SKATEBOARDS Complete Guide
Skating is one of the most popular sports that kids and even adults like to indulge in. It is a kind of recreational activity where the person would be travelling on a surface or ice using the skates. It can also be a form of transportation in some cases, but that is a rare thing or last thing on a person’s mind. Skating mostly focuses on lower body movement and it helps in building the muscles of lower leg, with the help of exercise by toning them up. It’s a complete body workout. Skating is an interesting and enjoyable game, which requires immense balance technique and the right technique to go ahead with it. The person who is doing the skating would be called as THE SKATER. Skating doesn’t require much equipment, just the skates or skateboard, helmet, elbow and knee pad and the will to ride the skates. A well trained skater is a delight to watch out for.
We must tell you, skateboarding is an action sports as it requires the skater to ride the skateboard and perform various tricks using it. It is most popular street sports. It requires the person to stand and balance himself on a small board mounted on wheels. It is also considered as an extreme sport as the all the tricks involve the movement of lower body along-with the skateboard. Skateboarding is a professional sport which includes range of events, like street style events and vertical events. You would find many enthusiasts for this sports. Vertical skating is also termed as Verts, features aerial acrobatic events. Whereas, in street style event, the participant have to perform the tricks in a real environment with stairs, ledges, rails and other obstacles. Skateboarding is a major hit among the youth as besides being a sports of its kind it surely gives creativity that youth like to be involved in.
A skateboard is a sports equipment which is used for skateboarding. They are specially designed consisting of a ply board and wheels. A skateboard is a narrow, and flat board with two small wheels under each end providing proper platform to the person who is standing on the skatesboard. There are some people who would use the skateboard for transportation but it is mostly used by people to perform stunts. The skateboard consists of three parts, namely, the deck, the truck and the wheels. Although it is noticed that all the skateboards have almost same shapes and characterstics but their dimensions vary slightly based on their use. The skateboards are built for speed, slalom and freestyle. Deck, is the actual board where the person stands and balances himself. It has a defined nose and tail and the deck is concave in the middle. Length of average deck is about 81.3cm and it 20.3cm wide with thickness to be less than 1.3cm. The truck is a component which usually is made of metal and holds the wheels to the deck. Skateboard wheels are usually made of polyurethane, having a width of about 1.3 to 1.5cm approximately. The design of skateboard ducks, trucks and wheel entirely depends upon the way the skateboard would be used. The angle of concavity differs in decks, and the shape of nose and tail also vary. Each deck contains its own design and the companies who manufacture the decks specially focuses on it’s signature style, their individual art designs and templates.
Skateboarding has variety of styles depending upon maneuvering , place of skating and on your own will. Here is the list of the few:
- Freestyle Skateboarding
- Street Skateboarding
- Vert Skateboarding
- Park Skateboarding
- Downhill Skateboarding
- Slalom Skateboarding
- Pool Skateboarding
- Big Air Skateboarding
- Parkour Skateboarding
CHOOSING THE SKATEBOARD
The selection of the right skateboard will be entirely the choice of the individual but few basic things should be kept in mind while a skateboard. Here are the few tips regarding the same.
Skateboard with deck width 6.5”-6.75”
Suitable for 5 years old or younger, height should be approximately 3’4”. and shoe size 3 or smaller
Skateboard with deck width 7”
Suitable for 6-8 years, 3’5” – 4’4” tall, with shoe size should be 7 or 8
Skateboard with deck width 7.5” – 8”
Suitable for the adult for street skating or for the people who would further want to do skateboard tricks.
Skateboard with deck with 8”-8.25”
It can be used in pool, ramp, rail and parks
Skateboard with deck width 8.25 and above
It is mainly used for verts, pool and cruising
HOW TO BUILD A SKATEBOARD
If you are a skateboard enthusiast and wish to build your own skateboard, which can be fun and a very creative thing to do, you will require the following materials: the skateboard deck, trucks(two in number), wheels(4 required),skateboard bearings( 8 in total),skateboard hardware(set of 8 bolts and nuts), skateboard grip tape and riser pads( set of 2). Gather all the parts at one place before we start the work. For more precaution, you can lay an old towel on the floor so that it will keep from staining the floor. Here is the process to build the skateboard.
Grip-tape should be properly affixed
It is the most trickiest part of the entire procedure. The rest would not be a problem,
once the grip-tape is properly affixed. It requires lots of patience and perfection. The deck should be laid down on the towel with bottom down, now stick the grip tape onto to the top of the tail. It should line up perfectly. Now press the tape with free hand gradually from top to bottom. There should be no air bubbles when you are attaching the grip-tape.
Marking of Grip Tape
Here it needs carefulness, as the excess grip tape would be hanging over the edges of
the deck, it needs to be removed. Before removing, mark the tape so that it would be smooth process.
Trimming the Tape
It has to done with finesse or the things can go awry. Hold the board with bottom down,
but it should not move. Make a small incision using the utility knife directed towards yourself and slice the tape. Once the tape is trimmed, it should be a clean looking deck now.
Mount the trucks
With the help of a screwdriver, poke holes through the Grip-tape and place one both in each from the top. In case you will be using the riser pads, you need to insert them now. Place the truck over the bolts. To attach, run a 3/inch nut onto each bolt. Gradually in a circular direction, tighten the nuts and secure all of them.
Insert the bearings
Lubricate the bearing with petroleum based lubricant. Now turn the board and remove wheel nut from one truck axle. Then place one bearing, followed by one spacer and then the other bearing. Place the wheel on the top of it and press it down firmly with the help of your palm. Press the bearing on the opposite side. Place wheel, and a nut on the axle and tighten it until it contacts the bearing. Tighten the nut again if wheel shakes. But it the wheel suddenly stops while spinning, loosen the nut. This process must be repeated with all the wheels.
ADJUSTMENTS TO BE MADE
Time to test your skateboards with the check on all the things we have assembled in it. Place the skateboard on the ground and stand on it, applying pressure of heel and the toe. The movement of the
board should be gradual and smooth. If not, adjust the trucks’ tightness. If you loosen, it will make board easy to run but tightening will make it more stable. It untirely depends on your preferences here.
HOW TO RIDE A SKATEBOARD
Skateboarding is lots of fun but it should be done with no or less falling and injuring yourself. It accelerated by pushing with your foot and when you put the backfoot down, you had applied the break to it. You need to decide with which foot you will be accelerating and by which one it would stopped. That will need little practice and experiment to fix the issue. Although in some cases, people manage to do it with both the feet. Next step is Pushing, skateboarders use their front to push and put break with their back foot. When you push from back foot, the front foot Is straight but when both the feet are on the board, then the front foot turns sideways. The chest should be out while pushing. Now if the push is perfect and clean, go for a Turn. It is done in two ways, carving and kick turn.While doing a carving turn, trucks should be a little loose and lean one way or the other and the board will follow the turn. Performing kick turn will be more tricky which needs lots of practice and patience
TYPES OF SKATEBOARDS
With time, skateboards had been evolving too. Here are the types of skateboards recommended.
They were the most common among the all but now they are left to the children. Since they are small in size, they suit the toddlers more. They are fun to perform the tricks and stunts. They are the best option to start with for the beginners.
OLD SCHOOL BOARDS
The deck is the main feature in this which identifies the shape of a fishtail. It has smaller nose but rest all the parts are bigger in size. It looks old fashioned yet classy the way it is shaped. It carries graphic designs. It has rails which help you balance.
It is identified by its wheels. Any skateboard can be turned into a cruiser board, only thing you have to adjust is by putting soft wheels than the original ones. Bigger and softer wheels help you have a smooth run for a longer distance.
They are the mini boards with softer and wider wheels. But no tricks can be performed with these boards, they are just for cruising.
They are usually wider and longer and have softer wheels making them more reliable. Easier to ride because of their sturdy structure and are good for beginners. It allows tricks and turns in a very fluid manner.
They are the best ones, especially for the professionals, as with these skateboards you achieve higher speed, enhanced balance which makes drifting and turning easy and tricks are more cleaner and crisp.
TIPS FOR SKATEBOARDERS
GET A QUALITY SKATEBOARD
It is necessary to get a good quality skateboards with the best of everything fitted in it. Skateboard should be stable with nuts fitted appropriately. Board should be made preferably of maple, durable trucks and urethane wheels. Good skateboard will enhance the experience.
The most important factor in skating is the shoes, which should be flat, and atheletic. There is no need for any specific kind of shoes just that they should be atheletic and perfect fit. There is no dress code while skateboarding, wear any comfortable clothes instead.
PLACE TO SKATE
The place where you start to skate has to be a plain smooth surface if you are a beginner. Any obstacle would mean a fall as the balance can go for a toss. Wheel bite can also be the cause of concern as they can damage the wheels. Although if the person is an expert in skateboarding, still they should practice where the crowd is less so that there won’t be risk of injury to any one.
PUSHING AND STOPPING
The dominant foot of anyone is preferred to be the back foot, which is mainly used for applying the breaks. The dominant foot goes on tail is also the foot from which we apply the push. Pushing with the weak foot is called the Pushing Mongo.
BEST SKATEBOARD FOR THE BEGINNERS
POWELL GOLDEN DRAGON FLYING
PUENTE PRO CRUISER
OHDERII SKATE SKATEBOARD
MINORITY 32 INCH MAPLE
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