For many, skateboarding is more than just a hobby. It’s a way of life. It’s a form of self-expression. And it’s a great way to stay active. Whether you want to go on a casual cruise with your board every now and then or you’re a more serious skater who loves to hit the half-pipe, skateboarding is sure to provide you with endless hours of enjoyment.
So if you’re thinking about picking up a board and kickstarting your skating career, you have two main ways to go about it – you can buy one from a skate shop or you can piece together your own custom skateboard that fits your needs perfectly. While the former is more convenient, the latter is often more affordable and allows you to choose each and every component with great care. Going down the custom route is always a thrilling idea, regardless of the type of board you choose.
What’s the Difference Between Cruisers, Longboards, and Skateboards?
First thing’s first – before you start picking out deck graphics and mounting your trucks, you need to make sure you’re choosing the right board for your skating style. After all, not all skateboards are created equal.
Cruisers in particular are great for beginners since they’re smaller and more maneuverable than longboards or standard skateboards. And since cruiser boards tend to have lower centres of gravity, they’re easier to balance on than other types of boards. So if you’re just starting out and you come across an interesting cruiser skateboard for sale, it might be worth considering.
This type of board is also relatively lightweight, making it easy to carry around or take on public transportation when necessary. Plus, it comes with a kicktail which allows you to perform basic tricks, and they’re perfect for cruising around town or your local skate park.
Longboards, on the other hand, are better suited for experienced skaters. They’re bigger and heavier than cruisers, making them more stable at high speeds. They don’t have a kicktail, so they’re not as good for tricks, but they’re great for downhill racing or simply cruising around on smoother surfaces.
The classic skateboard is the third and final option. This type of board is the most versatile since it can be used for a variety of tricks, but it’s also suitable for cruising and racing. It’s important to note that classic skateboards are generally on the smaller side, so they might not be the best choice for those with larger feet.
If you’re feeling extra frisky and want to try out something new, you opt for an electric skateboard. These boards have motors that allow you to cruise around without having to push off the ground. They’re great for those who want an easy and fun way to get around, but they’re also more expensive than your average skateboard.
The Different Types of Skateboard Wheels
The wheels are arguably the most important part of any board since they’re what make it possible to actually skate. When you’re looking for parts for a cruiser skateboard for sale, you’ll want to pay close attention to the wheels since they come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and materials. Some of the most popular options include:
Vert / Transition
Larger skateboard wheels roll much quicker, which is ideal for riding ramps. Try 55-65mm wheels with a hardness of 95-100a (though many ramp skateboarders will use even larger wheels — start with something like a 60mm wheel as you learn). Some wheel manufacturers use unique formulations that do not include durometers, such as the Street Park Formula.
Technical / Street
Smaller wheels are prefered by skateboarders who like to do flip tricks since they are lighter and closer to the ground, making most skateboarding stunts easier to pull off. 50-55mm skateboard wheels with a hardness of 97-101a are recommended. Some manufacturers produce customised Street Tech Formula wheels that perform admirably but lack a hardness rating.
All Terrain / Both
Something in the middle, with slightly softer skateboard wheels, will suffice. Try a 52-60mm wheel with a hardness of 95-100a. This should provide you with a good combination of speed and weight.
Typically, cruising wheels are substantially larger (64-75mm) and softer (for riding over rough terrain) than racing wheels (78-85a). While it is technically possible to ride anything anywhere, chunkier wheels are better suited for rough terrain, since they are less likely to get damaged.
How Do You Put A Skateboard Together?
With all of the different cruiser skateboard parts for sale, it might seem daunting to try and put one together yourself. But don’t worry, it’s actually not that difficult. Just follow these simple steps and you’ll be skating in no time:
- Apply grip tape to the deck. If your board is already gripped, you can skip this step.
- Make holes for the truck bolts throughout the grip tape. A skateboard has eight holes bored in it to accept the eight truck bolts that secure the trucks to the board. To drill the holes more precisely use a hex key.
- Through the holes of the grip tape and deck, insert the 8 truck bolts. If you’re using directional bolts, the two coloured bolts should go in the two holes closest to the deck’s nose. This makes it easier to determine which way your skateboard is facing when riding.
- When tightening the bolts, avoid using power tools because this might cause stress cracks, weakening the deck. Make sure your trucks are pointing the right way up; the bigger kingpin nuts should both be facing the centre of the board. If you do this incorrectly, your skateboard will turn in the wrong direction and perform poorly.
- Insert the bearings into the wheels. For each wheel, you’ll need two bearings, one on each side. Position two bearings on a truck axle that is facing upwards, then push the wheel over the axle and the bearings until you feel the bearing slip into place. Then just flip the wheel over and push it down onto the next bearing, repeating this process for all four wheels.
Some wheels are more difficult to push onto bearings than others, so push firmly! Don’t ‘knock’ bearings into wheels using a hammer. The force from a hammer will ruin your new skateboard bearings because they are not built for sideloading.
- Connect the truck axles to the wheels. Make sure that each side of the wheel has a tiny Speed Ring Washer to keep the bearings rotating smoothly. Tighten the axle nuts gently, making sure the wheel spins easily but not too much up and down the axle.
- Congratulations, your skateboard is now ready to ride!