Santa Cruz Longboards
The history of Santa Cruz longboards is a complicated one that is full of more twists and turns than can be found on Vermont’s Smugglers Notch Road. Beginning in the 70’s and continuing on to today, the company has been the home of some of the best known names in skateboarding art and design. Included in these names is Jim Phillips, who created the iconic screaming hand logo, and other artists such as Johnny Mojo and Kevin Marburg.
Best Santa Cruz Longboards Reviews
Youth Land Shark Cruzer
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly Santa Cruz longboard, the Youth Land Shark Cruzer Rasta is an awesome choice. The board itself is crafted with 7-ply wood, which gives it a wide versatility of use.
Not only does this make it more durable, but it also allows for a larger weight capacity of up to 200 pounds. The design itself is crafted after a 1980s retro vibe, which gives it a unique look and an extra touch of cool.
Underneath the board are fitted, wide, soft wheels that are mounted with Abec bearings that help improve the overall stability of the board. On top of the durable deck, the designers have included a sand spray grip. This improves the traction and controllability of the board. The sand spray grip is very durable and will last a long time.
The deck itself is a flat deck design, which makes it perfect for beginners. One of the fun features is that a bottle opener is built into the board.
- Designed with wide, soft wheels to improve stability
- Crafted with durable, lightweight material for improved portability
- Designed with a cool 1980s retro aesthetic
- Crafted with a durable 7-ply wood that accommodates a higher weight capacity
- Use of stock parts means that there will be a need for replacing them sooner than other models
For those who are looking to learn how to longboard, a pintail design is perfect. Not only is this design great for cruising but also for learning to carve, as well as having a nice sturdy base for optimal stability.
Of course, this Santa Cruz Pintail longboard comes fully assembled and designed in the classic pintail frame. This means that it has a wider wheelbase that will help the rider feel more stable as they are cruising around.
On top of that, this board is also very budget-friendly, which is another reason why it is one of the best options for beginners. It’s also a great one to have lying around if you need an extra board, so the fact that it doesn’t cost as much as other boards is handy.
When it comes to the overall design of this model, it is crafted with a 9-ply deck, which gives it plenty of durability. That deck sits on top of high-quality trucks that help improve an already fabulous stability. Not only that, but because the trucks offer such high quality, there will be less wear and tear, which will reduce the need for a replacement.
- Crafted with a wide wheelbase that lends itself to improve stability
- Value versus price is outstanding
- Designed with a 9-ply deck that gives it a heightened level of sturdiness
- Fitted with bullet 18mm RKP trucks that reduce twitchiness
- Pintail design is not suitable for riders who like to execute freestyle tricks
Flame Hand Mini 80s Cruzer
For those looking for a little bit of a more retro vibe, the Flame Hand Mini 80s Cruzer is a good place to start. Harkening back to the 1980s era of skateboards, this wide-decked, highly stylized board will have you feeling like you could be one of the Stranger Things gang.
The deck itself is built with 7-ply wood and with a medium-grade concave. This makes it an easy-to-use option for beginners. The concave design gives the rider a little more grip and stability to help them hone their abilities.
When it comes to what’s under the deck, the designers have finished this board off with premium-grade wheels and rails. Fitted with Krux trucks, slimeball wheels, and rails, not only will that awesome graphic be protected when doing slides, but the rider will feel balanced as they’re trying to knock out their first trick.
Those high-quality wheels are mounted using Abec bearings, so the rider should have full confidence that those wheels are not going anywhere that they don’t want them to.
- High-quality wheels and rails that help prevent damage to the graphics
- Designed in the classic 1980s wide board design
- Crafted with a medium concave 7-ply deck that is great for beginners
- Wheels fastened with Abec bearings for more secure rides
- Flaming hand graphic may not be ideal for every skater
Mandala Hand Skateboard
The next Santa Cruz skateboard we’re going to look at is the Mandala hand skateboard. Looking at this skateboard, the very first thing you probably notice is the awesome graphics that are carefully crafted onto the bottom of the deck.
Though the aesthetic is one of the main things about this board that we like, it is not the only thing that makes the skateboard worth investing in.
This board is designed with a new wider shape that improves foot placement. That means that it is perfect for beginners, as it will give them plenty of room to figure out what foot placement works for them. On top of that, the unit is crafted with a shorter wheelbase, which makes controlling the board during turns a lot easier.
The overall design of this board starts with a 7-ply birch deck, which is not only lightweight but durable. To keep this board as lightweight as possible, the designers at Santa Cruz also chose to use cast aluminum trucks.
Along those lines, they also chose to use smooth riding wheels. The 95a hardness urethane wheels are capable of standing up to just about anything, as well as giving the skateboarder a little more confidence when beginning. On top of that, the deck is also a high-grade grip tape that is sure to give the skateboarder a little more security.
- 7-ply birch deck gives the skateboard a lightweight yet durable feel
- Deck is mounted on lightweight durable cast aluminum trucks
- Crafted with smooth-riding 95a hardness urethane wheels
- Top of the deck is finished with a premium-grade grit and adhesive grip tape
- Board is only really good for ages 10 to 14
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In 1973, Santa Cruz first opened their doors. Since then, they have been at the forefront of skateboard design and innovation. Their products have been included in the majority of skateboarding events that have taken place in the latter part of the the 20th century and throughout the entirety of the 21st century.
Little by little, Santa Cruz longboards have revolutionized the way that people look at skating. They did this by challenging the way people saw skateboarding wheels when they invented sealed position bearing wheels. Within a few months of unveiling this design, Santa Cruz was producing more than 70,000 of these unique wheels every month.
One of the next skateboarding innovations from Santa Cruz was that of adding complicated graphic designs to their boards. Jim Phillips, a legend in the field of skateboard design, led the way by creating many iconic graphic designs for Santa Cruz skateboard’s. Included in these is the Sun God, a design that is still extremely popular today.
As with all things, skateboarding has had its ebbs and flows. Santa Cruz has been affected by these. Toward the end of the 70’s, skateboarding was reaching a crescendo. During this period, Santa Cruz worked in conjunction with Skateboarding Magazine to promote their products and to sponsor different competitions.
However, at the start of the 80’s, there was a slight decline in interest in skateboards and longboards. Toward the end of the 80’s, interest in skateboarding picked up again, and Santa Cruz was there once again leading the way and setting the pace for others to follow.
The skateboards created by Santa Cruz are so popular that it is difficult to find a place on earth with a skateboarding culture that has not heard about them. Many of the most famous veteran riders, including Duane Peters a.k.a. “Master of Disaster,” made their name riding Santa Cruz boards.
Read our reviews of the Santa Cruz Impact Drop Down and Santa Cruz Shark Rasta longboards.
Four decades of skateboarders and longboarders have been influenced by Santa Cruz boards. No doubt, they will be a force in the longboarding world for some time to come.
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