A Guide to Different Types of Skateboarding Gear

A Guide to Different Types of Skateboarding Gear

Are you looking to step up your skateboarding game but not sure where to start with the right gear? Look no further! This comprehensive guide will walk you through the different types of skateboarding gear available, from boards and trucks to wheels and protective equipment. Whether you’re a beginner just starting out or a seasoned pro looking to upgrade, this guide has got you covered. Let’s dive in and find the perfect gear to enhance your skateboarding experience.

Skateboard Decks

Types of Skateboard Decks

When it comes to choosing a skateboard deck, there are several types to consider. The most common types include:

  • Standard Decks: These are the traditional skateboard decks that most people are familiar with. They are versatile and suitable for all types of skateboarding.

  • Popsicle Decks: Popsicle decks are similar to standard decks but have a more symmetrical shape, making them ideal for tricks and flips.

  • Old School Decks: These decks have a wider and more square shape, reminiscent of the skateboards from the 1970s and 1980s. They are great for cruising and carving.

Deck Size Options

Skateboard decks come in various sizes to accommodate different skating styles and preferences. Some common deck sizes include:

  • 7.5" – 8": Standard deck size suitable for street skating and technical tricks.

  • 8.25" – 8.5": Wider decks that provide more stability and are ideal for vert and transition skating.

  • 8.5" and above: Extra-wide decks that offer maximum stability, perfect for larger riders or cruising.

Deck Materials

Skateboard decks are typically made from one of the following materials:

  • Maple: The most common material used for skateboard decks due to its durability and flexibility.

  • Bamboo: Bamboo decks are lighter and more environmentally friendly than maple decks.

  • Carbon Fiber: Carbon fiber decks are incredibly lightweight and strong, making them ideal for advanced skaters looking for maximum performance.

    2. Skateboard Trucks

Skateboard trucks are an essential component of your skateboard that attach the wheels to the deck. They play a crucial role in how your board turns and rides. There are several factors to consider when choosing the right trucks for your skateboard.

2.1. Types of Skateboard Trucks

There are two main types of skateboard trucks: traditional kingpin (TKP) trucks and reverse kingpin (RKP) trucks.

  • Traditional Kingpin (TKP) Trucks: These are commonly found on street and vert skateboards. They are more responsive and provide better control for tricks.

  • Reverse Kingpin (RKP) Trucks: These are typically used on longboards and cruisers. They offer a smoother ride and more stability at high speeds.

2.2. Truck Width

The width of your trucks should match the width of your skateboard deck. Standard skateboard trucks come in sizes ranging from 5.0" to 8.5", with each size corresponding to a specific deck width. It’s important to choose trucks that are the right width to ensure optimal performance and stability while riding.

2.3. Choosing the Right Trucks

When selecting trucks for your skateboard, consider factors such as your riding style, deck width, and personal preference. TKP trucks are ideal for street and park skating, while RKP trucks are better suited for cruising and downhill riding. Make sure to match the truck width with your deck width to maintain balance and control while skating. Ultimately, choosing the right trucks will enhance your overall skateboarding experience.

3. Skateboard Wheels

When it comes to skateboarding gear, one of the most important components of a skateboard are the wheels. Skateboard wheels come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials, each offering different benefits and performance characteristics.

3.1. Types of Skateboard Wheels

There are mainly two types of skateboard wheels: street wheels and cruiser wheels. Street wheels are smaller and harder, designed for tricks and maneuvers on smooth surfaces like skate parks and streets. Cruiser wheels, on the other hand, are larger and softer, providing a smoother ride on rougher surfaces like sidewalks and streets.

3.2. Wheel Size and Durometer

Wheel size and durometer are two key factors to consider when choosing skateboard wheels. Wheel size is typically measured in millimeters, with smaller wheels ranging from 50-54mm for street skating and larger wheels ranging from 55-60mm for cruising and transportation. Durometer refers to the hardness of the wheels, with softer wheels (78a-87a) providing more grip and smoother rides, and harder wheels (99a-101a) offering more speed and durability for tricks.

3.3. Wheel Shapes

Skateboard wheels also come in different shapes, such as conical, square-edged, and rounded. The shape of the wheel can affect the way you perform tricks and maneuvers, as well as how the wheels interact with the surface. Conical wheels are popular for street skating, offering a balance between stability and agility. Square-edged wheels provide more surface contact for grip, while rounded wheels offer a smoother ride and better control for cruising.

Overall, choosing the right skateboard wheels for your riding style and preferences can greatly impact your skateboarding experience. Make sure to consider factors like wheel type, size, durometer, and shape to find the perfect set of wheels for your skateboard.

4. Skateboard Bearings

Skateboard bearings are an essential component of your skateboard that allow the wheels to spin smoothly. Without proper bearings, your skateboard won’t roll as efficiently, making it harder to perform tricks and maneuvers.

4.1. Types of Skateboard Bearings

There are two main types of skateboard bearings: steel bearings and ceramic bearings. Steel bearings are the most common and affordable option, while ceramic bearings are known for their durability and smooth performance. Ceramic bearings are also resistant to rust and corrosion, making them a popular choice among serious skaters.

4.2. ABEC Ratings

ABEC ratings are a measurement of the precision and tolerance of skateboard bearings. The higher the ABEC rating, the more precise and efficient the bearings will be. However, it’s important to note that ABEC ratings are not the only factor to consider when choosing bearings. Factors such as material, lubrication, and maintenance also play a significant role in the performance of skateboard bearings.

4.3. Maintaining Bearings

Proper maintenance is crucial for keeping your skateboard bearings in top condition. Regularly cleaning and lubricating your bearings can help prevent dirt and debris from building up, which can cause the bearings to seize or spin less smoothly. Additionally, checking for wear and tear and replacing bearings when necessary can help prolong the lifespan of your skateboard and ensure optimal performance.

5. Skateboard Grip Tape

Skateboard grip tape is an essential part of any skateboard setup as it provides the necessary traction for the rider’s feet to stay on the board while performing tricks or riding. In this section, we will discuss the different types of grip tape, how to apply it to your skateboard, and some popular grip tape brands.

5.1. Types of Grip Tape

There are various types of grip tape available in the market, each offering different levels of grip and durability. Some popular types include:

  • Standard Black Grip Tape: This is the most common type of grip tape and is known for its reliable grip and affordability.
  • Clear Grip Tape: Clear grip tape allows you to show off the design of your skateboard deck while still providing excellent traction.
  • Colored Grip Tape: Colored grip tape comes in a variety of vibrant colors to match your personality or skateboard style.

5.2. Applying Grip Tape

Applying grip tape to your skateboard is a straightforward process that requires a few simple steps. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Peel off the backing of the grip tape.
  2. Align the grip tape with the edges of your skateboard deck.
  3. Press down firmly on the grip tape to ensure it sticks to the deck.
  4. Use a sharp object to trim off the excess grip tape around the edges.

5.3. Grip Tape Brands

There are several reputable grip tape brands in the skateboarding industry that are known for their quality and durability. Some popular grip tape brands include:

  • Jessup Grip Tape: Jessup is a well-known grip tape brand that offers reliable grip and durability.
  • Mob Grip Tape: Mob grip tape is favored by many professional skateboarders for its superior grip and longevity.
  • Grizzly Grip Tape: Grizzly grip tape is known for its unique designs and excellent grip performance.

Investing in high-quality grip tape from a reputable brand can significantly enhance your skateboarding experience and help you perform tricks with confidence.

6. Skateboard Protective Gear

When it comes to skateboarding, safety should always be a top priority. Investing in the right protective gear can make all the difference in preventing injuries while enjoying this thrilling sport. Here are some essential skateboard protective gear items that every skateboarder should consider:

6.1. Helmets

Helmets are arguably the most crucial piece of protective gear for skateboarders. They provide essential protection for your head in case of falls or accidents. When choosing a helmet, make sure it fits snugly on your head and meets safety standards. Look for helmets with a hard outer shell and comfortable padding on the inside for added protection and comfort.

6.2. Knee Pads and Elbow Pads

Knee pads and elbow pads are designed to protect your joints from impact during falls. They are typically made of durable materials like hard plastic or foam padding to absorb shock and prevent injuries. Knee pads and elbow pads should fit securely on your body and allow for unrestricted movement while skateboarding. Investing in a good pair of knee pads and elbow pads can save you from painful scrapes and bruises.

6.3. Wrist Guards

Wrist guards are essential for protecting your wrists from injuries, especially during falls where you may instinctively reach out to break your fall. Wrist guards typically feature a hard plastic splint to support your wrist and prevent hyperextension. They are lightweight and comfortable to wear, allowing you to skate with confidence knowing that your wrists are protected.

In conclusion, skateboard protective gear is a must-have for all skateboarders, regardless of skill level. By investing in quality helmets, knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards, you can enjoy skateboarding safely and confidently. Remember, safety first!

In conclusion, having the right skateboarding gear is crucial for both safety and performance on the board. From helmets and pads to decks and trucks, each piece of equipment plays a vital role in the overall skating experience. By understanding the different types of gear available and how they can enhance your skills, you can make informed decisions when choosing the best equipment for your needs. So grab your gear, hit the skate park, and enjoy the thrill of shredding on your board!