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Assembling a Longboard

Building A Longboard

 

longboard_header

Assembling a Longboard is fairly simple and is almost exactly the same process as putting together a standard skateboard. However, some boards and setups require a few extra steps. Many skaters like putting their gear together on their own, because they get a hands-on look at all of the components and they can fine-tune each as they see fit. This guide gives you a step-by-step manual on how to assemble top mount and drop through longboards.

For the purposes of this article, we’ll assume that you have already gripped your deck. If you need to grip your deck first, check out our how to grip a skate deck page. To keep it simple, we’ll lay down the basics in 3 easy steps. Follow along or jump to one of the steps below:

  1. Mount The Trucks
  2. Insert The Bearings Into The Wheels
  3. Attach The Wheels

Gather Materials

 

longboard_gather

To get started, assemble your tools and gear so you can build your board.

  • Gripped Deck - If the deck still needs to be gripped, consult this article on grip tape for easy instructions.
  • Trucks with Hardware - Each truck will require four screws and four nuts, which fit through the baseplate and secure to the deck. They also each have four axle washers and two lock nuts. Hardware totals: eight screws, eight corresponding nuts, eight axle washers, four lock nuts. Make sure all hardware is accounted for before beginning to assemble the skate.
  • Wheels - You'll need 4 wheels that should all be the same; don’t mix and match.
  • Bearings - Two bearings fit inside each wheel, for a total of eight bearings on a complete.
  • Skate Tool or Adjustable Wrench - The wrench should adjust down to 3/8". All-purpose skate tools have a socket that works just as well.
  • Phillips Screwdriver - Skate tools almost always come with a Phillips screwdriver, but if not, you'll need a separate screwdriver.

Step 1. Mount The Trucks

 

longboard_topmount

TOP MOUNTING THE TRUCKS

Top-mount trucks will attach to your deck in the traditional way: bolted to the underside of your deck. If your deck is newly gripped, you’ll want to start off by poking through the screw holes in the deck from the bottom with a screwdriver.

  • Put all eight screws into the holes from the top and flip the board over, bottom side up. Now you can slip the trucks onto the screws, through the baseplate. (If you are using risers, you’ll want to put those on first, between the deck and the baseplate.)
  • Standard kingpin trucks should be placed so that the kingpin and the bushings of each truck face inwards, toward the center of the deck.
  • Reverse kingpin trucks should be placed so that the kingpin and the bushings of each truck face outwards, toward the tip and tail of the deck.
  • Attach the nuts to the screws to hold the trucks loosely in place until you can fasten them securely.
  • Using the skate tool or the adjustable wrench to hold the nuts in place, tighten the screws in a “crisscross” pattern.
longboard_dropthrough

DROP THROUGH MOUNTING THE TRUCKS

Drop-through trucks are mounted from the top side of your deck, dropping through a hole that is precut into the deck. To mount drop-through trucks you will need to disassemble your trucks.

  • First loosen and remove your kingpin nut, then remove your top bushing washer, bushing, and hanger from the kingpin.
  • Place the baseplate on the top of your deck so that the kingpin points through the drop through mounting hole.
  • After you’ve secured both baseplates and selected your bushings, you will need to reassemble your trucks. The order of items from the base of the kingpin should be baseplate, washer, bushing, hanger, bushing, washer, and finally the kingpin nut to hold it all together.
  • Tighten your kingpin nut only until there is no vertical movement from your hanger.

TIP: If you are planning to swap out your bushings to customize the way your board turns, this is a good time to do so. Check out our Choosing Longboard Bushings page.


Step 2. Insert The Bearings Into The Wheels

 

longboard_bearings

The first thing you’ll need to do is get your bearings into the wheel sockets.

  • Start by flipping your skateboard on its side and sliding a bearing onto one of the axles (which should now be sticking up).
  • On top of the bearing, slide a spacer (optional: not all bearings come with spacers) followed by a wheel.
  • Using overhead pressure, push the bearing into the socket of the wheel. You will eventually feel the bearings slip into place.
  • Once one bearing is in, flip the wheel over and repeat the process for the second bearing.

Only three more wheels to go!

TIP: Keep in mind that harder wheels – those with high durometers – will be tougher to fit than softer wheels.


Step 3. Attach The Wheels To The Trucks

 

longboard_wheels

Once all four wheels have their two bearings each, it’s time to attach them to the trucks. 

  • To attach each wheel, slide on one washer followed by the wheel with bearings followed by a second washer.
  • The last piece is the lock nut, which secures the entire wheel setup into place. Once you’ve attached the wheels on one side of the board, flip it to the other side and repeat the process.

Theoretically, your board is now rideable. However, you should always do a thorough once-over to make sure that there is a place for everything and everything is in its place (as in: no extra hardware lying around, everything is tightened).

Then, at last, you can get out of your garage and hit the road!


Keep Learning

 



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