Buyers Guide: Best Cruiser Skateboards for Summer

Buyers Guide: Best Cruiser Skateboards for Summer

Lost with where to begin in your search for the greatest cruiser on earth? We're here to save the day! Learn how to pick the raddest cruiser for you. Broken down into 5 styles; Mini-cruiser, Fish, Fun boards, Longboards and Gun, learn what to look for, what goes into a cruiser skateboard, difference between skateboards vs longboards and what you will have the most fun with this summer.


5 Budget Friendly Longboard Cruisers Reading Buyers Guide: Best Cruiser Skateboards for Summer 18 minutes Next Tugboat vs ATV vs Dinghy: A Landyachtz Buyers Guide

Updated for 2022

Cruiser boards, made for the simple act of cruising, were often seen as the one-seated minivans of the skate world. About as applicable as one-seated mini-vans are to most good times, so seen was the cruiser.

Somewhere in the last decade or so, with the advances in truck and wheel technology in full-fledged downhill skateboarding and longboarding, it's been discovered that shorter boards with surf-like handling can change any terrain into a feature to be pumped, planted, tricked, or turned on.

Now add that idea into the standard trip across town and errands become a reason to celebrate. Waves are just an expression of energy, after all.

Types of Cruiser Shapes

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Skateboards today come in five common categories:

  • Short board - Smallest of the bunch made for maneuverability and tricks. 
  • Fish - Rad shape with signature swallow tail for extra steeze. 
  • Fun Board - F is for friends that do stuff together. Combo of longboard and shortboard. 
  • Longboard - A skateboard that is longer. 
  • Gun - Pewpewpew do everything hybrid of long and short. 

Each style is designed for certain conditions that can all happen in the same place depending on the day and weather. 

Cruisers have a presence in all categories, but not every board from every category is a cruiser. It might be fun getting to the store on a Landyachtz Evo 36, but good luck carrying it around. That Loaded Coyote, however, was given its name for a reason.

On the other side of the curb, the standard popsicle shape skateboard most of us are familiar with today happily fits mostly in the fun board category. It takes turn-y trucks and soft wheels to stand out from the crowd here.

The cruiser “goes” more than it “gets,” which is why boards like the Dinghy occupy the much coveted shortboard space instead of the popsicle. Under the right skater, shortboards are capable of the most radical maneuvers in the most places.

Today's cruisers are less soccer van and more modern SUV. Capable of getting rowdy with the right driver, the right ride is stylish, comfortable, and safe-ish for everybody else.

That being said, asking what cruiser is the best is still going to cue laughter—just the nervous kind, because that's as complex of a question as you want to make it.

Thankfully, we've done the research to get you started in the right direction...


If you're not sure which category to pick from, or you'd just like to piece together your own ride, consider the following points.


First and foremost, know what kind of budget you are working with. From the ever-present plastic mini at the dollar store, to complete custom rides, keep in mind that crashing feels the same no matter how much cash is spent on the skateboard!


The standard seven-ply maple laminated deck works for nearly every circumstance, but experiments in everything from Baltic Birch to super sci-fi wonder wood goes into making boards behave differently.

Go check out our Ultimate Guide to Longboard Decks to see where you'll stand after you've spent your money.


In the world of cruisers, “size” itself is a big word. Size can refer to overall length of the board, the length of the wheelbase of the board, the width of the board, width and height of trucks and/or wheels.

There's no correct way to set size. Just know that bigger numbers usually mean drawing thicker imaginary lines on the planes you surf--or maybe just thicker locker space requirements. Longer wheelbases usually mean more stability or wider turns, but that's only part of the story.

Typical cruiser board size is around 29-33 inches

Typical cruiser board size is around 29-33 inches and does not have much of a nose, allowing for a longer wheelbase. The longer wheelbase makes the overall board feel a bit bigger than it really is.


Cruisers can come with any variations of nose/tail or none at all. It is a feature to consider when picking up your set up.

The first thing to decide on is the tail of the skateboard. It’ll help with the maneuverability and allow for ollies and other beginner tricks. However, it will take down the wheelbase a bit making the board feel smaller (not always a bad thing).

The nose of the skateboard will allow for different tricks and allow for a place for feet to catch during ollies and flip tricks.

Most cruisers do not come with much of an upturned nose as they are usually directional skateboards and mainly keep all four wheels planted. Nonetheless, it is something to consider when picking one out.


There are three types of trucks that you will find on cruiser boards: TKP, RKP, and Surf.

Traditional Kingpin Trucks (TKP)

These are the most common and found on most shortboards. The design lends well to grinds and tricks, but not the best at carving.

They also add a little length to the wheelbase and sit lower to the ground, so they’re frequently found on smaller cruiser boards. This is aimed to keep the deck platform low and maximize the wheelbase for stability (since the deck is already short).

Reverse Kingpin Trucks (RKP)

This style of truck came into being mostly for longboards and downhill as the design offers the best carve.

RKPs are used when max wheelbase is not an issue and the board can stand a bit taller without worrying about the board feeling unnaturally high.

Surf Skate Trucks

The newest type of truck to the market, this brings surfing to the streets in a way TKP and RKP just can’t match.

Carver Surf Skate Trucks

Surf Skate Trucks are designed for lower speed hard carves and getting pitted, so pitted on your favorite concrete wave. Don’t expect these to be stable with speed.

For more info about trucks, be sure to check out our Ultimate Guide to Trucks.


The biggest discovery in skateboarding is sure to leave a mark wherever it has to slow down. Ever since Frank Nasworthy started making skateboard wheels out of urethane, the ability to prolong each ride has only expanded exponentially.

Softer than standard skateboard wheels, at around 80-90 durometer, cruiser wheels range from 55mm - 72mm and are designed to tackle obstacles, bumps, cracks and even small rocks, without taking your feet from the grip tape.

Wheel shape also plays a part, with two main types: square and rounded. With square edge wheels digging into surfaces for max grip and round edge lips prone to sliding.

Personal preference is huge, so be sure to think about what kind of ride you are looking for, and be sure to check out our complete guide to wheels for more info.

Pre-Built vs. Custom Build

For most new riders, we would recommend just getting a pre-built board from a trusted brand like Arbor or Landyachtz. These are already set up and tested by pro riders from various brands to make sure you’re getting a quality set up.

Once you have the base of the pre-build, you can always swap stuff out later to your liking. It’s not hard to do with a skate tool and a couple YouTube videos.

If you can’t find anything on the market you like and custom is definitely what you need, give us a shout and one of our riders can help you build a dream board.

Now, for the completes. Everything here on out is pre-built and ready to ride.

Shortboards / Mini-cruiser

Shortboards, or mini cruisers, might be the most controversial category in skateboarding. When people hear the word “cruiser”, an experience crashing on a red plastic penny board comes to mind. They come off as “clever” with the idea that distilling away all excess creates functional fun.

Shortboard Cruiser Breakdown

To the uninitiated, riding a mini still comes with full-sized danger. Thankfully, with practice, shooting though town on a mini awakens stylistic speed after just one kick. Tools like this translate to trust elsewhere, like trying to trick in steep places on bigger boards—if that's what you're into.

Most minis have directional, high-quality decks made from wood, snub (shaved) noses, and plenty of kick tail. They tend to be mounted on narrow (110-130 mm,) traditional king pin trucks...but that's only how they tend to be.

If there's one place where wheels might make the most difference, it's on the mini. The ratio of deck space to contact patch is the closest. All that said, here are a few of our favorites.

Top Picks - Mini Cruisers

Fish Shape

Here fishy fishy... What might be the most recognizable shape in surfing becomes perhaps the widest variety in cruising, once wheels are added. In the water, fish shapes are made for the most radical maneuvers in some of the strangest places. Short of committing to absolute style though, riding a fish gets a little choppy. This is where some of our favorite cruisers live too.

Board Breakdown Fish

Surf-skate style setups belong here as well. Beginning riders might gain false confidence in a handling experience well above their current level. If the skater already understands how to move a board around, the fish' s advantages for moving in water become a little too easy to over-influence.

We recommend one less shot of espresso before a session for beginners and two less for advanced surfers so as not to spook the fish.

Top Picks - Fish

Fun Boards

The closest comparison to a standard skateboard, fun board cruisers tend to be the broadest of the in-betweens. With functional kick tails being the first most important part of the platform, there's plenty of standing room over the trucks and the occasional big nose, fun boards have everything it takes to set high expectations, and then, hey, did you see that koala bear?

Fun Boards Breakdown

Thankfully, wider trucks and bigger wheels also come with to help smooth out the confusion. Almost every wheeled board manufacturer makes some version of the fun board, with cruisers coming above 8.5 inches wide and usually including at least 60 mm wheels to smooth out the sidewalks for comfortable kick flips in front of Karen's house.

Top Picks - Fun Boards


Longboard Breakdown

The street definition of a longboard depends on which street you're on. To be a cruiser in the long board category, it just takes a length over 36 inches. That seems pretty long, right?

Totally. But cruisers are made for cruising and certain longboards, like most drop-decks, are made for commuting. Is there a difference? If you're spending two weeks pay on your ride to work, damn right there is. Long ass cruisers tend to trade stability for style--or trick-ability in places like the dance world, where board and rider aren't always in contact.

Any time traditional trucks show up on something that doesn't look like a popsicle stick, you can guess it's probably a cruiser, because, as always, it's more about go than get.

Top Picks - Longoards


It takes incredibly special circumstances for these boards to even begin to awaken, usually in the form of humongous hills and screeching slides. If cruisers in this category seem like overkill, come back in a few seasons. Just short of full on free ride boards, riding a gun can turn streets to snowboard runs with some practice.

Gun Cruiser Breakdown

Cruisers here separate themselves from designated downhill boards by adding some nose back for trick-ability and slow-speed maneuverability. All that really means is that feet have no way to fly into space when suddenly that's all there seems to be.

Wide trucks, less than oversized wheels, and narrow decks make for comfortable grip between the rider and the road. If your problems seem enormous...

Top Picks - Guns


Now that you just read more here than you did during all of seventh grade, go grab a cruiser and see for yourself how much cooler the world could have been if you had just done your homework. Luckily, the world is still here and so are we. Let's go skate.

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The opinions and views expressed in this work are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of Stoked Ride Shop. The author makes no representations or warranties with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the contents of this work and specifically disclaims any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. The author shall not be liable for any damages, including, but not limited to, direct, indirect, incidental, punitive, special, consequential, or exemplary damages, even if Stoked Ride Shop has been advised of the possibility of such damages. Ride at your own risk and within your own limits.

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