In order to find the best beginner skateboard for you, you’ve got to learn the basics first.
A skateboard is made up of different parts – each one’s role and performance spells the difference between good and not-so-good.
High-quality parts, in turn, make for the best beginner skateboards. So getting to know the parts of a board and how they work will give you the knowledge you’ll need to look for your beginner board.
Here are the essential parts of a typical skateboard:
The deck (or board) is usually made up of wood and comes in different sizes and shapes. While shape won’t matter so much, size is a game changer.
The length should be a good fit for the rider and the width should easily accommodate not just the rider’s feet but the things the skateboarder aims to do with the board. Riders with big feet should look for a wider deck.
The deck, however, has also some vital parts like the kicktail, plies and mounting holes. A kicktail has two parts, the tail and the nose, and forms the upward bent end of the board.
A kicktail is crucial in steering the board, doing some jumps and making some tricks possible like lifting the board or flipping it.
The plies (or layers of wood) are responsible for the strength of the deck – the more plies a board has, the more it can withstand the weight of the skateboarder.
It is also important in making a jump higher or preventing a break in the middle of the board.
Grip tape is found on the top surface of the board. It is a sheet that resembles sandpaper, which provides traction between the board and the rider’s feet.
It has an adhesive backing that can be peeled off the board and replaced when necessary.
The nuts and bolts that connect the truck to the board are often referred to collectively as “hardware”. They come in several sizes and colors, each with specific uses.
Trucks are the struts that connect the wheels to the board itself. They’re typically known as the “steerer” of the board. Trucks should be sturdy so they can withstand the tear and wear of using the skateboard.
Trucks themselves are made of components like the hanger, baseplate and bushings.
The hanger is the truck’s top part that is attached to the baseplate and holds the axle. It’s typically what bears the brunt of the stress when grinding.
The axle is the metal rod where the wheels are attached and are held in place by an axle nut.
The baseplate is the attached to the, board while bushings are situated under the hanger that allows wider turns when loose and limits the turning radius when tightened.
Your skating method will dictate the size and diameter of wheel you choose. The larger the wheel, the smoother and faster your ride; if you choose smaller wheels, you’ll feel the cracks and bumps of the road.
Softer wheels have good grip and are often best for cruising because it you’ll have a smoother ride. If you want to do some tricks, find yourself harder wheels with lesser traction, which makes it easier for sliding.
These are round steel balls that fit inside your wheel and are mounted on the axle. Bearings are responsible for the speed of your ride. The best bearings are those that allow faster turns.
There are some bearings that are graded ABEC 3 to 7 with 7 being the highest and 3 the lowest quality. The higher the ABEC rate, the faster the wheels will turn.
These are metal tubes that go in between your wheels. They make sure that he bearings are vertically aligned and evenly spaced. Spacers are, however, optional and are said not to affect the skateboard’s performance when not present.
Knowing the common parts of a skateboard is also important when you need to do maintenance or repairs.
Familiarity with these components will give you an understanding of how a skateboard functions and what affects its performance.