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Friday, March 21, 2014

How to Set Up a New Skateboard | Deck, Trucks, Bearings and Wheels

Few things are as fun as setting up a new skateboard.

Of course, you can always have your new skateboard set up for you at your local shop, but there are a number of benefits that come with doing it yourself. These include:
  • A familiarity with each of the components.
  • The option to pick and choose between individual components.
  • The ability to fine-tune each component as you see fit.

skateboard trucks
Below are a few tips on how you can assemble your new skateboard deck without breaking a sweat.
1. Gather All Your Components

A skateboard is made up of a number of individual components. These include a deck and griptape (beginners will want to have their local shop grip their deck for them or check out this helpful griptape installation video), two trucks with hardware (consisting of four screws/bolts and four nuts per truck), four wheels (need to all be the same), and eight bearings (two for each wheel).

You will also need an adjustable wrench and a phillips screwdriver. Another option is a skate tool which is perfectly sized to all the nuts, bolts, and screws on a skateboard.

2. Mount the Trucks

The first step to setting up a fresh skateboard is mounting the trucks. If you have a brand new deck, you will need to poke through the screw holes to pop out the grip tape.

Put all eight of your hardware screws into the screw holes. Flip the board over so that the bottom is facing up. Slide each of the two trucks onto the screws through the baseplate. The kingpin and bushing on each truck needs to be facing inwards. Attach the hardware nuts to the screws. Fasten each of the eight nuts to the screws securely.

3. Install Your Bearings

The toughest part of assembling a new skateboard is installing the bearings into the wheels. It takes a little “oomph.” Flip your board onto its side. Slide a bearing onto one of the truck’s axles (it should now be sticking up). Carefully place a wheel on top of the bearing and apply overhead pressure. Press the bearing so that it goes into the socket of your wheel. When it slides into place, flip the wheel over and repeat the process for the other socket. Repeat the process for each of your skateboard’s four wheels.
4. Attach Your Wheels to the Trucks

Now that your wheels are set up with two bearings each, you can attach the wheels to your trucks. Set the board on its side again. Skateboard trucks come with two axle washers for each wheel. These need to go on either side of the wheel once installed to help make the ride smoother. On each axle, simply slide on a washer, slide on a wheel, slide on another washer, and securely tighten the locknut. Don’t attached the wheels too tight but also don’t leave too much wobble.

You have just set up a brand new skateboarding deck! Now comes the fun part: getting outside to shred. But remember, what good is a new setup if you’re just going to throw it in a closet? I personally like to use a skateboard rack at home to keep my board from getting banged around (and to show it off!).

If you have any questions or additional skateboard assembly tips, we’d love to hear from you in the comments below!