Once you have picked out all of the individual parts of your skateboard, it's time to build a complete skateboard! Being able to construct and maintain your skateboard is the mark of a serious skateboarder-- custom skateboards let you tailor your board to do exactly what you want it to do. Don't know where to start? Here are some instructions and a video to help you build your own custom complete skateboard or cruiser:
Place your deck on a flat surface so the nose and tail ends are facing up and the graphic on the bottom of the deck is facing down.
Peel off the grip tape backing and place the grip tape on the deck. Press down so it lays flat.
Run a screwdriver or file along the edges of the board to trace an outline of the deck. This will serve as a guide when you’re ready to cut.
Hold a razor at 45 degrees, make a small incision, and trim the excess grip tape, following the outline of the deck.
Sand down the edges of the grip tape to smooth any rough or lifted portions that could peel up.
Locate the mounting holes, then use the bolts or a screwdriver to punch holes downward through the grip tape. Place bolts through the holes in the deck. If you’re installing risers, start by fitting those onto the bolts. If not, slip the baseplate onto the bolts.
Hold the hardware in place while you attach one truck at a time. Make sure your two trucks are facing each other—IE, both kingpins are facing in.
Fasten the nuts over the trucks using your skate tool or socket wrench. Use a skate tool to tighten the heads of the bolts in an “X” pattern. Repeat on the other side.
Remove axle nuts and speed washers. Place bearing on the axle and press the wheel over the bearing until you feel the bearing slide into the center of the wheel. Then insert the bearing spacer inside the wheel from the opposite side. If you hear a popping sound when you press the wheel onto the bearing it means the bearing is fully in. Do this for all four wheels.
Place one speed washer on the axle of the skateboard truck. If you’re using a spacer, put it on the axle next. If not, install the wheel onto the axle, followed by the second washer.
With your skate tool or wrench, fasten the nut until there is no play—the wheel should be able to spin freely. Make sure your wheel is level—if it lays at an angle, it means your bearings aren’t fully in.
Check to make sure grip tape and screws are even. The heads of your screws should be flush with the grip tape. If they aren’t flush, give them a few more turns, but don’t crack the deck.
Make sure your trucks are firmly secured to your deck. The baseplate shouldn’t move at all.
Stand on your board and rock back and forth. Test the tightness of the trucks and make sure the wheels can spin freely. If you can’t turn or carve, turn the nut of your kingpin counterclockwise. If you can’t coast for very long or feel resistance when pushing, loosen your wheels.
Once everything looks and feels good, you’re done! It’s time to hit the streets and enjoy your brand new skateboard!
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