Skateboarding: assembling a skateboard from scratch is easy | Photo: Shutterstock

Whether you're a novice or an experienced skater, learning how to assemble your skateboard can be a great way to customize your ride and gain a better understanding of the sport.

For those looking to try it out, especially beginners, setting up your own board can seem daunting.

However, with the right tools, some patience, and a bit of guidance, anyone can assemble their skateboard from scratch.

This tutorial will provide a step-by-step guide on how to prepare your skateboard for riding.

We'll start with a list of the key tools and parts you'll need to get started.

Then, we'll explain the process of assembling your skateboard in detail, from mounting the grip tape to attaching the trucks and wheels.

In the end, you'll have enough data to get the most out of your newly assembled sidewalk-surfing vehicle.

Skateboard: to assemble your board you'll need deck, wheels, trucks, grip tape, hardware, and tools | Photo: Shutterstock

Gear and Tools

Before assembling your skateboard, you must gather all the necessary tools and skate parts.

First and foremost, you'll need a skateboard deck, which is the main component of the board.

You can find skateboard decks in various shapes, sizes, and designs.

The trucks and wheels are the following items you'll need, as they attach to the deck and provide the board with stability and mobility.

You'll also need grip tape - the thin, gritty material you attach to the top of the deck - to provide traction for your feet.

Finally, you'll need some hardware, which includes screws, nuts, and bolts, to attach the trucks and wheels to the deck.

Here is a list of what you will need:

  • Skateboard deck;
  • Skateboard wheels;
  • Skateboard grip tape;
  • Skateboard bearings;
  • Skateboard trucks;
  • Skateboard hardware;
  • Risers or shock pads (optional);
  • Spacers (optional);
  • Deck rails (optional);
  • Skate tool;
  • Box cutter or razor blade;

1. Install the Grip Tape

Now that you've gathered all the skateboard parts and tools, it's time to work on it.

The first step in assembling a skateboard is to attach the grip tape to the board.

The grip tape will provide a non-slip surface for your feet to stay glued onto as you ride the streets and skateparks of your hometown.

First, you will need a knife, razor, or another sharp object to remove the old grip tape from the board.

Once it is removed, you can attach the new sandpaper layer to the board.

Hold the grip tape between your thumb and index finger and center it with the gritty side facing up your deck, so it's completely covered with grip tape.

When you're happy with your grip, remove the backing, lay it on the tape, and press it slowly from the middle toward the edges.

Next, use a file, screwdriver, or truck to file around the edge of the board on top of the grip tape so that you get an outline of the deck and a clean cut.

Cut off any extra and ensure the grip tape is securely attached and tightly glued to the deck.

2. Mount the Trucks

The next step is to mount the trucks.

The trucks are the skateboard's metal base that connects the wheels to the board and allows it to turn. Each skateboard has two trucks.

To mount them, you will need to make holes in the grip tape using the bolts from the hardware or the skate tool's Philips screwdriver.

First, place the bolts into the holes from the top.

You can mark the nose and tail with different colored bolts if you want so that you always know where the front and back are.

Then the trucks come under the deck.

If you want to use pads, it's now time to put them between the deck and the truck - stick them on the bolts.

Now place the trucks onto the four bolts, making sure that the truck's kingpins are facing the middle of the deck.

Using the hardware's nuts, screw the trucks firmly onto the deck using, for instance, the skate tool.

Finally, tighten the nuts until the bolts' heads are even with the grip tape.

Double-check to make sure that the trucks are mounted securely.

Skateboard trucks: tighten the kingpin nut a bit for less stability, or loosen them a little for more responsiveness | Photo: Shutterstock

3. Insert the Bearings

The next step is to insert the bearings into the wheels. You may use the skate tool to remove the bearing spacers from the wheels.

Once the spacers are removed, you can insert the bearings into the wheels.

Loosen the axle nut from the axle and take off the upper speed ring. Now place the bearing on the axle with the shield facing down.

If you have bearings with shields on both sides - small cover rings - then it doesn't matter how you put them on the axle.

4. Attach the Wheels

Once you're ready, press the wheel down on the bearing with the heels of your hands until it's all in the wheel.

You should hear a slight click when the bearing is in there correctly.

Make sure that the wheel is straight. If the bearing is still crooked or the wrong way around in the wheel, you can lever it back out with the axle.

Do all this again for the second bearing.

If you want, you can put in a spacer at this point. Spacers make sure that your bearings always stay parallel to each other.

Set the spacer on the second bearing and press the wheel down onto it as you did before.

Place the second speed ring back on the axle and tighten the axle nut onto the thread.

After that, tighten the nut. You shouldn't do this with too much strength because you don't want to destroy the bearing.

After this, loosen the nut a little bit. The wheel should have a little give.

Perform the same task for the other three wheels, and your setup is ready.

Skateboard wheels: tighten the nuts, but make sure to they have a little give | Photo: Shutterstock

5. Mount Deck Rails (Optional)

If you want to mount rails onto your deck, lay them on the deck however you want and align them.

Ideally, there should be some space between them and the edge of the board, and they should be parallel to each other.

Start with the middle screw and tighten them one after the other from the inside out.

Conclusion

Assembling a skateboard is easier than it may seem. With the right tools and knowledge, you can quickly set up your own board.

Your skateboard is now ready to ride.

However, you should take a few moments to give the board a final checkup.

Make sure that the trucks and wheels are securely attached and that the grip tape is firmly in place.

Once you've given the board a final inspection, you're ready to hit the streets and start shredding.

If you're not happy with your board's steering, you can adjust the kingpin on your trucks.

To do so, tighten the kingpin nut a bit more so that the trucks are slightly less responsive, or loosen them a little to make them more responsive.

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