Skateboards are not one size fits all, unfortunately, and there are a few different types of boards that you should know before choosing your new wheels.
Skateboards, longboards, and cruisers are often lumped together under the umbrella term of a skateboard, but in reality, this could not be further from the truth.
Skateboards are used to conduct tricks at your local skatepark. Longboards are meant for long-distance riding as well as downhill racing and freestyling, and cruisers are best for transporting around and shorter rides.
Now that we know a little more about what each type of board is best used for, let’s look into the similarities and differences between them. Although each one boasts a number of different features, there still are a few similarities that are worth noting.
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The main similarity between skateboards, cruisers, and longboards is that they all have the same basic building blocks. They consist of four wheels, a sturdy board, and some high-quality trucks.
Riding each of these boards are quite similar to ride and work well with the same techniques; however, longboards require your feet to be positioned a little differently due to the longer size of the board.
Finally, it is imperative that no matter whether you opt for a skateboard, longboard, or cruiser that you choose one that is of a high-quality and made from professional-grade materials.
Cheaper alternatives will wear down easily and break much faster than you first anticipate.
We told you that there weren’t many similarities between these three boards!
Moving onto something with a little more substance, let’s look at the biggest differences between skateboards, cruisers, and longboards.
Type of Riding
Which board you choose to purchase will depend on the type of riding that you plan to do. If you try to use the wrong board for a particular type of riding, you might find yourself left stranded with a broken board.
Alternatively, you might injure yourself when it could have easily been avoided.
Opting for a skateboard will be the best idea if you’re planning on mainly only going to the skatepark to show off some tricks to your friends.
Skateboards have curved fronts and backs, called noses and kicktails, which are used to gain height on flips and jumps. Their trucks need to be stronger than other boards to allow for grinding and popping ollies.
Skateboards have harder wheels that are not considered the best option for traveling long distances. Unless you want to switch out the wheels, make sure that you leave your skateboard for the skatepark.
Cruisers are smaller and more lightweight than the traditional skateboard, although they offer a similar shape. Their wheels are thicker and softer than skateboard wheels and you can generate a fast speed in record timing.
Cruisers are made to offer the user an easy and comfortable ride. If you’re planning on commuting a relatively short distance without many up or downhill battles, you’ll often find that a cruiser is a perfect option for you.
Just don’t attempt to do any tricks with a cruiser, you might be sorely embarrassed by the outcome.
Longboards are designed for longer journeys and more strenuous commutes. They’re beneficial when riding downhill and they can reach higher speeds without worrying you too much.
However, some people prefer the more enjoyable route of slow rides.
Longboards offer a large surface area for your feet to reside comfortably, but this also means that these boards aren’t as responsive as the other two options. Longboards come with soft wheels that are comfortable.
Some longboards are better for downhill riding, some for carving, and others for long-distance. Make sure that you opt for the right longboard depending on your intentions.
Skateboards and cruisers feel relatively similar when it comes to flexibility; however, longboards offer a much more flexible feeling.
Longboards are more comfortable to ride for a longer time, whereas skateboards are very rough and don’t offer much cushioning.
Skateboards are less flexible than longboards to allow for a wider range of tricks, but you can get some flexible options that are better suited for some unique tricks and jumps.
Skateboards are often 30 to 32 inches in length and 7 to 9 inches in width.
Cruisers are often considered the smallest option of board with a minimum length of 25 inches, but some options on the market stretch up to 37 inches long.
Longboards measure in at 33 to 59 inches with a width of around 10 inches.
There is a lot of variation when it comes to the shapes of these boards, but we’ll be looking at the traditional shapes for the argument’s sake down below.
Skateboards are straight-edged with a semi-circle nose and tail. These edges are pointed up to make flips and tricks easier to conduct.
Cruisers are often shaped similar to skateboards but with a shorter length and width. Having said that, Penny boards are also considered cruiser boards, and these are shaped with a pointed nose and a thinner tail in relation to the rest of the body.
Longboards are flat and don’t have an upturned nose or tail, so they often just look like a board of wood attached to a few wheels. You can get longboards in a number of different shapes, such as swallowtails, flat-nosed, pintails, and drop-through.
Longboards have inverted trucks compared to skateboards or cruisers. Skateboards come with sturdier and more reliable trucks due to the added pressure that they have to go through.
If you’re planning on grinding your board a lot, robust trucks are definitely a must-have.
We hope that you’ve found some valuable insight into the differences and similarities between skateboards, cruisers, and longboards. Skateboards are certainly the best option for impressive moves, whereas cruisers and longboards are best for commuting.
We wouldn’t say that there is a definitive winner in the quest to find which option is the best; however, it is very important that you choose the best type of board for what you’re going to use it for the most.