Build A Skateboard

Learn how to build your own skateboard and customize your ride.

Building your own skateboard is a simple and fun way to customize your own ride and build the skateboard of your dreams at a reasonable price. Most skateboard parts are interchangeable and easily replaceable, allowing skaters to take control over their own boards and create their own personalized skating experience.

Skateboard Decks:

The skateboard deck, the flat wooden part of the skateboard, is a complex sheet of wooden strips and high-powered epoxy, designed to maximize the durability as well as maintain the flexibility of the deck. Because of its complicated nature, it is often a part of the skateboard that people choose to buy instead of make themselves. Blank skateboard decks are available at most skate shops, and can be found at fairly cheap prices.

If you do wish to try your hand at making your own skateboard deck, you should start with a thin sheet of wood, between 12mm and 15mm. Birch plywood is a favorite material, as it has very good flexibility and strength. Cut the board into the rough shape of the skateboard deck, making sure to cut with the grain of the wood. Making your own skateboard allows you to choose the style of board you want, from a longboard for cruising and tearing up curves to a short board for tricks and jumps.

If you want a board with a curve or a raised tail, you will need to use multiple thin sheets of wood, glued together and shaped in a mold. Using the sheets of wood, spread glue or epoxy over the surface of the wood, scraping it with a serrated glue knife edge to get a pattern of ridges. These ridges of glue allow the glue to spread evenly over the surface when you place a second piece of wood down on top of them, thus letting the wood lay flat against each other. Lay down the strips with a thin layer of glue between them until the board gets to be about 15 mm thick. Once the layers are glued together, compress the board with several c-clamps. Place a layer of wood above and below the deck, so as not to damage it, then tighten the clamps until the glue squeezes out the sides. You can curve the deck using various clamps to hold the curve in place, then allow the entire thing to dry for several days before taking it out of the mold.

Once your board is finished, cut or sand off the excess portions of the deck and smooth the edges. You can sand the edges down to make curves, or even cut out portions of the deck over the wheels, so that they don't scrape the deck on tight turns. Finally, laminate the entire board surface to keep it from scratching or chipping. Heavy duty wood varnish works well, but be sure to get all edges and surfaces of the board fully coated. Finally, a layer of grip tape can be placed on the upper level of the deck, to improve your footing when standing on the board.

Skateboard Accessories:

Once the deck of the skateboard is finished, you simply need to outfit the board with wheels and you're ready to skate! First off you need to find proper trucks. Trucks are the metal brackets that hold your wheels to the deck. With flexible springs and sturdy bolts to hold them to the board, trucks are available at almost all skate shops. Different trucks are available for different types of skating, including longboard skating, slalom, pool skating and mountain boarding. Each different type of truck has a different type of performance, and they can be easily replaced simply by unbolting them from the board. Finally, skateboard wheels are the simplest part of the skateboard and come in a huge variety of types and styles. Small wheels for carving and tricks, superfast wheels for downhill racing, and massive rubber wheels for outdoor and offroad skating are just some of the options when choosing to outfit your own board.

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