423 Guelph Line, Burlington ON, L7R3L7
423 Guelph Line
Skateboarding is an exciting challenge that requires a well-designed and properly assembled skateboard. In this guide, we will jump into the essential components of a skateboard, helping you to make the best decisions when purchasing skateboard decks, trucks, wheels, bearings, hardware, grip tape, and accessories.
The skateboard deck is the foundation of your setup, providing the platform for your tricks and maneuvers. Factors to consider when choosing a deck include size, shape, concave, construction, and materials. Size refers to the width of the deck, with narrower decks offering more control and maneuverability, while wider decks provide stability and balance. Shape and concave are subjective preferences that affect the feel and responsiveness of the board. Construction and materials determine the durability and performance of the deck. For more details on how to pick the best deck size, make sure you check out our Skateboard Size Guide.
Skateboard trucks are the metal T-shaped components that attach the wheels to the deck. When selecting trucks, consider width compatibility with your deck. The width of the trucks should match the width of your deck to ensure stability and proper handling. Basic trucks will do for most skaters, but some more advanced trucks have nice features such as hollow kingpins and axles for weight savings, as well as inverted or low-profile kingpins for better grinding clearance.
Skateboard wheels are crucial for smooth rides and the execution of tricks. Factors to consider when choosing wheels include size, hardness, shape, and durometer rating. Wheel sizes are measured in millimeters, with smaller wheels providing quicker acceleration and maneuverability, while larger wheels offer a smoother ride and increased speed. Hardness is measured on the durometer scale, with softer wheels providing better grip and shock absorption, while harder wheels are ideal for smooth surfaces and technical tricks. Shape varies between conical, square-edged, and round-edged, affecting performance in different terrains and on different obstacles.
Skateboard bearings facilitate the smooth rotation of the wheels. When selecting bearings, consider their ABEC rating, material, and maintenance requirements. The ABEC rating measures the precision and speed of the bearings, with higher ratings indicating smoother operation. Materials range from steel to ceramic to titanium, with ceramic/titanium bearings offering superior durability, reduced friction, and better corrosion resistance. Proper maintenance, such as cleaning and lubrication, ensures optimal performance and longevity.
Skateboard hardware consists of bolts and nuts that secure the trucks to the deck. When choosing hardware, ensure compatibility with your deck and trucks. Most boards will work with 7/8" hardware, so long as you're not using riser pads. Thicker decks (such as some cruisers and longboards) or skateboards with riser pads may require longer hardware. It is important to use high-quality hardware to ensure the stability and integrity of your skateboard.
Grip tape is the gritty, sandpaper-like material applied to the top surface of the skateboard deck, providing traction for your feet. When gripping a skateboard, consider the size, brand, and design of the grip tape. The size should correspond to the dimensions of your deck, allowing for complete coverage. Most standard grip tape sheets are 9" wide, but if your deck is larger than that, we also offer extra wide grip tape by the foot. Jibs offers quality grip tape that adheres well and withstands wear and tear. The design is a matter of personal preference and style.
Beyond the basics, there's a few accessories that you can add to your new custom board. Things like risers and grind rails can be used to dial in the feel of your board.
Skateboard risers are thin pads inserted between the deck and the trucks. They are used to increase ride height, reduce wheel bite, and dampen vibrations. When selecting risers, consider their thickness, shape, and material. The thickness determines the amount of lift and shock absorption, while shape and material influence durability and flexibility.
Grind rails are thin plastic rails that are mounted to the underside of your board. They make it possible to slide faster and further on different surfaces. They also protect the graphic on your board a little bit if that matters to you.
Don't forget your skate tool! Skate tools are the most convenient way to assemble your new board. It's also handy to carry along to the skatepark in case you need to make any adjustments or repairs.
Building a skateboard involves carefully selecting and assembling various components. By understanding the key features and considerations for skateboard decks, trucks, wheels, bearings, hardware, grip tape, and risers, you can create a customized skateboard that suits your riding style and preferences.