When it comes to setups there is a lot more to it than the picture on the deck.
"Oh, he will love this dragon..."
While the deck might appeal to the recipient, there is a lot more to it than that.
A LOT MORE!
I want to give you an idea of the basics.
- Deck: These come in loads of different varieties, but at the basic level, it's the shaped plank of wood you stand on.
- Trucks: These are what your wheels attach to. Trucks are the metal turning mechanism that attach the longboard wheels to the deck. In conjunction with Bushings (small rubber inserts) they allow you to turn by tilting your deck from side to side.
- Small rings that fit between your wheel & axle that allow smooth-spinning wheels. You need 8 of them; 2 for each wheel.
- Bearing Spacers: Tiny cylinders that fit between your two bearings. They're cheap & you can skate without them, but using them will make for a much quieter, smoother, safer ride.
- Hardware: The nuts, bolts & washers that hold everything together.
Now you know the parts of your longboard! Let's go through a basic checklist on some must have safety gear if you are buying this for somebody who doesn't have their own gear yet. If you are buying them a board and they have never learned to ride, well, you are putting that loved one at risk.
The bare minimum:
Safety is a very important issue in longboarding, especially when you're a beginner. Don't be dumb, wear a helmet. It's cheaper than the hospital bills. Look for a CPSC Certified Half-Shell Helmet.
You can never have too much safety gear. There are some extra items you want to consider:
- Slide Gloves: These protect your hands & also allow you to do several important safety stops. These are your second-most important piece of safety gear, aside from your helmet. You might think that wrist guards could serve this purpose. They will not. Get yourself some slide gloves.
- Wrist Guards: Does what the name suggests.
- Knee Pads: Another important piece of equipment, these will prevent your knees from looking like the surface of the moon. Get yourself some hard-cap kneepads & you'll thank yourself later.