Basics Of Skateboarding

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Skate boards are defined as “recreational equipment” but my son will argue with this as he sees it, like most avid skate board riders as very much a sport.  They made a gradual appearance in the 1940’s and 1950’s driven by bored surfers looking for some fun on the land when the waves weren’t coming.  Since then skate board design and construction, let alone the number of modifications and accessories available have exploded.  Skate shops abound and the sport has close ties with the artistic community in the decoration and design of the underside of the skate board “deck”.
Skate decks are the board on which the rider stands and they vary in size from 7 and a half and ten inches wide and twenty eight to thirty three inches long.  They are constructed mainly of maple wood which has been polyurethane coated to improve rigidity and strength.  Early boards were barely more than converted vegetable boxes with clay or metal wheels and rough and ready steering. Today with the advent of specialist axles (called trucks) and a wide variety of polyurethane wheels, it is possible to customise your board to suit your riding style and personal preferences.  The trucks are the metal (usually an aluminium alloy material) fitting that connects the wheels and bearings to the underside of the deck.  Truck construction and design can make a big difference in the handling and performance capabilities of the bard.
The top part of the truck is attached to the deck and this is known as the base plate.  Between the base plate and the hangar (where the wheels and bearings are attached) are the bushings.  These perform an important role in cushioning the truck when the board turns.  A king pin bolt holds these parts together and fits inside the bushings.  The king pin can be adjusted by experienced skaters more loosely for better turning or tighter for more stability.Wheels come in a variety of sizes with larger (55-85mm) sizes getting more speed and being better for transition skating (moving from the horizontal to the vertical i.e. onto a ramp or pipe to perform tricks).  Smaller wheels measuring 48 to 54mm mean the board is closer to the ground and takes less force to accelerate as there is a lower centre of gravity.  This size of wheels is better for street skateboarding.
In street skate boarding the rider uses the standard urban obstacles to perform tricks.  This includes things like hand rails, park benches and drains.  Simulations of this type of obstacle are often included in modern skate parks as it is safer for the rider and pedestrians than performing these tricks on the footpath and in public parks. The other important component of a modern penny board for sale is the bearings and each wheel is mounted on its axle (truck) with two of these.  Skate board bearings are usually a common “608” standard size.  The performance of the bearings is directly related to the maintenance of the bearings which must be cleaned and lubricated regularly.