While your skating spirit may be unbreakable, the same cannot be said about your skateboard. Unsurprisingly, with all those skilled jumps and extended riding sessions, skateboards can exhibit signs of wear-and-tear after only a few months of use. Damaged decks, faulty bearings, or broken truck parts; this goes for all types of builds. Now, can you really afford to send your board to the shop or purchase a new one whenever something pops up? If not, good! In this practical guide, we go over some of the most common issues with skateboards and how to fix them, right from your own garage.
Mending the Deck
The deck is inarguably the part of your skateboard that’s most likely to suffer early damages. Whether your board is chipped, cracked, got delaminated, or warped, to each problem its solution. Here’s what you can do:
- Chip or Crack
Begin by carefully removing the board’s old grip tape using a hairdryer and a sharp razor. Use epoxy (easily found for cheap at hardware or art supply stores) to fill in any cracks, and let dry for a good 24 hours. Then, using sandpaper, smooth over the previously damaged area. Apply new grip tape, and you’re good to go.
Delamination is when the deck’s wood plies start to come apart. Over time, the glue that binds these layers together loses its strength, making the board weaker and unstable. For this, you may use a special glue to fill in the gaps between delaminated layers using a meat syringe or any flat tool. Make sure it’s evenly distributed and avoid overpacking. Next, apply weight (at least 10kg/20lb), remove any excess, and let the glue cure overnight.
Although less common, an out-of-shape deck can be troublesome. To straighten it and restore its balance, start by removing the truck and wheels. Immerse the deck in lukewarm water overnight to make it pliable. Once that’s done, take your deck out, lay it on a flat surface, and weigh it down with a heavy object (textbooks, cement blocks, etc.) for at least 24 hours.
Fixing the Truck
Aside from the metal body itself, which can be hard to repair for amateur skateboarding DIYers, your truck’s bushings, pivot cups, and washers are easily replaceable. All you’ll need are replacement parts, which can be acquired for a few bucks on shopping platforms. As the riding experts on https://thesportbro.com/best-skateboard-trucks/ explain, skateboard trucks are extremely durable, but you may need to replace yours after years of use and abuse. And given the countless options available on the market, checking comparative guides and specialized reviews will help you make an informed and long-lasting purchase. With that said, here are some quick steps you can take to restore your truck and remedy common issues:
- Start by removing the kingpin nut and pulling off the truck hanger, bushing, and washers.
- Inspect the truck for any signs of heavy wear-and-tear.
- Rotate your bushings halfway to distribute the wear around it evenly. You may want to do this monthly, depending on your frequency of riding.
- Apply a bit of bar soap into your pivot cups if they’re squeaky to help lubricate the rubber and get rid of the annoying sound.
- Damaged or bent parts like kingpins or bent axles should be replaced with new ones; you’ll find plenty of expert step-by-step video tutorials.
Caring for the Bearings
Last but not least, you probably won’t get very far without bearings. Aside from avoiding skating under the rain, puddles, and cleaning them regularly, there are simple things you can do to maximize the longevity of your bearings for a smooth riding experience:
- Begin by carefully removing the bearings from the wheels.
- Push a screwdriver through the hole of each bearing.
- Apply some special lubricant all around to keep them nice and flexible.
- Pop then back in place, and re-attach them to your wheels.
While skateboards are generally designed for sturdiness and durability, you’re bound to encounter issues at one point or another, especially if you’re a heavy rider. Whether it’s a delaminated deck, squeaky pivot cups, or paralyzed wheels, fortunately, these can be easily fixed with the right tools and techniques. True, you’ll need adequate supplies to get the job done, but it’ll set you back far less than paying a visit to the shop. Word to the wise: whenever a damaged part of your board calls for a replacement, conduct some research, acquire the part and take help from one of your experienced skating buddies. It’s an effort, but it’ll save you hundreds of dollars on a brand-new setup!