The average longboarders vocabulary is vast and confusing. Whether it's the words we use to describe the gear we ride, how we skate, or whatever, it's easy to get out of the loop and get confused with the words that get made up or re-defined. This handy dandy dictionary is here to help curb this confusion! If you have any words your group of skaters use, or if you feel like ours are mis-defined, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your words and we'll get back to you and edit accordingly! Starting simply, here's the components that make up a longboard and the synonyms that go with each.
Bearings: These are the circular, small metal parts that go into the wheels to make them spin! They're typically 8mm, but there are some 10mm bearing systems still out there. These allow wheels to fit on axles appropriately and are what propel your setup.
Bearing Spacers: In between the bearings go the bearing spacers! Either metal or plastic, these ensure your bearing system is properly aligned and friction free when tightened down all the way. Bearings like Free Quickees and Atlas Blackouts come with spacers and speed-rings built-in so everything is always aligned!
Decks: Also known as boards, longboards, skateboards, planks, and so on. This is the wooden or composite portion you stand on and ride.There are tons of different styles of decks, but you can find more information on that in either of these articles.
How to Select a Downhill/Freeride Deck
How to Styles of Riding
Grip-tape: The coarse, sand-paper like material that can be found on top of any wheely-board! More intense purposes require grittier grip-tape like Blood Orange or Vicious, while cruising and street utilizes more fine grip.
Mounting Hardware: Small nuts and bolts that fasten your trucks on to your deck.
Risers, also known as pads or spacers: Although optional on some setups, these are the small plastic parts that go in between the deck and the trucks. This either combats wheel clearance issues, otherwise known as wheelbite, or can absorb some roughness from the road if you get a softer plastic shock pad.
Trucks: The metal portion that mount to your deck to allow you to turn. Trucks are made up of a hanger, baseplate, kingpin, washers, speed rings, bushings and nuts to tighten everything down.
Axles: Thinner, metal rod at the end of the hanger that connects your wheels to your trucks
Axle Nuts: The nut that fastens your wheels onto your trucks
Baseplate: The part that connects the trucks to the deck, configured in such a way that it makes the trucks sit at an angle. This angle helps determine the turning radius of your trucks and how they feel as a whole.
Bushings: Small bits of urethane that sit in and under the hanger to provide different levels of compression. There's different shapes and hardnesses for different rider preferences, styles and weights.
Hanger: Main portion of the truck that contacts and weights the bushings to produce turns. Also, holds on the wheels at the end of the axles.
Kingpin: The bolt that goes through the baseplate and up through the hanger to connect the two
Kingpin Nut: The nut that tightens or loosens your trucks
Washers: Small metal saucers that act as covers for the bushings. Can either be cupped, flat or tophat for the most precision. Most necessary on the roadside or top bushing to ensure the nut doesn't dig into the bushing.
Wheels: Round and made of urethane, the wheels are the most obvious of all the components that make up a longboard or skateboard. May also be referred to as tires... they're wheels.
Adjectives for Gear
Because of how many different feelings are possible within your setup, there are more adjectives than most people can keep track of. Plus, having such a tight-knit community producing reviews and information creates a lot of different words, some of which meaning the same thing. Here's our take on them!