Skateboard Construction

Skateboard construction has come a long way since the first skateboard came onto the market in 1958. What may look like a piece of wood on wheels is actually quite a complexed process. Skateboards come in many shapes and sizes and are constructed out of a range of different materials.

A skateboard consists of 5 main components: Deck, Grip Tape, Trucks, Wheels and Wheel Bearings.

1. Deck

- The most common material you will find in a deck is 7-ply maple. Other materials you may find include resin, Kevlar, fiberglass, bamboo, carbon fiber, aluminum and some plastics. These additional materials offer the deck more rigidity.
- average deck size is 8 inches wide and anywhere from 29 inches to 33 inches long. A wider deck is usually an advantage if you like performing tricks on your skateboard.
- longer decks (longboards) do not have a back-end and are great if you are skating long distances or heading downhill.
- a deck often has a raised kick tail (or back-end).

2. Grip Tape

- Grip Tape is exactly what the name suggests - A tape that is applied to the top of the deck to give the rider's feet grip. It traditionally feels just like sandpaper.

3. Trucks

- You will find 2 trucks on your skateboard, attached on the underside of the deck. The truck is what you attach the wheels to (2 wheels per truck), usually with alloy nuts and bolts.

4. Wheels

- Wheels can be made of plastic or rubber. a good quality wheel is made of urethane.
- They come in a variety of sizes and the choice depends on what you intend doing on your skateboard. If you like doing tricks on your skateboard, then smaller wheels are often the better way to go.

5. Wheel Bearings

- standard size is 608.
- standard construction is steel, although you will find bearings made of silicon nitrate. 
- a good wheel bearing is rated ABEC 5 or better.

So that's what goes into making a skateboard. These are the things you should know about your skateboard or the one you intend to purchase. A little bit of time doing the research into good skateboard construction will ensure you buy a quality skateboard (not a lemon) that will suit your individual needs.

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