A longboard is a type of skateboard. Recently, I bought one for myself. It is a bit longer than skateboards. The wheels of these boards are also softer and give a smooth ride. It is obvious for all longboard riders to know how to clean longboard wheels.
After using it for quite a long time, the wheels were much dirty. So, I thought of cleaning them. But here is the question that, how to clean longboard wheels?
Many people might think, it is not an easy task cleaning the wheels. But let me tell you, it is not very difficult if you know the proper method of doing it.
Difference Between Longboards and Skateboards:
Longboards are larger and more flexible. It has large and soft wheels which makes it easier for beginners to ride. If you plan for a long-distance ride or want to cruise around, then go for a longboard.
On the other hand, skateboards are short and agile. Its wheels are small and hard. It is less bouncy compared to softer wheels. If you are willing to do stunts and tricks with boards, then you must choose skateboards.
Now, you know which board to buy depending on your purpose for riding it.
Cleaning Mechanism of Wheels:
It is essential to clean your longboard wheels. The dirt in the wheels makes your board a little slower. So here are the following steps to get rid of the dirty wheels:
- Flip the board and pop the bearings out.
- Use an axle or wrench to unscrew the bearings and the nuts.
- Take off the wheels and keep all the small metallic components aside.
- Remove the rocks and gravel stuck in the wheel surface using a washcloth.
- Take a large bowl, mix some dishwashing soap, or any other liquid soap with warm water.
- Drop the wheels in the bowl and let them soak for 10-15 minutes.
- Pull out the wheels from the bowl, and scrub them well using a rag or a brush with the soapy mixture.
- Dry off your wheels.
In this way, you can wash the dirt from your wheels. I hope your question is answered about, ‘how to clean longboard wheels?’
Do not stress too much about getting it done perfectly. It is an easy task but, certain colors are harder to clean up. Just be careful with the solution you use cleaning the wheels as bleach can damage the actual wheel material.
Steps to Wash the Bearings:
Washing the bearings is also very essential like, the wheels. It is also a part of cleaning the board properly. For keeping the bearings clean, you need to follow some steps, and they are:
- Unbolt the bearings using an axle.
- Pull off the rubber seals from the bearings.
- Take a bowl, then pour some bearing cleaner, isopropyl alcohol, or mineral spirit.
- Drop the bearings in the bowl and let them soak for a couple of hours or more.
- Pull the bearings out from the solvent and place them on a paper towel.
- After drying, put one or two drops of lubricant inside the wheels so the bearings stay smooth.
- Push the rubber seals back into each bearing.
In this way, you can clean the longboard bearings.
These boards are expensive so, you need to take good care of them. To use the longboards for a long time, you need to ensure the cleanliness of its deck and the wheels.
Dust and dirt can decrease the potential of your board’s deck. If you do not clean your deck and leave the grease and dirt on it then slowly, the board will become less strong. It will start cracking and breaking while riding.
For cleaning the deck, detach the trucks from the board. Then, use a hard bristle brush with warm soapy water to take off the excess dirt around the grip tape. You can also use grip gum to dust off your grip tape.
Now, use a sponge to rinse the soap and the dirt from the board. Gently wipe down the deck and also the areas where the trucks remain attached. Dry the bottom of the board with a towel and let it dry for some hours before attaching the wheels.
Therefore, if you want to use a longboard for years, you need to take care of the deck, wheels, and bearings by cleaning it weekly or monthly.
Shapes of Longboard:
There are various types of shapes of a longboard. Each board has its style and purpose. Some of them are given below:
- Pintail boards are wider in the center, and the riders can ride in one direction only.
- Fishtail longboards have a split tail, and they are great for carving and surf style.
- Twin cut-outs are bi-directional and suitable for beginners as they can ride in both directions.
- Speed boards provide stability at a higher speed.
- Cruisers are smaller boards, less smooth, and can perform tricks.
- Dropdowns have a lower deck and great for long-distance rides.
- Blunt boards have a rounded nose and tail. They are stable and perfect for new riders.
Every shape has different types of characteristics.
Drop Through Board:
These boards are used for cruising. It is designed in a way so that riders can cruise at a high speed. The trucks of the board are mounted on the top of the deck and connect with the wheels. Drop through boards provide more stability. It is the best choice for beginners as it is very comfortable and easy to push.
Building up a Longboard:
You can build your own longboard if you are passionate. It is fun to make a unique board if you have wood chopping ability, woodworking tools, a creative mind, and motivation. You can even paint your board with beautiful color combinations and designs.
It is cheaper than buying one. Usually, longboards are expensive for their high quality.
Both ends of this board are like regular skateboards. You can lift one end off the ground to perform tricks and to make quick turns. It is easier to change your riding directions and avoid a collision when you cruise around.
These boards can have kick tails on both ends or only one side, which is essential for maneuvering. You can do many tricks and stunts with a kicktail board. It is comparatively cheap than the other boards.
Longboard wheels have a durometer, which makes them soft. These wheels have less grip, and they roll faster. Its size depends on the length and width of the deck of the board. If the deck is longer, then the wheels will be larger to provide stability. The average durometer is from 75-90a.
Softer wheels are slower but comfortable to ride on the streets. If the board is shorter, the wheels will be smaller and hard. These are better to ride on smooth surfaces like skate parks.
You need to choose the longboard with perfect wheels considering the type of terrain you want to ride. Also, keep the wheels clean following proper ways for a good ride. I hope you have a clear answer to the question about, ‘how to clean longboard wheels?’
These metallic components inside the board are tiny. But they play a significant role in the longboard. The right bearings will make your board faster. It will allow your skating to a different level.
The best longboard bearings are given below:
These are the perfect bearings for a fast ride. Each wheel has two bearings, so there are a total of eight pairs in a longboard.
Methods to Ride on a Longboard:
You need to learn the methods before riding a longboard. Without having the proper knowledge, if you ride, then you might fall.
At first, you need to buy a longboard according to your size, age, and skills. Getting the right board is necessary. For riding, you need to find your stance. There are two types of stances, and they are:
- Regular (left foot forward)
- Goofy (right foot forward)
If you are a beginner, you need to learn to balance. The foot at the head of the board will be the balancing foot. You will lean with this one while turning or accelerating. You can practice safely on grass or a thick carpet for less friction to keep the board from rolling.
While one leg will be at the head, it will be balancing and accelerating, and the other foot will be on the ground as it pushes or brakes. You can make a few more pushes quickly or a long one to get more speed. Once the board starts moving, you can take your foot back on the longboard.
Getting your board moving is necessary, and so is stopping. The easiest method is foot breaking. Takedown the foot you used for pushing and drag it on the pavement until you reach a gentle stop. So, that’s how one can ride a longboard.
Longboard Riding Styles:
There are different styles for riding a longboard. Some of the styles are:
Every longboarding style has a specific type of board. Before you buy one, find which riding style you like the most.
The Price Range of the Longboards:
The price of good quality longboards is between 150 to 400 dollars. These boards give you a reliable deck and great wheels. You can use them for years if you take proper care.
You can also buy pretty cheap boards, which costs between 50 to 100 dollars. It is a good choice for beginners. These longboards have low-quality wheels and bearings, so they might need to be replaced more often.
If you are a pro rider, then you must go for a good quality board. After using that, you will definitely feel the difference between comparing the board with the cheaper one.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. How to protect the nose and tail of a longboard?
Answer: There are nose guards for specific longboards. If you do not want to purchase, then you can use gorilla tape also. You will get it in any local stores. Peel small strips of the tape, and adhere them to the nose and tail of the board. These strips act as bumpers and guard your deck. But you will have to change the tapes more often.
2. Which one between longboard and skateboard is easy to ride?
Answer: Longboarding is comparatively easier as the deck of the board is wider and longer. The wheels are also softer, which makes it easy to keep balance on the board. And skateboards have hard wheels, and the deck is small, which gives your foot less space. So, it is easier to ride on a longer board than a short one.
3. Why longboarding is good for your health?
Answer: Longboarding is a great cardio and strength exercise that helps to increase the flexibility of your body. It also burns some calories per minute. In a way, it keeps your body fit and healthy.
Longboarding is fun if you know how to ride on it. But it is also risky and might injure you if the proper riding technique is not known.
There are various types of longboards depending on their size, shape, style, the material of the deck, and the kind of wheels. They also have different accessory parts like bearing spaces, riser pads, and speed rings.
Longboards are generally larger in size. It is very stable and comfortable for new riders. Some boards have a drop-down for which you ride closer to the ground.
Buying a board totally depends on one’s personal preference and cruising priority. You need to take good care if you do not want to waste tons of money on a board. Excessive dirt will damage the wheels or the bearings and might crack the deck of your longboard.
The cleaning mechanism of every part of the board is elaborated above. I’m pretty sure now no one will ask the question that, ‘how to clean longboard wheels?’ Therefore, I hope you will maintain your longboard accordingly. Have a nice and safe ride.