Once you have your nearly complete longboard setup, there are several other items that you should consider adding to your arsenal that will help keep you safe and allow you to pursue new styles and techniques.
It only takes one fall to give yourself brain damage, so don't be a dummy. Protect your most important asset by strapping on a helmet. Helmets may not be as common in the street skating scene, but longboarders have strongly embraced them. If you show up to a downhill or freeride event without one, don't expect to ride until you put one on. Dedicated downhillers even wear full face helmets to help protect their chin and face while increasing their aerodynamics.
Next to a helmet, slide gloves are the most important item to have if you want to start riding aggressively on your longboard. They are protective gloves that have plastic pucks attached, usually by Velcro, to the palm and sometimes fingertips. These slide-able pucks allow you to place your hands on the ground in order to improve balance while cornering and sliding, making them essential for freeride and downhill riding styles. Learning to use your gloves properly will open up a whole new world of tricks and terrain to learn and conquer. Even if you are not planning to learn how to slide, slide gloves are valuable safety gear that provide wrist support and prevent you from tearing up your hands.
Bushings are often the most overlooked and least understood components of a longboard setup, but dialing in your bushing setup can be the difference between loving or hating your ride. Stock bushings are selected with a “one size fits all” mentality but no one has the same ride style and body weight, so it is strongly recommended that you play around with different bushing shapes, and durometers to customize the way your trucks ride.
Make sure you check out our Choosing Longboard Bushings page to get a better idea of how different types of bushings perform. Once you have a good idea of the ways that the shape and durometer of your bushings will affect your ride, feel free to get creative and experiment with the nearly infinite bushing setup possibilities.
Riser pads are small pieces of rubber or plastic which can be placed between your deck and truck baseplate to raise the board's ride height and provide more clearance for larger wheels. They can also be used on drop through setups to lower the ride height even further. If they are made from flexible materials, they also act as vibration dampeners to give you a smoother, quieter ride. Get ride of that pesky wheelbite and chatter by picking up some riser pads now.
Elbow and knee pads help you stay on your board longer and shred harder by avoiding those seemingly inevitable scrapes, bruises, and joint injuries. Some companies even offer low profile protection that you can wear under your clothes. Check out our selection of knee pads and elbow pads, and stop donating your skin to the streets!
Skate tools are a must for anyone who rides a board on wheels. Don't be the guy stuck rummaging through his dad's garage trying to find the right size socket wrenches. You never know when you'll need to tighten up loose nuts and bolts, so get a skate tool that was designed for the job and has everything you need. Need a good tool on the run?
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