Awesome, you’ve got the longboard of your dreams! You’ve ridden it around for a while now and have probably wondered how you should treat and look after your board. Longboards aren’t cheap so I’m sure you’re going to want to know how to take care of your ride – making sure it lasts for the years of fun ahead. Luckily for you, we’ve got you covered with this comprehensive overview of what to do and how to ensure your board will always be good to go and last for a long time. Basically, the more time and effort you spend on keeping your board in riding condition, the longer it’s going to last. Which means that you’re going to be saving a ton of money and you’ll always have a great ride ready to go.
How to Maintain a Longboard Deck
Sun, water, dust and dirt can all wear down your board’s deck, making it less strong and potentially at risk of cracking and breaking (not something you really want to happen when you’re flying 40mph down a winding slope). So, if at any point your deck does become soaked always make sure to give it a thorough dry afterwards. Always make sure to also store your board under cover and preferably indoors.
For some added protection, use a cover bag to make sure your board is safe from the elements.
How to Clean a Longboard Deck:
Step 1: First unscrew and detach the trucks.
Step 2: Using a nylon or hard bristle brush and warm soapy water, lightly scrub in a circular motion across the grip tape to clean off any excess dirt.
Step 3: Now, using a sponge, rinse the soap and dirt off the board and gently wipe the deck down. If the deck surface is still dirty, repeat the past 2 steps again.
Step 4: Clean the underside of the board now also using a sponge and clean water. Gently wipe the board down and make sure to take care at the area where the trucks attach to the board.
Step 5: Dry the bottom of the board off with a towel and let the deck completely dry for a couple of hours before reattaching the trucks.
How to Maintain Longboard Bearings
The quality and performance of your longboard bearings are crucial for having a smooth ride. If you ever experience any squeaking form your bearings or if it feels like they’re sticking – you need to instantly stop riding and have a look at what’s happening with them. Just like the deck of a longboard, the bearings can easily rust, or seize up with debris if you’re riding through any dirt, dust or water. So, after a couple of wet days of riding on dusty roads, it’s always worth it to check your bearing and possibly give them a clean just to make sure you’re getting the best performance out of your board.
How to Clean Longboard Bearings
Step 1: Carefully remove the rubber shield covering the bearings. Just make sure to not force it too hard or you could easily damage or break your bearings.
Step 2: If you don’t have any special bearing cleaning solutions, you can dip the bearing in kerosene or mineral spirits. Make sure to move the solution around to completely clean and cover each ball bearing’s surface.
Step 3: Rinse the bearing in rubbing or isopropyl alcohol.
Step 4: Allow the bearing to completely dry, the process can be sped up using compressed air.
Step 5: Apply bearing lubricant as per the instructions from the manufacturer. You can find some of the best bearing lubricant in the link below.
Step 6: Replace or put the old cover shield back on.
Step 7: Carefully reinstall the bearings into the wheels.
How to Maintain Longboard Wheels
While all longboard wheels are destined to eventually wear out, there are a couple of easy things you can do to extend the life time of your wheels. Always try and skate on smooth surfaces and avoid large amounts of power sliding as this will generally wear the wheels out quicker. Make sure you are always using the right kinds of wheels for the type of skating you are doing. Performing slides in a cruiser wheel are guaranteed to wear them out faster when compared to sliding wheels that are specifically designed for sliding.
Based on a longboarding wheel’s offset, one wheel is going to rapidly wear out more on a single side than the other. To counter this effect and to wear out your wheels evenly, it’s suggested to rotate the wheels every couple of weeks. This will maximize your usage time of the wheels, allowing them to wear out uniformly and provide a stable and uniform ride all the time. However, when the time has come and your wheels are starting to show significant signs of deterioration it’d be a good idea to replace them as soon as possible. Bad, worn out wheels are going to ruin you’re ride and drastically reduce your performance.
Here’s the perfect tool for taking off and changing your wheels.
There you have it, these are some of the easiest ways to make sure you’re always going to be getting the most out of your longboard. Just make sure to always give it a once over after you’ve been riding through any wet or dusty conditions. Also, try to avoid sand and dirt at all costs because cleaning that out of your bearings is never going to be any fun!
By: Stephan M.