Longboarding and skateboarding can be intimidating when first starting out.
I wanted to put together a simple list of longboard hacks that I've learned over the years.
For seasoned longboarders or skateboarders, you'll probably know these hacks but for those of you that are just starting out, I think these will help make your life a little easier.
7. Griptape Cleaner
When I was younger, I would buy this at my local skate shop (which doesn't exist anymore – RIP) and it was called grip gum. It's super simple to use, you just make sure that the dirt on your griptape is dried up and you use this rubber bar just like an eraser. Some dirt patches can be stubborn and it'll take a while to get off.
If you're going to use one of these things, make sure you're holding it on the top end because otherwise there's a high chance you'll scrape your knuckles on the grip. I've done it several times and it never feels good.
6. Griptape Bubbles
Since we started out on the griptape the next little tip or hack is if you install grip tape (especially if you're a beginner) there's a high chance you'll get some bubbles. Instead of trying to push the bubble toward the edge, take a razor blade or something pointy and pop a hole through the bubble. Then apply some pressure with your fingers and the bubble is gone.
I know, common sense, right? But I learned this one way too late in my skate journey.
5. Bearings Removal
Say you want to swap out your bearings out, clean them, whatever you wanna do. If you don't have a tool, you don't wanna spend the money, I always use the truck axle. And what I mean by that is you thread your truck axle slightly past the bearing, and pry the wheel sideways. Sometimes they'll come right out and other times it takes a little finessing.
You do run the risk of damaging your bearings if you apply too much pressure. Personally, I've used this method a crazy amount of times and have never damaged anything.
4. Bearings Cleaner Kit
And since we’re talking about bearings, it’s always a good idea to do regular maintenance on them.
I like to think there are two types of people in this world, those that…
- regularly clean and maintain their bearings
Or, those that…
- just buy a new set.
I recently bought this Bones cleaner kit, which came with this cleaning bottle, their speed cream, and a set of their bearings. Although you can easily make one of these bottles yourself, you don't need to spend money on this kit. There are a bunch of videos out there that’ll show you how to clean your bearings.
3. Truck Axle Safe
If you’re swapping out your wheels with different bearings, spacers, and speed rings, a super straightforward hack is to just thread them onto your truck axle and put the nut on so you don’t lose them.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve put my speed rings on the carpet next to me and boom, it’s gone forever. We've all been there, right?
2. Experiment w/ Bushings
This one is geared towards longboarding and what I've recently been experimenting with. Swap out your bushings and use a different hardness in the front truck versus the back truck. You'll find that you can get a more responsive, carvey-feel. It's almost similar to a surfskate just obviously not as aggressive.
Bottom line, don't be afraid to start experimenting with different bushings.
1. Bushings Squeak
We’ve all had our setups squeak while riding, and if you haven’t you’re most likely going to run into this issue. My last simple hack would be to use some sort of wax on your bushings, trucks, and pivoting cup. You can use soap but it won’t last as long compared to wax. This is probably one of the most common issues for beginners when they get a new board and it's a simple fix.
Hope you found some helpful longboard hacks in this article. Drop a comment below if you have anything else to add or any questions. Shred on!