I am sure we all have wanted to try skateboarding when we saw those cool tricks performed by the professionals, doing that thing on the rail(Grind) or that kickflip, or maybe you are lucky enough to try it yourself. But have you ever thought about how those Skateboards are made?
In this article, I will be going through the making process of the skateboards from their parts to their assembling. A Skateboard consists of several parts joined together.
The main components consist of a Deck, four Skateboard Wheels, and a pair of Trucks. Skateboards can be used for traveling purposes, but it is usually used to perform stunts that’s why they have to be built strong cause they have to go through a lot of impacts.
Parts of Skateboard
The first thing is the parts, so here is the list of all the essential components included in a skateboard.
- One Skateboard Deck
- A pair of Trucks
- Four skateboard Wheels
- Eight Bearings (two for each wheel)
- Hardware which includes nuts, bolts, and kingpin
- A pair of Risers/wedges
- Skateboard Grip tape
And some other things depending on the manufacturer of the skateboard.
Design of a Skateboard
As we come to the design, there are various designs for a Skateboard depending on how it will be used. For example, a Longboard is a type of Skateboard that is longer in size than a regular Skateboard and is used for long-distance traveling and Downhill racing.
In contrast, a cruiser, another kind of Skateboard, is smaller in size and is used to perform stunts and travel short distances.
Skateboard Manufacturing Process
1. Skateboard Decks
A deck is a flat piece of wood that is used by the rider for standing. For the deck, Maple wood is used. Usually, a Skateboard consists of 7-8 layers of ply Maple wood, sometimes even nine just for extra strength, then polyurethane is coated on the deck to make it smoother.
Due to the increasing demand for Skateboards, the need for Maple Wood is also increasing, which has a leading role in Maple Wood deforestation.
2. Skateboard Trucks
Trucks are the two metal components attached to the bottom of the Skateboard. The wheels and the bearings are fixed on the Trucks.
For making the Trucks, there are two common ways: Die-casting and Gravity-casting. Both methods require two molds that have the shape of a Skateboard Truck. A mix of liquid Aluminium is poured into the molds, which after colling, comes out as a Truck, then the Truck is polished and drilled.
3. Skateboard Wheels
The wheels are an essential part of the Skateboard cause without them, you won’t be able to ride a Skateboard. There are four wheels attached to the skateboard. They are usually made of polyurethane and vary in shape and size for different types of skating.
The reason wheels are made using polyurethane is good abrasion resistance, and polyurethane gives a good grip on the ground.
4. Skateboard Graphics
The graphics add even more style to the Skateboard. The printing process is: First, the graphics are printed on a thin plastic sheet by digitally spraying ink on it. And then, the plastic is attached to the board and goes through a heating machine.
Sometimes skateboards are just painted using spray paint by hand. This work is done by professional designers; however, you can also get custom graphics of your choice printed on your board.
5. Assembling the Skateboard
After everything has been manufactured, the manufacturer assembles all the components. The trucks are first attacked to the deck with the help of kingpins, bushing, washers, and nuts, and then bearings are fitted in the truck, followed by the wheels.
To improve the Skateboard grip, a layer of grip tape is applied on the surface of the board and then flattened by the hand to smooth it out. The excessive grip tape is then removed using a scissor or a blade.