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  1. #1

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    Default Requesting advice on buying new trucks/wheels for my beginner son's skateboard.

    Hi,
    My son just turned 13 years old, and was recently given a skateboard. The board itself is brand new, but the trucks and wheels are too old. The board naturally turns a lot even with nobody on it, and the bearings are rusted and almost shot.

    The board is a Mongoose, and in perfect condition. My brother gave it to him, but had clearly used the trucks and wheels a lot before switching them to a new board.

    I would like to surprise my son with new trucks and wheels, but I hardly know the first thing about skateboards. We could always buy better stuff later, but for now since he's very new to skateboarding, I was hoping to avoid buying the best of the best (whatever that is), and just buy what is reasonably adequate to get him going. But I don't want to just buy whatever's cheapest on amazon, and then find out it's junk even for a beginner.

    Also, there seems to be quite a variety in wheel sizes. I never seriously skated, but as a kid I had one in the 1980's. Those wheels were huge compared to the wheels I see most skaters today using. What are the practical benefits to smaller wheels? And what size wheels should I buy him? Also, are some wheels made of more preferable materials?

    Also, I think I would like to get a board for myself to learn on, and spend more time with my son. (He is not yet at the point of wanted me to leave him alone.)

    Is there any other advice you could give me that I hadn't thought to ask?

    Thanks,
    Jay

  2. #2

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    Great to see some activity on this forum. I joined up myself not too long ago but notice it's mostly dead.

    I'm also getting back into skating. I use to skate regularly in the 80s and left the hobby in the early 90s. I'm actually using my very first skateboard from the mid 80s to refamiliarise myself with the basics. Everything on that board is ancient and sometimes just rolling on it can be a challenge due to the worn out bearings!

    Coming back into the skate scene now, I notice there are so many more choices regarding equipment compared to what we had in the 80s. And I find that can be overwhelming. However, I have learned a few things about some of the contemporary equipment over the last month. Regarding trucks, Independent and Thunder seem to be very popular these days. Though you need to get certain sized trucks of a particular width to match the width of your deck. You should be able to find more info about that online. And yea there are so many wheel sizes available today. It's been noted that 54mm wheels are really versatile and are considered 'medium size' - supposedly good for a bit of everything. Though to be honest, I'm not sure if you can use any size wheels with any size deck. I notice bigger wheels are usually used with wider decks but I'm not sure if that's necessarily a hard and fast rule. There could be some exceptions.

    And still on the topic of wheels, what kind of riding is your son interested in doing? That will determine the hardness of the wheels / durometer. For street skating (including some rough terrain and the occasional pebbles or cracks in the ground) soft wheels are good. If he wants to get into transitions like ramps and bowls / general skate park environments, hard wheels are good. Also medium hard wheels like 95A or 97A can be good general purpose wheels - suitable for a variety of different kinds of terrain. And lastly for bearings, Bones Reds are recommended by many.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by tribal-warrior View Post
    Regarding trucks, Independent and Thunder seem to be very popular these days.
    Thanks. I'll look into them when considering what to buy.

    Though you need to get certain sized trucks of a particular width to match the width of your deck.
    Do you mean that the outer edge of the wheels should be roughly flush with the edge of the board? The wheels on there now are 8-10mm from the edge of the board. They look close, but when measure with a micrometer they aren't quite flush. Is 8-10mm acceptable?

    When you say the trucks need to be wide enough to match the width of the deck, is that generally speaking? Or is that generally considered a hard rule? Should the edge of the wheels literally be flush with the side of the deck, or is it acceptable if the wheels are a few milimeters further in than the edge of the deck?

    It's been noted that 54mm wheels are really versatile and are considered 'medium size' - supposedly good for a bit of everything.
    The diameter of the wheels on there now are 48mm (tall), and 30mm wide. The board itself is 2,000mm wide.

    My son says that if the wheels are too big in diameter they interfere with things, including scraping the board at times. He doesn't know from personal experience, just from what he's been told. But it seems to make sense. Currently, the wheels he has on their now, without anybody standing on the board, there is about 20mm of space between the bottom of the deck and the top of the wheels.

    I'm not sure if you can use any size wheels with any size deck.
    My son was telling me that wheels which are too big rub the board and generally make things more difficult.

    ...what kind of riding is your son interested in doing? That will determine the hardness of the wheels / durometer. For street skating (including some rough terrain and the occasional pebbles or cracks in the ground) soft wheels are good.
    Well, he's barely even a beginner right now. He is still in the stage of needing practice just riding wherever he goes to practice with general balance. So for now I'm guessing soft wheels.

    If he wants to get into transitions like ramps and bowls / general skate park environments, hard wheels are good. Also medium hard wheels like 95A or 97A can be good general purpose wheels - suitable for a variety of different kinds of terrain.
    When he gets better I'll get him different wheels. The general purpose wheels you mention sound good, since even if he gets good on ramps, I'm certain he'll be doing plenty of other stuff including just skating down the street.

    And lastly for bearings, Bones Reds are recommended by many.
    Ok, thx.

    As for myself, I think I'm going to generally just get what I get for him. Then I can have a better idea of how it feels to him, what i could advice him of, what he could advice me of, etc. Though cost is definitely a factor for both of us. I can't afford the best of the best.

    As for myself, since I weigh about 75 pounds more than my son, are there additional things I should consider when looking for a board for myself? I doubt I'll be on ramps or doing any dangerous tricks anytime soon. But would my weight alter the preferable wheel hardness, board flexibility, trucks, bearings? What about the size of the board, should that be bigger to accommodate an adult?

    Thanks for your advice, and I look forward to hearing back from you (and possibly others) again.

    note: Oh, I fogot to mention our weights which may be relevant. My son is roughly 110 lbs. I am roughly 185 lbs.

    --Jay
    Last edited by Jay is Jay; 10-14-2018 at 05:46 AM.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay is Jay View Post

    When you say the trucks need to be wide enough to match the width of the deck, is that generally speaking? Or is that generally considered a hard rule? Should the edge of the wheels literally be flush with the side of the deck, or is it acceptable if the wheels are a few milimeters further in than the edge of the deck?
    I don't know the specifics. All I know is that there is a relationship between deck width and truck width. You'll probably be able to find a chart online that indicates which trucks match with which decks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay is Jay View Post
    As for myself, since I weigh about 75 pounds more than my son, are there additional things I should consider when looking for a board for myself? I doubt I'll be on ramps or doing any dangerous tricks anytime soon. But would my weight alter the preferable wheel hardness, board flexibility, trucks, bearings? What about the size of the board, should that be bigger to accommodate an adult?

    --Jay
    Body weight and height shouldn't make any difference to your choice of wheel hardness, bearings or trucks. Though it can determine what deck you end up with. Generally, kids will be suited to smaller boards and adults to larger boards. Though there may be exceptions, depending on the individual and the kind of riding they want to do. Again, you might be able to find more specific info on this online. For the more advanced skaters, street riders generally prefer smaller boards so they can be more agile with their tricks. And people who ride ramps and bowls usually prefer larger boards for stability. 8.25 inches seems to be a popular width deck these days that some consider to be around about in the middle. Though recently, I stepped on an 8.25 board in a skate shop and I found it way too skinny to me. Some overhang with your feet is normal but there was huge overhang with my feet. It was so narrow that it felt like a toy. Though that may be because I'm used to the big, wide boards from the 80s.
    Last edited by tribal-warrior; 10-14-2018 at 09:34 PM.

  5. #5
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    If you're not familiar with skateboarding, there's definitely a line between garbage-tier equipment and mediocre but passable stuff. You say Mongoose board - it may look like it's in good condition but it's not a good skateboard. Are you looking to buy online or in store? If in store, buy at a preferably non-mall skate shop and hopefully the workers will point you in the right direction (or come back here with their advice first, though the forum is kind of dead). If you're looking to buy online, plenty of online shops have decent budget-friendly pre-made completes.

    If you're looking to build your own, what tribal is saying is decent advice (though maybe more specific than you currently need). I wouldn't get the same board as your son, as you would probably be more comfortable on a larger board with larger wheels, especially if you're more interested in just cruising around. For your son I'd guess 7.75-8" would be a good start - really depends on personal preference though. It makes sense for bigger shoe sizes to have bigger boards, but people are different. For you I'd guess 8.25-8.5". Wheels between 52-58 mm with medium height trucks should be a good start for both of you. Or low trucks with wheels probably 53-55 mm if you want a lower center of gravity. Truck width should be similar to the board width but it doesn't have to be within millimeters. Don't take my advice too seriously though, I've never put together a brand new complete. Always bought one component at a time when I needed it. Equipment is definitely less important than determination when you're just starting out, but you don't want to be stuck with a Walmart board nonetheless.

  6. #6
    Larz's Avatar
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    For wheels I recommend Spitfire F4s, 56 mm, 99a duro

    Rooster Cockburn: Club of Cool Kids member and overly-zealous COCK worshipper

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