Are you in the market for a skateboard and not sure which one to choose? With so many options available it may be difficult to find the one that’s right or you. A skateboard allows children, teens and adults enjoy hours of rides, stunts, and tricks.
Despite the costs of a board, you can opt to build or assemble your own board with a set of tools and the right material. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to build a skateboard.
Tools you will need :
2. Gripped skateboard deck
3. Skateboard wheels
4. Skateboard trucks
8. Risers (if needed)
Or you can use a Skate Tool. Everything that needs to fix and adjust is available in one skate tool.
Choosing The Right Deck
The skateboard deck is the most important part of building your board. It’s the base on which you’ll assemble the parts to get the board you want.
The deck is the platform you stand on while skateboarding and performing stunts and tricks. Choosing the correct size, width, length, and shape will help you get the most of your skating experience.
Size, length, and width:
Choosing the correct skateboard width is a priority. The width of the board will help support your height, weight and shoe size. Most decks measure between 7.5 and 8.25 inches. If the deck is too small, it may become unstable and you’ll be unable to balance properly. If it’s too large, you’ll have to work harder to perform stunts and tricks.
The average size deck may be suitable for the average adult or teenager, but if you have a large body frame or shoe size, it’s best to get a wider board
Mini decks –suitable for children 6-8 years old. The width is 7.0 inches and fits kids from 3’ 5” to 4’4” tall, wearing a size 4-6 shoe.
Medium decks – 7.3 inches wide, fits persons between 4’ 5 and 5’ 2” tall with shoe sizes of 7-8.
Full decks – 7.5 to 8.25 inches wide, with skaters, size 9 bigger shoes, and standing at least 5’ 3” inches tall.
Choosing a board according to your skating style:
Choose a skateboard depending on your personal skating style and preference. The shape and style of deck you select will also determine the type of skateboarding you’ll be able to perform. Choose between cruisers, longboards, shortboards or old school boards.
Choosing the material:
When choosing the material for your board, bear in mind that wear and tear and damp conditions may split or bend your board out of shape. Materials for building a skateboard include bamboo, plastic, plywood, resin or carbon fiber.
How to apply grip tape to the board:
If the board does not have grip tape, apply it first before attaching the parts. Grip tape is a sheet of sandpaper style sticky tape that protects the deck surface. It provides traction for your shoes to stay on the board to prevent you from slipping off.
Grip tape comes in various colors, with materials like aluminum oxide, silicon carbon among others.
To apply grip tape you will need:
1. File or skate tool
1 box cutter or razor blade
Step 1 – Peel off the paper shield
Access the sticky side of the tape by peeling off the paper shield backing.
Step 2 – Start to apply the tape
Locate the center of the board and position the tape over the deck. Place the tape onto the board, allowing a little sag in the center to stick it down before moving onto the sides. When the middle sticks in place, fold the tape around the edges, working from the middle outwards. Press along the center to smooth out any bubble that may appear on the tape.
Work carefully to avoid the tape sticking unevenly to the board. The tape adheres quickly and may be hard to take off. Use a razor blade to slit any bubbles and smooth tape flat.
Step 3- Trim the edges
Round out the edges of the board using a screwdriver shaft, file or skate tool. Apply some pressure and rub over the grain on the edges until the white line appears on the tape. Trim the extra grip tape from the board with a sharp razor blade. Start to trim from the bottom of the board to the surface, by holding the razor at a 45-degree angle.
Begin at the nose or tail of the deck, and over the white edges. Continue to pass the blade along the edges to take off the tape you don’t need.
Step 4- Smooth the edges
Use a metal file and rub along the edges to get a smooth finish.
Step 5- Insert openings for the truck parts
Insert the holes through the tape for mounting the truck parts with your screwdriver
Assembling Your Skateboard
Now that you know what type of board you want, here’s how to build it.
Step 1 – Attach the truck parts
Locate the 8 slots along with the board, and insert the screw to attach the truck parts. Ensure the kingpin bolt is facing the middle of the deck. Use a screwdriver to connect the trucks to the deck. Use a screwdriver or skate tool to fasten the bolts in place
Step 2 – Connect the bearings
Take out the washers and nuts from the inside of the truck axle. Set them aside to re-assemble later. Make sure the metal side of the axle is facing down. Place each bearing into the wheel slot and attach each wheel to the axle. Press to insert the bearing inside and do the same for the other wheels.
Step 3 – Attach the wheels
Be careful not to attach the wheels too tightly or loosely. The wheels must be tight enough to be stable and loose enough to spin properly.
a) Select the wheel washers and attach them to the truck.
b) Place the wheel onto the truck with a skate tool and tighten the nut.
c) Continue the same steps for the other wheels.
Building a skateboard is easier than you may think. With the right tools and materials, you can have your board ready for the trail in short order.