Ever since the start of skateboards in the 50s, the sport has seen spikes in popularity and drops. It has been an adventurous journey. Keeping honest with the statistics, skateboards are again making a comeback. This time stronger than ever.
Many people are looking to buy new skateboards, but before they do, they want to know about skateboards and their parts in depth. Some are interested in assembling a skateboard from scratch. On the other hand, others look to buy and modify each part to meet their demands.
In this article, I will give a detailed description of the skateboard’s different parts, functions, importance, etc. You will get to know the complete anatomy of skateboard.
A Brief History of Skateboards
Skateboarding started in the 50s in California. It was initially referred to as ‘sidewalk surfing’ as surfers wanted a sport during the low waves. However, it didn’t become popular until much later on. The first few skateboards were wooden with old wooden or metal wheels and weren’t suitable for every terrain.
They were cranky and hard to control. Fortunately, everything changed when skateboarding gained enough popularity for it to be commercially produced. Commercial production started as early as 1959. But the real game changer was the use of urethane wheels that allowed for greater mobility and flexibility.
Since then, the popularity of skateboards has increased and fallen. Recently there has been a resurgence of skateboards due to social media, the Olympics, girls getting into it, etc. It’s already a multi-billion-dollar industry. However, the industry is expected to be worth $2.4 billion by 2025 (PRNewswire).
What Is A Skateboard?
Skateboards are sports equipment made of maple wood for skateboarding. However, skateboards are a general term now used to describe different types of boards. There are many, like penny skateboards, popsicle skateboards, longboards, etc. Standard skateboards range from 28 to 32 inches in size.
Popsicle skateboards are the most common, as they accounted for 50.7% of all skateboard sales revenue in 2018 (Grandviewresearch). Additionally, they are safe for general use, tricks, and flips.
What Are The Main Parts Of A Skateboard?
Skateboards consist of three primary parts:
Each of these skateboard parts is again composed of smaller parts. So why are you waiting for? Let’s check them in detail one by one.
1st part: The Deck
A deck is a wooden platform on which the skateboarders stand. These come with different artistic designs, different build materials, and different shapes. Some shapes are narrow and wide. Each board is meant for different kinds of skating.
Wider ones are better in terms of stability. The narrow ones are better for tricks and flips. Each deck provides its advantages and disadvantages. Decks have two parts, Bolts, and Grip Tape. They are discussed below.
These are typical hex bolts that keep the deck attached to the trucks. In total, 8 bolts are used to keep the deck attached to the truck. You will find two sets of 4 holes for the 8 bolts.
2. Grip Tape
Grip tape is a sandpaper-based sheet used to cover your deck. They are attached to the deck by adhesives. Thanks to this, you will get enough friction to grip the deck. Your shoes won’t slide around your deck, and you will be safer during skateboarding.
2nd park: The Truck
Trucks are the most important and complex parts of a skateboard. They are made of steel and usually last long. Its main goal is to maintain the wheels while rolling. This allows the skateboarder to turn, get into the air, flip, etc.
They also carry the weight of the skateboarder when standing on the deck. As they are complicated, they are also made of lots of parts. They are Axles, Baseplate, Bushings, Hanger, Kingpin, Riser, and Shock pad. Their functionalities are given below-
Axles link the two wheels on each truck and hold them by an axle nut. It is also known as a hanger shaft.
The baseplate is the solid base metal plate composed of 4 to 6 drilled holes for the tools to come in. It is attached to the board.
Bushings are small rubber cups that pivot when the skateboarder leans right or left. The two tracks each have two bushings. They are found in between the hanger and the baseplate.
Bushings are of two types; hard ones and soft ones. Soft ones are better for easier turns and light skaters. Hard and stiff bushings are better for heavy riders.
The T-shaped metal component located at the bottom of the truck is called a hanger. It takes all the damage and is the sturdiest part of a skateboard. Hangers are usually made of metal or an alloy of some kind. I suggest getting a normal hanger, but you can find more expensive alloys of the hanger, lighter and heavier ones.
A kingpin is a large bolt nut that controls the amount of pressure put on the bushing. It sticks out of the baseplate.
The riser is a rough plastic pad that elevates the height of the skateboard and helps avoid wheel bite. It is kept between the trucks and decks. You will notice the difference a riser makes if your skateboard doesn’t have one. However, if you get a huge riser, the skateboard will feel heavy.
7. Shock Pads
Shock pads are rubber pads. They also elevate your skateboard but not as much as the riser. However, their main goal is to provide cushion and comfort to your ride. It is one of the optional parts of a skateboard. I recommend you get them provided that you don’t have budget issues.
3rd park: The Wheels
The four circular revolving objects attached to the trucks are called wheels. Skateboard wheels are made of urethane as they are better for different terrains. They are responsible for spinning and rolling. Like decks, you will also find different kinds of wheels.
Wheels are judged by their hardness, softness, and size. Harder wheels are better for roads, while softer wheels are better for rough terrains.
Similarly, smaller ones are better on roads as they are slow. Whereas large ones are good for speed.
Nevertheless, different wheels are better for different kinds of skateboarding. Wheels have three parts. They are Axle nuts, Bearings, and Washers. Here’s what you need to know about them;
1. Axle Nuts
Skateboard wheels come with 4 axle nuts that keep the wheel in its place. They also help the wheel be in place during rolling.
Every skateboard wheel comes with two bearings. They look like rings and allow the wheels to spin easily on the axle. You will find 8 bearings with two on each of the wheels. Precision bearings are the most common bearings out there.
They mainly help absorb the heat generated by the friction of a spinning wheel.
You will find two small circular objects in between the hanger’s inner bearings and between the nuts on the axle. These are called washers.
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FAQs Regarding Anatomy of Skateboard
It’s normal to have some questions on your mind after going through all of that information on skateboard anatomy at once. Here, I will try to answer some of the most frequently asked questions you guys might have.
Q. What are the 4 parts of a skateboard?
Answer: The main 4 parts of a skateboard are the truck, wheels, bearings, and deck.
Q. What is the most important part of a skateboard?
Answer: It’s a relative question, and the answer purely depends on your preferences. There isn’t one “most important” part of a skateboard. Nevertheless, it is said that wheels and trucks are the most important part of a wheel.
Q. How do you identify the nose and tail of a skateboard?
Answer: The nose is the front part, and the tail is the back part of a skateboard. In most cases, the nose is long and has a steeper angle compared to the tail.
Q. What are the front and back of a skateboard?
Answer: Typically, the nose is called the front of the skateboard, while the tail is called the back of the skateboard. Most of the newer skateboards have almost identical front and back. So, it’s hard to distinguish between them at first sight. But if you look closely, you can find the differences like the steeper and longer angle.
Q. Which Way Do Trucks Go on a Skateboard?
The short answer is that they’re supposed to point inward, but the longer answer has a lot to do with how trucks work. Trucks are pieces of metal that keep the underside components of a skateboard steady, so they’re easier to control.
The truck’s t-shape allows everything to be held in place and makes it less difficult to maneuver the top of the board back and forth, so turning is less precarious.
It’s important that a truck faces inward because that means it’s more sensitive to the user’s movement and more affected by body weight.
I believe knowledge of any task presupposes the learning of the task itself. It’s important to know about the parts of different skateboards because it will allow you to purchase a good skateboard. One that will last you for a long time and leave you satisfied. I suggest acquiring as much knowledge from the above discussion as possible.
I hope you guys were able to learn about the anatomy of skateboard. Moreover, I hope you were able to implement what you learned. If you got yourself a skateboard that you are happy with, then I am pleased, and for those who didn’t, there’s always the next time.