How To Build A Skateboard
Putting together a skateboard is a straightforward process, but it requires some time and knowledge. Many skateboarders prefer to assemble their own boards because it allows them to have a closer look at each component and fine-tune them according to their preferences. If you’re looking to set up and build your own skateboard, we’ve got you covered with this step-by-step guide.
Assuming that you’ve already gripped your board, we’ll dive into the process in these 4 simple steps. But if you need to grip your deck first, check out our how-to guide on how to grip a skate deck.
Here are the steps:
To get started, assemble your tools and gear so you can build your board. Here is what you will need.
- Gripped Deck - If the deck still needs to be gripped, consult this article on grip tape for easy instructions.
- Trucks with Hardware - Each truck will require four screws and four nuts, which fit through the baseplate and secure to the deck. They also each have four axle washers and two lock nuts. Hardware totals: eight screws, eight corresponding nuts, eight axle washers, and four lock nuts. Make sure all hardware is accounted for before beginning to assemble the skate.
- Wheels - You'll need 4 wheels that should all be the same; don’t mix and match.
- Bearings - Two bearings fit inside each wheel, for a total of eight bearings on a complete.
- Skate Tool or Adjustable Wrench - The wrench should adjust down to 3/8". All-purpose skate tools have a socket that works just as well.
- Phillips Screwdriver - Skate tools almost always come with a Phillips screwdriver, but if not, you'll need a separate screwdriver.
If you have gathered your materials, and you have just gripped your skateboard deck, the next step is to mount your trucks. To start putting trucks on a skateboard, carefully poke through the screw holes using a screwdriver. Make sure you stab your hands while doing this. Next, insert all eight screws into the holes and flip the deck over so that the bottom side is facing up. Now slide the trucks onto the screws through the baseplate. If you're using risers, place them between the deck and the baseplate before sliding the trucks on.
The trucks should be oriented so that the kingpin and bushings of each face each other. Use the nuts to loosely hold the trucks in place until you can secure them properly. Using a skate tool or adjustable wrench to hold the nuts in place, tighten the screws in a "crisscross" pattern. This means that after tightening the northwest screw, move on to the southeast one, then the southwest, and finally the northeast. This ensures even distribution of the hold over the entire baseplate. Once you've secured both trucks, you can move on to the next step.
For step 3, we start the wheel assembly and fit the bearings into the wheel sockets. This part can be challenging as it requires some physical effort. While there is a specific tool called a bearing press that you can purchase, you can also do it manually with your hands.
Begin by tilting your skateboard to its side and placing a bearing onto one of the axles that are now facing upward. Because bearings are fragile, you must handle them with caution to prevent damage. Add a spacer on top of the bearing (optional: not all bearings include spacers) and then slide on a wheel. Using downward pressure, force the bearing into the wheel socket. You will eventually feel the bearing click into place. Keep in mind that wheels with higher durometers will be more challenging to install than softer ones.
Once you've placed one bearing in the socket, remove the wheel and insert another bearing, followed by an optional spacer. Flip the wheel over, place it on the axle above the bearing and spacer, and push it into place. You've now completed one wheel assembly. Repeat this process for the remaining three wheels. Once that’s completed it's on to the next step!
After installing two bearings on each of the four wheels, it’s time to connect the wheels to the trucks. Begin by placing the skateboard on its side once again. Typically, each truck comes with two axle washers per wheel, for a total of eight washers. These washers should be placed on both sides of the wheel to ensure smooth rotation.
To attach each wheel, first, slide on the washer, then the wheel with bearings, followed by the second washer. Finally, add the lock nut to secure the entire wheel assembly in place. After attaching the wheels on one side of the board, flip it over and repeat the process on the other side. At this point, your board is theoretically rideable. However, it’s always a good idea to inspect it thoroughly and make sure everything is in order (for example, there should be no loose hardware).
Finally, you can head out of your garage and start skating!
Still Have Questions?
If you still need more information, rest assured that we have the resources to help you out. Our customer service team is highly knowledgeable and can answer any questions you may have about skateboard equipment. You can easily reach out to them by phone or message.
Additionally, if you are in Portland, Eugene, or Bend, feel free to visit one of our local shops and speak to one of our friendly and helpful retail employees. They'll be more than happy to assist you and provide any information or guidance you need. Don't hesitate to reach out to us - we're here to help!
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