What Parts Do You Need To Build A Complete Custom Skateboard?
When it comes to building your own skateboard, there are a number of ways to do so.
My advice is to start with purchasing a deck. When buying a pre-made deck, my recommendation is that you get one that is about as wide as your chin. This will give you a solid deck to build your own board on.
Remember that to attach everything to the board, you will need a 4.5 inch wide piece of wood. So choose one that fits in the middle of your deck.
Now that you have your deck and the wood, you need to purchase either a pre-made set of trucks and wheels or build your own.
Trucks are the metal axels on which the wheels spin. Sometimes made of an alloy, trucks come in standard sizes. Make sure to get trucks that are the correct size for your deck.
Wheels are the rolling parts of the skateboard.
#1 – Skateboard Deck
You can use an old skateboard deck for this. The deck is the main surface of your skateboard. It’s what the wheels ride on. When in use, the skateboard deck is in contact with the ground at all times, which makes it the most vulnerable part of the board.
Many skateboarders believe that a skateboard deck is made out of the same thing a paper is made out of. It’s actually made out of lots of layers of wood and a thin layer of mixed fiberglass and glue.
If the board is hanging around outside a lot, the wood will expand and contract with the weather. That will make it very easy for the layers of wood in the skateboard to separate. If this happens, it will be very hard to ride the skateboard.
The trick to finding the perfect skateboard deck is determining if it has separated. You can do this by dropping it on the ground from waist level and seeing if there is a clacking sound. If there’s no clacking then it’s still perfect.
If it has separated, then it will be much harder to ride the skateboard because the wheels will dig into the cracks between the wood, essentially making the board smaller as it rides really fast.
#2 – Grip Tape
You need grip tape to get a good grip on the deck of the skateboard. Grip tape is also handy for waterproofing the tail of the skateboard.
If you haven’t noticed, the entire top of the deck of a skateboard is not covered in grip tape. This is because grip tape is “sticky”, and if the entire top of the deck were covered, you’d have trouble pushing up if you needed to.
Instead, you have the grip tape over the top of the board, which you can distribute your feet across, but the top of the board is pretty smooth. This makes it easier when you’re pushing your feet out to make the board go forward.
If you’re feeling insecure about your skateboarding chops, then consider keeping the grip tape on all the time.
Most skateboards come with grip tape applied already, but if you have some experience with skateboarding, you can apply it yourself. This is a good skill to learn if you want to customize your board. If you’ve ever wondered why we have grip tape and not just a smooth surface, now you know.
#3 – Trucks
You can customize your truck setup to fit your riding style, but for beginners you’re generally better off with a smaller size. Trucks in the 9.75 to 11.75 inch range will work for most people, but you may want to move up if you want to do more complicated tricks. Trucks in the 13.75 to 15.25 inch range are for big air enthusiasts.
When you’re choosing a deck, remember that the deck size determines the wheelbase, or how far apart the trucks are. A larger wheelbase makes a board more stable at high speeds, but longer and less agile at slow speeds.
Generally, it’s better to have a longer wheelbase and a taller deck. A long deck makes it easier to balance and prevents the board from wobbling.
#4 – Hardware
#5 – Bearings
Before you head out to the store to buy bearings, you should know what they are and what some of the most common terms used to describe them mean.
Bearings are pieces of metal that are found in the wheels of a skateboard, and are necessary for a board to roll at all. Without bearings, a skateboard wouldn’t work. However, skateboard bearings are more than just metal. The more expensive bearings, such as Swiss bearings, are specially shaped in order to break up vibrations that would otherwise not be beneficial to a skateboard. Other bearings use ceramic balls instead of metal races, as well as an abec rating.
On a skateboard, the number one consideration for bearings is how fast they are. Skateboard bearings that are generally rated “fast” will allow a board to roll as quickly as possible. Speed is only a part of what makes a good skateboard bearing; quality bearings must also have a high load rating. The load rating is how much weight the bearing is capable of supporting. You are unlikely to break skateboard bearings, even if you skate for years while doing tricks, but if you do, a high quality bearing will not be damaged. If you have cheaper, low-quality bearings and skate into a hard object like a curb, you will likely damage the bearings.
#6 – Wheels
A skateboard will need bearings for the wheels. They will be placed in the plates and the wheels will set on the outside and roll against the plates for rolling on the pavement. These plates are also known as trucks and can sometimes be found in other designs. There are also grippy grip tape that can be wrapped around the trucks to reduce vibrations and sliding along the top sheet. The wheels will be the most important item because they determine the speed of the skateboard and are also the first item to replace when you start breaking them.
2 – Bearing Set
This is the mechanism that allows the wheels to roll smoothly. The bearings are placed inside of the boards housing and they will spin inside of the mechanism to allow for frictionless movement along the pavement. A set of bearings will come with bearing spacers, bearing washers, and a set of specially sized bearings. The washers will sit within the sides of the board and will hold the spacers in position. The spacers will allow the bearings to sit in the middle of the set and are spaced to be even with the wheels. The bearings will be the main component and will allow you to control the skateboard putting you in the center of it all. There is a variety of sizes for ease of use.
#7 – Risers
A skateboard deck is the main platform that you stand on. It’s the skeleton and the structure. It’s what your wheels attach to and is what keeps your feet on the board while you ride. Because there are so many different styles, shapes, and brands, there are a lot of different ways to attach the components of a skateboard together.
One way that you can build a skateboard is to purchase a blank skateboard deck and attach the wheels, trucks, axles, and risers yourself. This is the best way to really customize your board. You can get the length and width of the skateboard deck that you prefer for different types of riding, the type and color of the wheels that you want, and the design of the trucks that you prefer. And once you’ve assembled that, you can add additional risers to allow you to raise your board up to a size that best fits your riding needs and preferences.
What Tools Do You Need To Build A Complete Custom Skateboard?
When it comes to skateboarding it is important to remember that it isn’t rocket science and the basics of building a skateboard are fairly easy.
There are a few very basic bits of kit and equipment that you will need to make your complete custom skateboard but they are not that difficult to source.
If you want to build your own skateboard you will need the following things from your local skateboard shop:
A board blank (the deck). You can buy them in a wide range of shapes, sizes and colours. If you’re not sure, a blank deck will give you a blank canvas on which to create your masterpiece.
Grip tape is used to enhance the feel of the board and is also provides you with padding. The width is usually defined by the length of your deck.
Skateboard trucks (axles) are usually made from steel and also contain either bushings or bearings to support the wheels, bearings provide a smoother glide.
Wheels for your skateboard will take into account the size of the trucks and the grip tape width.
Bearings for your wheels come in a huge range of sizes and choices. Bearings are what make your wheels spin effortlessly.
Paint or grip paint is used to decorate and protect your skateboard.
And a skateboard tool makes the whole process easier.
How To Build Your Own Custom Skateboard
While skateboarding itself isn’t a very complicated sport, it does take some skill and practice to be able to do it well. Getting all of the right gear is the first step, and then you’ll need to learn to put it all together with ease.
It’s obvious that you need a board, but what a lot of people don’t realize is that the wheels have to be the right size. Finding the right size of wheels is easy, but the trick will be picking the right ones. The urethane on a skateboard wheel has to be soft enough for you to be able to control the movement of the board, but it also needs to be hard enough to pop off the ground.
The easiest way to determine what the right wheel size is for you is to start simply, by assessing your skill level and the place you’ll skate at the most often. For example, if you’re just starting out, you’re probably going to want to stick to skate parks or other places where you don’t have to worry about snags and obstacles.
Fitting Your Skateboard Trucks
Before you can begin construction of your skateboard, you need to poke holes in the tail and nose pieces and feed the trucks into place.
Put the tail stock in the center of the bottom slat and clamp down tightly. Use a hammer to tap the hole over the axle. You’re going to want to use a drill bit that’s the same diameter as the axle to make the process easier. It’s a little bit of a process to fit the trucks in, so make sure that the tail slat is firmly supported.
Next, you’re going to feed the trucks into the nose piece to finish off the bottom. Holding the nose in your hand, put the tail stock into the nose piece and tap the other side of it. Use the drill bit that’s the same size as the axle of the truck to make the hole here, as well.
Once both sides are drilled in, you can use the wood glue. Pour a little bit on the bottom of the bottom slat first to hold the trucks in place before you fill the rest. Use the drill to make a hole in the middle of the wood under the nose piece. Run the string through the hole and into the bottom, and tie it off under the tail piece. This will keep the nose of the board from popping out during use.
Fitting Your Wheels
Good rims for skateboarding are going to be hard to find, since they need to be strong enough to support your weight, but malleable enough to be shaped to fit the width and hole pattern of your deck.
For this reason, many contemporary skateboarders like to make their own custom wheels. The following instructions will show you how to make skateboard wheels to fit onto your skateboard.
You will need the following materials for making wheels:
- A board that is the same thickness as your existing skateboard,
- Countersunk screws,
- A coping saw or band saw,
- A hammer,
- A drill with a hole saw attachment,
- A skateboard wheel with bearings,
- A skateboard truck, and
4– of graphite.
The first step is to use a coping saw or band saw to cut your new board to the same size as your old skateboard.
Next, sand the edges of your new board to smooth them out.
Use a drill with a hole saw attachment to cut out your wheel cutouts in the shape of an eight.
Take the coping saw or band saw and cut the center disks out of your new skateboard wheels and saw them off using your coping saw in a rough shape.
So you’ve taken an interest in skateboarding, and you’ve decided to learn to do it.
From here, you’re likely to consider the following:
- A skateboard
- A skateboard ramp
- Skateboarding equipment
- Let’s talk about skates, shall we?
- Skateboard Ramps
Many first-time skaters make the mistake of starting too fast. Skateboarding requires a lot of time and patience to learn. Rather than trying to learn everything at once, first-time skateboarders should try to pick a few things up before progressing.
They should focus on learning how to slow down first. Their next step should be learning how to turn. Finally, they should even consider learning how to jump and slide. These are all the basic skills required to take it to the next level.
Building Your Own Skateboard
If you’re just getting started, you may want to consider investing in a pre-made skateboard. A lot of people decide to either buy or build their own skateboard. This is because buying a pre-made skateboard is very expensive.