The Parts Which Make up a Skateboard:
The average skateboard is made up of many different parts and here are the basic
parts which a typical pro setup is made up of:
The Skateboard Deck:
the years decks have not changed an awful lot, and for the last 5 or 10 years, the standard maple 7 ply deck has remained
more or less the same. Here is a typical example of a deck you will see nowadays:
Skateboard decks are made by pressurising seperate sheets of ply together with
a very strong glueinbetween them. This process is done by machines, like the cutting and shaping of most decks. Normally 7
layers of ply are used to make decks, although you can get 6, 8 and 9 ply decks on some of the stronger boards. However, seven
ply is strong enough for most people and is not too heavy, whch is why is is so popular. A lot of decks also have crossing
beams, where instead of making the grain of each ply sheet go the same way, they change it so the grain goes in different
You get different size decks, the smaller boards tending to be a little easier
to control and do flip tricksand the larger boards are easier to carve and give you a more stable feel when boarding. The
width of a deck is measured in inches and can range from about 7 1/4" to 8 1/2 inches. The most popular size is around 7 3/4",
but you will have to decide which width suits you personally the best. The legnth of decks also varies, although not as much,
between about 30.5" and 33"
All skateboard decks have a concave, which is where instead of the deck being
flat, it curves up slightly. This makes the deck stronger. You can get different concaves and I personally prefer a deck with
a large concave, as it seems to grip my front foot better when ollieing, although you might like a lesser concave, everyone
has different preferences.
You can also buy carbon fibre decks now and Libtech have made a deck which is
covered in a plastic and contains graphite as well in the tail to give it more pop. You can see how good we found these decks
in the REVIEWS of them.
Finally skateboard decks would be hopeless without griptape. Griptape is the
sandpaper like black material on the top of skateboards, which gives grip so tricks can be carried out easier. You can also
get graphic griptape, which can have various pictures on, although if you ask me this is just a bit of a gimmick.
also remained fairly similar over the last 5 or 10 years. The trucks hold the wheels on and act as a kind of axle. They also
allow you to turn and when you lean in a particular direction, eg if you lean to the right, it turns right. Here is a picture
of a standard truck:
Most trucks are made from an aluminium alloy nowadays and they are very strong.
I have only known a pair of trucks to break once and this was when the skateboard was run over by a lorry!. The two red bits on the truck are the rubbers or bushings, which enable the
truck to turn. These are held on by a bolt called the kingpin with a nut on the end. The four holes on each corner of the
baseplate (bottom of truck) are where the screws go through the truck and deck to hold the trucks on. There are 8 bolts altogether,
you can see a typical set on the left.
Trucks come in many different shapes, sizes and colours. On the left is a picture of the different colours trucks come in.
There have been many different designs, including the Webb truck, which is fairly small, but very strong and the Grind King
Kre-per truck is one of my favorite designs.
You can adjust how much your truck turns by tightening or loosening the num on
the kingpin. The tighter it is, the less your trucks will turn and the more you loosen it the more they will turn, so it is
best to find out how tight you prefer it.
Skateboard wheels are made out of polyurethene and come in
different sizes and hardnesses. The wheels effect the smoothness of the ride on a skateboard and the speed. If you have hard
& large wheels you will go faster than if you have soft, small wheels. A typical wheel is about 54mm and about 97A. The 97A is the hardness rating of the wheel. The larger this number, the harder the wheel is. Most wheels are
one durometer, but there are also "dual durometer" wheels. These consist of two different hardnesses, usually a harder center,
or core, surrounded by a softer outer-riding surface area. If you want to just skate street though then you are better off
with a 94A durometer, but if you are mostly gonna be skating in parks, on smooth surfaces, then a 100A would suit you better.
It is best to try out different wheels for yourself, to find out what you like best.
Bearings are what enable the wheels to turn and these also come with different types. The standard bearings are normally 608Z
or ABEC1. Most bearings today are between ABEC1 and about ABEC7. Basically, the larger the number, the faster the bearings
normally go, but I think ABEC 3 are fast enough and the difference isn't very noticable. You can also get spacers to go inbetween
the bearings to keep them in place.