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So, You Wanna Skate? Set Up Your Board!

FROM THE WITHITGIRL ARCHIVE: Story by Cory Peipon Photos by

Maya Hayuk

Feature by Cory Peipon and photos by Maya Hayuk

It’s time for a new skateboard! If you have never set up a board before, here is a guide to get you started. I’m not positive that this guide will be foolproof, but if you have a local skate shop as friendly and accommodating as FTC, I am sure you can get a few pointers if you hit any rough spots while setting up your skateboard.

1. It's ten in the morning, and Maya and I meet up at FTC. Today, Rebekah Taggart is going to walk me through building my new skateboard. There she is, on the doorstep, waiting to greet us. Nice!

2. My friend Chris Johanson designed this deck for Toy Machine. It's part of his Diamond Wizard series, and it comes with a soundtrack cassette tape! I got this crazy set of translucent red Cobra Masters from my friend Cory Obenauer, who found them at a flea market and was kind enough to pass them along to me. You will want to choose your own board and wheels according to the kind of terrain you will be skating and how comfortable you are on a board.

3. We choose some trucks and risers. (Trucks not shown‚sorry! I chose Ventures...)

4. Grab some bearings.

5. Pick out the bolts.

6. Then Rebekah goes to town on the grip tape.

First, she peels off the backing.

7. After carefully placing the grip tape and smoothing it out over the surface of the board, she runs the side of a screwdriver all around it to carve out the shape.

8. Next, she takes a razor blade and very carefully (always point a razor away from you‚ and never at someone else!) trims off all of the excess tape to fit the board exactamundo.

9. Making it even more nice-y, she takes a bit of fine-grain sand paper and runs it along the edges.

10., 11., 12. I have to admit, the whole thing gets a little blurry here, but I can tell you this much: Rebekah used some kind of pointy implement to poke through the grip tape and the holes in the board where the trucks are attached. Then she placed the trucks in alignment with the holes. That's when she got out the power drill (woohoo!), and began to put everything in place.

13. Once the trucks were bolted on and secure, it was time for those pretty wheels to go on. (By the way, check out the skate history section for a really nifty look at what a skateboard wheel actually is...)

14. The bearings go on first, and then the wheel is placed over and around it. This process is more difficult than it looks, and we had to get a few extra people involved. The wheel is then secured on the truck.

15. There we are a proud teacher and beaming student. Rebekah hands over my new setup...

16. Off I go! Fun!


Cory Peipon is Editor in Chief at withitgirl. She skates alone.

Maya Hayuk is Photo Editor at withitgirl, where she is commonly known as "skat-or!"

Thanks to FTC Skateshop in San Francisco and Rebekah Taggart for their help.

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