The first skateboards were planks of wood attached to roller-skate wheels. My, how far we’ve come. The basic elements – decks, trucks, wheels and bearings – have become more advanced, and now you can even buy gizmos and gadgets designed to improve their performance even further. These accessories are optional, of course, but you should at least know that they exist and how they work.
There are several accessories available to increase the performance of your skateboard and/or protect it from damage while riding. Here is an explanation of some of the most common additions to the everyday skate setup:
NOSE AND TAIL PROTECTORS Nose and tail protectors are thin, plastic strips that snap onto the front or back of your deck, providing added protection from damage. When your board slips out from beneath your feet, it takes on a life of its own. These “bumpers” absorb the shock when your board goes wild and runs into a curb, keeping it safe from splintering, chipping or even cracking apart completely.
RIBS / RAILS Sliding on rails or curbs can be detrimental to the sides of your skate deck over time. Luckily, this type of wear and tear is eliminated when you attach ribs or rails to your skateboard. Like nose and tail protectors, they are thin, hard plastic strips that snap onto the edges of the deck itself and work as a shield to prevent splintering or chipping. Not only do ribs protect your gear, but they also can improve your skate’s performance. The best ones are hard enough to provide a smooth, hard surface for sliding, and can even lengthen your tricks.