If you are absolutely new to skateboarding or do not want to build a custom setup, pre-assembled complete skateboard decks are the way to go. Our completes contain all the parts we sell individually, so they are perfect as a first skateboard to help you get started. Check out our complete skateboards here.
Building your own complete skateboard setup
If you are a more experienced skater, or want to assemble your own skateboard to put your own personal style into it, you can also assemble your skateboard setup from scratch. To do this, you need the following things:
- Skateboard Deck
- Skateboard Trucks (2)
- Skateboard Wheels (4)
- Skateboard Bearings (2 per wheel, 8 in total)
- Skateboard Hardware (8 bots and nuts)
So, let’s start to assemble your own skateboard-setup. The first thing you need is a board…No shit, Sherlock!?!:-). It sounds really simple, however there are a lot of variations in deck widths, the way the board is built, concave, etc. so you may need a little help with that.
The most important thing when choosing a board, is knowing how you’re going to use it. “Duh, I just want to skate it!” Good for you dude, but you have some small variations that will really help you to step up your game and give you the extra help you need in becoming the best street/ mini-ramp/ park/ transition/ overall skater of your crew.
Size RecommendationThe deck size you require depends on your body or foot size, the discipline (street/mini-ramp/vert/pool) and, of course the most important one: your personal preference. Deck sizes are displayed in inches and always based on the width of the board.
In general, the following size recommendations are used:
- 7.5” – 8”:Considered the standard board size for adult skaters or teens, perfect for street skating, the skatepark and technical tricks.
- 8” – 8.25”:Ideal for the mini-ramp, pool skating, park and rails because of the extra stability.
- 8.25” and more:Old-School, vert & pool ripping and cruising.
ConstructionMost decks are made of North American maple wood as this is particularly stable due to the slow growth of the tree. For one deck, usually 7 plies of maple are pressed together with special resin under high pressure. The dimensions of the decks are almost always given in inches: 1 inch = 2.54 cm. Normally, your skateboard has a length of 28″- 33″, or 70-80 cm.
The board is divided into three areas: Nose (front), Wheel Base (between the axles) and the Tail (rear). Nose and tail are the rounded ends of your deck, which are more or less curved steeply upward. There are shallower and steeper versions. The theory is that the pop is more effective due to the greater leverage with a steeper nose and tail. A flatter nose and tail however offer you a better boardfeel.
To find out what the front and back of your board is you need to take a closer look at your board. The nose is slightly larger (wider) than the tail. Small tip: The design can also help a little in distinguishing the nose and tail. Most of the graphics are designed so that the nose is above or to the left. The wheelbase is usually 12-15″ long (30,48 – 38,1cm), and has a big influence on the steering behavior: the shorter the deck, the more agile it is. The longer the deck is, the smoother it will ride.
ConcaveThe long sides of the board are curved in different versions. The higher the curvature, the more pressure you can put on the edges, which improves the steering and ability to flip your board. Lower concave offers you easier board control but higher concave offers you a better flip. You’ll know for sure after some time of riding which concave you prefer.
GriptapeGrip tape is a sandpaper-like sheet with a sticky self-adhesive underside that you stick on top of the skateboard deck to provide grip for your feet. There are different kinds of griptapes with a variety of colors and grains. The griptape is self-adhesive and must be adhered to the top of the deck. Protruding residues can be easily cut with a utility knife (cutter). For details on adhesing the grip onto your board, check out our skateboard assembly instructions. Here at skatedeluxe, we always offer our customers a free SK8DLX griptape with every board you purchase… you’re welcome ;-). However, if you want another griptape design, it’s perfectly possible to add them to your order. Check out all our griptapes here.
Skateboard TrucksSkateboard trucks are the metal axles that attach the board to the wheels and bearings, and are absolutely crucial to complete your setup. Without them, you would just have a piece of decorative wood, which is only nice to put up on your wall. They allow you to ride your board and perform grinds like the 50-50, 5-0, crooked and much, much more. If you quickly want to check which trucks you need based on the width of your board, take a look at our Truck Overview.
The normal skateboard trucks consist of a base plate, a hanger (or the movable and grindable part of the axles that are fixed to the wheels), the kingpin and the kingpin nut that hold together the bushings and plate washers. The protruding parts where your wheels are attached are called hinge pins. The washers on the axle pin are the speed rings; they protect your bearings from rubbing on the hanger or axle nut.
SteeringTo adjust the steering, you can tighten or loosen the kingpin. If you tighten the kingpin, you make the trucks stiffer which is better for high speeds. Loosened trucks make it more smooth to ride and landings are much more forgiving. Loose trucks are mostly used all-round but again, this strongly depends on personal preference, so try both tight and loose trucks to know for sure. Similarly, you can use different bushings that also change the steering behavior. The bushings are the rubber rings on the kingpin that make the steering possible and are available in different degrees of hardness, which can be roughly divided into soft – medium – hard. There are also some varieties in the shape of the bushings: Tapered Bushings (Cone Bushings) make the steering playful, while flat Bushings (Barrel Bushings) make the steering more controlled.
Trucks WidthFurthermore, it is best that the width of the trucks fit the width of your deck. Some truck companies however use different size units, but the indication on which board they are used, remains the same. When a truck company uses a different size unit, we indicated it below.
Basically, the general recommendations are:
- Decks with a width of 7.375″ – 7.75″: Trucks with an internal width of 5.0″ (Independent: 129, Thunder: 145, Krux: 3,5)
- Decks with a width from 7.75″ up to 8.25″: Trucks with an internal width of 5.25″ (Independent: 139, Thunder: 147, Krux: 4)
- Decks with a width of 8″ and more: Trucks with an inner width of 5.39″and more (Independent: 149 – 169 – 215, Thunder: 149, Krux: 5)
Trucks HeightThere are also some variations in the height of the trucks. Although mid or standards trucks are the most popular, you can also choose low or high trucks. Low trucks provide you with a better board control. However, (especially with larger wheels) there is a danger that you touch the wheels with the deck when steering and fall face first; the so-called Wheelbite. You can easily add a riser pad or shock pad to your low trucks when using bigger wheels to avoid this. In theory, high trucks have a bigger distance to the ground, so the board can be popped steeper, resulting in a higher Ollie. Although the increased pop, higher trucks also make the board heavier so flipping is a little bit harder. You can find more information about the dimensions of the various trucks and the different manufacturers in our Truck Overview.
Even in the selection of wheels there are some things to explain. They should fit to your ride, just like the deck and the trucks. That is why choosing the right size of wheels is really important. Small wheels (going from 48mm – 52mm) have a greater acceleration, are more agile and also easier to handle, but large wheels are more stable and can generate a higher top speed. Therefore: for street skating, take small wheels, medium for the mini ramp and big wheels for the half pipe and pool.
Nevertheless, the wheels should match your deck and your trucks, as you can see below:
- Low trucks: wheels with a diameter of 52mm max.
- Mid trucks: wheels with a diameter of 52mm-56mm
- High trucks: wheels with a diameter of 56mm-60mm
HardnessAnother point to which you should pay attention to, is the hardness of the wheels. It is measured in “durometer A”. The hardness of the wheels varies between 73 A (soft) and 103 A (hard). The higher the number is, the harder the wheels are. Soft wheels are particularly well suited for cruising or for cameramen to hide additional rolling noises, while the hard wheels are more suitable for the park and perfect for power slides. Soft wheels are constantly trying to get grip, so they are not suitable for sliding, but perfect on rough roads with a lot of cracks in it. Once again, personal preference plays a huge part in the choice of wheels.
The bearings are placed inside the wheel and contain 7 or 8 small balls that reduce the friction and make it possible to ride your board, so they play a crucial role in your skateboard. You should however make sure that the bearings are of good quality to ensure high durability. Each wheel is fitted with two ball bearings. If you wish, you can fill the space between the 2 bearings with a spacer to keep everything in place. This ensures that the ball bearings are not compressed when you tighten the axle nut or do powerslides and are properly seated in the wheel. Especially for soft wheels, this is highly recommended.
With a bolt pack or mounting kit (screws), you secure the trucks on the deck. If you’re using shock pads, you have to make sure that the screws of the mounting kit have the appropriate length. If you don’t use shockpads, 7/8” – 1” hardware is perfect. From a shockpad-height of 1/8″you should use 1″ – 1 1/8” mounting sets.
Shockpads – Riserpads
Shockpads are made of either rubber or plastic and are available in various thickness and hardness. They absorb shocks from hard landings and increase the distance between your deck and the wheels to avoid wheelbites. Although optional, they are highly recommended if you use low trucks and bigger wheels.
So there you have it, we’ve explained almost everything you need to know to complete your own skateboard setup, have fun! Don’t forget to combine designs and colors of deck –trucks – wheels to fit your personal taste and to make sure you have the hottest deck in the park! If you need help to assemble all the different parts, you can always use our Skateboard – Assembly Instructions.