Skateboarding is a fun and thrilling sport that has become increasingly popular in recent years. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced skateboarder, it’s essential to understand the different parts of a skateboard, such as skateboard bearings and bushings and their functions. In this article, we’ll explore all the parts of a skateboard and what they do.
The deck is the flat board that makes up the main body of the skateboard. It’s usually made of seven-ply maple wood, although there are also decks made of bamboo, carbon fibre, or composite materials. The size and shape of the deck can vary depending on the rider’s preference and the type of skating they want to do. A typical skateboard deck ranges from 28 to 33 inches in length and 7.5 to 8.5 inches in width.
Grip tape is a sandpaper-like material that’s applied to the top of the deck to provide traction for the rider’s shoes. It’s usually made of silicon carbide or aluminium oxide, and it’s available in various colours and patterns. Grip tape is essential because it helps the rider maintain control over the board.
Trucks are the metal components that attach the wheels to the deck. They consist of a baseplate, a hanger, and a kingpin. The base plate is screwed onto the bottom of the deck, and the hanger is attached to the baseplate by the kingpin. Trucks come in different widths and heights, and the size you choose will depend on the size of your deck and the type of skating you want to do.
Bushings are rubber or urethane components that sit between the baseplate and the hanger of the trucks. They provide cushioning and allow the trucks to turn smoothly. Bushings come in different hardness levels, which affects how easy or difficult it is to turn the board. Softer bushings are easier to turn, while harder bushings are more stable at high speeds.
Wheels are the round, polyurethane components that attach to the trucks and allow the skateboard to roll. They come in different sizes, hardness levels, and shapes, depending on the type of skating you want to do. For street skating, it’s advisable to use smaller wheels (50-54mm), whereas larger wheels (55-60mm) are more suitable for cruising and transportation. If you’re into tricks, harder wheels (101-104a) are preferable, but if you’re cruising and seeking to absorb shocks, then softer wheels (78-87a) are the way to go.
Skateboard bearings are small metal components that sit inside the wheels and allow them to rotate around the axle of the trucks. They consist of an inner and outer race, balls, and a shield or seal. Bearings come in different grades and ABEC ratings, which measure their precision and smoothness. Higher-quality bearings (ABEC-7 or higher) are smoother and faster, but they’re also more expensive.
Riser pads are thin plastic or rubber components that sit between the trucks and the deck. They provide extra cushioning and help to reduce vibrations and shock absorption. Riser pads come in different thicknesses, and the size you choose will depend on the size of your wheels and the amount of clearance you need.
Hardware is the set of screws and nuts that attach the trucks to the deck. They’re usually made of steel, and they come in different lengths, depending on the thickness of your deck and riser pads. You’ll need eight screws and nuts to attach two trucks to the deck.
Skateboarding is a sport that requires skill, practice, and knowledge of the different parts of a skateboard. Understanding how each component works and affects the performance of the board is essential for choosing the right setup and improving your skating. Whether you’re a street skater, a cruiser, or a trick skater, there’s a skateboard setup that’s perfect for your needs.