Qn: What’s the difference between a Skateboard, a Cruiser, and a Longboard?
Ans: In the past, a skateboard meant anything with a board and 4 wheels…. But these days the term “Skateboard” and “Skateboarding” generally refer to the modern established sport of doing tricks on natural street obstacles or at skateparks. All modern trick skateboards have the same general shape and size, use the same kind of trucks, and use small (about 50mm), HARD wheels. The purpose of a modern skateboard is only for doing tricks, for example ollies and flips over a bin or down stairs, or grinding and sliding on ledges or handrails. They are usually limited to smooth ground and purpose built skateparks with ramps and grind boxes and rails. Skateboards are not ideal for transportation or cruising on rougher grounds, due to their small and hard wheels. This video shows what skateboarding in a skatepark looks like.
A Cruiser is generally a board which is not purpose built for doing tricks, but rather focused on the actual act of rolling around, but isn’t actually long enough to be properly called a longboard. Cruiser decks come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, for example those tiny plastic boards can be called mini-cruisers, or sometimes a cruiser is simply a trick skateboard with soft “cruiser” wheels instead of hard “trick skateboard” wheels. The smaller size of cruisers makes them more convenient to carry around, but usually this also means they are less ideal for more aggressive disciplines of longboarding (such as freeriding and downhill) than a purpose built full size longboard. They typically use smaller (about 55-65mm) wheels than full size longboard wheels (70mm and up), which keeps their size and weight down, and also use skateboard style trucks which are shorter and lighter. The soft wheels allow a cruiser to roll over much harsher ground than a typical trick skateboard. This video shows what a typical cruiser looks like, although the riding is more advanced than most people would do.
A Longboard is a very broad term and will sometimes include cruisers which aren’t actually LONG, therefore, when describing a short or small longboard, the term Cruiser or Mini Cruiser, or Mini Longboard is usually better. I would say anything above 36 inches long would be considered a true LONG board. Longboarding has recently evolved to include many disciplines and therefore more descriptive terms are needed to differentiate the many different types of longboards. For example, a “Casual Cruising Longboard”, a “Freestyle Longboard”, and a “Downhill Longboard”, can look totally different and are designed for different purposes. All longboards will have large (70mm and up) soft wheels, and usually come with longboard style trucks which are higher and turn sharper than skateboard style trucks. This video shows what DOWNHILL RACING looks like. This video shows what FREERIDING looks like. This video shows what FREESTYLE/DANCING looks like.
For more details about about longboarding, check here