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A Guide to Picking the Right Skateboard Size

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BERN, SWITZERLAND – 19 SEPTEMBER 2017 : wall full of colorful skateboard decks in a shop

When it comes to choosing the right skateboard size, it’s primarily about the width of the board. 

The width plays a huge role in how stable or loose your board feels, how easy it is to land your feet, and how much force you’ll need to initiate tricks. 

So, know that from the jump. 

Along with the width, there are several other sizes and measurements that influence a board’s overall performance. 

These items are: the length of the board, it’s wheelbase, wheel size and durometer, truck size, and concavity. 

As most skaters will keep their boards for a long time, it’s nice to know just what size board you should invest your money on before making the commitment to purchasing one. 

The more you know about important skateboarding measurements, the better prepared you’ll be during your board search and in upgrading or exchanging parts later on. 

By the end of this guide, you’ll know just how to size up a skateboard and easily find one that’s right for you.

Width: Mainly, It’s Personal Preference

Most decks come in at 7.5”-8.5” wide with boards on both sides having certain benefits and drawbacks. 

Boards on the smaller end, those around 7.25”-7.5”, are solid options for the smaller feet of younger riders. Generally speaking, these boards are best suited for children under the age of 5. 

Children ages 6-10 will typically benefit the most from boards at 7.5”-7.75”.

There are some adults, however, who choose to ride 7.75” boards, often because they enjoy the lightweight feel when performing tricks. Still, for most adults, an 8.0” and above is the optimal choice. 

Wider boards like these have more stability and more room for your feet to land on. And, being older and stronger, doing flip tricks will be easier. 

Most pros ride 8.0”-8.5” boards. Depending on their style, however, this may fluctuate. 

For example, vert skaters like Tony Hawk, Danny Way, and Bob Burnquist often push 8.5” and higher. Nijah Huston, on the other hand, who does more street skating, primarily rides an 8.125”.

Really, it comes down to you and your personal preferences.

And if you don’t know what you prefer, the best way to find out is to test out a few boards at your local shop if you can. 

If not, it’s all good. The information in this guide will help you make an informed decision. You’ll be reading those product descriptions like an Amazon wizard.

Length

The length of your board measures from the tip of its nose to the tip of its tail. 

While it does dictate how much room your feet have to move forward and backward, for the most part, the length of your board is not as important as the width or the wheelbase. 

Essentially, as the length of your board changes, neither standing and performing tricks change too much in terms of difficulty. 

Most boards come in at 28”-32” long. Once you hit around +35” long, you’re reaching into the longboards zone, a discussion for a different day.

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Wheelbase

A board’s wheelbase is the distance from one inner mounting hole to another. Wider wheelbases provide more stability and increase the board’s turning radius. Narrower wheelbases help with sharper turns but have less stability.

Note that if you’re a taller rider, you’ll likely want a wider wheelbase. Being taller, your center of gravity will be higher from the ground. Because of this, having a little more stability under you might be helpful. 

Wheel Size

Up next we have wheel size. The size of your wheel influences quite a few aspects of skateboarding: your height off the ground, how fast you roll, and how heavy your board feels. 

As you may imagine, smaller wheels do smaller things. They’re lighter, accelerate quicker but have lower top speeds, and they don’t lift you as high off the ground compared to larger wheels. 

Mid-sized wheels do medium things. And larger wheels…well, you get the point. 

While larger wheels provide more speed, they’re harder to control on flip tricks and technical skating. 

Most skateboard wheels today fall between 52mm-56mm high. Go up and down on this scale and your board’s feel will be affected as previously mentioned. 

Here’s a visual breakdown for you.

When shopping for a board, you’ll either be buying a complete skateboard or parts. Knowing this, look for what suits you best all around. 

If while riding your board you get wheel bite often, you may want to invest in some riser pads. Wheel bite refers to when the underside of your board comes into contact with your wheel during turns and tricks. 

It can be a real pain to deal with and pretty dangerous too. 

To prevent it, consider buying riser pads like Bones Skateboard Riser Pads. These will help you create more room between your board and your wheels, thus preventing the wheel bite. 

Wheel Durometer

Wheel durometer refers to how hard your wheels are with most skateboard wheels falling between 85a and 105a. 

The hardness of your wheels influences how fast you go, how responsive the board feels to you, and how easy it is to slide.

Generally speaking, if you want to do more technical skating, look for harder wheels. If you prefer cruising, softer wheels might suit you better. Though, if you’re cruising often, picking a cruiser board might be an all-around better choice. 

Truck Size

Truck sizes are hard to gauge between different manufacturers. This is because amongst the three main categories for truck sizes, that being low, mid, and high, different manufacturers label each of these different sizes from others.

So instead of getting lost in the sauce, here’s what you want to focus on when thinking about trucks: Match the width of the outer axle to the width of your board. 

Too narrow and you risk having an unstable board. Too wide and you risk kicking your wheels every time you push.

You’re looking for Goldilocks here. 

Concavity

Concavity refers to the curvature of the board at the nose and tail. Different manufacturers address this aspect of the board in different ways. Some create boards with a lot of concave to give riders more control over their moves, while others craft boards with less concave which usually helps with stability at the cost of less flip assistance. 

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Once again, it’s mainly a matter of choice. 

So think about it: What do you want?

Conclusion

Choosing the right size skateboard doesn’t have to be rocket science. Mostly, you just have to remember how tall you are, how big your feet are, and what your primary style will be.

After that, figuring out the little details like how big you want your wheels or how much concave you want in your deck, will help tailor your options to your needs even further.

For more information on finding the best skateboard size for you, check out this video here.

It’ll give you some insight into the way preferences and body types influence optimal board sizes.

Other than that, you should have a good idea of what to look for when shopping around. 

If you’re looking for good places to start, check out these boards here.

Great for Kids 5 and Younger (7.5”)

Powell Golden Dragon Knight Dragon 2 Mini Complete Skateboard

Kids 6 and Up (7.75”)

Yocaher Pro Skateboard 

Teens and Adults(8”)

METROLLER Skateboards for Beginners

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CULTURE

Watch How Old Decks Transformed into Custom Benches in this Video

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Watch Welcome Skate Shop staff and their friends turn old decks into custom benches in this video released by Vans as part of their efforts to promote artists and creativity. Welcome Skate Shop is based in Leeds, UK.

What’s great about this bench is that you can remove the top (the one made with old decks) and now you have a skateable bench. It has storage too so you have a place for your new skateboards or whatever needs storing.

A skateboarder may need to replace their decks in a few months to a year, depending on how hard they grind and how often they ride. Probably millions of skateboards are discarded each year and most of them end up in landfills.

This is just one of the ways worn-out decks can be repurposed. There are also initiatives to recycle and repurpose old wheels to keep them out of landfills.

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HOWTO

How To Install Skateboard Trucks? Step By Step Guide

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Not only the riding and doing tricks on a skateboard is fun, but the installation of its part is also exciting.

The structure of the skateboard is amazing as it will not only provide you with entertainment but also will let you understand how skateboards are made.

Just like other parts, the trucks of a skateboard are easy to install too so in this article we will talk about How to Install Skateboard trucks.

The installation process will let you learn and understand what steps to take to get trucks and ride the way you want.

Recommended
Havoc 5.0 Skateboard Trucks, Black
$19.95

Pair of Havoc Aluminum Alloy Trucks. They come stock with a flush kingpin (less grinding hangups) and cast polyurethane bushings. The hanger Measures 5.0, or roughly 7.63". These will fit any board from 7.4" to 8".

08/03/2022 12:01 am GMT

Joining different skateboard parts together and making them ready for riding makes it more reliable for riding.

This is because you would know what joint you have made and how strong they are.

We have prepared this page to teach you the correct and easiest way of installing skateboard trucks on the skateboard.

Make sure you understand every step with proper understanding and have the right tools with you.

The whole process will only take around 25 minutes.

Furthermore, very few instruments are needed for proper installation, so you should not be worried about the tools.

How to Install Skateboard Trucks?

This installation of trucks on a skateboard method is the most effortless procedure that does not require many tools and can easily be performed within 20 minutes.

1. Assembling and Making the Truck Ready To Install

First, collect all the tools you need for the installation process.

Some of the necessary items are mentioned in further detail, which you should have before initiating the installation process.

Keep in mind that each skateboard will need two trucks.

There will be two wheels on each truck.

There is one hanger and one kingpin in each truck.

If you look into the further details, you will see two bushings, two washers, and one nut in each kingpin.

Some of the brands are manufacturing skateboards in which the trucks already contain assembled kingpins and hangers-on.

Now what you need to do is purchase a good quality washer, nuts, bolts, and bushings.

These things are readily available in the market, or you can also look for online purchases.

Now looking at the truck’s baseplate, it contains six holes of different sizes.

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Four holes are comparatively smaller and constructed explicitly for bolts and nuts when attaching the bolt and base plate.

The two remaining holes are made for kingpins and hangers and are relatively more significant than the other four.

Now begin the assembling of the truck by sliding the hanger in the larger.

Try both holes but settle it in the one where it gets fixed.

Keep in mind to hold the hanger properly before you secure and tighten it with a kingpin.

Now you need to take the kingpin in your hand and look for the hole in the hanger.

Make sure not to push or force but slightly and smoothly enter the kingpin into this hanger hole and reach the second hole of the base plate.

You will also need a bushing and washer to thread from both sides of the hanger to assemble the kingpin.

Now you have to focus on the ends of the kingpin.

You need to take the washer and bushing in your hand and slide them into both ends individually.

After tightening and assembling all of these four tools in your kingpin, now it’s time to attach the kingpin to the base plate.

This is conveniently done by sliding it into the holes on the base plate.

Take a kingpin and locate it on the kingpin.

Tight this nut with the help of a wrench or a skate tool with you.

Make sure not to tighten them more than needed and not to leave them loose too.

This is important because in case you have pulled the kingpin nut very tightly, it will damage your board.

And thus the bushing will need replacement later on.

Follow the exact instructions mentioned above for assembling the second truck before installation.

Do not skip any step, as if your trucks are not correctly built; they will not be installed appropriately.

2. Installation of the Trucks on the Skateboard

You first need to make the holes in the new grip tape and, for this purpose, make use of something sharp-edged.

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You can take a screwdriver for this purpose and poke eight holes in your grip tape.

This will take only a few seconds because the holes are already there on the board.

You only need to slide the sharp object which you have taken from the side of the board towards the tape so that it will get holes in it.

Turbo 9 x 33 Inch Skateboard Grip Tape Sheet Black
$6.94 ($2.52 / Foot)
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This step is only for installing trucks on the new skateboard; otherwise, if you have an old skateboard and you are installing new trucks, then the holes would be present there already.

Make the holes just the way your board contains.

Your skateboard comprises two sets of four holes in them.

Initiate the process of joining the trucks with the board by inserting four bolts on one side of 4 holes from the top side of the board and four bolts on the other side of 4 holes.

Push them properly.

Push them the way you can see them if you turn the board upside down.

Remember to hold the board with one hand in case you are flipping it and checking it.

Now stick the bolts which are slid into the base plate from the small holes.

Remember and keep in mind that the kingpin side of the truck should be facing the inner side of the skateboard, and the hanger side should be facing the outside of the board.

Safely hold the base plate of the board and trucks in their places and put four nuts over four bolts.

Hold both nuts and bolts in their positions using recommended tools and then move one device by holding the other in its place tightly.

Tighten them but make sure not to tighten them more than the required force because if you have pulled them more than needed, it will break the board.

Repeat the similar process of installing the trucks on the skateboard with the exact instructions mentioned above.

Make sure you do not skip any option and always check that in the end, both of the sides of the trucks that contain kingpins are facing each other.

FAQs

Which way do you install skateboard trucks?

Make sure you install the trucks on the skateboard so that both bushing and kingpin face each other from inwards.

Remember to tighten the nuts and screws together slightly.

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This will help you hold the trucks and the board in one place before you finally pull them.

And in this way, you will not feel any difficulty installing the skateboard trucks.

Why is my skateboard turning the wrong way?

This is possible in case you had tightened the bushings more than required when you were installing the truck in the initial stages.

You can fix this issue by assembling the bushings or replacing them with a good-quality ones.

Moreover, it’s not necessary to get a new bushing each time.

Instead, you can lose them a little if they are tight and use your skateboard.

Do you need speed washers?

Yes, these are essential tools that should be present in your skateboard.

This is because the primary purpose of a speed washer is to increase and enhance the speed and enhance the longevity of the bearings.

It is done by minimizing the friction between the hanger and the axle nuts.

Furthermore, speed washers help block the passage of dirt and dust to reach your bearings as this dust and dirt can affect the functioning of the trucks and wheels.

Conclusion

Skateboarding becomes more adventurous when you install the board on your own.

Installation of the skateboards involves not only installing tires on the board but also the proper installation of the trucks.

The aggregate installation of the trucks is essential because your board is based on the trucks, and if the trucks are not adequately placed, it means that your board is not stable and safe.

Before installing the trucks on your board, make sure you learn the proper procedure and follow it as it is.

The above-mentioned article contains the details of installing a truck on your skateboard and a step-by-step guide.

Make sure you understand the procedure correctly.

It will help you in assembling the trucks and installing them both.

Please do not skip any step as it will be dangerous for you as skipping a step affects the installation of the trucks.

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HOWTO

How Tight or Loose Should Skateboard Trucks Be? – Beginners’ Guide

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Are you having trouble deciding how tight or loose your skateboard trucks should be?

Well, you’ve come to the right place to know in detail about the right amount of tightness or looseness for the trucks.

Today we will discuss this confusing topic and our guide will help you understand the looseness or tightness of skateboard trucks as a beginner. Let’s go!

If you ask professionals, you will get mixed answers. Some will swear by the fact that really loose trucks helped them ride easily and feel more at ease.

However, others may tell you that you need to completely tighten your trucks in order to have a safe and stable ride.

Who should you listen to? We think that you should listen to yourself. Does this confuse you? Let’s elaborate on this a little more.

What are Trucks on a Skateboard?

Let’s start off by describing skateboard trucks for all the newbies here. Skateboard trucks are basically metal axles that hold the wheels on a skateboard.

Dadywheels Longboard Skateboard Trucks 7" with Bushings, Riser Pads and Hardware (Set of 2) Black
$24.88
  • Fit for a 9" longboard deck or wider for cruising, carving, and sliding.
  • Pack Contains: 2 pcs prebuilt trucks with 88a bushings, washers, and nuts; 2 pcs 3mm riser pads; 8 pcs 1.3" hardware screw and its nuts.
  • Reverse kingpin Truck Spec: 245mm/9.7" axle width; 180mm/7" hanger width; 64mm/2.5" height; 52°or 48°convertible baseplate angle; aluminum alloy material; hold up to 350 lbs.
  • Constructed from high-quality materials, suitable for pintail/drop through/freestyle longboard.


08/03/2022 12:01 am GMT

Every skateboard has two trucks. They are very important in ensuring a stable and safe ride.

A skateboard truck is made up of the following components:

  • Hanger or axle shaft
  • Baseplate
  • Axle nuts and washers
  • Kingpin nut and kingpin
  • Bushing washers
  • Bushings
  • Pivot cup

You must consider the following factors while tightening or loosening the trucks of the skateboard.

  • Maneuverability

You can tighten or loosen your trucks based on your own preference and comfort. Looser trucks allow you to easily make turns and maneuver your skateboard.

However, tighter trucks give better responses while you’re doing tricks or making turns.

This means you need to decide on the tightness of your trucks keeping in mind your usual skating path and your skating habits.

  • Level of Expertise

If you are a beginner, you may need to keep the tightness of your trucks somewhere in the middle.

If your skates are too loose, it might lead to accidents which you definitely don’t want. On the other hand, if your skates are too tight, you may not be able to control your skates properly.

Therefore, you need to achieve a delicate balance somewhere in the middle so that you can ride with ease and have a great time.

On the other hand, if you are an experienced rider, you know your riding style and so you will be better suited to keep the trucks too tight or too loose based on where you are riding and what tricks you want to perform that day.

  • Tricks

Another important thing to consider is the kind of tricks that you intend on trying.

For most tricks, it is better to keep your trucks time because it helps improve reaction time so that you are in better control and you are able to quickly maneuver your skateboard as per your requirement.

Is it possible to adjust trucks on your own?

Yes! This is definitely possible.

It is not a very difficult task and you will be able to master it in no time. You will learn more as you experiment on your trucks.

All you need is the right equipment and you will be able to adjust the trucks on your skateboard with absolute ease.

Before adjusting the trucks, make sure you ride the skateboard for a while to understand what is lacking and what kind of change you want.

Pick up the tools and get to work!

How Tight Should Skateboard Trucks Be?

We will be describing the tightness of the trucks on a scale of 1 to 10 where 10 is super tight and 1 is super loose.

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  • Downhill riding: For downhill riding, you need to keep the tightness between 7-8. Riding downhill requires speeding so your trucks need to be tightened for that.
  • Cruising: For cruising, you should keep the tightness between 4 to 5. This is because while cruising, you are focusing more on stability rather than speed. You just want to enjoy the ride and you certainly won’t be performing any tricks.
  • Tricks: If you are attempting tricks, that means you have a good hold overriding. You need to decide on the tightness as per your requirement and the type of tricks you want to perform.
  • Skate ramps: For skate ramps, keep the tightness between 8 to 10. This is because you need greater control over the ride. This will also help in improving stability. However, if you feel some hardness while your wheels are in contact with the surface, you might need to loosen the truck just a little bit.

Here are some of the Pros and Cons of keeping the trucks on skateboards tightened.

Pros
  • Tight trucks are better suited for kickflips because they allow you to easily hang the heel of your foot off the board’s edge. This helps ensure that your skateboard doesn’t veer off towards the side.
  • They are much better for your ankles and help prevent fatigue and help you enjoy a good ride.
  • They also help prevent any injuries. In case of an accident, you will be able to quickly get back and start riding again.
  • They provide quick response time which means you are in greater control and you will be able to react very quickly.
  • Tight Trucks work better if you want to attain greater speeds. They will help you get better stability when riding at high speeds so that you can avoid accidents.
  • For big drops in play, these work so much better. They help prevent any wheel bites so that you don’t have to face nasty slams.
Cons
  • They cannot be handles easily by beginners and can cause trouble.
  • Do not turn very easily and they also make it very difficult for you line up on any obstacle.
  • They cannot work well with less-than-perfect landings and may cause issues.

How to adjust the tightness of your trucks?

Most adjustments on a skateboard only require you to torque the nuts on the axle bolts and trucks.

However, it is a little more complex to adjust the kingpins. It might be difficult to get it right in one shot only but practice makes perfect.

Zeato All-in-One Skateboarding ToolWith Y-Type Allen Key and L-Type Phillips Head Wrench Screwdriver
$12.99 $9.98
  • A multi-functional skateboard Y tool that allows you to adjust axle nuts, mounting hardware, and the kingpin nut on the top of the truck.
  • The skateboard Y tool includes 3 different sizes (3/8", 1/2", 9/16") of sockets and a slide-out Phillips head wrench screwdriver that fits into the top of the handle when not in use
  • Fits into most pockets easily so you can carry and use it everywhere when you need it.


08/03/2022 12:01 am GMT

You will need one 14mm wrench to do this task. Pick a flat pavement and get to work.

  1. Stand on the deck and firmly press down while shifting your weight to the toe side from the heel side. This will make the board give in. Tilting causes pivoting in the trucks which in turn allows you to steer with ease. If you don’t feel enough tilting, you need to loosen the truck’s kingpin nuts such that the nut’s nylon strip still touches the threads. On the other hand, if the board is touching the wheel’s top while leaning, you will need to tighten the kingpin nuts.
  2. Now, you need to test your board to see if you like the adjustment. When turning, lean on the back side and front side in order to further tighten the turn. A point will come where your board will not be able to lean in any further without touching the wheels. While keeping an eye on how tight you can turn, change directions quickly. This will give you an understanding of how well your trucks are tightened.

That’s it! In two simple steps, you will be able to decide on the tightening of your trucks. Isn’t that easy to execute?

Is it good to over-tighten skateboard trucks?

If you are new to adjusting the trucks on your skateboard, try to be as gentle as possible. If you put in too much pressure, you might end up over-tightening the skateboard trucks. This may cause the bolt to slip and it will then become useless so you have to e very careful.

If you’re not sure when you should stop tightening, just make sure that you are tightening them only as far as the surface of the wood. Your nut should not get embedded into the wood. This will work perfectly for all skateboards.

How to loosen the trucks on your skateboard?

The process of loosening your trucks is similar to tightening them. If you want to loosen your trucks, you will need a skate tool or any other similar tool which helps you loosen the big nut which you will find near the truck’s center on the back of your board.

Just turn it anti-clockwise to loosen the trucks. Loosen them a little bit and then check if you like how they feel. Checking, again and again, makes sure that you don’t loosen them too much.

Here are some of the Pros and Cons of keeping the trucks on skateboards tightened.

Pros
  • They make it easier to make turns without having to press on the tail of the deck
  • They provide better flow of riding
  • You will be able to handle obstacles much better and so a smooth ride is ensured
  • Your landing doesn’t have to be perfect and you can enjoy a carefree ride
Cons
  • They might cause some wobbles during the ride
  • These don’t work very well with tricks
  • They are not great for your ankles
  • You cannot attain high speeds with loose trucks

To Wrap Up

If you keep practicing the adjustments, you will soon find the perfect balance which works best for you.

This will help improve your performance and make the ride so much easier. Evaluate your requirements and the path you have chosen in order to pick the right level of tightness for yourself.

With that being said, there is no right answer to what the perfect level of tightening or loosening is. You just need to play with the adjustments in order to find your sweet spot. Good luck!

FAQs

  • Is it better to have your trucks loose or tight?

This depends on your requirements and level of expertise.

  • Is it easier to Ollie with tight trucks?

With tight trucks, you will be able to ollie higher so tight trucks are better for ollies.

  • How tight can I tighten my trucks?

Tighten your trucks only as far as the surface of the deck.

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How To

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