General Skate Questions
What is the difference between a Longboard and Shortboard Skateboard?
The generic answer to this question is that Longboards are generally in the 36”- 60”range. Shortboards are generally referred to as “Mini-Longboards” with a range of 24”-35”. Now that companies have increased the quaility of bushings and trucks sizes, Mini-Longboards have the feel and turning radious of a traditional Longboard.
How do I choose between a Longboard and a Shortboard?
It really depends on what you want to do with the skateboard and how well you ride it. You can ride a Mini-Longboard in all types of conditions. Most students that need to commute on a campus tend to like a skateboard that is easy manuever and carry with them when there is more than normal congestion. A Longboard will serve equally as well, however, Longboards are normally heavier and longer which makes walking with them difficult. If you are planning to bomb hills with your friends, you should consider something in the range of 38”-46”.
What kind of wheels do you recommend for somebody that does not like bumps in the road?
Try using a softer wheel like a 75a to 80a durometer wheel. You can even increase the size of your wheels in the range of 70mm-80mm to help you absorb the hit.
Why does my Longboard stop suddenly when I hit a crack on the pavement?
Try skating towards cracks in the pavement at angle. If you are moving at 5-10mph and at a good angle, you should not have a problem going right over the cracks.
Why does my skateboard not go straight?
Truck Bushings are to blame for this. Truck bushings are either rubber or plastic which are designed to absorb your turns. Therefore, it does take a little time for the bushing to bend back to their original position.
How do I maintain my skateboard?
We recommend that you not ride your skateboard through puddles, rain, or in the sand. About every six months you should have your bushings replaced. Old bushings do flatten and become stiff after time.
Can I use WD40 on my bearings?
NO. Adding lubricants to the exterior of your bearing casings will on attract more dirt to the bearing. WD40 is just a quick fix for your skateboard.
When do I know I need new bearings?
Some bearings do make noise after time. That does not necessarily mean that you should buy new bearings. Check the speed of your wheels by giving them a quick revolution. You will know if you need a new set of bearing if the wheel/s stop suddenly. The good news is that bearings are relatively inexpensive.
Why do I loose control when I go down hills?
If you are attempting to go down large hills you should be aware that you may get “speed wobbles” on your board. At higher speeds your trucks are more responsive so every slight movement you take will do much more because of this, over corrections will lead to speed wobbles, where your board oscillates back and forth out of control and eventually pitching you from the board if you can’t control it. To prevent this from happening a simple fix is to simply tighten down your back truck
What is the difference between “Reverse-Kingpin” and “Traditional” skateboard trucks?
Reverse-kingpin trucks are named so because the kingpin is on the opposite side of the axle as opposed to traditional skateboard trucks. In terms of ride, reverse-kingpin trucks tend to turn much more than traditional trucks making them better for carving and lean turning as opposed to kick-turning. However, reverse-kingpin trucks are taller than traditional skateboard trucks which raises the ride-height of the board a little bit.
Someone told me to flip my hanger what does that mean?
On reverse-kingpin trucks the hanger is flat allowing it to be removed and turned over 180 degrees. This changes two important things, first it lowers the ride height of the trucks, secondly it changes the turning characteristics of the trucks by changing how the hanger interacts with the bushings. Generally flipping the hanger will lower ride height and make the trucks less responsive. For most applications the hanger does not need to be flipped.
My trucks are squeaking whenever I turn, what is causing it and how do I fix it?
The squeaking is coming from a part of your trucks called the “pivot cup”. It’s caused by friction between the pivot bushing and the hanger. To fix it simply take the hanger off of the baseplate and take soap shavings, graphite or wax and spread it around inside of the pivot cup, use the hanger pivot to evenly spread it around. Then reassemble the truck and you’re good to go.
Will getting better bearings make me go faster?
No, but they will keep you rolling for longer. Wheels play a much larger role in speed. A larger wheel (80mm+) will have a slow acceleration, but a high top speed. Smaller wheels (51mm-66mm) will have a fast acceleration but a low top speed. Wheels in the 70mm-75mm range will have a good balance between acceleration and top speed. Also the “hardness” of the urethane plays a role too. A harder wheel will be faster in a skate park setting but slower in normal setting because it is slowed down more by cracks and rough pavement whereas a softer wheel will more easily roll over those imperfections and lose less speed.
What do you mean by “wheel hardness”?
All skateboard wheels are measured in “durometer” which is basically just a measure of the hardness of the wheel. Street skating wheels are usually very hard in the 99a-101a range. Longboarding wheels are usually in the soft 75a-80a range. Slide wheels are typically 97a+ with the exception of the EarthWing Slide A’s which are measured differently.
What effect does durometer have on my ride?
Softer wheels (75a-80a) will offer a much smoother ride and will have more grip than harder wheels. Harderwheels (95a+) will be faster in park situations but slower in normal applications. In normal applications they will not grip as much and have a much rougher ride. Wheels in the 81a-86a range will be a balance between grip and slide ability. Wheels in this range will grip better than harder wheels but are more prone to sliding out.
What kind of wheel should I buy?
The wheel you buy depends on the intended application and the board it’s going. For cruiser/commuter boards in the 35”-46” range a larger wheel in the 70-76mm range with a durometer under 80a will work best. On a mini-board (under 30”) wheels in the 60-65mm with durometers under 80a work the best. For street skating a smaller wheel in the 51-55mm range with a durometer of 99a or 101a will work best. Park/Pool skating benefits from a medium sized wheel 60-65mm in diameter and a durometer in the 90a range works best. For sliding a wheel 60-65mm with a hard durometer 97a and above will work best.
What kind of truck should I buy?
The truck you buy depends on the intended application and the board being used. Cruiser/commuter type boards work well with the reverse-kingpin style truck because of its increased maneuverability and better turning capabilities. Street, park, pool and slide skating work better with traditional skateboard trucks because of the lower height, and the tendency to kick turn instead of lean turning. Also there is less of a chance of kingpin bite with a traditional skateboard truck.
What kind of deck should I buy?
The deck you purchase depends on the type of riding you will be doing. For cruising any board with large, soft wheels will do but for the most enjoyable cruising experience a board anywhere from 38”-60” will work best. For commuting boards under 38” work best. For park/pool/sliding/street a board with double-kick tails works best. Street skating tends to favor a narrower deck in the 7” width range whereas park/pool and sliding tends to favor a wider deck in the 8”+ range.
What kind of bearings should I buy?
The type of bearings you buy isn’t as important as the wheels, trucks and deck. Any bearing within the $10-$20 price range will do. Bones Reds for example are a great bearing for the price.