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How to Maintain a Skateboard

Your skateboard takes a lot of abuse. A quick check of your board before each ride will keep it in top condition so it doesn’t send you into a “slam.”

Instructions

  • Step 1: Extend the life of your skateboard by cleaning it after each ride. Use a damp towel to wipe away any dirt or stones from the deck, grip tape, trucks, or wheels.
  • Step 2: The grip tape on top of the deck helps keep your feet in place. A plastic or metal bristle brush and damp towel will keep it clean, but over time it will wear down and need to be replaced. One sheet should be enough.
  • TIP: To remove grip tape, heat with a hair dryer and peel it off slowly.
  • Step 3: Flip your board over and check out the underside. The trucks are metal mounts attaching the wheels to the board. Tighten or loosen them depending on the ride you prefer – the tighter they are, the harder to turn your board. To tighten, turn the kingpin nut clockwise with a crescent or Allen wrench. To loosen, turn counter clockwise.
  • TIP: Overtightening the kingpin can make it difficult to steer around obstacles.
  • Step 4: Check the truck components for any cracks or problems. If you find any issues, replace the truck.
  • Step 5: Replace the trucks’ rubber bushings and pivot caps frequently.
  • Step 6: Rotate your wheels, just like you do the tires on a car. The easiest way to rotate them is to number your wheels 1 through 4 with pieces of masking tape. Swap 1 and 3, 2 and 4.
  • TIP: You may have trouble keeping your balance after rotating the wheels. You'll regain it after about an hour of skating.
  • Step 7: Check the bearings. If they’re not spinning correctly or they’re making a rubbing noise, clean them with solvent and lubricant according to the manufacturer’s directions. You're good to go!
  • FACT: California surfers created the first skateboards in the 1950s by attaching roller-skate wheels to wooden boxes and boards.

You Will Need

  • A skateboard
  • A damp towel
  • An electric sander or sandpaper
  • Grip tape
  • A plastic or metal bristle brush
  • A Crescent or Allen wrench
  • A screwdriver
  • Masking tape
  • New rubber bushings and caps
  • Cleaning solvent
  • Lubricant
  • A hair dryer
  • New trucks

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