How Do You Maintain a Longboard (and How Do You Fix It If It Is Broken)?

Once you get into longboarding, your board will need all the love and affection that you can give. Make sure that you clean it (deck, wheels, and everything in between), treat it with TLC, and remember to always keep it dry. If you are suspecting that something is wrong with your longboard and you are confident in handling it, you can start checking the wheels, trucks, bushings, and bearings.
How Do You Maintain a Longboard

Table of Contents

Having a longboard is a little like having your own baby. You have to care for it regularly and you should never neglect it unless you want a board that is falling apart at the seams.

Should a Longboard Be Flexible and Bend?

It pays to have a longboard that is flexible and bendable. Sure, you need a sturdy board when going at great speed but if you are into longboarding for mellow cruising, then deck flex is something that you should highly consider.

Flexible and bendable boards are great at long rides because they absorb the shock caused by rough terrain

Why Do Longboards Flex?

Longboards flex because they absorb the shock and impact of riding on rough terrain. Aside from that, the flex also determines how much stability a board can offer especially if you want to ride it at such great speed.

Different longboards offer different kinds of flexibility (or flex) and it is essential to find the right flexibility that is perfect for your riding goals.

How Much Should A Longboard Flex?

The flex is highly dependent on your riding goals. Like all boards, flexes are not a one size fits all thing.

If you want to ride at great speed, then you are better off with a board with low flex because it offers stability. On the other hand, if you want a mellow ride, then choose a board with soft flex because they absorb every bump in your way making you feel like you are riding on the smoothest road ever.

The board flex would also depend on the longboarding discipline that you are into. For cruising, choose one with soft flex, and if you are into freestyle choose one with soft to medium flex. For free ride, it is great to have a medium to stiff flex for stability at a moderate speed but if you are going downhill, make sure that your flex is stiff for superior stability.

How Can I Make My Longboard More Comfortable?

Comfort is often a matter of preference and one great thing about owning a longboard is that you can customize it to something that would suit all your needs.

You need to assess the aspects of the longboard that make you uncomfortable. Is it unstable? Maybe tighten the trucks a bit or pay attention to the ride height. Does it make some kind of noise when you ride it? You might want to check the wheels, pivot cup, bushing, or bearings.

Ultimately it is you who will ride your board so adjust it until it becomes the most comfortable board that you will ever ride.

How Can I Make My Longboard More Stable?

If you decided that you need your longboard to be more stable, here are some things to consider:

  • Reverse Kingpin or RKP: Also known as the longboard truck, this is designed to make your board stable even at higher speeds. However, one downside is that RKP has a higher ride which can make doing tricks uncomfortable.
  • Ride Height: As a longboarding rule of thumb, the lower the deck and truck sits, the lower the center of gravity which makes the ride very stable even at a higher speed.

How Do I Make My Longboard Slower?

Often people go into longboarding to satiate their need for speed. But if you are into longboarding just to cruise around in a relaxed way, you may want to try adjusting the axle nut on your board so it’s not too loose. Tighten it enough so that you can still ride side to side without rolling at the speed of light.

Another thing that you can do is to change your wheels to fit your riding goal. Check the hardness of your wheels and trade it for something that has a little more compression so that it holds back on speed a little especially on smooth roads.

How Can I Make My Longboard Better?

Well, “better” can be very subjective. It varies from person to person or board to board. You may feel like something is off with your board while another boarder feels perfect in it.

The good thing is your longboard can be adjusted and it is very customizable. You can make it quite literally the longboard of your dreams.

Can You Use Acrylic Paint on Longboards?

You can definitely use acrylic paint to make your longboard look cooler. You can even use other things like spray paint, wood stain, and permanent markers to express your creativity.

But before you let your creativity free, remember to coat the deck with a layer of polyurethane varnish and leave it to dry for three to four hours. After you decorate your board, you should again add a final layer of polyurethane varnish to protect your design from scratches.

Do Longboards Need Grip Tape?

Yes, longboards absolutely need grip tape. Sure, you can get away with riding without a grip tape but in many cases, even the shoes with the best grip will slip on your decks.

Grip tape is important because it holds your feet firmly on the deck. It keeps your feet from sliding or going sideways. Always make sure that your longboard has fresh grip tape for the best experience.

Can I Wash My Longboard?

Technically you can wash your longboard, but that doesn’t mean that you can soak it and let it be dripping with water.

Here are some ways on how to properly clean your longboard without damaging it:

  • Before you proceed with cleaning your deck, make sure that your first detach the trucks.
  • Using a combination of soapy water and nylon brush, gently brush off the dirt on your deck in tight circles on the side with the grip tape on.
  • Rinse off your board using a sponge (yep, do not throw water on your deck).
  • Flip the board over and wipe down the underside with a sponge and plain water.
  • Once all the scrubbing is done, get a dry towel, and dry off your board.
  • Place your board in a nice, dry area and allow it to completely dry off for around three to four hours.

Why Is My Longboard So Squeaky?

Squeaky noises from your longboard mean that you’ve put too much pressure on the baseplates which then affected the pivot cup. The pivot cup is a hard plastic where the baseplate and the bottom of your truck hanger meets.

Due to friction caused by heavy turning, your pivot cup can start to squeak. Your board may start to squeak at some point but fret not because it is not damaged in any way.

To eliminate the squeaks, all you need is a few shavings of wax or a bar of soap. Just drop the shavings in the empty pivot cup and distribute it evenly. Et voila! All the annoying noises are gone just like that.

Why Is My Longboard So Loud?

Aside from squeaking pivot cup, there are several other reasons why your longboard makes loud noises including:

  • Worn down bushings: Check if your bushings show any evidence of wear and tear because most noises are often caused by your bushings. You should also check if the washers are cutting into the bushing which causes the noise. There are cases where you would need to replace the bushings but, depending on their condition, waxing or applying oil or lube is enough.
  • Dried-up bearings: Bearings don’t last forever so expect them to be damaged at some point. It is easy to identify the bearing (or bearing) that is causing all the noise, just spin your wheels. Once you’ve identified the cause, you can pop out your bearings and soak them in acetone or nail remover before completely drying them and applying them with either oil or silicon-based lube. If your bearings continue to make noise after cleaning them, considered getting new ones.
  • Loose screws: If your screws are loose, sounds may come off of leaning on your board. But there’s an easy way to check that. Tighten the screws but make sure that they are not too tight because it would be hard to turn your board.
  • Wheels: Your wheels can sometimes create noise depending on the issue.
    • Flat spots on your wheels, which are often caused by power slides, make for a bumpy ride. You can scrape it off to make the wheels even, but you should just consider buying new ones
    • Hard wheels also make noises, but these are perfectly normal. You can opt for softer wheels if you are more into cruising but if you are in it for the ollies and the flips, you have no choice but to embrace your hard wheels because they are better for doing tricks.

Why Is My Longboard Cracking?

Often, cracks on your longboard are a sign of wear and tear. It shouldn’t come as a surprise especially if you are using your board on the daily.

Here are some ways on how to protect your board:

  • Keep your board dry. The worst thing that you can do to your deck is to let it get wet. If you let your board soak it may cause the layers to split. Make sure to never longboard in the rain or through puddles.
  • Keep your board clean. Road grime may not be as damaging as water, but it can still be damaging. It can do damages as little as peeling paint to something bigger like weakening the epoxy that is holding the layers of your board together. With a damp rag, clean your board thoroughly and allow it to dry completely.
  • Take care of your board. Treat your board as your actual baby; don’t toss it around, don’t slam it into things, and don’t let it get smocked by other objects.
  • Keep your board off the heat. Although your board is safe from normal use during sunny days, leaving it exposed to the heat of the sun for long periods of time can do a lot of damage. Extreme temperatures can weaken the epoxy that is holding the layers of your deck together. Aside from that, the ultraviolet rays from the sun can cause the degradation of the outer layers of the decks causing them to crack and split.

Why Is My Longboard So Slow?

There are several reasons why your longboard seems to be too slow for your liking, including:

  • Tight axle nuts: One cause of a slow longboard is if your axle nuts are bolt-in too tight which keeps that wheels from spinning freely. You can solve this by loosening your nuts a bit so that the wheels spin normally. Make sure to that you don’t make it too loose otherwise your bolts will come off of the axle.
  • Dirty bearings: Dirt can accumulate fast especially if you ride on wet or grimy terrains. Over time, the dirt can cause friction which causes your board to slow down. This can be easily solved; just clean the lubricate your bearings.
  • Bearings need upgrading: If you have cleaned your bearings spotless and your longboard still rides slow, then maybe it’s time to upgrade your bearings. Often your average board comes with average bearings and as your longboarding skills improve, these simply won’t do anymore. If you are thinking about upgrading, consider getting bearings that have these three qualities: curvature, plastic cage, and removable rubber seals.
  • Wheels need upgrading: Sometimes your average board comes not with just average bearings but also average wheels. If you want to go faster consider upgrading to bigger wheels (because they cover more distance), harder wheels (because they have less compression), and larger cores (because they also have less compression).
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