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Longboard Maintenance

Longboards are known for their toughness, stability, and suitability for long transportation, but if you don’t take good care of your longboard, it will age faster. Longboards are more expensive than skateboards and shortboards, and to save your investment you need to learn longboard maintenance. Retaining a longboard is only possible when a skater has good know-how of all of its components, therefore, this article is written to nourish your knowledge and introduce you to the basic guide to longboard maintenance.

Longboard Maintenance

Longboards are typically designed to last longer than skateboards and short boards, but by taking good care of them you can elevate their shelf life. Longboards are expensive and cost you no less than hundreds of dollars, so to save your investment, you need to know how to maintain and keep your longboard up to date. Well, it is not that straightforward as the longboard consists of multiple components and even sub-components.

Therefore, in this blog, I’ll get you through multiple parts of the longboard, their sizes, types, and preventive measures that every skater should know. The longboard parts include the deck, trucks, wheels, bearings, and grip tape. All of these components are assembled together and bring you a safe, non-wobbling, and enjoyable boarding experience on a lot of surfaces. If you don’t maintain these parts and roughly use your longboard, its shelf life will decrease and also your safety will be at risk.

Deck Maintenance

The main component of the longboard that requires your prior attention in terms of maintenance and care is the deck. The deck is the surface on which you’ll be standing throughout the ride. The longboard decks are divided based on the materials used in their construction, their types or application, sizes, and more. However, the primary purpose of the longboard deck is still the same, it carries the skater along the roads over the wheels.


1. Maple Decks

Most of the longboard decks are made of high-quality Canadian maple wood that stands out for being extraordinarily durable, strong, resilient, and stable on a lot of surfaces. The wooden decks also feature promising weight-holding capacity and give an enjoyable skating experience to all level riders: beginners, intermediates, or pro skaters. The maple decks are further categorized based on the layers of wood like 7-ply, 5-ply, 3-ply, and so forth. The greater number of layers is proportional to strength and durability.

2. Bamboo Decks

In addition to the maple decks, bamboo material is also commonly used in constructing longboard decks. Bamboo is a natural material that is not only strong and resistant to external impact-causing factors, but it is also valuable and appearance-wise appealing. Bamboo decks are lightweight and more easily maneuverable than maple decks; however, due to their comparatively less strength and stability, these are not the toppers.


1. Freestyle Decks

The longboard decks are of many types depending on the longboarding style. These types include freestyle longboard decks, cruising decks, freeride decks, carving decks, and downhill decks. The freestyle decks, as the name indicates, are versatile and allow riders to freely perform stunts, tricks, and flips on different surfaces. These decks have a good length and allow riders to move up and down in the air freely. The freestyle longboard decks are also known as dancing decks.

2. Cruising Decks

The cruising longboard decks come with a classic, traditional, and pin-shape design that aims to make skating effortless for riders. These decks feature optimum weight and length and are designed to make learning skating easier for newbies. The cruiser decks are the most popular longboard decks in the market.

3. Freeride Decks

Then comes the freeride longboard decks which are symmetrical and designed to bring extraordinary stability. These longboard decks are best suited for learners and beginners who just started skating, especially kids, or even adults. Alongside stability, the freeride decks provide better sliding and run best on smooth surfaces like parts, streets, etc.

4. Carving Decks

The carving longboard decks have carves or hollow segments over the wheels that are designed to prevent wheel bites. When the wheel contacts the deck from the bottom, it bites it or causes an unwanted halt. To prevent that, the carving decks are engineered in a slightly upward position.

5. Downhill Decks

Last but not least, the downhill longboard decks come in a drop design that willingly reduces the gravity element, making these decks more feasible for downhill skating. These decks are extremely stable and offer a smooth ride regardless of surface imperfections. If you are more into mountain skating, there is no better choice than downhill decks.


The size of the longboard deck varies between 32 to 42 inches, and you should choose one depending on your body proportions. The types of decks, I explained above, are also the baseline on which the size varies: cruising longboards range from 32 to 40 inches, downhill decks range from 35 to 42 inches, while freeride and freestyle longboards range from 38 to 42 inches. For more information about the size guide, please visit the product description section before you make a purchase.


Many factors can cause your longboard deck to age faster than usual like dampening conditions, exposure to direct sunlight, dust, and other environmental factors. The best thing you can do for your deck is to keep it away from unfavorable conditions, always clean the deck after your ride, and store it in a dry place in room conditions. Cleaning your deck is not a tedious task to do, use a clean cloth and wipe it on the deck to remove the dirt. Whereas a detailed cleaning process is required on a monthly basis.

Trucks Maintenance

The second most striking component of the longboard is the trucks that connect the deck to the wheels. The longboard trucks are further divided into sub-components including hangar, baseplate, kingpins, axle, and bushings. All of these components are assembled in a standard way and help you ride comfortably and stably on the longboard.


The longboard trucks are divided into two major types that are reverse kingpin, shortly called RKP, and the traditional kingpin, also known as TKP. The reverse kingpins are now more commonly used in longboards because of their better stability and high responsiveness than the old-schooled traditional kingpins. RKPs are used for many different kinds of longboards like cruisers, freestyle longboards, freeride boards, downhill decks, and more.


1. Narrow Trucks

The longboard trucks are of many sizes, and it is important to consider their size because it is directly linked to the wheel bite process we discussed above. In general, longboard trucks can be divided into two based on their size (usually the width): narrow and wide trucks. The narrow longboard trucks are designed to facilitate riders with sharper and more defined turns. These trucks are highly maneuverable and are best suited for pro skaters.

2. Wide Trucks

With the flip of the coin, the wide longboard trucks are engineered to bring extreme stability. These longboard trucks are more convenient and help you learn skating within a few days. It would be right to say that wide longboard trucks bring ease, comfort, better control, safety, and smoothness to rides.


The assembly of the longboard trucks is of great importance because if the wheels are not connected precisely to the deck of your longboard, you’ll indulge in accidental happenings at any moment. To avoid such risk, every skater should have the know-how of how to check whether the longboard trucks are installed properly or not. As far as the longboard maintenance is concerned, this part cannot be skipped as you need to check the assembly often.

There are different ways for how the deck is connected to the wheels, but mainly we categorize the longboard truck assembly into two: top mount and drop through the mount. In the top mount longboard truck assembly, the deck is installed over the top of the trucks, whereas in the drop through the mount, the baseplate is installed over the top of the longboard. The drop-through assembly reduces the element of gravity and is more suitable for downhill decks.


Most of the components of longboard truck assembly are made of metal, usually steel and iron because of their strength and unmatchable durability. Also, metal is not easily breakable and can withstand wear and tear to a great extent. But the only risk associated with the metal components is corrosion, which is a real problem. Therefore, you need to keep the internal of the longboard away from moisture and dampening conditions to elevate its performance and increase its life.

Wheels Maintenance

The base of the longboard is supported by the wheels, so, how come you skip maintaining them? The wheels require your prior attention and need to be handled properly for a safe and sound riding experience. In this section, we will first go through the types and sizes of wheels and the care required to elongate their longevity, in a nutshell. Let’s discuss:


1. Soft Wheels

The longboard wheels are mainly divided into two: soft wheels and hard wheels, where the soft wheels are designed for smooth surfaces like parks, streets, roadways, and more. These wheels are suitable for casual commuting and daily longboarding and are perfect for learners and beginners. This is because the soft wheels are easygoing, and comfortable, and bring a smooth and stable ride on even surfaces. In case you’re buying the longboard wheels separately, the soft wheels are also comparatively affordable.

2. Hard Wheels

Conversely, the hard wheels are tough and are designed to cope with impact-causing external factors including environmental fluctuations like water, light, dirt, etc. The hard wheels make longboarding possible on hard terrains and irregular surfaces like rocky mountains, imperfect roadways, and more. However, that doesn’t mean any compromise on safety as these hard wheels are engineered in a way that they manage to deliver a smooth and safe ride even on rough and tough surfaces.


The longboard wheel sizes are considered in diameter, and it is measured in millimeters. The longboard wheels range from 64 mm to 80 mm, and you should prefer one that is suitable for the truck assembly of your longboard. In other words, the wheels of the longboard shouldn’t be so big that they cause wheel bite and damage the deck in the long term, and their size shouldn’t be so small that they cannot hold the weight precisely and feature comfortable cruising.

Another term that you must have heard in the context of wheel size is durometer, which refers to the hardness of longboard wheels. The higher degree of durometer of longboard wheels is directly proportional to the hardness level. As a general rule of thumb, the harder wheels, which have high durometers, provide better control and are designed for sliding. In contrast, the longboard wheels with low durometers tend to bring more stability and comfort during the rides.


The longboard wheels are equipped with bearings that determine how fast the wheels will run on each push. Each longboard wheel is integrated with two bearings that are aligned in a parallel position with the help of the spacer. The longboard bearings are classified as good or bad based on the ABEC ratings, also called Annular Bearing Engineering Committee. These ratings are given based on the degree of tolerance of the bearings.


The maintenance and care of the wheels and bearings of your longboard are extremely important. You should clean the wheels timely using the damp cloth piece and make sure that there is no dirt. Please get a good quality lubricating agent to grease the bearings for their optimum functioning. In a few words, it is not recommended to leave the bearings or wheels dirty, as they will start producing unpleasant sounds during the ride and will get damaged with time.

Longboard Maintenance Kit

1. Cleaning

The first and most important tip for longboard maintenance is “to keep it clean always”. Cleaning is not optional at all, as your longboard travels through dirty and unclean spaces that need to be wiped down as soon as possible. Don’t wait for the next day either and clean your longboard once you reach home after a ride; it will also be easier for you to wipe off the dirt. For cleaning, don’t purchase expensive agents, use a simple cloth piece and raw water if needed.

2. Inspection

Secondly, please inspect your longboard and find out if there is any damage or crack on any of its components. This is the reason why I gave you an insight into the components of the longboard so that you can check it regularly by yourself. In case you see something wrong, don’t wait for the right time or mood; fix the problem as soon as possible.

3. Adjustment

To avoid accidental happenings and wobbling rides, it is suggested to tighten the longboard trucks. You can do this using an Allen wrench, socket wrench, or any other available wrench tool. Specific skate tools are also used for this purpose.

4. Replacement

Please don’t ride on the same wheels for years until they break. You need to replace the longboard wheels as soon as they get a bit flattened. Choose the longboard wheels size and type according to your deck style and final application.


How do you take care of longboard bearings?

You should clean the longboard bearing daily, inspect their assembly regularly, and lubricate them using a good quality greasing agent. There is no need to visit the shop as you can easily maintain the longboard bearings at home.

Are soft wheels better than hard wheels for longboards?

There is no superiority game as both kinds of wheels are purposely different and you should opt for one as per your suitability. Soft wheels are comfortable and smoother, and facilitate stable and safe rides on even surfaces, whereas hard wheels are designed for rough terrains.

What happens if you don’t lubricate the bearings?

If you don’t lubricate the longboard bearings, the friction will get increased which will result in unwanted heat and resistance. This will lead to the creation of holes or voids that welcomes contamination and will consequently result in the permanent damage of internal parts.

The Bottom Line

Longboard maintenance can be hectic sometimes, but it is very important and should not be skipped. This is because a roughly-treated longboard will get damaged easily and has a low shelf life, so to save your investment you need to take good care of your board. In this sequence, a good know-how of longboard components and how they work is necessary. In this article, I have discussed the longboard parts and their care in detail, so give it a good read.

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