Buyers Guide for Building a Complete Skateboard
Whether you’re building your first skateboard or just looking for more information on specific parts, this helpful guide will provide you with some assistance and answer some of the questions you may have.
Please reference the information below when customizing a skateboard.
DECKS - Skateboard decks come in a variety of shapes, widths, lengths, concave, wheelbases, and sometimes materials. One of the first things you want to consider when choosing a deck is the width of the skateboard.
Each brand has slight differences in shape, concave, and wheelbase. When looking to select a deck in store, we strongly encourage you to stand on several different branded decks to compare each of these variations and assist you in finding a comfortable skateboard.
The chart below is a good reference for choosing your deck according to your shoe size, height, or age. Keep in mind these are just suggestions, board size is ultimately up to what you enjoy riding.
Most of the decks we carry are the symmetrical “popsicle” shape, which are the most common shape for trick skateboarding. We also offer different shaped skateboards which are a little more ideal for transportation or “cruising”. These cruiser shapes offer a little more stability and are similar to longboard style skateboards but a lot easier to maneuver given their shorter length.
TRUCKS - After you’ve chosen a skateboard deck, you will want a pair of trucks to match the width of your skateboard to keep it stable. Like decks, trucks come in a variety of widths, heights, and weight.
Below is a chart of truck brands we carry and their corresponding sizes. Each truck brand has a different way of measuring the truck width. This chart will help you choose which truck and brand are appropriate for your skateboard.
Some brands offer a truck with hollowed out components to make the trucks lighter reducing the overall weight of your setup. These vary by brand but are often referred to as a “hollow” or “lite”.
WHEELS - There are two factors to consider when buying wheels for your skateboard: diameter and durometer.
The diameter of the wheel is measured in millimeters. A larger diameter wheel will offer more speed and height to your setup but may also add weight. Smaller wheels may make your skateboard easier to maneuver and lower to the ground. A good diameter for a beginner is 52mm - 55mm. Below is a helpful chart of wheel diameters explained a little more in depth.
The durometer is the hardness of the wheel. The harder your wheel is, the less it will grip the ground allowing you to slide tricks easier. Hard durometers are around 96a to 101a. Softer durometers offer a smoother, grippier ride allowing the wheel to roll over rougher surfaces a lot easier. These are the wheels mainly used for cruising and longboarding. Below is another helpful chart explaining wheel durometer a little further.
BEARINGS - Bearings are what fit inside the wheel making them able to spin on the truck axle and ultimately giving you and your skateboard mobility. They come in sets of 8 (2 per wheel) and are rated on an ABEC scale. The higher the ABEC rating, the smoother and faster your bearings will be. This also applies to the bearings longevity, but proper maintenance also plays a part in the lifespan of your bearings.
HARDWARE - These are the nuts and bolts used to mount your truck and wheel assembly to your deck. The bolts themselves will have either a Phillips or Allen head. They come in different lengths and sometimes colors. Colored bolts are often used as indicators to identify the nose or tail. The length of your hardware depends on whether or not you use riser pads. If you are using riser pads, we suggest getting 1” or above hardware.
GRIPTAPE - This is what goes on top of your skateboard deck to give your shoes the grip you need to perform tricks or just to keep you from slipping off your board.
PRE-ASSEMBLED COMPLETES - While some of this information may be overwhelming, we do offer a selection of pre-assembled skateboards to make your selection a little easier. This is an ideal option for someone who wants to start skateboarding but isn't sure about fully customizing a setup. Typically our pre-assembled completes are more cost effective for first time buyers as well.
As always, if you have questions or require further assistance, feel free to contact us.