Skateboard Build – Green

This is my first post in quite some time, as many things have eaten up my free time – namely fatherhood, increased work responsibilities, and a worldwide viral pandemic that we’ll be telling our grandkids about.

Between all these strange life-changing moments, I decided I needed to get some more exercise, and relive some of my youth at the same time. So I did the rational thing, and made a skateboard.

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My custom-painted deck

 

As I used to skate a decade ago, I thought it would be worth getting back on the old plank, but my busted up old setup needed lots of attention – basically starting from scratch.

My old board had been beaten about and well used previously, but after 10 years in a garage that had seen some very wet winters, it was in poor shape. The only thing of use left were my old fracture trucks, so I went looking for how I could rebuild it on the cheap. The bushings needed replacing as they’d gone brittle, so I picked up some nice green medium bushings for around £4, some green 99A urethane wheels for around £6, and a set of ABEC 7 bearings – again around £6. After stripping and rebuilding, I had a fresh set of trucks ready to break back in.

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Fracture trucks, refreshed with new bushings/wheels/bearings

To add a bit of artistry to my endeavor, I thought I would get a blank deck and make  something truly custom. After a bit of shopping around, I found some blank decks available on AliExpress – made from the finest Chinese maple, and a steal at only £12 including shipping.

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A blank skateboard deck, after a few coats of white spray paint

Now, I’m not expecting this to last as long as a “real” deck from a decent woodshop, made of Canadian maple, but as I’m only relearning I thought this would be good enough for a while. And it’ll save me some cash if I find out I’m just too old to skate! A couple of coats of white paint later, and I’m ready to get artistic!

As I’m a new father, I thought I would get my very young son to assist in my designs, so we made some templates of his hand prints out of cardboard.

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Category Jr helping me make some cardboard templates

After making the deck nice and white, and with plenty of hand-print templates from Category Jr, I started doodling some random multi-colour scribbles with a sharpie. Once I’d made my little doodles, I stuck the hand-print templates on with some blu-tak, ready for the next paint layers.

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Sharpie doodles, covered with cardboard hand-prints

With “all hands on deck” (ha!), I started spraying the board green, to match my new bushings and wheels.

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Ready for some green paint

After leaving that to dry, I took off all the templates and gave the whole thing a good few layers of acrylic clear coat.

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A green board, with some hand cut-outs showing silly little doodles

With my custom green deck finished, I decided the ultimate finishing touch would be some matching green grip tape to make it really stand out. The green grip tape cost £5, and I did a pretty good job applying it after all these years – only a few little knicks around the edge of the board, and no bubbles at all. I chucked on my new trucks with some black hardware, but two red bolts matching the bearings to show me which end is the front.

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Completed board – top (note knackered old wheels left on the table)
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Completed board – bottom view

And there is my final custom board, ready to ride! Personally, I think it looks awesome, but I’m always more attached to things I’ve created. Do you like it?

My total outlay was:-

  • Blank Chinese deck – £12
  • Spray paint/clear coat/sharpies – about £10 as I still have plenty left
  • Green 99A wheels – £6
  • ABEC-7 bearings – £6
  • Green medium bushings – £4
  • Green grip tape – £5
  • Black/red hardware – £2.50

All in, I spent roughly £45 on a new deck – not the cheapest, but less than I’d spend on just a Powell/Blind/Enjoi/Revive deck – and my investment included everything else but the trucks.

Now this board was finished last year, I have just been way too busy to write a blog post. Seriously. But I’ve skated it a few times, and it rides well, but the bushings are still being broken in.  Between my new responsibilities as a father, the awful weather this winter, the coronavirus lockdown, and my rolling my ankle pretty bad on my last session, I have not ridden it nearly as much as I would like. But the act of creation is as satisfying as the act of usage in my book.

But I have busted some sweet pop shove-its, not bad for someone in their mid-30s who hasn’t skated in a decade!

In the words of /esg/ :-

“YOU’RE NEVER TOO OLD TO SKATE, SO GO OUT AND SHRED!!! YOU’RE NEVER TOO FAT TO SKATE, SO GO OUT AND SHRED!!!”

Author: Category

Find me on Mastodon @category@mastodon.technology

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