As your skill level grows, your board will most likely take a beating along the way. To fill in until your next birthday (Hint, hint, Mom or Dad!) you can perform a couple tweaks and adjustments to breathe some life back into your "well-loved" longboard skateboard.
Let's assume that you've grown accustomed to your current deck, trucks and wheels. Maybe it's a family heirloom passed down from generation to generation, or maybe you don't want to fork out any more than a few shillings on anything but the necessities. With the basics covered, let's get to the nitty gritty. Conveniently enough, the order of the upgrades ranges from most aesthetic to most effective. By taking care of each (or even just a couple) of these steps, your board will ride like it's brand new for a fraction of the cost of a new complete longboard!
#5 - Grip TapeGenerally the part of your board you see and have the most contact with is the top of your deck. Like the wax on your surfboard, you don't want to be caught slipping down the face of a wave when it matters most. So why not give yourself a little bit of perceived "newness" by giving the top of your deck a makeover? Grab a nice clean sheet of grip tape and slap that puppy on! Not only will your longboard look oh-so-sexy, but it will also feel much better under your feet. Forget slipping and sliding like you were just doing a bit ago... You've got nice clean grip tape for your feet to stick to like superglued velcro!
Bottom Line: It only runs about $5-$9 to grip a longboard skateboard, so you won't necessarily need to dig into your college savings! Get your longboard grip here!
#4 - Mounting Accessories - bolts, risers, spacers, etc.As you're admiring the sexy new top surface of your deck, count the truck bolts you see near your feet. How many do you see? Seven you say? Seven (7)?! Dude, you're supposed to have eight (8)! That means it's time to dig that change out from under your couch and buy some new Khiro Flathead or Panhead hardware. And since you're going to be disassembling the setup, you might as well throw on some new Khiro Risers and/or Khiro Shock Pads. If you liked (or simply got used to) the setup the way it was, just try to find some new hardware and risers in the same style and size. Aside from giving your board a new bit of shine and sizzle, the addition of new risers will give you a bit of vibration dampening to help with that rough pavement and the new hardware will keep your trucks securely fastened to the board.
Bottom Line: The combination of risers and hardware will generally run about $6-$7. Get your longboard mounting accessories here!
#3 - Pivot CupsAre you stuck at home with nothing better to do tonight? Why not grease your pivot cup! (Wait, what's a pivot cup? After disassembling your truck take a look at your baseplate. The part that looks like a cup is just that: your pivot cup.) A good deal of pressure and force are laid to rest on your pivot cup. It gets quite beat up over time and, because of the placement, it often goes unattended for a long time! Installing a new set of pivot cups is an easy way to enhance your turning sensations. All it takes is a little bit of sideways pressure and leverage from a screwdriver and they'll pop right out!
Maybe you don't want (or feel the need) to pick up some new pivot cups or maybe your truck is just making a weird squeaking noise! A quick and popular fix around here is to put a little bit of surf wax onto the point at which your trucks hanger (that holds the axle) comes in contact with the pivot cup.
Bottom Line: A pair of pivot cups for two (2) trucks will run roughly $4. Just like that Double Big Mac. Get your pivot cups here!
#2 - BearingsWhat's that? You left your longboard outside for over a year during a brief stint in Razor Scootering? Well, we'll forgive you for the scootering if you slap on some new bearings instead of the old rusty things inside those longboard wheels! Bones Reds are a killer bearing at a killer price! They'll keep up for years if you take care of them and don't just throw them out in the rain or mud. More importantly, they will help you roll for more than ten feet without having to push again and again.
Alternatively, if you can't get enough dollar bills rounded up for some new bearings, you can try to salvage what you already have. Check out the Bones Bearings website for some good tips on cleaning your old bearings. Keep in mind that, although it's quite common to use WD-40 or other similar chemical mixtures, using WD-40 is NOT the best option for the long term! They'll be clean for a minute or two, then all of a sudden they'll be covered in dirt, leaving you right where you were before. Use specially made bearing cleaning lube to keep your bearings rolling as long as possible.
Bottom Line: Bones Reds will run you roughly $16. Just don't buy candy bars every day at lunch and you got it made in a week! Get your longboard bearings here!
#1 - BUSHINGS!Bushings are the suspension in your longboard skateboard trucks; the colorful urethane that makes turning so smooth. A wise man once said, "The life of a board is contained in the bushings of the trucks." We went out to find him to get more thoughts, but it turns out he lives in Saskatchewan... A little too far to skate today. But, anyways, it's the truth! If you simply change the pieces of urethane around the kingpin, your board will have a new life to it that rivals that of the brand new board your neighbor just got! And you got the same feeling for a lot less. You'll need four (4) bushings to cover both trucks properly which is usually contained in two "packs".
Bottom Line: Bushings can run anywhere from $8 up to $20 for your general longboarding setup. Get your longboard bushings here!
Try out these cheap upgrades and make your longboard skateboard feel like it's brand new! Have more ideas for how to spruce up that old beater? Let us know in the comments. Thanks for reading!