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Is a complete skateboard good for a beginner?

Complete skateboards or also known as pre-assembled skateboards are usually a common choice for beginners who are relatively new to skateboarding and don’t know a lot about building their own skateboard.

As a beginner, you probably have asked yourself whether you should buy a complete skateboard or not. What are the advantages and disadvantages of pre-assembled skateboards?

Our post would provide you the essential knowledge when it comes to buying a complete skateboard for a beginner. It’s your decision to choose one option over the other.

Why you should choose a complete skateboard

a complete skateboard
a complete skateboard

Well, first of all, it’s quite convenient to have your skateboard assembled before they’re shipped. Out of the box, you can take your board out for a ride without having to put the time and effort to assemble it. This is definitely a feature which most beginner would prefer more.

In additions, being a beginner means that you’re currently don’t have the proper knowledge of how to put the parts together, which could result in broken components. Hence, you should leave the installation jobs for the manufacturers instead of doing it at your own risks.

Moreover, complete skateboards are usually made with considerations, the parts must fit together to perform well and they often come with a clean finish. On the other hand, due to your lack of essential information, you wouldn’t know which type of trucks or wheels you should mount on your deck, and likewise.

Why you shouldn’t

self-assemble your skateboard
self-assemble your skateboard

However, being able to self-assemble your skateboard also has its benefits. Especially when you’ve known a thing or two about skateboarding components. This allows for various customizations depending on your preferences. You can choose the right trucks that fit your skating styles, having wheels that suitable for cruising, a more stylish deck, and so on.

On top of that, it’s also important for skaters to learn about the components of their skateboards. You’ll need to know how they function to learn the essential maintenances.

With that being said, if you’re interested in assembling your own skateboard, we’ll be providing a complete guide on how to properly do it.

A simple guide to assembling your first skateboard

Preparation

You’ll need to prepare all the essential components of a skateboard, and a few useful tools that would come handy:

  • Skateboard deck
  • Skateboard wheels
  • Skateboard bearings
  • Skateboard Trucks
  • Grip tape
  • Some stickers depending on your preferences.
  • Skateboard tool
  • Screwdriver
  • Razorblade

Once you’ve everything readied, it’s time for the assembling.

applying grip tape on the deck
applying grip tape on the deck

Step 1: Start by applying grip tape on the deck

Place the deck in front of you, facing upward. Use your arms to stretch the grip tape and slowly applying on top of the deck. Do it gradually from the tail to the head to avoid air bubbles. Once you’ve applied the grip tape on your deck, you should carefully check for air bubbles to ensure there is none of them. If you do see air bubbles on the deck, you’ll just need to use the razor blade to pierce through it to get rid of the excess air.

Then use your screwdriver or the trucks to gently scrubbing on the edges of the board, a skateboard shape would be printed on the surface of the grip tape. Use the razor blade to cut off the excess grip tape following the printed shape.

At this stage, the board is still relatively rough, you can take the leftover tape to sand the sharp and rough edges on the grip tape.

Step 2: Putting on the trucks

Putting on the trucks
Putting on the trucks

Normally, your trucks would come with certain hardware for piercing holes through the applied grip tape. However, you can use your screwdriver to do it as well. Quickly penetrate through the grip tape following the drilled holes on your deck.

Then you can start putting on the truck. Place the truck aligned with the holes on your board, then tighten it up using the provided screws. Tighten two diagonal screws first using the skate tool before you finish with the two other screws, this would ensure the struck stay perfectly positioned. Once you’ve done, do the same with the other trucks.

Step 3: Mounting the wheels and bearings

Mounting the wheels and bearings
Mounting the wheels and bearings

First, you must take the protective nuts on the axles of your trucks. Place them nearby since you’ll be using them later on. Then begin to put the bearings on your wheels. Notice that the bearings have two sides, one has a shield and one doesn’t.

The shielded side must be facing outward when you putting the bearings on the wheels, this would ensure that the tiny balls inside are protected from dirt and water. In additions, make sure you put the bearings on properly by applying evenly distributed forces on the bearing, enough to push it on the wheels. Be careful since doing this wrong might damage your bearings or wheels.

A simple method that I always do is to slide one bearing on the axle of the truck, then slide the wheel on top of it. Then all you need is to give it a little push and the bearing would pop right in. Once it does, flip the wheel and do the same thing with the other bearing.

Once the wheels and bearings are connected, it’s time to mount them on your trucks. At this stage, things are fairly simple, just put on the wheel then place the protective nut on it. Tighten it with the skate tool to ensure that the wheels don’t fall off your board while you’re riding, just don’t do it too tight.

Step 4: A little customization if you want to

add some style to your skateboar
add some style to your skateboar

With the assembling almost finished, the last thing should be to add some style to your skateboard. And you can do that by applying sticklers. Add whatever sticker you want, but make sure you put them under your deck and not on the grip tape. And once it’s done, it’s time to take your board out for a ride.

Buying a complete skateboard can be quite convenient if you’re not familiar with the whole assembling thing. However, once you’ve gotten used to skating, we highly recommend you learn a little bit about how to put up your own skateboard from separate components. The knowledge would be extremely useful if you’ve planned to stick with skateboarding for a long time.

 

Tony Hallam
Tony Hallam

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