When cruising short distances, there’s hardly a more playful way than cruiser boards. The mid-length boards are longer than a skateboard but shorter than longboards and have the design to sail through the streets with ease, comfort, and fun.
But can you do tricks on a cruiser board?
The answer is both yes and no.
While your cruiser board is sure to give you a tough time over trying your favorite tricks because of its unique build, it’s not impossible to master.
You can very much pull off some moves by following a few specific techniques as long as you’re perfectly comfortable on a regular skateboard. And those techniques are what exactly we’ll show you in this article. So, keep reading.
Why is Doing Tricks on a Cruiser Board so Challenging?
Cruiser boards have a unique design ideal for riding down the city streets and similar pavements. You can use them for smoother local transport, but not (quite) for the tricks.
Tricks are challenging to do on cruiser boards mainly because of their shape. Compared to the popsicle decks’ aggressive noses, cruisers have considerably flatter ones, making foot movements pretty problematic.
Their decks are also heavier than that of regular skateboards, meaning you’ll have to put substantial effort to get them into the air. The difference in wheel grips also troubles specific maneuvers, with cruiser wheels being much softer than those in skateboards.
How to Perform Tricks on a Cruiser Board?
Despite the difficulty of performing tricks on a cruiser skateboard, there are still some common tricks that you can learn by following a few precise guidelines. Our list below includes six of the most demanding ones.
Powerslides: Gangster Arms Technique
We will begin by discussing PowerSlides. It’s one of those cruiser board tricks that can help you control your cruiser’s speed and stoppings or just give you sheer fun.
Learning Powerslide requires you to understand how your arms should act when doing it. Rotating your upper body while holding out your arms gives you complete control of the board’s movement. The trick is called ‘gangster arms.’
When you’re in a Powerslide, you should be holding one arm toward your hilltop. Then, when you’re ready to finish it, you’ll yank this same arm sharply toward your chest. Whichever way your upper body rotates, your legs will turn to the opposite.
Powerslides: Pre-Carving Technique
Whenever doing any skateboard trick, you should pay attention to your feet’ position. During a Heelside Powerslide, your feet should be directly above the trucks, and your heels should be hanging off the board’s edge. For a Toeside Powerslide, the correct foot placement is to have the rear foot at the tail base, just behind the bolts, with your front foot rested above the front truck.
Breaking traction is a powerslide’s second-biggest hurdle, but repositioning the board pointed forward is the toughest part of all.
To break traction on your wheels, you’ll want to hold the turn while extending your back leg to the sideways; this is the ‘pre-carving’ trick. When bringing the board back to the center, you should pivot it on the rear truck and pull back the board’s front underneath your feet.
Read: What to wear when skateboarding?
Powerslides and 180s share many techniques in-between. Your foot position remains the same; so do “gangster arms,” “pre-carving,” and pivoting. Only, to complete the 180, you slide your front truck behind you to the side instead of pulling it back in front.
However, one technique that we’re yet to discuss is a three-part motion that involves bending the legs, extending the body, and bending again.
It’s essential to consider these three steps as a single continuous motion where you don’t pause between them. A few also prefer to call it the ‘de-weighting’ technique. The objective of the three-part movement is to lighten your board’s load temporarily and allow it to slide more easily. Remember, de-weighting is equally crucial for Powerslides and the 180s.
You’ll inevitably end up going backward after completing 180 cruiser tricks, or you’ll switch as we call it. So, practicing switch riding can help you prepare for landing the 180, ensuring you won’t panic soon after. You must combine all of these things to create one combined motion:
- Foot positioning
Contrary to popular belief, you can do the Ollie on a street cruising skateboard with the proper technique.
Your rear foot must be on the tail tip, and you should place your front foot exactly centered on the board. Your back foot begins the ollie, and your front foot ends it. First, you must pop the tail on the ground and use the back foot to push your body up in the air.
The key here is the simultaneous movement of your front foot across the grip tape and toward the front truck. By doing so, you’ll easily prepare for your landing stomp by leveling off the board. Your front foot should be tilting onto its side when sliding towards the nose. A higher position on the front foot allows you to ollie higher.
So to do an ollie on your cruiser-
- Position your feet
- Pop tail, slide the front foot
- Jump, Level the board off
- Stomp the landing
When practicing ollies, pop down the tail and jump just high enough to get your body and the board in the air without sliding forward. By doing so, you make a tail-down landing on the back foot.
Shuvits are one of the most fantastic cruiser skateboard tricks, as you can do it in every direction. In Shuvits, you begin like in a pivot, but you must jump after you start rotating. It allows the board to turn independently from your body.
Since street cruiser skateboards are directional boards, they have one big tail and one little up-turned nose. That’s why cruisers are easier to Shuvit on when going backward, as you can use the large tail instead of the small nose for the initiation, which is more straightforward. You barely have to ride reverse; it only requires that you place the board backward.
As in an Ollie, you should place your foot almost the same way. However, Shuvits will demand your front foot be a bit nearer to the front truck than an Ollie.
When practicing Shuvits, putting your board down on grass or a carpet will help prevent it from rolling away. And once you’re on the pavement, try to avoid pushing the tail down too forcefully while initiating the pivot. If you do so, the board may rise into the air and start rolling in directions other than the one you want.
Here are the four steps to Shuvit on a cruiser-
- Similar foot placement as the ollie
- Pivoting the board toward your preferred Shuvit direction
- Jump to allow the board to execute the pivot independently
- Stomp right on the truck’s top; bend your knees to gain more balance
The kickflip on a cruiser differs slightly from the kickflip on a typical skateboard. It requires the exact foot placement and pop tail as in an Ollie.
A regular skateboard flip is initiated by catching the nose of the board with your front foot. But as you slide forward towards the cruiser’s nose, your front foot must flick out to its side. When doing the “flick,” point the foot down instead of pressing up against the nose.
Here are the steps to remember-
- Pop tail and jump
- Slide the front foot toward the front truck, and then flick out to its side
- Wait for a complete revolution of the board.
- Stomp both feet simultaneously back down on the ground to catch the board.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Are cruiser skateboards good for tricks?
Mostly, no. Their design only focuses on cruising down streets, pavements, and city environments.
How hard is it to do tricks on a cruiser?
Pretty hard, depending on your skills. Cruising boards are typically heavy, so getting your board off the ground is more of a challenge. Also, most cruiser decks have a different shape than popsicle decks, making them a little harder to maneuver when performing a specific trick.
Can you Ollie on a cruiser?
Yes, you can. It should be possible to do ollies on a cruiser using the four steps above following our method.
Can you still do tricks with cruiser wheels?
You can surely do tricks on your skateboard with cruiser wheels on, but we recommend using risers to prevent wheel bites. Depending on the wheel’s hardness, it may hit the board but keep spinning as long as the force is not too great. However, softer wheels can make things worse.
What can I do with a cruiser board?
Besides commuting and the tricky moves we’ve shared above, you can do several other tricks on your cruiser. If you understand foot positioning, pivots, pop tail, de-weighting, and such cruising movement standards, you can easily do staple gun, hippie jump, nose reverts, and flip-on.
On a Final Note
Before you go, here’s one thing we want you to remember- it’s unlikely that you’ll master your cruiser board right away even after you apply all the techniques listed above. Besides consistent practice, you should also pay attention to your weight balance, vision, and timing. Also, we recommend replacing your softer wheels with harder ones if you don’t get your desired push.
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