How To Grip and Fit Your Hardware | Sidewalk Basics

There are several processes involved here and each one needs time and attention paid to it to maximise the crispness of your set up…

From Sidewalk Basics – Autumn 2103

First things first: you need to grip your deck.

Gripping your deck

A bad grip job can ruin a skateboard, so once you’ve selected your deck pay close attention to these rules.

  1. Remove the cellophane sheet from your deck and brush off any dust.
  2. Take your griptape sheet and peel the back off, making sure to keep the sticky sides away from each other.
  3. Place your deck on a flat surface and lay the griptape over the top of the deck so that it covers the entire thing. Now gently press the sticky side onto the top of your deck. Be careful here, as you don’t want air-bubbles or creases in your griptape.
  4. Once the griptape sheet is stuck on, take a file and go around the edges of your deck. Don’t file the grip through completely: just make sure that the edges are filed down enough to cut through them.
  5. Now take a sharp knife (Stanley-style blades are best) and cut around the edges of your board where you’ve just filed. Cut from underneath and away from your hands. The cleaner the cut, the better your grip job will be so take your time.
  6. Once you’ve cut around the deck, take the waste griptape and use it to file around the edges of your deck, this will make the grip job as neat as possible.
  7. Check for any air-bubbles and if you find any, pop the bubbles with a pin and carefully push the air out of them.
  8. Flip the board over and use a small sharp screwdriver to pop through your truck bolt-holes. Pop through gently from underneath then use the screwdriver to clean the holes out ready for your truck bolts from the top.

Fitting Trucks

Okay, so your board is gripped – now it’s time to fit the trucks.

You will need:

– 1 pack of truck bolts

– Allen key or screwdriver – depending on the type of trucks.

– Skate wrench.

Bradle to cut the holes in the griptape for truck bolts (if you don’t have a bradle, an allen key will work).

Push through the deck’s bolt holes on the griptape side with a bradle/allen key. Try to remove the grip from the bolt holes as cleanly and as completely as possible.

Take your truck bolts and push them through the holes in the griptape.

When all four bolts are in place, turn the board upside down (holding the bolts in place with one hand) and put your truck onto the bolts.

Make sure you have the truck the correct way around. Your hanger should be facing outwards and your kingpin inwards.

Tighten the truck nuts onto the bolts with a skate wrench – holding the bolt heads fast with a screwdriver or allen key. Tighten all four, (most people do it in a cross sequence) until the bolt heads are flat against the griptape and your truck is held fast.

Fitting Wheels and Bearings

Now you’re ready to fit your wheels and bearings.

You will need:

– Four wheels

– Eight bearings

– Skate wrench

Push the bearings into the space on each side of your wheels. You can use the axle of the truck to push the bearings in if you have trouble here but don’t be too rough. Bearings can pop under too much pressure.

When you have all eight bearings in, place a wheel on each end of each axle of your trucks.

Use a skate wrench to tight the wheel nuts until your wheels spin freely on the axle but don’t wobble.

Adjusting Your Set Up

The main adjustment you’re most likely to make is to tighten or loosen your trucks once you’re set up.

Take a skate wrench and fit the largest piece of it onto your kingpin nut.

Tighten the nut will make your trucks feel stiffer and harder to turn on, whereas loosening the nut will let your trucks turn faster and feel looser to ride.

Experiment with what feels best for you, but remember: tight trucks are for robots.

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