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Assembling a Skateboard

In this guide we are going to show you the steps and tips to put together all the parts of your skateboard.

First of all, make sure that you have all the components and the tools you will need:

Skate’s Parts

  • Deck (1 unit)
  • Grip (1 unit)
  •  Trucks (2 units)
  •  Wheels (4 units)
  • Bolts (8 units)
  • Bearings (8 units)

Tools

  • Skate Tool. With a tool made in purpose for skates you will have all that you need to tighten bolts or nuts while setting up your skate.
  • Razor blade or box cutter.
  • Thin screwdriver
  • File (optional)
  • If you do not have a skate tool, you will need an Allan wrench bolts’ measurement or a screwdriver, depending on the kind of bolts you have.

Once you have ready all the parts and tools, it would be convenient to place it all on a table big enough to work neatly and then you can start following the steps in this order. 

Gripping The Deck

Gripping the deck could be the part that looks the most difficult first sight but, if you follow these instructions carefully, you shouldn’t have any problem.

Put the deck on the table with the nose and the tail rising up.

Then separate the sheet of paper from the grip tape. (Do not discard it yet, you will still use it).

Pick up both grip’s ends with your thumbs and index fingers, and guide yourself with your ring fingers to know where the deck is, to center the grip over the deck.

Once you are sure the grip is well placed, lay it down on the center of the deck and, once it is glued in the center, glue the rest from the center to the ends to avoid air bubbles.

When the grip is on the whole deck’s surface, take the paper sheet you have separated before and put it on the grip. Now you can use your hand to flatten the grip tape harmlessly. Always flat from the center to the ends, so if there is any bubble you can put it out.

Once that is done, you will round down the edges. The best way to do it is with a file, but if you don’t have one, you can use a screwdriver.

You just have to grind an outline of the board into the sheet of grip tape and you will create a visible line in the grip with the deck’s pattern.

Doing this, the edges will be perfectly glued and will also guide you to remove the scrap pieces of the grip.

The last step is to cut the grip.

Take the razor blade or box cutter and start cutting to the deck’s edge. From there, set the cutter 45 grades touching the wood and move it carefully all around the board.

If you find it easier, you can cut four times, near the tail and nose’s curve both sides, dividing the grip tape in four parts to cut off.

And then your grip tape is ready.

For a better finishing and to remove defects, you can take a small scrap piece of the grip and sand a little bit the edges with some pressure.

Finally, take a thin screwdriver and, on the other side of the board, poke through the eight screw holes in the deck to mark where the truck’s bolts will slip. If you do not have a screwdriver thin enough, you can also use a nail or a punch.

Mounting the Trucks

The trucks’ assembly has no complication. 

The only point to consider is their position. Trucks should be placed so that the kingpin and the bushings of each face inwards, toward the other.

To assemble them you just have to slip the bolts in from the top side of the deck.

Once you have slipped them all, turn the board down and place the trucks with the bolts into their holes.

When the trucks are placed with their bolts in, attach the nuts to the screws and fasten them all.

To tight the nuts you will need, in one side, the allen wrench or screwdriver (depending on your bolts’ kind) holding the bolt’s head so they won’t turn too... And on the other side, you will tight the nut.  You should tight them well, but not too much, because you could damage them.

Maybe you want to use risers or shock pads. These parts are completely optional, so their use is not required.

Risers are plastic pieces with the same measurement than the trucks bases. They are placed between the trucks and the deck, to raise the height of the trucks.

Shock pads are similar, but very thin, so they do not increase truck’s height, and they are made of rubber... their function is to absorb impacts suffered by the deck during tricks’ performs.

If you use risers or shock pads, it doesn’t mean any difference when assembling your skate. Just place them between the trucks and the deck and tight the nuts the same way. 

The only thing to consider is the length of the screws, because for more height you’ll need a longer screw.

Assembling the Bearings

Now you have to place two bearings inside each wheel.

To do this, there are several ways... but we are going to explain the easiest, to which you won’t need any tool.

As you have the trucks already mounted, you can set the board on its side, propped on the trucks’ ends with the other pair of ends looking up.

Withdraw the nuts and introduce a bearing within the truck.

Then put the wheel inside too, matching the hollow bearing on it, and press hard helping yourself with your own weight until it clicks.

Then introduce another bearing, turn the wheel and repeat the same.

Spacers can optionally be used between the bearings. If you want to use them, just place the first bearing and introduce the spacer before placing the second one, the rest it’s all the same.

Consider the position of the bearing if they have protective shields against dirt.

Many bearings have protective shields in the outside to protect the interior from dirt particles.

For bearings with two shields, the position doesn’t matter, but for those that have just one, it is important to place them with the shield in the outer face of the wheel both sides, since otherwise they would be completely ineffective.

If you need to take out the bearing from the wheel, the best way is putting the wheel into the truck and then go taking out it slowly until it have just with the bearing inside, and not the wheel. Then turn your hand 90 degrees hardly, using the trucks as a toggle, and the bearing will drop out of the wheel.

Attaching the Wheels to the Trucks

Once you have all four wheels with their bearings inside, you can put them in the trucks. 

Trucks have two axle washers per wheel.

To place the wheel, you should place the washer first, then the wheel and finally the second washer. Once everything is in its place, you can tight the nut.

The nuts must be tightened until you feel it becomes harder to do it and then make yourself sure that the wheel can turn freely.

If it does not, loose it up very slowly until it turns smoothly, but not with too much looseness.

In case you want to see the tutorial more visually, here you have a video of it.