The basic of skateboard maintenance
If you love skateboarding, chances are you have at least one deck in your collection. And if you have at least one skateboard, then you’re probably already familiar with the aggravation of having to replace wheels and trucks (and bearings!) constantly, or having cracks form in your board’s surface. These frustrations may lead you to avoid skateboarding altogether, but it doesn’t have to be that way! By following this basic skateboard maintenance guide, you can keep your board in top shape and get more use out of it before you have to buy a new one!
Know your board😀
- Know your board's material. There are three main materials that make up most boards today: maple, bamboo, and polyurethane. Maple is soft wood and has natural grip that doesn't wear out quickly. Bamboo is a harder wood with more grip than maple but less than polyurethane. Polyurethane makes up 95% of decks today due to its flexibility and durability but it needs more care than the other two materials because if not maintained properly then dirt can get stuck under the top layer over time.
- Know your wheels size/shape. The shape of the wheel will depend on your riding style. Pronation, an inward rotation of the foot at push-off, means that you'll want smaller wheels such as 55mm (longboard) or 54mm (shortboard). Supination, an outward rotation of the foot at push-off, is often accompanied by larger wheels like 61mm (longboard) and 63mm (shortboard). The wheel size also varies depending on where you live; a larger wheel is better for navigating rugged terrain while smaller ones work best in clean conditions like those found indoors.
- Know your deck's width. Most boards are between 7 and 10 wide. It's important to know this so you're able to buy hardware that fits. Widths range from 5 to 12 which helps dictate stability and control, all of which play into the safety aspect of a longboarding. If you're just starting out, a wider board is recommended since they are much easier to control. You should also consider the length when picking your board since they come in lengths ranging from 28 to 40. It may seem counterintuitive but longer boards tend to be more stable because they have less flex, making it easier for beginners who may not be very coordinated yet. A shortboard is about 30 inches long whereas a longboard ranges from 33 - 37.
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Check your wheels😁
Wheels are a rider's contact point with the ground. Larger wheels will provide smoother rides, while smaller ones will be faster. Wheels come in different shapes, sizes and hardness levels to suit your needs and you'll want to check them regularly to ensure they're all uniform in size, shape and hardness level. To measure their height correctly, place the ruler against the edge of the truck (without touching it) with the middle of the ruler on top of one wheel. The height should be measured from the bottom side edge to the center of that wheel. You'll need this measurement to find the right sized bearing spacers or washers. As a general rule, you want your bearing spacers or washers about 1/4 inch higher than the surface of the deck so that there is clearance between the bearings and deck when pressed together. When checking for any chips or cracks, use both hands as leverage so that fingers can feel around under each wheel without lifting up any part too much. If there is damage like chips or cracks under one of your wheels then chances are high that other parts may have damage as well which could cause further problems down the road.
Keep it clean😍
Take good care of your bearings🥳
Respect the elements😎
In order to maintain your skateboard, you need to respect the elements. What this means is that you need to make sure you’re not leaving your board outside in the rain or letting it soak in puddles. You also want to make sure you do routine maintenance like wiping off dirt and sand after every ride. These two things can be done with just a rag and some water! If you have any problem with scratches on your board, using car wax will help as well. Just rub the wax on the scratches and let dry before riding again. Car wax works better than WD-40 because it's not oily so there's no chance of a sticky grip when riding. That's all there is to basic skateboard maintenance; once you get used to these easy tips, you'll never go wrong again!
In conclusion, if you want your skateboard to last a long time and be safe for you and other riders, it's important that you take care of it. You should do the necessary maintenance as soon as you notice something needs attention. It's also a good idea to put your board away when not in use and store it in an area with low humidity. Do not leave it uncharged for a long time, the battery may be damaged.By following these tips, your skateboard should last for many years!