How-To: Select a Cruiser Board/Flex
Who’s to say what you can and cannot cruise on? It’s all about personal preference! What will you be doing most? The steepness or grade of the hill can depict what might feel best for what you’re trying to do, but let’s talk speed first! How fast is cruising? The more experienced guys might tell you 15-25mph, but for most beginners it’s anywhere from 5-15mph. If you’re going to be on a gradual slope you’ll want to go for a top mount deck, like the DB Party Wave, for added leverage and turning ability. If you’re finding yourself on a flat surface road or side walk, go for something lower to the ground! Like a drop deck (Omen Barbarian), a drop through deck (Oberand Plank) or a combination of both (Churchill LTD)! That way, you can maintain your balance as well as starting and stopping will be a lot easier because you won’t be bending as far to reach the ground while pushing or foot braking. Along with the lower ride height comes less reactivity when turning, so these are all things to keep in mind when selecting a longboard deck.
For cruising, I prefer either a drop-through slightly flexy deck like the DB Pioneer, or a double drop, stiffer board like the DB Freeride DTX. The Freeride DTX has two layers of fiberglass on both sides, making it more rigid while also keeping it light. The reason I'm choosing DB for cruising is partly because they're a local company, but because they're killing the cruising game too. DB makes some killer shapes and designs for all the newer longboarders out there, as well as the more experienced looking for a Point A to Point B board.
The difference between flexy and stiffy can be found below, described by CJ.
|Drop Through (flexy)
||Double Drop (stiff)
Longboards come in many shapes, concaves, and flexes. The stiffer the board, the more stable it’ll be at higher speeds. A flexier board might be fun at lower speeds, but that flex will likely knock you off balance at those higher speeds, or if you’re a beginner unused to flex. You want to ride flexier decks at slower speeds, around 15 mph or slower, or whatever you’re comfortable with if you’re experienced. Flex is great for carving, dancing or freestyle. For carving, it provides a springy feeling that makes turning from edge to edge more responsive and enjoyable. Dancing with a flexier deck gives you more of a cushion and more response when maneuvering around the deck. In relation to freestyle, it can give your tricks a little more power behind them and a little better surface for landing and stomping any trick in your wheelhouse.