea: cruisers are best for riding short-ish distances; their topmount design and small wheels make them unsuitable for long-distance skating. In general, cruisers aren’t the best choice for downhill speed.

On the other hand, a full-size cruising longboard can be topmount (like most pintails) or drop-through (where the trucks traverse the deck through holes).

Longboard vs. cruiser: which is better?

By longboard standards, cruisers typically have small wheels, typically in the 55-65mm range, to match smaller trucks and a smaller deck – larger wheels cause wheelbite. Smaller wheels also contribute to the board’s lighter weight. However, cruiser wheels are typically larger than those found on a traditional street skateboard, which are typically around 50mm in diameter.

Longboards can reach higher speeds because of their larger wheels, which roll faster. Most longboards designed for cruising, like mini-cruisers, have softer wheels for better grip and cushioning on rough terrain. For sliding, freeriding and freestyle require harder wheels.


So, what’s the difference between a cruiser and a longboard, and how do you choose between the two? A cruiser is ideal for short distance rides in congested or crowded areas. It’s small, light, and portable, so you can take it with you wherever you go. A cruiser is not well-suited to long distance travel or fast riding.

For pushing long distances and riding downhill at higher speeds, a longboard is more stable and comfortable. It has a much wider turning radius than a cruiser, but it’s also longer, heavier, and more difficult to transport and store.

Depending on the tricks you do, both cruisers and longboards can be used for freestyle. Bowling is possible on some cruisers, while stepping tricks and dancing are best done on longer boards with kicks. Consider getting a street deck or a “hybrid” longboard if you’re into heavier freestyling. 

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