Are Santa Cruz Skateboards Good In 2021? – (Honest Review)

Last Updated on April 4, 2021 by Robert Bell

Are Santa Cruz Skateboards good? If you are looking for an honest opinion on Santa Cruz skateboards, then you have come to the right place. I wrote this guide to give you all the information you need.

I hope after reading this article, you will not only be able to know the brand in detail. But it will also make you able to take the right decision. It will help you decide whether Santa Cruz boards are a good choice for you or not.

We’ll skip the chit-chat and jump into my review of Santa Cruz skateboards.

A Short Intro To Santa Cruz Skateboards

Richard Novak, Doug Haut, and Jay Shuirman founded Santa Cruz Skateboards together in 1973. They created skateboards of different types to meet the demands and needs of different skateboarders. In the early days, their skateboards were and are still distributed by NHS.

The company has a huge line of skateboards that will blow your mind with their design, maneuverability, speed, and handling. However, we can’t deny the fact that some of their skateboards aren’t that good.

I have added some of my recommended options based on my opinion at the end of this article for complete skateboards, longboards, and cruisers made by Santa Cruz.

Santa Cruz Skateboards: Why Are They So Special?

Are Santa Cruz Skateboards Good

Santa Cruz is The Pioneer of Road Rider Wheels

In the early days of skateboarding, skateboard wheels actually consisted of metal. They were mounted directly on the skateboard with the help of an axle. But as we all know metal isn’t a very lightweight material.

However, with time, clay wheels were introduced. These were lighter as compared to metal but they were extremely fragile and would break often in the middle of a ride.

In the early 70s, urethane wheels were introduced in the name of Cadillac wheels and this brought a new revolution. In 1974, Santa Cruz brought the Road rider wheels to the market which changed the world of skateboarding.

These wheels are based on urethane, unlike other material which had a lightweight but durable structure. These were the first wheels that had precision bearings. And for your information, the road rider wheels were so popular at that time. Due to their precision bearings, the company was able to sell over a million sets of wheels.

First Concave Skateboard Deck

Santa Cruz one of the first skateboard brands that produced concave boards deck. In the 1980s the company introduced a full line of skateboards that had many different kinds of concave. You could choose from an array of different shapes and the concave was anywhere from 2 degrees to six degrees of bevel.

Excellent Art Work of Jim Philips

There are some creative minds behind every good brand. In the early days of skateboarding, artwork on decks was mostly just fonts and single colors. However, Jim brought a revolution with his brilliant graphics that really pumped up this skateboard brand.

He started painting Santa Cruz boards with colorful and bold graphics that used to look quite stunning. At that time, these were the only boards with unique artworks which looked quite attractive. Moreover, Jim’s artistic skills aren’t only limited to painting skateboard decks.

He has also designed the Indie logo, the Steve Olson checkerboard, the rob ross cop series, and the Jeff Grosso toy box series. In 2017, he was inducted into the skateboarding hall of fame due to his amazing artworks.

Who Rides For Santa Cruz Skateboards?

Skateboarding brands become famous usually when professional riders ride for them. This is something very important for a company because, without professional riders, people don’t actually trust the brand.

Are Santa Cruz Skateboards Good

Due to this most skateboard companies would struggle and put a ton of effort into having the best skateboarders in the world representing their name. In the 1970s John Hudson, who was the most skilled skateboard rider at that time, was riding for the company. After that, in the 80s Rob Roskopf and Jeff also joined their team.

Due to the high quality of Santa Cruz skateboards, many professional riders started to represent the skateboard brand and their boards.

What Are Some of The Best Santa Cruz Skateboards

I think that’s enough for the story part about the brand. In the above discussion, I told you why the company is so famous. Apart from that, I told you some of the unique things that you need to know about Santa Cruz.

If you are interested in getting yourself a great board to ride then I have a few options for you.  I have selected these skateboards while keeping different types of people in mind. In the below list of recommendations, you will find skateboards for beginners, a deck with stunning artwork, a Cruiser, longboards, and even skateboards for girls.

Apart from that, I also found some good boards for children. If you are looking to get one for your little skater then I am sure you will find It here. I have made the selection of these skateboards not only after checking their reviews but keeping different things in mind.

So without any further ado, let’s check out some of my favorite options from Santa Cruz.


1. Santa Cruz Complete Flame Red Dot – Best Overall OptionSanta Cruz Complete Flame red dot

General Specifications

Deck Size 8.25″ x 31.5″
Deck Construction 7-ply
Trucks 5 inches aluminum
Wheels 52 mm (85a or 90a
Bearings ABEC-5

I was first inspired by the Flame red dot while I was researching the best Santa Cruz boards. It is one of the highest quality boards that will absolutely amaze you when it comes to its incredible artwork and reliable performance.

The deck is quite excellent, as it is made of 7-ply maple wood which gives it strength and durability. I won’t get into the deck design because everyone has their own preferences.

The multiple layers of wood not only make it sturdy but also provides a comfortable riding experience. It isn’t too heavy as compared to some other boards on the market. This lightweight structure is one of its plus points because it proves quite helpful in tricks.

Apart from that, the deck possesses 8.25 inches in width and 31 inches long which makes it an excellent choice for professionals as well as beginner riders. Apart from that, Santa Cruz has done their best by adding high-quality trucks to the board.

It makes it suitable for hardcore-style skating. Moreover, the aluminum design of the trucks makes them durable and lightweight at the same time. These will easily sustain high drops and stair jumps without any issue at all.

Apart from that, They come with two different types of bushing i.e. 85a and 90a bushings which makes the turning surprisingly easy. However, trucks and deck aren’t the only things due to which I have selected this one for my list of recommendations.

During my research, I noticed that this skateboard was equipped with urethane wheels which are of the highest class. They are 52mm in size and comes with two types of durometer ratings. You can either choose 83 a or 95a depending on your skating style.

Apart from that, the manufacturer has done a splendid job by adding precision steel bearings. It provides the best riding experience through its smooth rolling.

You can also check other customer ratings and reviews as well as the price to get an idea yourself if you want. Overall the red dot is one of the best skateboards with reliable parts.

Pros
  • High-speed wheels and bearings
  • Decent quality trucks
  • Sturdy and reliable for hardcore skaters
  • Suitable for all kinds of riding style
  • Durable deck
  • lightweight parts
Cons
  • Not a very handy thing for kids

2. Santa Cruz Impact Drop Down – Best Longboard

Santa Cruz Impact Drop Down

General Specifications

Deck Size 40in L x 10in W
Deck Construction 7-ply maple wood
Trucks 5 inches
Wheels 54 mm
Bearings ABEC-5

If you are a huge fan of downhill riding then I have something special for you. During my research, I found the Santa Cruz longboard that caught my attention. First of all, it comes with a 40 inches long deck that is superb for downhill situations.

Apart from that, the deck consists of 7 layers of Canadian maple wood that give it ultimate strength and durability. Moreover, it is covered with fantastic grip tape that provides maximum traction during riding. As soon as you step on it, you will feel a unique experience.

The size of the deck is just perfect and so comfortable that will make you keep riding it all day long. In addition to a high-quality deck, the longboard features an amazing set of trucks. These are 5 inches high and are highly reliable for almost everyone.

Due to their lower center of gravity, you will be able to skate without any fear at all. However, trucks and decks aren’t the only important items when it comes to longboards. There are surely some other important pieces such as skateboard wheels, bearings, and bushings, etc.

You need to keep an eye on these items too because together all these parts will make an excellent board for any riding style. Luckily, Santa Cruz has done a splendid job by adding 90a OJ wheels to this longboard which adds to its performance.

They are less softer which helps to increase the overall speed as they don’t disperse momentum during the ride. Moreover, they have also added precision bearings of ABEC-5 rating which makes it stand out from the crowd. Bearings are one of the most important parts when you are preparing for downhill racing.

Pros
  • Perfect for Downhill
  • Speedy and reliable
  • Well build deck
  • Comfortable ride
  • Smoother bearings
Cons
  • heavy and not easy to carry due to its weight
  • the price may be an issue for some people

3. Santa Cruz Skate Land Shark Rasta Sk8 – Best Cruiser (Complete skateboard)

Santa Cruz Skate Land Shark Rasta Sk8

General Specifications

Deck Size 8.8 x 27.7
Deck Construction 7-ply maple wood
Trucks 5-inches
Wheels 65mm (78a)
Bearings ABEC-5

If you are a huge fan of cruiser board then I have something special for your that will surely make your day. During my research, I found the SK8 cruiser from Santa Cruz that comes with some exceptional qualities.

This board is completely different from the rest of the market because of its durable design, excellent artwork, and durability.

It features a high-quality design that provides a comfortable riding experience for years. It has a 27.7 inches deck that is a bit small as compared to regular skateboards. However, this is the main specialty of cruisers if you know what I mean.

The concave design of the deck makes it much more comfortable and allows it to provide max control. Moreover, the multiple-layered structure proves to be quite promising when it comes to performance for years.

Apart from that, the manufacturer has done a remarkable job by adding a high-quality set of trucks to this cruiser board. It enhances the overall performance of the board and makes it quite interesting for bumpy as well as smooth surfaces.

Being consist of Aluminum alloy, these trucks are extremely handy and will leave all of their competitors behind in terms of durability. Apart from that, they are quite lightweight which makes the cruiser quite a portable one.

In addition to this, the maker has done a splendid job by adding the famous road rider wheels. If you aren’t already familiar with the wheels let me tell you something about it. These are quite popular because of their amazing design, durable structure, and ultimate performance.

The 65 mm size of the wheels makes them perfect for rough surfaces. If you are looking for a board that can carry you to the nearest pawn shop or grocery shop then this is the right option.

Pros
  • lightweight structure
  • durable and long-lasting performance
  • Faster
  • excellent for rough surfaces
  • Compact deck
  • Comes at a decent price
Cons
  • Not suitable for tricks

4. Santa Cruz Street Cruzer – Best For Kids (Complete Skateboard)

Santa Cruz Street Cruzer

General Specifications

Deck Size 29.05″ x 8.79″
Deck Construction 7-ply maple wood
Trucks 5-inches
Wheels 54mm (80a)
Bearings ABEC-5, ABEC-7

If you are looking for a board that your little skater can ride then consider the Santa Cruz Street Cruzer. It is also one of the highest quality boards that comes with some excellent features. During my research, I noticed that the board features a 29 inches deck.

This is a perfect size for children because it won’t be too long thus your kiddo will be able to control it perfectly. Moreover, the deck different colors that may not be the most attractive art ever but still it does the job.

It gives the board a splendid look and makes it different from the rest of the market. The best thing about it is its availability in different color combos that make it suitable not only for boys but for girls as well.

Moreover, the board comes in a multi-layered structure that makes it stand out from the crowd. The 7 ply maple wood construction provides a strong base for the deck. It makes the board effective for any kind of environment however, I would strongly recommend avoiding skating in rain.

Apart from that, it can easily survive winters and summers and can withstand any kind of environmental challenges (almost). Another thing that I love about this board is its amazing trucks. These are only 5-inches high, making them excellent for young riders due to their reduced center of gravity.

This allows young skateboarders to ride the board as they want and master their skills. Apart from that, it has good skateboard wheels that are durable. These aren’t meant for hardcore skating but for kids, and beginners, these are more than perfect.

Pros
  • excellent design
  • lightweight
  • comfortable to ride
  • Easy to carry
  • excellent price to performance
Cons
  • Expensive (but totally worth it)

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Final Words

Most people, especially newbies want to know different skateboard brands when selecting the best skateboard for their needs. Santa Cruz is one of the best skateboard brands that will make you amaze with its high-quality skateboards.

However, there are still some mediocre boards from the brand that may create some confusion. In order to remove this confusion and give you detailed knowledge, I wrote Santa Cruz Skateboards review.

I hope this article will make the skateboard selection easy for you. You should be able to select the best skateboard for your kid, friend, or yourself. Apart from that, I have explained each board from different angles, mentioning skateboard wheels, Trucks, bearings, and decks.

According to these points, you can easily select the best skateboard for yourself or your friend. Besides that there are a lot of different options, you can check them yourself if you have time, and you can pay the price.

With that said, this was the end of my review on Santa Cruz Boards. I hope you have enjoyed reading the article and selected a complete skateboard for yourself by now.

GOOD LUCK!

About Robert Bell

Hi, I am Robert, a die-hard fan of skateboarding. I am in love with everything related to skateboards and that's why I have started this blog. I want to help newbies and even professionals making the right decision, choosing the perfect skateboard, and enjoy their rides.  Read my full story on About Us page

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