Basic Longboard How-Tos

How do I figure out if I am Goofy or Regular?

No matter what happens for your stance you should always go with what feels natural. Goofy and regular are determined by which foot is placed towards the front of the board. This actually has nothing to do with foot dominance. It is actually based off of eye dominance. The easiest way to determine which foot goes forward is to pretend you are looking down the barrel of a gun. The eye that stays open is the foot that leads on the board.

 How do I stop?

There are 3 simple ways to stop. By far the easiest way to stop your skate is to simply jump off of the front of the board and start running. Jumping off the front of the board ensures that it will stop behind you rather than shooting out away in front of you. The second and most common way of coming to a stop on your skateboard is to do what is known as foot breaking. Foot breaking is when you take your back foot off the board and drag it along the ground to slow yourself down. Although this seems like a death wish it is by far the most efficient way to come to a full stop. The only downside to foot breaking is that it wears down the soles of your shoes. The final and most advanced way of stopping is by sliding. Sliding is when you drift your board sideways to stop like a snowboarder. Sliding shaves off speed fast but also wears down your wheels. It is also a lot more challenging than the previous 2 methods of stopping.

How long will my wheels last?

The longevity of your wheels is dependent on a number of variables. Those are included but not limited to which type of wheels you are riding, what durometer they are, what size they are, what type of terrain you're riding on, if you're sliding or not, and several other aspects. If all you are doing is cruising then you have nothing to worry about. If cruising is your only objective then your wheels will last a really really long time. You can tell that your wheels have worn out when they start to chunk. Chunking is when bits and pieces start to fall off of your wheels. If you are sliding your wheels will die a lot quicker. The act of sliding your board shaves small amounts of urethane off of the wheel. The more you slide the faster they go. Depending on the wheel, some wheels might leave urethane lines on the road indicating that the wheel has been worn down. When sliding your wheels will begin to get smaller. You can tell that they are toast if they flat spot, cone, oval, or core. A flat spotted wheel is exactly as it sounds. You have slid in the same spot of the wheel so many times that part of the wheel has leveled out and become flat. This happens when sliding your board at a perfectly 90 degree angle to the hill. That way the wheels don't spin as you slide. This is usually very challenging to reverse but not impossible. Coning and Ovaling wheels happens in a similar manner as flat spotting. A cone or oval means that the wheel has taken the shape of a cone or oval. This is generally the result of only sliding one specific way. Finally you know that your wheels are done when you have cored them. The ultimate status symbol. You have slid your wheels so much that you can see the core. You have found out exactly how many licks it takes to get to the center of the tootsie pop. When any of those things happen it is time for new wheels.

Is there any maintenance required for up keeping a skateboard/longboard?

No real maintenance needed, just lots of fun. The only thing that you might need to worry about is if your board does not turn as much as you’d like it to or if it turns to much for your liking you would want to adjust the king pin nut on the trucks. That’s the big nut in the center of the hanger on the truck. The nut is easily adjusted with a skateboard tool or a standard socket. Its simple righty tighty lefty lousy. Tighter makes it more stable and more challenging to turn, while looser makes it more maneuverable. The other thing you need to worry about is water. You want to stay out of water as much as possible. Puddles are fine but you definitely do not want to ride in the rain. It WILL rust your bearings which ceases your wheels from spinning.

 How do I clean/maintain my bearings?

Keeping your bearings clean is a good way to make them last longer and stay fast for a longer period of time. A standard speed cleaning involves simply lubing your bearings and you are good to go. To do this you need to remove the bearings from the wheels. This can be done by removing the nut on the axel that holds the wheel on then twisting the bearings out of the wheels with help from the hanger. Once the bearings are removed you want to take of the shield of the bearings. This is done by taking a razor blade and putting it in-between the outer metal ring of the bearing and the center plastic shield, then popping out the shield. Note some bearings are sealed and do not have the option of removing the shields. Once the shield is removed you need to put one drop of lubrication in each of the 8 bearings. Suggested lube is something nylon or Teflon based. We recommend Bones Speed Cream. DO NOT USE WD-40. WD-40 will suck out all the oxygen of the bearing and then it won't spin at all. If you have been riding through a bunch of rain and water a more trough clean is in order. Do the same process of removing the bearing and shields then soak the bearings in an acidic solution? We recommend Sonic Turbo Wash. This takes out all dirt grime and anything unnecessary from the bearing. Kind of like a factory reset. Once they have soaked for an hour dry them off and lube them up again with Bones Speed Cream. Again only 1 or 2 drops per bearing. If the bearing is over lubed it will attracted more dust and dirt instantly and you will have to start the cleaning process over again.

 My board shoots off to one side or the other when I'm not standing on it?

If you kick your board and you experience that it veers off to one side or the other when you are not standing on it do not fear, this is a completely normal occurrence. When stepping off of your board it is impossible to keep your weight centered to one side or the other so the board will shoot to the side that you last stepped off on. Once standing on your board your weight is distributed equally over the standing platform so the board will maneuver exactly the way you command it to.

 My board creaks or pops when I turn?

If your board creaks or pops in the turns that is nothing to fear. This is a natural occurrence done by the trucks. What has happened is that your pivot cup has dried up. The pivot cup is located where the hanger meets the base plate. If you unscrew the big king nut in the center of the truck all the way you can separate the hanger from the base plate. The small rubber socket where the hanger meets the baseplate is known as the pivot cup. To fix this issue you can do a few things. A cheap temporary fix would be to use soap shavings or drier sheets. A more permanent fix would be to lubricate the pivot cup. This can be done with Bones Speed Cream. None of these fixes will stay forever but they help the issue.

 How do I slide?

The easiest way to learn how to slide is to carve from side to side as hard as possible. Pretty soon your board will start to break loose and slide just a little under your feet. Once you get used to the board moving underneath you can attempt to slide a little bit bigger. A quick way to learn is to get low on your board, grab the rail closest to your toes with your back hand and place your front hand on the ground behind you. Then kick out your back leg and turn your upper body. The board should rotate 180 degrees underneath you. Continue doing this until you get comfortable enough to do it without using your hands for assistance. Using slide gloves can really help this learning process and it keeps your hands safe. To learn the standup no hands slides you want to get more speed and kick out your feet hard. Lean back as far as you can and push your back foot out as hard as you can. That should drift the board sideways. Continue until it becomes second nature.

 Why should I buy a more expensive bearing?

Bearings are all made out of different materials and they all use different kinds of lubrication. As you get into the higher end bearings the material changes from steel and plastic to ceramic. The ceramic bearings will be the fastest and they last the longest. Ceramic just tends to have less friction than steel and it keeps out more dirt. Another benefit for the higher end bearings is some of the like the Bones Super Swiss 6 bearings have 6 individual ball bearings rather than the standard 7. With less ball bearings there is less friction. The balls are also slightly larger so they spin a bit faster. In general the more money you spend the longer the bearing will last and the faster it will roll.