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Skateboard Parts

The feel of a skateboard is very individual which is why a lot of skaters prefer to build their own. Choosing the right skateboard parts helps you to get exactly the right board for your style of skating.

Skateboard Decks

The deck of a skateboard is the part you stand on. They are most often made of plywood, typically maple, but skateboard decks can also be made from more exotic materials like fibreglass or Kevlar. Size matters when it comes to your deck. Bigger people generally need bigger boards, so kids’ decks are smaller than adult decks. Even within age categories, though, deck length and width has a big impact on performance. Shorter, narrower decks are lighter and easier to do tricks with, while bigger decks are more stable for vert riding and cruising. Deck shape also matters. More concave decks have higher sides, making them easier to steer and flip but also easier to wipe out on.

Skateboard Trucks

Skateboard trucks connect the wheels to the deck. The width of your trucks is mostly determined by the width of your deck but trucks also come in different heights. Low trucks lower the centre of gravity of the board and help to make it more stable on landings. High trucks can help you to get more leverage for popping the board up and also make turning easier. When choosing trucks, you also need to consider the size of your wheels. Using big wheels with low trucks makes it much more likely that they will hit the underside of your deck.

Skateboard Bearings

Skateboard bearings sit at the centre of the wheel and connect it to the axle. They use rolling metal or ceramic balls between the inner and outer races to reduce friction on the axle and allow the wheel to spin more efficiently. Steel bearings are the most common type. Ceramic bearings reduce friction even more and don’t require as much lubricant because of the smoother balls but they are more expensive and can break under extreme impacts. Skateboard bearings are often ABEC rated. The higher the number from 1 to 9, the tighter the manufacturing tolerances are and the more efficient the bearing should be. Some manufacturers prefer to use their own scales that are more directly related to skateboard performance, though.

Skateboard Wheels

Wheels provide the point of contact between your skateboard and the ground. Wheels are usually rated for hardness on the A scale. The higher the number, the harder the wheels. Hard wheels might be a 100A, while softer wheels could be around a 75A. Extra-hard wheels can be rated on the B scale instead, which is 20 points lower than the A scale. Hard wheels make tricks easier and are popular with vert and park skaters, while soft wheels smooth out bumps in the road for cruising. Wheel size also matters. Large wheels can hit higher top speeds but the extra weight and increased overall height makes tricks more difficult. Wheel size needs to be compatible with truck size as well; no giant longboard wheels on low trucks.

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