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Skateboard Maintenance & Repair: Basic fixes, cleaning, and part replacement

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Skateboard Maintenance & Repair:

  1. Why skateboard maintenance is important
  2. How can cleaning and maintenance prolong the life of your skateboard components
  3. What are the basic fixes to do when something happened to your skateboard
  4. When would be the best time to replace a skateboard parts
  5. What tools are needed to fix and maintain your skateboard
  6. What to do with old skateboard parts 

Analogy: Skateboarding is fun but making your parts long lasting would continue the fun for a long time and nobody wants a rusty old bearing while you’re pushing over the coping. 

Inspect your skateboard:

  1. Inspecting skateboard is easy and you can easily check if there are stuffs on your skateboard thats wrong
  2. Get the proper tools and your skateboard
  3. If you don’t know how to remove your parts you can always ask for someone or go to the nearest skate shop for assistance 
  4. Inspect your skateboard and check if there are parts that are getting rusty, dirty or just getting slow (like wheels and bearings).
  5. Check also if there are squeaky sounds as those are signs that you would need to do skateboard maintenance on your skateboard. 

Basic Fixes: 

  1. Importance of basic fixes on a skateboard
  2. Tightening or loosening of the trucks – importance of a stable trucks for your preference 
  3. Squeaky trucks – often due to dry pivot cups
  4. Loose hardwares, bolts and nuts – tightening hardwares would prevent you from having trucks not aligned or your wheels falling off
  5. Proper bearing placement for snug fit on the wheels and having spacers can save you from destroying your wheels (happened to me on my Ricta Naturals when I was a kid) 
  6. Worn out grip tapes – nobody wants a slippery griptape and the importance of properly installing it to avoid the griptape from separating from your board.
  7. Chips on a board – smaller chips won’t matter that much but for bigger ones and as long as it’s not on the areas where you pop whether it’s ollies or nollies it’s better to replace when the chips are affecting the way you skate. 

Basic Maintenance and Cleaning: 

  1. Sharing the importance of Basic maintenance on the skateboard
  2. Cleaning your bearings and how to clean it easily. 
  3. Cleaning your griptape removing dirt, mud or anything that can affect the griptapes performance
  4. Cleaning trucks to avoid getting rusty and dirty
  5. Making sure your skateboard is always dry and avoiding it being soaked from water 

Skateboard Part Replacement

  1. When is the time to replace a skateboard part? 
  2. Cracks on a skateboard deck is a perfect time to replace a skateboard
  3. Having flat spots on the wheels is a time to replace a skateboard wheel
  4. Bearings that are slow and cannot roll even after cleaning is a sign to replace bearings
  5. Grinded trucks and cracks are signs to replace a skateboard truck.Also check if those base plates are stopping you from doing your kickflip noseslides
  6. What to do with the old parts? Give it to other skaters who needs it the most

Overall

  1. Remember that skateboards can be broken anytime and anywhere. Doing the basic fixes and maintenance can extend the life of your skateboard. 
  2. Safety is a priority and if you can’t skate properly with your skateboard parts, its better to replace it and avoid having problems while skating. 
  3. Respect skateboard parts and never throw or focus on those. 

Regular maintenance keeps it in top shape, preventing breakdowns and extending the life of your skateboard. 

Inspecting Your Skateboard: 

First things first –  give your board a quick inspection before your session begins. Be sure to have your skate tool handy. Look for anything suspicious: rust, cracks, worn-out parts, wobbly trucks, loose bolts, or that dreaded slow rolling wheel. Squeaky sounds are also a sign that something needs your attention. If you have any of those, kindly follow our suggested basic fixes.

  • Decks:  A chip on the nose or tail shouldn’t affect your skating too much. Just keep an eye on it in future sessions to make sure it doesn’t get worse, which can eventually lead to a razor tail. However, for bigger cracks a replacement might be necessary.
  • Trucks: This is where your skate tool comes in. Feeling like you can’t turn, or even worse, you get speed wobbles? A quick adjustment can make a world of difference in terms of stability and control. For squeaky trucks – a little drop of bearing lube in the pivot cup can silence those annoying noises. 
  • Hardware: When riding, have you ever heard a grinding sound or notice your baseplate on your trucks are wobbling? Loose hardware might be the reason. Tightening those bolts and nuts ensures your trucks stay aligned, eliminating that grinding noise and vibrations under your feet.
  • Bearings: Check for wobbling wheels caused by improperly seated bearings. Flip your board on the side and use your truck as a bearing press to evenly push the wheel downwards towards the hanger for a quick fix.
  • Griptape: A worn-out or dirty grip tape is a recipe for not landing your favorite tricks. Keeping it clean and free of mud/dirt is essential. You can easily clean your grip with the Mob Grip Cleaner. 

Check out our helpful steps below to clean your skateboard.

How to clean your bearings:

  1. Remove Bearings: Take off the wheels and pop out the bearings with a tool or using your truck.
  2. Clean Bearings: Soak them in isopropyl alcohol or a bearing cleaner.
  3. Dry Bearings: Wipe them down or use compressed air for quick drying.
  4. Lubricate Bearings: Apply a few drops of bearing lubricant to each. Tip: Do not use WD-40, as the oil is too thick and will attract more dirt into your bearings. This was the mistake I had when I was still a beginner trying to make my Bones Reds as fast as Ceramics. 
  5. Reassemble: Put the bearings back into the wheels and mount them on your skateboard. 

How to clean your griptape:

  1. Brush: Use a soft brush to remove surface dirt.
  2. Spot Clean: Dab stains with a damp cloth and soap.
  3. Grip Cleaner: Rub a griptape cleaner over tough grime.
  4. Dry: Let the griptape air dry completely.
  5. You can purchase Grip Cleaner at the link and it definitely does the job of removing those unwanted dirt on your griptape.

How to clean your trucks:

  1. Remove Trucks: Take the trucks off your skateboard deck with a skate tool or a Phillips screwdriver and pliers.
  2. Wipe Down: Use a dry cloth to remove surface dirt and grime.
  3. Deep Clean: For tougher grime, use a damp cloth with soap. Scrub the trucks gently. For rust on the axle, use a small portion of sandpaper or griptape(the size of a fingernail) and rub off the rust.
  4. Dry: Make sure the trucks are completely dry before reattaching them to your deck. Who doesn’t want clean and shiny trucks under their feet? Not me! 

Sometimes, even the best-maintained parts reach their limit. Here’s when it’s time to say goodbye and invest in replacements:

Broken Decks: This is a safety hazard, no question. A deck about to break can lead to injuries. Also, if you start to hear squeaky or cracking sounds while putting pressure on your board, it’s a sign to head to your nearest skate shop, like Skate The Foundry, and purchase a new one.

Wheel Flat-spots: Some of my friends call this “helicopter wheels”! Flat-spots on your wheels can throw off your balance and make landing tricks difficult. It can even be a distraction when learning a new trick due to the vibrations under your feet and the noise it makes.

Slow or Broken Bearings: When your bearings are rusty, missing balls within the bearings, or the shields are broken or missing, it’s time to purchase new bearings. Broken bearings can be a safety issue, causing an unexpected stop from landing that buttery backside tailslide off the ledge.

Worn-out or Cracked Trucks: If your trucks are starting to affect your turning, not locking into grinds properly, or showing serious wear and tear (such as a crack), it’s time for an upgrade.

Other broken parts? Remember, safety will always be your number one priority. If you feel that something isn’t working properly, we highly recommend that you change it or seek advice from a more experienced skater. Don’t risk getting hurt while skateboarding.

Pass it on

Skateboard parts can have a second life! If you’re replacing something that’s still usable, consider giving it to a fellow skater who might need it. Some skate shops have donation boxes for used skateboard products, benefiting skaters in need. Earn karma points for strengthening the skate community! Not only are you helping a fellow skater, but you are also making a positive impact on someone’s life.

Overall 

Skateboarding is all about having fun, but maintaining your board is key to keeping the good sessions going. Remember, a little love and attention can extend the life of your skateboard and keep you worry-free. So next time you grab your skateboard, take a quick minute to inspect it and double-check if you need to. Your future self (and your wallet) will thank you!

Need Our Assistance? We’re here for you! Just drop us an email with any questions or if you need any assistance with your skateboard maintenance, and we’ll help you extend the life of your skateboard parts for a long time.