Skateboard Technical Terms
Here you'll find some useful tips on all the different components that make up a skateboard, their differences, and how to choose the right board for you.
Most decks are constructed from 7 layers of hard rock maple wood. The layers are laminated together under hydraulic presses, cut to shape, sanded and then finished. So, what’s the difference and how do you pick the right board? The differences range in overall length, width and the concaveness of the board.
As a general rule, wider boards like 8"-8.5" may appeal more to Vert (ramp) skaters. Narrow boards like 7.5"-7.75" typically appeal to street or trick skaters. From our experience, the most popular size boards for street skating will fall between 7.50" and 8" in width.
The truck is the part of your skateboard that bolts on to your deck and holds the wheels in place.
There are many parts that fit together to make up a truck such as the Axle, Hanger, King Pin, Bushings and Baseplate. The Axle is the longest part of the truck that is threaded at the very ends for the wheels to mount on.
The Hanger is the part that houses the axle and also mounts to the king pin and bushings.
The Kingpin and bushings are what secures the hanger to the baseplate. The Bushings allow the hanger to pivot which will allow the board to turn. There are different durometers or hardnesses of bushings which will effect the maneuverability of the truck.
Finally, the Baseplate is the bottom portion of the truck that bolts on to the board. Most trucks these days have a standard 4 hole pattern to fit any deck.
The bearing is the small component that fits inside the wheel. The bearing allows the wheel to turn and fit onto the truck axle. There are 2 bearings that fit tightly in each side of the wheel. Most bearings are rated with a number system by a committee called the Annular Bearing and Engineering Council or ABEC. The higher the rating number, the faster the bearing. Typically, bearings are rated as ABEC 1,3,5 or 7.
Some bearings are sealed which means that you cannot remove the shield of the bearing to clean the ball bearings inside. Other bearings are called Serviceable which means that you can remove the shields to clean and relube each ball bearing.
Make sure that you keep your bearings clean and dry! Bearings will rust if they stay wet. Throughout the life of a bearing, it will slowly leek the oil or grease inside. When this happens, you will begin to hear the sound of metal bearings spinning on top of each other. This is your que to replace them! To increase the life of your bearings, we recommend:
1. Keep them dry.
2. Wipe the dirt off the surface of the bearing.
3. Soak the bearings in citrus cleaner.
Never use WD-40!.
This product will speed up the removal of the oil or grease in the bearing.
Skateboard wheels are made of a very hard urethane composite. Most wheels come in a variety of sizes ranging from 49mm to 72mm in diameter. They also vary in durometer which is the hardness rating that ranges from 90 to 101. The higher the number, the harder the wheel. All wheels have a standard size center core that will fit and house all skate bearings.
The bigger the wheel the faster the ride. With each revolution of the wheel, it will travel further, which will get you there quicker.
The harder wheel will be faster and give you a rougher ride because it is not as absorbent of the vibrations
The softer wheel will be slower and give you a smoother ride. It will also wear quicker because of the softer urethane.
There are advantages and disadvantages to both. It all depends on your style of skating.
If you are a Vert skater or Longboarder, you would typically want a bigger and softer wheel. The bigger wheel will give you more speed and stability for this style of skating. Longboarders prefer bigger and softer wheels for speed and better control over the cracks and bumps in the road. If your style is more for street or trick skating, go with a smaller wheel from 49mm-58mm. This size will lend itself better to sliding tricks like Blunts and Powerslides.
Riser pads will serve several purposes. First off, they will elevate your trucks from your deck to help prevent "wheel bite". Wheel bite is when your wheels rub your deck on a hard landing or turn. Second, risers will soften your ride. In addition, they will absorb a lot of shock from a hard landing which could help prevent the splitting of the wood between the truck holes.