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Active Ride Shop - How to Build a Complete Skateboard

How to Build a Complete Skateboard

Step 1: Attaching Grip Tape

The first step in skateboard assembly is to apply grip tape to your new deck. Place your new deck on a clean flat comfortable work area. A workbench covered with a soft cloth or a piece of carpet works best and will keep your new deck from getting scratched. Grip tape comes in sheets, which are 9 inches wide and 33 inches long. Carefully remove about 2 to 4 inches of the grip tape backing. Center the grip tape over your board with both hands holding either end of the grip tape. Placed the exposed end of the grip tape on the nose of the board leaving 1/2" to 3/4" overhang. Again make sure the grip tape is centered over your board so that there is an equal amount of overhang on either side. Peal and press the rest of the grip tape down onto your board.

Working from the center, pat down the grip tape. Work from the center to the nose and tail of your deck also work from the cent to the edges of your deck. Working from the center out towards the edges helps to remove air bubbles forming under the grip tape. You can use the grip tape backing to protect your hand while pressing down on the grip tape.

Using a mill file or the side of a screwdriver score the grip tape around the outside edge of the grip tape. Do not file through the grip tape; just remove the grit from the grip tape to form an outline of your deck. This outline serves a guide when removing the excess grip tape from the edges of your deck.

*Please use caution during the next step

This is the most difficult step in skateboard assembly. First, cut four small slits in the grip tape where the nose and tail begin to slope upwards. This makes following your outline much easier and the excess grip tape come off in four pieces. Remember to take your time and follow the outline you've created. Using the outline and the edge of your deck as a guide use a safety knife to remove the excess grip tape from your deck. Carefully cut around the edge of your deck removing the excess grip tape. Do not cut into your deck or outside the outline this takes practice.

Remove the excess grip tape. Press out any additional air bubbles you see at this time

Step 2: Install the Bearings

The next step involves pressing the bearings into the wheels. The easiest way to do this without a bearing press is to use your trucks to press the bearings into the wheels. Start by sliding a bearing onto the axle of one of your trucks. Next, using leverage between your truck and your hand push the wheel onto the bearing. Remove the wheel with one bearing now inside and slide the second bearing onto the truck. If your bearings have spacers install the spacer at this time. The spacer is installed between both bearings in the center of the wheel. Again, using leverage between your truck and your hand push the second bearing into the other side of the wheel. Repeat this process for all four wheels.

Step 3: Truck Installation

Trucks come with either two or four washers per truck. Washers are used to create a good seat between your wheel bearings and axle nuts. Washers also reduce friction, which helps your wheels to spin faster. If your trucks come with two washers these washers should be installed between the axle nut and the wheel. If your trucks come with four washers the installation order is as follows: washer-wheel (bearings installed)-washer-axle nut.

Tighten all axle nuts with a 1/2 inch socket wrench. Skate tools are available at Active Mailorder. Tighten the axle nuts until the wheel is snug then back off about a 1/4 to 1/2 a turn until the wheel spins feely without any play from side to side.

Now it's time to install your trucks. First, place your deck grip side down on your work area. Find the mounting holes and punch holes through the grip tape with one of the bolts from your mounting hardware. Once holes have been punched through your grip tape flip your deck over and push your mounting hardware through the holes.

If you use riser pads on your board install them sliding them onto your mounting hardware.

Now, slide your trucks onto your mounting hardware; be sure the bushings are facing each other. Install all the truck mounting nuts onto all the truck-mounting bolts and finger tighten them. Finally, tighten the truck mounting hardware using a 10/32" wrench or nut driver and a Phillips screwdriver or Allen wrench. Skate tools are available at: Click Here.

Your deck is now assembled.

Step 4: seanFinal Adjustments

Before you skate check your newly assembled deck for anything you might have missed. Check the tightness of the truck mounting hardware, the tightness the truck axel nuts and the king pins. The king pins are the large nuts used to adjust the tightness of your truck turning ability. Remember everyone skates their trucks a little differently; the tightness of your king pins is personal preference. Take a minute to admire your work. Now go skate!

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