If you want a build to a skateboard, you have to come to right place, here is our guide on how to build a skateboard!
On your skateboard you will be able to do things like:
- Do some basic tricks
But, would you build your own skateboard, and what do you need for it?
We're here to cover:
- The parts you need
- The tools you need
- How to put everything together
Which parts do you need to build a complete custom skateboard?
Although this list is ALL you need, remember that you may have some decent parts that you can salvage from your old setup.
It makes little sense to buy new parts for their own sake.
No. 1 - Skateboard deck
The first and probably most important thing you will need is a suitable deck.
For a quality deck, you should be expecting to pay somewhere in the range of $40 to $80. If you have already started your search, you will have seen dozens of brands offering them for sale. Our advice? Stick with the top brands. They'll provide the durability, flex, and the pop you need.
But which are the top brands?
- 1. Element skateboards
- 2. Birdhouse skateboards
- 3. Skateboards for girls
- 4. Toy Machine
- 5. Real skateboards
- 6. Enjoi
- 7. Baker
- 8. York Zoo
- 9. Santa Cruz Skateboards
#No. 2 - Grip tape
Even with the perfect custom made board, you will probably have trouble if the grip tape you use is below average.
Like the tons of cover tapes that are offered, the same applies to the Grip-Tape. For about $10, you can get a high-quality Grip Tape. It depends on which exact grip tape you choose, but anything over $20 is expensive. In this range from 10 to 20 dollars, you can get a quality product from skate brands like Jessop's.
Note: If you are thinking of buying a new deck, check if it contains a grip tape. Some deck brands offer a Grip-Tape from Jessop when you buy a deck. We have a guide on how to clean skateboard grip tape!
#3 - Truck
Next on theshortlist is a set of high-quality skateboard trucks. If you are looking for the best trucks, you should budget in the range of $30-45.
Like Decks and Grip Tape, you will be confused with a ton of different brands in the range. Here is our top brand list for skateboard trucks:
- 1. Phantom
- 2. Thunder
- 3. Anger
- 4. Tensor
- 5. Independent
- 6. Navigator
- 7. Grinding
- 8. Volume
- 9. Destructo
- 10. Crux
Each brand offers models that are suitable for different skating scenarios.
Equestrian Park? Skating rink? Meet Vert? Need something light? Whatever you ride or whatever you want from your setup, there's a range of skateboard trucks to match.
We have written a detailed guide about skateboard trucks here.
As you can see from this guide, the Independent Stage 11 trucks are a good all-rounder if you are building your own skateboard.
#No. 4 - Hardware
Building a skateboard is not cheap. Fortunately, your bank balance has already suffered the biggest losses with your truck and deck purchases. You will need less than $10 for your hardware, and that'll put it all together.
There are companies that offer cheap hardware for custom skateboards. Our advice? There's no point in attempting to save a few bucks here.
Skateboard hardware is READY cheap. You could save a few bills if you screwed everything together with cheap hardware, but it's unlikely to last.
Hardware kits for your new custom board, available in sets of 8 (nuts and bolts). 4 nuts for the front trucks and 4 for the rear trucks.
In the lower price range, you can get decent hardware for $5, and regardless of the brand you choose, you should not spend more than $10.
#5 - Bearing
More good news. Like hardware kits, skateboard bearings are not very expensive; one set costs about $10-15. And that's a high-quality set!
If you have already looked around for bearings for your custom-made board, you will have seen many references to ABEC ratings. This is an industry-standard for skate bearings.
1 is the worst rating, slowest, and lowest quality. You don't want that.
The ABEC 9+ is the highest rating, the fastest and the highest quality. If you can buy the ABEC 9+, then choose it. If not, try to stick to at least ABEC 7 and higher.
Although ABEC provides the reviews, you will go to traditional skate brands to make your purchase. As we mention in our detailed guide to skateboard camps here, this is our preference when it comes to brands:
#6 - Wheels
Let's face it, your bearings will be useless without a decent set of wheels.
Poor quality wheels make your deck vibrate like crazy, which means that you are constantly unstable when you do tricks. They may last forever, but that's because they don't offer the individual quality that a decent skater wheel has (i.e., grip, stability, and the ability to absorb vibrations).
OK, so your bikes won't be quite cheap, but you only have to allow for a maximum of 30 dollars. Usually, you can buy skater wheels from brand name manufacturers for any price in the range of $15 to $30, depending on what's on sale.
What tools do you need to build a complete custom skateboard?
The toolbox you need to build a skateboard is simple.
Most online skate shops sell a "skate tool." This is basically a Swiss army knife for skateboards.
Apart from that, you need a screwdriver, and you are ready to go!
How to build your own skateboard
You have your tools, you have your parts. Now you need to put it all together.
Mount skateboard trucks
Start with the assembly of your skateboard trucks. Technically you could first mount the wheels and bearings on the trucks. But it is much easier to mount them on the trucks when the trucks are fixed on the deck.
Make sure that the main bolt (i.e., the kingpin) of your truck points towards the middle of the deck. Take your hardware and insert a bolt through each of the 8 holes in your deck. There will be 4 for each truck.
Then tighten the screws on the trucks.
In such cases, it is useful to distribute the tension when tightening the screws. If you put tension on a section of the deck, this will cause weakness, and the board will crack long before it should.
So clamp each screw at the exact point where it starts to tighten/ show signs of resistance. Then tighten them with a ½ turn on the top left screw. Slide it down right, upright, down left.
Keep this up until the trucks are sealed.
Mounting the wheels
Next, you will want to install the wheels. To do this, you'll need to remove the bolts (and washers) from the trucks.
Mount a bearing on each arm of the truck, a washer should be placed on the truck in front of the bearing. Slowly align the wheel and slide it onto the bearing. The bearing should fit easily into the wheel.
Finally, using the second washer, slide the second washer onto the thread of the truck protruding from the wheel and tighten it.