WELCOME TO SKATEBOARDING
The following information is provided
as a basic introduction to skateboards. Skateboarding is an extreme sport.
If common sense is not followed, serious injury or death will occur.
Technical term for a skateboard. Decks break more than any other skateboard
item. It's quite common for decks to break in less than a month. Improper
landings are the #1 reason decks break. The skater's feet should be over
the trucks during the landing. Skateboard decks are normally listed in
A 7.5 deck is 7.5 inches wide, an 8.0 deck
is 8 inches wide, etc. The most common size deck for beginning skateboarders
is 7.5. Mini decks are available for young skaters. They vary from 6 to
7.25 inches wide and are shorter than regular-size decks. Mini complete
skateboards are also available.
Trucks are mounted to the bottom of the deck with skateboard hardware.
Cheap trucks will work if your child is just learning to skateboard. Assuming
your child isn't into advanced tricks, the trucks are just holding the
wheels on. For beginning skateboarders, $25 trucks will serve the same
purpose as $50 trucks. Skateboard trucks have an axle, hanger, base plate
and kingpin. The axle holds the wheels, the hanger is the space between
the axle ends, and the kingpin holds the hanger onto the base plate. The
base plate is mounted to bottom of the deck. Trucks are normally listed
in hanger width. A 5.0 truck has a hanger that's 5 inches wide. Independent,
Grind King, Thunder and Element are the most popular trucks. "Low" profile
trucks are 2.25 inches high. "Mid" trucks are 2.5 inches high, and "hi"
trucks are 2.75 inches high.
For beginning skaters, even the cheapest wheels will last months. Blank
wheels, which have no graphics on the sides, will last just as long as
the more expensive wheels. Skateboard wheels are normally quoted in diameter.
52mm wheels have a diameter of 52mm. As a general rule, larger wheels
rotate slower than smaller wheels because they have more wheel surface
and present more drag. If you're not sure which size wheels to buy, 52
to 53mm are the best widths for a beginning skateboarder. Wheels are often
quoted in Durometers (Du) or Duro for short. The higher the number, the
harder the wheel. Gel wheels are really soft, usually 60 to 80 Duro. Most
normal skateboard wheels are 96 to 99 Duro.
Bearings MUST BE KEPT CLEAN AND DRY. Even
the best bearings will not last if they're not kept clean. Bearings need
to be cleaned and relubricated on a regular basis. Many bearings are quoted
in ABEC. The ABEC rating system was originally designed to rate the efficiency
of bearings for electric motors, not skateboards. Not all skateboard bearings
are ABEC rated. Rating is not mandatory. Most people believe a higher
ABEC rating means the bearing will spin faster.
This product is a must! If bearings aren't cleaned and relubricated on
a regular basis, you'll be replacing them constantly.
This is used to hold the trucks onto the deck. Normal hardware is 1" long
and consists of 8 bolts and nuts. Longer hardware is available for adding
riser pads to the board. GRIP TAPE: The sandpaper texture provides secure
footing so the skater doesn't slip off the board.
Riser pads are placed between the trucks and the deck. Shock pads are
soft riser pads that act as shock absorbers during landings. Most deck
hardware is 1" long and will accommodate riser or shock pads up to 1/8"
thick. Risers thicker than 1/8" require longer hardware.
Used to remove and tighten deck hardware, truck nuts and kingpin. Some
tools like the Fix Stix have a bearing puller to facilitate easy bearing
removal and replacement. If you want to ensure that your tools don't mysteriously
disappear, buy a skate tool as a precautionary measure.
COMMON SKATEBOARD TRICKS:
The three most common skateboard tricks are the ollie, kickflip and grind.
A common ollie is simply jumping over or jumping off something. If your
kid says he wishes he could ollie the roof, he wants to skate off the
roof and attempt to land on the board without breaking anything vital.
A kickflip involves flipping the board and landing back on it, normally
while on the ground. A grind is performed by sliding the skateboard across,
up or down something. The slide can be made on the "nose" or the "tail"
of the board, or on the trucks. If you notice your child suddenly developing
an obsession with stairs, now you know why. Stairs present the perfect
place to practice ollies, kickflips and many other air tricks. Every trick
presents unique stress, wear and tear on the skateboard. Ollies, kickflips
and other air tricks often result in a broken deck. Trucks will break
during ollies and grinds, especially if the skater is just learning the
tricks. Bearings will break during landings. Once the bearings are bad,
the wheels will develop "flat spots". The only effective way to make a
skateboard and its various components last forever is to not use it. Short
of that, expect to be buying a lot of decks, wheels, bearings and trucks.