A skateboard is a type of sports equipment used for skateboarding. They are usually made of a specially designed 7-8 ply maple plywood deck and polyurethane wheels attached to the underside by a pair of skateboarding trucks.
The skateboarder moves by pushing with one foot while the other foot remains balanced on the board, or by pumping one's legs in structures such as a bowl or half pipe. A skateboard can also be used by simply standing on the deck while on a downward slope and allowing gravity to propel the board and rider. If the rider's leading foot is their right foot, they are said to ride "goofy".
The two main types of skateboards are the longboard and the shortboard. The shape of the board is also important: the skateboard must be concaved to perform tricks.
Main article: Skateboarding
Skateboarding started in California in the 1950s. The first skateboards were made from roller skates (attached to a board). Skateboarding gained in popularity because of surfing: in fact, skateboarding was initially referred to as "sidewalk surfing". The very first skateboards were handmade from wooden boxes and planks by individuals. Companies started manufacturing skateboards in 1959, as the sport became more popular. In postwar America, society was carefree with children commonly playing in the streets.
Skateboarding is a very individual activity, and it continues to evolve. Since 2000, due to attention in the media and products like skateboarding video games, children's skateboards and commercialization, skateboarding has been pulled into the mainstream. As more interest and money has been invested into skateboarding, more skate parks, and better skateboards have become available. In addition, the continuing interest has motivated skateboarding companies to keep innovating and inventing new things. Skateboarding appeared for the first time in the 2020 Summer Olympics.
"Long" boards are usually over 36 inches (91 cm) long. Plastic "penny" boards are typically about 22 inches (56 cm) long. Some larger penny boards over 27 inches (69 cm) long are called "nickel" boards.
The longboard, a common variant of the skateboard, is used for higher speed and rough surface boarding, and they are much more expensive. "Old school" boards (those made in the 1970s–80s or modern boards that mimic their shape) are generally wider and often have only one kicktail. Variants of the 1970s often have little or no concavity.
Longboard and skateboard trucks have the same components, but exhibit a different functionality.)
Each skateboard wheel is mounted on its axle via two ball bearings. With few exceptions, the bearings are the industrial standard "608" size, with a bore of 8 mm (0.315 inches) (or 10 mm [0.394 inches] depending on the axle), an outer diameter of 22 mm (0.866 inches), and a width of 7 mm (0.276 inches). These are usually made of steel, though silicon nitride, a high-tech ceramic, is sometimes used. Many skateboard bearings are graded according to the ABEC scale. The starts with ABEC1 as the lowest, followed by 3, 5, 7, and 9. It is a common misconception that the higher ABECs are better for skateboarding, as the ABEC rating only measures tolerances, which do not necessarily apply to skateboards. Bearing performance is determined by how well maintained the bearings are. Maintenance on bearings includes periodically cleaning and lubricating them.
Wedges can be used to change the turning characteristics of a truck.
While not part of a skateboard, an all-in-one skateboard tool capable of mounting and removing trucks & wheels and adjusting truck kingpins are commonly sold by skate shops.
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