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All The Parts Needed To Build A Longboard

Longboard Deck

A piece of wood designed for longboarding. Decks are generally several pieces of wood sandwiched together. The more pieces of wood used the stiffer and stronger the deck could be. Decks also come in several lengths and shapes all used for different and specific purposes.

Longboard Trucks

Cast iron pieces of metal that go on the both ends of the bottom of the deck. Trucks are the turning mechanisms of the longboard or skateboard. Trucks consist of two parts; The base plate which is the part that gets screwed to the deck and the hanger.

The hanger has the axels on it. The axels are where the wheels go on the board. The hanger is attached to the baseplate via the king pin and a set of bushings. There are several styles of trucks but in general they are divided into SKP (Standard King Pin) also known as Skateboard Trucks and RKP (Reverse King Pin) also known as Longboard Trucks. There are several different lengths of trucks which you should match to the width of your skateboard or longboard. Most longboards take a 180mm RKP truck size and Most skateboards take a 149mm SKP truck size.

Longboard Wheels

All longboard and skateboard wheels are made out of a substance called urethane. Wheels are generally round and come in several different shapes and sizes made for different boards and purposes.

The size of wheel that you can fit on your skateboard is determined by the wheel clearance or the distance between the axel of the truck from the deck. SKP trucks for skateboards are very low in general so they have a small amount of wheel clearance which results in a smaller wheel. For skateboards the general wheel size ranges from 50mm-60mm. The wheel sizes are the diameter of the wheel.

For longboards there are several different shapes which allow for several different sizes of wheels. Longboard wheels range from 60mm-103mm. The average size of longboard wheel and the size that most all longboards will be compatible with is 70mm. Along with the size of the wheel the hardness of the wheel is also important. Wheel hardness is measured in durometers.

The durometer is the number on the wheel that is generally followed by the letter “a”. There is a huge range of durometers anywhere from 75a-100a. The lower the number the softer the wheel and the higher the number the harder the wheel. Soft wheel provide for a more comfortable ride which is ideal for cruising and commuting. Soft wheels also provide for more grip to the road when going downhill. Harder wheels in general spin faster and last longer but are more easily stopped by small rocks and cracks in the road, they also provide for a less comfortable ride as they will increase the vibrations of the road. Hard wheels are mainly used on skateboards because they are ideal for the smooth surface of the skate park and when sliding along a ledge or rail they will not grip the ledge or rail rather they will slide along it preventing hang ups.

A good longboard wheel is usually 78a-83a and a good skateboard wheel is usually 95a-100a.

Bearings

Ball bearings are small metal rings that go inside the wheels, one on each side, and they make the wheels spin. Ball bearings also have different sizes of diameters. The diameter of the outside is always a standard size that will work with any skateboard, longboard, or rollerblade. The diameter of the inside varies slightly. For nearly every single skateboard trucks, longboard truck, and rollerblade axel the standard size is 8mm. The number of trucks and axels that take a different size bearing is miniscule.

There are however different styles of bearings. They can be broken in to two categories “built in” and “standard” bearings. Built in bearings are bearings that have bearing spacers and speed rings built in to them. Bearing spacers are spacers that go in-between both bearings on the inside of the wheel. They are used to lock the bearings closer together allowing you to tighten the nut on the truck a bit tighter than you usually do. That process is beneficial to maximize speed, it is also helpful when sliding. Bearing spacers can also be added to standard bearings. Speed rings are small washers that go on either side of the outside of the bearings. Speed rings reduce friction to the bearings, they are very helpful so that nothing over heats and explodes. KABOOM! Speed rings come standard with every truck. Built in bearings have both bearing spaces and speed rings already built in that also allows you to tighten down the nut and lock the bearings together as tightly as possible.

Bushings

Bushings are the rubber pieces within the trucks. They come in pairs and are made out of the same thing that wheels are, urethane. Bushings, a lot like wheels, come in multiple durometers (hardnesses). The scale ranges from 80a-99a. Most of the trucks come with a stock 90a or 88a bushing. The bushing is resistance of the truck. It allows your trucks to either be more maneuverable and easier to turn or they can make your trucks more stable and harder to turn. Bushings can either be done by weight or personal preference. Lighter people will rider softer bushings or if you want your trucks to turn more than a softer bushing is a way to go. Heavier people need harder bushings, likewise when going downhill a harder bushing is more stable and will help to prevent speed wobbles.

Riser

A small piece of plastic used to sit your trucks higher off of the deck providing with more wheel clearance. More wheel clearance allows for larger wheels. 

Hardware

Hardware are the nuts and bolts that hold the trucks to the board. There are different lengths nuts and bolts depending on how thick the board is and whether or not you are using a riser.

Grip Tape

Looks a lot like sandpaper. Grip tape is the black stuff on the top of the board that keeps your feet stuck to the board. There are different types of grip tape that have different amounts of grit. The heavier grip tapes will keep your feet on the board no matter what. Grip tape options like Vicious Grip will keep your feet on the board no matter what. That is ideal for Downhill. The standard Mini Logo Grip Tape is good for all riders and the colored Blood Orange Grip is a happy medium between the two.

That's it! Start shoping for a custom longboard today.