Pre-built or Custom?
Considering a skateboard? The first decision you will need to make is whether you want to get a board that is ready to go or construct your own custom ride. The former will be cheaper and quicker but may not be ideally suited for your purpose. A custom board will fit you perfectly but may be better suited to be your second board when you have a better idea of what you need and how you ride.
LoweRiders will be your first stop as a skateboarding beginner. In the shop you’ll be able to buy a skateboarding kit and get advice on what to buy and where to skate. It’s also a great place to meet the local skaters and find people to go skating with. Our shop is full of employees who’ve been skating for years who’ll be able to help you out. We can recommend which products you’ll need to get yourself started and introduce you into the world of the skateboarding.
Decks come in all shapes and sizes and are chosen depending on your size and your intended kind of skating. Boards that are between 7.5 and 8.0 inches wide are best suited for street riding as they’re smaller and easier to maneuver. Larger boards,over 8 inches, are generally used by vert riders and bigger riders as they are better balanced and more stable but due to their added size and weight they make more technical tricks more difficult.
Most decks have a defined nose and tail, depending on where that is where you will put your front and back foot while skating. Your deck will take a lot of punishment so it’s worth investing in a strong, well built deck.
Another important aspect of skateboard decks is something known as the concave. This is the curved shape of the board and is different on every single board. Some boards have very mellow concave and are essentially very flat, some have a very steep concave and are very curved. There’s no perfect shape so try out a few boards by standing on them and see which one feels most comfortable.
Trucks are the metal axles underneath the board that help you to turn. Trucks are available in varying widths and heights and can vary in turning ability.
Lower trucks will be better suited for street skating and be more stable, while higher trucks allow the use of larger wheels which will allow you to travel faster. One of the most important things about skateboard trucks is that you can tighten or loosen them to make them feel more comfortable while skating.
Modern skateboard wheels vary in two ways: size and hardness. Bigger wheels ride faster than small ones but are less suited to sharp turns. Softer wheels are better suited to cruising but are slower and will wear out faster.
Skateboard bearings, located inside your wheels, help your wheels spin and gain and maintain speed. Bearings are the smallest part of the board but they are also one of the most important. Bearings need to be maintained as their performance degrades if they’re not maintained so make sure to clean and lubricate them. You’ll soon notice if you’re bearings get damaged as the board will not run smoothly or quickly.
Skateboard hardware, also known as mounting hardware, is used to connect the skateboard trucks to the skateboard deck. It includes to the nuts, bolts, locknuts and screws used when building a skateboard.
Grip tape is a gritty, sandpaper-like material that is applied with adhesive to the top of the skateboard deck to provide traction. Grip tape allows the rider’s feet to grip the surface of the skateboard deck and helps the skater stay on the board while doing tricks. Grip tapes can be used to brighten a board, add texture and express your personal style.
A riser is a flat plastic pad that can be mounted between the skateboard truck and deck. Riser pads increase the space between the truck and deck, raising the board up so that you don’t experience wheel bite. Wheel bite occurs when the wheel touches the skateboard deck during a sharp turn and stops the wheel from rotating. Riser pads come is a variety of colors and thickness. Depending on your skateboarding style, riser pads can prolong the life of your skateboard deck by reducing the risk for stress cracks where the deck and the trucks meet.