Learning about the different parts of a skateboard is almost as important as learning how to ride. When you know about each part, you’ll be able to take better care of your board, and make better decisions regarding purchasing parts. Besides a deck and wheels, skateboards consist of: bearings, trucks, hardware, and grip tape.
The deck is the actual part that you would stand on. It’s made of compressed wood (some more expensive models can be made of maple, etc). The width is about 8 inches or so, with the length being between 30 and 35 inches. Size will vary depending on your preference and the type of skating you do (street or vert). There are hundreds, if not thousands of different graphical designs you can choose to adorn your deck. Top deck companies include: Element, Powell, Toy Machine, Birdhouse, and Alien Workshop. Try choosing a design that will show off your personality and style.
The skateboard truck attaches to the bottom of the skateboard deck. Bushings, kingpins, baseplates, hangers and axles make up the trucks. You can buy these in tons of different colors, and you have a choice of titanium or aluminum. Look for skateboard trucks from Phantom Trucks, Thunder Trucks, Tensor Trucks, or other well known brands.
Skateboard wheels are plastic urethane and can be hard or soft. Softer wheels are preferred by vert skaters, and hard wheels are favored by street style skaters. Wheels can come in small or large sizes, depending on the type of performance you are after. Smaller wheels are best for extreme “tricking”, and the larger wheels are good for beginners needing more stability while riding. Beginning riders might also consider using wheels that a bit wider than normal, to create even more stability.
Grip tape is placed on the top of the deck to provide traction (or grip). You can buy grip tape in several different colors to match your deck and/or trucks. Try not to buy the cheapest grip tape, a few dollars more will provide you with tape that sticks to your deck without peeling up.
Skateboard hardware is simply the nuts and bolts used to secure the skateboard trucks to the deck. As with all other parts that make up a skateboard, you can choose nearly any color you want to match the rest of the parts.
Knowing all the parts that make up a skateboard will allow you to know exactly what to purchase if you need to make repairs, or keep up with general maintenance. Another benefit of skateboard parts knowledge is the fact that you could probably build your own board! Even someone who just started skateboarding can benefit from building their own board. What better way to ensure that you’re riding on quality material?