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How To Assemble A LongBoard

Dear BYU Freshman,

You have probably noticed that there are many fun things to do in and around Brigham Young University’s campus. You’ve also probably noticed that those fun things are all far apart from one another, and that the long commute between places can get in the way of you having a good time. How then, can we cover these distances in an affordable, convenient, and stylish way? It’s quite the dilemma.

The solution is the longboard. Unique to the western United States, the longboard, as its name suggests, is an elongated skateboard that will allow you to travel swiftly and smoothly where you want to go with ease. At a low cost, you’ll also find that there’s plenty of money left over for you to go on a date with that cute Brother or Sister in your Book of Mormon class.

The longboard isn’t just for travel. It can also be used recreationally. Get together with your friends and ride down Provo’s countless hills to enjoy the thrill like that of surfing or snowboarding, even if you’re miles from the ocean or months from winter. Provo’s longboarding community is by no means small, and you’ll find that there are plenty of people eager to join up with you for some street shredding fun.

Included in this pamphlet and on the accompanying website you’ll find all of the information you need to assemble your own longboard so you, as many before you, can enjoy the convenience, style, and thrill of longboarding.


Your friends,

The BYU Longboarding Crew




Purchase

Finding a longboard is easy. There are skate shops throughout the greater Provo area you can go to to purchase a longboard. Usually, these shops will pre-assemble to longboard for you. A more affordable option, however, is to purchase the longboard component parts individually at a shop or on the net. Make sure you buy the all of the parts and have all of the tools you need!


Parts needed


Parts 

  • Deck - the "board" of the longboard
  • (2) Trucks [A] - metal joints that mount the wheels to the deck
  • (2) Risers [B] – rubber pads between trucks and deck
  • (4) Wheels [C] - polyurethane
  • (4) Wheel bearings - that fit your wheels [not shown]
  • Grip tape (if not supplied)
  • Decals (as desired)
  • Hardware kit containing:
    • (8) washers [D] – for wheel posts
    • (8) 3mm Allen bolts [E]
    • (4) ½ inch locknuts [F] - nylon-lined

Tools

  • ½ inch Nut Driver [G]
  • 3mm Allen Key [H]
  • Electric Drill (if deck does not come with screw holes)
  • Isopropyl rubbing alcohol
 

Assembly

1. Put the grip tape on the deck.
i. Remove backing from the grip tape so that the adhesive is exposed.
ii. Place the grip tape on one edge of the deck with a ½” to 1” overhang
iii. Slowly and carefully press down the tape with the side of your hand. Beware of air bubbles!
iv. Sand the edges – this will trace out the edge of the board and let you know where to cut!
v. Using the razor blade, start cutting along one side, cutting towards yourself, putting pressure with your thumb and slide down the side
vi. Make sure the excess grip tape isn’t sticking to the edges
(You can use the excess tape to sand the edges of your board for a nice finish.)

2. Insert bearings into the wheels.
**Some longboard kits include bearings but no wheels, whereas some wheel sets don't include bearings. Make sure to purchase both wheels and matching bearings.

To assemble, simply push the bearings into the wheels and snap them into place.

3. Attach wheels to trucks.
i. Hold the truck vertically in one hand as shown in the picture.
ii. Insert a washer, then the wheel, then another washer.
iii. Tighten the nut with the driver until you reach moderate resistance, then loosen it a quarter-turn.
iv. Repeat for the remaining three wheels.
v. Avoid cross threading by starting to tighten the nut with your fingers first.
vi. Use the nut driver once you're sure the nut isn't binding on the axel threading.
vii. Be sure the wheel spins freely (e.g. that it’s not too tight), but there shouldn’t be any wobble as the wheel spins.

4. Mount the risers and trucks on the deck.
The risers have many sets of holes to accommodate different trucks and decks. You will need to determine which holes are appropriate for your deck.
  • Orient both trucks outward, so the pivot bolt is pointed inward as depicted.(i)
  • Align the truck holes with the deck holes and note which holes line up. If your deck has no holes yet, measure the dimensions of the truck's screwholes, mark these locations on the deck,and drill holes with your electric drill. (ii)
  • Center the riser rubber on the truck. It does not matter which way is up: both sides of the riser are the same.(iii)
  • Orient the riser to permit access to the deck holes you noted earlier.(iv)
  • Flip the riser/truck combination down onto the deck. The appropriate screwholes should now be accessible. (v)
  • Lift up the deck and hand-tighten the screws from underneath.(vi)

5. Tighten the truck bolts.
Hand tighten all four bolts before using the Allen wrench. Tighten the bolts evenly to ensure the assembly does not become skewed and block access to other screwholes.
To finish, use the short end of the wrench to obtain more leverage.
Avoid striping out the bolt by not pushing the wrench beyond where you can no longer turn the Allen wrench.


Test/Adjustment

Roll the longboard forward on the floor to verify the bearings roll smoothly. If not, loosen the bearing bolts until they do.
Step on the longboard and lean side to side to verify the tightness of the truck pivot bolts. Adjust the trucks to a tightness that fits your personal style/preference.

 
Caution:
Longboarding is hazardous! Wear a helmet!

Troubleshooting

1. My grip tape is crooked/wrong...
Grip tape can be adjusted when you first place it on the deck by lifting and replacing, but is much more difficult once it has been on for a long time.

For further guidance on griptape installation, see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-HkShnnTDM

For instructions on how to remove griptape after it has been completely installed, see: http://www.mahalo.com/how-to-remove-grip-tape-from-a-skateboard

2. I'm having trouble threading bolts through the holes in the deck.
Make sure the bolts are the correct size (3mm). If difficulty persists, wiggle the bolt side to side as you push it downward through the deck. It will fit.

3. My hardware is a little loose...
Loose hardware may lead to injury. Check your board's hardware regularly to make sure it has the proper level of tightness. Tighten all hardware with the same tools used in board assembly.

4. My wheels seem to be wobbling a lot...
The wheel nuts are not tight enough – tighten the wheel nuts, or add washers to brace the wheel from wobbling.

5. I stripped the Allen bolt...
Try these remedies in order:
  1. If your Allen keys are metric, try a slightly-larger SAE key. E.g. a 1/8 inch key is 3.175 mm, which may be large enough to free the bolt.
  2. Use vise-grip pliers to turn the bolt head.
  3. Cut a notch in the bolt head with a dremel tool, then turn it loose with a flathead screwdriver.
  4. If the bolt still will not turn, you must drill out the bolt with a screw extractor. See the screw extractor's instructions for details.

6. Are my wheels on right?
To make sure that wheels have been oriented properly, confirm that the writing on each wheel faces away from the trucks.

7. My board feels unstable and difficult to control when I ride it...
This is likely because your trucks have become too loose. Loose trucks are dangerous and can lead to injury or death, especially at high speeds. Tighter trucks will lead to a more stable ride. Check regularly and maintain a tightness that fits your personal style. Trucks can be tightened by turning the truck bolt in a clockwise direction.

8. My bearings don't seem to be spinning well...
Be sure that the nuts holding your wheels in place aren't too tight. Nuts that are too tight will restrict wheel movement. As a general rule, tighten the nut in a clockwise until you reach moderate resistance, then loosen a quarter turn.
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