Skateboarding remains one of the most popular recreational activities for teens and adults alike. Moreover, like any physical hobby, having the right equipment to suit your needs is essential in getting the best experience and enhancing your performance.
However, it can be easier said than done when it comes to skateboarding because the options are endless and, in many cases, it all boils down to personal preference. In instances where technicalities do matter, there’s still ways you can discern which individual parts to buy, whether you’re assembling a board for the first time or replacing parts.
Here’s a guide to picking the right skateboard parts:
One of the most important decisions you have to make when choosing skateboard parts is deciding on what wheels to get because they’ll determine the speed and capability of your board. The wheels should ideally match your personal preference and support your skating style, while being suited for the ground that you’ll be skateboarding on.
As such, smaller wheels of about 50-53mm are usually made softer for better grip on rough ground, making them perfect for doing technical tricks at street skating. Larger wheels ranging from 56-60mm are made harder to glide over smooth terrain and are great for skate parks or cruising, vert skating, and commuting.
However, if you want to experience the best of both worlds, all terrain tyres make riding easy on any surface. Thus, they will make your skateboard more dynamic and functional wherever you choose to skate.
The deck is the main body of the skateboard–it’s the flat board that you stand on and maneuver with your legs and body. The type of deck you choose should depend on your skating style. This can guide you on what to pick according to the length, width, shape and material.
For new or replacement parts, most pro skaters focus on finding the right width because it determines the stability, balance, and power needed to control the board. Full-size decks of about 7.5 inches and above in width are preferred among adults and teens above 13 years old, with a shoe size ranging from 9 and bigger.
Furthermore, you can also pick a deck by its concave and curve shape. The higher the concave, the less stability it provides, but this makes it ideal for doing tricks during street skating. Low concaves are excellent for skating on bowls and ramps.
If you look under your skate deck, you’ll see the T-shaped metal structures called the trucks. They connect and secure the wheels and bearings to your deck. Most skateboarders who choose to customize or assemble their boards from scratch pick trucks with axles the same width as the deck to provide the best stability. This means the metal pin attached to the wheels shouldn’t be too narrow, but fit perfectly under the deck, without being visible from above.
The most common materials that trucks come in are steel and aluminum. However, you can opt for stronger metals, such as titanium, if you consider yourself on the heavier side and need extra support doing tricks.
Additionally, your choice of truck height is also essential to learning how to maintain balance as a beginner skateboarder. Thus, trucks made lower to the ground at about 51mm with wheels under 55mm in diameter are most compatible with keeping you steady. On the one hand, higher trucks are more suited to corner turns when cruising.
The round metal rings known as the bearings will most likely be the easiest skateboard parts for you to pick since they fit all skateboard types and come in standard sizes of 8mm by 22m, and a 7mm width. These measurements allow them to fit perfectly within your wheels and attach robustly to your truck’s axle.
You can also choose bearings according to their material. Steel and ceramic are considered some of the premium quality ones, although they tend to be pricier. Then, there are the bearings spacers to consider, which are the small cylinders that fit between the bearings to cushion and protect them from hard skating and environmental factors that can cause damage over time.
They’re designed to provide more skateboard security and safety if you plan on doing tricks and performing high-pressure stunts. If you’re not a hard skater and prefer simple longboarding and cruising, then you can forgo the bearing spacers altogether.
Picking the right skateboarding parts is essential to assembling a board that suits your skating needs. This can be done by examining your skating style, what surface you’ll be riding on, and, just as importantly, your preferences.
Furthermore, the technical measurements of your board are there to ensure you craft a skateboard that’s functional, safe, and lasts long. Luckily, there are plenty of parts to consider and choose from in each category that can meet the practical requirements while matching your taste.