This page introduces how To Make a Longboard & Easy Steps Just Read It. Unlike skateboards, longboards are made of a long, straight, and uncurved single piece of wood, making it possible for you to build one at home with little difficulty. Longboards are more stable and easy to learn that’s why newbies are encouraged to go for a longboard instead of a skateboard. A good quality longboard can cost you anywhere between 100 to 300 U.S Dollars. In contrast, a D.I.Y longboard will not only be easy on your pocket, but it will also allow you to customize and build your wooden ride according to your liking. The step by step process for making your custom longboard begins here:
Step 1: Know what you are building.
Before start building, you should know what a longboard is? How does it work? And what are its main parts? The budget should be considered beforehand when making your longboard. It is surely cheaper than buying from the market, but when building your own the amount of money you can spend will influence the quality and number of possible options available for designing your longboard. Before finding the material, let’s break down a longboard into its basic components.
The main part of a longboard is the deck, which is made from several planks of wood, stacked upon each other, and glued. The type of wood you choose determines the quality, aesthetics, and durability of your longboard.
Longboard trucks are T-shaped metal pieces that are attached to the underside of the longboard to which wheels are attached with screws. Two trucks are required for a longboard which is attached at the far ends. Trucks further consist of the following small parts:
The axle, a long metal pin, provides the attachment point to the wheels at both ends of the hanger.
HangerThe hanger is the most important and largest part of the trucks. They are responsible for the overall stability of trucks and hold axle pin running through it.
KingpinThe kingpin is a big bolt that holds the different parts of the trucks together. They are screwed into the bushings just below the hanger. Nowadays, hollow kingpins are becoming a new trend, as they are light in weight and make longboarding easy for newcomers.
The bushings are made up of soft, light, and flexible material called polyurethane. Bushings are in the form of rings that are fitted into either side of the axle. Bushings boost the flexibility of the trucks and allow easier turns and pivots.
Wheels are attached to the trucks. Longboard wheels come in different sizes, and the best of them is the one which suits you. The size of wheels depends upon your height and weight and the place where you would ride your longboard; could be a street, park or a proper ramp.
Step 2: Finding the right material and tools
The deck is made by affixing multiple planks of hardwood or plywood, with wood glue, normally ranging from 2 to 7inch however single piece of wood can be used too, but it is very uncommon and hard to find. If you are running short on money, use 4-6 1/8-inch sheets, and if you are short on time, too, use 2-3 1/4-inch-thick plywood sheets.
In case you are building the longboard of your dreams and don’t want to compromise on quality and aesthetics then go for high-quality woods. Bamboo, White Ash, Birch, and Maple are considerable choices, and each offers a different perk. However, if durability and heavy-duty is your focus, then bamboo would be the best of the three.
Trucks and other accessories
As mentioned above, trucks are metal part and cannot be built at home by a layman. Trucks can be bought from your nearest sports shop, or you can buy them online.
Wheels and bearings
Well, wheels are the area where you have many choices, and the type of wheel you use will impact your riding experience.
If we talk about wheel size than it ranges from 64 to 80mm and most common are 70mm. Large wheels give your ride speed whereas smaller wheels provide stability as they decrease the centre of gravity. If you are a beginner, choose smaller wheels, but in any case, if you are looking for quick adventure and thrill than large wheels of up to 80mm of diameter would make the right choice.
Similarly, you can choose between harder and softer wheels and like size hard wheels give pace and soft wheel increase grip.
Bearings are tiny metal balls in a compact disc which is fixed in the wheels to give rotation with minimum friction. The commonly used bearings are made from metal that can cost just between 10 to 20 Dollars, but if you want to go for supreme quality than you would find ceramic bearings that can cost above a hundred dollars.
The tools you will need are:
- Measuring tape
- Wood glue
- Drill machine
- A large piece of paper
Step 3: Woodwork for building deck
The only part you build is the wooden deck. Rest of the components are just attached.
Design the shape of the deck
Before you start the polishing, cutting, scraping, and all the other woodwork; make sure that you have a design of deck shape in your head. You can simply draw a design on a paper, or you can use advance soft wares for designing, but that would be unnecessary as you should keep the design as simple as possible since you are making your first longboard. If you are making the edges round and bulging, like most longboards, then make sure to make them big enough to be attached with the base plates of the trucks.
Cut the wood you have chosen.
You need to cut the selected wood into strips. Thes size of these strips will be 40 inches long and 10 inches wide. It should be longer than your desired board.
Glue the strips together
Apply a fine layer of glue on the wooden strip and a place another wooden strip over it. Then glue the other wood strip and repeat the procedure with all the strips. One thing must be taken care of here, and when you put weight on this stack of wood strips, it will flex down. To overcome this problem, when you glue the panels together and leave it to adhere, leave some wait over it, just enough to bend it. In this way, when your deck will be created, and you will remove the weight and put force from the opposite side, the deck will not bend.
Draw the shape on the deck
You can draw the shape on deck either by a pencil, or you can paste the paper on which you have drawn the design on the deck.
Giving the board the required shape
Cut the board according to the design. Be careful while this part, you may end up wasting your entire deck by one small wrong cut.
Step 4: Attachment of other accessories: trucks, wheels and bearings
Bearings can be easily fixed in the wheels, however, if you think that the bearings are loose and may come off while riding than use thin layer of adhesive to joining wheels and bearings. Now attach the wheels with the axle and your trucks are ready.
Make holes, at the point of attachment, in the deck for the screws. Measure the shape and distance between the holes in the base plate of trucks and make holes in the deck accordingly. After drilling the holes, screw the deck with trucks.
Step 5: Further designing and customizations
Okay, so wait is over, now you can finally ride a longboard made with your very own hands, would it be okay to ride such a dull longboard. It will kill the vibe.
After you have made your longboard make sure you make it look attractive. You can decide on a theme and design it accordingly. However, one thing must be kept in mind; that not all designs can be made in the end; most designing and customization has to be done during the building process.
If you want to give your board an edgy look but don’t have enough time and resources, you can simply apply stickers on it. Make sure that stickers you use are wood friendly and don’t use acidic adhesive chemical.
You can use acrylic paints for the paint job of your board. Spray paints can also be used for even and fine painting.
If you are an absolute beginner, then you can use a grip mat. Cut it according to the shape of the deck and fix it over the deck’s surface using glue.
Frequently asked Questions
These are some relevant questions found across sources:
How to Build a Longboard?
To build a longboard, you need to cut a large piece of hardwood or plywood into 10 inches wide and 40 inches long wooden strips. Glue together 5-7 of such wooden strips to make a hard deck. Draw the design of your choice on a large paper. Paste the paper on the wooden deck then cut and shape the deck with saw according to your design. After a deck of required shape has been cut. Drill holes at the point of attachment of trucks for the screws, which will affix the board and trucks together.
How to Choose the Right Longboard Deck?
There are different kinds of longboard decks. Decks differ in shape, size, design, and type of wood used. Some decks offer pace and agility, while many others are known for being stable and grippy. When choosing the deck, consider your style of longboarding and the condition in which you will ride. The choice of designs and aesthetics, which have little to no effect on longboarding, depends entirely upon your taste.
What kind of longboard is this?
It is a ‘drop-through symmetrical longboard’. It has protruding round edges. Its design is difficult to carve on deck, so it is not advisable for beginners.
How to make your longboard last?
If you want to see your longboard live long, the first and foremost thing you should do is to keep it dry. As the deck is all wood, moisture, or even a little water can ruin your longboard. Longboard must be cleaned regularly. You should clean the wheels from any dust after every ride. It will be better to, occasionally, open the trucks and clean them. Don’t mistreat your longboard, it doesn’t mean that don’t push it to its limits, but one should not do stupid things with the deck that is no way related to longboarding.
How to Make Your Longboard Faster: 5 Actions You Can Take?
Improve your riding style by watching online tutorials and practicing daily. You can also join skaters clubs where rookies can watch and learn from professionals. Practicing on proper ramp or bowls can boost your learning.
Use bigger and harder wheels. Harder and larger wheels can decrease stability, but they sure make you longboard fast.
Clean your wheel regularly. Dirt and other particles can increase the resistance in the rotation of wheels.
Sometimes axle bolts are too tightly screwed than it needs to be. Try loosening the axle, and it might help.
Clean and lube the bearings regularly, change them if they are no longer treatable.
How hard is this project?
If you have a passion for longboards, then you wouldn’t find the project very hard. You don’t need to be a skilled woodworker; however, any experience of cutting wood would surely help. Apart from the deck, all other parts; like wheels, trucks or bearing are bought not built and just need to be fixed to the deck.
What are you gonna try out?
If I were a beginner, I would try making a mid-length longboard within the range of 32-40 inches. Such longboards are easy to ride for beginners as they offer a lot of stability. In terms of design and shape, my longboard would be like ‘drop-through symmetrical longboard’ but with a little customization making it perfect for cruising, which I enjoy the most. The first thing I am gonna try with my new board would be cruising downhill.
Either you are running short on money, or you just don’t want to buy a ready-made longboard, and instead want to build your own then you don’t need to worry. All you need are the right tools, material, and a little woodwork knowledge. If you make your longboard then you can customize and design it in whatever way you like. In the end, I would advise keeping things simple, especially if you are building a longboard for the first time. If you want to How To Make a Longboard Then Just Follow the Steps. Thanks & Happy Reading.