So you’ve bought your very first beginner skateboard. Nice choice! The question now is: How do you set it up?
If you’ve got a complete skateboard, you pretty much don’t have to worry about assembling the board. It’s all done for you.
However, if you like DIY projects, then this set-up guide is your buddy!
We’re so excited to share this with you. Let’s build the skateboard together!
Before we begin, let’s first check to see if you’ve got all the parts required to put your skateboard together.
Here’s a quick checklist for 1 skateboard:
- 1x deck
- 1x grip tape
- 4x wheels
- 8x bearings
- 2x trucks
- 4x axle nuts
That’s pretty much all the basic components you need for 1 skateboard. If you want to set up multiple skateboards, just make sure you have enough components.
Tools You’ll Need
You can find these tools readily available online or in your dad’s garage:
- Skate tool (T-tool)
- Razor blade (or Exacto knife)
- Power drill
Now, let’s begin!
Step 1: Put grip tape on the deck
Selecting Grip Tape
Oftentimes, you can get a grip tape sheet about 9 x 33 inches. They sell it for around $6 or $7 bucks, which is pretty cheap.
If you’ve got this type of grip tape, you don’t have to cut it into smaller pieces like the roll one. Mod and Jessup skateboard grip tape sheets are good choices.
If you think you’ll be changing grip tape frequently, you can get the whole roll at around $10. You have to cut out a piece every time you want to use it, though.
Applying Grip Tape
Now, lay your deck flat on a table. Take your grip tape sheet and eyeball it a bit over the deck. This can help you with the placement.
Peel off the back of the sheet. But, save that paper, because it will come in handy later on.
Carefully eyeball the sheet to make sure it aligns in the center of the deck. Then, stick the tape on the nose and tail.
Slowly, start from the center and push the tape down. Hold your hand out firmly and move all the way down both sides of the board. Make sure there are no air bubbles on the surface.
You can now place the paper we saved earlier on the sandpaper surface.
Slide your hand nicely over the surface to make sure everything sticks firmly. With the paper in place, you’ll save your hands from getting “sanded” by the grip tape.
Step 2: Cut excess grip tape
Now, nice and easy, use the screwdriver to mark the outline of the board. You’ll see a white line on the grip tape surface while doing this.
Then, use your razor blade (or Exacto knife) and start from underneath the sheet. Poke a little hole through the sheet and start pulling the knife towards you. Cut the tape all the way along the marked line.
By now, you should have a very nice deck with clean-cut grip tape. Good job so far!
Step 3: Poke holes
This step is super easy. Grab your poker and poke through the four holes near each end of the board.
We like to go from bottom up, then poke them from the top down again. You can go either way. Just make sure you get all the excess grip tape out of the way.
When we mount our hardware on, they’ll go through nicely.
Step 4: Put bearings on the wheels
There are many ways you can go about this. We’ll show you 2 most common ways.
If you have a skate tool, you can use the bearing popper on the tool.
Lay your wheel flat, then place a bearing on it. Grab the skate tool and place it over the bearing. Use your weight and push all the way down.
When the bearing pops down into the wheel, you’re good to go!
The second way you can do this is by using your trucks. This comes in handy when you don’t have your skate tool with you.
First, put one bearing on the truck axle. Then, put your wheel on there. Next, stand the truck up vertically and push the wheel down using your force.
When the bearing clicks into place, you can take the wheel out and do the same for both sides on all four wheels.
Step 5: Put wheels on trucks
Unscrew your axle nut. Take out one washer and leave one washer on there.
Slide your wheel (with bearings) onto the axle. Then, slide a washer on. Pop the axle nut back on. And tighten it up using your skate tool.
You also want to get a feel for the wheels. You can loosen it a bit if you think it’s too tight.
Or you can tighten it up if it’s too loose. Repeat the same process until you get all four wheels on the trucks.
Step 6: Put hardware on and ride!
We’ve come to the final step! All you need to do now is put your hardware on.
Place the 8 bolts through each of the holes that we’ve poked on the deck. Then, carefully hold the truck and place it onto the 4 bolts. You’ll find 4 holes on the baseplate of the truck.
Next, pop the nuts on and tighten them. You can use your skate tool to help you tighten them up a bit more. If you have a power drill, you can also use it.
Be careful not to tighten the hardware too much. You don’t want to suck the bolts too deep through the deck. Apply nice and even force on each of the 8 bolts.
And voila, you’re done! Once you’ve finished all these steps, your board should now come out looking nice and ready to ride. You must be very proud at this point!
As you can see, setting up your beginner skateboards is fun and easy. Once you get good at this, it may take you under 15 minutes to assemble a board. Always remember to check for any air bubbles. Also, make sure the hardware is properly tightened. Other than that, you’re good to go! Have fun skateboarding!