How do you keep your longboard properly maintained?
This article will cover maintenance for the deck, griptape, bearings, wheels, and trucks.
The best type of maintenance is preventative maintenance.
Avoid riding in wet conditions, regularly clean your bearings, and watch your board closely. Always check your truck/wheel nuts before riding to ensure they’re secure. You don’t want anything coming apart while shredding.
If you do ride in wet conditions, then you might want to consider having a “wet setup”.
All that means is to have dedicated wheels, bearings, and trucks that you can put on solely for wet conditions. That way, your main setup doesn’t get ruined. If you can’t afford to do this, make sure to thoroughly dry it off once you’re done.
The most common deck issue is minor chips/cracks on the nose or tail.
If it’s a hairline crack or a minor chip, don’t worry. Longboards and skateboards are meant to get beat up. It’s obviously your call, but just keep an eye on it.
Address it when you get a significant crack or chip.
It’s all going to depend on your situation, but if it’s a delamination crack, use either wood glue or epoxy.
Flip your board vertically so gravity will pull the glue deeper into the cracks, lay down some protection so it doesn’t drip, apply it, then clamp it. Wipe away any excess. Wait however long it instructs and then sand it down if needed.
If it’s a crack that’s hard to reach, get glue syringes. It’ll make your life a lot easier.
If you have a big chip, you can use wood filler. Spread it on, let it dry, and then sand it down.
You can even go a little further and spray it with urethane to help keep moisture out.
The most common grip tape issue is dirt.
You can gently use a wire brush for more intense dirt, and then a sanding belt cleaner for stuff on the surface of the grip. This belt cleaner will solve 99% of dirty grip tape issues.
Keep in mind that griptape will wear down over time. Don’t go over the top and use a crazy amount of pressure, otherwise, it’ll wear down quicker.
The key to having your bearings perform properly is lube.
Using WD-40 is not a good choice because it’s not a lubricant. It’ll dry them out and attract more dirt and grime over time. WD-40 might temporarily seem like it’s working, but it’ll ruin them over time.
Instead, it’s best to pop off the plastic caps, and use a cleaner bottle like the ones from Bones. Line up your bearings, spaced out, add in some natural citrus cleaner.
I got this specific cleaner from Amazon, but I’d recommend picking up a cheaper one from your local hardware store.
Fill your bottle about a quarter of the way and shake it up.
You can rinse and repeat a few times, depending on how dirty your bearings are.
Take them out, and let them dry on a paper towel. Before you add the lube it’s important to make sure they completely dry off. I usually just wait but to speed up the process you can use an air spray can or blow dryer.
Once they’re dry, use a lubricant like Bones Speed cream.
Two main issues are uneven wear from sliding and them getting dirty.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that if you slide a lot, some of your wheels are going to wear down quicker than others. This is why it’s common practice to rotate your wheels so they all have a better chance of wearing them evenly. Make sure your wheels have centerset cores, otherwise, it doesn’t make sense to flip them.
If your wheels are dirty, put some warm water and dish soap in a bucket. Let your wheels soak for 10 minutes, then take a brush and scrub.
The most common issue is your truck squeaking. It’s either the pivot cup or bushings.
Take soap or candle wax shavings, and sprinkle them in the pivot cup and between the bushings. That should do it.