Looking for a longboard for cruising?
In Blog - 22/11/2017
What started more as an underground culture can now be seen almost everywhere. Skateboards and longboards have made their way into pop culture and they are now being used as a fashion accessory, to make a statement. You’ve guessed that most of does boards are cruisers and building a new cruiser is when shopping for a new ride gets really fun. Cruising has minimal requirements, in comparison to downhill skateboarding or dancing, for example. You can let your creativity run wild and combine the dankest components together, regardless of the style they’re intended for. Pretty much any skateboard or longboard will work fine. However, for the ones who are looking for the ultimate cruising experience, some features can have more impact than others.
Deck Size & Shape
In the optic of optimizing comfort, a wide standing platform is best. You could choose a 6-inch wide Penny board, however the minimal amount of space doesn’t allow you to spread and shift your body weight a whole lot, making it harder to stay on your board when going a little faster and/or hitting some cracks in the pavement. It depends from your height and bodyweight but generally, a board with a minimum of 33-inch in length and 9-inch wide is a good start to a great cruiser setup. You might also want to consider choosing a board that has a certain amount of flex to it. Flexible boards, made of wood and fiberglass, will act as a suspension and will absorb lots of the vibrations created by the imperfection in the road.
In terms board shape and concave, you should simply choose something that feels confortable under your feet. Don’t be shy to ask the clerk at your local skate shop if can stand on the boards. Take the time to simulate your regular riding stance and re-enact some of your usual pushing gestures. Observe if the concave or shape feel odd in any way to your riding style.
The way the trucks mount to your deck has a considerable role. The two most common setup options on the market are top-mount setups and drop-through setups. The most comfortable option for cruising is a drop-through setups. This setup has the baseplate of the truck mount on the gripped side of the deck to then have the rest of the truck assembly drop through the board via a cutout in the deck. In this configuration, the board sits closer to the ground. Therefor, less energy is expensed when lightly squatting down and back up to push your self around. The most popular configuration among the longboard community is are top-mount setups. Although more agile in this arrangement, the board sits up to an inch higher above the ground, making it’s users more susceptible to muscle fatigue when cruising for long periods of time.
For cruising in particular, it is recommended to have soft wheels that are on the wider side. Lower durometer urethanes, or softer urethane, will flex and contour the imperfections of the asphalt, absorbing a good amount of vibrations. In addition, a wider wheel with a large contact patch, which distributes the riders weight over a bigger surface, makes for a smoother cruising experience. It also useful to know that a bigger diameter wheel will conserve more of its inertia when rolling, thanks to it’s additional mass. This makes for a more energy efficient option, as the gap between each push will widen to allow for longer rest periods.
And lastly, you don’t need to dish out over $100 to get top performance bearings! It’s a common misconception that only ceramic bearings have the best roll. You can easily find regular metal bearings that will perform as well out of the box thane their ceramic counterpart. Ceramic bearings are very useful for fast freeriders and downhill skateboarders who create a lot of heat within the bearing. However, ceramics are also useful for people who intend to use a board for their daily commute, possibly rainy commute, or for riders who want to push over long distances. The ceramic is harder that the metal bearing casing. This characteristic allows the bearing to retrace the inner casing smooth, to a certain extent, after damage was caused by oxidation or abrasive dust. If you plan to cruise only short distanced to use a occasional mode of transportation, you can get a set of killer bearing for under $40, EASILY. Just don’t forget to regularly clean your set of bearings!
In conclusion, you’ll be looking for 3 overall aspects when choosing your new cruiser: comfort, ease to push and style. Theoretically, any board with 4 wheels can act as a cruiser but you’ll defiantly prefer the comfort of a slightly flexible drop-through deck and a set of reasonably big wheels. Bearing are also key to a smooth ride, however, depending on your needs, you don’t have to break the bank. Keep in mind not to over complicate things and just have fun with your design.