How To Build A Skateboard At Home If You’re A Beginner
A quality skateboard is essential for practicing new tricks. If you're looking to start skateboarding on a budget, learn how to build a skateboard at home with this article. You will learn these 4 easy steps:
Part 1: Assembling your parts and tools
Part 2: Putting the grip tape on your deck
Part 3: Attaching the trucks and wheels
Part 4: Removing old grip tape
The detailed guide will help you understand the board setup, meaning you can enhance it to upgrade your skills in the future. Plus, the pro tips will help you save costs in choosing accessories for a high-quality skateboard.
See also: 12+ Best Complete Skateboards in 2021
What You Need To Build Your Own Skateboard
Before we dive into the guide, you will start with preparing the workspace. First, purchase the following list of skateboard parts:
1 skateboard deck
8 washers (included in the trucks)
8 bolts and nuts
As for the tools, you will need:
A box cutter or razor blade
A metal file
A marker with color contrasting the grip tape
A 3/8 inch wrench
A 1/8 inch Allen key (Allen wrench)
These tools are easy to find in the garage, so you don't have to worry about the extra costs. Next, choose a flat table large enough to set your parts and tools on. If you prefer working on the floor, make sure the surface is balanced and clutter-free.
Since building a skateboard requires you to work with small details, it's important that the workspace has enough light and is comfortable enough for you to move around.
How To Build A Good Complete Skateboard
Once you have completed the preparations let's continue with how to build your own skateboard.
Part 1: Assembling Your Parts And Tools
Sort the parts and tools into 2 groups:
Group 1: The first group is for the deck and the grip tape. The tools include the box cutter and the metal file.
Group 2: As for this group of all remaining items on the list, it is best that you keep the parts in the box, so they don't roll off the table.
Part 2: Putting The Grip Tape On Your Deck
Start by setting the deck on the work surface with the nose and tail facing up. Peel the grip tape backing off to show the adhesive glue.
Hold the ends of the grip tape and place it on the deck. The grip tape should cover the entire length of the deck, with an extra inch on the nose and tail.
Then, press down the center of the grip tape. From this center point, use a metal file to flatten out the grip tape at a steady pace. The metal file helps the grip tape stick onto the deck without leaving bubbles.
Next, position the shank of the screwdriver on one edge and start pressing firmly. Roll the shank on all of the edges. This process secures the grip tape, making it withstand energetic activities in the future.
Using the box cutter, remove the extra inch of grip tape on the nose. Make sure the knife stays close to the edges to give a consistent cut. Repeat the same process with the tail.
Part 3: Attaching The Trucks And Wheels
Continue with the current deck setup, proceed to install the trucks:
- Use the ruler and marker to identify the trucks' positions. From the center point of the tail's edge, draw a straight line on the surface with the length equals to 1/5 of the deck's total length.
Then, place the truck right next to the connecting point of the width and the tail, with the line running through the center of the truck base. Mark the 4 drill holes of the truck on the surface. Apply this marking step with the nose, but add 0,5 inches to the line.
- Use the screwdriver to drill the holes. Next, add 1 bolt to each hole and install the trucks.
The final parts of your skateboard are the bearings and wheels:
First, turn the deck on the side and slide in 1 bearing for an axle. Then, place the center of a wheel on that axle. Push the wheel until the center slides through the bearing. We'd recommend using your bare hands because the wheels can break under heavy pressure.
Repeat this step to install another bearing on the other side of the wheel. Apply the same process to the remaining wheels.
Slide 1 washer through an axle, then add the wheels with bearings inside. Next, add the remaining washer and install the nut. Use the Allen key to tighten the nut. Install the other wheels with the same process.
After you've secured the nuts, your skateboard is ready for action.
Part 4: Removing Old Grip Tape
Additionally, if you are remodeling a second-hand deck, you can remove the existing grip tape. This process also works for replacing worn grip tape with the new one. The list of tools include:
A razor blade
A 1/8 inch Allen key
A dry, clean cloth
The first step is detaching the trucks. Place the skateboard on a flat surface, then remove the nuts with the Allen key. Next, unscrew the truck base, and you can set the trucks aside.
Use the hairdryer to loosen up the adhesive glue on the deck's nose. With the razor blade, remove the tape steadily until you can hold a large part of the tape. Pull the entire grip tape off of the deck. Whenever the tape gets stuck, use the hairdryer again.
Next, clean the edges with 80-grit sandpaper. Then, you want to use 120-grit type for sanding the remaining parts of the deck. For the final step, wipe the dust on the surface with a dry cloth. At this point, you can install new grip tape.
3 Pro Tips To Customize A Skateboard
You have learned how to build a complete skateboard; now, these pro tips will help you build a quality unit.
Set A Budget
Before you purchase any part, research the beginner skateboard brands to choose a price range. Prioritize brands with a reputation for quality equipment.
The high quality does not only last for a long time but also stays intact to keep you safe when practicing tricks. Overall, the starting prices are:
Deck: The average price for a sturdy deck is 40$. The higher the price from this point, the better quality.
Bearings and wheels: The price range starts at 15$ and can go up to 100$.
Grip tape: Plain colors only cost from 2$ to 5$, while fashionable designs start at 15$.
Bolts and nuts: A complete set of bolts and nuts costs less than 2$ for good quality.
Find The Right Size
The deck width range from 7,75 inches to 8 inches is sufficient for beginners. Any size below 7,75 inches is for practicing small tricks, while bigger sizes or even larger than 8 inches are for professional tricks. Don't forget to check out the skateboard deck sizes to choose the perfect one.
As for the skateboard bearings, manufacturers have the universal size. Therefore, you will only need to decide on which brand to buy from.
Consider Where You're Skating
Your skateboard can last for a longer time if you have the right build for the terrain. In short, there are 3 common types of terrain:
The skate park: Parks have few to no obstacles, so a medium-sized deck with soft wheels is ideal. Make sure you do a test run before practicing tricks to have a high safety level.
The streets: Staircases, flower curbs, and railings are sturdy obstacles. A set of hard wheels can withstand impacts from these obstacles in the long run.
The ramp: As for practicing on the curvy ramps, a longboard with hard wheels is your best companion. Practice small tricks with the new wheels to reduce the slippery, and you can move on to the ramp.
To prepare for your skateboard, we'd recommend setting your budget to get high-quality parts at an affordable price. The sturdy materials are more suitable for long skateboarding time.
As for the workspace, choose a flat surface to help you assemble the parts with the correct measures. Then, go through each step at a slow and steady pace to observe if the parts fit nicely. We hope you enjoy building a skateboard at home with this guide!