How to Keep Your Skateboard in Good Condition: A Complete Guide

Boost your skateboard's lifespan with this ultimate 10-step guide. Master skateboard maintenance, get more rides, fewer repairs!

Ever wondered, “How can I keep my skateboard in prime condition?” Newbie or pro, we’ve all been there, and believe me, extending the lifespan of your skateboard isn’t rocket science. It’s just as much fun and challenging as learning a new trick! In this post, you’ll learn solid, actionable tips on skateboard maintenance, how not to be that dude whose nut bolt ventures off on its skate session from the axle, or why playing rain-dance with your board is a solid no-no.

What is a skateboard?

A skateboard is a flat, elongated board equipped with wheels attached to its underside, enabling it to roll. Often made from layers of laminated wood, such as maple, but sometimes crafted from materials like plastic or fiberglass, the skateboard is primarily used for recreational activities, sports, and transportation.

Image of a skateboarder checking his skateboard. Source: unsplash
Image of a skateboarder checking his skateboard. Source: unsplash

The board’s design allows riders to steer by shifting their weight and manipulating the pivotal trucks, which are the metal T-shaped components connecting the wheels to the deck. Over the years, skateboarding has evolved from a simple mode of transportation to a globally recognized sport with various styles and disciplines, including street, vertical, and downhill racing.

My favorite complete skateboard (at the moment):

Enjoi Whitey Panda Complete Skateboard

How to keep your skateboard in good condition: a complete guide | 61vn95mf7ql. Ac sl1184 | skateboard salad
My favorite complete skateboard (at the moment):

Enjoi Whitey Panda Complete Skateboard

I had my board stolen a few years ago and was forced to quickly replace it with a complete. I got one with an Enjoi deck and loved it so much that I still buy the Whitey Panda deck each time I need a new deck. This complete with budget-friendly, beginner-friendly parts, but I still swear by it.

Why is it important to maintain a skateboard in good condition?

A well-maintained skateboard reduces the risk of accidents caused by equipment failures, such as broken decks or seized bearings, ensuring a safer ride for the skateboarder. Proper maintenance ensures that all components, like wheels and trucks, function optimally. This leads to smoother rides, better responsiveness, and improved maneuverability.

Regular upkeep extends the lifespan of the skateboard components, preventing premature wear and tear and saving money in the long run. When a skateboard is in good condition, the rider can expect consistent behavior and feel from the board during every session, allowing for better skill development and progression.

How can we prolong our skateboard’s lifespan?

Alright, shredders, it’s no newsflash that our skateboards don’t have a never-ending lifespan warranty. So, the million-dollar question is, how can we make rescue runs to the skateboard shop the exception, not the rule? Let me bestow on you my ten tried-and-tested steps for a long-lasting skateboard. Commonly overlooked, these are lessons I wish I knew when I set foot on my first board!

1. Store it like it’s gold

When storing your skateboard, a sage piece of advice here is to keep it cozy, not cold, dry, and not drenched. High heat and extreme cold are like skateboard horror stories, wreaking havoc on your bushings and wheels. Extreme temperatures aside, wet conditions are as good for your skateboard as Kryptonite is for Superman.

Your board, left in damp or rainy conditions, might as well play the starring role in a tragedy. Waterlogging will sap the life out of your deck, reducing its bounce and ruining its performance faster than you’d say, Ollie. Steer clear of a soggy deck by storing your board dryly. Get in the habit of checking your storage spot’s condition.

2. Keep it clean

Dirty bearings are silent skateboard killers. Dirt and grime creep in stealthily, and before you know it, you’ve got the grating noise of rusty bearings replacing your smooth, thrilling glide. But remember, every three or four months, a cleaning date with your bearings is an absolute must. For open bearings, show them some love with a bath in alcohol or nail remover.

Next, a good shake to kick out the trapped dirt, followed by soaking it for an hour, should do the trick. Dry them, give them a good tap, and once again, let the dryer do its magic. Following this, a generous dollop of Bones Speed Cream or silicone lubricant will wrap up the process. For closed bearings, pop out the shield before applying nail polish remover. Remember, dirt is the enemy.

3. Curb the truck tightening

Your trucks may very well be the backbone of your ride, but over-tightening them is a shortcut to damaging your bushings and creating a dull, unresponsive board. You have to strike that perfect balance—not too loose, not too tight. The golden rule for my truck dudes is: if two threads of your kingpin are showing, it’s time to let go. Invest in harder bushings to save your ride.

You might be a loose truck fan, but it helps you carve better. Or perhaps you fall into the tight truck camp, favoring stability. However, excessively tight trucks can most definitely damage your bushings, leaving you with a lackluster, inert board. Consider this bearing blunder—the venom slowly traveling through your ride’s veins, making it unresponsive and dead.

4. Tap into the power of regular inspection

Just as one wouldn’t perform a gig without a mic check, the importance of a regular ‘parts check’ on your skateboard cannot be underscored enough. Efficiency and prevention? Yeah, it’s the inspection that ensures both. Be constant, be thorough, and save yourself a mid-session equipment blunder.

It would be best if you kept your eyes peeled for certain parts. Grip tape coming off, you ask? Clip that right off. Loose nuts and bolts being rebellious? Get on top of it and show them who’s the boss. With a regular once-over, you’re not just prolonging your skateboard’s life but also elevating your performance.

5. Embrace the art of replacement when needed

While the entire ‘don’t fix it if it ain’t broke’ stands true most times, parts eventually wear down. Deciding to replace key parts like bushings, grip tape, and worn-out parts rather than going for entirely new gear is your passage to a smarter, more cost-effective skate life.

Bushings drying out faster than your laundry in the summer heat? Spot those cracks and replace them ASAP. Is grip tape peeling off quicker than bananas in Mario Kart? Whip out that hairdryer and that lively new roll of magic you’ve been saving for just the occasion. In skateboard life, unflinching vigilance and unhurried replacement skills are your tickets to an enhanced ride. So embrace them, won’t you?

In conclusion, while extreme trick attempts may land you in epic TikTok compilations, caution and preemptive measures will see you through many more skate sessions. Happy shredding, mates! Our love for the sport goes well beyond the show-stopping tricks and our respect for our gear. The longevity of our skateboards lies largely in our hands.

Image of a skateboard truck being fixed. Source: unsplash
Image of a skateboard truck being fixed. Source: unsplash

6. Avoid extreme weather conditions

Skateboards aren’t fans of rain, not even a small drizzle. Exposure to water creates a downhill highway for your deck’s performance. Water seeps into the wood, resulting in waterlogging and eventually causing ply separation via delamination. Not a pretty sight, I assure you. Not to forget the havoc water wreaks on bearings by washing off lubricants and creating a rust party.

Weather extremes also play victor-vanquish with our decks. High heat, especially in sandy areas, welcomes quicker wear and tear. Hot weather has those bearings attracting more sand and dust, while bushings undergo deformation faster. Try to avoid puddles, and don’t do the rain skate.

7. Practice proper skateboard storage

Just as our Tony Hawk poster owns its rightful spot on the wall, our skateboard’s storage spot demands particular attention and respect. Your skateboard deserves a climate-controlled environment; those often-overlooked corners receiving direct sunlight or air are a no-go.

Store it vertically, resting on the tail, and remember; flat surfaces are homes for dust! You’d want to dodge that skateboard nose damage, so avoid hanging it by the trucks. And guys, avoid stacking the boards. Choosing a cool, dry, dust-free, and indoor spot enhances the longevity of your ride.

8. Follow the ‘don’t throw it around’ golden rule

Tossing your board around after that trick went wrong is a big no-no. While your frustration might be saying, “Slam it!” your board’s lifespan is pleading for a gentler treatment.
Our skateboard takes a lot of impact from simply serving as our riders, so the extra roughhousing is not their cup of tea.

9. Inspect the trucks

Your skateboard isn’t going anywhere without its trucks. An interesting part of the “insane world of trucks” is that your trucks wouldn’t need replacing unless you’d broken them. However, parts of them, like the bushing axles, require monitoring and replacement.

If you’re running into a reoccurring wheel bite, consider replacing your bushings with a harder variant. Enhance the life of your ride by not being shy about replacing worn-out parts—all part of nurturing your shredding partner!

10. Assess the grip tape

Grip tape, our faithful aide in nailing those grind tricks and flips, deserves our gratitude and attention. An often overlooked part, worn-out grip tapes with their peeled-off ends, affect deck control adversely—something no skater wants—precisely why it gains a spot in our commandment list.

Under the watchful eyes of its skater pal, peeled-off ends need prompt trimming. A thorough check for air bubbles, spots of wear and tear, and complete replacement, if required, will keep your deck control consistently good. Your board might thank you by making that next kickflip seem easier!

Additional skateboard maintenance tips

Looking for some extra-savvy tips to keep that board of yours in solid shape? Here are a few more tips that might come in handy:

  • Make cleaning your bearings a ritual; you’ll see the difference in your ride.
  • Always keep extra parts like nuts, bolts, or skate tools handy. You wouldn’t want a loose nut ending your kickflip spree!
  • Invest in quality. Here’s some guidance on picking parts that will last: How to Pick Skateboard Parts.
  • Don’t experiment with lubes. Stick to the skateboard-specific ones. Extra points for sticking with silicone-based lubes.
  • Keep the board away from abrasive surfaces when not in use.

My personal experience with skateboard maintenance

When I started skating, I was completely oblivious to maintaining my skateboard. Just as gripping as skateboarding was for me, so was my curiosity about how I could extend the fun. Through trials, errors, a few ‘whoops’ moments, and lessons learned, I discovered that maintaining my beloved board wasn’t some alien tech stuff—just some basic care and smart decisions playing out well.

One of the earliest challenges and sweet victories was replacing a worn-out bushing without going for a new set of trucks. Thanks to Google and some helpful pages like those on the skateboard bushings guide on my blog. In my journey, balancing the fun of skating thrills and maintenance has delivered me endless rounds of urban shred sessions!

Skateboarding is just as much about ripping those awesome tricks as it is about nurturing and respecting your boarding partner. In skateboard maintenance, detail matters, and every nut, bolt, bearing, truck, and even your grip tape count!

Times have moved since then, and here’s hoping this guidance will extend your shred sessions as it did mine. Now that the maintenance journey is unveiled, it’s time for you and me to grab our beloved boards and glide away into the sunset, eh?

If you are a visual learner, check out the video below from YouTube.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Have you scored your new ride and are juggling a bit with the maintenance drill? Here are some frequently asked questions to help you out in your journey of maintaining your skateboard.

How often should I replace my skateboard’s bearings?

The frequency of replacing your bearings depends on how often and where you skate. Regular maintenance, like cleaning every 3-4 months, should keep them spinning smoothly. However, rough terrains or frequent rainy escapades might require more frequent replacements.

Should I store my skateboard on a rack?

Absolutely! Storing your skateboard on a rack or mount, ideally vertically, can help maintain its shape and longevity. It also protects the board from abrasive floor surfaces and potential moist conditions.

Do I need to replace my grip tape?

The replacement of grip tape depends on its condition. If you notice areas where it’s peeling off or worn out such that your deck control is being affected, it’s time for a new tape. Remember, you don’t need to replace the entire skateboard in such cases. If you aren’t sure how to do it, here are my pointers on replacing grip tapes.

What are some quick signs to look for in a worn-out skateboard?

A few signs of a worn-out skateboard include chipping or flaking of the deck, cracks in the grip tape, making squeaky sounds when you lean on the boards, peelings on your grip tape, and rusty or noisy bearings.

Final thoughts

We find our thrills on the wheels. Skateboarding is a journey and a passion; each ride is an exhilarating adventure. But remember, our boards take us on this fantastic ride, so let’s pay back by showing them some love and care. Keep the enthusiasm high and the maintenance on point, and equip yourself for a smoother journey with my shopping guide to skateboard parts.

Do you have an epic tale of a skateboard maintenance blunder turned learning experience? Or perhaps a genius hack for maintaining your board? Let me know in the comments section below. I read and reply to every comment. If you found this article helpful, share it with a friend, and check out my full blog for more insightful tips on keeping your skateboard in top form. Thanks for rolling in, and see you on the streets!

Key takeaways

In the ride that is skateboarding, maintenance plays a copilot role. This article covered essential tips on maintaining your skateboard and expanding its lifespan. Here are some key takeaways:

  • Optimal truck tightness enhances both board performance and life.
  • Bearings need regular cleaning for smooth rides.
  • Replacement of grip tape and worn-out parts should be timely to optimize board performance.
  • Store your skateboard in dry and favorable temperature conditions to avoid adverse effects.

Helpful resources

Steven Portrate
Written by Steven Sadder, Staff Writer

Hey! I'm Steven, a lifelong skater, and proud New Yorker. I’ve been skating since I was a teenager. I may be a bit older now, but I'm not slowing down. Follow me for skating tips and latest gear reviews.

Nick eggert.
Edited by Nick Eggert, Staff Editor

Nick is our staff editor and co-founder. He has a passion for writing, editing, and website development. His expertise lies in shaping content with precision and managing digital spaces with a keen eye for detail.

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