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Grab Your Skateboards.......It's Time!

It’s that time of year…

Dust off the skateboard and carve the streets and parks.

With that in mind we thought we’d give you a few of our favorite tips on a bunch of different skateboard-related topics! Let us know if you’ve found any of these helpful by sharing with your friends on Facebook.

Skateboard Trivia (Find the Answers within the Articles)

  1. In what state was the first skateboard (that was not a 2x4 with wheels) sold in 1963 by Bill and Mary Richard from their Surf Shop?
  2. The 1970’s brought about urethane wheels…what were the first wheels were made of?
  3. In 1978 this guy performed the first “Ollie” (taken from his nickname)
  4. Who was the manufacturer to make the first skateboard shoe back in 1976?
  5. By performing what first-ever trick did Tony Hawk make history in 1999?
  6. What did Danny Way do in 2005 to make it into the Skateboarding World Records?

What’s the Best Skateboard for You?

So you’ll want to answer a few questions first…
  1. Are you buying for a young child just starting out?
  2. What is your skill level?
  3. What do you plan to do with the board…carve or tricks?
So with those answers in mind…let’s see what you could end up with…. Back in the 60’s surfing became very popular in California and the Richard family decided that they could sell a more professionally made skate board than the 2x4’s with wheels that had been around for the last decade! But I’m going to talk about 3 styles for now…
If you’re a young kid…start out simple…BUT NOT CHEAP. 
Parents…do not think that the cheap boards from the big box stores are a good idea.  Skateboarding IS a sport that can cause injuries…proper equipment is important to help in preventing serious injuries. Just remember this…CHEAP MEANS DANGEROUS! You will see that boards come as “complete” or “customizable”.  For those just starting out a complete board is perfect. They will cost you between $75 and $150. Reminiscent of the 70’s era “Banana Board”, these simple, safe and very durable plastic retro cruisers from Penny will give your child a great first boarding experience.  Known as a “mini cruiser” they are made for carving and cruising
If you like to cruise…
The longboard is going to suit your needs best. Longboarding is the act of riding on a longboard skateboard…which, of course, is longer (and wider) than regular skateboards. As they come in many lengths, the best advice is to make sure that the length of the board does not exceed your height. Some of the boards actually use springs instead of bushings to allow the ride to angle the board like a surfboard.  They can coast longer distances and can turn at different angles than regular skateboards making them your perfect choice for cruising and carving.
If you want to do tricks…
Been boarding for a while and need to upgrade?  This is gonna be fun!  You can design the board that you want for what feels best for you and how you like to use your board.
  • You start first with the Deck (the board). What shape do you want? Do you like a lot of concave to the middle or do you want it more flat? Do you like the sawed off tail and pointy nose, sawed off or more rounded on the tail and the nose?
  • Then come the Trucks (axels). These are going to be the “only things left standing” when your deck finally bites the dust. Make sure to purchase ones from a reputable company so that they are durable, long lasting and capable of withstanding the wear and tear of the daily “grind.”
  • Next you decide which kinds of Bearings you need.  The bearings work to eliminate friction between the metal inside of the each wheel and the metal axle it spins around. Because the axle is fixed, the bearings are necessary to let the wheels spin without grinding up the metal…obviously a very important part of the workings of your board
  • Lastly, you pick the Wheels.  Almost all skate wheels are made from a hard composite material called polyurethane (PU). They offer varying degrees of durability and resistance to abrasion (durometer rating) as well as size. Here are some suggestions:
    • If you ride Vert: choose something in the higher range - 97A or higher and 55-65mm in diameter
    • If you ride Street: the technical side of the sport will need the same - 97A and higher and 50-55mm in diameter
    • If you are an all-around constant rider: go for a medium-hard wheel, somewhere between 90A and 97A and 52-60mm.
    • If you cruise/longboard: you need softer wheels - 75A through 85A (78A is pretty standard) and 64-75mm in diameter is pretty typical – though can be even larger

Good Size Guide

Size Guide typically 7.5 to 8 wide
  • Under 4’ = 29” or smaller  
  • 4’ to 4’10” = 29” to 30” long
  • 4’10” to 5’3” = 30.5” to 31.5” long
  • 5’3” to 5”8” = 31.5” to 32” long
  • 5”8” to 6’1” = 32” to 32.5” long
  • Over 6’1” = 32.4” and up

Did You Clean Your Bearings????

Skateboarding is tough enough and dirty bearings will cause you all sorts of troubles.  Take these steps to make sure your bearings are always in excellent shape
  1. Change into grungy clothes and spread a tarp or newspapers around
  2. Remove wheels and bearings from the board
  3. Pop the bearings loose from their casings (should be 2 for each wheel)
  4. Use a clean rag and rubbing alcohol or acetone (DO NOT USE OIL BASE PRODUCT!) and clean them individually or drop them into a jar of the alcohol or acetone to soak for a few minutes
  5. Wipe dry and apply lubricant liberally
  6. Wrap each one in a cloth and shake to “drip-dry”
  7. Reapply the casings, reattach the wheels and spin to make sure that they spin freely

Let’s Talk Footwear…

Back in the late 70’s, people realized that that Skateboarding can be very detrimental to ones well-being. So VANS came up with a shoe (sneaker) specifically for skateboarding.

What is unique about board shoes is that they are flat-soled, made of rubber or polyurethane and have little or no tread pattern…so that more area of the sole hits the board and you have a better grip and, therefore, greater control. They are also typically made with composite leather or suede upper with double or triple stitching for durability and longevity.

Vans also offer extra padding in the toe-box area and call it the “Ollie Pad”.  The Ollie is typically the first trick a new skater learns to do.  It comes from Alan “Ollie” Gelfand who created the move back in 1978

DC Shoes  and Vans are the most popular brands and we carry them right here at Proper footwear can help prevent serious injuries

Where Should You Skate?

Here are some of the most notable skate-parks….Do you live near any?  Most communities have established skate-parks within their midst.  This is, obviously, the safest place to board and you will typically find a lot of skaters around, helping you with your tricks and encouraging you to do more than you though you ever could!  However, street skating is a mode of commuting for some die-hard skaters so, like bikes, you will find them riding anywhere and everywhere.

Here’s Some Fun Videos to Watch

So…if you’re just learning to cruise and carve, or you’ve done your first 900 like Tony Hawk did in 1999 – or – you’re trying to make the record books like Danny Way did in 2005 by Ollie-ing the Great Wall of China  skateboarding is not just fun, it’s not just a sport…it’s an actual lifestyle! 
(Did you find all the trivia answers? If you did use this code SKATE2014 for 10% off any Skate Gear item)

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Jeana - July 24, 2015

Kudos! What a neat way of thkinnig about it.

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