Skateboarding is not just a sport; it’s a way of life for many. Whether you’re a seasoned skater or just starting to learn the ropes, you know that skateboards can take a beating. From landing tricks and mastering new moves to navigating rough terrain, your trusty deck can endure quite a bit of wear and tear.
DIY skateboard repairs can resolve common issues, save you money, and keep your board in optimal condition. From dealing with worn-out grip tape to fixing impaired trucks to bearing maintenance to repairing cracks in the deck, DIY repairs empower skaters to ensure the longevity of their boards.
By learning how to tackle these common issues, you can enhance your skating experience and maintain a safe and well-functioning skateboard. In this guide, we’ll explore 10 common skateboard issues and how to fix them on your own.
1. Worn-Out Grip Tape
Over time, your grip tape can become worn thus making it less effective at providing the grip you need for tricks and maneuvers. To fix this issue, you’ll need a new sheet of grip tape, a utility knife, and a hairdryer.
- Prep the old grip tape: This can be done by heating it with a hairdryer to soften the adhesive.
- Remove the old grip tape: Gently peel off the old grip tape with your fingers, or use a utility knife.
- Clean the deck: Clean any remaining adhesive residue from the deck.
- Apply new grip tape: Carefully apply the new grip tape and make sure it’s smooth and bubble-free.
- Trim extra grip tape: Trim the excess grip tape with the utility knife by carefully following the edge of the deck.
2. Loose or Broken Trucks
Your skateboard’s trucks are crucial for steering and stability. Loose or broken trucks can lead to wobbly rides and potential accidents. To address this issue, you’ll need a skate tool, replacement parts (if necessary), and a wrench.
- Inspect the trucks: Look for loose or damaged parts.
- Replace parts: If any parts are broken, replace them with new ones.
- Tighten the trucks: Use the skate tool to adjust the tightness of the trucks.
- Check the tightness: Make sure the trucks are equally tightened to maintain balance and stability.
Want to know more about fine-tuning your skateboard trucks? Check out our comprehensive guide.
3. Damaged Wheels
Wheels take a beating from rolling over various surfaces. They can become worn, flat-spotted, or cracked. To address damaged wheels, you’ll need replacement wheels and a skate tool.
- Remove the wheels: Remove the damaged wheels by using the skate tool.
- Install the new wheels: Make sure they are secure and evenly tightened.
- Dispose of the damaged wheels: Consider recycling them.
You can check out our detailed guide on cleaning, rotating, and replacing your wheels here.
4. Bearings Maintenance
Skateboard bearings can accumulate dirt and grime which can lead to reduced speed and performance. Regular maintenance can keep your bearings running smoothly.
- Remove the bearings: Remove the bearings from the wheels using a skate tool.
- Clean the bearings: This can be done by soaking them in a bearing cleaner solution or using a degreaser.
- Dry your bearings: Allow the bearings to dry completely.
- Lubricate (optional): Apply skateboard-specific bearing lubricant.
- Reassemble: Reassemble the bearings into the wheels and make sure the trucks are securely attached.
We go into a lot more detail about how you can clean and lubricate your bearings in this linked guide.
5. Deck Delamination
Deck delamination occurs when the layers of your skateboard deck start to separate. It’s crucial to address this issue promptly to prevent further damage.
- Sanding: Sand the delaminated area to remove any loose or raised layers.
- Apply glue: Apply skateboard-specific glue between the separated layers.
- Reassemble: Press the layers together and clamp them if necessary.
- Dry: Allow the glue to dry completely before using the skateboard.
6. Cracked or Chipped Deck
Cracks or chips in your skateboard deck can weaken its structure and compromise safety. You can repair minor damage using epoxy resin.
- Clean the area: Clean the damaged area to remove any dirt and debris.
- Apply epoxy resin: Apply it to the crack or chip and ensure it fills the damaged space.
- Clamp together: Use a clamp or heavy books to hold the cracked area together while the epoxy dries.
- Sand it: Sand the repaired area to make it smooth and even.
7. Tail and Nose Wear
The tail and nose of your skateboard can wear down with use. You can extend the life of your deck by adding tail and nose guards.
- Clean: Clean the tail and nose of your skateboard.
- Apply adhesive: Apply it to the tail and nose guards to protect these areas from further damage.
- Trim: Trim the guards to fit the shape of your skateboard deck.
8. Squeaky or Loose Bearings
Squeaky bearings can be annoying and can affect your ride quality. Tighten loose bearings and lubricate them to solve this issue.
- Check the bearings: Use a skate tool to check for loose bearings in the wheels.
- Tighten: Tighten any loose bearings.
- Lubricate: Apply bearing lubricant to ensure a smooth and silent ride.
9. Scratched Graphics
While not essential for performance, many skateboarders take pride in their deck’s graphics. You can repair minor scratches and blemishes to keep your board looking fresh.
- Clean the area: Clean the scratched area to remove dirt and debris.
- Touch up: Use a skateboard-specific paint marker to touch up the scratched graphics.
- Dry: Allow the paint to dry before using the skateboard.
10. Wheel Bite Prevention
Wheel bite occurs when your wheels come into contact with the deck, causing you to lose balance. To prevent wheel bite, you can use riser pads, which increase the distance between the wheels and deck.
- Remove the trucks: Remove the trucks from the deck using a skate tool.
- Install riser pads: Place riser pads between the deck and the trucks.
- Reassemble: Reassemble the trucks and make sure they are evenly tightened.
In conclusion, being able to perform DIY skateboard repairs can save you money and extend the life of your beloved board. It’s essential to regularly inspect your skateboard for wear and tear and address any issues promptly to ensure a safe and enjoyable skating experience. With the right tools, replacement parts, and a bit of know-how, you can keep your skateboard in tip-top shape. This will allow you to keep pushing your limits and master new tricks with confidence. Happy skating!