Skateboarding is more than just a sport; it’s a lifestyle. Whether you are a seasoned pro or just starting out, your skateboard truly is your trusty companion and will carry you through countless adventures. Proper maintenance is crucial in order to care for your trusty companion and keep it performing at its best.
You can keep your skateboard in good shape through regular cleaning, wheel maintenance, truck and bushing care, deck inspection, and safety checks. Proper maintenance enhances your skateboard’s performance and extends its lifespan, thus ensuring a long-lasting and enjoyable skateboarding experience.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take you through the essentials of skateboard maintenance to ensure your setup stays in top shape. Roll up those sleeves and let’s get to work!
1. Regular Cleaning
The first step in skateboard maintenance is keeping it clean. Skateboards pick up dirt, debris, and grime from the streets and skateparks, which can affect performance over time.
Here’s what you need to get started: A soft-bristle brush, a cloth or rag, a mild soap (such as Dawn dish detergent), and water.
- Remove the wheels: Use a skate tool or wrench to loosen the bolts holding the wheels in place. Then remove the wheels carefully and set them aside.
- Clean the grip tape: Use the soft-bristle brush to remove dirt and debris from the grip tape. For stubborn stains or grip tape that’s lost its grip, lightly scrub it with a mixture of mild soap and water.
- Wipe down the deck: Dampen a cloth or rag with the mild soap and water mixture and wipe down the deck to remove any remaining dirt. Be sure not to soak the deck; a damp cloth is sufficient here.
- Dry and reassemble: Allow all components to dry thoroughly before reassembling your skateboard. Make sure the grip tape is completely dry. Allowing the components to dry avoids warping and maintains grip. It also prevents rust and enhances your skateboard’s durability.
2. Wheel Maintenance
The wheels are a critical component of your skateboard, as they determine your ride’s smoothness and speed. Proper wheel maintenance is essential to keep your setup in pristine shape.
To get started on this you will need: A skate tool, lubricant (optional), and skateboard bearings.
- Check for wear: Inspect your wheels for signs of wear and tear. If they are unevenly worn or have flat spots then it’s time to replace them.
- Clean your bearings: Remove the wheels from the trucks and use a skate tool to pop out the bearings. Clean them using a bearing cleaner or a suitable solvent. Once they are clean, allow them to dry completely.
- Lubricate (optional): If you want to increase the lifespan of your bearings and maintain their performance, consider lubricating them with skateboard-specific bearing oil.
- Reassemble: Once the bearings are dry and lubricated (if desired), reassemble your wheels and attach them to the trucks securely.
“Rotate wheels about once a month. Clean bearings when they don’t spin well anymore. If all your wheels spin for at least 10 seconds, then everything is most likely fine.” Source
3. Trucks and Bushings
Trucks are the metal components that connect your wheels to your skateboard deck. Proper maintenance of your trucks and bushings ensures your board’s stability and maneuverability.
For this piece you will need the following: A skate tool and a bushing replacement kit (if necessary).
- Check the tightness: Use your skate tool to ensure that the trucks are properly tightened. Adjust them to your preference, but make sure they are not too loose or too tight.
- Inspect the bushings: Bushings are the rubbery parts that sit between the trucks’ components. Check for any signs of wear or damage. If your bushings are old or damaged, consider replacing them with a new bushing kit.
- Replace bushings (if needed): To replace bushings, remove the trucks from the deck and disassemble them. Remove the old bushings and replace them with new ones according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Reassemble: Once the bushings are replaced (if necessary), reassemble the trucks and attach them securely to the skateboard deck.
4. Deck Inspection and Repair
Your skateboard deck is the heart of your setup. Regularly inspecting and repairing it will extend its lifespan and ensure your safety while riding.
When you’re ready to get started on this make sure you have the following items: A skate tool, skateboard deck repair kit (optional), and clear nail polish (for minor cracks).
- Check for cracks: Examine your skateboard deck for cracks, chips, or delamination. Minor cracks can often be repaired with clear nail polish to prevent them from spreading.
- Repair minor cracks: Apply a thin layer of clear nail polish over the cracked area and allow it to dry thoroughly. This will help prevent further damage.
- Replace the deck (if needed): If your deck has significant damage or is severely delaminated, it’s time to replace it. Choose a new deck that suits your riding style and preferences.
- Transfer components: Carefully transfer all the components from the old deck to the new one, including trucks, wheels, and grip tape.
5. Safety Check
Before hitting the streets or skatepark, perform a safety check to ensure that everything is in order:
- Ensure that all bolts and nuts are tightened properly.
- Check that the grip tape is still secure and provides adequate grip.
- Test the trucks’ tightness and responsiveness to your liking.
- Make sure the wheels are free of debris and spin smoothly.
- Verify that the deck is free of cracks or significant damage.
By following these steps, you’ll not only keep your skateboard setup in top shape but also ensure your safety while riding.
Skateboarding is a thrilling and liberating activity, but it’s essential to maintain your setup to ensure safety and longevity. Regular cleaning, wheel maintenance, truck and bushing care, deck inspection and repair, and a thorough safety check are all part of good and necessary skateboard maintenance.
Remember that proper maintenance not only enhances the performance of your skateboard but also extends its lifespan which will ultimately save you money in the long run. So, roll out there, keep shredding, and enjoy the journey on your well-maintained skateboard setup!