7 Best Longboards for College Campus in 2020
Getting around on college campuses can be difficult. They are often huge, poorly planned and require a student to walk long distances. Longboards are the perfect way to overcome this. The best decision I ever made was buying a cruiser board to get around my university campus.
No more getting late for class or long walks to Uni. In order to get the best longboard for college, you NEED to read this guide because not all longboards will be suited for a campus. This guide will help you understand why and what makes a good longboard and highlight a few boards for you.
7. Sector 9 Steady
This compact cruiser comes in at 25.6in in length and 6.75in in width. It has 7in Gullwing Mission trucks and 59mm, 78a wheels. These wheels come with Abec 5 Grease ball bearings inside them.
The deck is constructed from 7 ply’s of Canadian Maple to make it strong and sturdy
(good option for heavier riders). It also features a single kicktail designed to help you get down curbs or pick up the board. Paired with the kick tail, this board has great maneuverability.
This setup is perfect for cruising and maneuvering in and out of crowds. Its size is about the same as a Penny Nickel, meaning its a compact board that will be easy to store. However, its size might be too small for some – an alternative will be the Santa Cruz Rasta Lion which is larger. If you can handle the size, its a great option.
Your wallet would take a bit of a hit. Though I believe you will be satisfied with your purchase. (Easily my pick as the best skateboard for college campus)
6. The Quest Super Cruiser
At 44in this board is huge! It features a deck made from a 7ply lay up of bamboo and maple. This combination makes the deck flexy which increases comfortability and absorbs shock from rough roads.
The deck has a raw finish which leaves exposed bamboo adding to the overall aesthetic. I really like the simple design.
The skateboard has double kicktails, 6in trucks and tall 70mm wheels. The tall wheels ensure that you can roll over any road imperfections whilst also providing dampening for a smoother ride.
The trucks are reverse kingpin trucks which are the most ideal for cruising. This deck is a joy to ride and is well suited for college campuses.
If anything, one might find that it is too long. The length reduces its maneuverability and it might feel slow to turn, however this also makes it really stable. Take a look at the other setups mentioned, the Santa Cruz one is slightly shorter and pretty stable.
5. Santa Cruz Drop Thru
This drop through board comes in at 40in long and 10in wide. Drop through means that the trucks are mounted on top of the board. This truck mounting + the long length make the board stable, as well as easy to push and balance. This will make it super easy for beginners to learn on this board. To make it sturdy and stiff, the board has been made with 9plys of maple. This also means it will be slightly heavier.
The setup comes with 10in trucks and 75mm, 78a wheels. These super tall wheels will roll over anything and the wide trucks will provide a good balance between stability and maneuverability.
Its clear this board is built for stability and sturdiness. If you have to do skates longer than 5 min, this board is for you. The lower centre of gravity and width of the board will make it comfortable to skate on. If this board is too stable for you, take a look at the Sector 9 Steady setup for something feisty and nimble!
4. Penny Cruiser
Penny boards are the first thing that comes to mind when you think about cruiser boards. They are compact and lightweight and are often the choice for getting from point a to b quickly. They’ll easily fit under your desk at class too, so storage and portability isn’t a problem with them.
The most famous feature about the Penny is its deck – it’s made from a special type of plastic that is strong, lightweight and flexible. This flexibility allows the deck to provide some shock absorption as you skate along making the ride more comfortable. And because it’s plastic, the deck doesn’t get damaged by water or heat like regular decks. It also has a waffle pattern up top instead of griptape to give your feet the grip they need.
The great advantage of Penny’s is how small they are. This makes them maneuverable when skating – so you can weave in and out of crowds. And when you’re not skating, they are easy to pick up and carry around. That said, they aren’t that comfortable to skate for too long, but they are a good choice if you want something purely for the mobility and transport aspect. The Arbor Pilsner below is a good option if you need comfort.
The Penny is quite expensive. But for the price, you get a high-quality deck that can withstand all sorts of abuse. You can also use it in the rain too – if you don’t mind replacing (or maintaining) your bearings now and again. If you’re skating in all types of conditions, it’s a good deck to get.
3. Fireball Mini Cruiser
Another compact option, the Fireball mini cruiser is an affordable yet high-quality skateboard. If you’re looking for something that will be nice to skate but will also be durable, this is the one to go with.
The deck is similar to that of a regular skateboard, but it is wider and has a more stylish shape – if you think the Penny above is too small, this will be better for you. It’s 8.5inch width will be more comfortable.
The Mini-cruiser has kicktails, this means you can use it to do tricks, or simply use it for added maneuverability. It will also come in handy when going down curbs or going up them, and picking the deck up.
It comes with high-quality components. It has Paris trucks, Fireball wheels, Fireball bearings, and Fireball hardware. The Paris trucks are high-quality. They have a really good turn and come with good bushings.
The Fireball wheels aren’t so good, they come in at 60mm in height and 81a in hardness. The 60mm height is on the small side – they won’t be able to handle cracks or pebbles that easily. That said, most campuses have well-built sidewalks so this should be ok.
Finally, the deck is high-quality. It comes with a dragon graphic that looks quite nice and even has large wheel wells to help you avoid wheelbite.
Though high-quality, it is expensive. But, the price is reasonable when you consider the price of the components on their own. If you can afford it, I recommend this complete, it will be comfortable for everyday riding too. Check it out here on Amazon.com.
2. Sola Longboard
Another stylish longboard. The Sola has a simple but attractive design. It will look quite good leaning against your wall even if you won’t be skating it,
This longboard is a bit big at 36inches. If you’re looking for something nimble and quick turning, this isn’t the one to pick. That said, it will be more comfortable and even easier to ride than something smaller. Its large size makes it stable and easy to handle.
This deck is special – it is drop mounted. This means where you stand is lower than where the trucks are connected to the deck. This does two things. First, it makes the ride more stable and more forgiving. Secondly, the lower platforms makes it easier for you to push and foot brake. These two things make this skateboard easy to ride – which is especially nice if you’re a beginner or have long distances to skate.
When it comes to its parts, the Sola is ok. The bamboo/maple deck is high-quality with clear griptape up top and a nice graphic on the bottom. The 70mm, 78a wheels are pretty good – they’ll be able to handle all sorts of pavement and road debris well. However, the trucks and bearings are not so good – it’s clear they cut costs here. Cheap components are generally a bad thing, but when you look at the price of the overall complete it makes sense – it is quite affordable.
All in all, if you’re looking for a beginning friendly campus cruiser, you can’t go wrong with the Sola. Check it out here on Amazon.com.
1. Globe Skateboards Sun City Complete Cruiser
For the more ‘fashion’ inclined reader on our list, the Globe cruiser is a stylish longboard. It will stand out and turn heads on any campus.
It comes in at 30inches in length and 9inches in width. It has that classic cruiser shape.
At this size, it will offer a comfortable ride but will be nimble enough that you will still be able to weave in and out of people. This is especially important for those rush hour periods when you have to dodge other students so you can get to class on time.
It also has a functional kicktail. You can use it to tic-tac left or right for a bit more maneuverability, or use it to kick up your board so you can pick it up with ease.
The complete is pretty nice. The deck has a nice graphic on the bottom and a creative design up top. It has “leaf styled” griptape, cut out on certain parts to show the Hawaiian pattern on the deck. It comes with black wheels and tkp trucks. The TKP trucks are high-quality Tensor Alloy trucks. These trucks are some of the lightest and best turning on the market.
The biggest drawback of this cruiser is the small 62mm wheels and the price. The wheels won’t be able to handle big pebbles and cracks all that well and the price isn’t so great. Still, given the quality trucks, deck, and design, it’s worth it. Find out more about it for yourself here on Amazon.com.
What makes a good longboard for campus cruising?
When considering a longboard for college, you need to look at a few things. Firstly the equipment that makes up your setup and how much you’ll be skating. These are important to maximise your enjoyment of the longboard.
- If you have to skate 10min to get to University/College, get something that is comfortable to push further on.
- If you have to carry it around most of the day, something smaller would do. Something you can handle in terms of weight and size. If its slightly heavy you can get used to it but if its too heavy it will always bother you. The board size is something that can be managed, so if you don’t mind something huge, go for it.
- If you need to dodge loads of people, get a smaller board for maximum maneuverability.
All in all we are all different, so from the list below decide which factors are important to you and your needs. For example, I like short cruiser boards that are wide and comfortable to stand on. I have big feet but like the maneuverability of small boards.
I go in depth on some other factors below:
Trucks – size matters.
Reverse kingpin trucks (RKP) are better than traditional (tkp) for cruising but either will do. The RKP are better for smooth turning and maneuverability.
Maneuverability is determined by how tight the turning circle of the truck is. Typically, the wider a truck is the more stable it will be. However this stability comes at a price, the wider it is, the less maneuverable it will be. A 10in wide truck is a good balance between stability and maneuverability and trucks narrower than that will be less stable. However, you can always tighten up the trucks for more stability.
I would suggest going for a narrower truck and tightening it up. You can loosen it as your skills and balance progresses.
If you had to replace a piece of the board, I would suggest you replace this first. After-market trucks are often better engineered.
Wheels – pebble myth busted!
Typically, the taller a wheel is the better it will be at rolling over road imperfections. This is super useful in cruising to keep the ride smooth and steady. Wheels 65mm + can roll over most pebbles. However taller wheels will be slightly harder to push (harder to accelerate).
Most cruiser wheels come in at 78a hardness, so softness is an almost negligible factor. However, the softer a wheel (lower the number) the more shock it will absorb and smoother the ride will be. I like large soft wheels on my cruiser setups.
I personally think that wheels between 65mm and 70mm are perfect for cruising.
Is price that important?
Price is usually reflective of quality. However, you should not invest in something too expensive when you don’t have much experience skating. This is because you won’t be able to appreciate the quality of the longboard and why its so expensive. Premium longboards (like these) will make your riding experience a whole lot better, a cheap one will come with cheap trucks and make your experience overall pretty poor. I suggest buying two different boards and experimenting to see what you like out of each. If you like a board and it fits all your criteria, don’t let price hold you back.
Pick the deck shape wisely!
The deck should definitely be to your liking in terms of image. People will see you around on it so it better look good! Typically, tiny boards will be harder to stand on/balance and wider boards will be easy and more comfortable. Longer boards won’t turn as quickly as shorter ones but will be more stable. Lastly, some boards have flex and this helps them absorb road vibration for a more comfortable ride.
Not every board will be perfect and you’ll have to compromise on a feature or two.
Other stuff to consider.
As you buy your board for college, its going to need a bit of maintenance – as you’ll use it every day. I recommend buying some bearing lubricant and cleaning your bearings every 2 months or so. This will keep your board rolling consistently and prevent your bearings from locking up.
I also recommend replacing the bearings, stock bearings are often very slow. If you have never skated before, I recommend getting a helmet whilst you get used to skating. You never know when you are going to fall so its a key item. Even pro’s still fall and smack their heads 🙁
Finally, I recommend buying a skate tool so you can tighten and loosen your setup. This will allow you to figure out how you enjoy your trucks.
In the end.
With all this information you are armed with the right tools to pick the right board for you. If you are still undecided I recommend going for the Santa Cruz Drop Thru, its perfect for a beginner. If you have more experience, the Sector 9 Steady is a good choice.
Don’t stress so much about your first board, it took me 3 boards to truly understand what I wanted out of my setup. I am now absolutely in love with my current cruiser board.
Once you’ve skated a bit, come back and read this, the information will make a lot more sense.