Buying your first setup is a huge milestone in your journey into skating. We often get asked what parts are required to set up a board and know how daunting it can be to step foot into uncharted territory. We put these thoughts into words to help expand your knowledge of the board. We’ll be posting a follow up about setting up the board once you’ve acquired all the parts.
Do you want to shred pools and parks– or just simply cruise around? Depending on how you answer those questions, figuring out the ideal set up can become a bit easier.
When shops sell “completes” they think of an overall six components for each deck:
1. THE SKATEBOARD: The wooden deck
2. THE TRUCKS: Two needed
3. THE WHEELS: Come in a pack of 4
4. THE BEARINGS: Metal part that goes inside the wheels to have the spin on the trucks
5. THE HARDWARE: What attaches your trucks to the board
6. THE GRIPTAPE
1. THE DECK
When you are asked about size for a deck, you are being asked how WIDE would you like your board. The wider your board in comparison to the width of your feet, the more stable you will feel while skating. The range of sizes for skateboards is vast but generally an adult with a size 8 women’s shoe would go with a 7.75–8.25. You can “size up” or “size down” at any time until you figure out what is best for you and your found style.
You may also be asked what style of deck you are looking for:
- Decks that are “Popsicle shape” have mirroring Nose and Tail
- “Pool” shapes tend to have a squarer almost flatter tail and a rounded nose
- Cruiser decks can be any shape essentially but is often a term for a shorter board (Think Penny or Zip Zinger) or rather wide decks. Most times, you can shift your standard shaped board to a cruiser by adding larger soft wheels (Oj’s or Ricta Clouds, or Slime balls).
Below we’ve curated a size chart for boards according to shoe size and deck size.
|Shoe size||Deck range||Trucks||Wheels|
|Below 8||6in – 8 in||Krux: Axle width 7.6- 8|
Independent: 129- 139
|8, 9||8in, 8.125, 8.25, 8.38|
Krux: Axle widths 8, 8.25, 8.5
|9 and Above||8.5, 9.0, 9.38, 10||Krux: Axle width 9|
Independent: 169, 215
2. THE TRUCKS
When purchasing trucks, the size should correspond with the width of the deck. No matter what brand or size board, each company has a guide that helps you make sure that your trucks “fit”. What fit means to us is: you want the outside edge of your wheels (when connected to the trucks) to be aligned underneath both sides of your board.
If your trucks are too small or too large for the deck turning may cause the wheels under you to get wheel bite. Wheel bite is when the edge of your board scrapes along the contact patch of your wheel causing you to stop abruptly. For a skateboard, when you assemble your trucks be sure that the kingpins are facing towards each other or inwards → ← .
3. THE WHEELS
One of my favorite things to pick out when I want to switch up my ride and unlock a new trick. Wheels vary in hardness but most skate wheels are made out of some formula of polyurethane. The soft – hard scale has to do with how much grip your wheels have to assist in the rotation ability on the surface you are traversing. The softer wheels are suggested for cruiser boards and can be great on rain decks, bombing hills, getting to places with a fast smooth pace.
The harder wheels resist the surface you are skating on a bit more allowing for a faster understanding of how the areas you are skating are built and giving you a hand with manipulating your wheels, truck, and deck. Hard wheels are used mainly in skate parks and street skating as well as simple pushing.
For mid range setups (7.75 and on) you may see wheels around the sizes 53mm – 56mm; for cruisers and longboards you can find 56mm – 70mm. The larger the wheel number, the higher from the ground you will be.
4. THE BEARINGS
These are the metal inserts of your wheels. They are what allow the wheels you ride on to have the full equal rotations throughout your ride. There are a few things to think about with bearings, they are all very similar, they commonly have 8 ball bearings inside; some may have 6 “Big Balls” as some know them. There are 8 bearings sold in a pack one to be inserted with pressure or tools into either side of your wheel. Your wheels should have two bearings in each of them, one inside and one outside.
Check out Bones Bearings.
5. THE HARDWARE
To secure your truck to your deck you need to have eight bolts and nuts. Hardware is sold at different lengths mostly ⅞ of an inch, 1 inch, 1.5 of an inch. When choosing your bolts make sure the bolt can pass through the top holes of the deck, the truck, secure the nut on the end and have a little extra threads to extend beyond and you are good.
The vibrations of riding a Skateboard can loosen your nuts and bolts to any degree; checking your setup before each session is a sure way to avoid losing any screws along the shred.
6. THE GRIPTAPE
The Grip provides friction for your feet to grip and manipulate the wooden deck underneath. Grip tape is a vital component to your skate setup. They tend to have a measurement of 32 in-35 in in length to account for the length of the skate deck; the width tends to be somewhere between 9inches and 10inches. There is an adhesive side and a rough side; grip tape is like a gigantic sticker that you want to apply to the surface you will be standing on. Some grip tapes have technology to assist with creating no air bubbles. They come in different colors, patterns and transparent.