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How to Build Your Own Skateboard

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Build your own skateboard with just three simple elements: the deck, the trucks, and the wheels.

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Step 1: Pick a deck
Pick a deck that suits your personal skating style. Examine the wood's flexibility.

To determine which end is the nose and which is the tail, use the tape measure to measure the distance from the predrilled holes to each end. The nose will measure farther away from the holes.

Step 2: Apply grip tape
Cover the top of the deck with grip tape by laying the sheet of tape carefully and evenly on the board, to prevent air bubbles.

Step 3: Finish the tape
When you are satisfied with the way the tape lies on the board, press down on it firmly for a few seconds to lock it in place. With a utility knife, trim all of the excess tape that is hanging over the side of the board, and file the edges with the metal file.

Step 4: Assemble wheels
To assemble the wheels, remove the nut and washer from one end of one of the truck axles, and slide a bearing onto it. Drop a wheel on top, and gently press the wheel over the bearing until it's covering the bearing completely.

Step 5: Finish applying the bearings
Slip the wheel off of the axle, slide another bearing on the axle, and slide the other side of the wheel over it until both bearings are in place, covered by the wheel. Repeat the process for all four wheels, and set them to one side.

Step 6: Attach wheels to trucks
Slip a washer on one of the axles, followed by a wheel, and finally an axle nut. Tighten the nut over the axle with a socket wrench. Don't overtighten. Spin the wheel to make sure it spins easily. Repeat for all four wheels.

For trucks that come with four washers per axle, slip on a washer, the wheel, another washer and then the axle nut.

Step 7: Attach mounting bolts
Using a mounting bolt or utility knife, poke holes from the bottom of the deck through the grip tape. Turn the right side up, and slide the truck mounting bolts through the holes in the top of the board.

For added protection and flexibility, slide a riser or shock pads on to the truck bolts before attaching the trucks.

Step 8: Attach trucks to mounting bolts
Turn the board upside down, and slide the trucks onto the mounting bolts, so the kingpin bolts face on each truck face each other. Use the skate tool or a wrench to tighten all the bolts. Leave the kingpin bolts loose for easier turning; tighten them for more stability.

Overtightening the kingpins can reduce your ability to steer around sudden obstacles.

Step 9: Admire your work
Congratulations! You've got a custom skateboard. Now get riding!

Did You Know?
Originally most skateboard wheels were made of clay, but now they're made of more durable polyurethane.

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