Small setup, wide setup, the decisions skaters must make when purchasing a board

Skaters these days have a ton of options when purchasing boards. The process can be confusing, and I think a good reason to go to skateboard shop to get advice.  For a modern street board the width goes from as skinny as 7.5 inches to as wide as 8.75 inches or wider. The lengths, even though most people aren’t aware of it range from about 31.5 inches to 33 inches. The truck sizes vary to correspond with the width of the decks. And wheels go from 50 mm to 60 mm I believe. Bearings vary in quality and price. The only real good solid thing to think about on a complete is that the trucks should be the same width or smaller than the deck. The rest of the setup can be mixed and matched based on the riders’ preference. People can also get retro boards from any era of skating, transition boards are wider and the shapes can vary greatly. For cruising one can get a very small board or a long board with huge soft wheels that go faster and smoother.

I am or at least consider myself a tech skater, so I’m going to explain options for a street setup. Transworld Skateboarding on their website and magazine asks pro or sponsored skaters to explain their setup choices. So for this entry I’m going to explain my current setup and why I picked what I did. I’m eager to get a new complete from my friend’s shop when I visit my parents in Ohio.  I’m planning on changing it up a little bit, so I’ll also explain what I plan to get.

Last July I decided to get a lighter and small setup. I started with the deck and got 7.75 inch Alien Workshop Anthony Van Engelen deck. This brand I’ve liked for a long time and their decks seem to last for me. My previous setup was an 8-inch deck. So with the 7.75 inch deck chosen I got the appropriate truck size. I decided on the Independent Eric Koston trucks with a hollow kingpin and axle. The truck was designed to be lightweight.  For the first time I purchased Bones wheels that were 50 mm, about the smallest that they make wheels these days. For the second time I got Bones Swiss ball 6 bearings, I think they are called.

Overall this setup worked well for me. The deck I skated on until December, so that is almost a full 5 months.  A lot of the time I can only skate once or twice a week so my stuff lasts longer, but I’m happy it lasted 5 months. For the trucks after about a month I purchased Bones medium bushings because they turn a little bit better. The bearings are fantastic and still turn my wheels well.  What I’m amazed about is that the Bones wheels I purchased in July 2011 I’m still riding. I don’t think I’ve had wheels last that long before. They cost more but are worth it.

Since December I’ve been riding a Habitat Danny Garcia 7.8 inch deck. It’s lasted well, and I know that I like the decks from Alien Workshop and Habitat. These companies are owned by the same people and use the same wood.

When I decided to get a smaller setup my main reason was that I thought it would help with my flippy tricks. I thought with a smaller board I could get full rotation on tre flips, and be able to do more flip tricks in general. That didn’t happen as easily as I thought it would. Today I’m sort of doing the same tricks I was a year ago. I might have progressed some with my ollie and ledge tricks, but not much with tech stuff.  One thing that definitely did happen was I lost some consistency.  I remember with the 8-inch deck I could do kickflips and frontside shuv-its on command.  Now I miss some, and it’s not every time. I think consistency is more important then doing a lot of tech stuff.  So I’m going to get a wider board.

This time I’ll start with the trucks and see if I can get a pair of 8.25 trucks. In the past I rode Venture trucks a lot, and I liked my Independent Kostons. But I’m open to trying another brand. Hopefully at my friend’s shop I can get a pair that size that turn well loose, and maybe are lightweight. Once I pick those out I’ll get a Alien Workshop or Habitat deck that has the width between 8.25 and 8.5 inches. I will notice the difference with a wider setup like that. With wheels, I think I’ll get Bones at 51 mm or 52 mm. That might be small for a wide set up, but I think small wheels are very important for tech tricks.  Of coarse I’ll get bones swiss or even more upscale bearings. That is the setup I plan to get in late May at Just Skateboards in Toledo Ohio.

I’ll do something different from in the past. The small setup, at least the trucks, I have now I’ll simply throw in my closest. And when some time passes and I get an itch to try a small setup, I won’t have to get a full complete.

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