Spring into Skateboarding – Constructing a Board

Courtesy of Alan Donaway
A skater does an ollie off of a ledge.

It’s warm out, the sun is shining, spring is about to be in full swing – and that means outdoor activities are back and skateboarding is at the top of the list of sports to try. Before students ever get to even ride a skateboard they’ve got to choose the right board for the job. There are a few things to consider in choosing a board, like its width (also known as size), the right brand of board, and hardware such as wheels, trucks, and bearings.

  1. Now to begin the construction of the skateboard, the right size board is crucial. What size board depends totally on what is comfortable to the rider. However, shoe size can play a role in determining board size, too. Safe bets for smaller size shoes are 7” to 8” skateboards, whereas larger size shoes use 8” to 9” skateboards. 
  2. Next is the actual board, what skateboard brands are good is a totally personal preference to the user, although some boards are higher quality skateboards than others. According to Laderskateboards, a buyers guide for skating, the top three board brands of 2018 were Powell Golden dragon, Rockbirds, and Peunte. If looking for a cheaper and still high-performance alternative, brands like 17th street in Norfolk or blank boards will do just fine.
  3. Grip tape is third, easy and pretty cheap.  It goes on the top of the board and is used to help shoes grip the board creating friction to do tricks.  A few good brands are Mob grip tape, Thrasher, and Grizzly.

    The writer combined Mob and Thrasher grip tape.
  4. After grip tape is choosing the trucks (these hold the wheels).  These are a critical part of determining how the board rides.   Hollows are lighter weight and will help a beginner with their ollies and flip tricks. Solids/regular trucks are heavier and can weigh the board down but will help with speed and control of the board. A few good brands of trucks are Bones, Independent, and Element.  These are all durable and highly praised brands. 
  5. Last, but most definitely not least, are bearings and wheels. For those who don’t know, bearings go inside the wheel and then the wheel and bearing go on the trucks to make them spin. Bearings are pivotal to the speed and distance that one can skate without pushing,  Having good ones are important, brands like Spitfire Red bearings, Lowriders, and Yellow Jacket bearings are all amazing and loved by most who skate. Some reputable brands when it comes to wheels are Spitfire, Bones, and Ricta.

    The writer’s 17th street board, hollow Bones trucks, and Bones wheels.

These are all the things students will need to get a started on a new hobby as the weather warms and summer starts to get closer.