Skateboard Anatomy: Components And Functions

Are you planning to start skateboarding in NZ but don’t know where to start?

Anatomy of a Skateboard: Components and Functions

Skateboarding is popular in New Zealand, thanks to the country's pleasant climate and well-maintained skate parks. Moreover, since the vibrant skateboarding community actively promotes the sport's growth, it's not surprising that skateboards in NZ are in demand all year.

A board is not just a piece of wood with wheels; it's a meticulously engineered and finely tuned machine that can help you execute tricks and expertly navigate urban terrain.

We dissect the anatomy of a skateboard, exploring each component's role and function. Let's get started!

The Skateboard Deck

The skateboard deck serves as the foundation of the entire setup. It's typically constructed from layers of high-quality maple wood, providing strength and flexibility. Deck shapes and sizes can vary, offering diverse options for varying riding styles.

Deck Shapes and Sizes

  • Standard Popsicle Shape: Popsicle-shaped boards are the most common deck shape, known for their versatile performance in street and park skateboarding.
  • Old School Shape: Recognisable by its wider nose and tail, old-school shapes are ideal for carving and cruising.
  • Longboard Shape: Longboards are larger and more stable, perfect for downhill riding and long-distance cruising.

Deck Concave

The concave of a skateboard refers to the curvature along the width of the deck, providing crucial manoeuvrability to the skater. Higher curvatures offer more controllability for flip tricks and technical manoeuvres. On the other hand, lower concave varieties allow stability for cruising and carving.

Deck Graphics

Deck graphics are visuals that allow personal expression for skaters. Your deck design may showcase your favourite brands, artists, or patterns. These components complete a skateboard deck. Let's move on to the trucks.

Grip Tape

Grip tape is a gritty, sandpaper-like surface. The tape covers the top of the skateboard deck. It's focused on one role: for your feet to have a firm grip while riding, allowing for better control and stability.

Skateboard Trucks

Skateboard trucks are the metal T-shaped components that mount to the deck's underside. They play a pivotal role in turning and maintaining stability.

The essential parts of a truck include:

  • Hanger: The largest part of the truck is responsible for grinding and sliding.
  • Baseplate: Connects the truck to the deck, determining its angle and turning capabilities.
  • Kingpin: This central bolt holds everything together, allowing for adjustments to the tightness of the trucks.

You can adjust the tightness of your trucks to curate your riding experience. Tighter trucks provide stability but limit turning ability, whilst looser trucks allow for sharper turns but may be less stable. Finding the right balance is essential for your riding style.

Skateboard Wheels

Wheels come in various sizes and hardness levels, measured in a durometer. Inside these parts are bearings that determine the smoothness of each ride.

Wheel Size

Larger wheels provide more speed and stability, whilst smaller wheels offer quicker acceleration and sharper turns.

Wheel Hardness Level

Softer wheels (78A-87A) offer a smoother ride on rough terrain, whilst harder wheels (99A-101A) are ideal for smooth surfaces and technical tricks.


Bearings fitted inside the wheels' core dictate how smoothly the wheels spin. The ABEC rating system measures the precision of these bearings. Higher-rated bearings provide faster and smoother rides. NZ's top skaters customise their boards with these parts to achieve peak performance and execute impressive tricks. Ready to buy your first skateboard but unsure of what may suit you? Shop complete skateboards in NZ from your local skateboarding shop today!

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