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HOWTO

How to Clean Your Skateboard’s Grip Tape

Learning how to clean your skateboard’s grip tape is a great way to extend your board’s life and rejuvenate its grippiness.

We’ll cover the simplest way in this guide so that you can take all that dirt, mud, and grime and get it all off.

That way, your board’s fresh and ready for your next skating adventure. 

Tools

Cleaning your skateboard’s grip tape is thankfully a super simple job with the simple tools needed.

You need: 

  1. A belt sander cleaner, a.k.a Grip Gum
  2. A soft wire brush (or an old toothbrush)

If you don’t have some belt sander cleaner laying around, check out Prostik W1304 Abrasive Belt/Disk Cleaner

And if you’re in need of a quality soft wire brush, here’s one for you to consider. 

How to Clean Your Skateboard’s Grip Tape

1) Use Belt Sander Cleaner

First things first, take your belt sander cleaner and firmly rub the surface of your board. You want to treat the process like you’re erasing something on paper.

Just with a little more umph to it.

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Cover the entirety of the board with close attention to the extra grimy spots. This technique should take care of most of the dirt, crud, and mud on your board.

2) Use a Soft Wire Brush

For a deeper clean of those remaining little dust particles, take a soft wire brush, or an old toothbrush, and give your board a good ol’ brushing. 

This should really put the icing on the cake, making your board look and feel new and grippy. 

Should I Use Water to Clean My Grip Tape?

It’s best to avoid using water on your grip tape. There are two main reasons: 1) Exposure to an excessive amount of water can eventually wear down the grip tape’s adhesive properties, and 2) You really don’t need it

How Often Should I Clean My Grip Tape?

As with most things, it depends. A simple answer is whenever you feel that your grip tape is too dirty or has noticeably lost some of its stickiness. 

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Say, for example, you and some friends go skating in a new location that requires you to tread through a little dirt.

You get to your location, start skating, and you notice your tricks aren’t landing the way they normally do. 

After some time, you notice both your shoes and your board are covered in dirt. 

Well, given your ability to land those tricks before but not now, it’d be reasonable to assume your dirty shoes and board to be the culprit behind your missed tricks. 

And so, cleaning your board then would likely help improve your skating. 

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How Often Should I Change My Grip Tape?

Either when your grip tape is too dirty to clean with the tools listed before, or when it’s too damaged from wear and whether to be useful to you.

Either way, you’ll have to make an executive decision about when that time is right for you.

Though simply riding and viewing your board should provide you with enough information to make that decision confidently. 

Also, instead of buying new grip tape, there is the option of buying a new deck or a fully complete board. It depends on what you’d like to spend your money on. 

Where Can I Find Good Grip Tape?

If you’re having trouble knowing what grip tape to use to replace your old one, or which grip tape to add to your new deck, check out the list below to learn about some quality options available now. 

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Jessup Grip Tape

Jessup was the first company to introduce silicon carbide grip tape to the skating industry back in 1975.

Since then, they’ve been a massive influencer in the world of grip tape, having gripped over 25 million decks and created over 70 million feet of grip tape to date. 

Anyone looking for quality grip tape from a trustworthy brand should check out Jessup Grip Tape.

Their grip tape is easy to apply, has anti-bubble properties, and has a nice balance between how well it grips your shoes vs how fast it wears them down.

Additionally, Jessup sells their grip tape in a variety of colors, making them an excellent choice for skaters who’d like to personalize their boards more. 

Give them a look today if you need new grip tape. 

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Grizzly Grip Tape

Grizzly Grip Tape was created by American skateboarding legend Torey Pudwill when he was just 12-years-old. 

Since launching in 2010, Grizzly Grip Tape has become an industry giant, same as Jessup.

Their grip tape features anti-bubble properties and perforations that make the application process all the easier.

It’s also light in terms of how much wear it causes your shoes, while still providing adequate grip for ollies and flip tricks. 

Check them out when you’re hunting for quality grip tape. 

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Mob Grip Tape

Last on our list we have Mob Grip Tape

Similar to Jessup and Grizzly, Mob Grip Tape is easy to apply and designed so air bubbles are hard to form. 

However, what separates Mob from the rest of the crowd is the grit level, a feature most skaters enjoy as it helps them land their tricks easier.

So, if you’re someone looking for a grip tape that’s known to be extremely grippy, Mob Grip Tape is the way to go. 

Conclusion

And there you have it.

A practical way on how to clean your skateboard’s grip tape in no time flat; and, three suggestions on what grip tapes you should check if you’re in the market for some.

Now that you know what you need, go get your supplies and hop to it.

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Soon you’ll be skating with either brand new, or like-brand-new grip tape. 

Safe travels.

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HOWTO

A Guide to Buying and Caring for Your Skateboard Bearings 

Skateboard and surfskate maintenance concept. Selective focus on the bearing.

Ahh bearings. They may be small, but they’re an important part of your skateboard setup.

When it comes to skateboarding, bearings are a critical aspect of how fast and smooth your riding experience will be.

And because of this, it’s important to ask yourself a few questions like: What are they made of? Are some better than others? How do I remove and clean them? And more.

In this guide we’ll cover all that so when you’re shopping for your next pair of bearings or your next complete skateboard, you can do so confidently.

What are Bearings?

Bearings are small circular objects put inside the wheel which are usually made of steel or ceramic material. They have a big impact on how fast and smooth a board rides.

Every bearing is made up of five basic components: the shield, inner race, outer race, balls, and retainer. Each of the four wheels will have two bearings placed inside it.

The shield serves two purposes: it retains oil inside the bearing and prevents debris and dust particles from entering it.

The balls of the bearings are housed in the outer and inner races and are what allows the wheels to turn. They sit on the bearing retainers which ensure the balls don’t rub against each other. This reduces wear, limits heat build-up, and overall promotes the longevity of the bearings.

Bearing spacers are also often used for the same reason. Spacers are small metal cylinders placed inside the wheel that limit the amount of force applied to bearings. This extends the bearing’s life and makes turns smoother and more stable.

Steel vs Ceramics vs Titanium

Most bearings are made from steel, ceramic, or titanium.

Steel Bearings

Steel bearings are very common.

They’re more durable than ceramic bearings but they tend to rust with exposure to moisture. These are good options for high-impact skating like jumping stairs, however, you’ll want premium ones if you’re opting more for speed.

While some do perform well for speed, steel rotating often quickly results in a build-up of heat. This causes the metal to expand resulting in more friction between the moving parts, and ultimately slows down the wheels.

Steel bearings are often on the cheaper side so they’re a good investment if you’re not looking for speed and don’t mind cleaning or replacing them more often.

Ceramic Bearings

Ceramic bearings are harder than steel bearings, but more brittle.

They roll extremely well, making them great for speed. And, they’re heat-resistant and won’t corrode with exposure to water.

These go well with any form of skating that has to do with speed, like downhill and even some vert skating. However, for crazy stair jumps where you’ll be landing with high-impact, steel or titanium bearings work better.

Ceramic bearings are often the most expensive kind so keep your budget and your preferences in mind here.

Titanium Bearings

Titanium bearings are similar to steel bearings in their durability.

Where they shine is in their corrosion resistance and heat resistance, making them an overall longer-lasting buy.

They’re generally a bit more expensive than steel bearings but still significantly cheaper than most ceramics.

Best Bearings for Speed

Ceramic bearings are the best for speed.

Their heat-resistant features enable them to spin at high speeds with less metal expansion. When the metal in bearings expands, there’s more friction between the different moving parts. As mentioned earlier, this friction ultimately causes the wheels to slow down.

Because of this, ceramic bearings are a better option if you’re looking to go fast.

Here are a couple of great sets of speedy bearings.

1. Bones Swiss Ceramic Skateboard Bearings

The Bones Swiss Ceramic Skateboard Bearings are highly regarded as some of the fastest bearings available. Being made of ceramic, they’re heat-resistant and won’t corrode with exposure to moisture, giving them more speed and longevity.

2. Bronson Speed Co, G2 Skateboard Bearings

Another set of corrosion and heat resistant bearings, the Bronson Speed Co, G2 Bearings are ceramic made and built for speed.

Best Bearings for Cruising

Choosing a great bearing for cruising comes down more to preferences than it does the benefits of steel vs ceramic or titanium.

Depending on your environment, how often you skate, and how much money you want to spend, certain bearings will serve you better.

For example, with steel bearings being cheaper, they’re a great option if you don’t plan on skating that often.

If you prefer to cruise at high speeds often, investing in ceramics would be your best bet. They’re also a great choice if you want to avoid your bearings rusting from rain or mist.

Ultimately, it depends on your style of cruising. So, consider what that is or what that may be before buying a set.

Here’s our pick to get you going…

Bones Reds Skateboard Bearings 8 Pack

As an industry leader, bones create some of the most highly rated bearings available. Their classic, the Bones Reds, is an excellent set of bearings at a great price.

How to Clean Skateboard Bearings

A great way to increase the lifespan of your bearings is by cleaning them every once and a while.

Thankfully, it’s a fairly short process with just a few tools needed.

Here’s what you need:

  1. A T-tool/Skate tool OR a Socket Wrench
  2. A thin tool like a small metal pin, thumbtack, or the tip of a razor
  3. A bowl or towel to hold the removed parts
  4. A cleaning solution made of acetone, isopropyl alcohol, or mineral spirits
  5. A Tupperware bowl for your cleaning solution
  6. Rubber gloves
  7. Paper towel
  8. And a rag or old toothbrush

If you don’t have a Skate tool already, here’s one you can order.

Zeato All-in-One Skate Tools

Directions

Remove the Bearings

  1. To get to the bearing, you must first take off the wheel. Loosen the nuts holding the wheel in place with the socket wrench or Skate tool. If it’s stuck in there, firmly hold your board in place and give it a little elbow grease.
  2. Place your first nut and washer in your storage pile: either the rag or bucket you brought with you. Repeat this when you get to the other wheels.
  3. Begin removing your wheel. Angle your wrist as you lift your wheel and use the end of your truck’s axle to snag the bearing off.
  4. Remove the other bearing from that wheel with the same technique or using your selected thin tool.
  5. Repeat steps 1-4 for the remaining wheels and bearings.

Remove the Shield Caps

  1. Take your thin tool and place it in the open space of the shield cap.
  2. Pry open and remove the shield caps from all eight bearings.
  3. Place the shield caps in your storage pile.

Use the Solvent

  1. Put on your rubber gloves.
  2. Add your solvent to the Tupperware bowl.
  3. Place the bearings in the Tupperware bowl and cap the lid.
  4. Shake and swirl the bowl to strip away the grime. Leave the bearings in the solvent for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Remove the bearings from the solvent and place them onto a paper towel.

Dry and Lubricate

  1. Gently smack the open side of the bearings onto the paper towel to get the excess solvent out.
  2. Pat dry the bearings with a paper towel.
  3. If you have bearing lubricant, drip 2-3 into the bearing and then spin it to spread it around.
  4. Add lubricant to the remaining bearings.
  5. Put the shield caps back on. Make sure they click in place.

Bearing lubricant is an essential part of revitalizing bearings. Bones Speed Cream is a high-quality lubricant that increases how fast and long your wheels roll. Get your hands on some to give your bearings the better cleanse they need.

Rebuilding the Wheel

  1. Put the first washer onto an open axle.
  2. Put two bearings with the shield facing down on top of the washer.
  3. With your wheel in hand press down on the bearing until it clicks into place.
  4. Turn the wheel over and repeat on the other side. Once completed, the shield caps of both bearings should be visible on either side of the wheel.
  5. Add another washer on the axle followed by a nut.
  6. Using your Skate tool, tighten the nut. Be sure to leave some wiggle room for the wheel to spin freely.
  7. Repeat steps 1-6 for the remaining wheels.

After that, you’re done!

When to Replace Your Bearings

Cleaning your bearings is a great way to get some extra life out of them. There will still come a time when they need to be replaced altogether, but cleaning will help them go the extra mile.

Generally, when bearings begin to rust, show significant reductions in speed and smoothness, or begin making noises you’re sure you didn’t hear before, that’s a good indication that they need to be replaced.

Damaged, dirty, and dry bearings can lead to a bunch of trouble. A build-up of dirt on the balls and races of the bearings can create excess friction and heat. This can cause the bearing to freeze up, which can happen out of nowhere, possibly leaving you flying off your board.

The same goes for damaged or extremely dry bearings, which are usually byproducts of dirt and corrosion.

It’s best to play it safe and replace your bearings when they begin to show signs of failure like cracking noises and significantly lower speeds even after cleaning and lubricating them.

Shielded vs. Sealed: What’s the Difference?

Bearings typically come with a detachable shield cap or one that’s sealed on. These are designed to prevent small particles like debris, dust, and water from entering the bearing–things that generally cause damage over time.

Sealed bearings are better at keeping substances from entering the bearing, but they often reduce the wheel’s rolling speed a bit.

My Bearings Got Wet. What do I do?

Rain, puddles, tears of joy when you finally land a 360 Treflip. It happens.

When it does, disassemble your wheel and dry the components as soon as possible.

Excess exposure to water will eventually rust your bearings, so do your best to avoid water when possible.

ABEC and Skate Rated ratings

The Annular Bearing Engineers Committee, ABEC, develops dimensions, geometry, tolerances, and noise requirements for different bearings in order to assist bearing makers in their manufacturing and selection of general bearing applications.

However, a report by Bones Bearings notes that they don’t cover, “Sideloading, impact resistance, materials selection and grade, appropriateness of lubrication, ball retainer type, grade of ball, the clearance between the balls and the races, installation requirements, and the need for maintenance and cleaning.”

While folks tend to associate quality bearings with ABEC ratings, Bones Bearings argues that it doesn’t accurately depict the quality of different bearings, as their tests don’t cover several important aspects of overall bearing performance.

Here are a couple ABEC Rated and Skate Rated options

Yellow Jacket Premium Skateboard Bearings (ABEC)

Bones Big Balls Reds (Skate Rated)

Ride on

Buy quality bearings for your riding style, give them a little love now and then and you’ll be golden. Need help deciding on the right pair of bearings? Feel free to hit us up anytime at hello@skatenewsire.com. Always happy to assist!

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HOWTO

Beginners Tips for Skating at a Skatepark

Gritty and scary city skate park at night in urban Chicago.

If you’re a beginner skateboarder who’s thinking about taking their first trip to the skatepark, or if you’ve been before but want to learn more about them, this guide is just for you.

It’ll cover the beginner-friendly tips you should know before your visit so that you’re all the more prepared to shred and have fun.

1) Learn the Basics First

Skateparks can be busy areas where tons of people come to hone their skills. Because of this, it’s best to learn the basics of riding a skateboard - that being pushing, turning, stopping, and holding your balance - before taking on the obstacles and ramps at a skatepark.

That way, you’re both more prepared for the twists and turns of the skatepark and less likely to trip up any other riders with falls and board slips.

If you’re new to skating and want some helpful tips on how to get started, check out our tutorial here.

2) Learn Skatepark Etiquette

Most skateparks have both written and culturally embedded rules to them.

An example of a written rule would be for all people to wear a helmet while skating at the skatepark. Although, this rule is more lenient at some parks than others so it’s best to gauge the area first and consider your riding abilities before deciding NOT to ride with a helmet.

An example of a culturally embedded rule would be to not “snake” behind other skaters. Snaking refers to when you either cut someone in line before they drop in or interrupt their run before it’s complete. It can often lead to collisions and beef with other skaters, two things you don’t need at a place where people go to have fun and practice their passion.

The written rules you can find at your local skatepark, likely on a gate or wall near the park. The other ones will be covered here so you can skate more confidently and only ask questions if you really need to.

Do’s

✅  Be Vigilant

Skateparks take time to digest. There are a lot of moving parts. So when you first go to one, look around.

Scan the park and observe how other people are using it; where people begin and end different obstacles; how people engage one another; and where people sit down when they take breaks.

✅  Get in Line

As we covered earlier, no one likes a snake. So to avoid causing trouble for your fellow riders, be sure to first look for the flow of riders already taking on the course. Then, take your turn after the last person in line.

✅  Ask Questions

Sure, you don’t want to look like a total newb if it’s at all avoidable. But hey, if you’re new to something, there’s no shame in getting more knowledge about what’s proper and what’s not.

So, before assuming something’s okay, just ask other people who might be affected by whatever you’re going to do.

When you’re hopping in line and considering using wax to grind a rail or ledge, for example, asking questions is extremely important. It ensures all parties are aware which helps them plan accordingly.

You never want to be the reason someone gets hurt. So, always ask “Who’s the last person in line?” and “Is it cool if I wax that ledge?” before you just go ahead and do it.

✅  Be Friendly

Riding at a skatepark can sometimes feel like working out at a gym. Some people may say what’s up and converse for a bit, but many people keep to themselves and listen to their music.

Being friendly encourages a healthy environment for all participating parties so do your best to socialize and be kind to people.

Having people who cheer you on and are happy to see you will make your time there an all-around better event. And, if not obvious, having a happier mindset helps with learning new tricks.

Don’ts

🚫  Don’t Practice Tricks in the Way Obstacles

If you see people are riding a certain path on an obstacle, or planning on jumping a flight of stairs, don’t practice your tricks there. Instead, find some flat ground somewhere else and practice over there. This way you’re not blocking traffic and being a hazard to anyone.

🚫  Don’t Sit on Obstacles or the Coping

Once again, you don’t want to be a hazard or a hassle to other people. Sitting on obstacles blocks their path and can lead to them hitting you or hurting themselves. If you need to sit, find a place on the side that’s out of the way of other skaters. Most skateparks have benches or standing areas so this shouldn’t be hard.

Also, don’t dilly dally on the coping. The coping refers to the metal pipe that covers the ledge of the bowl. Skaters ready themselves near the coping before dropping in, as well as grind it or pass it while maneuvering through the bowl. By hanging your board off the coping while others are riding, you run the risk of injuring them. So, don’t do it.

🚫  Don’t Litter or Leave Your Personal Items Lying Around

Both of these should be a given. You don’t want to litter because you don’t want to trash up the park which can bring down its overall image and feel and create unnecessary obstacles people should not have to deal with.

And, you don’t want to leave your personal items lying around because people can easily crush them accidentally. And at that point, who’s fault is it? More than likely, the person who decided to put their phone on the ledge where people grind all the time.

And finally:

🚫  Don’t Show People Up

If you see someone practicing a trick and they’re having trouble landing it or just failed, don’t be the person who goes right after them and lands the trick right in their face. It’s discouraging and disrupts the feng shui of the environment.

If you know other tricks, try those. If you don’t, it’s a great conversation starter to let the other person know that you’re also practicing that trick. It’s also a great opportunity to give someone some encouragement which helps with making friends.

There are several other rules of engagement and some parks may have their own that you’ll have to pick up on when you visit them, but these here give you a basis of how to operate at a skatepark.

For more information on skatepark etiquette, check out this video here.

3) Bring Protective Gear

If you’re new to skating at a skatepark, you should definitely consider wearing protective gear. We’re talking full-on protection: a helmet, wrist guards, knee pads, elbow pads, and the right shoes.

Your health is a top priority. Be safe rather than sorry as you learn the flow of the skatepark.

Consider decreasing the amount of protective gear you wear as your skills and confidence improve.

If you’re looking for quality protective gear, here’s a list of products worth checking out.

Helmet

JBM Skateboard Helmet

Wrist Guard, Knee Pads, & Elbow Pads

JBM Adult/Child Knee Pads Elbow Pads Wrist Guards 3 in 1 

Shoes

DC Men’s Court Graffik

4) Get to the Park Early

Not only does the early bird get the worm, but they also get the skatepark to themselves often.

If you’re looking to practice without having to worry about other people disrupting your rhythm, get to the skatepark before other people show up.

5) Bounce Back

Falling is a natural part of skating. Even so, when you’re at a skatepark, it’s important to do your best to bounce back up as soon as you can.

Staying on the floor too long prolongs you in danger from other riders; and their danger from you.

So although it may hurt, or although it may feel embarrassing, when you fall do your best to get up ASAP.

6) Get the Right Tools for the Right Job

Depending on what kind of skating you plan on doing the most, you’ll want to have the right skateboard set up to meet the needs of the task.

Vert Skating

Vert skating, for example, is best done with wider boards. Although it’s commonly associated with large ramps, vert skating is simply a style of skating where the rider transitions from a horizontal plane to a vertical one. Like going from the flat part of the middle of an empty swimming pool to the top part of it near the coping: that’s vert skating.

Wide boards help with stability and give your feet more room to land on. This will help you keep your balance and improve your board control while you skate. It depends on your shoe size and preference, but for many people, you want to think 8.25”+ in terms of deck width.

High-sitting, loose trucks also help with bowl skating. These features help you turn more easily. And, although you won’t always need them, large wheels that are on the harder side are also helpful. They’ll roll longer which will help maintain speed more effectively. Think 56mm-60mm tall, with a durometer of 96a-100a.

This combination of parts ensures you’re as prepared as possible for the challenges of vert skating. What’s more, these components arm you to have the most fun while doing it.

Lewis Farley does an amazing job of explaining why vert set-ups require the materials they do.

If you’re looking for quality parts for vert skating, check out these suggestions below.

Deck

ICE DRAGON Canadian Maple Skateboard

Wheels

Spitfire Formula Skateboard Wheels

Trucks

Independent Stage 11 Skateboard trucks – Set of 2 (144(8.25″))

Bearings

Bones Reds Skateboard Bearings 8-Pack

Grip Tape

Mob Grip Perforated Black Griptape 

Street Skating

Street skating boards can be smaller than vert skating ones, though either choice is really a matter of preference.

Still, if at the skatepark you plan to do more street-style moves, like flip tricks and grinds, then picking a smaller, lighter board may be more beneficial.

Once again it depends on your size and preference, but for a general rule of thumb, a 7.75”+ board will suit most teens and adults.

Smaller wheels will be lighter as well, but they’ll also have lower top speeds. Depending on where you skate this could be beneficial or not.

All and all, consider what style you’d like to do the most and what set up will get you there the most efficient way.

Sometimes it’s having a board that’s more tailored to a specific style. Other times, it may be having an all-around board.

For suggestions of good street skating parts as well as one great all-around skateboard, check out these items below.

Deck

[CCS] Blank and Graphic Skateboard

Wheels

FREEDARE Skateboard Wheels

Trucks

Independent Stage 11 Skateboard trucks

Bearings

Bones Reds Skateboard Bearings 8-Pack

Grip Tape

Mob Grip Perforated Black Griptape 

All-Around Fully Complete Skateboard

Skatro – Pro Skateboard 

7) Practice at Home

The final tip on this list might seem a bit counterintuitive, but it’s helpful if you want to always be on your A-game.

Practicing at home with a grind rail or mini ramp can be a helpful way to polish your techniques when you can’t make it to the skatepark. It’s also a great way to practice before you make your first visit. Which can be reassuring to people who are shy to practice in front of people.

If you’re looking for equipment to practice with at home, here are a few products worth considering.

Ramp + Rail

Ten-Eighty

Rail

Madd Gear Grind Rail

Mini Ramp

Ramptech 3′ Tall x 4′ Wide Quarterpipe

Conclusion

Skateparks are an excellent way to take your skating to the next level and meet new people.

They do take some time to get an understanding of, but once you get the hang of them, they can be a lot of fun and broaden your scope of the sport.

If you’re looking to go to one soon, be sure to review this list to refresh or learn some major tips on how to perform at your best. But in short: be kind, be smart, wear protective gear, and don’t snake.

Seriously, don’t snake.

It takes time to be great. But with enough practice, you’ll get there.

Best of luck to you.

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HOWTO

A Guide to Picking the Right Skateboard Size

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.

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. 

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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