The Santa Cruz Lion God Rasta Drop Thru Cruzer longboard is one of the most highly regarded longboards on the market. Before I was able to purchase one, my curiosity was already piqued with all the buzz surrounding this longboard.
When a fellow rider heard that I was looking for a replacement drop through (after my old one snapped), this is the one that he recommended to me. I did my due diligence and thoroughly researched the longboard before committing; this research may come in handy for you.
The first thing that I needed to know is whether or not the Lion God would be durable enough to last for a long time. Previously my old board had snapped, I was able to use it for a full 2 years. I’m not one to buy a new longboard unless I really need to and I wanted something that could last at least as long as my old one.
Another thing that I was looking for is a comfortable board. I’m not fussy about how a board looks, as long as I can ride it with ease. These two features are really important for me and I was delighted to find them in the Lion God board.
As I mentioned earlier, the Santa Cruz Lion God is very popular and highly recommended longboard. It looks great and performs beautifully. This longboard features a Santa Cruz Metallic Drop Down Longboard Deck that riders who love cruising will appreciate.
The deck itself is 40 inches long with a width of 10 inches, giving it more than enough space for tall riders with wide stances. What sets this longboard apart from others is the fact that all of the parts used in this longboard are Santa Cruz branded. This is a huge plus because Santa Cruz parts are top quality.
It uses ABEC-9 bearings just like the more popular Atom Drop Through Longboard. One thing that I really like about this board is their use of the Rasta Stripes Grip Tape that has more character and color compared to the Atom’s plain black grip tape.
Drop Through Design
Through the Lion God longboard, Santa Cruz has carved a name for itself in the drop through market. The drop through design is very popular among longboarders because it offers more stability compared to other longboard types. These kinds of longboards are great for cruising and sliding.
A drop through longboard has a deck that is positioned closer to the ground. As a result, the center of gravity of the rider is also lowered. One of the most important benefits of this kind of longboard is health related. Drop Through longboards decrease the stress on the hips and lower body parts of riders.
This is something that I’ve often experienced, riding for long periods and experiencing bouts of pain on my hips afterward. When we ride, the entire weight of our bodies is carried by our hips and this results in muscle fatigue in our hip region.
Another benefit of drop through longboards is they make pushing easier. Since the board is closer to the ground, the foot that you use to push the board doesn’t need to travel long just to push; this means that the calves of the rider are more relaxed. Riders can avoid overextending their calf muscles and avoid muscle pain and spasms.
I know that longboarding is a good and entertaining exercise but we should also pace ourselves and not overdo it so we can avoid injuries.
Another feature that I like about the Lion God is its cambered profile with a taco concave. This is of great importance for me because it allows extra control when I’m on the board. Aside from control, the concave design also gives me a smooth balance of heel to toe energy transfer. This is evident whenever I initiate turns. The concave also provides my feet a stable place to lock onto during slides.
ABEC-9 Rated Bearings
The Lion God uses ABEC-9 rated bearings. These are bearings that are on the high side of the ABEC ratings. Simply put, these bearings have high tolerance levels. Bearings have ball bearings inside of them and whenever the bearings spin, the ball bearings also spin and grind against other ball bearings.
Imagine rubbing your palms against each other for a few minutes. You’ll end up with hot hands that might hurt a bit because of friction. That is what happens to ball bearings. They grind against each other when bearings spin fast. The grinding action produces friction which produces heat.
When bearings have a low tolerance, the heat will be too much and you’ll end up with cracked ball bearings. This is something that you’re unlikely to experience with ABEC-9 rated bearings.
Aside from the high tolerance levels of the ABEC-9 bearings, the bearings on the Lion God also have high-speed lubricants. The use of lubricants helps the ball bearings spin faster. Lubricants also help in reducing the friction between ball bearings thus preventing them from heating up too much.
Grip Tape with Rasta Stripes
I know that grip tapes are not exactly rare since they are present in almost every board there is. But the grip tape on the Lion God is quite special. Unlike the usual pure black grip tape that you often see in other boards, the grip tape used by Santa Cruz includes Rasta Stripes.
The Rasta Stripes add character to the deck. The stripes used were of vibrant colors that make the deck even more lively. These Rasta Stripes go well with the Lion God design at the bottom of the deck. They share the same colors and they both make the board eye-catching.
Things to consider before buying a Santa Cruz longboard
When I went looking for a replacement longboard that will last for a long time, the Lion God is the best one that I found. The deck is well-constructed. The bearings that they use are high quality ABEC-9 rated bearings. The bearings are also lubricated to make them even more efficient and friction resistant.
This means that the bearings are more likely to last longer compared to those with a lower tolerance and without any lubricant. The drop through trucks gives the longboard a lower profile and makes it easier to ride. You shouldn’t have to overextend your foot just to push the board. This makes long cruises easier and allows you to conserve your energy.
The Lion God is an ideal longboard for those who love going on long cruises. Those who use their longboards as a means of transportation will also greatly appreciate this longboard. However, if you’re looking for a longboard to practice your tricks, then this is not the best board for you.
What to look for before buying:
👉Type of bearings used
👉Dimensions of the deck
Sector 9 Aperture Sidewinder Drop Through Downhill/Cruiser Freeride Complete Longboard
Just like the Lion God, the Sector 9 Sidewinder also has a drop through design so it is ideal for cruising. It can also make pushing easier and help prevent muscle fatigue.
The Sidewinder is a bit shorter at 36-inches compared to the Lion God’s 40 inches. This means that can be more ideal for someone who is not that tall. Unlike the Lion God, this longboard is may not suit large riders, since the deck isn’t strong enough for heavy loads.
The bearings used by this longboard also have lower precision and tolerance compared to those used by the Lion God. The Lion God uses ABEC-9 rated bearings while the Sidewinder uses ABEC-5 rated bearings.
Comparison to Santa Cruz Lion God Longboards
👉Uses the same drop through design as the Santa Cruz.
👉Shorter deck at 36-inches compared to the Lion God’s 40-inch deck.
The Quest Super Cruiser Longboard Skateboard
The Quest Super Cruiser is an excellent alternative if you want an extended deck that is great for cruising. This longboard is longer than the Lion God by 4 inches. The deck is constructed out of a multi-ply hardwood maple and bamboo.
The deck of maple and bamboo makes for an interesting combination because it marries that durability of maple and the flexibility of bamboo. This makes the board strong while still retaining flexibility. This is ideal for tall riders since the length of the deck allows enough room to stand comfortably on the board.
Riders who enjoy cruising may also find this longboard to their liking. Short statured riders could have a difficult time controlling such a long board.
Comparison to Santa Cruz Lion God Longboards
👉The deck is 44 inches long while the Lion God is just 40 inches.
👉Uses ABEC-7 bearings while the Lion God uses ABEC-9 bearings.
👉The deck is a maple and bamboo hybrid compared to the Lion God’s pure maple deck.
Playshion 39 Inch Drop Through Freestyle Longboard Skateboard Cruiser
This longboard is another alternative worth considering. It’s just an inch shorter than the Lion God. The deck itself is made of 8-ply flex hardwood maple deck. This makes for a strong but stiff board. The board has a symmetrical design, which may make it a good alternative for those who want to try their hand at a few tricks.
Since the front and the rear of the board look the same, you will never find yourself facing the wrong way when you execute your tricks. However, if you’re keen mastering tricks, there are also longboards made specifically for executing tricks and you should have more progress using those boards.
The Playshion is equipped with durable and soft 70x50mm SHR 78A PU wheels. These wheels are wide enough to give riders additional control of the board. These wheels also make it easier to handle several different kinds of roads.
The Playshion uses ABEC-9 bearings. Unlike other bearings that use traditional carbon steel, these bearings use “bearing steel”. Bearing steel is sturdier and quieter when working. These bearings are also pre-lubricated to make them spin more efficiently and to help prevent overheating.
Comparison to Santa Cruz Lion God Longboards
👉Uses the same Drop through mounting technology that the Lion God.
👉Uses the same 75mm wheels as the Lion God.
👉These 2 longboards use ABEC-9 bearings but the Playshion 39 Inch Drop Through Freestyle Longboard Skateboard Cruiser bearings are pre-lubricated.
Finding a replacement board requires time and a lot of research. This is especially true when the old board you are replacing is such a good one. You can end up spending quite some time looking for the traits that you loved in your old board.
Thankfully, I was able to get the Lion God. The deck is tough enough to survive any punishment I put it through. The bearings used are also high-tolerance bearings; this helps them to remain intact even through rough conditions and high heat.
The drop through construction of the Lion God is also something that I enjoy personally because I love long cruises. Since the board sits closer to the ground, my center of gravity is lower. I can enjoy a more relaxed ride because the pressure on my hips is reduced and this can help in avoiding injuries while riding.
The lower profile of the longboard also makes pushing easier. My foot doesn’t have to extend too much just to push off the ground, which means I don’t have to use up too much energy during my long cruises. I can also avoid those leg cramps that I often experience on taller boards.