How long does a skateboard last, how often should you replace it, and what kind of longevity can you expect to get from skateboard wheels, bearings, trucks, and the deck itself?
Let’s find out.
How Long Does a Skateboard Last?
A skateboard typically lasts for between 6 months and 2 years, but it all depends on how often you use it, what you use it for, how good it is, and how well it’s maintained.
Some riders keep their skateboards for in excess of 5 years, but they don’t ride them a lot in that time. Many professional riders destroy their skateboards after a couple of months or even a few heavy sessions.
- Amateur Riders: If you’re only riding a few times a week and not doing anything too extreme, your skateboard’s lifespan could stretch up to 2 years and beyond. For the average amateur rider, the skateboard is spending more time in the garage or in the car than on the ramps, and they’re also less likely to grind rails, flip down stairs, and generally perform tricks that harm the board.
- Daily Riders: If you use your skateboard every day, it may not last as long, but it depends on how exactly you’re using it. As a beginner rider who only uses the board to get to and from school or work, and only traverses smooth surfaces for a couple of miles each way, it should last for a long time. As someone who is always either commuting or performing tricks on their skateboard, you’ll be lucky if it lasts for a year.
- Professional Riders: Pro skateboarders are more likely to perform stunts and tricks. It’s more than just a fun pastime for them, so they are happy to put their skateboards in harm’s way, even if it means they’ll be buying over a dozen new skateboards every year.
When Should You Replace Your Skateboard?
You should buy a new skateboard when your old one is broken, beaten, and doesn’t do what you want it to do. As soon as it becomes a liability, something that’s constantly throwing you off and just doesn’t do what you need it to do, it’s time to move on.
How Long Do Skateboard Decks Last?
Your deck will typically show some signs of wear after a couple of months. Your nose/tail may chip after a few months if you’re doing a lot of flips, otherwise, you can just replace your grip tape and keep riding.
If you notice any major chips or cracks, get a new skateboard, or replace your deck. Those skateboards could break while you’re riding, and that could lead to a rolled ankle or something more serious.
How Long Do Skateboard Wheels Last?
Your wheels take a beating and so you will need to replace them more often than the deck. A daily rider should look at changing their wheels every six months or so. A skateboarder pro performing an array of tricks and stunts on the daily, should change every few weeks.
How Long Do Skateboard Bearings Last?
A really good set of skateboard bearings can last for a couple of years, but the average is closer to a year. If they are not working as well as they should and you don’t want to spend money, consider cleaning them instead. You could bring them back up to scratch, in which case it’ll feel like you have a brand new set.
Do Skateboards Lose Their “Pop”?
Skateboards will lose their pop over time. This can happen as a result of gradual degradation and is something you can’t really avoid. However, the problem will occur much sooner if the skateboard is not stored properly or used when it is wet.
Do Skateboards Break Easily?
Skateboards break. It’s a fact of life. In fact, for many amateur skaters, the point they know that it’s time to buy a new skateboard is the moment that the old one snaps in half.
If you’re doing a lot of tricks and buying cheap skateboards, it’ll snap often. Some riders who are particularly tough on their boards have even broken them within 24 hours of purchase.
The good news is that it’s often just the skateboard deck that breaks, so you can salvage most of the parts and buy a new deck. The bad news is that a good skateboard deck can be expensive.
How to Make Your Skateboard and Skateboard Parts Last Longer
If you’re getting frustrated with skateboards that have the average life span of dollar store batteries, the problem could be with how the skateboard is being stored, cleaned, and used.
There are a few simple things that you can do to increase your skateboard’s life span:
Buy a Better Board
Quality skateboards are made from more durable materials and should last longer as a result. They are more expensive as well, of course, but you could save yourself money in the long run as it means you won’t need to replace your skateboard every few weeks or so.
Rotate the Wheels
Just because one wheel is a little more worn than the others doesn’t mean you need to change all of them.
A simple rotation will suffice, swapping the most worn wheels for the least worn. It’ll maximize the lifespan of the wheels.
Don’t Get Angry and Throw Your Board Around
It can be frustrating when you’re learning new tricks and keep failing. But that’s the name of the game—it happens, and you’ll nail it eventually.
Don’t start throwing your skateboard around in anger. It’s not going to help you and it’s definitely not going to do your board any favors.
A single careless toss or angry slam could crack your skateboard’s tail or split the skateboard down the middle.
If you buy the best-branded skateboard, all parts will be salvageable. If you’ve broken your deck, then buy a new deck. You don’t need to get rid of the skateboard trucks or wheels just because the deck is split.
If the wheels are bust, buy a new set. The same goes for the bearings and everything else. Don’t rush to buy a new skateboard when a piece of the old one breaks.
Buy a good skate tool. Learn about the parts and how they work. And start fixing, replacing, and upgrading.
Keep Your Skateboard Dry
Don’t ride when it’s wet and don’t keep your skateboard anywhere it will be exposed to moisture.
Many riders forget about this minor detail. They keep skateboards in cold and damp sheds or garages. They ride when it’s raining. As a result, the skateboard doesn’t long as long and loses its pop much sooner.
Keep it Away from Intense Heat
Don’t leave your skateboard near heat sources, including windows that are exposed to a lot of daylight. Heat can warp the wood and damage your skateboard.
You should also refrain from leaving it in your car on hot days.
Be Careful When Riding on Rough Surfaces
Refrain from riding on very rough surfaces, including areas with broken glass, sand, and lots of little stones. Not only does it make for an unpleasant riding experience, but it’ll also shorten your skateboard’s life.
Stay Within Your Skill Level
If you’re a beginner, stick with basic tricks. Don’t run before you can walk.
You’re more likely to fail catastrophically when performing complex tricks and these could seriously harm your skateboard, not to mention your knees and elbows.
Learn How to Land Properly
Landing properly on your skateboard prevents too much pressure being applied to weakened areas. It’s why some beginner riders have a habit of breaking skateboards.
The most effective way to land is with your feet on the hole screws, which are located toward the middle of the skateboard.