Getting To Know The Board
When shopping for a board it's good to know a little bit about the parts that makeup the board, what they're used for and what to look out for. That information can help you make informed decisions about high-quality and safe products. Below we will walk you through the basic skateboard parts.
The deck is the main component of the board and serves as the platform that you stand on. Most high-quality decks are made of 7 thin layers of wood, usually maple or bamboo, all glued together and pressed into a shape with a nose, tail and concave. Some decks include layers of fiberglass inserts to stiffen and/or prolong the life of the board.
The rough surface on the top of the deck is designed to give you traction and is either grip tape or a sand grit finish. Grip tape is the black sandpaper-like material that gives a skater traction, allowing them to do tricks and make it less hard slip off of the board. A sand grit finish provides all the great traction as grip tape but allows the natural board materials to peek through for a minimal sleek design finish.
Quality skateboard wheels are most commonly made from polyurethane (rubbery material) which allow them to absorb vibrations and roll over small debris. The wheels come in different durometers (how hard or soft they are), used for different styles of riding. Harder wheels are great for smooth, hard surfaces such as a skate park and softer wheels are best if you're on rougher surfaces like sidewalks, roads or parking lots. Size of wheels is also important. A bigger wheel lets you go faster where as a small wheel is lighter and easier to do tricks with.
The ball bearings are the pieces that go inside your skateboard wheels and let them turn. This is probably the part of a skateboard that varies the most in quality and price. Luckily we offer three great bearing options ranging from $20-$50. You can control the speed of your bearings by tightening or loosening the wheel nuts that hold the wheels to the board. If they wheels are a little too slow, simply loosen the wheel nut. Too fast, tighten them a little bit.
How Trucks Work
The trucks are metal parts that hold the wheels onto your board and have 4 basic parts: the base plate, the hanger, the king pin, and the bushings. All these pieces work together to allow your skateboard to turn. All skateboard and longboard trucks are designed to be adjustable. This allows the skater to dial in the trucks for their preferred riding style.
When buying a skateboard or longboard, make sure the trucks are made from metal. Aluminum is the most common. Plastic trucks are junk, unsafe and will break.