Skateboard is very popular among young people and is highly appreciated by fans of extreme sports. High demand for roller boards due to their reasonable cost and wide consumer availability. Also, skateboarding is an exciting activity and contributes to the development of coordination and strengthening the vestibular apparatus.
What is it?
The skateboard owes its name to the English transcription of the word skateboard, which in literal translation into Russian means “skateboard”. Skateboarding ( performing various tricks on a skateboard) was recently included in the program of the Summer Olympic Games. The appearance of this sport had its roots in the 30s of the last century when surf lovers began to use skateboards to maintain their physical fitness in the offseason.
Over time, skateboarding came to the masses and became the favourite pastime of a large number of young people. Over the short history of its existence, the skate has repeatedly improved and acquired a more or less modern shape in 1958. A little later, namely in 1971, Richard Stevenson invented foot mounts and slightly changed the design of the board itself, after which it became more obedient and maneuverable.
High consumer demand for skateboards is due to a number of essential advantages of these unique designs.
- A modern skate is an unusual vehicle on which you can perform not only various jumps but also take leisurely walks, as well as move around in a big city.
- Due to the small size and lightweight of the skate, you can go down with it on the subway, use all types of ground transportation, and also take it with you to shopping centres and movie theatres.
- Due to the fact that the skates are always under the supervision of the owners, the likelihood of their theft is minimal.
- Regular skateboarding develops well the muscles of the legs, back and allows you to always be in excellent physical shape.
Skateboarding is a very entertaining sport and has thousands of fans around the world. No wonder June 21 was officially recognized as International Skateboarding Day and is celebrated in many countries of the world.
Differences from the Penny Board
Despite the resemblance, penny boards differ from classic skateboards. They are smaller in size, their decks are made of plastic and bent up only on one side. Thanks to this design, the deck bends slightly when riding and well dampens the pits when driving on rough roads. Mini skateboards are equipped with wide polyurethane wheels and are very convenient for long walks.
Unlike traditional skateboards, penny boards are not suitable for somersaults and are designed for calm, measured skating.
Modern skateboards are made up of elements such as deck, wheels, bearings, bushings, suspensions, and influenza.
This design detail is the most important component of the skate and largely determines its purpose. For the manufacture of decks using the following materials:
- Canadian maple is considered the best option for making a skateboard and is highly regarded by professional athletes;
- Chinese maple loses quite a bit to its overseas counterpart, but has a lower cost and is quite suitable for making stunt models;
- plastic is also widely used for manufacturing skateboards and is characterized by good strength and excellent cushioning effect.
Wooden decks have a multilayer structure, numbering from 6 to 9 layers. The most common are 7-ply boards, which make up 90% of the skateboard market. The decks of some sports models on the bottom are equipped with plastic pads that allow you to perform various somersaults using the sliding technique on the railing. The width of the decks ranges from 12 to 26 cm and is directly dependent on the type of skate.
The wider the board, the more stable the skate, and the higher its speed characteristics. And vice versa – narrow skateboards are more maneuverable and obedient, but not as stable and fast as wide ones. As for the length of the deck, depending on the type, it ranges from 16.9 ″ to 55 ″, the standard length of the classic model is 31 ″ or 78.7 cm.
According to the shape of their profile, decks are straight, bent on one or both sides or equipped with side bends (concave). Straight decks are designed for a quiet ride, and curved decks are used to perform various tricks. According to their performance, boards can be solid or segmented, which also depends on the type of skateboard.
The next most important part of the skate is the wheels. They are available in a wide variety and are made of polyurethane. The main characteristics of the wheels are diameter, width, and stiffness. The diameter depends on the dimensions of the deck and riding style and ranges from 48 to 75 mm. The standard wheel size for a classic skate is 5.4 cm in diameter.
When choosing rollers, you need to know that the more significant their diameter, the faster the skateboard picks up speed and rolls better . Models with small rollers slowly accelerate, but have more excellent maneuverability. Such patterns are designed to perform complicated tricks and jumps.
The choice of roller diameter depends on the operating conditions of the skate. So, 54-60 mm models have proven themselves on tiles and cracked asphalt, however, when cornering, they often rest against the deck. Rollers 51-53 mm in size go well along a relatively flat but rough road devoid of potholes and pits, while samples with a diameter of 48-50 mm are suitable for trips on smooth concrete or special sites of skate parks.
The thickness of the rollers depends on their diameter and type of skate and reaches 5.7 cm. It is essential to understand that the worse the quality of the road, the wider the rollers should be
The stiffness of the rollers displays an indicator of their resistance during mechanical stress. Each video has its marking, which is represented by a numerical indicator and a letter. Moreover, the larger the numerical value, the stiffer the wheel. The soft rollers marked 73A-79A are designed for comfortable travel. Such models provide the skateboard with obedience to control, but they wear out quite quickly and require replacement.
Medium-hard wheels are marked 80A-85A and are the golden mean. They can provide high grip, make the skate maneuverable and improve cushioning. Such instances are ideal for ramp riding.
Rigid models are available with the marking 86A-100A and have a long service life. They are difficult to wear and give the skate excellent speed and good acceleration. The disadvantages of hard wheels include their inability to damp vibrations when driving on rough roads.
This element of the skate construction is responsible not only for its speed and condition of the wheel but also for the safety of the rider. Therefore, when choosing a model, you should be very careful and purchase products only with high-quality bearings. According to their working qualities and reliability, bearings are divided into 5 classes, which are indicated by odd numbers and must be indicated on the skate’s datasheet.
- The ABEC-1 class is represented by the most budgetary and weakest models that are put on children’s skateboards and inexpensive copies for beginners. It is impossible to accelerate strongly on such bearings, and their service life leaves much to be desired.
- The ABEC-3 class is represented by standard bearings, which have good strength and are designed for installation on amateur skateboarders. They can provide pretty good speed, although they are not up to professional models.
- Class ABEC-5 is the most numerous category and is installed on most skateboards. Fives are high for everyday skiing, providing good acceleration and excellent reel.
- Class ABEC-7 is already much more expensive and are installed on professional sports boards. The models are very accurate and reliable and allow you to achieve serious speeds, for which they received the name “racing.”
- The most expensive models represent the ABEC-9 class; however, due to the unfinished design, it was not widely used among professional skateboarders. “Nines” do not withstand overloads and quickly deform.
A gripeype is an abrasive pad located on the upper side of the deck and providing its reliable grip with the shoes of a skateboarder. In addition to the practical task, influenza also performs a decorative function, determining the appearance of the skateboard. Skins are available in a wide range of colors and often have a pattern. However, experienced skateboarders find color flue less useful and more durable and prefer classic black or gray emery.
If desired, they can be painted using acrylic markers, using stencils, or drawing by hand.
Pendants (in a professional environment – tracks) are a simple design by which the rollers are attached to the board. The trucks are responsible for the maneuverability of the skate and the safety of the turns. The principle of operation of the suspensions is quite simple and consists of the following: with lateral pressure on the deck, they force the wheels to turn in one direction or another, and when the center of gravity is aligned, they return them to their original position. The dimensions of the tracks are selected based on the width of the deck so that the wheels mounted on the hanger do not protrude beyond the deck.
So, for a 19 cm wide skate deck, you need a 12.1 cm pendant, while a 21 cm deck requires a 13.3 cm track.
For the manufacture of pendants, use the following materials:
- plastic – used on children’s models, inexpensively and copes with light loads;
- aluminum – is the optimal ratio of quality and lightness, which is why it is especially common;
- steel – although much stronger than previous materials, is rarely used due to its high weight.
The main characteristic of the suspensions is the maximum load level, which varies from 20 to 120 kg and consists of the mass of the skateboarder and the ultimate load that occurs when performing jumps. An equally important parameter is the height of the suspension. So, lowered tracks facilitate flip tricks and add stability to the move.
However, they require high skill and the installation of small wheels. High tracks are designed for large wheels and behave perfectly at serious speeds and during long trips.
These small parts are part of the suspensions and are small shock absorbers made of technical rubber. The higher their stiffness, the more stable the skateboard shows rolling, and vice versa – the softer the bushings, the worse the rolling in a straight line, but the easier the turns.
To reduce the load on the suspension and to protect the wheels on steep turns, special linings are used. More often, they are installed on boards equipped with large-diameter wheels; for models with wheels of 5-5.5 cm, they are not needed.
Today, there are a large number of modifications of the skateboard, many of which have transformed into separate types. They, as a rule, already have their name, a special driving technique, and quite vaguely resemble their ancestor. The following are the most famous varieties of skateboards used both for the execution of complex elements and for city driving.
- Penny Cruiser Complete Skateboard is presented in the form of a four-wheeled board with the edges bent up and is intended for extreme driving. Traditional designs are notable for their considerable margin of safety, excellent stability, and beautiful design. Among the minuses can be noted the high cost of many models, poor reel, and unsuitability for quick trips on city roads.
- Slendor Longboard Skateboard has a bamboo or maple deck and 6 wheels that rotate 360 degrees, allowing the board to travel in any direction. Modified pendants are equipped with weights that give the model maximum stability and will enable you to develop serious speeds. Freeboards are quite maneuverable. However, they require specific riding skills. The length of the deck is selected according to the growth of the rider.
- Rollersurf is a hybrid of skateboard and roller skates. The product consists of 2 unicycle parts connected by a torsion spring. Four-wheeled models of roller skis are also found. However, they are not widespread and are rarely used. Rollersurfers can accelerate well and do not require constant repulsion.
- BELEEV Skateboard 22 resemble classical skateboards. However, they have a prefabricated deck, consisting of one static block and two movable ones attached to it on its sides. Models are distinguished by unusual appearance, excellent maneuverability, and good stability — cons – short-lived and not suitable for beginners.
- A longboard is a kind of skateboard and has an extended deck with massive wheels. The deck reaches a length of 100-140 cm, the rear and front suspension are maximally distant from one another, and massive wheels protrude beyond the deck. The model is designed to overcome long distances and long descents, develops good speed, is very stable, durable, and can be used as urban transport. Among the shortcomings are the high cost, high weight, and difficulty in performing tricks.
- Mountainboards are skates for skiing in the mountains. The models are equipped with 8 “inflatable wheels, due to which they can move freely on bad roads and grass. The length of the board is 100 cm, width – 30 cm. Mountainboards are equipped with a powerful spring suspension, foot mounts, and sometimes with a motor. The advantages include high traffic, excellent cushioning, good speed, and the ability to overcome steep climbs. Among the shortcomings are high weight and high cost.
- The freestyle skateboard consists of a narrow deck and wheels off-center. This view is one of the earliest and is designed to perform flatland style flips
- Electric skateboards are equipped with a motor and brakes. The skate is controlled by moving the center of gravity from one leg to the other.
So, when pressing on the front edge, the board starts moving, on the tail it stops. Some samples are equipped with a remote control.
Manufacturers and popular models
The modern market for extreme sports products offers a wide range of skateboards. Below are the best samples, occupying the highest lines of ratings.
- The Baker stunt model made in the USA is equipped with a Canadian maple deck, has low weight and high impact resistance. Skate is excellent for practicing jumps and is recommended for beginners. The minus of the model is one – a high price.
- Children’s skate from the Australian manufacturer Penny Board is available in two lengths – 22 and 28 ″, has wheels with a diameter of 5.9 cm with a hardness index of 78A and racing bearings ABEC-7. The model is designed for high-speed driving and is not recommended for performing tricks. The disadvantages include a narrow deck and a high cost.
- The Oxelo Yamba Wood Classic skate cruiser is manufactured in China under the French brand and is designed for long trips along city streets, including poor asphalt and tile. The model has excellent reel, low weight and accelerates quickly. Of the minuses, low moisture resistance is noted, because of which the deck should be protected from prolonged contact with water.
- Skate Trick 300 from the Chinese company Roces has a 9-layer deck made of Chinese maple 31×7.50 ″ in size, durable aluminum suspension, and looks very stylish. The model is of good quality and is well suited for beginners.
- The 57 cm Kreiss children’s skateboard is made in turquoise and equipped with a plastic fish-shaped deck. The model is equipped with 5.9 cm polyurethane wheels and ABEC-7 bearings. Skate is so compact that it easily fits into a spacious backpack. The board is designed for riders weighing up to 100 kg and growing from 120 to 170 cm.
How to choose?
To choose the right skate, you should pay attention to a number of essential points.
- For beginners, a 7-layer classic beech or birch skate is suitable.
- For boys and girls, it is better to choose models with bearings of the 1st and 3rd classes; for a teenager, you need the fifth grade.
- For experienced skateboarders, a model with wheel stiffness up to 95A is suitable for practicing stunts, up to 80A for beginners.
- Beginner Board Width should be at least 20 cm.
- Beginner skateboarders are advised to choose models with rigid bushings, which will make the skate more manageable on a stable ride. Only athletes experienced in the field of freestyle can use too soft bushings, and for lovers, it is better to choose bushings of medium hardness.
- Children will love the model with luminous wheels, lights, and bright stickers on the deck.
Necessary accessories and clothes
For skateboarding, you must choose loose, breathable clothing and special shoes. It’s better to buy good skate shoes, but if you don’t have such an opportunity, you can take sneakers or sneakers with a non-slip flat sole. It is necessary to take care of protection in the form of a helmet, knee pads, and elbow pieces.
In most cases, the security services of skate parks do not allow people to their sites without special equipment.
Where to train?
The place of training depends entirely on the style of riding. For example, for a “flattened” you will need asphalt and horizontal concrete slabs, for a street “street” – stairs and railings, for a “freestyle,” in which stunts are performed in one place, any platform is suitable, and for a “vert” you need a ramp.
Athletes riding in the style of “park” will be able to be content with specially created for them sites in skate parks. For beginners, a low-lane alley with a slight slope and devoid of borders is suitable.
Before you start skateboarding, you must properly assemble and adjust the suspension. Most models can customize the tracks depending on the style of riding. To do this, they are twisted more strongly or, conversely, slightly weakened, regulating the work of shock absorbers.
During the operation of the skateboards, it is necessary to monitor the presence of grease in the bearings and to clean the wheels of dirt and dust on time. Otherwise, they will quickly begin to creak and spin badly.
After each use, regardless of the weather, the skate must be wiped with a clean cloth and put away in a dry, ventilated place. Store boards in the open air is prohibited.
Recommendations for beginners
Start training recommended at home on a soft carpet away from sharp corners. The soft grass in the nearest park is also good. First, you need to learn how to stand on the board with both legs, while maintaining balance. Then you should determine the supporting and pushing leg, stand on a skate, and try to push off slightly. It is advisable to do this on a flat surface.
Next, learn how to remove the pushing leg on the deck and roll until the skate stops. The next step will be to develop the skill of maneuvering by tilting the body back and forth. And only after the skill of managing a skateboard in a free run comes, under the guidance of an experienced instructor, you can go on to learn easy tricks.