Tips for Surfskate Beginners: 3 Things to Do Before Riding Your Surfskate
Surfskate Beginner Maintenance Tips Quick Links
Hello, surfskate beginners! I want to give you three quick tips for surfskate maintenance before you take your first ride your new surfskate.
I’ve worked with a lot of newbies and I see the same thing over and over again. Many surfskate beginners seem to be almost afraid of their surfskate, as if they think they’re going to break it.
If you’re new to board sports, understanding the parts and mechanics of your surfskate may seem overwhelming. But knowing a few simple things about surfskate maintenance will help you begin to develop a relationship with your new board.
And if you’re looking for tips and tutorials to learn how to ride your new surfskate, check out my video course, “Surfskating for Non-Surfers.”
Surfskate Maintenance for Surfskate Beginners
Proper surfskate maintenance begins with three simple steps:
1. Stop your pivot cup from squeaking.
2. Make sure your wheels are spinning freely.
3. Inspect your surfskate truck to make sure it’s working properly.
In this article I’ll be working with a basic Carver CX bushing-based surfskate truck.
I’ve bought more than 60 surfskates to date and almost all of them have a squeak right out of the box. In almost every case, the squeaking is going to come from your pivot cup. The pivot cup is where your truck sits and where it pivots. That’s why it’s called a pivot cup.
So let’s take care of that pivot cup squeak. On a Carver CX, remove the kingpin nut, then pull your washers, bushings, and hanger off the truck.
So that’s the first surfskate maintenance step done. We’ve got our pivot cups taken care of and our board doesn’t squeak anymore!
The second step for the surfskate beginner is to check your wheels and bearings to make sure they’re spinning freely.
A lot of surfskates come from the factory either with bearings that haven’t been properly installed. If they aren’t pushed into the wheels completely, a spacing issue occurs and the wheel won’t spin as efficiently. Or, sometimes they just tighten down those nuts too much, which locks down your wheels.
Turn your surfskate over and spin all of your surfskate wheels. Do any of the wheels stop prematurely? If you have a wheel that doesn’t spin as long as the others, there are a couple of possible solutions.
The first thing you want to look at is the spacing of the bearings.
Remove the nut on the wheel and pull the wheel off. Use a skate tool (yes, surfskate beginners need a skate tool!) to push the bearings into the wheel and place the wheel back on the truck.
Tighten the nut down and spin the wheel again. If you still experience some drag, you can back out the nut slightly to allow it to spin better. Back your nut off just enough so that your wheels spin freely, but there is very little play in the wheel.
Every surfskate beginner should get to know your surfskate trucks. Every surfskate truck is designed differently, and I’m not going to cover all of them in this article.
But you need to take responsibility for understanding your particular surfskate truck and its parts and mechanics. For every surfskate beginner, I highly recommend that you take your surfskate truck apart and put it back together just to familiarize yourself with it.
HOWEVER, IF YOU HAVE A SMOOTHSTAR THRUSTER, DO NOT TAKE IT APART BECAUSE IT WILL VOID YOUR WARRANTY.
When you inspect your surfskate truck, you basically want to make sure that there is no extra play or no noises that you shouldn’t be hearing, like squeaking or rattling.
Time to Test Ride Your Surfskate!
Now that you’ve stopped your pivot cup from squeaking, ensured that your wheels are spinning properly, and inspected your surfskate truck, it’s time for your first test ride!
Make sure that your adjustments on your trucks are loose enough and that your board is not making any squeaking noise. Is it a quiet and smooth ride? From here, it’s just learning how to ride your surfskate.